How To Reheat Pulled Pork (Without Drying It Out)

Are you looking for the best way to reheat pulled pork? 

You’re in the right place!

In this TheGrillingDad.com guide, you’ll learn:

  • Step-by-step instructions for reheating leftover pulled pork
  • How to keep it from drying out
  • Best ways to store your pork
  • And much more!
best way to reheat pulled pork

Pulled pork leaves a lasting impression on your palette that makes you crave another serving.

We can enjoy pork at the peak of its flavor and tenderness if it is fresh off the grill.

As leftover meat, its quality can drop faster than you can say “pork shoulder.”

Reheating pulled pork improperly can turn tender meat into a workout for your jaw muscles and leave a bad taste in your mouth.

You deserve pulled pork that is reheated to perfection.

To learn more about the different ways you can achieve the same perfect pulled pork flavor and tenderness on round 2, keep reading! 

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What Is The Best Way To Store Shredded Pork?

Vacuum Pack

We’ve found that the best way to store your leftover pulled pork is with a vacuum pack.

Pork dries up easily whilst in the deep freeze or fridge.

If you value the texture and tenderness of the pork, it is best to cut it up and store it in vacuum packs.

Aluminum Foil

So, can’t you just wrap it in aluminum foil? Well, sure you can!

We wouldn’t recommend leaving it for a long time in the fridge if you’re wrapping it in heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Only resort to aluminum foil if you know you’ll reheat your pulled pork within 3 days.

Plastic Container

Putting your pulled pork in plastic containers is also not a bad idea.

Here’s the catch: don’t reheat it while it’s in the container.

Plastic containers, even the ones that are BPA-free, can warp and melt under high heat.

This can leave irradiated plastic in your pork, which can be carcinogenic.

How Long Does Pulled Pork Last In The Fridge?

As mentioned earlier, you can still refrigerate cooked pulled pork.

However, be aware that keeping it much longer than the recommended time can lead to reductions in the meat’s quality.

For pulled pork, you can keep it safely in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. Keeping it in the refrigerator longer than that can lead to spoiled meat.

The temperature also has to be kept below 40 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent bacterial growth and maintain shelf life.

reheating pulled pork fact

How To Reheat Pulled Pork In The Oven (The Best Way)

  1. Preheat the oven to 250ºF.
  2. Place the pulled pork into a baking dish with leftover juices (or apple juice) to keep it moist.
  3. Bake until the pulled pork reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF (about 30 minutes). 
  4. Mix the pulled pork to evenly distribute all of the juices.
  5. Add more BBQ sauce and serve.  

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 250ºF

Warming up your BBQ pulled pork at 250 degrees Fahrenheit allows it to warm up nice and slow. 

This is one of the reasons it won’t be dried out when it’s done, so keep the heat low to keep it juicy.

Step 2: Put The Pulled Pork Into A Baking Dish With Leftover Juices (Or Apple Juice) To Keep It Moist

We’re going low and slow to retain moisture, so adding a bit more juice when putting the meat into the baking dish will help as well.

If you have leftover juices from the original smoking session, add that. 

If not, you can add a bit of apple juice for a nice, sweet taste.

Careful not to add too much, though, you don’t want soggy meat either. 

Step 3: Bake Until The Pulled Pork Reaches An Internal Temperature of 165ºF (about 30 minutes)

You’ll keep your leftovers in the oven for about 30 minutes.

By then, it should be close to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the safe temperature for eating pork.

If you have a meat thermometer, great! Use it to ensure you’re safe. 

If not, the meat will begin to steam around this temp as well, which is a nice indicator that it’s ready to eat…again!

Step 4: Mix The Pulled Pork To Evenly Distribute All Of The Juices

Depending on how much you stuffed into the baking dish, you may need to mix quite a bit or not much at all. 

The goal is to make sure all of the pork is getting some of the extra juices so it doesn’t dry out. 

Step 5: Add More BBQ Sauce And Serve

If you’re a sauce person like me, now is the time to add more sauce to the meat. 

Grab your favorite barbecue sauce and it’s time to eat!

leftover pulled pork meal

3 Steps To Reheating Pulled Pork Sous Vide Style

The sous vide technique is a great reheating method. It involves letting meat inside a vacuum plastic pack sit in boiling water.

To reheat pulled pork in boiling water, you should have already stored it in a vacuum pack.

Most vacuum packs today do not melt in the water, so don’t sweat the cancer-causing stuff.

Reheating your pulled pork sous vide style involves:

  1. Heating water to 170 degrees F
  2. Leaving the pulled pork in the water while it’s in the vacuum pack
  3. Safely taking the pork out of the bag

Step #1: Heat the Water to 170 F

The USDA recommends anything above 160 degrees for red meat like pork, so start by heating water in a pot to at least 170 degrees.

You can go higher, but 170 degrees is a safe temperature, enough to heat your pulled pork.

Step #2: Take Your Vacuum Packed Pulled Pork and Place It Into the Pot

You may be wondering what effect this has on the pork that’s inside the pack.

Basically, the pulled pork inside your pack is heated by the vacuum created by the boiling hot water and the pack.

This allows your pulled pork to retain much of the texture and flavor it had when you grilled or smoked it.

For the best results, leave your pulled pork in the water for at least half an hour.

The cool thing about the sous vide method is that you can heat your pulled pork even after you’ve frozen it.

To reheat frozen grilled pulled pork sous-vide style, leave it in the pot for at least 45 minutes.

