Making pulled pork ahead of time

Discussion in 'Pork' started by trevor77, Apr 5, 2015.

  1. I'm making pulled pork for Thursday and Friday lunch at work. There's about 40lbs in total. How far ahead of time can I make this. Because of weather I'm hoping to do this tomorrow.

    Any thoughts on this?
  2. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    If you are refrigerating it then 3-4 days. If you are freezing it then almost indefinitely if you vacuum seal it. Make sure to catch some drippings to add back in when you are reheating it and nobody will ever know it isn't fresh off the smoker.
  3. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Use the search feature for a finishing sauce it will assure extra moisture. If you vacuum seal and can just reheat in the bag would work best but a little tough for that size group so in pan in the oven covered or crock pots would be your best bet.
  4. Thanks for the advice.  I still might have to wait until Wednesday since doing it tomorrow seems like less of a possibility.  The difference in temp is tomorrow it is supposed to be 52F with 40% chance rain and 9mph winds.  Wednesday is 41F with 40% chance rain and 19mph winds.  Hopefully it doesn't affect things too much if I have to do it Wednesday
  5. Should I put the finishing sauce on when it's pulled or wait and use it when it's reheating.

  6. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    I use it when reheating. That way you can use only the amount required to get it right for serving.
  7. phil brown

    phil brown Fire Starter

    +1 on the finishing sauce.  I call it "after-brining" because the effects are similar.  Also, leaving a bit more fat in the mix when you pull the pork will help ensure it doesn't dry out when reheating.

    One bonus to doing it ahead of time is that smoke flavor intensifies and spreads evenly through the meat while it's in the fridge.
  8. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    As has been said above pulled pork can be kept for several days in the fridge - or for several months in the freezer. I usually make mine a day or two before I need it because, as Phil mentioned, the flavour does seem to intensify in the fridge. Also it gives me more smoker space to cook other things on the day.

    When preparing in advance it is important to keep it "moist". After the first 3 hours of smoking wrap in foil for the remaining time and when up to temperature leave in the foil to rest/cool until it is cool enough to handle (at least 2 hours). Pull it into foil trays or dishes and then pour over some of the juices that have collected in the bottom of the cooking foil. Tightly cover and chill.

    To warm up - cover tightly with foil and heat in an oven at about 100 C 212 F for about 45 minutes. Make sure that it all piping hot (at least 74 C 165 F) and mix up in the serving dish before serving to ensure everything is evenly "moist".

    With the pulled pork the sensation of  "moistness" does have something to do with the water content but is actually as much to do with the meat being coated with a thin layer of fat. If you think you need a finishing sauce then add one, however I have not found the need.

    A little tip that I have found that can further enhance pulled pork. If you have some rib meat (maybe taken from the trimmed cartilage strip if you are also cooking ribs) you can mix a little of this in. You just need a little (~5%) and this really lifts the flavour of the pulled pork to even greater heights.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2015

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