Pulled pork is a delicious lunch that is probably loved by all members of your family. However, cooking involves a lot of time and effort to get soft and juicy pork. So, why not intentionally prepare more than you need for one meal and provide yourself with a simply prepared delicacy the next day.
You just need to learn how to heat up leftover pulled pork without it becoming dry and inedible. There are two proven methods that always bring good results. Oven or sous-vide techniques are our choices for tender, juicy, and delicious meat but there are other ways for reheating leftover pulled pork.
Reheating Pulled Pork In An Oven
The best way is to choose a slow heating pulled pork in the oven. Pull pork is often prepared in a slow cooker because too-high temperatures are inadequate. The oven method is actually extremely simple and will provide you with a delicious and juicy meal that the whole family will enjoy. This way, reheated pulled pork will be almost as freshly cooked.
Step 1: Preheat the Oven to 225 °F
The heating temperature really needs to be lower. You don’t want to burn such fine meat with high heat and get chewy pieces. So set the oven temperature to 225 degrees F and let it heat up.
Step 2: Place the Pork in a Dish and Add Liquid
Put the pork in a fireproof dish and replace the fluid that was lost. You can add BBQ sauce, broth, apple juice or leftover juices. It is important to restore the moisture to the pulled pork leftovers.
Step 3: Cover the Pan with Foil and Set to Bake
Cover the baking dish well with aluminum foil to keep the moisture inside. Bake for about 20 minutes. The meat should reach a temperature of 165 degrees, which will mean it is well and adequately heated. You can use a meat thermometer to check the temperature.
Just before the end of the baking process, remove the foil and place the meat in the oven for a few minutes more to make the crust crispy.
Heating Pulled Pork Using The Sous Vide Method
Everything sounds so romantic when it is said in French, doesn’t it? Sous Vide actually means under vacuum. It’s not some wisdom once you translate the words, but you can brag a bit in front of your friends when they come to dinner. Here’s how this French warm-up for leftover pulled pork works.
Step 1: Prepare Hot Water in a Larger Pot
There is actually sous vide machine, so if you got one, use it of course. However, you can also improvise with an ordinary pot of water. Fill a larger container with water and place it on the stove to warm up. The water should not boil but heat well, to 165 degrees.
Step 2: Put the Pork in a Bag and Vacuum Seal
Place the cooked pulled pork in a vacuum sealed bag. Seal everything well, so water cannot enter the container while cooking. It won’t be good if your bag isn’t tightly closed or has a hole because the water will mix with the meat, and you’ll get a bumpy lump of something that used to be great meat.
In this case, you don’t have to bother adding liquid to the meat, but if you want, you can add a little sauce for a better taste. And there you go. Your pulled pork sous vide is ready.
Step 3: Cook for about 40 Minutes
Leave the meat to heat in warm water for about 40 minutes. It all depends on how big or thick a piece of meat you have. If it is a larger piece, extend the warm-up time until you get the desired result.
Warming Up Pulled Pork In An Air Fryer
The Air Fryer is a reliable and fast method to reheat leftover pulled pork and is preferable to the microwave oven. But if we have to choose and if you have some extra time on hand, we would still recommend the classic oven method.
There are several challenges when it comes to heating with hot air in order to get juicy and not dried-out meat. Here are the steps you should follow.
Step 1: Preheat the Air Fryer to 320 °F
As you can see, the recommended temperature is significantly higher than that of a toaster oven. However, even in the case of an air fryer, you do not need to set the device to the maximum temperature.
Yes, you want quick heating but not burnt meat around the edges. Turn on the appliance to a medium temperature of 320 degrees and let it heat up.
Step 2: Prepare Pulled Pork
With pulled pork, it is possible for strips of meat to slip through the basket grates, which can create an unnecessary mess. It would be good to line the bottom of the fryer base with baking paper or aluminum foil or simply find a baking dish that fits the size of the appliance.
Put the leftover pork inside and add moisturizers if desired. This can be stock, apple juice or BBQ sauce, whichever you prefer to restore pulled pork moist. Stir to combine everything well.
Step 3: Cover the Pan with Foil and Set to Bake
Cooking time will be between 5 and 6 minutes. This is supposed to be enough time to heat the meat thoroughly.
However, check whether the internal temperature is satisfactory and whether, by chance, some parts have remained cooler. Use a meat thermometer if unsure. If necessary, return to the air fryer for an additional minute or two of heating.
Heating Up Pulled Pork On a Stovetop
We leave this method for last in case you don’t have an air fryer handy or time for an oven or cooking in water. If the choice is between a stove or a microwave, we definitely vote for the furnace.
So here are the steps for the best possible result, although we note that reheating in the skillet will change the taste of the leftover meat.
Step 1: Prepare The Skillet
Put the pan on the stove, add a spoonful of olive or other vegetable oil, and let it heat up to a medium-high temperature. It is better to have moderate heat than to have too hot oil.
Step 2: Insert the Pork Leftovers and Keep Adding the Liquid
You can certainly add barbecue sauce, broth, apple juice or simply liquid as desired. The trick is not to add too much juice at once but add it gradually as you notice that the meat is drying out. Be sure to stir lightly, so the pork does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
Cooking time will be between 10 and 15 minutes. That should be just enough time for the cold pork to heat up properly and give you juicy meat. It depends on how much pulled pork you have. When it is well heated, serve immediately.
Pulled pork is indeed a delicacy, and it is a shame to throw it away after lunch. In fact, it is such delicious meat that you can intentionally make too much pulled pork and save it for later. However, the danger lies in good reheating because the meat often dries out and becomes impossible to chew.
Strictly follow the rules to heat the pulled pork—slowly and gradually as the meat remains soft and pliable. Also, if preheating in the oven, make sure to add the sauce to keep the juiciness of the meat. Now, your leftover pork will, with a little effort, be delicious again as if you had just prepared it. With the same methods, you can reheat frozen pulled pork.