Smoked Birria Tacos [BBQ Beef Quesabirria]

Smoked beef birria tacos filled with shredded chuck roast and homemade ancho chili broth. This spin on quesabirria is the best way to enjoy BBQ tacos on your backyard smoker.

Smoked Beef Birria Tacos Recipe

Birria tacos are a great way to enjoy smoked tacos at home for barbecue beginners and seasoned backyard cooks alike. Made with smoked chuck roast covered in a simple consommé (or broth, to you and me!), this hearty beef filling has the right amount of heat to make the perfect taco filling.

One of the best things about beef chuck is that it only needs minimal preparation before cooking on your smoker. Just like with our smoked chuck roast recipe, we’ll just apply a liberal amount of salt to the meat before smoking low and slow for the ultimate pull-apart shredded beef, perfect for taco fillings. No need for brines or marinades here.

From making the perfect consomme to shredding beef, discover how to make smoked birria tacos today. Let’s get cooking!

smoked beef birria tacos

Birria Tacos Explained

Birria tacos (also known as quesabirria) are a twist on traditional Mexican birria, which is a slow-cooked stewed often containing goat or beef. For birria tacos, we’re creating our own version of the filling and then serving it in a corn tortilla and topped with cheese and cilantro.

While traditional birria is slowly stewed to break down the meat and collagen, we’ll be cooking it low and slow on the smoker to recreate that tender, pull-apart meat texture. We’ll then top with our own homemade consommé using beef broth, chilies, and spices, and then more conventional taco fillings, like shredded cheese and onion.

smoked beef birria tacos

Smoking Wood

The best woods for smoking chuck roast are robust hardwoods that carry deep, earthy flavors to match the rich, savory taste that most beef cuts carry. This includes oak, hickory, and mesquite.

For our shredded beef chuck filling, we’ll be using hickory wood. It’s a mild hardwood that has the exact aroma and flavor profile we want to smoke our chuck roast.

Times & Temps

Any smoked meat is only cooked once it reaches our target temperature, and in the case of beef chuck, we want to go for between 190-205°F (88-95°C).

This is a little higher than most types of beef, but we want the chuck to reach a consistency at which we can pull the beef. Aiming for 195°F helps the connective tissues in the meat render and break down, so we can achieve that ideal melt-in-the-mouth feel that we want.

How long to smoke chuck roast for birria tacos? Well, this will depend on when the beef hits our target internal temperature, which can be determined by factors like meat size and smoke temperature. On average however, chuck roast takes about 1 ½ hours per pound of beef at 225°F (107°C).

smoked beef birria tacos
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Smoked Birria Tacos

Smoked beef birria tacos filled with shredded chuck roast and homemade ancho chili broth. This spin on quesabirria is the best way to enjoy BBQ tacos on your backyard smoker.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, BBQ, Mexican
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 20 minutes
Servings 4

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs chuck roast
  • 8 corn tortillas

Consommé

  • 3 large dried ancho chiles
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 ½ cups yellow onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • tsp cinnamon

Toppings

  • fresh cilantro roughly chopped
  • 2 limes quartered

Instructions

  • Fire up smoker to 225°F (107°C). If you’re using a charcoal or gas grill, set up for 2-zone cooking.
  • Place beef chuck roast on smoker grates. Add hickory smoking wood to coals or wood tray and close lid. Smoke for 4 hours.
  • In a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, sautée chopped onion and crushed garlic until soft and translucent. Add sliced tomato and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.
  • Add chilies to blender. Add sautéed onion, garlic, and tomato, and remaining broth ingredients. Blitz in blender to form a consommé.
  • When the beef’s internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) remove from smoker and place in aluminum pan. Pour consommé over beef, covering evenly.
  • Wrap aluminum foil over beef and pan. Place back in smoker and increase the temperature to 275°C. Cook until beef internal temperature is 205°F (95°C), about 3-4 hours.
  • Remove beef from smoker. Pour leftover consommé into a small saucepan over low heat. Tent the beef in fresh foil and leave to rest for 20-30 minutes.
  • Using forks of meat shredder, pull the beef. Stir in leftover consommé as you pull.
  • One by one, heat tortillas in cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 1 minute. Flip and add in pulled beef and toppings. Fold tortilla and cook until cheese has melted.
  • Serve and enjoy immediately
smoked beef birria tacos

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