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Barbacoa Beef (Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot)

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If you like cumin and spicy food, then you’ll love Barbacoa Beef. Spicy shredded beef is braised in chipotle adobo, cumin, cloves, garlic, and oregano.

If you like cumin and spicy food, then you'll love Barbacoa Beef. Spicy shredded beef braised in a blend of chipotle adobo, cumin, cloves, garlic and oregano.

Barbacoa Beef

Years ago, readers requested that I create a barbacoa beef recipe inspired by Chipotle’s, which I originally made in my conventional pressure cooker but eventually rewrote for the Instant Pot. In my opinion, mine is even better than Chipotle’s! I serve this burrito-bowl-style over cilantro lime rice and top it with corn salsa – a must! If beef is not your thing, check out this Slow Cooked Sweet Barbacoa Pork, Instant Pot Pork Carnitas, or my other Instant Pot recipes.

If you like cumin and spicy food, then you'll love Barbacoa Beef. Spicy shredded beef braised in a blend of chipotle adobo, cumin, cloves, garlic and oregano.

What is beef barbacoa?

Authentic beef barbacoa is made from beef, goat, or lamb, braised slowly until tender with chipotles and spices, and shredded for tacos, burritos, and more. You can really use any large, tough cut of meat for barbacoa. I recommend a beef eye of round or bottom round roast, which I cook much faster in the Instant Pot.

What is beef barbacoa made of?

  • Garlic and Onion: You’ll need five cloves of garlic and half an onion for the sauce.
  • Lime: Juice one lime.
  • Chipotles in Adobo Sauce: Two tablespoons of chipotle peppers will be mild, and four tablespoons will be very spicy. Use your judgment depending on how hot you like your food.
  • Spices: Ground cumin, oregano, and cloves and bay leaves
  • Water: Blend one cup of water with the other ingredients to make the sauce.
  • Beef: Trim the fat off three pounds of beef eye of round or bottom round roast.
  • Seasoning: Salt and Pepper

How To Make Barbacoa Beef

  • Sauce: Blend the garlic, onion, lime juice, cumin, oregano, chipotles, cloves, and water until smooth.
  • Meat Prep: Trim the fat off the beef, cut it into three-inch pieces, and season with two teaspoons of salt and black pepper.
  • Brown the meat on all sides in the Instant Pot using the Sauté button.
  • Pressure Cook the Beef: Add the sauce and bay leaves to the pot and cover the Instant Pot. Cook it on high pressure for about one hour (I cooked mine for 65 minutes) and do a natural release. The meat should be tender and easy to shred.
  • Serve: Transfer the meat to a dish and shred it with two forks. Discard the bay leaves, and pour the liquid into another container. Return the shredded beef to the pot, and add a half teaspoon of salt and cumin and one and a half cups of the reserved liquid.
  • Stove: If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can cook the barbacoa on the stove. Simmer it on low for at least four hours, adding more water as needed to make sure it doesn’t dry out.
  • Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa: To make this barbacoa recipe in the crockpot, follow all the directions above, except you will brown the beef in a skillet on the stove. Next, put all the ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for eight hours. Then shred the meat and add the remaining seasoning.

What to Serve with Barbacoa

Here are some ideas for serving barbacoa:

How to Freeze

Barbacoa freezes well. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days or freezer for up to three months. Thaw the meat overnight and reheat it in the microwave.

Variations and Tips

  • Liquid: Swap water for beef broth.
  • Beef: You can also use a chuck roast.
  • Pork: Substitute beef for boneless pork shoulder blade roast or pork loin roast.
  • Hot Peppers: If you don’t have chipotles in adobo, sub them with jalapeñ Keep the seeds and ribs in if you want a spicy dish.
  • Serving a crowd? Double all the ingredients and cook it for the same amount of time.
  • Instant Pot Tip: To avoid getting a burn alert, deglaze the pan with one or two tablespoons of water after browning the meat. Also, after browning, turn off the sauté function while adding the other ingredients to prevent the pot from getting too hot.
  • If you like cumin and spicy food, then you'll love Barbacoa Beef. Spicy shredded beef braised in a blend of chipotle adobo, cumin, cloves, garlic and oregano. If you like cumin and spicy food, then you'll love Barbacoa Beef. Spicy shredded beef braised in a blend of chipotle adobo, cumin, cloves, garlic and oregano. If you like cumin and spicy food, then you'll love Barbacoa Beef. Spicy shredded beef braised in a blend of chipotle adobo, cumin, cloves, garlic and oregano.

