How to Store & Reheat Pulled Pork

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Cooking too much pulled pork is simple, particularly because too much pulled pork isn’t really a thing.

Reheating pulled pork the following day, on the other hand, is a bit more difficult and may often result in a disappointing dried out mess if not done properly.

In this post, we’ll look at how to preserve leftover pulled pork to keep it in optimum condition, as well as the best method to reheat it to keep it as excellent, if not better, than the day it was prepared.

The secret to reheating pulled pork without drying it out

How to Store & Reheat Pulled Pork

Proper preservation is the key to reheating pulled pork and keeping it as juicy and tasty as the day it was made.

You may skip ahead if you only want to know how to reheat pulled pork, but in order to use the finest reheating technique, you must first store your pork correctly.

If you prepare your pork ahead of time, keep it whole and shred it just after it has been reheated.

By retaining more moisture and avoiding the terrible dry-out that is typically associated with reheated meat, you can keep your pork butt intact.

Related How to Reheat Brisket Without Drying It

How to properly store pulled pork

How to Store & Reheat Pulled Pork

If you have an excess of pulled pork, the best solution is to vacuum seal it in individual pieces.

For the last three years, I’ve been vacuum sealing the majority of my leftovers. It not only preserves the food, but it also saves a lot of freezer room.

When you consider the containers you have and then store food in them, you will see that they frequently have additional air and space surrounding them, restricting what you can place in your fridge and freezer.

Vacuum sealing has reduced waste in my home. But it has also affected the way we store frozen foods. I’ll parcel it up, vacuum seal it, and freeze it as soon as we come home from the grocery store. We’ve discovered that what used to fill our freezer on a typical shopping trip now just takes up half the space once all of the superfluous packaging is removed.

Vacuum sealers are now inexpensive and widely available (we have a whole guide with all of the finest vacuum sealers here).

To keep all of the remaining barbeque food, just allow it to cool fully before portioning it out to vacuum seal.

If you need to cool it down rapidly, put it in a waterproof bag and bury it in an ice-filled cooler until it goes below 40F.

How much pulled pork per portion?

Many individuals make the mistake of storing much too much food in one container, only to discover after it’s defrosted that they didn’t need quite as much as they had.

The more practical technique is to use kitchen scales to weigh out equal meal quantities for your household.

If, like our family, you have some adult children who don’t usually come home for supper, freezing individual portions for one or two individuals can cut down on waste.

If necessary, you can always grab an additional bag of frozen leftovers.

The suggested serving size for adults is around 5oz, so cut that in half for little ones.

I weigh all of my leftovers before placing them in individually sealed vacuum bags, noting the date, weight, and meal in each bag.

Nothing is worse than playing Russian roulette with a frozen bag of something months later because it wasn’t labeled.

If you wish to use fewer bags, you may absolutely prepare bigger quantities; just be mindful that you may wind up with more pork than you need when it comes time to reheat.

Reheating your pulled pork

We’ve all eaten dry reheated pulled pork. We’ve also heard a variety of strategies for reheating without drying out, such as using a microwave, gradually raising the temperature, cooking it in a covered oven, and so on.

By vacuum sealing the pulled pork in a bag, you’ve also sealed in the juices. Those liquids cannot escape until the bag is cut, and thus is our problem: how to appropriately reheat it to the ideal eating temperature.

When it comes to reheating, you just need one key ingredient: hot water.

Put a vacuum-sealed pork bag in boiling water for 5 minutes and you’ll have properly heated, delicious pulled pork.

It may seem too simple, but that’s because there are no secrets or gimmicks involved; just place the sealed bag in boiling water and in 5 minutes you’ll be enjoying pulled pork that has just been torn apart from the smoker.

Adjust the duration for bigger servings; for example, if you had twice or treble the quantity in the bag, you may need to reheat for up to 10 minutes each bag.

Other ways to reheat pulled pork

We believe that the preceding procedure is the best, however if you did not vacuum seal your pork, here are some alternatives:

1. Reheating pulled pork in the oven

Reheating your pulled pork in the oven is a quick and easy method to reheat a large amount of pre-shredded meat.

  • Preheat your oven to 225F
  • Place the entire butt or shredded pig in an ovenproof dish and cover with a little liquid to replenish some of the moisture that has been lost. Apple juice, cider vinegar, broth, or a rich BBQ sauce may all be used.
  • To keep the moisture in, wrap the dish in a second layer of foil and place it on a baking pan in the center of the oven.
  • Cook until your meat thermometer reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • When the meat reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, remove the foil and broil for a few minutes to bring the bark back to life.
  • If you kept your pig butt whole, shred it after taking it from the oven using a sturdy pair of heat-resistant gloves.

