Frozen Pulled Pork

Discussion in 'Pork' started by jp61, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I'd like to feed the boys at work some tasty pulled pork. Do to my work schedule and the amount of time it takes to smoke the butts, about the only way I can do this is to smoke them 6-7 days in advance, pull, vacuum seal and freeze. My question is: what would be the best way to reheat the pp and keep warm for 2-3hrs without drying it out? The pp would be served on buns as sandwiches + sides. I would appreciate some input on this idea so I don't screw it up on my first attempt. I was thinking of buying an electric roaster for reheating and keeping the pp warm, by first, thawing the pp in the fridge the day before, then the day of, placing vacuum sealed bags of pp into sealed freezer bags (double protection) and then into a hot bath of 170° or so for about 1- 1½ hrs. Remove bags from roaster, empty the water and then put the pp back into the roaster (w/out bags) with some apple juice or finishing sauce to keep warm. It sounds to me that this method would work but I've never done it before so I'm not sure. What do you guys think? 
  2. big andy a

    big andy a Smoking Fanatic

    I have reheated frozen PP a couple of ways.  I've put the thawed PP in an aluminum pan with a foil cover and heated it in the oven for a couple of hours at 225.  Depending on how much you have you may need more or less time.  I have also used a crock pot to reheat on the low then warm heat setting.  Sometimes I've added some liquid to the PP as it's reheating to moisten it back up.

    Good luck.

  3. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What I do is thaw it in fridge. Put in disposable foil pan add some Apple juice cover with foil and heat at 325 stirring every so often  till its hot. Time varies depending on how much PP I'm reheating. I have also heated it up in the microwave, pan of boiling water. When I take PP to work I put the heated PP in a crock pot and leave it on warm till lunch.
  4. strummer

    strummer Fire Starter

    I have warmed mine up on a crock pot before . Worked put pretty good .
  5. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Forgot to mention that I don't have access to an oven. Only source of energy available is 120V receptacle(s).
  6. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    If you have an electric rice steamer use that it will keep it moist and heat it. If not then the crock pot add a little juice and put it in
  7. berninga87

    berninga87 Smoking Fanatic

    The microwave really does a good job. Thaw in the fridge beforehand and take refrigerated pork with you in a cooled and microwave a plate at a time. I have done this where I work and the pork stays very moist in the wave. Just start the first plate a few minutes ahead of time and heat up more as needed. It sounds like more work than it is, but also depends how many you are serving, I have about 20 in my dept. If this won't work the other guys had some good suggestions too! Good luck!
  8. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Crock pot here too. If it's only a couple of sammies the microwave works well, but for a large amount then the crock pot is what we use.
  9. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    For Safety purposes...Always reheat in a 325*F oven...USDA Recomendation!

    Crock Pot is what I usually use... HI until it hits 165*F then warm to hold for service...Anything else is Unsafe!

    If you wish to reheat in the bags use SIMMERING water, 170* is too low...will heat too slowly and is unsafe!

    To be Safe always reheat as quickly as possible then reduce heat to hold at 140*F or higher...JJ
  10. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Thanks for the help guys and Chef JJ for the tips on safety concerns.

    I will probably end up smoking two butts around 15#  or so, total. I only have one crock-pot and was planning on using it for baked beans. So, I'm thinking of buying this Rival 18qt. Roaster Oven from Sam's for $35. It won't break the bank and should do the trick... I hope.

  11. big andy a

    big andy a Smoking Fanatic

    Agree with Joe, Thanks Chef JJ for the safety concerns.  I've never had a problem heating things up slower but maybe I just dodged a bullet.  I will follow the guidelines from now on.

  12. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The Rival™ will do the job just fine.

    Good luck and remember the Qview [​IMG]
  13. I was pondering the same dilemma. I need to keep my pulled pork warm for serving over several hours, but also at events that I have to bring the pork up to temperature (Canada Food Safety) before I can hold.  I cannot use food steamers (only for holding).   This seems to be the best option so far - using a roasting oven - bringing product to temp and holding.  You can also used to hold as a steamer and even use roasting bags for easy clean up.  After looking for several months at the best option, it seems this method may be best, but I have not tried it yet.  Please let me know if you end up going this route as I was planning the same option going with a roasting oven.  I found information on these forums that sometimes going simple is the best.  I was looking at a roasting oven for festivals and events that just have regular power and do not allow generators and propane can be an issue.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  14. rstr hunter

    rstr hunter Smoking Fanatic

    x 2
  15. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    That Roaster Oven will work great if it can be controlled down to 150*F (66*C) for holding. A Microwave is useful for small amounts but large batches can suffer a noticeable flavor change and the meat on the outside can Dehydrate and get tough before the entire batch heats up. A microwave is ok but is better as a last resort...JJ
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  16. I use  a crock pot and always had good results

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