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An easy barbacoa recipe that’s all done in the Instant Pot! Try it tonight for the softest, juiciest, most flavourful instant pot shredded beef tacos!

beef barbacoa tacos

I received free product from Citizen Brewery to help with the creation of this recipe. This post may contain affiliate links, which help makes this blog possible. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. 

Do you find yourself in a dinner rut as often as I do!? It doesn’t make a lot of sense considering I’m surrounded by pictures of delicious food all of the time, but the problem is that when it comes to “meal planning” I can’t remember anything I saw that I thought was good. I put meal planning in quotations because I seriously suck at it. My meal planning consists of checking the fridge at 2pm to see what produce I have to work with and then quickly thawing some meat. Oh, and throw in a walk to the grocery store with all 3 kids at 4pm.

Truth be told, every once in a while I NAIL IT by sitting down on a Sunday night and planning out meals for the week; however, this is by far the exception rather than the norm. 

Helllooo Instant Pot beef barbacoa! 

beef barbacoa tacos

I seriously love my Instant Pot. It took me so long to buy one, but as soon as I gave in, I couldn’t believe it had taken me so long! It gets used all of the time. 

I’ve done soups, curries and stews but my absolute favourite thing to cook in the Instant Pot is a giant hunk of beef. I’ve never been great at making a hunk of beef tender – they always turn out dry! The pressure cooker is the BEST tool for the job!! When I throw those chunks of stewing beef in the Instant Pot, they just fall apart. LOVE it! 

I received a few different beers from Citizen Brewery here in Calgary a little while ago, and I immediately knew I wanted to do a savory dish with it. At first I thought of my crockpot Italian beef sandwich recipe, since it uses beer as well and adds so much flavour to the juice. I considered just doing an Instant Pot version of this (which I still plan to do), but then I thought – BEEF BARBACOA TACOS!

barbacoa tacos

What is barbacoa beef?

I actually used to think barbacoa beef was just a fancy word for barbequed beef, but now I know that barbacoa usually refers to meat being steamed to make it fall-apart tender. It’s like the Instant Pot was made for this!

Barbacoa beef is flavourful, containing spices and seasonings. Using beer makes it even more delicious!

How do you make barbacoa beef in the Instant Pot?

Guysssss it’s so easy! You need a 2-3 pound chunk of chuck (hah), or bottom blade roast. Chop it into large chunks, sauté it in the Instant Pot along with some spice, add the beer and beef broth and…SET IT AND WALK AWAY! That’s it. Perfect for those of us that meal plan at 2 pm the day of *ahem*.

I’ve got a few little tips for you if you give these barbacoa beef tacos a go:

  • Stir in some prepared salsa at the end of cooking for extra spice, flavour and texture
  • If you like a thicker, saucier meat, add a simple cornstarch slurry (1 tbsp cornstarch with 1 tbsp water)
  • Foran even spicier barbacoa, dump a can of diced green chilies before cooking, right before sealing the lid

So, if you’re reading this at 1pm, you’re just in time. You can make this dinner TONIGHT!

beef tacos

A few other quick and easy Instant Pot meals for you to keep in your back pocket:

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Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa Tacos

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 12 reviews

  • Author: Katherine | Love In My Oven
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20
  • Yield: 4-5 servings 1x


An easy barbacoa recipe that’s all done in the Instant Pot! Try it tonight for the softest, juiciest, most flavourful instant pot shredded beef tacos!