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Barbacoa Beef (Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot)

4.85 from 118 votes
4
Cals:153
Protein:24
Carbs:2
Fat:4.5
If you like cumin and spicy food, then you'll love Barbacoa Beef. Spicy shredded beef braised in a blend of chipotle adobo, cumin, cloves, garlic and oregano.
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Barbacoa Beef with corn salsa on a plate.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes
Yield: 9 Servings
Serving Size: 4 oz

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 lime, juice
  • 2-4 tablespoons canned chipotle in adobo sauce, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 pounds beef eye of round or bottom round roast, all fat trimmed
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 bay leaves

Instructions

  • Place garlic, onion, lime juice, cumin, oregano, chipotles, cloves and water in a blender and puree until smooth.
  • Trim all the fat off meat, cut into 3-inch pieces. Season with 2 teaspoons salt and black pepper. Heat the pressure cooker on high (use saute button for Instant Pot), when hot add the oil and brown the meat, in batches on all side, about 5 minutes. Add the sauce from the blender and bay leaves, cover and cook on high pressure until the meat is tender and easily shreds with 2 forks, about 1 hour. (in my Instant Pot I cooked it 65 minutes). (If you're making this on the stove, simmer it on low at least 4 hours, adding more water as needed to make sure it doesn't dry out.) Natural release.
  • Once cooked and the meat is tender, remove the meat and place in a dish. Shred with two forks, and reserve the liquid for later (discard the bay leaf). Return the shredded meat to the pot, add 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste, 1/2 tsp cumin and 1 1/2 cups of the reserved liquid.

Last Step:

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Nutrition

Serving: 4 oz, Calories: 153 kcal, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Protein: 24 g, Fat: 4.5 g, Cholesterol: 44 mg, Sodium: 334.5 mg

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613 comments on “Barbacoa Beef (Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot)”

  1. I followed the recipe and this is really really delicious. I served it one night with your Quick Coleslaw in a tortilla with avocado and grated cheese. I served it a few nights later over brown rice with your Corn Salsa and that was even more delicious.

  2. Came out excellent. I did it with super lean venison sirloin tip because that’s what I had. I’m serving it with rice that I made in my rice cooker that I put in one tablespoon of taco seasoning, some chicken broth made from better than bouillon, some lime juice, fresh corn kernels from my farm and pink beans. I used to make Emeril’s barbacoa recipe. This one came out amazing and I like that everything’s blended. Thank you ST!

  3. This is in regular rotation in my VERY PICKY house! The flavors are so delicious and it’s a great lower fat beef meal that fits our macros and high-protein diet.

  4. Made this in crock pot to have on tacos. Meat was tender and delicious. Also made your corn salsa as a topping.
    This will definitely be on repeat!

  5. Best, best, best. I omitted the clove and added a touch of cinnamon instead. One star anise and bay leaf to the oil while searing.

  6. So good! This rivals our favorite Mexican spot!
    I used the slow cooker and seared the meat the night before.

  7. This is an excellent recipe. The flavor is perfect. The meat came out very tender. Definitely bookmarking this one!

  8. Outstanding! Everyone loved it (except the eight-year-old, who thinks everything is spicy). I used it in enchiladas and served to guests and they all loved it.

    1. Avatar photo
      Melanie Everett

      So delicious and flavorful but I’m confused by the nutritional info. MFP gives me 620 cals per serving!! That’sa big difference and all the ingredients are the same. Anyone else?

      1. I had to go in and manually update some of the ingredients. For example, it had there was 1 POUND of black pepper haha! Also a pound of limes. Once I modified, I got it down to 265 calories per serving. Still higher than what she calculated but much better than the 400 it started with for me.

  9. This has been on our rotation as a favorite and we make it often. I have taken lazy steps like not blending the sauce, or not browning the meat, and it still comes out perfect every time. My favorite Skinnytaste recipe! Better, cheaper and faster than Chipotle.

  10. So flavorful! I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out perfect! Served it over rice on day 1. Day 2, we had it with corn tortillas and avocado slices. YUM! Next, I’m going to try this same recipe, but try out a pork butt just for the fun of it. Thank you!

  11. I made this and it was super easy..and tasted AMAZING! I made the cilantro lime rice and corn salsa as well and made bowls about of it! I’m curious how it would taste on a keto friendly chipotle Tortilla that the grocery stores in Texas carry. Once again Gina your recipe knocked it out of the park!♥️

    1. I would replace the Chipotles with the same amount of Jalapeños, seeds removed if you don’t like it too hot!

    2. For slow cooking, after browning, put in the crockpot with the liquid on low for 8-hours. I don’t use water, I use beef stock.

  12. I made this before and it told me how to make the corn and tomato topping.. I can’t seem to find that part of the recipe… 

  13. Flavors were great but I wasn’t keen on the cut if beef. Next time I will try it with short ribs. I felt it needed more fat.

