So, you’ve smoked a pork butt to make pulled pork, but you’ve cooked too much. What do you do with the leftovers? It’s been so delicious that you don’t want to throw away what’s left, but can you reheat pulled pork the following day? Won’t it dry out? Well, it won’t if you cook it right and we’re here to give you some pointers to help you get delicious pulled pork second time around.
The first step is to get your leftover pulled pork stored away quickly. You don’t want it to be in the Danger Zone between 40F and 140F. The longer your pork is in this zone, the more chance it has of developing bacteria like salmonella or E, coli. The best way to store pulled pork is to put it in a watertight bag and put it in an ice-filled cooler. Once it has cooled down, put it in the fridge. As well as making the meat safe to eat, cooling it down quickly helps to stop moisture loss.
The following day, you can take your pork out of the fridge and reheat it. Bring it up to room temperature first and then you are ready to reheat it. Here we will give you a range of options of reheating your pulled pork.
Table of Contents
- 1 How to Reheat Pulled Pork in a Crock Pot
- 2 How to Reheat Pulled Pork in the Oven
- 3 How to Reheat Pulled Pork in a Microwave
- 4 How to Reheat Pulled Pork on the Stove
- 5 How to Reheat Pulled Pork on the Grill
- 6 How to Reheat Pulled Pork with the Sous Vide Method
- 7 Tips for Adding Moisture to Your Pulled Pork
- 8 How Long Can You Keep Cooked Pulled Pork?
- 9 How Many Times Can You Reheat Pulled Pork?
- 10 Final Thoughts
How to Reheat Pulled Pork in a Crock Pot
A crock pot is also known as a slow cooker. It is a great way to reheat pulled pork because it has a sealed lid that doesn’t allow any moisture to escape so you won’t get dry pulled pork.
You need to plan ahead if you are using a crock pot as the meat will take a while to cook. Plan for between 2 to 4 hours. This process takes longer than most other methods, but it gives excellent results.
First, place your pulled pork in the crock pot. Then you need to add some liquid. A good idea is to save the pan drippings from the original cook and pour these over the pork. It will keep the pork moist. Set your slow cooker to warm and heat. Before serving, you need to check the internal temperature of the meat. You need a meat probe and the temperature of the pork should be 165F which will mean that any lingering bacteria will be destroyed. When it has reached this temperature, you are ready to serve.
How to Reheat Pulled Pork in the Oven
The oven is a great place to reheat pulled pork as it distributes heat evenly and thoroughly. The first thing to do is preheat the oven to 250F. While the oven is heating up, put the pulled pork in a baking dish and add the leftover drippings. Alternatively, you could put in cider vinegar, broth, apple juice, or barbecue sauce.
All work equally well and add moisture which means that you will get tender and moist meat. Once you have done this cover the dish and just leave to reheat until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 165F. You could add some more sauce for added flavor before serving.
How to Reheat Pulled Pork in a Microwave
A microwave might not be your first choice for reheating pork as the meat could dry out. However, it is quick and if you are short on time, this could be your solution. Put the pork in a microwave-safe dish. Add the leftover juices or apple juice to keep the meat moist. Then heat the pork on high for 2 minutes. Check that it has reached an internal temperature of 165F. If it hasn’t reached this, heat for another minute. Then it will be ready to serve.
How to Reheat Pulled Pork on the Stove
Do you have a Dutch Oven? It is a large cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid. If you do, it’s ideal for reheating pulled pork as it retains moisture and heat. Put your stove on to medium heat and put the pork in the Dutch oven. Cover with leftover juices or any liquid of your choice. Allow the pork to heat up gradually and stir it occasionally. Add more liquid if it needs it. Heat until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 165F and serve with barbecue sauce.
How to Reheat Pulled Pork on the Grill
If you want to reheat your pulled pork on your grill, you are best off using indirect heat otherwise the temperature might get too high and dry out the meat.
To create a 2-zone heating area on a gas grill, just turn one burner off and set the others on high. On a charcoal grill, pile up your charcoal on one side to create a hot zone. Bring the temperature up to 225F in the cool zone. You will need a good thermometer to get this temperature exactly right.
Take your pulled pork out of the fridge and bring up to room temperature. This will take around 30 minutes. Wrap the meat in 2 layers of aluminum foil and add ¼ cup of water, leftover drippings, or broth. You can also coat the meat in barbecue sauce if you are making barbecued pork. Put your pork on the cool zone and heat up to an internal temperature of 165F. Take your meat off the grill and unwrap it. Put it on the hot zone to crisp it up. If you have already shredded the pork, put it in a pan.
How to Reheat Pulled Pork with the Sous Vide Method
Using the sous vide method will give you tender and moist meat. It used to be something that only chefs used, but now you can buy your own sous vide machine. It is a method of cooking in which you put the food in a vacuum-sealed bag and immerse it in hot water. You can cook the pork from frozen, but it takes a little extra time.
What you have to do is bring the temperature of the water in the sous vide up to 165F. Then put in the pulled pork in the vacuum-sealed bag. Cook for 45 minutes per inch of thickness of the meat. If you are cooking from frozen, add an extra half hour.
You don’t have to add any extra moisture if you don’t want to as the bag is sealed, and the meat won’t dry out. However, nothing is stopping you from adding liquids for extra taste.
Tips for Adding Moisture to Your Pulled Pork
We have talked about adding liquids to your pulled pork when reheating it and have mentioned drippings from the original cooking, broth, and apple juice. Other good choices which are popular are a dark soda like coca-cola or beer. You will need to put in ½ cup of liquid to 1 cup of pulled pork.
How Long Can You Keep Cooked Pulled Pork?
In a fridge, you can keep your meat for around 4 days. Any longer and the meat might start to go off and won’t taste at all good.
You can keep pulled pork in the freezer for 2 – 3 months. It will still be safe to eat after this time, but it might get freezer burn. This is when water molecules escape from the food and oxygen molecules seep in. The oxygen can turn the food a dull, unappetizing color and it can change the flavor of the meat.
How Many Times Can You Reheat Pulled Pork?
You can reheat pulled pork for a second or third time if you rapidly cool down your meat after cooking. This will reduce the amount of bacteria that could form if you keep your meat out of the fridge for too long. However, we suggest that if you have a lot of pulled pork leftover, you put it into different bags in the fridge and just take out what you know you will eat. This is because reheating too many times may affect the taste of the meat and it might dry it out as well.
As you can see there are plenty of ways to reheat pulled pork and if you add enough moisture it should end up being moist, tender, and delicious. So, what do you do with your pulled pork when you have cooked it? Perhaps you want to try something new. Yes, you can just put it in a bun and slather it with barbecue sauce. French fries are always good, but why not make them with sweet potatoes instead. Corn on the cob is good, but why not try corn fritters? Instead of a bun, have cornbread instead? There are so many different flavors that you could try. Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread is extremely popular as it incorporates the flavors of sharp jalapeno and sharp Cheddar. Salads are always good, Try a colorful salad of green peppers, red onions, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Perhaps add a bit of feta to make it into a Greek salad. Finally, don’t forget about coleslaw. It’s always a favorite and goes well with pulled pork.