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A fork digs into a bowl of Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa.
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5 from 1 vote

Instant Pot Barbacoa

With the help of your pressure cooker, you can quickly and easily create this tender and intensely flavored Instant Pot Barbacoa. This versatile beef was inspired by the Barbacoa from Chipotle.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Pressurize Time10 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 6
Calories: 266kcal


For the Barbacoa Sauce

  • 2 to 3 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • ¾ cup low sodium beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

For the Rest

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil plus additional as needed
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 bay leaves

For Serving

  • tortillas, cheese, diced onion, cilantro, avocado, sour cream, salsa, and/or any other toppings you love!


  • Add all the ingredients for the Barbacoa Sauce to a food processor, pulse until smooth and set aside.
  • Pat the cubes of beef with paper towels to dry. Press the SAUTÉ key on a 6-quart Instant Pot and select the MORE setting. Add 2 tablespoons oil to the pot and wait for the "HOT" indicator. Add half of the beef and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and a little freshly ground black pepper. Sauté the beef until nicely browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef to a dish and set aside. Repeat with the remaining beef, adding additional oil if needed, and an additional ½ teaspoon salt and pepper, to taste. Press CANCEL.
  • Return all the beef and their juices to the pot and pour the Barbacoa Sauce over the top. Stir the mixture until the beef is well coated in sauce. Add the bay leaves. Close and lock the lid. Press the MANUAL or the PRESSURE COOK button, select HIGH, and set the time to 30 minutes (making sure the steam release handle is in the "Sealing" position on older models). It will take approximately 5 to 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure and begin counting down the 30 minutes. After the cooking time is complete, push the steam release handle (or button) to the "Venting" position to allow the steam to release completely before you open the pot. Press CANCEL.
  • Press SAUTÉ. Use two forks to break the beef into smaller pieces and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, to reduce the sauce a bit. You can break the beef down into chunky pieces or just keep shredding as much as desired. Press CANCEL and serve.


Nutrition information was calculated for the Barbacoa only. Tortillas and toppings will change these values.
Serving Suggestions
  • Add to toasted tortillas with your toppings of choice for delicious tacos or burritos.
  • Create copycat Chipotle burrito bowls with my Cilantro Lime Rice and any other toppings you love.
  • Use in your favorite enchilada recipe.
  • Make delicious nachos or quesadillas.
Storing Leftovers
Transfer the cooled Barbacoa to an airtight container and promptly refrigerate. Use leftovers within 3 to 4 days for the best quality. For longer storage, see freezer instructions below.
Transfer the cooled Barbacoa to freezer safe plastic storage bags or other airtight containers. Label with the date and freeze for up to 3 to 4 months. Defrost safely in the refrigerator overnight before gently reheating in a pot on the stove or in the microwave, adding additional broth, if needed.


Calories: 266kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 805mg | Potassium: 631mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 280IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 4mg