    1. Avatar photo
      Jeniece Brown

      Just try it with regular Chuck roast with a fair amount of fat/marble and Marinade in sauce for 2-4 hours (;

  14. This was really good and easy! Was able to throw it together after work and enjoy a delicious dinner. 

  15. Hi! I want to try this recipe for visitors, using a crock pot. Any suggestions re let get of time and preferred meat,? ( Will it be fall apart tender like a pork shoulder that has cooked 8 or 9 hours?)… thank you!

    1. I made this last weekend in the crock pot using bottom round and cooked for about 4 hours on high and then 4 hours on low the following day, just due to timing. It shredded up great! I didn’t bother searing the meat first.

    2. I used a pork shoulder butt roast, didn’t sear it and placed it in the crock pot on low for about 9 hours and it was AMAZING! I have used this recipe with several different beef and pork Roasts on low in the crock pot all day while working and they always fell apart. I have it memorized now. We just add a little more Chipotle since we love the kick it gives.

  16. I’ve never tasted Chipotle’s, but this is our favorite Barbacoa. So far I’ve made it twice. Definitely make the Cilantro Lime Rice and Corn Salsa – they add extra dimensions and flavors that take this dish off the charts!

    I’m so grateful for the deliciousness of these dishes (-35 lbs and counting)! Healthy AND low fat, calorie and WW points. Thanks again, Gina!

    1. Oh, I forgot to add that I actually used eye of round steaks, which were about an inch and a half thick. The bonus was that they were already completely trimmed so I just cut them in half and knocked the cooking time down to 50 minutes.

      1. I used steaks, too! Mine were thinner than yours, so I knocked it down even more to 40 minutes. Worked great!

  17. Delicious!  This turned out better than I expected.  My picky son loved it, and everyone agreed it WAS better than Chipotle’s!  I only used 1/2 tbsp. chipotle, and chuck roast; otherwise followed exactly as written.  Heads up…takes quite a while, natural release took over 1/2 hr, but well worth the wait.  Super tender and flavorful.

  18. Delicious! I used 5 lbs of beef (that’s the standard size our Costco sells for this cut) and 60 minutes on the instant pot with a long natural pressure release was just right.

  19. First time making this. The meat came out super flavorful and tender. Paired with light sour cream, avocado, and Skinnytaste corn salsa on a corn tortilla – a perfect, easy dinner bursting with flavor. 

  20. While we love new recipes, please, with this one, use only a half tablespoons of the chipotle /adobe.  If this recipe is used again, rather than chipotle/adobe, i will try salsa of my choosing.  
    On the photo is  corn on the dish. It’s never mentioned in the recipe. I found a Can of salsa with the main ingredient of corn in the local grocery store. This was spooned on the final dish. It did help make the dish look better. . 

  21. I’m mad I waited so long to make this, it’s AMAZING! Never need to go to Chipotle again, this is so much better! Thank you! 

  22. Tried it and love it! I love the barbacoa at Chipotle and this nailed it. I added 1/2 tsp chili powder just because I like things spicy.

  23. We made the Beef Barbacoa tonight for dinner! Its a staple in our house with the lime cilantro rice and all the fixin’s. I made the black beans for the first time and it was a hit! Thanks for all the amazing recipes! 

  24. Wow! Incredible Flavor!!! I used electric pressure cooker, 65 mins, and it was perfect! Served over WW Yellow Lentil Rice for an extra treat in the points dept! Thanks for another keeper Gina!!

  25. Made this and it was 100/10. SO GOOD!!! I made tacos and topped with onion, cilantro, sour cream & pico. I was wondering if I could use chicken instead now tonight to use up leftover ingredients?! 

  26. I used to make this recipe in my crockpot but that recipe has disappeard. Will this recipe work in a crockpot?

  27. Avatar photo
    Chris Memering

    This recipe is awesome. And we always have leftovers. we were thinking about taking the meat and using the yogurt dough recipe to make baked empanadas. Thoughts?  Cooking time thoughts would be much appreciated. 

    1. I think it would work! Check out both of these recipes– https://www.skinnytaste.com/taco-empanadas/ and https://www.skinnytaste.com/air-fryer-beef-empanadas/. Let me know how they come out!

    1. Kat, the recipe says to use high pressure for about an hour– so that would be the manual pressure button on high.

  28. Prepared this today, but in my Ninja Foodi pressure cooker…

    Also only used 1 chipotle in sauce….have to watch our sodium level….husband is allowed only 1500 mg daily…so also no added salt

    From the bite we both sampled…delicious

    Thanks…

  29. Good, but I expected more flavor than we got. We were hit with lime and cumin…not a bad combo, just lots of it. I’m going to play with a little more chipotle pepper next time, as I held off on going full strength until I could see how hot it was going to be. You MUST make the corn salsa to go with this!

