This recipe for smoked beef Barbacoa is made by smoking a chuck roast and then braising it in a combination of chiles and spices resulting in a tender and flavorful beef. It’s perfect for burritos, tacos, nachos, quesadillas or even salads.
- bursting with flavor – this smoked chuck roast braised in a mix of chiles and spices results in tender, smoky beef with just a hint of heat
- keto, low carb and paleo – this smoked beef barbacoa is keto, low carb and paleo friendly, especially if you serve it in lettuce wraps, cauliflower tortillas or cauliflower rice.
For paleo, also try serving it in a Siete tortilla or make Nachos with Siete chips. For a keto, low carb option, also try serving it in cheese taco shells.
- party food idea – smoked barbacoa is a great party food idea since it can easily serve a crowd. It would be great for the Super Bowl, Cinco de Mayo or a fiesta party too.
- Guajillio Chiles – You can usually find these dried in a bag in the International aisle of the grocery store. This has a deep, rich flavor.
- Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce – Dried, smoked jalapénos in tangy, slightly sweet red Adobo sauce. Adding this to the same adds an intense smoky, sour-sweet Chile heat to the dish.
Helpful Tip: If you want less spice, do not add all the peppers from the can of chipotle peppers in adobo. Just add all the sauce. This will result in less heat but still a nice sour-sweet smoky flavor.
Complete list of ingredients and amounts is located in the recipe card below.
Step by Step Method
Before You Start: Get the smoker started. You want it at 250-275 degrees. Once it comes up to temp, add your preferred wood (I like post oak).
If you’re using a Big Green Egg, add the platesetter. I also like adding an aluminum pan underneath the grate on top of the plate setter to catch the meat drippings.
*In my photo, I am not using an aluminum pan or the platesetter but it is much easier if you do. It causes less flare ups and less mess.
Step 1. Make spice mixture. Mix together garlic powder, salt, cumin, onion powder, paprika and chili powder.
Helpful Tip: If you want to add other spices, such as your favorite taco spices or seasonings, those would be a good addition too. Sometimes I like to add in Flavor God’s Taco Tuesday seasoning.
Step 2. Season the chuck roast. Liberally coat the chuck roast in the spice mixture.
Step 3. Put the chuck roast on the smoker. I put it directly on the grate. You’re going to let it cook for about two hours or so (this may vary some depending on the size of your roast) until the roast develops a nice bark and is starting to brown all over. The temperature should be around 165 degrees or so.
Step 4. Now make the sauce. While the roast is cooking, prep the sauce. In a blender, add in 3-5 dried Guajillio peppers (depending on how spicy you want it) and the can of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo, juice of 1 orange, juice of 1 lime, 10 oz. can of diced tomatoes & green chiles. Blend until smooth.
Helpful Tip: If you want this to be less spicy, don’t add all of the Guajillio peppers and don’t add all of the Chipotle Peppers in Adobo. Instead, just add three Guajillio peppers and the sauce of the Chipotle Peppers in Adobo. Otherwise, it can be pretty spicy.
Step 5. Once the chuck roast has reached 165 degrees, remove it from the grate and put it in the aluminum pan that was underneath it with the drippings. To the aluminum pan, add the barbacoa sauce you blended and the 14.5oz can of beef broth to cover.
Top with sliced onion and bay leaves. Cover the aluminum pan with aluminum foil.
Step 6. Braise the beef. Put the aluminum pan back on the smoker for another 3 hours or so until the beef is probe tender (meaning a temperature probe slides into it easily, like butter). It should be around 203 degrees.
Helpful Tip: The temperature of the Smoked Beef Barbacoa when done will vary from roast to roast so the probe method really works best. Alternatively, you can use a fork and try to twist. If the meat pulls apart easily, you know it’s done.
Now you’re ready to serve & enjoy!
How to Eat Barbacoa
I love to serve this with chopped onions and cilantro. It also goes great in tacos, burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas and on nachos.
- Eat this in Barbacoa Birria Tacos!
- In a corn tortilla with chopped onion and cilantro
- In Beef Barbacoa Enchiladas
- On Nachos
- In a Quesadilla
- On top of a Taco Salad
What I Used to Make Beef barbacoa
Big Green Egg | Charcoal | Wood Chips | Aluminum Pan | Thermometer | Blender
Ingredients: Guajillio Chiles, Chipotle Peppers in Adobo, Diced Tomatoes & Chiles, Cumin, Chili Powder
- Fridge: Let the beef cool and then put it in a container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Freezer: Vacuum seal or store in an air tight container or bag. Thaw overnight in fridge (unless reheating in a sous vide).
- Reheating: Reheat the beef Barbacoa in the microwave or in the oven on a sheet pan (it gets nice crispy edges like this). If you vacuum sealed it and froze it, you can also reheat it in a sous vide.
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Smoked chuck roast braised in a combination of chiles and spices resulting in a tender and flavorful beef, perfect for tacos, burritos, nachos, quesadillas, etc.
- 2.5 – 4 lb chuck roast
- 1 7oz. can of chipotle peppers in adobo
- 3–5 dried Guajillio chiles, stems and seeds removed
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- 1 orange, juice only
- 1 lime, juice only
- 1 10oz. can of diced tomatoes & green chiles
- 1 14.5oz. can of beef broth
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tbsp cumin
- 1/2 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp chili powder
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat up your smoker to 250-275 degrees. Once it comes up to temp, add your favorite wood (I like post oak). It also helps to add an aluminum pan underneath the meat to catch the meat drippings.
- Make your spice mixture by mixing together garlic powder, cumin, onion powder, paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Season the chuck roast all over with the mixture. Rub it into them eat.
- Once the smoker has come up to temperature, put the chuck roast directly on the grate. Cook for about two hours (time will vary some depending on roast size) until around 165 degrees. The roast should have developed a nice bark and look brown all over.
- While the meat is cooking, in a blender add chipotle peppers in adobo, Guajillio chiles, juice of the orange, juice of the lime, the can of diced tomatoes and green chiles and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth.
- Once the roast comes up to temperature, put it in the aluminum pan with meat drippings (if using) and add in the sauce. Also add in beef broth, sliced onions and bay leaves.
- Wrap the aluminum pan in foil and then put back on the smoker for another 2-4 hours or until the meat is probe tender (meaning a temperature probe slides in easily like butter). The meat should be around 200 degrees (but this can very depending on your roast). Alternatively, you can try sticking a fork in the meat and twisting. If it pulls apart easily, you know it’s done.
- You can also use beef cheeks instead of chuck roast.
- If you want to add other spices, such as your favorite taco spices or seasonings, those would be a good addition too.
- If you want this to be less spicy, don’t add all of the Guajillio chiles and don’t add all of the Chipotle Peppers in Adobo. Instead, just add 3 Guajillio peppers and the sauce only (or maybe just 1 or 2 peppers) of the Chipotle Peppers in Adobo. Otherwise, it can be pretty spicy.
- The temperature of the Barbacoa when done will vary from roast to roast so the probe tender method really works best.Alternatively, you can use a fork and try to twist the meat. If the meat pulls apart easily, you know it’s done.
- Category: Beef
- Method: Smoking
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Serving Size: 5 oz.
- Calories: 360
- Fat: 13.5g
- Carbohydrates: 6.5
- Fiber: 3.8
- Protein: 50.3
Keywords: smoked beef barbacoa, smoking a chuck roast, smoked chuck roast