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Barbacoa beef tacos on a white plate with white bowls of tomatoes and cheese as well as half of a lime in the background over a wood table
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5 from 10 votes

Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa

Instant Pot Chipotle Beef Barbacoa is tender, smoky, and moderately spicy. Serve it with all your favorite Mexican dinners for a complete meal that can be made in about an hour.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Natural Release15 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American, Beef, Gluten Free, Low Carb
Servings: 8
Calories: 283kcal


  • 2-3 pounds beef chuck roast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup beef stock * gluten free, if necessary
  • 3-4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro


  • Cut the roast into 2-inch cubes and season well with salt and pepper.
  • Add the olive oil to the Instant Pot and set to sauté. Once hot, add the beef and brown all sides, working in batches, if needed. Remove to a plate or bowl.
  • Turn off the sauté function and place the trivet into the bottom of the pot. Return all of the beef to the pot along with any accumulated juices.
  • Add the beef stock, chipotle peppers, garlic, oregano, cumin, lime juice, and cilantro to the canister of a blender and pulse until well combined.
  • Pour the marinade over the beef and close the lid to the Instant Pot ensuring that the valve is set to seal.
  • Set to pressure cook on high for 25 minutes.
  • Allow to naturally release for 15-20 minutes. 
  • Turn the pressure valve on the Instant Pot to "vent" to release any remaining pressure, then carefully open the lid.
  • Shred the beef cubes and mix with back into the marinade in the pot.
  • Serve, as desired.



Slow Cooker Instructions

  1. Season the roast with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Brown all sides of the roast, then place it in the slow cooker.
  4. Add the beef stock, chipotle peppers, garlic, oregano, cumin, lime juice, and cilantro to the canister of a blender and pulse until well combined.
  5. Pour the marinade over the roast, place the lid on the slow cooker, and set to cook on low for at least 8 hours.
  6. Once it's done cooking, shred the roast with two forks and serve, as desired.

Tips and Techniques

  • For milder beef, cut the chipotle peppers open and scrape out the seeds before using.
  • A “natural release” on the Instant Pot just means that you’re letting the pot sit, untouched, for a certain amount of time before turning the pressure valve to release.
  • Cutting the roast into 2-inch pieces allows it to cook faster and results in very tender beef.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Use within 3-4 days.
Nutritional information is an estimate and may vary. It's based on a 2.5 pound roast. One serving of this recipe is 1/8th of the meat and sauce.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 283kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 537mg | Potassium: 541mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 342IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 4mg