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How to Reheat Pulled Pork

By Luna Regina | Updated
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Looking for more info on how to reheat pulled pork? We’ve got you covered!

Pulled pork is one of those plenteous recipes that you almost always make more than you can finish. By having the right reheating techniques available, you can salvage the leftovers and turn them into second meals in an hour, tops.

Here are four reheating methods to try out.

The Best Ways to Reheat Pulled Pork

You can reheat pulled pork in the oven, in a Crock-Pot, on the stove, or in a microwave. We will discuss the pros and cons of each method below, in addition to guiding you through the process.

1. How to Reheat Pulled Pork in the Oven

This is arguably the best way to reheat pulled pork.

The Best Ways to Reheat Pulled Pork

The biggest reason is that, in comparison to other heating appliances, the oven has a gentler and more stable heat. Your pulled pork will warm up more evenly thanks to the better heat distribution and heating efficiency.

No more dealing with pork that’s oddly cold in some spots but scorching hot in others!

Step 1: Preheat the Oven

Turn your oven’s temperature dial to 250°F and give it about 10 to 15 minutes to preheat.

Step 2: Prepare the Pulled Pork for the Oven

While the oven is doing its thing, turn your attention to the leftover pulled pork.

Bring out a baking dish and put the pork in. If you have any leftover gravy or meat juices, pour them over the meat. Alternatively, if you don’t have gravy or juices, you can substitute them with broth or BBQ sauce.

The extra liquid will keep the pork from drying out too much while it’s cooking. It will give the meat a flavor boost, too.

Cover up the dish tightly with aluminum foil once you’re done.

Step 3: Bake the Pork

Once the oven has finished preheating, put the baking dish on the middle rack of the oven.

Cooking time will depend on the amount of pulled pork you’re trying to reheat. The more there is inside of the dish, the longer it’s going to take. As such, you will have to be flexible.

Bake for 15 minutes first, then pause the oven. Check on the pork to see whether it has reached the correct temperature (165°F) using a thermometer.

If it hasn’t, return the pork to the oven and bake for an extra 15 minutes.

It should be adequately warm by the time it hits the 30 minutes mark. Nevertheless, it’s still good practice to check the meat’s internal temperature again with your thermometer before you serve.

According to the USDA, the minimum “safe” serving temperature of meat is 165°F.

Step 4: Mix Up and Serve

Take the pork out of the oven and mix it up for one last time before serving.

Can I Reheat Anything Else With This Method?

The oven’s stable heat makes it incredibly useful as a food warmer. As well as pulled pork, it can be used to reheat a whole range of recipes.

You can reheat pizza in the oven, one of the most common foods out there that end up as leftovers.

Other Italian foods can be re-baked in the oven, too. Here is how you can reheat lasagna with your oven (and while we’re at it, how to reheat pasta in general).

Common recipes can also be reheated excellently in the oven in addition to Italian recipes. We have previously discussed how to reheat rotisserie chicken, as well as the best ways to reheat prime rib (one of which is, of course, the oven).

2. In the Crock-Pot (Slow Cooker)

If you have smoked pulled pork, the best way to reheat it is to slow cook in a Crock-Pot (otherwise known as a “slow cooker”).

As its name suggests, a Crock-Pot is going to take quite some time to finish cooking. You will have to leave it for anywhere between 2 to 4 hours before you can serve.

Nonetheless, the result is well worth the time spent. Pulled pork that’s reheated using a Crock-Pot is incredibly tender and flavorful. The long cooking time allows the meat to be heated all the way through.

If you want your pulled pork to be juicy, the good news is that a Crock-Pot can preserve the meat’s moisture quite well. It won’t leave the meat dry and chewy.

How to Reheat Pulled Pork in the Crock Pot

Step 1: Add the Pulled Pork and Liquid

Put the pulled pork into the Crock-Pot’s cooking chamber. Then, add liquid.

Once again, we highly recommend using the leftover juices from when you first cooked the pulled pork. However, if it’s unavailable, you can use broth or BBQ sauce instead.

Whatever your choice is, you shouldn’t cook it without liquid as this will cause it to turn excessively dry. 

Step 2: Turn On Your Crock Pot

Power on the Crock-Pot and tune it to Warm mode. All Crock-Pot models on the market have this feature.

Set the timer for 2 to 4 hours, depending on the amount of pulled pork you have. 

Step 3: Serve

After the allotted time, check on the meat and see if it has reached temperature with a thermometer. It should read around 165°F.

Transfer the pork out of the Crock-Pot and serve.

Can I Reheat Anything Else With This Method?

Slow cooking is a good way to reheat recipes that require tenderness.

You can try out this guide on how to reheat brisket from the HealthyRecipes101 team if you’re interested! The process is quite similar to the one above and will give you just as great a result.

3. On the Stove (Sous Vide)

“Reheating on the stove” is sort of a misnomer. There are many different approaches you can use for this method.

For example, you can reheat pulled pork with a Dutch oven on the stove. It is similar to reheating the pork in the oven, but only slightly quicker.

You also have the option to reheat using a pan. Simply add the pulled pork along with some liquid, then cook until it’s sufficiently warm.

