How To Reheat Pulled Pork – Step By Step
Pulled pork is one of those versatile meats that we always seem to end up making way more than we’ll ever use.
Whether you smoked a huge shoulder cut or perhaps something else to get your pulled pork or maybe you even ordered it in, you have to have a technique for saving and preserving the leftovers when you finish.
Pulled pork can go a long way and there are many creative ways to use it up. We love pulled pork sandwiches with some tangy BBQ sauce but there are many other options as well.
You really can’t go wrong. You can feed large gatherings and picnics or just enjoy it with your family.
How do you reheat pulled pork? The best way to reheat pulled pork is to place it in a foil-covered dish with some leftover meat juices, broth, or sauce and slowly warm it at 250 degrees Fahrenheit until the internal temperature of the pork is 165 degrees. You can also reheat pulled pork in a crockpot, on the stovetop, or on the grill.
In this guide, we will share with you step-by-step instructions for all of the ways that you can reheat pulled pork. Your biggest challenge will be to reheat the meat without drying it out.
But don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with all of the tips and tricks that you need to enjoy that pulled pork again.
Keep reading to learn how to reheat pulled pork and more.
Reheating Pulled Pork Step-By-Step
There are multiple ways to reheat pulled pork. One of the best and easiest options is the oven but there are several other options to use as well.
As we progress through this guide, we will walk you through each of those options, sharing step-by-step details with you.
If there are any tips you need to know, you will find those here as well. We have some really great and simple options to reheat your pulled pork the right way.
Let’s get started!
How to Reheat Pulled Pork in the Oven
Let’s start with our top recommendation. If you have the time and the oven space, we highly recommend using this method for reheating pulled pork.
If this option doesn’t work for you, you can certainly try one of the other options and have great results.
Here are the steps for reheating pulled pork in the oven.
- Start by preheating your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. You want to keep the temperature low as you are just reheating the meat and higher temperatures are more likely to dry out the meat.
- Prepare a baking dish (something like this) of the pulled pork. It is less likely to dry out if you pour some leftover juices from the meat in the pan. Cover the pan with foil or another similar oven-safe method.
- Place the covered pan in the oven and allow it to bake at this temperature until it is warm. Remember that you are just reheating and not cooking so it really will not take that long.
- Reheat until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165 degrees. The time it takes to reach this temperature may vary depending on how much meat you are reheating. It is already cooked so this is simply to warm it up.
- Mix up the pulled pork well when removing it from the oven.
- Add additional juices or sauces as needed and serve.
This method is super simple and easy. The thing to keep in mind is that you are not cooking the meat here. It has already been cooked and you are just heating it back up to enjoy it warm again.
You may also want to pull it apart a little again with a fork or set of meat claws to make sure it’s not clumping together.
Cooking it to 165 degrees is a matter of food safety. Many people also enjoy cold pulled pork as leftovers so keep that in mind as well.
The other really important thing is to make sure you add some juice or liquid to the pan and cover it. Both of these measures are used to prevent the direct heat of the oven from drying out the meat.
If you forget to add some sort of liquid or forget to cover it, then you most likely will have dry meat in the end.
Finally, if you like to crisp up the outer bark pieces of the meat, you can still do that even in reheating.
Once you’ve heated the pork, remove the cover and put it under the broiler for just a few minutes and that will take care of it for you!
How to Reheat Pulled Pork in the Crockpot
Another method for reheating pulled pork that we really like is using the crockpot.
If you don’t already have a crockpot, this is the one I use and swear by.
The crockpot lets you just kind of set it and forget it for a little bit. You don’t have to watch it and you don’t have to wait around forever for the 250-degree oven to finally finishing warming up the meat.
This method works best if you saved some of the drippings and juices when you originally cooked the meat. This way you can add that to the crockpot to help retain moisture and flavor.
If you didn’t keep any, you will still want to add moisture of some sort.
The crockpot is designed to take several hours to reheat the meat so be prepared for probably 2-4 hours of time.
Of course, this is what the crockpot is almost always used for so it shouldn’t be an issue if you are familiar with using the crockpot.
The crockpot is simple and convenient so it makes a really great option for reheating pulled pork. Here are our recommended steps for reheating pulled pork in the crockpot.
- Place your pulled pork into the crockpot.
- Pour leftover juices or sauces over the top of the meat. If you didn’t save any, add some sauce or perhaps even some broth to help prevent the meat from drying out.
- Put your crockpot on the warm setting.
- Allow the meat to cook on the warm setting for 2-4 hours. The internal temperature of the meat should reach about 165 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a lower temperature if you prefer but we’ve found that warm is at about that temperature.
- Once the meat is reheated to the appropriate temperature, you can remove it from the crockpot and serve as desired.
Again, keep in mind that you are simply warming up the meat or reheating it as it has already been cooked. This is why the warm feature is sufficient for that length of time.
The crockpot will still get warm and will warm your pulled pork to the appropriate temperature after several hours.
