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8 Best Ways to Reheat Pulled Pork

Have you ever found yourself staring at a container of leftover pulled pork, wondering how you could revive it to its former glory? You’re not alone. Figuring out how to reheat pulled pork can be tricky, but don’t worry, I’m here to guide you through the process. This post is packed with insider tips and methods to ensure your leftover pulled pork is just as juicy and flavorful as when it first came off the grill. Get ready to transform your leftovers into a delicious meal that will tantalize your taste buds!

Overhead photo of pulled pork in a skillet.

The best way to reheat pulled pork is by warming it in a pan over low heat on the stove, adding a splash of water or apple cider to keep it moist. This method is quick, efficient, and conserves energy, ensuring your pulled pork stays juicy and flavorful.

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πŸ”₯ Different Ways to Reheat Pulled Pork for Optimal Flavor and Moisture

1. Stovetop Method: Quick and Controlled

For those seeking a quicker method without compromising on juiciness, the stovetop is a great way to reheat pulled pork. It’s actually my favorite way if I’m just reheating enough for my family’s dinner:

  1. Use a Skillet: Place the pulled pork in a skillet over medium-low heat.
  2. Add Moisture: Introduce a small amount of water, chicken broth, or apple cider to the skillet. This will create steam and help keep the meat moist. You can keep adding more as it absorbs the moisture until it reaches your desired juiciness.
  3. Pull the pork apart if needed: If you’re reheating a piece of pork shoulder or pork butt that hasn’t been pulled yet, use two forks to pull it apart.
Shredding pork shoulder with forks in a cast iron skillet.
  1. Cover and Simmer: Cover the skillet with a lid and let the pork simmer gently. Stir occasionally to ensure even heating and to prevent it from sticking to the pan.
  2. Check for Doneness: In about 10-15 minutes, your pulled pork should reach a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

This method allows for quick reheating with a lot of control over the temperature, reducing the risk of drying out the meat.

2. Oven Method: Slow and Steady

The oven is a popular choice when it comes to reheating a variety of dishes, and pulled pork is no exception. This is the best method when you have a lot of meat to reheat. Here’s how you can utilize this method for best results:

  1. Preheat the Oven: Set your oven to a low temperature, around 250 degrees Fahrenheit (120°C), to avoid drying out the meat.
  2. Prepare the Pork: Place the leftover pork in an oven-safe dish. For added moisture, mix in some leftover juices, barbecue sauce, or even a little apple juice.
  3. Cover with Aluminum Foil: This will help retain moisture and ensure even reheating.
  4. Reheat: Place the dish in the oven and let it warm for about 25-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the pulled pork reaches a safe 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74°C).

Remember, the key is low and slow, to keep those connective tissues soft and the meat juicy.

3. Air Fryer: Quick and Crispy

Air fryers have grown in popularity due to their convenience and the unique texture they can give foods. Here’s how to achieve slightly crispy edges with your pulled pork:

  1. Set the Temperature: Preheat your air fryer to a medium heat setting, around 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177°C).
  2. Prepare the Pork: Add the pulled pork to the air fryer basket, spreading it out evenly.
  3. Moisture is Key: To avoid dry meat, sprinkle the pork with a small amount of water or apple cider.
  4. Cook: Reheat the pork for about 10-15 minutes, checking and stirring occasionally to ensure even heating.

The result? Pulled pork with a hint of crispiness that’s sure to delight your taste buds.

4. Microwave Method: When Time Is of the Essence

The microwave might not be the first choice for reheating pulled pork, but it’s undeniably convenient:

  1. Microwave-Safe Dish: Transfer your pulled pork to a microwave-safe dish.
  2. Add Moisture: Pour a little bit of broth, water, or apple juice over the pork to keep it moist.
  3. Cover: Use a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap to cover the dish, allowing a corner to remain open to vent steam.
  4. Reheat in Intervals: Heat the pork in 1-2 minute intervals, stirring in between to ensure even heating.

While not the best option for large quantities, the microwave is perfect for heating individual portions quickly.

5. Instant Pot: Speed and Convenience

For those who value efficiency and convenience, the Instant Pot is a stellar choice for reheating pulled pork:

  1. Set the Instant Pot: Add a cup of water to the pot and place the trivet inside. This will prevent the pork from sitting directly in the water.
  2. Prepare the Pork: Place the leftover pulled pork in an oven-safe dish that fits inside your Instant Pot. Drizzle a small amount of liquid over the pork to keep it moist.
  3. Utilize the Pot-in-Pot Method: Carefully place the dish on the trivet inside the Instant Pot.
  4. Reheat: Close the lid, set the valve to “Sealing,” and use the “Steam” function for about 5 minutes. After it’s done, let the pressure release naturally for about 10 minutes.
  5. Serve: Carefully remove the dish from the Instant Pot. Your pulled pork should now be perfectly reheated, moist, and ready to enjoy.

This method is fast and doesn’t sacrifice the quality of your pulled pork, making it a fantastic option for busy days.

