How to Reheat Pulled Pork (To Ensure Your Leftovers are Juicy and Moist!)

At the end of every pulled pork recipe or article I read, they always tell me to make pulled pork than necessary.

All of these articles constantly rave on about how great and useful leftover pulled pork can be.

I always see the line “It’s quick and easy to make leftover pulled pork sandwiches!”

However, these articles never talk about how awful and dry leftover pulled pork can be.

But I finally figured out to properly reheat it! So my pulled pork can still be amazing even if it wasn’t cooked on that day.

So want to know my secrets to prevent dry meat and reheat your pulled pork leftovers like a true pit boss? Let’s go

Pulled pork that I reheated in the slow cooker then transfered to a serving tray for lunch

Want my top technique to reheating pulled pork without drying it out?

Well, the biggest way to avoid the dreaded dry-out is to actually not shred your piece of meat until you’re ready to eat it.  

For example, you can cook your pork butt or any other pieces of meat in advance but hold off on shredding it until you’re ready to serve and eat the pulled pork. Storing leftover pork as a whole — or even as chunks of meat — will prevent moisture loss.

Remember, you can always add additional moisture back into your meat during the reheating process. But knowing how to store your pork in the first place will help keep your meat moist.

I like to make leftover pulled pork tacos out of our leftover meat. Once you add all the delcious toppings and hot sauce your taste buds will on fire!

Want to Know What Temp You Should Cook Your Pork for Pulling?

If your making pulled pork, you should aim to pull your meat at an internal temperature of 204°F. This will have allowed time for the connective tissue to break down. That’s mean the meat should just fall apart when you shred it.

Cooked too Much Pulled Pork? Here’s How to Store it

Overestimated how much-pulled pork to serve? and you’re left with a lot of already shredded pork, then I’ll teach you how I store it.

The first thing you should avoid is storing the pork in plastic containers.
First of all, these containers take up way too much space in the fridge or freezer, and they don’t trap moisture properly. Sure, airtight containers or airtight freezer containers are viable options. But they’re still not perfect when it comes to keeping your meat juicy in a drying and cold environment.

Instead, you should keep leftover pulled pork in a vacuum-sealed bag. These have a truly air-tight seal that will prevent any sort of moisture from escaping. Vacuum sealing pulled pork will lock in the freshness of the meat, and stop it from drying out. 

If you don’t already own a food vacuum sealer, we highly recommend that you get one. Ive seen a fair few of around that cost less than $100. If you’re going to spend all that money on the meat you might store it so it’s edible! So, bottom line if you’re tired of dealing with dry leftover meat, then you should really vacuum seal it.

Reheating your Pulled Pork – My 6 Simple Ways

With that being said, not everyone will store their pulled pork by vacuum sealing it.

Don’t worry.

No matter how you store your shredded meat, we have six simple ways to heat it up so that you’re still left with moist meat that’s pleasant to eat.

Keep on reading to learn about my reheating methods.

1. How to Reheat Pulled Pork on the Grill

Never place the pulled pork directly on the grill and hope for the best. This sort of direct heat will completely dry out the meat, and it will not be nice to eat.

When it comes to reheating pulled pork on a grill, you should always use the 2-zone indirect cooking method. 

This indirect heat method can be done on both gas grills as well as charcoal grills. If you’re using a gas grill, only light up half of the burners. And if you’re using a charcoal grill, sort the lit charcoals so that it’s all placed on one side of the grill.

  1. Turn up the heat until the indirect part of the grill reaches temperatures of approximately 225℉.
  2. If you’ve frozen your pulled pork, thaw it out. Then wrap it in two layers of foil. You can pour barbecue sauce, or any other leftover sauce onto the meat to give it some extra flavor. It’s also important to add 2 fluid ounces of water to the meat as well before you close up the foil.
  3. Put the foil package on the indirect heat side of the grill. 
  4. Take the pulled pork off once the internal temperature of the meat reaches about 165℉. We recommend using a meat thermometer for this step.
  5. Next, transfer the pulled pork from the foil to a pan. 
  6. Place the pan on the direct heat side of the grill for around one to two minutes. This will improve the texture of the pulled pork.
  7. Next, pour any of the leftover BBQ sauce or leftover dripping sauce from the foil package onto the pulled pork. Now, it’s ready to serve!

2. How to Reheat Pulled Pork with a Sous Vide

This method is perfect if you’ve stored your leftover pulled pork in a vacuum-sealed bag.