  30. Absolutely delicious and with the rice and salsa it tasted so much like Chipotle. However, by the time I was done, I wished I had just gone to chipotle. The kitchen was a mess and it was a lot to prepare and probably wasn’t much cheaper at all. While we all agreed it was great, even the little ones, I think next time we’ll just splurge on the real deal.

  31. If I want to cut this recipe to 1/3, do I cut all the ingredients? In a 6qt instant pot is it okay to only use 1/3 cup water for this recipe? How much liquid will 1lb of beef naturally give off? I’m new to instant pot cooking!  Thanks!

  32. This will sound like a weird question. My husband does not like the texture of shredded meat. Would lean ground beef work with this recipe?

  33. So delicious! I made this last night and will definitely make it again. Using the Instant Pot, the meat was incredibly tender. My only changes to the recipe were that I used 3 cloves of garlic instead of 5 and 3 tbsp of chiptoles in adobo sauce. Next time I will add just a tad bit more salt. Also, I kept all of the cooking liquid, not just the suggested amount. Regardless, it was a delicious dinner.

    Looking forward to trying more Skinny Taste recipes!

  34. Avatar photo
    Cynthia Pastula

    This Barbacoa Beef was delicious! It was such an easy recipe and the addition of the corn salsa made it a perfect Sunday football dinner in a bowl and over brown rice. Thanks Gina.

  35. The sauce was great but the meat was tough (cooked for 65 min in IP natural release). It kind of fell apart but wasn’t “pulled”. Wondering if there are other cuts of meat I should try vs. what the recipe calls for?

  36. Avatar photo
    Melissa Smith

    This was delicious! We used more than 1.5 cups of the sauce. The corn salsa really made it. 

  37. Avatar photo
    Cinzia Figueroa

    Ohhh mannn! This was a good one. My husband loved it and cannot wait to eat leftovers taco style. I think the best part was the corn salsa to go with it. Will be making it again and putting on rotation! Yum-o! 

  38. I made this today. I wasn’t sure about the cloves and thought it smelled overpowering, at first. It mellowed out after adding liquid. I had 4 cups of liquid when meat was done. I reduced that to 2 cups rather than tossing the amount beyond 1 1/2 cups. It made a slightly thicker “au jus”. I’m going to use leftovers to make enchiladas with Gina’s homemade enchilada sauce. I like heat, used 3 chipotle chiles and sauce…it was the perfect amount of heat imho. Another keeper. Thanks Gina.

  39. This was fantastic!  Made this in the instapot and came out so tender and flavorful!! I actually forgot to salt the meat but then added salt (less) at the end and came out perfectly.  We had it on the cilantro lime rice With corn salsa and will definitely be making it again! 

  40. Oh. Em. Gee!!! This is by far the best barbacoa I’ve ever made!!! I 100% agree that it’s better than chipotle! Thanks for such a foolproof recipe! 

  41. I made this in a slow cooker and it was delicious! The woman who complained about the recipe using lean meat should have known by the title of this website, that this site is devoted to lowering grease in one’s diet.

    1. Hello, I was wondering for how long you cooked the meat in the slow cooker? I don’t have an instant pot. Thank you! 

  42. This was FANTASTIC. Thank you so much! Absolutely delicious. I have never had a bad recipe from you, and your fast and slow cookbook is heavily used at our house. My kids love to choose recipes for the weekly meal plan. I’m a good cook, but you always make me look even better! 😉 Thank you!!!

  43. Oh geez! You did it again Gina! Thank you for an easy meal that can feed the hungriest. I used only 1 chipotle in a 1.75 pound bottom round roast. It has just enough kick to it. I put it in the crock pot and cooked on high for 6 hours. Perfect! I served it over rice. Amazing!

    1. Hi, do you still cut the roast until cubes before putting it in the crock pot, or put it in whole?
      Thank you

  44. Amazing!  I made it with the cilantro lime rice and the corn salsa. It was soooo good!!  My husband said it tasted way better than Chipotle. Thank you!

  45. Avatar photo
    Cheryl Shewmaker

    This is a delicious recipe! The barbacoa is spicy – I went heavy on the Chili’s. Made it with Bottom Round. The corn relish is an excellent compliment to the spicy beef. I have made this several times and it is one of my favorites.

  46. Avatar photo
    Terri Whitaker

    All of your recipes are winners! My family loved this. Made it with a chuck roast and the corn salsa and cilantro rice. My husband said Chipotle wishes their food tasted this good!

