Reheating Pulled Pork help

Discussion in 'Pork' started by dockman, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. dockman

    dockman Smoking Fanatic

    I have a small group needing some food so I was thinking Pulled pork. My problem is I will not have time to do the pork on day of. Will it be ok to smoke pork a few days ahead of time, freeze it, and reheat when needed? If so, should I go ahead and pull it before freezing and how should I reheat it?
  2. so ms smoker

    so ms smoker Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

      defiantly  pull before freezing.  To reheat, place bags of pork I simmering/gently boiling water and bring back up to temp. Will taste like just-pulled!  Hoe the event turns out well.

  3. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    As stated , pull before freezing , but I usually reheat in a slow cooker. I don't have a vacuum food saver. Good luck with your party.
  4. dougmays

    dougmays Limited Mod Group Lead

    If you have a vacuum sealer that is the best, in my opinion! You bring the pork up to the temp and tenderness you want. Let it rest and cool for a few hours then pull it and put it in the vacuum seal bags...WITH the juices! very important step there. Then just boil the bag for 35-45 mins and when you open it it'll smell like its right out of the smoker!

    if you do not have a vacuum sealer you can do zip locks, again save teh juices in the bag and reheat in crockpot 

    If its only a couple days in between you shouldn't really need to freeze and then worry about properly thawing.

    good luck!
  5. brgbassmaster

    brgbassmaster Meat Mopper

    I usually smoke 2 days before hand. Shred the pork into my huge tupperware and then into the fridge until the day of. I reheat in the oven at 200 degrees and add finishing sauce when reheated.
  6. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    This method works well but do make sure that you use the bags that can be boiled. The thinner vac pac bags and zip lock bags can get very soft and burst if in boiling water for a time. The bags designed for sous vide are best for this.
    If you are going to store it unfrozen for several days before eating then chill it as quickly as possible when it comes out of the smoker. Reheating in foil in the oven at 200F also works well but if you have left it pulled and in the fridge for a couple of days then just make sure that it is thoroughly heated right through. If you are planning on using the cooking juices as a sauce then I would still freeze this even if it only storing for a couple of days.
  7. dockman

    dockman Smoking Fanatic

    Can I pulled it and freeze it in aluminum pans and reheat in same pan?
  8. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    X 2
  9. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I like to steam my pulled pork when reheating
  10. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    You can, but i wouldn't. Either vac seal and simmering (not boiling water) or crock pot or steam.  If you try to reheat in cambro pans ,you will have to really watch to keep it from drying out. If you add to much liquid you get pork mush. 

     You can reheat then transfer to pans for serving.
  11. denappy

    denappy Fire Starter

    x 3 - do this all the time with my pulled pork; we get several meals out of a couple butts.
  12. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    My wife does seem to like to cut open my vacuum bags and throw it into a pan to put on the stove. She does add a splash of water along with some BBQ sauce.
  13. I have done it that way. I have used half and half apple juice with a BBQ sauce. Heat in the oven with the aluminum lid on the disposable pan. I like to set my oven at 300 - 350 pre heated before I put it in. I want it out of the danger zone as quick as possible.

    From a safe food handling class I took they didn't recommend using a slow cooker for reheating. They said they don't get the meat through the danger zone fast enough. If I wanted to do a food both at a fair they won't let us use a crock pot or roaster pan to reheat. They said I could heat in the smoker then transfer to the roaster to keep warm. A friend wanted me to cook for his customer open house. Check out what I would need to do. Then he didn't do it.

    Maybe one of the food safety chefs will comment.
  14. dougmays

    dougmays Limited Mod Group Lead

    like the rest said you can but it could dry out quick or scorch on the bottom. Stir it often to heat it up quicker.
  15. maple sticks

    maple sticks Smoking Fanatic

    Pull it and put in chicken or turkey cooking bag with juice. Let bag spread out and lay some what flat when filled. Much easier to cool and reheat in microwave. No reason to remove from bag.
  16. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Many ways to reheat, but the temps are what is important.

    Need to go from >140 to 165 in under 2hrs. How you get there is up to you and what equipment you have available. My chices are as follows....
    1: sauté pan in small batches and placed in a crock pot for hot holding. I will add a bit of finishing sauce as I reheat it.
    2: in a pan covered with plastic wrap then foil and into an oven set at 300. After about an hour I will check it and stir it. This works well with the 2" deep hotel pans. I don't fill to the top. I will then continue the heat in the oven until the IT has reached 165. Add some finishing sauce as needed.
    3: boil in the bag. If you do this method you actually are simmering it, not boiling. Place a towel or something else in the bottom of the pan to keep the bags from directly making contact with the bottom of the pot. Remove carefully with tongs, check temp and toss with finishing sauce when at proper temp.
    4: small amounts in microwave on low. Usually when it is for just me.......

    I do not recommend using a crock pot. Some are very slow and take too long. Just my opinion, many use it and swear by it.

    Side note: the cooling times I mentioned are what I do. They are actually 2hrs shorter then what many HACCP programs and what the State Of Florida asks for. They are >140 to
  17. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Don't boil, you will be cooking the meat again!,

    Thaw and use a crock on the lowest setting to warm through, the meat is cooked already and is safe to be warmed.

    I personally wouldn't want the water over 160° and crocks at the lowest setting may be around 180°

    If using a crock, turn on the lowest setting.
  18. dockman

    dockman Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks for all the feedback. Freezer bags and hot water are out I have 40 lbs and will have to use the smoker on location to reheat.
  19. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Then I would go with steamer pans.

    For large events I will use a steamer pan setup.

    Add hot water to the water pan, light 1 sterno, I usually only light one sterno canister for a dual setup.

    plastic wrap/foil the pan after adding the meat and finishing sauce, warm in the oven at 200° then place back on the steamer pan 

  20. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If using the smoker to reheat, bring smoker up to 250 - 300, put the PP in aluminum half pans, spritz with some apple juice from a spray bottle or add some finishing sauce, cover with aluminum foil and heat for about an hour.  Have a probe handy to check temps.   Once the PP is up to 165ish, dial the smoker temp down to hold.

    Things to be careful of:   While you want some liquid in the pans to keep PP from drying out, you don't want to drown the pork.   Additionally, you don't want to steam the living heck out of the pork either, as it will turn it to mush.

    With all that said, what is your actual schedule for that day ?  Reason I ask is that if you might be able to reheat the pork at home then hold it in a cooler until you get onsite.

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