Delicious Pressure Cooker Beef Barbacoa

Love been barbacoa but hate how long it takes to make?  What if I told you that you could make DELICIOUS beef barbacoa in a fraction of the time when you use a pressure cooker!  This is true one-pot cooking at it’s finest!

Oh barbacoa how I love you… almost as much as I love pressure cooking in general. Ever since I had the mother of all nachos I became a HUGE barbacoa lover. Sure I’ve had it at that fast food chain quasi-mexican place (is it even considered Mexican?) but it was just ‘meh’. But when I had it at that one Tex Mex place I was in love. I shared my Chicken Barbacoa pressure cooker recipe and you guys went nuts over it. I’m not sure which you loved more – the flavors or the fact that it only took 10 minutes. LOL  But you loved it and that’s what matters to me.

Now this recipe takes more than 10 minutes as beef always takes longer in the pressure cooker than chicken. But trust me, it’s well worth it and so friggen good!   I’m actually making up a huge pot of it and putting it all in the freezer. I want to make sure both Mr. Fantabulous and I have food to eat while I’m out having surgery.  But who knows maybe he’ll surprise me and actually make a pot on his own. *wink*

With graduation season in full swing now and 987 backyard cookouts mix it up this year and serve barbacoa instead of pulled pork. This is what will set you apart from everyone else. People may expect the same ol’ same ol pulled pork (which rocks) but serve them beef (and chicken) barbacoa and you just stepped up your cookout game in a big way!

You can totally turn this into nacho topping, sliders, ‘pulled’ sandwiches. See all that juice in the pot – just reduce that and turn it into a sauce just like you would for bbq sauce. Easy, huh? Plus HELLO… this is made a pressure cooker which means you’re not heating up the house with the oven nor do you have to wait 8 hours for the crock pot to work its magic. Why wouldn’t you reach for the pressure cooker?

Parties are meant to be enjoyed!  Let this recipe take the stress out of it all!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to hit up the market and pick up the ingredients to make this. It’s the Stanley Cup Finals (GO PENS!!!) and I want to make sure I have all of my eats ready for the game!
If you don’t have a pressure cooker then I HIGHLY suggest one of these!

For stove top go with: For Electric go with either: or

Delicious Pressure Cooker Beef Barbacoa


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  • 4lbs chuck roast
  • 2 Tbl olive oil
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 4 Tbl tomato paste
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 Tbl lime juice
  • 2 chipotle peppers
  • 1-2 tsp adobo sauce (more means it’s hotter)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup beef stock stock (or water)
  • 3-4 Tbl chopped cilantro plus additional for garnish
  • 1 4 ounce can, chopped green chilies
  • 3 bay leaves
  1. In a blender, combine the vinegar, tomato paste, garlic, cumin, oregano, cloves, pepper, salt, lime juice, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, sugar and stock. Blend to combine.
  2. In a 6qrt pressure cooker or larger, add the oil and turn on the brown/sautee feature. Once the oil is hot add the beef (if it doesn’t completely lie flat, cut it up into pieces and add the pieces in intervals). Sear all of the sides until it forms a nice brown crust.
  3. Next, add the bay leaves, green chilies, and the liquid from the blender. Lock the lid, set the timer for 65 minutes on high. When the timer is done, shut the pressure cooker off and let it perform a natural release.
  4. Once pressure is released (~10-15 minutes), using tongs, take out the beef pieces placing them either into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or on a plate. If using the mixer, turn it on and mix just until the beef is shredded (leave some chunks). If doing it by hand, use 2 forks and shred the beef. Remember you want some bigger pieces.
  5. With the liquid still in the pressure cooker, remove the bay leaves (discarding them) and place the shredded beef back into the liquid. Add in the cilantro, stir and let it rest in the liquid for 10 minutes.
  6. Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the beef and serve or place in a lidded container. *If you want, prior to serving you can pop the beef under a broiler to get some charred ends. Broil for 1-3 minutes.
  7. With regards for the liquid, you can discard or, after straining the fat out, freeze it for later uses. It’s great as a liquid for dirty rice, pasta dishes and quinoa.


FYI… these ROCK as nachos!!


12 Responses to “Delicious Pressure Cooker Beef Barbacoa”

  • Sally says:

    Do you have recipes for your beef barbacoa? I just got my IP for Christmas & I’m experimenting with it. I made your pot roast;the first thing I made after making hard boiled eggs in my IP.

    • Sally says:

      Forgot to say recipes using your beef barbacoa like tacos, burritos, etc.

      • TKWAdmin says:

        Gotcha 🙂 I’m working on that now.

        Best Kitchen Wishes!

