Pulled pork is one of the most beautiful tasting meats to smoke on the BBQ. In this article, we’ll be looking at how to store pulled pork overnight correctly and a couple of simple ways to reheat it.
When smoking a pork shoulder or pork butt this big chunk of meat can yield enough pulled pork to last a whole family a good few days.
Pulled pork can dry out extremely quickly when stored incorrectly. It can be enjoyed and taste just as fresh as it did straight from the smoker, with a little bit of care and love.
The way to ensure the pulled pork is at its best the next day is to make the effort to store it correctly.
Where to store pulled pork overnight?
Pulled pork is best stored overnight in the fridge. In the fridge, pulled pork will last for 3-4 days. It is not recommended to keep pulled pork past 4 days for consumption, it starts to become a bit questionable as to whether or not you should eat it and could pose some health risks if consumed.
If you require storage for longer than 3 days it would be wiser to invest in a vacuum sealer and food-grade vacuum bags to store in the freezer, where it could last for several months.
Before storing pulled pork in the fridge, pork needs to be prepared and shouldn’t just be thrown straight in the fridge. Pulled pork becomes dry when just placed in a bowl in the fridge. What a waste of all that hard work smoking it.
How to prepare pulled pork for storing without drying it out
To keep the pulled pork at its best it needs to be prepared for storage. Cooling the pork correctly to around fridge temperatures will stop all other products in the fridge from spoiling. I’m sure you are aware you shouldn’t put hot food into a cold fridge, but if not you don’t want the heat from your hot food starting to warm through your other food in the fridge.
Portioning the pulled pork into individual portion sizes is always a very wise idea. This means you only reheat what you’ll require.
To cool it you should tightly wrap the pulled pork into a foil parcel, ensuring as little air as possible is inside the foil wrap. Then place the parcel inside a watertight clear food bag.
Tightly wrapped in its foil parcel will ensure a few things firstly, the meat will retain as much moisture as possible. Secondly, minimal air in the parcel will mean the chances of airborne bacteria spoiling the meat are slim.
In a rush
If you are in a rush to get it into the fridge. The bags of pulled pork will need to be placed into a bowl of ice water to cool. After about 30 minutes in its ice bath, the pork will be cool enough to store. The temperature of the pork will be around 40 degrees Fahrenheit(4.5 degrees Celsius) roughly the same as in a fridge. It can take a lot less than 30 minutes in an ice bath but 30 minutes ensures it is fridge temperature cool.
Not in a rush
If you’re not in so much of a rush to cool the pulled pork, you can simply place the bagged parcel of pulled pork into the cool dry room and leave it to cool. Cooling naturally this could take an hour to cool sufficiently.
In to the fridge
Keep the individual portions in the sealed watertight bags overnight for easy reheating the next day. Place these bags into the fridge overnight.
How to reheat pulled pork the next day
There are a couple of different methods for reheating pulled pork that will help it be as enjoyable as the first time it came off the smoker.
Pork needs to be reheated no matter which method you choose to its safe eating temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit(74 degrees Celsius). Pork does need some attention
paid to it when reheating to ensure that it doesn’t dry out.
Sous vide method just involves placing the pulled pork parcel in its water-tight bag into a pan of boiling water.
This is a very good method if you chose to store your pork in vacuum bags. Boil the bags for 15 minutes then check the temperature of the pulled pork. Once you are happy it has reached the correct temperature you can remove it from the bag, mix it with some extra BBQ sauce and enjoy.
Sous vide is a very effective way of reheating almost any meat to keep it as moist as possible.
Placing the pulled pork into an oven-safe dish with a small amount of BBQ rub, apple juice or BBQ sauce, or both. Cover the dish with foil and place it into a hot oven at a low temperature.
To keep the meat moist and stop it from drying it needs to be attended to. Regularly take it out of the oven, give it a good mix, and add more apple juice/sauce if starts to look dry before returning it to the oven.
Only consume once it has heated all the way through and reached a safe eating temperature.
Place the pork in a microwaveable container with the lid slightly ajar. Again with some liquid of choice and into the microwave for 3 – 4 minutes on full heat. A good stir halfway through and you’re enjoying it in no time.
Microwaving pulled pork is by far the easiest way to enjoy pulled pork quickly and works very well when just enough is needed to place in a bun with lashings of BBQ sauce.
I’m not sure why, but many people turn their nose up at the thought of warming pulled pork in the microwave, but this is certainly the fastest.
In summary when faced with how to store pulled pork overnight. Storing in the fridge is the safest and best way to protect the meat from drying when done correctly. Pulled pork is a timeless classic served on the BBQ and can be enjoyed by many for days after.
But one last reminder to always ensure food, in general, is re-heated correctly to a safe eating temperature when stored overnight before consuming.