Smoked Birria Tacos Recipe

MMMMM, birria tacos.  If you haven’t had birria tacos before, you really must make them.  They are just absolutely full of flavor, redolent with earthy spices, and just a wonderful way to enjoy a Taco Tuesday, or any day for that matter.  As usual, I decided to add some nuance and extra flavor to thes tacos, and smoked the meat before braising it in the delicious chili broth.  My Smoked Birria Tacos Recipe will definitely make it to your list of amazing things to cook!

What is Birria

Traditionally, Birria is a slow-cooked stew cooked with dried chilis, bay leaves, cumin and other seasonings, and using tougher meat such as goat meat.  Stewing all day allows the meats and collagens to break down and become tender and delicious while the chili adobo broth adds earthy, spicy notes of flavor.  For my recipe, I used Beef Chuck and it was fantastic.

Birria tacos, where the tortillas are dipped in the rendered oils from the dish, then fried, are becoming amazingly popular.   They are simply beautiful, with the amazing red hues from the braising liquid.  So, so good.

Smoked Birria Tacos Recipe

While many recipes brown the meat then put in a braising liquid to slowly simmer to perfection, I wanted to bring some different flavors to the party, so I opted to smoke the chuck for 3 hours before braising.  I seasoned the chuck with my new Coal Play Beef Rub (coming soon!) My Coal Play rub accentuates beef flavors, and has activated charcoal in it for a big bump in flavor and color.  I smoked the chuck on one of my pellet grills at 225 degrees, with a Mojo Brick for added smoke flavor.  After 3 hours, I put into the prepared broth, covered, raised the temp to 275, and let the good things happen.  after 3 hours, the birria was ready.

Putting Smoked Birria Tacos Together

Look at the beautiful color on the sauce!

Ok, here’s where I pulled a few changes.  When I make this, I like to get it ready a couple of hours before serving.  This lets me separate the grease from the broth in a separator and then concentrate the broth a bit more before serving.  Save the oils, you’ll need for cooking your tortillas!Remove the meat from the braising liquid, and cover.  I usually set it aside in a warming drawer, but you can heat up later if you would prefer.  To serve, dip tortillas in the oil, then cook in a large skillet.  Cook for around 45 seconds on one side, flip, add meat, onions, cilantro, and cheese, then fold and continue to cook another 45 seconds or so on each side of the “taco.”  The cheese will be ooey-gooey, the taco will be uber-flavorful, and you’ll be in heaven.

As always, I hope you enjoy!

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Smoked Birria Tacos Recipe


These Smoked Birria Tacos are the perfect food to cook on a long, lazy day.  Put them on the smoker and cook low and slow for the most amazing taco meal you’ll have!



1 3-4lb well-marbled chuck roast

2 TBS Melissa’s Coal Play, or your favorite Beef Rub

1 medium yellow onion, sliced

45 cloves garlic

3 roma tomatoes, sliced

3 dried guajillo chilis

3 dried ancho chilis

12 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1 TBS Smoked Paprika

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp Mexican Oregano

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

23 bay leaves

2 cups beef stock

1 cup water

Corn tortillas, chopped onions, chopped cilantro, queso cheese, and other items for serving tacos.


Season the chuck roast fully with seasoning, and place on smoker at 225 degrees with heavy smoke.  Smoke for 2-3 hours, or until crust has formed.  Remove stems and seeds from ancho and guajillo peppers, then soak in very hot water for 20 minutes.  While chuck is smoking, sautee onions, garlic cloves, and tomato slices in oil until browned, then add to blender.  Remove peppers from water and add to blender along with beef stock, paprika, chipotles, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, cider vinegar, and ginger.  Puree ingredients and set aside.

Pour braising liquid into a pan, and add chuck roast to it, turning to coat.  Raise temperature to 275, cover, and continue to cook until roast is tender, about 3 hours.  The temperature of roast should be around 204 degrees internal.

Remove chuck from pan and set aside in a warming drawer.  Pour braising liquid into a fat separator, and place in the fridge or freezer for 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until the grease has separated and solidified.  Pour the stock into a small saucepan, reserving grease.  Cook stock down until it thickens.  Shred chuck roast and pour into it some of the stock, then mix.  Add grease to a skillet and dip tortillas through it and then cook for 45 seconds, then flip.  Add shredded beef, cheese, onions, and cilantro to the tortilla, then fold and continue to cook until cheese is melted.  Serve with a side of the braising liquid.