While the ‘sous vide’ method may sound extremely difficult because of its name, it’s really quite easy to do. All it involves is dipping the vacuum sealed bag in hot water — think of it as a hot water bath.

If you don’t have a sous vide machine, you can easily use a large enough stovetop pot.

  1. Start by making sure that the water in the sous vide machine or pot has a temperature of approximately 165℉.
  2. Insert the vacuum sealed bag into the water.
  3. The soaking time completely depends on the thickness of the meat. We’d suggest allocating around 45 mins per inch. Therefore, if the thickness measures up to 2 inches, leave it to soak for an hour and a half.
  4. When you pull the bag out, the meat is ready to serve as is. You can add any extra barbecue sauce or some other kind of finishing sauce if you wish. The brilliant thing about storing meat in a vacuum sealed bag is that it doesn’t lose any moisture while it’s sitting in the fridge or freezer.

3. Reheating your Pulled Pork in the Microwave

If you’re short on time, or you only have a microwave, you can totally use this method to reheat your pulled pork.

Well, it’s not my top method, it still works well!

It is best to use a ceramic or microwavable glass container. Especially if you aren’t sure if you’ve got a safe microwavable plastic container.

  1. Place the pulled pork in a microwavable container and put it in the microwave. Set to medium-low heat and cook for one minute at a time.
  2. Repeat this process until the internal temperature of the pulled pork is at 165℉.
  3. If the meat is drying out, add some leftover sauce or a little bit of water before placing it back in the microwave.
My pulled pork came out pretty good after heating it in the mircowave

4. Using Your Oven to Reheat Your Pork

This method is perfect for people who like to set a timer and just leave their food to alone until they hear the timer ring. This method isn’t for me, I like to closely monitor my meat.

One thing I do like about reheating pulled pork in the oven also ensures that there’s an even distribution of heat.

  1. Set the oven temperature to 250℉ and leave it to preheat.
  2. Place the leftover pulled pork in a ceramic container, drizzle on any leftover juices and cover it with a lid or foil.
  3. Leave it to bake in the oven until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165℉.
  4. Take it out of the oven. Separate some of the meat with a fork and add some sauce over it. Now it’s ready to serve.

5. Using a Slow Cooker to Reheat Pulled Pork

If you have a couple of hours on hand, then you can use a slow cooker to reheat your pulled pork. You might think that allocating a couple of hours for reheating may seem a little extreme.

But using a slow cooker to prepare leftover pulled pork will result in tasty and juicy meat.

  1. Place the leftover pulled pork in your slow cooker.
  2. Pour any suitable sauce on top of the shredded meat.
  3. Set your slow cooker to the warm setting.
  4. Leave it alone for around two to four hours.
  5. Check to make sure that the internal temperature of the meat is around 165℉ before you serve it.

6. Steaming Your Pulled Pork

It is important that you save any leftover sauce with your pulled pork if you plan on steaming it when you reheat it.

For this method, you’ll need some apple juice, a stove pot, and a steaming basket.

  1. Drizzle some BBQ sauce or a little bit of apple juice on your leftover pulled pork.
  2. Pour some apple juice into a pot and bring it to a boil on the stove.
  3. Put the leftover shredded meat into a metal or bamboo steaming basket, and place it over the pot.
  4. Leave it to steam for approximately half an hour.
  5. The meat is ready to serve when its internal temperature reads around 165℉ on the meat thermometer.

So Which is The Best Way to Reheat Pulled Pork?

 All of these methods are great. No matter which one you go with, you’ll be left with pulled pork that won’t even taste like their leftovers.

If you’re short on time and equipment, then we would definitely recommend the microwave method. 

But if you are able to fit it into your schedule, then we would highly suggest going with the slow cooker method.

This will leave you with the juiciest leftover pulled pork you have ever tried. 

How Many Times Can Pulled Pork be Reheated?

While there is no definitive answer on this, I don’t ever do one then more than once.

Not only does heating meat up several times decrease its quality, but it can also promote bacterial growth.

Hence, you should strive to only reheat any type of meat once. If you know you won’t be able to finish all of the leftover meat, then only reheat a small section and leave the rest in the fridge or freezer.

My Favorites Ways to use Leftover Pulled Pork

We hope that you’ve learned some new methods of reheating leftover pulled pork in this article and have found it to be helpful.

And if you’re struggling to figure out what you should do with leftover pulled pork, we’ve got some ideas! Here are some of our favorite ways to serve up delicious that shredded meat:

What’s your fav way to use leftover pulled pork?

Smoke on!

Charlie 🙂

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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