  47. This recipe is fantastic! The Barbacoa is so delicious and is tasty served over the Cilantro-Lime Rice and with the Fresh Corn Salsa. I always serve it with some homemade Guacamole and my family and guests rave about it! 

  48. Avatar photo
    Karina Ulloa

    It was delicious. I made it for my kiddos and they loved it. I did adjust for 1 lb beef for the cooking time and some of the seasonings. 

    1. Could you use a trimmed brisket cut into pieces in this recipe? Do you know how that would change the cookjng time? Thank you!

      Joe

  49. I just got a NInja Foodi recently and this was one of the first recipes that I tried. I think my husband and I have a new favorite! The beef was so tender and flavorful and the corn salsa was the prefect compliment.

  50. Hi! I really want to make this and went to our beef freezer only to find NO rounds or roasts. Tons of chipped/minute steaks though. How to adjust cooking? I will be using my Ninja Foodi. Thank you in advance!

  51. What would you suggest to use as a substitution for the chiptoles in adobo sauce? Trying to use what’s in my pantry and avoid going shopping. Thanks! 

  52. How would I make this in the crock pot?

    I absolutely love all your recipes and I’ve done this in the instant pot, but since I’m working from home right now, I thought I would try it in the crock pot! I bet it will smell delicious 🙂

    1. I just made a similar barbacoa beef recipe in the crockpot. I browned the meat and then put it in the crockpot for 8 hours on low. 

  53. I have been wanting to try this recipe for a long time and finally did! It was excellent. The beef had an excellent flavor. The corn salsa was a very nice addition. We are using leftovers for tacos tomorrow.

  54. This was delish! And YES- I cooked in instapot for 65 minutes, which freaked me out since I’ve done meats for 15-18 tops. I doubled the recipe and cut the beef into 6-7 large pieces and shredded it. Amazing flavor and super tender. Will make again. 

  55. I don’t have a kitchen scale.  Approximately how much is 4 oz in a measurement ?   1/8 cup or more?   Thank you 

  56. How does eye round come out for this? Wondering if it comes out tough or does it cool down as well as chuck?

    1. We made it last night – it was so tender and so delicious! We made it just as pictured with the rice and corn salsa. It was amazing!

  57. I’m so disappointed!! EVERYTHING Skinnytaste I’ve ever made has come out amazing! 
    My beef had NO flavor 😕. Did I do something wrong?

    1. I have done this in the crockpot. Cook on low 8-9 hours. Shred the beef and add the final seasonings for the last half hour.

  58. What all did you put on top of the beef in the picture? It looks delicious and I want to try to replicate the look!

  59. Has anyone tried this with stew meat? I have some I need to use up but I’m not sure how long to cook it for. Anyone know? 

    1. We put it on a salad, or eat it by itself! We don’t add the liquid back in so ours has a drier texture. My husband has also crisped some up and had it eggs for breakfast!

  60. Cooked this overnight (10 hrs) on low and it turned out perfectly.  We chopped up some cabbage and served the Barbacoa on top of it.  So, so good!

  61. I made this night for a group of neighbors.  They all loved it and said is this from your skinny cookbook.  Great recipe and awesome as a leftover too.

  62. I made this recipe tonight along with the accompanying corn salsa recipe and the cilantro lime rice (just substituted brown rice) and it was so extremely good! The beef turned out perfect and exactly as pictured. Also I’ve never been a huge fan of corn salsa but it was perfect with the beef. It made the whole dish better. This will definitely be made again in my house. 

  63. It doesn’t say whether to allow a natural release of the pressure in the Instant Pot or to release it manually ar some point. That should be in the recipe.

  64. Can this barbacoa need be made in a crock pot? If so, cooking directions, please.

    Thanks,
    Karen j

  65. Avatar photo
    Willow Woodall

    This is delicious! I’ve never cut up a roast prior to cooking, but in this case I think it really helps the flavor get to all of the meat! Will definitely make again nnn

  66. We LOVED this barbacoa beef! It did take a little longer than I wished for a “weeknight,” but worth the wait. We enjoyed it all weekend long. The cloves add that nice smoky flavor and should not be skipped! Just a little bit does wonders. I am guilty of using chuck beef because it is so affordable, but as expected we did get a bit of fat, even after trimming. I’ll have to try the eye of round next time.

  67. I made this last night and it was DELICIOUS! My friend and I could not believe how simple, clean, and tasty it was. I didn’t follow exact measurements for the garlic or cumin.

