Instant Pot Savory Barbacoa Beef

I love this easy barbacoa beef recipe, a riff on the popular Chipotle barbacoa beef. This delicious recipe transforms salads, tacos, burrito bowls and wraps into the most epic meals ever. And in the Instant Pot (get yours here:, it’s fast and easy!

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Traditionally, barbacoa is a preparation of meat that is steam cooked in an underground oven until very tender and succulent. In this recipe, we skip the underground part and use a pressure cooker to preserve the succulent juiciness of the meat and infuse it with authentic herbs and spices.

This AMAZING and tender beef barbacoa is better than any restaurant offering I have had. The beef is cooked to tender and juicy melt-in-your-mouth perfection. And it takes only a fraction of the time of a traditional low-and-slow method that could take 8 hours or more.

Chipotles in adobo sauce are smoked jalapeno peppers preserved in a traditional Mexican sauce made with tomatoes and ground chiles that has the consistency of a thick BBQ sauce. It comes in small cans or jars and can usually be found in the hispanic section of the grocery store. If you’re a fan of spice, feel free to double the chipotles and/or add 1/2 tsp or more cayenne pepper to the marinade

I love this easy barbacoa beef recipe, a riff on the popular Chipotle barbacoa beef.


Marinade Mixture:

  • 6 oz beer (or water)
  • 4 oz can diced green chiles
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 chipotles in adobo sauce (or to taste)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 lbs beef chuck roast (if more than 2” thick, cut into 1 lb chunks)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • Tortillas, diced avocado, chopped cilantro, diced red onion and lime wedges for serving.


  1. Combine Marinade Mixture ingredients in a blender and process until completely smooth.
  2. Add olive oil to the Instant Pot. Using the display panel select the SAUTE function.
  3. When oil gets hot, brown the meat on both sides, 3-4 minutes per side. Meat will not be cooked through.
  4. Add marinade to the pot and deglaze by using a wooden spoon to scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pot.
  5. Add bay leaves, then toss to ensure everything is coated in the marinade.
  6. Turn the pot off by selecting CANCEL, then secure the lid, making sure the vent is closed.
  7. Using the display panel select the MANUAL function*. Use the +/- keys and program the Instant Pot for 60 minutes.
  8. When the time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 15 minutes, then quick-release the remaining pressure.
  9. Discard bay leaves. Carefully remove the meat from the pot to a cutting board and shred.
  10. (Optional) Skim fat off the top of the sauce using a large spoon or gravy separator.
  11. Return the meat to the pot, add salt and toss to coat.
  12. Serve shredded beef in tacos, salads, burrito bowls, or nachos alongside lime wedges.

*The MANUAL and PRESSURE COOK buttons are interchangeable.