2. Reheat on the grill

The easiest way to reheat pulled pork on the grill is to use a two-zone cooking approach. This keeps the meat from drying out from the direct heat of the grill. Unless you’re using a pellet grill and can keep the temperature consistently low.

  • On a gas grill, keep one burner turned off while the other is set to high to create a 2-zone cooking area.
  • To create a hot zone on a charcoal barbecue, place your coals on one side of the grill.
  • Raise the temperature of your grill’s hot zone to the point where the cool zone, or indirect heat side, is at 225 F.
  • Remove your meat from the refrigerator, making sure it has been properly thawed if frozen, and cover it in two layers of foil, adding approximately a cup of water to compensate for moisture loss.
  • If making BBQ pulled pork, cover the meat with the BBQ sauce before wrapping it in foil.
  • Place your pork package on the grill’s indirect side, or cool zone, until its internal temperature reaches 165 F.
  • Unwrap your meat, taking care to preserve any fluids that remain in the foil.
  • To crisp up the pork, place it on the direct heat side of the grill. If you’ve already shredded it, put it in a pan first.
  • Remove the pork from the grill, shred it, and serve with any residual juices from the foil.

3. Reheat in a crock pot (slow-cooker)

If you’re short on time or just lazy, reheating your pulled pork in a crock pot is a simple set-and-forget method.

  • If your meat is frozen, thaw it in the refrigerator for 24 hours before reheating in the crockpot.
  • Set your crockpot on low heat or keep warm and place the meat in it.
  • Add a dash of your favorite beverage, but not too much, since crockpots are great at keeping moisture.
  • After a few hours, the crock pot will bring the meat to temperature. Just make sure it’s achieved the ideal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent any bacterial unpleasantness, and you’re good to go!

Reheating pulled pork with the Sous Vide method

Sous vide is a technique of cooking that involves submerging food in a hot water bath while it is enclosed in a vacuum-sealed bag. You can cook your pulled pork sous vide, which literally translates as “under vacuum,” right from the start, and it’s a terrific technique to prepare incredibly soft meat.

You may use a big stove-top pot or a sous vide machine. Sous vide may also be used to reheat frozen pulled pork, which is great if you don’t have 24 hours to thaw it.

The disadvantage of the sous vide process is that it requires the use of a vacuum sealer to keep the pork.

Fortunately, they are readily accessible and reasonably priced.

  • Bring your sous vide machine or a large stove-top saucepan of water to 165°F.
  • pot.Insert the pork-filled vacuum bags into the machine.
  • Allow the bags to soak in the hot water bath for 45 minutes per inch of thickness.
  • If you’re reheating frozen pork, keep it in the oven for an extra 30 minutes.
  • Because the bag is sealed and sous vide utilizes indirect heat to reheat your meat, you don’t need to add any more moisture.

Can you reheat pulled pork in the microwave?

Although many pitmasters may scoff, you may reheat your pulled pork in the microwave.

It is certainly the quickest option, but depending on how you kept your pork, you may need to decant it first into a microwave-safe container.

Many plastic packaging materials, especially vacuum bags, include chemicals such as bisphenol-A (BPA) and phthalates. These compounds are toxic to humans and may seep out during the microwaving procedure.

If you’re worried, use BPA or phthalate-free storage bags, an FDA-approved microwave-safe container, or a microwave-safe glass dish.

  • After placing your pork in a microwave-safe container, cover it and cook for a minute at a time on a medium to low setting until it reaches 165F. This should take just a few minutes.
  • If the meat begins to dry out, just add a dash of liquid.

Reheating safety

One of the primary dangers with reheating food, particularly pork, is that germs may develop.

As previously stated, if you leave your meat in the Danger Zone between 40F and 140F for 20 minutes, bacterial colonies of Staphylococcus, Salmonella, and E. coli will double in size.

The good news is that there are simple precautions you can take to protect your food against bacterial development.

Safe storage

The easiest approach to keep your meat safe is to cool it soon after cooking. You can’t just put a freshly cooked pig butt in the fridge, but you can employ the Wozniak Method.

Mike Wozniak, pitmaster of the 2010 Kansas City Barbeque Society Team of the Year champions, QUAU, developed the Wozniak Method.

Mike uses this approach to swiftly freeze enormous portions of meat that have been left over from the hundreds of events he enters and wins each year.