  68. I cannot serve this to my Hispanic husband and call it “barbacoa”.  He would have a fit.  Firstly, the barbacoa he is accustomed to is made using the meat from a cows head.  He refuses to eat “barbacoa” burritos at a local restaurant because the owner removes the fat because the American customers complained about the grease.  It looks like a great recipe but I’ll have to call it something else.

    1. This is a poor review Amy. Nobody cares about your husbands obsession with fat and cows heads. This is a delicious recipe! That’s what the review is supposed to be about. I hope your family does enjoy this great meal. I’ll pray for your husband. 

      1. Avatar photo
        Colonel Bat Guano (Ret.)

        Butt out Mckinzie.  Amy has a right to state her own facts, and please don’t pray for me.  Pray for our nation and our next president.  She will have to remake the presidency from scratch.  

      2. She is just saying that is the authentic way of preparing it and the term barbacoa has been changed by Americans. I am sure if we moved to another country it would annoy us if all our favorite recipes actually contained totally different ingredients. And stop using prayers as a way to shame people. sheesh.

    2. Avatar photo
      Colonel Bat Guano (Ret.)

      Pray for yourself and this country, Mckinzie.  Amy has every right to tell you about her husband’s hispanic heritage and what it means to his food preferences.  I found it enlightening.  Your comment is very poor.  People like you ought to burn in hell.

    3. Avatar photo
      Lily Oftenberg

      Oh, dear.  I must agree with the Colonel.  Mckinzie’s comments were rude and hurtful.  Why she reminds me of someone… She must be a Trumper.  No prayers for her.

      1. Sorry, McKensie’s comment is spot on and deliciously scathing! And I am the furthest thing from a trump supporter you could find. The barbacoa was excellent. 🙂

  69. This is a favorite at home I have shared this with just about anyone I know. Thank you for putting together a recipe that we can make at home without known allergens.

    1. I definitely can’t wait to make it! Do you cook it in the Instant Pot on high for 65 minutes, as directed? That just seems a bit long for that type of cooking, I’m afraid of ruining 3 pounds of perfectly good beef.

  70. Avatar photo
    Christy Mangio

    I love this recipe!
    I don’t have an Instant Pot so I used my Crock Pot and cooked it on low for 6-8 hours.

    It is super easy to make and the only thing I would add to the list of ingredients is the Corn, Tomatoes, Cilantro, and Onion for the toppings – I forgot to get the first time I made this.

    To keep it at 3 WW points I got cauliflower rice and added lime juice and cilantro to give it more flavor. I also bought the plain no seasoning cauliflower rice in the quick microwave bags from the freezer section to save time and it kept good for leftovers.

    1. Avatar photo
      Melinda Morvari

      Did you Brown the meat before adding to crockpot? Any tips? I’m about to make this in my crock pot, tomorrow. Going to prep the sauce tonight. 

    1. Rather than following the fix I count macros to lose or maintain (in my case lose 5-7 lbs)..  I like the fix for people who are new to accountability, tracking and portion size.  However- I found it way too restrictive (which leads me to binge when I hit my goal.  .  Too many foods not allowed.  I can’t live like that so I switched over to a more flexible lifestyle.  I use myfitnesspal.. I was able to import this recipe (or any) into the MFP site (edit ingredients if needed) and I know exactly what Im eating in terms of macros.  There are too many great recipes on skinny taste and all over the internet to limit yourself to “fix friendly” recipes– Thats just my 2 cents.  

  71. If I wanted to half the meat, would I just half all of the ingredients? Also would it be the same cool time too?

    1. This question has been asked several times…and I’m adding to the list! IP pressure cook on high or low and less, normal or more? Maybe this is only relevant for the newer models, but it does make a difference. Thanks!

  72. I made this and I’m so excited to try it! However I am confused how this is 3 WW points for 4oz. Nowhere in WW can I find trimmed bottom round or rump roast for less than 4 points for 4 oz. What am I doing wrong ?

      1. I never get the burn message when I test a recipe, so trust me I am as frustrated as you are. After doing some research, this is what I found- The newer IP models have a hair trigger burn sensor that can’t tell the difference between a slight caramelized residue, which is good, and totally burnt. To avoid this, when using the saute button always deglaze the pot after sauteeing with a tablespoon or two of water or broth before adding your other ingredients. Also, be sure to press cancel so it doesn’t get too hot before adding the other ingredients.

  73. What setting did you use on instant pot to cook for an hour? You started on saute, but what did you use to cook?

  74. Wow! This recipe smelled so yummy my whole family couldn’t wait to eat it. However it is too spicy! And we like heat but I must have added too much chipotle peppers in adobo sauce because this is a five alarm fire in your mouth. We served it over cauliflower rice and added sour cream and avocado to try to tame the heat to no avail. 
    Be warned and be careful with the peppers. 
    I would make this again but with much less peppers and perhaps add more water to the sauce. I used my slow cooker since I don’t yet have an IP. 

