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Advice on reheating pulled pork.

Discussion in 'Pork' started by crewcab4x4, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. crewcab4x4

    crewcab4x4 Smoking Fanatic

    Need some advice on reheating 4 butts worth of pulled pork? I'm going to smoke 4 butts for my cousins graduation party,and I was planning on doing them the day before. I was wondering what would be the best way to reheat the pulled pork without drying it out? We have several roasters or crockpots? I have only smoked butts which around here go for about 1.39 to 1.49 a #. I can get bone in picnic roast for a 1.18 a #. Just wondering preference for the finished product butt vs. picnic.

    Thanks Jason
  2. I have a couple of crockpots just for that reason, I set them to warm, and if I notice them drying out I have added apple juice and mixed well. I guess if you are using a finishing sauce that might be better to keep moist.

    Excellent information here at Virginia Cooperative Extension

    aka Rocky
  3. the dude abides

    the dude abides Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If it's already pulled you could cover the tray/pan with tin foil and reheat in a 225* degree oven. For how long? That all depends on if it's all in one pan or not.
  4. pineywoods

    pineywoods SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member OTBS Admin SMF Premier Member

    Personally I save the juice and defat it and add that back to the pork. Then when I get ready to reheat I add finishing sauce and foil the pan and either into an oven at 225 or back on the smoker at 225. I use the large throw away aluminum roasting pans then just cover them tight with foil.
    bryce likes this.
  5. surfer_e

    surfer_e Fire Starter

    OHHHHH! Let me tell you a horror story. My wife's whole family came down for a visit. There were lots of people so they rented a condo. So to welcome the "northers" to the "south" I smoked up some meat. I smoked ribs chicken and two pork shoulders. The family LOVED the Q. The next day they decided to "reheat" the pulled pork. After work I arrived to the condo to a horrible sight. They had taken the pork and dumped it in a pot and then dumped in TWO bottled of KRAFT BBQ sauce. Oh and did I mention that they had it SIMMERING! AHHHHHHHH! The meat was stringy and limp and coated with this sick sweet Kraft sauce.

    But you know the worst part. I mean the really bad part, they actually liked it that way. [​IMG]
    travisty and mike mccormack like this.
  6. seenred

    seenred Legendary Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    I do about the same thing Piney does. If you save all the juice to add back after you pull it, then add your finishing sauce before you reheat it, it'll come out like it just came off the smoker, tender and juicy.
  7. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    In my experience the picnic has more flavor then the butt, but the picnic doesn't yeild as much product as a butt. Fer large groups I buy both an mix.

    Fer caterin, I place the meat in a roaster an rewarm that way, usin some saved juices fer keepin it moist. ALWAYS heat to over 140* an maintain that temp!

    Keep the lid on, saves it from dryin out. Ya can use chafer pans to, just watch yer temps, don't wan't it gettin to hot which will dry it out an over cook it an ya gotta stay ABOVE 140*.

    Apple juice will work as a moisturizer as well. Ya gotta watch how much finishin sauce ya add, cause it will continue to break down the meat, I add some durin pullin an then put a bottle out fer the folk ta add more ifin they choose to.

    Long term storage, I put the meat in vac bags, then put on a big pot a water an bring ta a boil, turn it off an put the packs in it till they reach 140*. Nice an juicy!

    Good luck.
    biaviian likes this.
  8. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    >>>Long term storage, I put the meat in vac bags, then put on a big pot a water an bring ta a boil, turn it off an put the packs in it till they reach 140*. Nice an juicy<<<

  9. blacklab

    blacklab Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Yep a crock pot or dutch oven works great. Never used a roaster so I can't say, but why wouldn't it. As said earlier defat juice then add to your pork. Also give yourself plenty of time to reheat. It takes a while comming from the frig to 140* especialy in a crock or a 225 or 250 oven. Enjoy [​IMG]
  10. crewcab4x4

    crewcab4x4 Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks for all the help everybody. I know how my butts turn out for eatin right away, but I wanted some advice on reheating forthe same quality. Thanks again piney, travcoman,rocky, dude, blacklab ,and every body else for the great advic for my cousins graduation party.

