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Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef Recipe

Instant Pot barbacoa beef can be made in a Ninja Foodi or other pressure cooker. Fork tender shredded beef with TONS of flavor you’ll love. Grab a variety of peppers, chiles and a bit of broth to make this melt-in-your-mouth fall apart chuck roast tonight.

ninja foodi barbacoa beef

Have you dreamt about Instant Pot barbacoa beef but unsure how well it would turn out? We tested it for you and here it is!! A delicious low carb dinner that’s great inside sliders. An easy Instant Pot recipe to try tonight. (affiliate links present)

Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef Chipotle Copycat

Yes we have made Instant Pot pulled beef before as well as many other pressure cooker beef recipes here. This is by far the most popular one that guests rave over when we have a get together though. Served over chips with cheese nachos style or in tortillas for tacos it is always a huge hit and never lasts long.

The biggest difference between all of them is the sauce. From using a bottle of barbecue sauce and that is it, in our Instant Pot bbq beef, or more complex like this one. They all make my mouth water.

If you are new to pressure cooking we have a lot of easy one pot meal recipes for you here. To begin with let’s start with a few basic tips:

For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have (a 6 quart) and use for all recipe creations.

star wars instant pot

Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef Cook Time

You are going to want to set aside about 1 hour to make this. Even though we cut up the thick cut of meat into smaller chunks it still takes a while to break down the connective tissues so it can get as tender as possible and soak up the sauce for bold flavors in every bite.

We’re going to start with, well beef of course. We buy meat in bulk from local farmers in our area but you can do the same online as well. Let me tell you it’s cheaper, better, and saves tons of trips to the grocery store.

instant pot beef

Ninja Foodi Barbacoa Beef

With this pot you are going to use the lid that is not attached and the pressure cook button. When it comes to cooking beef in an Instant Pot you just need to remember a few things;

  1. You don’t need to sear pcs at the beginning but that does help to keep juices in. Also it gives the outsides a bit of texture.
  2. Always remember to deglaze pressure cooker after the saute function with a little of your broth. That means to scrape stuck on meat pcs. off so the burn notice doesn’t appear later.

Best Meat for Beef Barbacoa

The cheek is the most authentic, I don’t use that. Chuck roast was used for this, cut into large chunks so it gets incredibly tender. I do tend to trim it a bit too but that isn’t totally necessary, just can’t hold myself back when I see a bit chunk of fat. lol Other cuts of meat that would work just fine would be a roast or arm roast which has a stronger beefy flavor but does the trick. 😉

I don’t even think about it now because I use it so often and is just second nature but if you are new I like to mention these tips. Once you do it a few times you’ll do it automatically too. They are important to remember though.

As with any of our other creations you can use your Ninja Foodi, Crockpot Express, Mealthy or any other brand pot to make any of these. They all basically work the same as long as they are electric and have the high pressure function.

searing beef instant pot

Chicken Barbacoa Instant Pot

Ok so for this you’re going to want to blend a bunch of things together to make that amazing sauce on your tacos. I would not personally double the recipe unless you have an 8 or 10 quart pot. You could use poultry instead but would need to be boneless skinless. Use the same sauce but just a 20 minute cook time.

Ingredients

Make for for Cinco de Mayo or just during the week because it’s super easy and turns out great every time. This is what you’re going to need to have on hand:

  • Beef – we used chuck roast cut of beef
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • Green chiles
  • Bay leaves are optional but a good add in
  • Beef broth
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Tomato paste

And a bunch of different herbs and seasonings to bring the flavors to the next level. I just use forks to shred the meat but you could use a hand mixer in a bowl once meat is removed from sauce. Then put it all back together.

barbacoa sauce

Authentic Barbacoa Recipe Instant Pot

You can use whole garlic cloves and mince yourself or just get jarred. I have a big one on hand at all times since I add it to just about everything. It’s a cheap way to add a ton of flavor, it’s good for you too so there’s that.

Remember to add another 30 minutes to the total cook time for it to pressurize and naturally release steam when done. It still is way quicker than any other cooking method out there for sure.

What kind of meat is barbacoa?

Traditionally in Mexican dishes they use goat, lamb or beef. The latter is quite a bit cheaper and more common than not.

What does barbacoa taste like?

It is difficult to explain the exact flavor but they are bold flavors. A thick sauce coats each piece of meat well and it may be seen as a cross between barbecue and teriyaki I guess.

The nice thing about making it homemade yourself is you can really adjust the heat level to your liking. Love super spicy foods, you can really amp this up or just keep it semi mild like this one is.

Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef

How to Serve Pressure Cooker Barbacoa

If you have only slow cooked larger pieces of meat like this to get them really tender, you’ll love this method. It is faster, and gives you the same results. Yes I do love slow cooker carnitas that are similar, and recently made slow cooker beef barbacoa if you want to throw it in in the morning.

