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Can pulled pork rest too long?

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When it comes to pulled pork, the resting process is essential to ensure that the meat remains moist, tender, and full of flavor.

In this blog post, we will discuss the ideal resting times for pulled pork, how to store it if it’s done early, and tips for reheating and serving it the next day.

How long can you rest pulled pork?

The recommended resting time for pulled pork is between 8-12 hours. This can be done in a warming oven or an ice chest cooler. Resting the meat for an extended period allows the internal temperature to stabilize, resulting in a more tender and flavorful dish.

Handling Pork Shoulder That’s Done Early

If your pork shoulder is done earlier than expected, remove it from the smoker and place it in a warming oven or ice chest cooler. This will help maintain the meat’s warmth for an extended period.

Storing Pork Butt in the Oven

You can store pork butt in the oven for about 8-12 hours, keeping the ambient and internal temperatures steady. Wrapping the pork butt in foil or butcher paper can help maintain the temperature even longer. The resting time required may vary based on the size of the pork butt, as shown in the table below:

Pork Butt WeightResting Time
10lbs3-6 hours
20lbs6-12 hours

Pulling Pork After Cooling

It’s best to pull pork once it has cooled down to an internal temperature of 150-160 degrees Fahrenheit. This ensures that no moisture is lost, and the meat remains tender and juicy. Pulling the meat too soon can result in a dry, unappetizing texture.

Keeping Pork Shoulder Warm Without Drying It Out

To keep pork shoulder warm without drying it out, remove it from the smoker, wrap it in foil or butcher paper, and place it in a warming oven. Avoid increasing the ambient temperature and allow the pork shoulder to rest for up to 12 hours.

Leaving Pork Shoulder in the Oven at 150 Degrees All Day

Leaving the pork shoulder in a warming oven at around 150 degrees Fahrenheit all day is perfectly fine. This temperature is low enough to prevent the meat from drying out but warm enough to ensure it remains safe to eat.

Is Pulled Pork Better the Next Day?

Pulled pork can taste even better the next day, provided that you follow the correct steps for resting and reheating. After smoking the pork shoulder, let it rest for 8-12 hours before pulling it apart. When reheating the pulled pork the following day, it will retain its tenderness and flavor.

Serving Pulled Pork the Next Day

If you plan to serve pulled pork the next day, you have two options:

  1. Plan ahead, do not refrigerate the meat, and hold it in an ice chest or warming oven for 12 hours before serving.
  2. Place the pork shoulder in the refrigerator, then reheat it properly a few hours before your guests arrive.

Both methods will result in moist, tender, and delicious pulled pork.