For this guide, we’ll show you how to reheat using the sous vide method. It basically involves “re-cooking” the pork in a pot of hot water.

The advantage of sous vide compared to other cooking methods is that it isn’t hands-on. You can dip the pork into the water, then leave it there by itself for around 45 minutes. By the time you return, the pork will be ready for serving.

How to Reheat Pulled Pork on the Stove

Step 1: Heat Up a Pot of Water

Bring out a large pot and fill it with water. Put it on the stove and heat.

Use a thermometer to check the water temperature. Cut off the stove when it reaches around 165°F.

The stove is simply there to heat up the water. Do not leave it on.

Step 2: Package the Pork

While the water pot is heating up, put the pulled pork into a plastic bag. If you have a vacuum sealer at home, seal it up. Vacuum sealing will ensure that the meat within is going to be evenly cooked.

For those who don’t have a vacuum sealer, squeezing the air out of the bag will be sufficient.

Seal up the top of the bag, but leave one corner open.

Then, squeeze the bag to push out as much air as you can. Secure the open corner to make the bag airtight.

Make sure that the bag is completely tight before you proceed. You don’t want water to infiltrate the bag and mess up your pork.

Step 3: Dip the Bag

Slowly lower the sealed bag of pulled pork into the hot water. Let it sit there for 45 minutes. If the pulled pork is still cold or frozen, it may take longer (an extra 30 or so minutes).

The great thing is that there’s no chance that you would overcook the meat using this method. Your pork will heat up until it is equal to the water temperature. That’s why you should boil the water to at least 165°F. The meat will heat up to that point and go no further.

This is also the reason why you can leave the sous vide pot unattended.

Step 4: Check the Temperature and Serve

Use a thermometer to make sure that the meat is sufficiently warmed up (at least 165°F).

Fish the bag out of the water, unseal, and release it onto a plate. Drizzle with juices, gravy, or broth to improve flavor if desired.

Serve straight away!

Can I Reheat Anything Else With This Method?

You can count on the stove to reheat anything so long as you use it with the right cooking utensil. Options are plentiful, ranging from Dutch ovens to your average pots and pans.

Here is how to reheat steak on a skillet, which — if done correctly — can give you a cut of high-quality reheated steak.

Similarly to pulled pork, you can boil a pot of water on the stove and use it to reheat. This approach is used in our guides on reheating corn on the cob and reheating crab legs.

4. In the Microwave

Last but not least, there’s reheating in the microwave. You should only resort to the microwave when you cannot use any of the reheating methods above.

The problem with the microwave is that it can dry out food very quickly. Its intense heat can vaporize water molecules on the meat in an instant. No matter how you do it, microwaved pulled pork is always going to end up quite dry and rubbery.

You may be able to minimize drying, but it’s not possible to prevent it completely.

How to Reheat Pulled Pork in the Microwave

Step 1: Prepare the Pulled Pork for the Microwave

Put the pulled pork onto a microwave-safe dish. Then, splash some liquid onto it. We recommend using leftover juices, but broth or BBQ sauces will do, too.

Do not attempt to dry it without added liquid or your meat is going to turn bone dry. The liquid is critical for keeping the pulled pork moist.

Step 2: Zap in the Microwave

Insert the plate into the microwave and heat on medium-high (70% power) for 1 minute.

Check on the meat afterward with a thermometer to see if it has reached 165°F. If it hasn’t, continue heating in 30-second bursts until it does.

Step 3: Serve

Take out of the microwave and serve right away.

Can I Reheat Anything Else With This Method?

You probably already know just how versatile the microwave can be. Sure, it may not be the best way to reheat food, but it does the trick when you need a meal in a pinch. Not to mention the fact that you can throw just about anything in and it will warm it up for you in a few minutes.

Although it isn’t the top recommendation, simple dishes like fries can be reheated in the microwave without too many problems. The microwave is also a popular way to reheat mashed potatoes.

If you don’t mind the tad dryness, you can try zapping more serious recipes in the microwave, too. We have reheated fried chicken in the microwave for a relatively decent result. It can be used to reheat chicken wings to a satisfactory temperature, as well.

Heat-sensitive foods and recipes can be rewarmed with the oven.

A good example includes reheating rice (which has a water composition of up to 60%). The second example is reheating salmon, a type of meat that can dry out very easily if you’re not careful.

Conclusion

Now that you have learned the theories of how to reheat pulled pork, it should be easy to apply it in your kitchen. Compared to many other recipes, pulled pork isn’t a very challenging dish to reheat. We’re confident that you will be able to pull it off on the first try.

Share your result in the comments. We’d love to see how it goes!

Luna Regina

A writer and entrepreneur, Luna’s day doesn’t start at the computer keyboard, but in the kitchen. Half of her working hours are spent on mixing ingredients for her recipes. The other half involve working with the tech team to research and test the tools and appliances that promise to make kitchen work effortless and mess-free. From a kitchen knife or water filter to the Instant Pot, if it can help save time and effort for the home cook, Luna and her team are on it. Luna’s extracurricular pastimes include camping, travel, and photography.

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