Vacuum sealing food products is an excellent way to keep them fresh for longer and protect them from bacterial growth.
Unlike Tupperware or saran wrap, a vacuum seal ensures that the food is completely sealed off from the open air, preventing oxidation or spoilage for a much longer period of time.
In most cases, properly sealed pulled pork can keep its freshness for up to two weeks. However, there are numerous factors that can either help or hinder how long you can keep the pulled pork fresh.
In this article, we’ll go over how long vacuum-sealed pulled pork can last and stay fresh, as well as how to properly seal it.
How Long Will Vacuumed Sealed Pulled Pork Last?
To begin, there are several factors to consider when attempting to extend the life of your pulled pork with a vacuum seal.
For example, how fresh was the pulled pork before it was sealed?
If the pork has already been sitting in the refrigerator, unsealed, for a day, it may not last as long once vacuum sealed.
Secondly, did you cook the pulled pork in a marinade? If so, what ingredients was it made of? Tons of different ingredients can be used to make a variety of marinades, seasonings, rubs, and brines.
Some ingredients may not last as long as pork. If one of the ingredients of the marinade spoils, the rest of the pork may become contaminated.
In certain cases, it can even depend on the type of lamination was used to vacuum seal the pork.
Pork may last a little longer in a vacuum seal sitting at room temperature, but bacteria will still grow once its internal temperature falls below 40 degrees(F). This takes about two hours in room temperature.
properly vacuum-sealed pulled pork will keep for about two weeks in a refrigerator. However, while the pork is still safe to eat after two weeks, the optimal freshness and overall quality of the pork lasts only about 3 to 5 days. (Red meat can be vacuum-sealed for up to six weeks, whereas fish and poultry can only be vacuum-sealed for one week.)
How Long Can Vacuum Sealed Pulled Pork be Frozen?
It’s perfectly fine to freeze pulled pork, and it’ll be a lot more effective if you use a vacuum sealer. Although other options, such as saran wrap or zip-lock baggies, can be used, they do not provide the airtight seal that a vacuum sealer can.
Pulled pork that has been vacuum sealed can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months, compared to 2 to 3 months if it was not vacuum sealed.
The vacuum seal is ideal for freezing because it ensures that no moisture will penetrate the lamination and that other contaminants will not contaminate the pork when stored away for months at a time.
How Long is Vacuum Sealed Pulled Pork Good After Opening?
When the vacuum seal is broken, the timer for safe consumption begins to count down.
Pork at room temperature has only about two hours before it spoils. When the pork reaches room temperature, bacteria begin to grow, which can lead to a variety of potentially dangerous health issues.
Unsealed pork can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. So, depending on how long the pork was stored before opening, you can return it to the fridge to buy more time.
To help you with this, you should always use a reliable meat thermometer to confirm the pulled pork is still safe to eat. To help you with this, lets review the “Danger Zone”.
Now, this is much more than a decent Kenny Loggins jam, this zone represents the range of internal temperatures at which various food products can be consumed safely.
This temperature range is between 40- and 140-degrees Fahrenheit (F).
• Cooked pork should never be allowed to fall below 140 degrees(F), while raw pork should never be allowed to rise above 40 degrees(F).
How to Tell If Vacuum Sealed Pork Has Spoiled
When foods are spoiled, they usually make themselves known pretty quickly. You’ve probably opened the fridge and been smacked in the face with the stench of forgotten food.
Unfortunately, vacuum-sealed meats must usually be opened to determine if they are spoiled. You won’t be able to smell it once it’s sealed, and the lamination isn’t always transparent to the meat.
- If the pork has gone bad, you should know as soon as you open the seal. It will emit a foul, sour odour.
- Check the colouring of the pork if you can see it through the lamination. Spoiled pork has a greyish, slimy appearance, sometimes with a yellowish hue. Also, always inspect the meat for bacterial growth.
Vacuum sealing pulled pork is the most effective way to extend its shelf life.
Properly sealing pork can extend its life by up to two weeks, which is significantly longer than when it is unsealed. However, if you plan to use the pulled pork within three days, you probably don’t need to vacuum seal it.