6. Slow Cooker: Gentle and Even Reheating

If you’re not in a rush and prefer a more hands-off approach, the slow cooker offers gentle and even reheating:

  1. Prepare the Slow Cooker: Place the pulled pork into the slow cooker. For moisture retention, mix in a little bit of BBQ sauce, chicken broth, or water.
  2. Set the Temperature: Turn the slow cooker on low. Reheating on a high setting can cause the meat to dry out or become tough.
  3. Reheat Slowly: Allow the pork to warm for about 2-3 hours. This slow process ensures that the meat retains its moisture and tenderness.
  4. Check for Readiness: Before serving, make sure the pork has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74°C).

This method is great for larger batches and is excellent at keeping your pork tender and juicy, just as it should be.

7. Sous Vide: Precision and Moisture Retention

If you’re after precision and have a sous vide machine, this method might be your best bet. Vacuum-sealed pork leftovers can be reheated in a pot of water to the exact temperature you prefer, ensuring perfectly tender results:

  1. Bag the Pork: Place your pulled pork in a vacuum bag, removing as much air as possible.
  2. Heat the Water: Set your sous vide machine to 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74°C) and let the water come up to temperature.
  3. Submerge and Reheat: Once the water is ready, submerge your vacuum-sealed pork and let it heat for about 2-3 hours.
  4. Serve and Enjoy: Once done, simply remove the pork from the bag and serve. It’s that simple!

This method takes a bit longer, but the precision and moisture retention are hard to beat.

8. Grill: For That Smoky Flavor

Reheating pulled pork on a grill is the best method for infusing it with a delightful smoky flavor, reminiscent of its original cooking process:

  1. Prepare the Grill: Preheat your grill to a low temperature. Use indirect heat for gas and charcoal grills.
  2. Aluminum Foil Pouch: Place your pulled pork in an aluminum foil pouch with a splash of liquid for moisture.
  3. Reheat: Place the pouch on the side of the grill not directly over the heat. Close the lid and allow the pork to warm for about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Check Temperature: Ensure the internal temperature of the pulled pork reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74°C) before serving.

This method is particularly appealing if you’re already using the grill for other dishes.

Each of these methods offers its own set of benefits, depending on your needs and preferences. Whether you prioritize speed, flavor, or texture, there’s a reheating method that’s just right for your leftover pulled pork.

Close up of moist pulled pork.

❀️ My Favorite Way to Reheat Pulled Pork and Why

Although there are numerous methods to reheat pulled pork, my absolute favorite is the stovetop. Here’s why this classic technique wins my heart every time:

  1. Controlled Heat: With the stovetop, I have precise control over the temperature. By keeping it on a low to medium heat, I can ensure the pork reheats gently, which is crucial for maintaining its succulence.
  2. Quick and Efficient: Unlike the oven or slow cooker, the stovetop heats up quickly, making it an efficient option when I’m hungry and don’t want to wait too long for my meal.
  3. Flavor Boost: I love the flexibility the stovetop offers in terms of flavor enhancement. A splash of apple cider or chicken broth not only adds moisture but also infuses the pork with additional layers of flavor. You can even add a little butter to make it crispier and even more delicious!
  4. Simple and Convenient: All it takes is a pan and a little liquid, and I’m set. There’s no need for preheating or special equipment, making it a straightforward and fuss-free process.

The stovetop method’s combination of speed, control, and flavor enhancement makes it the perfect match for my busy lifestyle and discerning taste buds. It’s a simple yet effective way to bring life back to leftover pulled pork, ensuring it’s just as delicious the next day.

πŸ’­ Final Thoughts

By now, you’ve learned several effective methods to reheat pulled pork, each offering a unique way to bring back that just-cooked taste and tenderness. From the oven‘s low and slow-approach to the quick and convenient stovetop method, you have a variety of options to suit your needs. Remember to keep moisture in mind, as it’s the key to preventing dryness and ensuring your reheated pulled pork is just as succulent and flavorful as the first time. Now, go ahead and give these methods a try! Your taste buds will thank you, and those leftovers will transform into a delicious meal in no time.

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

Can I freeze pulled pork for later use?

Absolutely! Pulled pork freezes well. Just make sure it’s cooled to room temperature before storing it in airtight containers or vacuum-sealed bags. It can last up to 3 months in the freezer.

How long can I store leftover pulled pork in the fridge?

Leftover pulled pork should be good in the fridge for 3-4 days. Ensure it’s in an airtight container to maintain freshness and prevent any unwanted flavors from creeping in.

Will reheating pulled pork dry it out?

Reheating can dry out pulled pork if not done properly. Adding moisture and using low heat can help maintain its juiciness.

What’s the best liquid to add for moisture when reheating pulled pork?

A little apple juice, chicken broth, or even the leftover juices from the original cooking process work great. BBQ sauce can also add flavor and moisture.

Is it safe to reheat pulled pork multiple times?

Food safety experts recommend reheating food only once. Reheating multiple times can increase the risk of foodborne illness.

How do I know when my pulled pork is reheated properly?

The pulled pork is reheated properly when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a meat thermometer can help you determine this accurately.

How do I keep my reheated pulled pork from becoming too greasy?

If you’re worried about grease, let the pork sit in the fridge for a while. The fat will solidify on the top, making it easy to remove before reheating.

Can I reheat pulled pork on a stovetop if it’s frozen?

Yes, but thaw it in the fridge first for safety and even reheating. Then, follow the stovetop method, possibly extending the time slightly to ensure it’s heated throughout.

Pulled pork in a bun on a grey plate with coleslaw.

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