Give it about an hour and a half to reach perfection and serve on top of a bed of rice to make burrito bowls. I mean there are so many ways to serve this up really. You can also:

  1. Turn them into tacos with shredded cabbage and/or coleslaw all the fixings on top and enjoy.
  2. Serve with steamed vegetables for a keto low carb one pot meal if that is what you’re looking for.
  3. Put some on top of a fresh green salad for lunch.
  4. Make a pot of black beans and serve it up!

If you love serving it other ways let us know. I am always open to new ideas so dinnertime doesn’t get monotonous.

pressure cooker beef

How to Make Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef

You’re going to need to set aside around an hour and a half start to finish here. Here is kinda’ a quick step by step below but we have a printable recipe card for you below as well. First set pot to saute and add olive oil.

  1. Cut beef into large chunks, rub salt and pepper on all sides and add into hot once hot. Sear on all sides, then turn pot off.
  2. Remove meat and add 1/2 c of your broth to deglaze bottom to remove all stuck on pieces.
  3. Put seared beef back into pot along with rest of your broth, diced onions and chiles.
  4. Combine all the ingredients for your sauce, in recipe card below, in a blender and blend until the sauce becomes smooth with no large chunks in it.
  5. If you want it a little more thinned out, you can add ½ cup more of beef broth. (set aside)
  6. Pour this sauce into your pot with bay leaves on top if you want to add them. Slice your whole lime, remove seeds and squeeze inside pot, throw lime skins in pot on top.
  7. Close lid and seal steam valve. Set to high pressure for 60 minutes followed by a 15 minute natural pressure release. Then quick release remaining steam.

Remove the lid, remove bay leaves and squeezed lime skins and shred beef in pot or on a cutting board, put back into sauce and stir to coat. Serve in small air fryer tortillas with avocado and a squeeze of lime on top. And this is what the end result looks like y’all! Then you can serve it up as you wish.

barbacoa beef

I know, YUM right? If you’re having a bunch of people over this is a great one. During the holidays, for a Super Bowl party with small rolls to make sliders, or just to treat your family. However you wish, you’ll be obsessed too.

How long can I keep barbacoa in the fridge?

If you have leftovers you’ll want to get it to room temperature before packing it into containers. Remove as much air as possible and coat in sauce so it stays moist.

You can seal freezer bags with it inside as well. Reheat beef in a pan on the stovetop or in the microwave in 30 second intervals stirring in between times. Stir often so the proteins stay moist and don’t dry out, that would be a tragedy.

  • You could make some air fryer flautas with this rolled up into the middle some night or throw some in an air fryer if you wanted it crispy and warm.

Looking for what to cook next?? We have shared several above but another idea is making Instant Pot beef tips. You can use several cuts for this too.

beef tips instant pot

Barbacoa Beef For Tacos

There is nutritional information listed below for the ingredients we used. Of course every cut of meat, and different weights, will calculate a bit differently. This is a good gage though if you are concerned with protein, calories etc…

Give this a whirl and then try our Instant Pot arm roast recipe and let us know what you think of them. If you added something different and that came out amazing too, leave us a comment below to let us know. 😉

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Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef

Instant Pot barbacoa beef can be made in a Ninja Foodi or other pressure cooker. Fork tender shredded beef with TONS of flavor you'll love.
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword barbacoa, beef, instant pot, ninja foodi, pressure cooker
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 12
Calories 353kcal
Author The Typical Mom

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Set pot to saute and add olive oil. Cut beef into large chunks, rub salt and pepper on all sides and add into hot once hot. Sear on all sides, then turn pot off. Remove meat and add 1/2 c of your broth to deglaze bottom to remove all stuck on pieces.
  • Put seared beef back into pot along with remaining broth, onions and green chiles.
  • Combine all the ingredients for your sauce, listed above, in a blender and blend until the sauce becomes smooth with no large chunks in it. If you want it a little more thinned out, you can add ½ cup more of beef broth. (set aside)
  • Pour this sauce into your pot with bay leaves on top if you want to add them. Slice your whole lime, remove seeds and squeeze inside pot, throw lime skins in pot on top.
  • Close lid and seal steam valve. Set to high pressure for 60 minutes followed by a 15 minute natural release. Then release remaining pressure.
  • Lift lid, remove bay leaves and squeezed lime skins and shred beef in pot or on a cutting board, put back into sauce and stir to coat.
  • Serve in small tortillas with avocado and a squeeze of lime on top.

Video

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef
Amount Per Serving (2 oz)
Calories 353 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Fat 27g42%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 81mg27%
Sodium 655mg28%
Potassium 453mg13%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 21g42%
Vitamin A 128IU3%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Calcium 63mg6%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
ninja foodi barbacoa
Recipe Rating




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