  75. Hello! Thank you for sharing the recipe 🙂 I made it once and it turned out great !

    I’m making this recipe again for our small group tonight. It’s only noon and I’ve made the barbacoa but haven’t shredded the meat. Should I let the chunks of meat sit in the instant pot as it cools and prior to serving, reheat the liquid, shred the meat and season it ? or shred now and cover it with the liquid to keep it moist ( after step 3in your recipe), then reheat tonight?

    Any suggestion is greatly appreciated !

  76. I have been trying to figure out WW points for this. I got bottom round instead of eye of round. It seems as though they are completely different cuts of meats and the bottom round is twice as many points. Am I looking this up correctly?

    1. Please note: The newer IP models have a hair trigger burn sensor that can’t tell the difference between a slight caramelized residue, which is good, and totally burnt. To avoid this, when using the saute button always deglaze the pot after sauteeing with a tablespoon or two of water or broth before adding your other ingredients.

  77. I am so excited to try this tonight! Making Chipotle style bowls and my kids are pumped. I just started WW and plugged the recipe in and it is saying 8 freesyle points – wonder where I’m going wrong

    1. Hi Leslie! Are you using the recipe builder? The only accurate way to determine any recipe’s SmartPoints® value is to plug the ingredients into the recipe builder on the Weight Watchers website (Click on “My Foods,” select “Recipe,” and click “Create a recipe.”) which does not count fruits and vegetables in recipes in the calculations as they are now 0 points.

      The SmartPoints® calculator isn’t meant for recipes and will often give you the wrong points (usually higher) because it’s counting the fruits and vegetables. So if you see a recipe with a SmartPoints® value that’s different from what the calculator tells you, now you know why.

    2. I used the recipe builder and mine came out the same! 3lbs of beef round bottom trimmed raw came to 68 points!!

  78. Avatar photo
    Leslie Gailis

    Made hand pies using leftover beef barbacoa. 2 ingredient dough for crust, 2 ounces of beef, 1 tablespoon of corn salsa for filling. Rolled dough into 4 rounds, topped with filling, folded and sealed. Baked 350 for 35 minutes. Delicious! Thanks Gina for such a versatile recipe.

  79. I’m about to use my instant pot for the first time. I want to half the recipe. What would the cooking time be? Thank you!

    1. Step 2 states natural release.  Always natural for meats so the release doesn’t cause the meat to seize and toughen the meat. 

  80. I only have tenderloin chunks (bite-sized) Would anyone know the altered time for the smaller chunks of meat?

  81. I have several boxes of steaks – strip steaks, filet mignon and similar cuts that my husband u fortunately bought from a door to door person and the meat is not good quality.  I’m trying to find a use for it and wondered whether I could make this recipe with it.  I wouldn’t normally use these cuts for anything other than grilling or broiling, but they are pretty tough coming off the grill!

      1. NOT a PLACE for meanness or sarcasm. One does not necesarily double the amounts of all the ingredients when doubling a recipe.

  82. Avatar photo
    Christina Conklin

    Hi,

    I need to serve 7 adults and one kid on Friday. I’ve made this many times before and love it. Can the recipe be doubled? Would that be too much spice?

    1. I haven’t tried it yet, but I would say try some smoked paprika, maybe a couple of teaspoons or a tablespoon, depending on how fresh it is (the fresher, the stronger) and how much smoke flavor you like. Chipotles in adobe really are so spicy; I usually just make sure I clean out the seeds and membranes really well (while wearing plastic gloves) so that my kids will eat it. Good luck!

  83. This was delicious. I always get Barbacoa at Chipotle, and I thought this was better than that. Even my picky husband loved it. I’m on a weight watchers journey right now, and this was a healthy, flavorful meat that didn’t pack a lot of points but felt like an indulgence. Thanks for a great recipe!

  84. What would you do if you were using a slow cooker? Thank you! I just moved in with my fiancé and I am wanting to feed him new recipes. Thanks! 

    1. I browned the meat and used a slow cooker. I cooked it 4-5 hours on low. I used about 3.15lbs of beef eye of round and after that amount of time it shredded pretty easily. Having it tonight for dinner! I can’t wait 🙂 

  85. It might be worth noting to remove the seeds from the chipotles, or at least some of them if you still want a LITTLE heat. This looked easy enough so I was throwing it together quickly, and since I don’t work with chipotles too often, I forgot to remove the seeds before throwing them into the blender. Sure, it was my fault but a reminder couldn’t hurt! Side note, I love your recipes. Thank you, and keep em coming!

