Freezer to Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef

 Freezer to Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef (or slow cooker(

This Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef recipe is super-easy to make in the instant pot, it’s full of big flavors, and it is perfect for tacos, burritos, salads, quesadillas and more!  Feel free to add more chipotles in adobo for a smokier flavor.

I like to prepare 2 of these at the same time and once my meat is browned for the second one I let it cool and add it to a Freezer Zip Lock back with the sauce and freeze. ***See Notes Below***

Yields: 8-10 servings


  • 2/3 cup beer or water
  • 4 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce (keep it minimal if you don’t want it spicy)
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup honey or coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 pounds beef chuck roast* (fat trimmed)


  1. Combine beer, garlic, chipotles, onion, green chiles, lime juice, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper in a blender or food processor.  Purée for 30 seconds, or until completely smooth.  Set aside.
  2. Press the “Sauté” setting on the Instant Pot.  Add oil.  Then once it is heated and shimmering, add the roast and sear — turning every 45-60 seconds or so — until the roast is browned on all sides.  Press “Cancel” to turn off the heat.
  3. Add pureed sauce, and briefly toss everything until the roast is evenly coated in the sauce.  Close lid securely and set vent to “Sealing”.
  4. Press “Manual”, then press “Pressure” until the light on “High Pressure” lights up, then adjust the +/- buttons until time reads 60 minutes.  Cook.  Then very carefully, turn the vent to “Venting” for quick release, and wait until all of the steam has released and the valve has dropped.
  5. Remove the lid.
  6. Using two forks, shred the beef into bite-sized pieces.  Give the beef one more good toss in all of those juices so that it can soak them up.
  7. Serve warm, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

**If you would like to make this in the slow cooker, you can slow cook everything for 4-5 hours on high, or 8 hours on low, until the beef is tender and shreds easily with a fork.

  1. Directions for Slow Cooker

    1. Puree the ingredients for the sauce as directed.
    2. Combine all ingredients in Slow Cooker
    3. Cook on “low” setting for 6-8 hours or until Beef is cooked through.
    4. Enjoy wrapped in tortillas, salads, pasta, couscous or quinoa.

    To Freeze and Instant Pot or Slow Cook Later:

    1. Label your freezer bag with the name of the recipe, cooking instructions, and use-by date (three months from when you prepped the meal).
    2. Make the puree and add all ingredients to your bag.
    3. Remove as much air as possible, seal, and freeze for up to three months.
    4. When ready to cook, thaw in refrigerator overnight or in morning in water and and then follow cooking instructions above for slow cooker or Instant Pot.