Reheating Pulled Pork + Sterno

Discussion in 'Pork' started by adam d, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. adam d

    adam d Smoke Blower

    So I made two butts on Saturday into Sunday. It finished around 6-7pm Sunday. Was in the fridge by about 9pm I'd say. We have a pot luck at work tomorrow (Tuesday).

    So I'm bringing two pans of the pulled pork and want to reheat it with the sternos. Any advice? I figured put the pork over it, put a little apple juice in there for moisture, stir it every so often till she's warmed up?

    How long do you think it'll take? I want to make sure I start reheating before lunch is served but don't want it sitting for 2 hours extra drying out...
  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I missed this one...I hope everybody is OK! That was a BIG MISTAKE! Chafing Dishes and Sterno is for holding food hot, not reheating. You ran the risk of making everyone sick. Chances are the sterile meat was not contaminated after smoking...BUT...Dirty fingers pick at meat. Some raw meat juices could drip on/in the meat taking things in and out of the refer. Repeated opening raises the refer temp and fresh bacteria laden air can infect the meat. Then the long reheat time would have sent bacteria growth into overdrive. Pulled Pork in liquid/sauce, will not dry out as long as there is moisture. Heat at home to at least 140°F, then finish to 165° and hold it hot at work. Please don't try this again...Sorry to have to say this...JJ 
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2015
  3. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I always cook my pulled pork the day before and chill overnight as I think it helps to enhance the flavour. I have found the best way to do this is, once cool enough to handle, to pull it into large disposable aluminium trays, add back some of the juice, cover tightly with foil and then chill as quickly as you can. It can even be frozen like this. As JJ says you need to reheat it fairly quickly - I usually put it in an oven ,still covered, at about 150 C (300 F) for about 45 minutes - or until it has reached at least 140 F. It will not dry out if you keep it covered. If you have several trays of pork place them together (one on top of each other), place in a large plastic bag, wrap in blankets for insulation and take into work in an insulated cool box. It will keep hot in there for several hours.

    To finish you can bring it up to final temperature in the Chafing dish, but preferably if you have an oven or microwave at work I would use that and then just use the chaffing dish to maintain temperature whilst serving.

    If you have a microwave at work, next time pull it at home into plastic zip lock food bags, add some of the juice and chill rapidly. If you can vac pack it then that is even better. The next day take it into work chilled in a cool box and then gently reheat in the microwave in the bags before placing in the chaffing dishes for serving. Don't forget though to take your thermometer with you to check that it has re-heated all the way through.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2015
  4. muralboy

    muralboy Smoking Fanatic

    Likewise, I smoke a shoulder for a potluck at work a few days before the actual event, but used a large crock pot/slow cooker to bring it up to temp and keep it there.  Started out on high to get the temp up and then kept at low/warm to hold temp.  

    Added just a little moisture at the beginning but with the lid on the meat did not dry out.  Most opted not to even add a sauce.
  5. maple sticks

    maple sticks Smoking Fanatic

    I put my meat into chicken or turkey cooking bags. smooth them kind of flat after I tie a knot and add some juice. Flat bags chill faster and reheat faster. I use a microwave to heat and move the meat around with my hands while warming. Also a good way to keep track how warm its getting. Then pour out of the cooking bags and put into something that will hold at serving temp.
  6. adam d

    adam d Smoke Blower

    Too late lol

    So after I pulled it I let it cooldown on the counter, then in the fridge. It stayed there till I got to work, where it went in another fridge (15 minute ride to work).

    Then in the sterno. It got pretty hot in the sterno. The first few people didn't get HOT HOT but I kept mixing it all day in the sterno to keep that heat going.

    Nobody seems sick yet, they all loved it. I've had people eat it cold before when I've brought it in.

    No raw meat went near the cooked pork.

    I usually vacuum seal them and freeze them and we put them in boiling water at home.

    Next time, should I just vacuum seal them, fridge them, then throw the vacuum sealed bags in the microwave as I need them to reheat it all? Can you throw a vacuum seal bag in the microwave? At that point I don't need to add moisture right?
  7. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes you can. Heat them slowly though - defrost is good for the first few minutes or on the lowest power setting if the microwave has one. Once on high, every minute or so open the door and massage the bag to help the meat heat evenly. When you see the bag begin to inflate (as steam is formed inside) just prick it with a knife to allow the pressure to release and prevent the bag exploding.

    You will not need to add moisture so long as the pork wasn't dry when it was packed. Much of the "moistness" though is actually the fat that is still coating the meat and as it heats up it will appear more "moist".
  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I agree here but I would poke a hole in the bag before heating...It's your Workplace and you would have a hell of a mess if you got called away while reheating...JJ
  9. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

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