  • 23 lb chuck or bottom blade roast
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup Citizen Brewery beer*
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • optional: 1/2 cup prepared salsa, 1 tin diced green chilies
  • 6 small flour tortillas
  • shredded lettuce, shredded carrots, sliced radishes, sour cream, salsa and lime juice for serving


  1. About 30 minutes to an hour before cooking, take your roast out of the fridge to allow it to come to room temperature, and cut it into large chunks.
  2. Turn the Instant Pot to sauté on medium and heat the oil. Add the meat, and brown on all sides, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Add the minced garlic, cumin, chili powder, and oregano. Stir to combine and cook for an additional minute. Turn off the Instant Pot.
  3. Add the lime juice, beer and beef broth, then close and seal the Instant Pot, making sure the valve is sealed. Turn the Instant Pot to manual pressure cook on high for 45 minutes. The Instant Pot will take 10 minutes or so to come to pressure. Once the timer beeps, let the Instant Pot release pressure on its own for about 10 minutes, then perform a quick release until all of the steam is released. Unlock the lid and open.
  4. Remove the beef with tongs, and using 2 forks, shred all of the meat and then return it to the pot, stirring it to combine with the liquid.**
  5. Optional: Turn the Instant Pot to sauté and add the prepared salsa and a tin of diced green chilies. Stir to combine and heat thoroughly. Serve immediately in flour tortillas along with shredded lettuce, carrots, and radishes. Top with sour cream and salsa! Don’t forget the glass of beer!

Leftover barbacoa meat can be stored in the fridge, in an airtight container for 3-4 days.


*I haven’t tested this recipe with an IPA, so I can only suggest you use a pale ale. If you prefer not to use beer, just use additional beef broth instead!

**For a thicker sauce, before adding the shredded meat back in, turn the Instant Pot to sauté and add 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with water. Stir it around and allow it to bubble and thicken before adding the meat back in.

  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 60
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Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa Tacos

About Katherine

Heeey! Thank you for stopping by! I like 30-minute dinners and giant peanut butter cups made with only 3 ingredients. I LOVE food! If you do too, you're in the right place.

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  1. I love making a batch of something on Sunday, like soup or chili or whatever, to enjoy throughout the week. Other than that, it’s usually quick-ish meals, like ‘bowl’ meals with roasted veg and stuff. I can totally get behind these tacos too! I could definitely eat ’em every single day. Load ’em with with crunchy veggies and I’m one happy lady 😉 Hope you’re having a fab week, my friend! XOXO

    1. YES I love doing that too, Dawn! I haven’t been doing it lately though, so I need to get back to it so I’m not scrambling throughout the week. And YES you gotta have all the veggies in the tacos!! Thanks pal!! XO

  2. I’m pretty good at planning, but it’s also easy for me (us). I don’t mind having one same dish for my lunch for the entire business week. We also take it easy with dinners as we can either cook one large pot of something that’s enough for 4-5 days or we make simple salads with variable ingredients. So, basically the main brainstorming and planning happens when I plan to cook and photograph on weekends 🙂
    I’m not really a tacos guy but well…this looks so fantastic and delicious that would easily gobble up everything!

    1. That’s handy that you don’t mind having the same thing every week, Ben. I get so bored of food so quickly! Although, as a food blogger, I’m often eating the same thing during the week because I’ve been recipe testing! Haha. I think these tacos could convert you to a taco lover! 😉 Thanks!

  3. My husband bought an instant pot 9 months ago and I have yet to use it. I really don’t know what’s up with that!! These tacos look so good, Katherine!! I need to jump on that instant pot wagon and make these!

    1. NO way!! If you have one, you’ve definitely got to break it out!! You won’t regret it 🙂 Thanks Thao!

  4. My Instant Pot doesn’t get near enough use, and since my hubby and I both enjoy beef recipes (and beer…and tacos), I’ll have to give this one a go some time! Also, when I make it to Calgary again, I’ll have to check out that brewery!

    1. Yes! Perfect – beef, beer and tacos. It’s a lovely combo! The brewery is actually great, they’ve got a little restaurant as well! 🙂 Cheers, my friend!

  5. YUM!!! I haven’t made barbacoa in ages….and yours looks fabulous!!
    P.S. I’m the same way with meal planning! High five to you, sister!!!

    1. Aw thanks Liz! It is SO good. I’m glad I’m not alone in the meal planning department!!