This may disappear before it ever reaches your table
This Pressure Cooker Barbacoa Beef includes an aromatic mix of smoky and spicy chipotle peppers, garlic, lime, cumin, oregano, and cloves pressure-cooked with seared chunks of beef chuck roast until fall-apart tender. Whether you use it to fill a tasty pile of tacos or to top a burrito bowl, I feel confident a few bites will be disappearing straight from the pressure cooker pot before it ever makes its way out to your plate - for quality control purposes, of course!
How to serve this Pressure Cooker Barbacoa Beef
- In tacos! Pick your favorite tortilla and load those babies up with all the toppings. I love adding tomatoes, jalapenos (fresh or pickled), pickled red onions, cilantro, Cotija cheese, and this Spicy Cabbage Slaw
- Add to a big flour tortilla burrito with cilantro lime rice and cheese
- Use this in enchiladas with your favorite tortillas, enchilada sauce, and cheese
- Enjoy it in bowl form with a base of cilantro-lime rice, cauliflower rice, and/or Spicy Cabbage Slaw and guacamole - way better than the fast-casual ones!
- Top a tray of sheet pan nachos with all the fixings
- On top of a salad, my preferred greens for this are iceberg or romaine because they're nice and crunchy!
- Add a measure to this Kitchen Sink Frittata in place of the suggested sausage -- Add a little salsa and sour cream to the top!
- Serve with a side of roasted potatoes and a fried egg for breakfast
- Swap out the chicken in these Quesadillas with Creamy Jalapeno Sauce
- Top a bowl of classic mac and cheese or swap out the sausage in this Cauliflower Mac and Cheese for Barbacoa
Which pressure cooker do I use?
I use the term “pressure cooker” rather than “Instant Pot” very intentionally because I want it to be flexible for those who may use other brands. I personally use an Instant Pot Ultra 6qt, but this Pressure Cooker Barbacoa Beef can easily be made in other electric pressure cookers as well.
The reason I mention this is because there are often variations to the cooking time in the different machines. With my prior Cuisinart machine, I found that my dishes cooked much more intensely, so I likely would have slightly lowered the amount of time that I cooked this beef recipe in that machine. For the Instant Pot model I have, I find that the Barbacoa Beef cooks perfectly in about 75-minutes on high pressure, with 15-minutes of natural pressure release.
What tools do I need to make this recipe?
- A cutting board
- A chef's knife
- A 6qt or larger electric pressure cooker
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- A small mixing bowl
- A citrus zester
- A citrus juicer
- A wooden spatula
- 2 forks (for shredding the meat)
Are you looking to upgrade to your cooking tools or replenish your pantry? Check out my kitchen tools shop page and pantry staples shop page to find my must-have kitchen tools, pantry items, and other Whip & Wander favorites.
Looking for more dinner inspiration?
Love this Pressure Cooker Barbacoa Beef recipe? Here are some additional pressure cooker recipes that you might enjoy!
- Pressure Cooker Boneless Beef Ribs
- Pressure Cooker Collard Greens with Smoked Ham Hock
- Pressure Cooker Beef Bourguignon
- Pressure Cooker Artichokes
Check out all of my pressure cooker recipes here.
A note for special diets
This Pressure Cooker Barbacoa Beef recipe can be made friendly for gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and low-carb diets. If you have dietary restrictions, you'll want to pay close attention to the brand of chipotle chilies in adobe that you use as many contain additives such as wheat or other grain.Print
Pressure Cooker Barbacoa Beef
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 110 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours
- Yield: 3 lbs meat 1x
- Category: Mains
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: Caribbean / Mexican
This Pressure Cooker Barbacoa Beef is a perfect smoky and spicy filling for tacos, burrito bowls, nachos, and more!
- 1 ½ tsp Kosher salt
- 3 lb boneless beef chuck roast, portioned into roughly 4-inch chunks
- 2 tbsp avocado oil - OR - olive oil
- 8 oz (1 cup) beef broth (refer to the recommended minimum liquid for your machine)
- 2 limes, zest and juice (roughly ¼ cup lime juice and 4 tsp lime zest)
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 Chili peppers in Adobo sauce + 1 tbsp of extra Adobo sauce
- 3 garlic cloves, minced - OR - 2 tablespoon garlic-infused olive oil
- 2 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp oregano
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- Sprinkle the beef chunks generously with Kosher salt and reserve to the side. Set your pressure cooker to heat using the saute function and add the avocado oil (or olive oil).
- Once hot, brown the meat in 2-3 batches until it develops a nice sear on each side. The meat will brown best when adequately spaced apart from each other and is browned undisturbed until ready to flip (about 2-3 minutes per side). Reserve the seared meat to the side as you brown each batch. Turn the saute function off and allow the bowl to cool slightly while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- In a small bowl, combine the beef broth, lime juice and zest, apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, chilis and Adobo sauce, garlic (or garlic-infused olive oil), cumin, oregano, cloves, and black pepper and whisk with a fork to combine. Add the mixture to your pressure cooker and using a wooden spatula, gently scrape any seared bits off the bottom of the bowl from browning the meat. Don't skip this step, otherwise, you may risk throwing a "burn" error on your machine as it cooks.
- Add the meat back to the pressure cooker and gently toss with the sauce until evenly coated. Add the bay leaves. Secure the lid and set to cook on high for 75-minutes.
- Once finished, allow the machine to natural-release pressure for 15-minutes, then safely quick-release any remaining pressure and remove the lid.
- Discard the bay leaves and using two forks, shred the remaining meat and serve warm -- Check out the post above for lots of ideas how to serve!
Nutritional information on Whip & Wander is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site.
- Serving Size: ½ lb of meat
- Calories: 729
- Sugar: 1 g
- Sodium: 542 mg
- Fat: 45 g
- Saturated Fat: 17 g
- Carbohydrates: 3 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 73 g
- Cholesterol: 272 mg
Keywords: pressure cooker, barbacoa beef
Denay DeGuzman says
I'm a huge fan of barbacoa beef! Your pressure cooker recipe is amazing! I'd love to warm some corn tortillas, make some pico de gallo and enjoy street tacos with this delicious beef.
Whip & Wander says
Sounds like dinner is planned!
Cheese Curd In Paradise says
I love barbacoa beef for nachos or tacos! I also love my pressure cooker, and can't wait to give this recipe a try!
Whip & Wander says
Same! It's such a flexible main dish recipe.
Cara @ Street Smart Nutrition says
I think you're right, this could EASILY disappear before it ever got to the table! Looks incredible - it never ceases to amaze me what pressure cookers can do
Whip & Wander says
I always seem to sneak a few bites of this one before it reaches the table. The best dishes demand QC checks.
Emily Leary says
I hadn't heard of barbacoa beef before but all the flavours sound absolutely wonderful, so I'm sure I'd be a fan.
Barbacoa beef is definitely one of my favorites!! Pinning and making ASAP. I'm always looking for new recipes to make in my instant pot. Yum!
Katie Crenshaw | A Fork's Tale says
I love Barbacoa. I can't wait to make this in my Instant Pot. You make it look so easy.
Karyl Henry says
Whenever I go to Chipotle I always get my burrito with barbacoa beef...and now I'm embarrassed to say I thought it was a specific type of meat, not just the seasonings LOL! I'm so glad to find this recipe, so I can make it at home