How to reheat pulled pork, the best way to reheat pulled pork or even can you reheat pulled pork are all common question people ask in Facebook groups or other social media platforms dedicated to smoking and grilling. The reheating process for pulled pork can be done in a variety of different ways and if done correctly should not change the original product.
Reheating pulled pork may be needed for a variety of reasons from, you wanted to smoked your pork a day early for a party or maybe pork butts were on sale and you smoked it and froze it. Or there are those rare occasions there is some pulled pork leftovers. Regardless of why you need to reheat your pulled pork, we will give you some options on how to do it.
Throughout this article we will work off the assumptions you have about 6 lbs. of smoked or cooked pulled pork or about the size of what fits in a half tray steam pan.
Looking for some pork recipes? Here are a few suggestions:
Reheating Pulled Pork In Oven
If you are like me, after you have smoked the pork, you probably have the pork in a foil pan. After pulling it off the smoker it makes for an easy way to shred it, to reheat it, serve and cleanup. The only time I reheat in a foil pan is when I smoked a day early for my BBQ or if there were some leftovers. So if we are reheating leftover pulled pork in the oven, there are two ways to help keep it moist, either using some apple juice and/or some, if you saved it, leftover juices from having smoked the pork.
Tip: when you are smoking the pork, before you wrap it, place a pan below it to capture any of the juices that are dripping off the pork butt. You can you use it to help keep your pork moist and tender.
You are going to get your oven to a temp of 250 degrees Fahrenheit, which is right around where you would have smoked it. I would add some apple juice, and would only add about 1/2 cup to start. After you add the apple juice mix it in with the pork, cover the pan with aluminum foil and place it in the oven. Every 30 minutes I would pull it out, rotate the pulled pork in the pan, maybe add another 1/4 – 1/2 cup of apple juice and place it back in.
After about an hour and a half you should be good to pull and serve. This is my preferred method if its not frozen. Next we will move to the next method, if it is frozen.
How To Reheat Pulled Pork From Frozen
On the occasions Costco has their pork butt on sale, I will usually buy it, smoke it and then repackage it to freeze. When I do freeze it, I will have vacuumed sealed it, usually in packages of 1-1.5 lbs.
What I typically do is look to reheat one package at a time, sometimes if its for a larger crowd it might be more, but usually one package gets us some tacos and leftovers for the next day. My normal method for heating from frozen is to fill a pot of water, warm the water at no higher than medium heat. Once the water is warmed, I will place the bag right in the water, let the pulled pork defrost and then warm it up that way.
The simplicity of this method is amazing. You do not need any apple juice or having to check on the pork. It is a matter of on occasion trying to move the pulled pork around, so that what is in the middle works it way to the outside to defrost and get some heat on it. There is little to no concern of the meat drying out either.
From a timing perspective, this method will also take about 1.5-2 hours. But once you remove it, it is ready to serve. It is simple and easy. If have a sous vide, you can do that as well. Set your temperature at for about 165 degrees Fahrenheit and run it in there for about 2.5-3 hours and you should be good to go.
How To Reheat Pulled Pork In Crock Pot
So the crock pot or slow cooker is our last method to reheat the pork. In a similar manner to the oven, you are going to add in some apple juice, turn the slow cooker on low and then you will give it about 2 hours. I would take a similar approach to the oven and stir on occasion and if it looks like you need some additional apple juice, go ahead and add it. You do not want it getting dried out.
An added plus to using the crock pot is that you can keep it plugged in, throw it on the warm setting and keep your pork warm while it is out for serving.
Wrapping Up How To Reheat Pulled Pork
Any of these methods, when done properly, will keep your reheated pulled pork moist and full of flavor. You do need to do some babysitting because you do not want it to get dried out. There is no science to this, so you will not be using any meat thermometers to check internal temperature on this.
Be liberal with your apple juice if you have to. You can also use this opportunity to add some seasoning as you warm it up. Get some of that area that did not get any rub when you initially smoked it.
One thing I would not do on those occasions there is some leftovers, I would not recommend reheating your leftover pulled pork in the microwave. I have never done it myself but If you have a small amount of leftovers, throw it in a pan, maybe a little bit of barbecue sauce and reheat it that way.
I hope this article helped you on your journey of smoking and simply learning about how to reheat pulled pork. If you are interested in trying out some other recipes, take a look at these suggestions:
- Spicy Smoked Chex Mix
- Smoked Stuff Portobello Mushrooms
- Smoked Shrimp and Peach Kabobs
- 5 Tips For Smoking Meat
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