After being so impressed with Kroger’s Pork Carnitas I was eager to follow up quickly with other items from the same range. This Beef Barbacoa promises the same as the Carnitas – a typically complicated and time consuming meat preparation – ready in minutes.
As I write, the mercury is over 100F outside, so as much as I might want to slow cook beef all day long – there’s no way I’m heating the house up like that! Which again is why I am particular keen on products like this, if I can produce a meal that’s close to the real deal and save time, energy, mess and in the Summer – AC bills – great.
The Beef Barbacoa is very similar to the Carnitas in both presentation and cooking methods. The packaging promises fork tender beef and I’m happy to report it delivers admirably. You could easily shred this beef one handed with a spoon if you wanted. You probably shouldn’t though unless you want a Barbacoa strewn kitchen counter 😉
Flavorwise this beef is impressive too. Again, as I mentioned with the Carnitas, of course you can spend all day cooking and get better results; and you might have a local authentic restaurant that can surpass this – but that’s not the point. Using this meal kit, you can have respectable beef as the centerpiece of a dish ready in minutes. Seasoning is mild, what you’re cooking up is big hunks of hearty and tender beef; you might want to go ahead and add in a little more spice/sauce, but I didn’t feel the need to personally.
Kroger Beef Barbacoa – what’s in the box
Inside the plastic wrapped package is a vacuum sealed bag, with the pound of beef and quite a lot of sauce/marinade. The plastic container the package of meat comes in, also doubles up as a sturdy microwave container if you take that cooking path.
Kroger Beef Barbacoa cooking instructions and nutrition
Compared to the Carnitas, the Beef Barbacoa is positively healthy. Indeed, you could finish the whole package yourself in one sitting and not hit your day’s intake of salt and fat. Not that I recommend you do of course – the meal kit is probably best used to feed 3-4 people.
Cooking wise this is boil in the bag or microwave. This time around I went with the microwave option and it too delivered impressive results. I did have to cook the beef a little longer than indicated to get it piping hot, but that’s more a reflection of my microwave I am sure.
There’s quite a lot of sauce/marinade here, so after cooking I recommend emptying in a big bowl first. For me personally, there was way more liquid than I wanted to end up using in the actual final dish.
Kroger Beef Barbacoa
I used this Beef Barbacoa in a simple taco plate with skillet fajita veggies, refried beans and guacamole. Heaven! This beef would go great in everything from enchiladas to tortas to burritos and more.
Kroger Beef Barbacoa – what’s a fair price?
As a Kroger only product you’re at the whim of whatever your local Smiths might be charging. I picked these up for $7.99 which feels like a great price to me. At that price its just $2-$3 per serving of beef which is a great price.
Hi I’m Stuart, amateur home cook and professional food writer. You can find my writing at places like The Salt Lake Tribune and Gastronomic SLC, which I founded more than a decade ago. As well as writing extensively about restaurants, I’m endlessly curious about that product on the shelf. Is it any good I wonder? If you’re like me, wonder no more.