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Serving Pulled Pork The Next Day | 5 Simple Tips

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Best way to serve pulled pork the next day?

The best way to reheat pulled pork is to first vacuum seal the pork before refrigeration, then an hour before the time to eat, placing the pork into a pot of boiling water to raise the internal temperature to 165 degrees.

There are several steps you can add to this process to make next day pulled pork even better than the day you cooked it. 

After pulling the pork shoulder off the smoker, let it rest between 30-60 minutes like you would a shoulder you want to eat right away. 

After the resting period, shred the shoulder and place the pulled pork into air-tight bags adding any extra juice from the tray into the bags. The size of the bags can be any size you would like, but if you are planning on reheating large portions then gallon size bags work great. If you have a vacuum sealer, vacuum seal the pulled pork before refrigerating or freezing. 

Keep the bagged pulled pork in the fridge until needed for serving. You can also place the meat in the freezer if you needed to store it for longer than a couple of days. 

When the day comes for you to serve the pulled pork, heat a pot of simmering water (160-170 degrees) and place the bags of pork into the pot. Let the pork heat up all the way through and when it reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees, pull the bags out and enjoy amazing pulled pork! 

In regards to saucing the pork there are countless options, but for this method plan on saucing the meat after it has been reheated.

What are the different ways to reheat pulled pork the next day?

The best way to reheat pulled pork is to use boiling water to reheat the pulled pork inside of a vacuum-sealed bag. 

This sous vide method produces amazing pulled pork that might taste even better than the day of! When the pork is shredded and immediately bagged, all of the juice from the pork is trapped with the meat, letting the pork rest even longer in the juice. When the pork is reheated the juice is absorbed making the meat extremely tender and juicy because no moisture was lost. Many pitmasters swear this method of reheating pulled pork creates an even better product than if you were to eat it the day of the cook. 

An additional tip is to pour any remaining juice from the pork after it is shredded into the bags to add even more moisture to the final product. 

There are several other ways to reheat pulled pork however, all of these options have a higher chance to dry the pork out or overcook it. 

A similar option to reheating the pulled pork with water is to use a crockpot to slowly reheat the meat. Follow the steps through refrigeration as listed above, and reheat the meat by placing it into a crockpot. This method will require some type of liquid added to the pork with the most common options being apple juice or bbq sauce. 

Set the temperature to warm and let it go until the pork reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees. Be very aware of the pork being overcooked or burned by this method. Some crockpot’s “warm” temperatures run pretty high and can evaporate all the liquid out, drying your pulled pork in the process. This process is the slowest and usually takes a couple of hours. 

If you are looking to reheat a large amount of pulled pork then the oven can be a viable option. Follow the same process as the other methods then place the pulled pork in an oven-proof dish with some type of liquid. Typically this is done with either apple juice, bbq sauce, or apple cider vinegar. Cover the dish with heavy-duty foil to stop any moisture from escaping and set the oven temperature to 225 degrees. Heat the meat until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165 degrees. 

This method can be the most useful for reheating large amounts of pulled pork and is something every home cook can do. Just be careful to not raise the pork’s internal temperature significantly higher than 165 degrees. With the temperature of the oven being 225 degrees this can be relatively easy to do and will require close monitoring.

Microwaving is the fastest way to reheat your pulled pork in small quantities, but results in the lowest quality of pulled pork. Microwave on low to medium heat until the pork reaches 165 degrees. While being the fastest way to reheat pulled pork it highest the highest potential to dry out the meat. To limit the potential for dry pork, add bbq sauce or apple juice to the meat before microwaving. 

How do you serve pulled pork without it drying out?

Pulled pork dries out when it is reheated too long causing the internal temperature to rise significantly higher than 165 degrees.

Above 165 degrees, the moisture from the pork will start evaporating leaving you with dried-out pork.

As you shred a pork shoulder, try to retain as much of the juice and liquid from the pork as possible. Add this extra liquid to shredded pork before storing it in the fridge or freezer to ensure the meat will be moist and tender upon reheating! 

If you choose to use the oven, crockpot, or microwave make sure to add a little extra liquid to the meat before reheating and it will go a long way towards stopping the meat from drying out. 

Remember you are reheating the meat, not trying to cook it. In all of these methods, look to keep your temperature low. Your goal is for the meat to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees. If you are using the sous vide method, set the temperature to this point. For the oven, set the temperature no higher than 225 degrees. If you opt for the crockpot method, set the temperature to warm and monitor the meat every once in a while to make sure the meat isn’t being overcooked and drying out.

How long does it take to reheat pulled pork?

The ideal temperature for pulled pork is an internal temperature of 165 degrees. 

For the sous vide method, expect to reheat the meat in about 30-45 minutes for a generous serving of pork. The more meat you are trying to reheat, the longer this time will be. 

The oven will typically take about 30 minutes, but depending on how much meat you are trying to reheat, you might need to mix the meat up every once in a while to ensure the meat reheats uniformly. 

The crockpot will be the slowest method and you can expect it to take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours depending on the amount of pork. 

The microwave is typically used for small quantities of meat and when set on low to medium will take about 3-5 minutes. 

Should pulled pork be wrapped while reheating?

When reheating pulled pork in the oven, crockpot, or microwave the pork needs to be wrapped to stop any moisture from escaping. 

For the oven, the wrapping should be heavy-duty foil and to ensure no moisture escapes, wrap the pork twice. 

For crockpot obviously, the meat should have a lid on top and the microwave should be used with a food-safe dish and lid to keep the meat moist. 

If you microwave the pork, use a microwave safe container with the lid loosely on to prevent any mositure from escaping. If using a microwave, do not wrap the meat with plastic wrapping or leave the meat in vacuum sealed packages as the plastic has harmful chemicals that can leach out during the microwave process.