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What is Barbacoa and how to make Barbacoa in an Instant Pot

Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef

  • Author: Deborah
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 75 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish


Spice up dinner in a fraction of the time with this Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef! Chipotle and cumin make this perfect for tacos, burritos, enchiladas and more!



  • 2 pound chuck roast
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 24 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced (remove seeds for less heat)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 bay leaves


Cut the roast into 4-6 large chunks, removing any large pieces of fat.

Press saute on the Instant Pot and add the vegetable oil. Add half of the roast chunks.  Brown completely on each side. Remove to a plate and brown the second half of the meat. Remove from the Instant Pot.

With the Instant Pot still on saute, add the onion and cook until it starts to become translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic, cumin and oregano and cook an additional minute.  Pour in the broth, chipotle chiles, lime juice, cider vinegar, salt, pepper, cloves and bay leaves. Stir to combine, then add the roast back into the Instant Pot.

Place the lid on the Instant Pot and lock. Select high pressure and 60 minutes.

When the pot beeps, allow the pressure to naturally release.  Once the pin has dropped, remove the lid and, using a set of tongs, remove the meat from the instant pot to a cutting board. Use 2 forks to shred the beef.  Once shredded, return to the Instant Pot and stir to coat the meat in the leftover juices.

Serve in tacos, burritos, bowls, or whatever your heart desires!

Recipe Notes:

*the meat will be very wet once you stir it back into the cooking liquid. If you don’t want this, you can skip the last step and just serve it after you have shredded it. I like to use tongs to remove the beef in the liquid to let any extra drip off, but I love the extra flavor and moisture the liquid brings.

adapted from Closet Cooking

Nutrition information provided as an estimate only. Various brands and products can change the counts.


  • Calories: 291
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Sodium: 907 mg
  • Fat: 28 g
  • Saturated Fat: 11 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 3 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 5 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 29 g
  • Cholesterol: 93 mg