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Pulled Pork question

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I am going to smoke 4- 8.5 lb Butts next weekend for Pulled Pork but won't be serving the meat 'til the following Saurday at my sons graduation party, is it better to freeze the butts whole or pulled after smoking?
post #2 of 18
I would pull it then freeze it
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Damn that was fast!!! Thanks
post #4 of 18
My advice is to let them rest in a cooler for an hour and then pull them. Definitely pull before refrigerating.
post #5 of 18
Pull the butts while they're still warm, let cool, then freeze.
post #6 of 18
I would package the pork in smaller portions before freezing instead of one big bag so to thaw faster.
post #7 of 18
I am going to go the complete opposite with my advice, I have done this a few times and was given the tip by a friend that owned a smoke house. SMoke the butts until they are about 90 percent done, place them double wrapped in foil in the fridge, they will keep for several daysand smoke them the rest of the way on the day of your feast.

Just re read it, if you are going to do it a full week in advance pull then freeze. Save the juice to add when you heat it up though.
post #8 of 18
You ever go to BBQ restaurants? Here in our area, most are not good, they all suffer from the same problem. They smoke their meat, and have to wait for customers to buy it, but they don't have enough customers to turn over the meat every 2 or 3 hours. So the meat sits in warmers and drys out and loses all the flavor.

You own a smoker, just a guess, but it does hold 4 Butts the size you want right? I have been in your spot with 2 graduations and each time I did the pulled pork bbq sandwiches, did the smoking during the night, plus smoked chickens, got about 3 or 4 hours sleep. Went to graduation then big BBQ lunch for family and friends. I wrapped the butts n birds in foil 2 or 3 wraps, then 2 or 3 wraps of plastic wrap, stored in ice chests, towel pre-warmed in dryer, layer of tin foil, wrapped butts n chickens, alum foil over top, then another pre-warmed towel, lid taped shut. The meat was still hot when pulled about 7 hours after cooking.

It just seems that fresh Q is better than frozen thawed and re-heated Q, no exceptions. If you need 4 Butts then the party is going to be big, so all the prep can be done while cooking the butts except for those items that need to be done right before serving. As for having enough energy after smokin most the night, the excitement will keep you going, plus when you blow em away with your amazing fresh smoked pulled pork you will know it was worth it.

Just a plug for fresh, your schedule may be way to busy to do fresh.
Good luck with your grad party!
post #9 of 18

No offense intended

No offense to Delta but I'm going to borrow a reply I typed to another post...
Without exception my pork tests the best when reheated. It seems that right out of the smoker when pulling its okay. But when I pull it and refrigerate or freeze, thaw, and then add finishing sauce its awesome. I like finishing sauce but I know not everyone is a fan of vinegar. I try to add just enough finishing sauce to bring out the flavor-you really don't get much of the vinegar taste. If I use my gosm I add the juices (minus the fat). When using the Horizon I don't have the juices to add.
The other night while doing a big smoke with several other smokers I reheated some pulled pork in a crock pot, added some finishing sauce that I kind of concocted on the spot. We were at a campsite so I didn't have access to a stove and a full kitchen. I got rave reviews. Later when they were done I tried it. It wasn't my best but it was good. Use SoFlaQuers finishing sauce (cup of cider vinegar, about a tablespoon of brown sugar, some cajun spice I believe, and some cayene pepper-check the recipe) warm it to dissolve the brown sugar. Add carefully if you aren't a huge vinegar guy. I also found another recipe in my Steven Raichlen book.

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Good stuff as always, and you answered questions that I hadn't asked yet, thanks so much!
I will be freezing and thawing the meat, and will be adding SoFlaQuers finishing sauce when warming up the meat. It will be stored in smaller portions to thaw quicker. Unfortunately my schedule will not allow me to smoke the meat and serve it fresh, so freezing is my only option.
post #11 of 18
If the people you're serving are anything like the ones I cook for they won't have a clue if it's reheated or fresh off the pit. They'll just know it's damn good BBQ! I love it when someone asks, how long does it take to do a butt and when I tell them 12 hrs or so they about flip. Good Luck!
post #12 of 18
No offense taken! I was just making a plug for fresh if it was possible.
Pulled pork is one meat you can dress up and most people won't know if you just pulled it out of the Q or not. However I still think serving properly prepared fresh cooked meat has those juices we all love, think turkey, those initial juices are awesome and the flavor is specific FRESH cooked, yet you can freeze turkey or store for days, reheat with sauce and it is still great.

We all do what we have the time to do, and it looks like Ted's schedule requires precooking.

Dmack, thanks for the vinegar tip though, I have to try it. I am going to do a butt in next day or two, so will give that a try.
post #13 of 18
Always pull it first... I suggest using a vaccuum sealer. And when you want to take out some pork put the whole bag in a pot of boiling water.

post #14 of 18
I have found that if I freeze my pulled pork I can wrap up brown paper lunch bags and then in a ziplock bag. Then when I reheat I put in the frozen Q in a steamer to heat and it comes out moist and about the same as fresh.
post #15 of 18
I cook and pull it as normal. After it cools we vaccuum seal and freeze it. Reheating is key so you don't dry it out or over cook it. Boiling the bag works to thaw it, then we dump the portion to be reheated into a crock pot, add a little bit of apple juice and heat it up slowly. Mix occasionally.

It reheats perfectly everytime. It does seem to get a little bit softer from the reheating. Maybe pulling it off the smoker a bit earlier wouldn't hurt. I'm thinking 190-195. I usually pull at 195-200.
post #16 of 18
so you only thaw in the boiling water then toss in the crock, what do you set that crock on? anybody do it a different way?
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Just a little follow up. I pulled the meat and vacuum sealed it then froze it. We reheated it by thawing it and emptying the bags into a roaster pan and covering with foil and heating it @ 225ºF and then using SoFlaQuers finishing sauce.
This was the first time I had used a finishing sauce and have to say it was the best Pulled Pork I have made and possibly the best I have had!
So thanks SoFlaQuer for sharing your finishing sauce recipe and to everyone for your assistance in this thread! Sorry but I never had a chance to get any pics!
post #18 of 18
i alway's pull it then place it in a crock pot bag,when needed it goes in the crock pot,juice and all,crank it up to high till it starts to bubble then turn it to low.

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