cooking pulled pork few days prior to serving????

Discussion in 'Pork' started by jerseydrew, May 22, 2013.

  1. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Smoking Fanatic

    i've cooke quite a few butts already, but usually plan out the time to serve them a few hours after cooking. this time i do not want to be a slave to the food for a party on sunday. so i have tomorrow that i can cook two 10 lb butts for pulled pork. now the cooking process i have down to how i like it. what i have never tried before is storing and reheating the pulled pork. 

    i was planing on having it done sometime tomorrow night, pulling and putting into gallon zip lock bags with the juices from the pork to keep it moist. what i am unsure of is to throw in the fridge or freezer and how to reheat it without drying it out?

    any help?
  2. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    Do you have a crock pot?

    I wouldn't freeze if it's only going to be a couple of days.
  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You should be okay keeping it in the fridge until Sunday. To reheat. put meat juices and all in tin pans or casserole pans, cover with foil and reheat at 170* or 180* in the oven. Or put it in a crockpot on the low settting. If your worried about moisture add some more finishing sauce, or apple juice. I've never had a moisture issue and  prefer to do my pork several days in advance.
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
  4. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I place mine in steamer pan in the fridge a few day before an event, then it goes into the oven 250° an hour or so before serving, then it goes into the steamer pan, I do use a finishing sauce.

  5. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I am doing a Saturday Smoke for Sunday this weekend....steamer pans work like a charm.

  6. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You may want to plastic wrap the pan then foil, because sometimes the finishing sauce may eat through the foil.
  7. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Smoking Fanatic

    ok thanks guys.. will give it a shot. so you guys think fridge in a pan is better then zip lock bags? and if so should i use the same pan i use to catch all the drippings?
  8. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I drain the drippings defat then make a finishing sauce.
    When the but is resting put the drippings in the fridge or the freezer to hasten the grease solidifying. Scrape the fat from the top taste test your drippings then tweak. I use JD soy. Worcestershire. Beef base and some barbecue sauce, sometimes onions and bacon are added

    The pork is pulled. In a steamer pan. The finishing sauce is added. Then its wrapped and into the refrigerator
    Once reheated it is constantly tossed when being served.
    Not sure if I would say ones better than the other. But I always work out of steamer pans.
  9. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You will find many opinions on how to reheat your PP. The most important thing is the Food Safety parts and making sure you go through the Temperature Danger Zone as quick as possible with the cooling and reheating of your product.


    Your wanting to use zip lock bags is the way I do mine. This way I have a smaller amount and a very thin layer to cool at a time. You can lay it out on cake cooling racks and place in the fridge or freezer to cool from >140 to below 40 degrees in <6hrs. Another way is to use an ice bath in a cooler to do the same thing. I do not like using the aluminum pan to cool my product in, but you can and the same time line applies to the product. Take your temps from the thickest area or in the very center of the pan.


    You want to use whatever method you feel the most comfortable with to achieve the correct temperature in the safe allotted time. You want to go from <40 to >165 in less than 2hrs. How you achieve this is really a personal preference. As you have seen there are several way people reheat their PP. Below is mine in the order I prefer....

    1st: Saute pan. I use a saute pan to reheat in batches using a finishing sauce to keep it moist. Very fast and efficient, however for large batches can be a bit time consuming do to needing to be with it at all times.

    2nd: In a pan covered in an oven. I will set my oven at 300-350 and use a pan no deeper than 2" to reheat the pork. Good for larger batches and allows you to step away. Just make sure to monitor the temp and time.

    3rd: I do not use this very often to reheat, but I use it to hot hold often. The crock pot. People use this a lot and are very happy with it, I just do not like the end results of the shredded pork you get from all the stirring. Make sure to use the highest setting if using it to reheat. Keep an eye on your time and temperatures. I will saute my pork and put it into a crock pot to hold it hot.

    Cooking Process:

    Since you know you are reheating your PP, I would not cook to 205 degrees. I would only go to 190-195 and allow to rest for about 1hr. This will allow the carry over cooking to do its thing. You should be able to pull without any issues. It will be a bit more texture to it due to not going all the way to 205, but when you reheat it the pork will break apart a look like the PP most people do. 
  10. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Smoking Fanatic

    well it is all cooked, rested for 1.5 hours, pulled and i put it in a baking pan with all it's own juices from the catch pan, then covered in plastic wrap and then a layer of foil and lastly into the fridge till Sunday. 

    i plan on putting it in the oven as is probably at 300 degrees for an hour should warm it up.
  11. I do mine well in advance also (pulled pork makes great car camping food!). I pull it, then while still hot put it in pint vacuum bags, add a little shot of finishing sauce and vacuum seal. Then it can be frozen or refrigerated as required - when it comes time to eat, simply drop the (non frozen) bag in a pot of boiling water for 15-20 minutes and there you are! Perfect moist pulled pork every time since it steams in its own juices...
  12. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Smoking Fanatic

    turned out very well. not quite as tender as fresh same day but no one would know it (just me). everyone loved it! took about an hour and 10 minutes in the oven at 300 to warm up. my only problem was that when i prepped the drippings i guess i didn't let all the fat separate out of the au jus and i had a lot of the fat mix in with the pork. no biggie but next time i know to let it separate in the fridge longer. 
  13. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Always taste test your drippings before adding to the meat.

    I find it odd that it wasn't quite as tender the next day.

    I warm mine at 250° for half an hour before moving to the steamer pan. I don't serve it real hot only warmed. I do the same with my Sliced Pork Loins, gravy is heated then cold pork is added to the gravy.

  14. crazylady

    crazylady Newbie

    I'm not responding, but I am hoping someone answers.  This is the reason I went on find out if I can cook the day before, but was also worried about it drying out when I put it back in the slow cooker for the big appetizer family christmas party.  I am making sliders out of them. Do I add water to it? or do I make extra sauce and pour more over it on the actual day of.  And wondering how long it would take to warm it back up.  I have a 6 lb pork so I'd have to get up way too early to have it ready for our 3:00 pm event.

    Hoping someone has done this before and replies today.  I have to cook it tomorrow for the event on saturday.
  15. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    If you are making sliders, check out this method.  Works for me often.

    This was back in the day before I knew how to give a shout out to @SQWIB  for his Philly Style pulled pork.
  16. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You will be fine. You could add a little bit of drippings when reheating but not really needed. Just reheat on low or simmer in bag then transfer to crock pot to warm.

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