  86. Avatar photo
    David Miller

    Incredible recipe. I don’t have an instant pot or pressure cooker but found our slow cooker did a fine job. I simply browned the beef in a skillet before placing everything in the crockpot. I’ve also used chicken breast instead of beef. Equally excellent. 

      1. I browned the meat and used a slow cooker. I cooked it 4-5 hours on low. I used about 3.15lbs of beef eye of round and after that amount of time it shredded pretty easily. Having it tonight for dinner! I can’t wait 🙂 

  87. Thank you for this fantastic and easy recipe!! We made it for game night last weekend and it was a hit for our friends and family. I normally HATE all meat leftovers, it is usually physically hard for me to eat reheated meat. Not this one!! OMG, the leftovers for this Barbacoa made the BEST nachos and then we still had a little left days later so I threw it in with some ground turkey I was making for tacos and added some of the leftover chipotles to that and made a fantastic Taco Salad which then made lunches for the next day. So spoiled with flavor this week! This will be a recipe on repeat, thank you!

  88. I am fairly new to using the Instant Pot so I’m always looking for new recipes to try. This recipe is AMAZING!!! It was so easy and delicious! Everyone loved it and my brother kept saying that it tasted just like what you get at Chipotle! I ended up using about 3.5 pounds of chuck roast because it was on sale at my grocery store, so I added a little more seasoning but the same amount of liquid required by the recipe. I will definitely make it again. Thank you!!

    1. Did you use natural release or quick release? Would love to try this recipe! Can you guess I got an Instant Pot for Christmas? ????

  89. I made this recipe to the T and I got the “burn” message on my instant pot 25 minutes in to cooking 🙁 The sauce was almost all evaporated and the meat was brown on the bottom. Any ideas for making sure this doesn’t happen next time? I have never had that happen before.

  90. The whole family loves this!  
    The corn salsa is delicious and the leftover meat (if there is any)  is great in tacos the next day.  Thanks for another yummy recipe! 

  91. This is seriously good and EASY. I’m always looking for go to recipes for my pressure cooker and this will be at the top of my list!

  92. We love this recipe especially for tacos and empenadas. I just wish that the print feature would get fixed, when you click on print it brings up the video at the top the recipe. I don’t think anyone else want to print the video in their recipe either.

  93. Pingback: 50+ Nourishing Keto Instant Pot Dinner Recipes (dairy-free, Whole30, too!)

  94. I’ve made this many times and it’s so good.  I usually add 4 tablespoons of the chipotle peppers. Freezes well too.

  95. Oh wow…this barbacoa beef is fantastic! Followed the recipe exactly…Instant Pot. So tasty, so tender. The family loved it. Will certainly be making it again soon.

  96. Hi there!  Love your recipes!

    For the instant pot, how long should it cook?  It says 65 minutes, but is that the pressurizing time plus cook time or just the cook time?  I.e. do I set my cook time to 65 minutes? 

    Thanks!

    Holly

  97. This is listed in your freezer friendly section. I was wondering the best way to freeze this meal. Do I just put it in a disposable casserole dish. I have had problems in the past with food getting freezer burn. What is the best way to prevent that.

  98. Delicious and flavorful! I cut back on the peppers because it’s a little spicy for us, but so delicious even without all the hot pepper!!

  99. Avatar photo
    Cynthia Carter-Betancourt

    This was perfect! Delicious on corn / flour tortillas with corn salsa topping and cilantro. Sprinkled with Cotija cheese. Meat was tender and the seasoning was amazing!

  100. I just had this as a burrito and omg sooo great! It was super easy to make! I was quite surprised there weren’t more steps. I used my crockpot on high for 6 hours. Definitely needs the salt and extra cumin at the end as it needs a little kick. For my burrito, I quickly chopped up and threw in a skillet some green bell pepper, onion, frozen corn, tomato, and reheated the barbacoa. Added avocado and cilantro before rolling up the deliciousness. Can not recommend enough! My mouth is very happy.

  101. Making this today in the slow cooker on high- it’s been on for about 4 and a half hours now and it’s still not shreddable. My guess is this is going to take 6 hours on high to shred. I think next time I will use chuck roast instead which may change the fat macros but the bottom round probably works better w the insta than it does in the slow cooker. Chuck is my go to for the slow cooker and I should have followed my instincts. When it is done I think it’s going to be delicious tho. The slow cooker still has lots of liquid too.

  102. This recipe is fabulous! I have already made it three times. Also the Corn Salsa is a must. Thank You!!

  103. Avatar photo
    Teresa l Krage