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lamb barbacoa tacos

Wood-fired Lamb Barbacoa Tacos

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These smoky lamb barbacoa tacos are juicy, tender, and incredibly simple to pull off. 

  • Total Time: 4.5 hours
  • Yield: 6-8 1x


  • 5lb boneless leg of lamb
  • 1 cup red adobo sauce
  • 3 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 dried avocado leaf, or 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup coffee
  • 1/2 cup water, room temp


  1. Set your smoker or indirect grill to 250F.
  2. Lay out the lamb. Take your knife and score the surface of the lamb slightly, just about 1/8″ making a crosshatch. We’re adding texture and allowing the salt & sauce to penetrate. Salt the lamb on all sides, and then use the adobo sauce to cover all surfaces on the lamb.
  3. Place in your smoker, spreading out the meat so it lays as flat as possible. Do not roll it up or bunch it together, we want as much smoke penetration as possible.
  4. After about 2 hours it should be close to 165F internal temperature. Pull off the lamb and set it in a foil pan. Add the leaves, coffee, and water, making sure the liquids are not cold when you pour them in. Seal up the foil pan with heavy duty foil and place back on the smoker.
  5. Cook until the meat is about 195-210F, and a thermometer probe should slide in with no resistance. If you feel there are tough spots, let it continue to cook, checking every few minutes.
  6. Let the meat rest for 30 minutes before shredding.
  7. Serve barbacoa tacos with pickled onions and salsa verde.


Make sure you look at the weight of the meat if you’re choosing to use beef or another substitute. This recipe is mean for 5lb of meat on average. Adjust accordingly.

  • Author: Brad Prose
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3-4 hours
  • Category: Lamb
  • Method: Smoking
  • Cuisine: Mexican
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