Step #3: Safely Pour the Pork Out of the Bag

Once you’ve taken out the bag, leave it for a few minutes. After that, slowly open the vacuum pack and pour the reheated pulled pork onto a plate.

You’ll notice to your delight that the pulled pork is still moist and tender. You’ll also find that it tastes nearly as good as it did fresh off the grill!

Read More >> Top 3 Best Woods For Smoking Pulled Pork (2021 Review)

7 Easy Steps For Grilling Leftover Pulled Pork

On the other hand, you might also want to grill your pulled pork…again.

We get it. Nothing beats the smokey flavor a controlled flame brings to meat, let alone pulled pork.

And, even if you’re reheating, grilling is a great way to prepare pulled pork too!

If you froze your leftover pork, you’ll want to thaw it first. To re-grill pulled pork, follow these simple steps:

  1. Thaw your pulled pork
  2. Prepare a two-zone area on your grill
  3. Wrap your pulled pork in foil
  4. Add a cup of water to the pulled pork
  5. Wait for the “hot” zone to reach 170 degrees
  6. Leave the meat on the “cool side” while it’s in the foil
  7. Once the temperature reaches 170 degrees, place your pulled pork directly on the “hot” side of the grill

Step 1: Thaw the Pulled Pork

Grilling requires that your meat isn’t frozen.

So, before you throw your leftover pulled pork into the grill, make sure you’ve thawed it to the point where it’s soft to the touch.

Step 2: Keep Charcoal or Open Flame to Just One Side of the Grill

The best way to reheat pulled pork on a grill is by using the two-zone method.

The two-zone method requires a grill to have a cool and hot side.

Needless to say, keeping the charcoal or open flames to one side prepares the hot side.

Step 3: Wrap Your Leftover Pork in Foil

Take your meat out of the vacuum pack and wrap your pulled pork in foil.

Once you’ve done that, you can add a bit of barbecue sauce along with some water.

Step 4: Add Some Water

Grilling has a way of drying out beef, chicken, and pork.

This is why it isn’t a bad idea to add some water to your pulled pork.

We’ve found that 1 cup of water works best.

Step 5: Wait for the Hot Zone To Reach 170 Degrees

You’ll need a grilling thermometer for this.

Your hot zone should be at least 170 degrees to grill your pulled pork evenly.

Step 6: Leave Your Foiled Pulled Pork on the “Cool Side”

In the meantime, place your pulled pork on the cool side.

While the hot side of the grill heats up to 170 degrees, conduction allows the “cool” side to indirectly heat the foil where your pulled pork is.

Step 7: Once the Temperature on the Hot Side Reaches 170 Degrees, Place the Pulled Pork There

When you’ve seen the temperature go up to 170°F, you can finally place the pork on the hot side. Still, grill while the pork is in the foil.

Grill the pork for about 20 to 45 minutes, then serve.

Read More >> How To Smoke Pulled Pork (5 Easy Steps)

How to Reheat Shredded Pork by Microwaving It (3 Easy Steps)

Microwaving pulled pork can be a way to reheat it.

However, be warned, microwaving pulled pork can cause it to dry out.

Microwaving successfully is a matter of preserving the tenderness and moisture of your leftover pulled pork.

All you need to do are the following:

  1. Place the pork in a microwave-safe container
  2. Add some marinade or sauce if you have any
  3. Reheat the meat at the right temperature

Step #1: Place the Pork in a Microwave-Safe Container

In our opinion, it isn’t a good idea to microwave your pulled pork while it’s still in the vacuum pack.

You’ll need to transfer it into a microwave-friendly one like a BPA-free container or better yet, Pyrex.

Step #2: Add Some Sauce

Again, microwaves can dry meat, including pulled pork.

To prevent this from happening, pour some sauce or your leftover marinade on the meat.

This not only adds moisture but flavor, too.

Step #3: Reheat the Meat at the Right Temperature

At a low to medium setting, your microwave should be able to heat your pulled pork to the USDA’s recommended temperature (165ºF).

Usually, you only need about 5 to 10 minutes.

Once you’re done, you have the choice to add more sauce depending on your preferences.

How Long Does It Take To Reheat Pulled Pork In The Oven?

If you plan to reheat your pulled pork in the oven at 250ºF, it should take about 30 minutes to reach a safe internal temperature. You should pull the pork out of the oven and use a meat thermometer to be sure it’s done. 

How Do You Keep Pulled Pork Moist When Reheating?

To keep your pulled pork moist when reheating it, place the shredded pork into a baking dish and add a mixture of apple juice and BBQ sauce. 

Let it stay in the oven for about 30 minutes at 250ºF. 

Final Thoughts on Leftover Pork

There’s a variety of ways to reheat pulled pork. You’ll find that it also doesn’t take as long as reheating beef.

Follow the steps we’ve included here and you’ll be on your way to reheated pulled pork that is tender and scrumptious!

Drop a comment below and let us know how yours turned out!

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Shawn Hill

Shawn Hill

Hey, I'm Shawn and I run this site. With a wife and 7 kids, I get most of my grilling practice from feeding my own family. I'm here to help you learn more about grilling, smoking, and backyard BBQ! With almost a decade of manning the grill and helping over 25,000 aspiring grill masters, you're in great hands! I've tried just about every type of grill, accessory, and gadget you can imagine. Because of that, I am here to help guide you to the best of the best and help you save time and money by avoiding the junk.

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