posted May 12, 2022
Smoked Birria Tacos
These smoked birria tacos are the perfect Mexican meal combined with the amazing flavors of BBQ. Tender beef is slow-cooked in a flavorful braise before being shredded and wrapped up in a corn tortilla with cheese and fresh toppings.
What are Birria Tacos?
Birria is flavorful and tender meat made by slow cooking the meat (traditionally goat) in a braise of chiles and spices. A Mexican favorite, Birria can be enjoyed as a consomme (stew) or shredded and enjoyed in tacos.
Birria tacos are made by taking this amazingly delicious meat and sandwiching it in a tortilla with cheese and other toppings for a taco that is better than just about any other taco you’ll ever have.
The meat is cooked low and slow to allow the meat to tenderize and combine with incredible flavor. Beef is often used as a substitute for goat, but other meats can be used as well.
Smoked Birria Tacos
Beef birria tacos are all the rage at my local taquerias and I couldn’t wait to try my hand at a version cooked on the smoker! With a rich and smoky shredded chuck roast filling and a velvety, slightly spicy, consomme (broth) for dipping, these tacos are a textural and flavorful delight.
They’re so packed with flavor and goodness, that your guests won’t be able to get enough and will demand the recipe. We seriously made these three times in one week. I can’t stop!
Ingredients for Birria Tacos
You’ll need to assemble quite a few ingredients for these tacos, but I promise it’s worth it to track them all down. You don’t want to leave anything out. They each play their own part. (Full ingredient amounts are listed in the recipe card below).
For the meat you’ll need the following:
- Chuck roast
- Hey Grill Hey Fiesta Rub. You can make this from scratch using my recipe for Homemade Fiesta Rub or snag a bottle from the Hey Grill Hey Store.
For the braising liquid:
- Beef stock
- Ancho chili peppers
- Guajillo chili peppers
- Chiles de arbol (optional, adds heat)
- Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- Garlic cloves
- Medium yellow onion, quartered
Finally, for the tacos toppings, head to the store to buy:
- Corn tortilla shells
- Shredded quesadilla cheese
How to Make Birria Tacos
There are a few steps to making these tacos, but it’s all worth it in the end. I’ll outline basic instructions on how to make birria tacos here, but make sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for full ingredient amounts and instructions.
- Season. Season the chuck roast well with Hey Grill Hey Fiesta Rub.
- Make the braise. Make the braise in a 12-inch cast iron skillet or aluminum pan. Place the braise on the lowest grates of your smoker.
- Smoke. With your smoker preheated to 275 degrees F, place the seasoned beef on the smoker on a rack above the braise, close the lid, and smoke for 4-5 hours or until the chuck roast reaches 165-175 degrees F.
- Braise. Place the roast in the braise, close the lid of the smoker, and continue cooking for another 2-3 hours or until the meat reads 210 degrees F with an instant-read meat thermometer.
- Shred. Once the meat reaches your target temperature, remove it from the smoker and use some meat shredder claws to shred it.
- Make the consomme. Strain the pepper and onions from the braising liquid and add in 2 cups of hot beef stock to create a tasty consomme.
- Assemble. Preheat a cast-iron skillet or flat top skillet over Medium-High heat. Oil lightly. Dip a tortilla in the consomme and set it on the skillet. Cook each side for 1-2 minutes. Next, add cheese and shredded birria to the toritlla, then fold the taco and cook until crisp.
- Enjoy. Add your desired toppings (I like fresh lime juice, cilantro, and diced onion), and serve alongside extra consomme for dipping. Enjoy!
Tips for Smoking Birria Tacos
Here are some tips for smoking these delicious birria tacos.
- Prep in advance. Once you start cooking your tacos, you’re going to want your tortillas, cheese, and shredded beef at the ready. Prep all the ingredients in advance so you are ready to serve them hot of the griddle.
- Use your smoked beef birria for more than tacos! One of my favorite local spots puts their birria in ramen with the noodles cooked in that yummy consomme. Topped with cheese, it is the ultimate comfort food.
- Track down those chiles. Most grocery stores carry all of the chiles I used in this recipe, but you may need to order online or go to a Mexican market if you’re struggling to find them.
More Tacos Recipes
Got tacos on the brain? Hey Grill Hey does too! And we have a nice collection of tasty tacos ready for you. Check out some of our most popular taco recipes below.
Smoked Birria Tacos Recipe
Let us know what you thought of this recipe in the comments section below! We love creating a community of backyard BBQ heroes who are ready to tackle anything on the grill or smoker.
Smoked Birria Tacos
- 4 pounds chuck roast
- 2 Tablespoons Fiesta Rub
- 6 cups beef stock (divided use)
- 2 ancho chili peppers
- 2 guajllo chili peppers
- 2-3 chiles de arbol (optional, adds heat)
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 8 cloves garlic (smashed)
- 1 medium yellow onion (quartered)
- 1 cup cilantro
- 16 corn tortilla shells
- 2 cups quesadilla cheese (shredded)
- 2 limes (cut into wedges)
- 1 medium onion (diced)
- 1 cup cilantro (chopped)
- Preheat. Preheat your smoker to 275 degrees F.
- Season. Season the chuck roast on all sides with Fiesta Rub.
- Make the braising liquid. In a 12-inch cast iron skillet or aluminum pan, combine 4 cups of the beef stock, peppers, garlic cloves, onion, and cilantro.
- Smoke. Place the pan of braising liquid on the lowest grates of your smoker, set the seasoned chuck roast on a rack above the pan of braising liquid. With this set up, you'll maintain moisture in your smoker, as well as catch any drippings from your roast. Close the lid and smoke your roast for 4-5 hours, or until the internal temperature reads 165- 175 degrees F.
- Braise. Move the roast down into the pan of braising liquid, close the lid, and cook for an additional 2-3 hours, or until your roast reads 210 degrees F internal temperature and shreds easily with a fork.
- Shred. Remove the roast and shred into small pieces. Strain the peppers and onions from your braising liquid. It should have reduced significantly while cooking. Whisk in the remaining 2 cups hot beef stock to reconstitute your consomme and keep warm.
- Make the tacos. Prepare your workstation for cooking the birria tacos. Preheat a cast iron skillet or flat top over medium-high heat and oil lightly. Dip your tortilla in your consomme liquid and set it directly on the oiled pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes before flipping. Top the tortilla with cheese and layer in your shredded birria. Fold the tortilla over and cook, flipping occasionally, until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is browned and crisp. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, cheese, and birria.
- Enjoy. Serve your tacos with fresh lime, cilantro, and diced onion alongside a bowl of your hot consomme (topped with more cilantro and onion). Dip your taco into that consomme before each bite and enjoy!
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