    Sorry surfer that your family dumped a bunch of sauce on your que and toasted the smoke flavor.

  11. the dude abides

    the dude abides Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Good luck. Keep us updated on your progress.
  12. scubadoo97

    scubadoo97 Smoking Fanatic

    [​IMG][​IMG] What a sad story. At least they enjoyed it
  13. chadtower

    chadtower Fire Starter

    I can beat that. A few days after my first bulk smoke (4 butts) I came home from work to find my wife heating all of it in the microwave. 12 hours of work down the drain! [​IMG]

    Even worse is that she still claims there is no difference and can't figure out why I'll "do all that work when you could buy some Lloyd's".
  14. squib

    squib Newbie

    ok i have got a great way to reheat.  Get a pot, some apple juice and a veggie steamer basket.  get the apple juice to a boil (about 1 cup) and steam the pork until heated.  about 3 minutes.  It works great, and doesn't dry out the meat.
  15. moon dog

    moon dog Newbie

    Thanks for this thread.....so what is the best way to "Save All the Juice" so I can add it back when reheating for the big event the next day.


    Moon Dog
  16. I have a question I was hoping to get some help with. Yesterday I smoked 2 butts (close to 17 lbs). Pulled it and place in a large aluminum pan. I added some BBQ sauce cut w/apple juice, and pork juice via sprayer. It's sitting in the frig wrapped tight. I plan on serving tomorrow for lunch but given my circumstances my question is... Can i reheat the pork in my oven at 170 (lowest setting on my oven) for about 2 hours w/o drying it out?
  17. tropics

    tropics Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Jay I would use a higher temp and foil the top of the pans,check out JJs finishing sauce 

    jayxan likes this.
  18. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    In my experience the best way to store and reheat any BBQ, ESPECIALLY pulled port is to Vacuum seal it when its pulled then the next day place the vac bag (still sealed) into a pot of boiling water for a few minutes, or into a crock pot filled with warm water on the low setting (then it will take a couple hours to come to heat).

    Another thing I have done 2 or 4 times if that isn't an option is to store the meat tightly like you mentioned, then the next day I put it into one of the crock pot liner bags, you can also store it in the line bag over night (you can buy these at most grocery stores) and tie up the top, then put that into either crock pot on low, or into the oven on the lowest setting. To keep the best flavor I think it needs to be sealed up the entire time, not just for the moisture but it may also absorb other flavors since the moisture level is so high. The first time I smoked a butt for a work party I stored it in the fridge loosely (though I thought it was plenty tight), then reheated in a crock pot, and though it wasn't dry because I added sauce and apple juice it had taken on a sort of strange refrigerator flavor, and clearly tasted like leftovers to me, even though perhaps others dindt notice or at least say anything.

    I worked in the culinary field for many years and this is a common practice for reheating things, (vac seal and boil) there are even several BBQ joints in the US who seal up your BBQ leftovers for you with the instruction to boil it the next day. I now do that method 100% of the time and get excellent results, if it is sealed up the whole time, it will taste like it just came off of the pit. Just keep in mind that aluminum foil isn't a great seal because it doesn't seal around the edges and clear plastic wrap is actually not a great seal either because it is so thin unless you use several layers.

    Also if you have saved some of the runoff juice from the cook, you can add it back in to get the moisture up if needed, and as others mentioned, you can just use something like apple juice or BBQ sauce to moisten it up if needed as well.
  19. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Oh and I was so wrapped up in my passionate response to avoiding dry meat that I didn't really answer your question since it is already "the next day". I agree with Tropics, since it isn't sealed I would go higher on the temp to get it warm faster, then add some moisture with sauce and/or juice if needed.
  20. Richie/Trav thanks a lot for the advice! 

    I've never vac sealed before because I usually cook for the party right then. Honestly this is my 1st "the 2nd day after" feels weird.. LOL I will definitely start doing that now that I've been receiving more requests off weekend. Also, yeah I checked out JJ's finishing sauce. Never used it but it sounds amazing. Gonna mix up a batch tonight and try it out.

    Thanks guys!! I'll let you guys know how it goes down!