The Wozniak Method

  • After the pig butt has done cooking, cover it in foil securely and pinch off the ends. You’re attempting to create the tightest seal possible here.
  • Wrap the foil and pork bundle in a plastic bag that is waterproof.
  • Place the whole package in an ice-filled cooler and cover with ice.
  • Once the temperature has dropped below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it is okay to place it in the fridge without fear of it raising the fridge temperature enough to destroy the rest of your food.

Your chilled pork will keep for about 4 days in the fridge or for 2 to 3 months in the freezer. After that period, the pork is still safe to consume, but it may develop freezer burn.

How many times can you reheat pulled pork?

Every time you reheat your pulled pork, it passes through the Danger Zone of 40 F to 140 F, increasing the possibility of bacterial development.

Technically, fast chilling your pork immediately after reheating it minimizes the quantity of germs that might develop, implying that you could reheat, cool, and refrigerate your pork numerous times.

Multiple reheatings, on the other hand, will drastically decrease the meat’s quality.

Given the possibility of getting Salmonella, it’s generally best to keep to a single reheat and store your pork in single-serving amounts.

What to do with leftover pulled pork?

You’ll need a wonderful recipe to utilize the pulled pork after you’ve carefully kept and reheated it.

Thankfully weve got you covered there too.

I can tell you right now that loaded nachos are my go-to dish for reheated pulled pork.

If you need more inspiration, try pulled pork filled potato skins or a fast snack of BBQ pulled pork grilled cheese. Check out our favorite Leftover Pulled Pork Recipes for some inspiration.

No such thing as ‘too much’ pulled pork

So there you have it: the finest methods for securely storing and reheating pulled pork without turning it into a dry mess.

You will never have to worry about cooking too much pulled pork again.

Do you have a tried-and-true technique for reheating pulled pork, or a fantastic dish to use reheated pulled pork in?

We’d appreciate it if you could let us know in the comments below and maybe share these simple warming ways using the sharing icons.


How do you reheat pulled pork and keep it moist?

When you have a bunch of leftover pulled pork, one of the best ways to reheat it is in the oven. By lowering the temperature of the oven and pouring a little liquid back into the meat, you’ll effectively steam it beneath a sheet of tinfoil, keeping it lovely and juicy, according to The Spruce Eats.

What is the best way to store and reheat pulled pork?

I’ve tried many methods for reheating pulled pork and believe that sous vide in a gallon storage bag or a vacuum sealed bag is the best. If you don’t have a storage bag, the next best choice is to bake it at 225 degrees Fahrenheit with a pat or two of butter on top.

Can I make pulled pork ahead of time and reheat?

Make ahead of time: The pulled pork may be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated, covered, for up to two days. It may also be frozen for months at a time. It’s simple to reheat and retains taste and moisture better than other reheated meats.

How do you store pulled pork after cooking?

Wrap the meat in plastic foil before placing it in the sealed bag, pushing the air out once more to minimize deterioration and taste loss. When freezing pulled pork, double-wrapping it not only keeps the meat fresh, but it also keeps your freezer smelling fresh!

What liquid is best for reheating pulled pork?

In the oven, reheat jerked pork

Place the entire butt or shredded pig in an ovenproof dish and cover with a little liquid to replenish some of the moisture that has been lost. Apple juice, cider vinegar, broth, or a rich BBQ sauce may all be used.

How do you keep pulled pork moist after pulling?

If you want to preserve the pulled pork moist for the following day, I’d recommend keeping the muscle intact and holding it overnight. I’d also recommend smoking the pig butt to roughly 190F rather than to extreme probing softness.

Should I let pulled pork cool before refrigerating?

Myth: If hot food is refrigerated before cooling to room temperature, it will spoil. Facts: Quite the contrary. Give your refrigerator some credit. It is intended to chill and keep food cold.

Do you reheat pulled pork covered or uncovered?

Cover the meat and reheat for 60-90 minutes, or until the butter is completely melted and the beef is heated all the way through. Preheat the oven to 275°F (135°C) for approximately 30 minutes, or until the butter is completely melted and the meat is heated all the way through.

Is it OK to make pulled pork ahead of time?

Test Kitchen Tip: Making pulled pork ahead of time is an excellent way to have the ingredients for a dinner ready. Divide the pulled pork into shallow containers after shredding it. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

How do you reheat pork without drying it out?

The best method to reheat leftover pork chops is low and slow with a little more moisture — either broth or water works well. While you can reheat pork tenderloin in a pan or lamb chops in a cast iron skillet, pork chops reheat best in the oven.


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