So you are the consummate pit-master now. You have figured out how to tweak your smoker to get the perfect pork butt, but what about reheating pulled pork?
I have seen people smoke a pork loin for anywhere from 3 to 20 hours. That is a major time commitment so you must make the most of all the meat.
It is also common for me to have family coming over for a big meal and to not have time to cook that day.
In this situation, I like to cook my meat a day in advance and then reheat it the day of the lunch.
If you are in a similar situation or just want to learn how to reheat pulled pork from last night, then in this article, I will cover all of the different ways you can try and identify the method that will produce the best results.
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Reheating Pulled Pork in the Right Way
Please note that the process of properly reheating your meat starts when you finish initially smoking it.
So, after you finish cooking it, you need to save the pan drippings if you want the meat to remain as moist as possible when reheating. You will incorporate the drippings just before storing your meat in the freezer or refrigerator.
How to Reheat Pulled Pork in 5 Different Ways
As I mentioned before, there are 5 different ways you can try by yourself. You can use the one that fits your needs.
How to Use Microwave to Reheat Pulled Pork
The first method and the quickest one is by using your microwave.
I know that it may sound unhealthy reheating food using microwave and I shudder just thinking about using it on smoked meats, but there is a proper way to do it.
Step 1) As I said in the upper section, first you need to retain the juices from original smoking or cooking.
Step 2) After you have left the original juices chill for a bit, a fat layer should be created on the top of it. You need to remove the fat layer in order to have the best results.
Another way to make this process faster is to let the liquid chill in the refrigerator. This way, the fat will solidify at the top. Now, it is easier to do it. Just scrape the fat layer off leaving just the juices.
Step 3) After removing the unnecessary fat from the top, add juices back to meat just before putting it in the refrigerator or freezer. This is vital for moisture.
If you have skipped this step or didn't know it to perform before putting pork in the refrigerator, then your pulled pork will lose its moisture when you reheat it.
Step 4) After you take the meat out of refrigerator the next day for reheating, you can add some apple juice or BBQ Sauce, but don't over do it.
Step 5) Now, it is time to reheat it. Insert it into microwave and set the timer for one to two minutes or until you get a recommended internal temperature of 165 °F. You can check the internal temperature easily using a meat internal thermometer.
That's how to reheat a pulled pork using microwave. This is my least favorite method, but it will work if you want it fast and don't have any other choice.
Reheating Pulled Pork in Oven
The second method is by using your oven. This is a more healthy method and may be a good option if you have massive amounts of pulled pork to reheat.
Step 1) This step is similar to the microwave method. Save the liquids in your drip pan after you finish smoking or cooking the meat.
Step 2) Let the juices cool or put them in the refrigerator and then scrape off the fat.
Step 3) Reincorporate juices back to the meat before putting it in the refrigerator or freezer.
Step 4) When you want to reheat, take it out of the freezer and you can pour in a little apple juice or thick BBQ Sauce and mix it all together.
Step 5) Turn On your oven and set the temperature to 250 °F. Now, cover your meat with foil and put it into oven when it's ready.
Step 6) After you put it into your oven, let it heat for 30 minutes or until reaching an internal temperature of 165 °F.
That is how to reheat a pulled pork using oven. This method is healthier than microwave and is often used when you have a large amount of pork.
Using a Crock Pot to Reheat Pulled Pork
If you want a set it and forget it method, then the crock pot is the way to go.
Step 1) Again, keep your drippings when you finish smoking or cooking the meat.
Step 2) Easily get rid of the fat layer on top of the liquid juices by scraping it off after cooling it for a few minutes in the refrigerator.
Step 3) Mix your fat-free liquid juice with the meat and then freeze or refrigerate.
Step 4) When you need to reheat, take the meat off the refrigerator and incorporate some apple juice or BBQ Sauce, but not too much.
Step 5) Put meat in the crock pot and set on warm for several hours or until reaching an internal temperature of 165 °F.
This is the method for reheating pulled pork using a crock pot. It is a very easy method with just a few simple steps but requires a lot of time.
Reheating Pulled Pork using Steam
I have always been a fan of steaming meat and this method works well.
Step 1) You will need to keep the contents of the drip pan when cooking or smoking.
Step 2) When your drippings get to room temperature, scrape off the fat from the top.
Step 3) Combine your fat-free drippings and your meat before refrigerating or freezing.
Step 4) When you are ready to reheat it, add some apple juice or BBQ Sauce, but not too much.
Step 5) Add some apple juice to the bottom of a crock pot or pot on the stove and bring it to a boil.
Step 6) Place your meat in a steaming basket and set it over boiling apple juice.
Step 7) Let it steam for 30 minutes or until meat gets to an internal temperature of 165 °F.
This is the method for reheating pulled pork using steam. I like this method a lot because it is healthy, clean and works pretty well.
Reheating Pulled Pork by Vacuum Sealing and Boiling
I have always been told to never boil meat to reheat it, but this method works great and really retains that smoky flavor.
Step 1) Hold on the drippings when you cook or smoke the meat.
Step 2) Get rid of the fat from the juices by cooling it and then scraping the fat.
Step 3) Pour the juices back over the meat before sealing.
Step 4) Vacuum seal meat and either refrigerate or freeze the meat.
Step 5) Remove the meat from refrigerator or freezer when you need to reheat it.
Step 6) Bring water to boil in either a pot on the stove or in a crock pot on high.
Step 7) Turn off burner and place meat in water for 30 minutes or until meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 °F.
Step 8) Add the preferred sauce and enjoy it.
This is the 5th and the last method for reheating pulled pork by vacuum sealing and boiling.
The Best Method to Reheat Pulled Pork
Looking at all the different ways to reheat pulled pork, the clear winner is vacuum sealing and boiling. There are several reasons that this method works best:
Vacuum Sealing and Boiling Benefits:
- Vacuum sealing keeps out air preserving the meat better.
- A sealed bag keeps out other refrigerator flavors that could creep into your meat.
- It holds the moisture inside the bag with the meat so it cannot evaporate in the fridge or burn off while cooking.
- It keeps the flavor of the meat pure by locking in the smoky flavor that you lose with other reheating methods.
- This is the method most BBQ restaurants use to keep their meat quality at a competition level.
- It does not continue to break down the meat like other reheating methods.
Pulled pork is one of my favorite culinary endeavors.
I love getting up early to fire up the smoker and sitting there smelling the rich meat and the apple wood smoke.
I put so much work into producing a finished product that I normally cook large amounts, and I like the leftovers to be top notch. I feel like the method we have chosen does just that.
I hope that you can use this information making the process of reheating pulled pork a bit easier. We chose to include the other methods because we know some readers do not have access to a vacuum sealer.
Please try out the information we have provided and see what you think.
I hope you will take the time to give us some feedback on social media and on our comment section.