        • Chris R says:

          We piled the beef on our Super Bowl nachos, delish. Today for lunch I used leftover beef barbacoa for one of the best burritos I’ve ever had. Very simple, large burrito wrap, beef barbacoa (maybe 3/4 cup), rice same amount, cheddar cheese, taco sauce, hot sauce, sliced hot jalapenos. So simple I made it with microwave in office kitchen, totally amazing flavors.

          This recipe is a real keeper, I want to try it with goat some day. Apparently it is a big birthday meal in Mexico when prepared with goat.

          • TKWAdmin says:

            Thank you so much Chris! Yes you can definitely use goat or pork with this recipe. I’ve had it with pork and chicken and it’s amazing! Goat would rock!

            I usually make this recipe every other week for weekly meal prep dishes!

            Best Kitchen Wishes!

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Hi Sally,

      I’m working on a bunch of recipe that showcase how to use barbacoa in various ways.

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • SandyToes says:

    Lori, how do you always know what recipes we need? This is my summer of chicken tacos and barbacoa, wherein I test a bunch of them to find our favorites. I love that you tested yours for us in the pressure cooker, saving me the from converting another slow cooker dump-and-go recipe.

    I’m a hockey fan, too. We really are too much alike. Are you my daughter from another universe? Sadly, my Lightning had a season full of injuries and didn’t make the playoffs this year, but I’ve been rooting for your Pens, because the Crosby line is the best in the game right now and a joy to watch. All that talent and they’re so young, practically infants. Go Pens!

    My 12-yr-old grandson’s team is 6-1 on the season, 1 game away from a lock for top seed in the playoffs. Watching Logan play is the highlight of my week. And don’t tell him, but I think his 8-yr-old brother, Jedi, is going to be even better, although they don’t keep game records in his age division. I’m sort of the family’s hockey whisperer, keeper (cleaner) of equipment, taper of sticks, and mistress of schedules. With 2 boys skating on 4 different days, I sometimes feel I spend more time at the rink than at home. This is why I want to pressure cook everything!

    I hope Mr. Fantabulous cooks for you while you’re out of commission. My own dude walked into the kitchen today, saw the IP counting down and asked “What’s in the slow cooker?” 🙁

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Lol “what’s in the slow cooker!” Nice.

      Well we are TKW Family so I say we’re related for real 😉 I actually just made a batch of this for freezer burritos. All Mr. Fantabulous has to do is unwrap and bake. I also whipped up a bunch of other stuff he can make us.

      6-1 is awesome! What position is he? Best of luck to his team!

      A good portion of my recipes I’ve converted to pressure Cooker ones but I may not have posted it yet. If one of mine you want converted let me know!

      Best Kitchen Wishes! ❤️

      • SandyToes says:

        Hi Lori,

        I was relieved to read your shoulder surgery went well, here’s hoping for a speedy and complete recovery. BTW, congrats to your Penguins. Back-to-back cup wins is a rare thing!

        Logan plays right wing, and his team won again last weekend, but it was a near thing, going to an OT shootout. The OT means they’ve locked down the #2 spot, but 1st is still up in the air with 1 game left to play. Either way, they’ve earned a bye for the first round and go straight to the semi-finals. Go Thrashers!

        There is one recipe I’d love for you to adapt to a pressure cooker, your Mexican Beef Short Ribs, because, you know, the Florida hot kitchen thing we’ve discussed before. If those work out, I’m guessing your Slow Baked Boneless Beef Short Ribs will follow the same game plan. Cooking for 2 as I do, things like boneless beef ribs are the perfect alternative to a big honking roast. I had to laugh while reading the blog entry for the Mexican ribs, because as a kid growing up in SoCal, my one regret was that we NEVER had Mexican food, not even tacos, because Mom doesn’t do Mexican. Once I could drive that all changed. BTW, I went to Chi-Chi’s once. Talk about your gringo food, wow! I asked for their hot salsa, tasted it, and said, c’mon, no fooling, bring me the good stuff. Turns out the might-as-well-be ketchup they brought me IS their hot salsa.

        But seriously, as kind as your offer is, do not rush to adapt those recipes. For now, just rest up, heal and I’ll be grateful whenever you get to it.

  • umm, you have tomato paste in the recipe ingredient s twice, but only use it once..and is your pressure cooker electric???..i think i need to invest in a pressure cooker…

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Yeah I saw that after I posted it. The double entry is removed.

      I have both stove top (gas) and electric. Truthfully they both work equally amazing; one doesn’t cook better than the other. It’s just a personal preference. But yes I HIGHLY recommend looking into getting a PC.

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

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