Pulled pork is a signature American dish and has been a staple for almost every chef in the United States, especially in the Carolina states. The dish is made by slowly cooking a large piece of pork at low temperatures, turning the tough meat into a tender and attractive delicacy.
Because the nature of cooking pulled pork is cooking large, tough pieces of meat, I usually end up with a lot of leftovers.
The problem with leftover pulled pork is that it just doesn’t last long without preservation and loses a lot of the tenderness when put in the refrigerator for long periods of time, sometimes feeling like a less tasty version of beef jerky. That is why I have spent a lot of time on the Web searching for reheating methods and adjust them with my experience.
If you are having trouble with left-over pulled pork, then this is the perfect place to start. The methods I have compiled below is sure to make your reheated dish as good as new. Now, let us tune in on how to reheat pulled pork.
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How to reheat pulled pork
- Moist the Meat: Because the signature feature of pulled pork is its tenderness and flavor abundance, they will be our main goals while reheating.
For the meat to retain its’ tenderness, you will need to moist it up with pulled pork drippings after your last meal with the dish. The upper fat layer will need to be scraped off before the drippings are suitable for reheating. Don’t be a worry if you have washed them all away, though, as there are many alternatives such as apple juice of broth. Some BBQ sauce can also be added for more flavor.
- Care about the Temperature: All of the reheating methods will require a somewhat precise cooking temperature, so a cooking thermometer is never redundant if you want everything to be perfect.
- Have Right Preservation of Pork: You will also need safely preserved pulled pork, of course, remember always to place meat in a sealed container when putting them in your fridge. Whatever juice you have available for reheating, always make sure to mix them with your meat and let the combination freeze before reheating.
As for the methods, I have compiled the best three, with varying degrees of complexity.
Method 1: Using a crock pot
This is the method to go to if you don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen. A good crock pot will do all the heavy lifting for you as it is capable of maintaining low heat for long periods of time, though it will take quite a while.
Step 1: Set the Temperature
Once you have put the meat and juice combination into the pot, set the temperature at “warm” or “low” settings. The pot should be turned on until the meat has reached an internal temperature of around 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2: Serve the Dish
After about 2 to 4 hours, the pork should be done, and you can serve the dish as if it’s freshly made. Always make sure to protect your hands from touching the pot, as it can get quite hot after a long period of heating.
Personally, I think this is the method that best maintains the taste and tenderness of pulled pork. It takes a while, sure, but so does cooking fresh pulled pork.
Method 2: Using the oven
Step 1: Prepare the Oven
The oven is a much quicker alternative, but you will also have to join in on the cooking. The meat and juice combination may get a bit sticky on your oven tray, so I suggest covering it with aluminum foil or cooking spray.
Step 2: Set Time and Temperature
30 minutes in the oven at around 250 degrees Fahrenheit should be sufficient enough for the meat. During that time, however, you will have to keep an eye on the dish as well as occasionally stir it, so the pork is cooked evenly.
I find oven pulled pork slightly less tasty than the pot counterpart, but it is much faster, and if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, it is a suitable choice.
Method 3: Using the skillet
This method is unarguably the fastest, but it also requires a lot of work. The main difference from the other methods is that you will have to reheat the juice and the meat in two separate steps.
Step 1: Boil the Juice
First, you will have to boil the juice. Begin by adding some cooking spray to the skillet to prevent the juice from sticking. You should choose above one inch of juice counting from the bottom of the skillet. Heat the skillet on medium to high temperature.
Step 2: Add the Pulled Pork
Once you see bubbles, it means the juice has been boiled, and the next thing you need to do is adding the pulled pork. You will have to stir the pork quickly after that, so it is covered evenly in juice. Wait for about 5 minutes before you go to the next step.
Step 3: Turn off the Heat
Now, turn off the heat and cover the skillet, let the pork continue the reheating for around 5 to 10 minutes. The pork is ready to be served once it has, once again, reached the temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Your cooking skills will decide whether your skillet-reheated pork tastes like new, or like some old beef jerky. The first few times maybe a little tough, but what they always say, practice makes perfect!
I believe that is all you need for your left-over pork to be as tender and delicious as new. Pretty simple, right? Cooking fresh pulled pork is a task that requires a lot of time and work, but the dish’s attractiveness surely makes ups for it. Now that you have learned how to reheat pulled pork, I am sure you can save a lot of time while still being able to enjoy the delicacy that is pulled pork fully. Bon appétit!
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