Since everyone’s heard of a Mississippi pot roast, I wanted to put a Tex-Mex spin on the simple slow cooker staple to make pulled beef tacos. I also think “Texas Pot Roast” is a way cooler name, but that’s neither here nor there.
This recipe combines a low and slow, fajita seasoned Traeger smoked chuck roast with sliced onion, ranch seasoning, and pickled jalapeño peppers. The finished product is fall apart tender beef with smoky, Tex-Mex flavors.
Trust me as a Texan when I tell you this beef makes some of the best tacos I’ve ever had!
Ingredients for Smoked Pulled Beef Tacos
The most important ingredient on the list is obviously beef. You’ll want to choose a chuck roast with tons of marbling. This will create the most tender, flavorful pulled beef. Keep an eye out for deals on Prime or even Wagyu chuck roast options.
Nutrition note: If you’re a Kinda Healthy Recipes reader and want to make lower fat pulled beef tacos, you could try this recipe with the chuck tender roast, bottom round roast, or eye of round roast I used for my Ninja Foodi pot roast.
The recipe calls for beef fajita seasoning, but taco seasoning or any style of Tex-Mex beef rub will get the job done. I used the same H-E-B beef fajita seasoning I used for our Traeger beef fajitas recipe.
To compare other options, 1/4 teaspoon has 190mg of sodium. My recipe calls for a tablespoon of fajita seasoning per pound of beef.
For the slow cooking phase, you’ll need sliced white onion, ranch seasoning, pickled jalapeño peppers, and a small amount of butter or beef tallow. That’s it.
The fat from the chuck roast turns the sliced onion into something like a caramelized onion confit. Yum!
How to Make Smoked Beef Tacos on a Traeger Grill
The classic Mississippi pot roast is so popular because it’s so easy. You can just throw everything in a slow cooker and walk away. But with this recipe, the added step of smoking a chuck roast before slow cooking adds SO much flavor.
Using my Traeger smoked pot roast recipe as a guide, I smoked a three-pound chuck roast for two hours at 200ºF with Traeger Signature pellets. Though any brisket-friendly wood will work great for this pulled beef.
Once the roast picks up some great smoky flavor your work is mostly done. Throw it in a Dutch oven or a grill pan with the remaining ingredients, cover, and cook for about five hours at 275ºF on the Traeger.
When a fork easily goes in and twists to pull the roast apart, it’s ready to go. If your roast is tough, you likely need to cook it longer.
In my Traeger reverse seared tri tip recipe, I mentioned melting cheese on tortillas to fortify them for lots of meat. And that’s definitely the move for these unctuous pulled beef tacos.
I always recommend a corn and flour blend for tortillas if you can find them. This provides the strength of flour tortillas and the flavor of corn tortillas. If you can’t find them in stores, we have a recipe for homemade corn and flour blend tortillas.
Place the tortillas on a half sheet pan and top with cheese. I used queso Oaxaca, but Monterey jack or something similar would also work well.
You can also throw the tortillas straight on the grill and top with cheese once on. You just want to melt the cheese and warm the tortillas. Watch out for too much browning.
Another option is charring the tortillas over a gas burner before topping with cheese and throwing on the grill. Check out my Traeger chicken tacos for an example of this.
If you want to skip the cheese, that’s perfectly fine. I’d recommend doubling up on tortillas (like you see below) if you go that route.
Garnish for Pulled Beef Tacos
You can’t really go wrong with garnish. For one batch, I kept it simple with diced white onion, cilantro, and lime wedges. But for the pulled beef tacos without cheese melted on the tortillas, I went with pickled onion, cilantro, and cotija cheese.
What to Do with Leftover Smoked Pulled Beef
The possibilities are endless, but my top two recommendations would be beef quesadillas and air fried nachos.
For quesadillas, throw a tortilla on a griddle and top with freshly grated cheese, reheated leftover beef, and more grated cheese. The fat from the beef and cheese will create a golden brown crust when flipped a few times that’s as tasty as it looks.
For air fried nachos (would work the same in the oven), layer tortilla chips with grated cheese and top with the smoked pulled beef straight out of the refrigerator. Then air fry the nachos at a low temperature like 300ºF for 6-8 minutes until the beef is fully reheated and the cheese is melted.
If you’ve seen our favorite Austin restaurants list, you know I love the birria ramen from La Tunita 512. This Texas pot roast would work great in something like Tapatio ramen for a quick fix.
However you end up serving your Traeger pulled beef, I’d love to hear about it. Let me know in the comments or in a recipe review.
If you have a question about the recipe, you can leave it in the comments as well. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy these chuck roast tacos. Oh, and don’t forget to grab the ingredients for our yuzu and lime sparkling margaritas for a well rounded Taco Tuesday.
- 3 pound Chuck Roast*
- 3 Tablespoons Beef Fajita Seasoning**
- 1 large White Onion, thinly sliced
- 2 Tablespoons Ranch Seasoning
- 1/4 cup Pickled Jalapeño Peppers
- 1-2 Tablespoons Beef Tallow or Unsalted Butter
For the Tacos
- 12 Tortillas
- 12 oz Cheese (optional)
- Preheat a Traeger grill or pellet smoker to 225ºF with the lid closed. While the grill preheats, season the chuck roast with the fajita seasoning on all sides.
- Smoke the seasoned chuck roast until the internal temperature reaches 160ºF to 170ºF, about 3 hours. (Slow cooker instructions in the notes section below.)
- Add the thinly sliced onion to the bottom of a Dutch oven or grill pan before placing the smoked chuck roast on top. Add the ranch seasoning, beef tallow or butter, and the pickled jalapeño peppers along with some of the juice.
- Increase the grill temperature to 275ºF and place the covered Dutch oven on the grill for 3-4 hours until the beef is fall apart tender. The internal temperature should be in the 205ºF range. (You can also braise in an oven since the roast won't take on any more smoke.) Take the braised chuck roast off the grill and shred the beef in the juices. If the roast is at the right temperature but a little tight, let it rest for 30-60 minutes before shredding.
- For tacos, I like to increase the grill temperature to 500ºF and throw tortillas on the grill topped with queso Oaxaca or Monterey jack cheese for a few minutes to melt the cheese. Fill the cheesy tortillas with the beef and garnish with diced white onion or pickled onion, fresh cilantro, and lime wedges.
*Use a Prime chuck roast or look for a roast with as much marbling as possible. My fellow H-E-B shoppers may want to grab a Wagyu chuck roast.
**Or 1 tablespoon of beef fajita seasoning per pound of chuck roast. You can also use taco seasoning or any type of Mexican/Tex-Mex seasoning blend.
For Slow Cooker Pulled Beef
Instead of smoking the chuck roast, add everything straight to a slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 taco
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 585Total Fat: 33gCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 39g