How To Reheat Pulled Pork

An American culinary dish, pulled pork has its origins in the southern US states, particularly in the Carolinas. The main ingredient used is shredded barbecued pork shoulder or pork butt. The butt is not the rump on the pig, but instead, it is the upper shoulder, located toward the backbone. Each region, however, comes with its own method of preparing pulled pork.

Pulling off a leftover pork sandwich meal for your family is no easy feat, which is why it’s a good idea to learn how to reheat pulled pork. You can safely refrigerate pulled pork for up to 4 days at 40° F (4° C).

So, how can you reheat pulled pork and still have a tasty meal?

How To Reheat Pulled Pork In The Oven

Sometimes we are forced to stay indoors and we need a cost and time-efficient method of reheating pulled pork.  Under such circumstances, an oven is the best way of reheating meat and also the most commonly used method in restaurants. You avoid firing/cleaning the grill or lighting a charcoal burner.

A wire cooling rack or perforated steam pan placed into a deep pan will give you optimal results each time. If those are not available, a standard baking pan added to the bottom of the oven also works well.

  • While preheating the oven to 225-250°F (107-121° C), wrap your pulled pork in a double foil layer.
  • Before you close the foil, compensate for the loss of moisture leakage or through evaporation by adding some little amounts of your chosen liquid. This can be beer, white wine, or apple juice.
  • Place wrapped pulled pork in a pan and bake until it reaches 155° F (68° C). Keep on checking it every 30 minutes until the meat reaches your desired internal temperature.
  • Broil for a couple of minutes to restore a bit of the crispness.
  • Once fully heated, you can transfer the meat to a separate container or bowl and add your choice finishing sauce, then serve.

When you have ample time on your hands, reheating pulled pork using the oven method is a good option. This is also a good option when you want to reheat massive amounts of previously shredded pulled pork and its healthier compared to, for example, using a microwave.

How To Reheat Pulled Pork In A Crock Pot

Pulled Pork in Crock Pot

Also known as a slow cooker, this is a countertop electrical appliance used in cooking. The difference is that it simmers at a lower temperature compared to other countertop cooking techniques. The crock pot is an ideal method of slowly cooking your meat and is suitable when you want to reheat pulled pork. 

Although the time it will take to reheat the meat varies, generally, you will want to allow for about 2-4 hours for the pulled pork to heat evenly all through. If you are looking for a “set and forget it” type of method, then the way to go is a Crock Pot.

Follow these simple steps when reheating pulled pork using a Crock Pot.

  • Place the meat in the Crock Pot but first scrape off the fat from the top.
  • Pour the previously saved leftover sauce on top of your meat and make sure you mix thoroughly.
  • Turn the crock pot on, setting it to warm. Reheat your pulled pork for about 2-4 hours. For best results, allow it to cook low and slow when using a Crockpot.
  • Allow the temperature of your meat to reach 165 Fahrenheit (74° C) before you serve. 
  • When the pulled pork is done, you can choose to either transfer it to a pan or serve it straight from the Crockpot.
  • If serving from the Crockpot, make sure it’s turned off because even when left on low or warm, the meat dries out over time.

If you don’t have sufficient to prepare fresh pork, consider using a Crockpot to reheat pulled pork. This process of reheating in a Crockpot takes longer compared to other methods, but it’s certainly the better process when you want thoroughly heated and tasty pulled pork.

How To Reheat Pulled Pork In The Microwave

 pulled pork microwave

This is the easiest and fastest method of reheating pulled pork. If time is an issue and you want to serve pulled pork, the microwave is possibly your best option. Although the microwave method is the fastest it also has the risk of your meat drying out and in the process losing some of its flavor.

  • You will need the juices kept when you originally cooked or smoked the pulled pork. Once your juices have cooled down, a fat layer will begin forming on top. For the best outcomes, remove that top layer.
  • Another way of making the process faster is by first letting the liquid/juices chill in the freezer or fridge. The fat solidifies at the top and you simply scrape off the fat layer leaving the juices.
  • The cooled juices should now be placed back onto the pulled pork before putting them into the freezer or fridge. This is an essential step as it helps in retaining the moisture.
  • Once the pulled pork to be reheated is removed from the refrigerator, you may consider adding some liquid to it for more flavor.
  • Place the treated meat into the microwave, setting the timer for between 1 and 2 minutes. Keep on testing the temperature until it reaches the ideal temperature of about 165 Fahrenheit (74° C).

To some people, this method may sound rather unhealthy when but when done correctly, it gives a tasty meal.

How To Reheat Pulled Pork On Stovetop

The easiest, most convenient way of pulled pork reheating is on a stovetop using a skillet/pan. This is the go-to method for most people. After all, who doesn’t own a stovetop? It is ideal when you want to reheat small amounts in a short amount of time.

The trick to successfully reheating pulled pork on the stove is to avoid excessive heat and sticking to medium to medium-low levels of heat. 

  • Coat the skillet using cooking spray, add some dipping sauce. The added sauce should be sufficient to cover the meat mix or at least reach about 2 inches high from the pan’s bottom.
  • Place the prepared skillet over mid- to high-heat and allow the liquid to boil for several minutes. Don’t use water because it dilutes the seasoning.
  • Once some bubbles start forming in the pan, add your pulled pork mixture and reheat the meat for 5 minutes. You may want to add a splash of wine to refresh the flavor of your pulled pork.
  • When the temperature reaches145 Fahrenheit (63° C), lower the heat to low. You may add your preferred finishing sauce. Turn off the heat after 5 minutes then cover your skillet. Allow it to continue cooking in its own heat for an additional 5 minutes.
  • While constantly stirring, continue heating for an additional 2 minutes then remove the skillet from heat.

Note that for best outcomes, after turning off the heat, cover the skillet, and allow the pork to sit for another 5-7 minutes. Moistening your pulled pork, then using a skillet/pan for reheating ensures it retains its texture and taste.

The Best Way To Reheat Left Over Pulled Pork

The method you choose will depend on the time you have on your hands, the amount of work that you are willing to handle, as well as how much of the meat flavor you want to retain. Regardless of the method that you plan to use, when smoking the pork you need to save the pan drippings.

The best method of reheating pulled pork is by adding some liquid ingredients to your recipe to help in restoring the lost moisture. As long as the reheating is done properly, the reheated pulled pork should taste as good as when it first came out of your smoker grill.