In a crockpot, the time could vary but we would recommend that you plan a minimum of two hours and probably somewhere between 2-4 hours total.
Using the warming method might take slightly longer but the results really are better this way.
The extended timeframe on a lower temperature helps to prevent the meat from drying out. Additionally, using sauce or leftover juices will also help.
You definitely need some sort of liquid with the meat to help it not dry out in the crockpot.
How to Reheat Pulled Pork in the Microwave
The microwave probably isn’t our top choice for reheating pulled pork but it can be used.
This method is another simple and convenient option so it works well for someone on the go or with a limited timeframe or maybe even just 1-2 people reheating meat.
The microwave is often used as a matter of convenience and simplicity and, in that sense, it will do just fine for your pulled pork reheating needs.
This is the fastest way to reheat pulled pork and probably the best way if you’re just reheating a small amount as well.
Check out these steps for reheating pulled pork in the microwave.
- Place pulled pork into a microwave-safe dish. Heat only what you need to heat when using the microwave.
- Add a bit of juice or sauce to the meat for reheating. If you have leftover juices, this works well but you could also use broth or apple juice if you need an alternative. Do not skip this step or the pulled pork will be dry.
- Place the container and pulled pork in the microwave and heat for 2 minutes.
- The meat should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If it is not warm enough after 2 minutes, you can heat further in 30-second intervals until the meat reaches the appropriate temperature for consumption.
- Remove from the microwave and stir. Check the temperature. When it’s heated appropriately, serve and enjoy to your liking.
When you reheat pulled pork in the microwave, it is best if it is fully thawed prior to reheating. This just helps with the cooking time but it also helps with the quality of the meat out of the microwave as well.
The microwave isn’t our favorite option but it will certainly work for you when you need a solution and the oven or grill just won’t do!
How to Reheat Pulled Pork on the Grill
A lot of people cook pulled pork originally on the grill or in a smoker. There are several different ways to cook pulled pork but this is a popular winner.
The grill is another easy reheating method but it also might make it harder to retain moisture.
Here are some simple steps for reheating pulled pork on the grill.
- It is best if you can use an indirect cooking method for reheating. This means you will want the heat on one side and the meat on the other for the best results.
- Heat one side of the grill to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Coat the meat with juice or sauce to help add some moisture to it.
- Wrap the pulled pork in two layers of foil. Put about 1/4 cup of water in the foil before you seal it completely.
- Place the meat on the opposite side of the grill as the heat.
- Allow the pulled pork to heat until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- At the end, unwrap the meat and place it on the grill for about 5 minutes just to crisp up the bark a little bit.
- Remove from the grill and serve and enjoy!
We recommend the indirect method as this is the best way to achieve reheating without drying out the meat. Additionally, be sure not to cook the meat too long.
The cooking times might vary depending on how much meat you are heating. Remember that you are just warming the meat and not cooking it again.
Reheating Pulled Pork on the Stovetop
Finally, we leave you with one last method for reheating pulled pork. You can use the stovetop. You will hear a number of different options for doing this.
For example, if you have a Dutch oven, this works almost like if you had cooked it in the oven to begin with but might be slightly faster.
However, we are going to discuss a process called Sous Vide that uses the stovetop. This is a simple and unique process that is very popular with French cooking. Follow these steps.
- Place the pulled pork into a plastic bag. It’s best if you can vacuum seal the bag but you can also tightly release all of the air and seal a bag as well.
- Bring a pot of water to at least 165 degrees. It doesn’t need to be boiling but it should reach somewhere around that temperature.
- Place the bag of pork into the hot water and let it sit for about 45 minutes. If the meat is frozen, you may need to add about 30 minutes to the timeframe.
- Check the internal temperature of the meat and make sure it reaches 165 degrees.
- Remove from the water carefully and open the bag the meat is in.
- Serve and enjoy!
This method does take a little bit of time still but many chefs believe this to be the best method overall for retaining moisture and flavor of the pulled pork.
We hope that you found this guide to reheating pulled pork to be a useful tool.
You should now have plenty of information for any kind of reheating preference that you might have. Any of these methods will be successful when you put them to the test. Just remember the tips to prevent your meat from drying out.
Check out these questions and answers for some additional information that could prove useful for you.
What is the Best Way to Reheat Pulled Pork?
We like the oven method the best but you really can’t go wrong with any of these.
Some would argue that the stovetop is the best method for retaining flavor and moisture but you can have good results if you follow the appropriate steps for any method here.
How Long Will It Take to Reheat Pulled Pork in the Oven?
This number could vary depending on how much pulled pork you have and how thick it is in the pan.
You might even need to stir the pulled pork and mix it up during the reheating process. In general, we would recommend planning on 30-60 minutes for reheating in the oven.
What Liquid Can I Add to Pulled Pork?
The best thing to do is save juices and drippings from your initial cooking process of the pulled pork.
On the same note, if you aren’t able to do this there are other options. Try adding a bit of broth or maybe some apple juice. You can also just use BBQ sauce if you like.