How To Reheat Pulled Pork Without Sacrificing The Original Flavor

Preparing pulled pork is pretty much a culinary masterpiece, and requires you to clock in many hours before you get it right.

That’s why a small amount of pulled pork is not a thing in our home – we make a huge batch, and then store it for future meals, instead. 

But if you want this to work, you have to know how to reheat pulled pork correctly, so that you get top-notch leftovers every time – with the smoky flavor and the soft texture still intact!

How To Reheat Pulled Pork: Barbara’s Go-To Methods

So, how to reheat pulled pork? Well, to answer that, I’ll walk you through my four go-to methods, plus one I don’t use, but you might find it helpful, nonetheless:

1. The Oven Method

When you have to reheat a massive portion of leftover pulled pork, there’s no better way to do it than using your oven!

You’ll need:

  • A baking tray or a lasagna pan
  • Tin foil
  • Leftover dripping sauce
  • Apple juice 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 225 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. While you’re waiting for the oven to reach the desired temperature, you can prepare the meat for reheating.
  2. Wrap the pulled pork in a double layer of tin foil, but before you close it, add half of the remaining dripping sauce, or a few ounces of apple juice – that way, you’ll compensate for some of the moisture loss.
  3. Now you can close the foil completely, place it on a baking tray, and put it in the oven. Alternatively, you can spread the pork evenly across the baking tray, mix in the dripping sauce, and cover the entire dish with tin foil. These are both viable options, although I think the first one helps retain a lot more moisture – and you know how important that is when it comes to pulled pork.
  4. You should leave the pulled pork in the oven for about 30 minutes – that should be enough for the meat to reach the temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re not sure, though, take the pork out of the oven and check the temperature using a meat thermometer

2. The Steamer Method

The steamer method is, by far, my favorite one on the list – it’s healthy, it leaves the meat juicy, and there’s no way to burn it by accident. Here’s how to reheat pulled pork using your steamer!

You’ll need:

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Here’s where it gets interesting – instead of using plain water, you can bring apple juice to a boil, and use it to steam the pulled pork, instead. If you want to preserve the original flavor, stick to water, but if you're going to add a hint of sweetness and soften the meat a bit, give apple juice a try!
  2. Now, place the steaming basket over the pot, and add the pulled pork. Don’t overfill it, though - steam needs to move freely between the pieces of meat!
  3. Cover the pot with a lid, and let the pork steam for approximately 30 minutes. For added moisture, slowly pour in the dripping sauce into the mixture, too.
  4. During that time, you might want to add more apple juice (or water) to the pot, but make sure you remove the pork first, so you don’t wash away the flavor.

If You Don’t Have The Best Food Steamer Yet, Check Five Of My Favorite Models Out Now

3. The Water Bath Method

If you ever cooked anything sous vide, you know the drill. If not, here’s how to reheat pulled pork with nothing more than a pot of boiling water. 

You’ll need:

  • A pot
  • A vacuum sealed bag
  • Leftover dripping sauce
  • Tongs 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. What I like to do is place the leftover pulled pork mixed with dripping sauce in a vacuum sealed bag before even putting it in the fridge. That way, when I want to reheat it, I don’t have to worry about the meat drying out or losing its original, smoky aroma. If you didn’t know this was a thing, don’t worry; I have an alternative solution waiting for you.
  2. Now, fill a pot with water, but make sure there’s enough to submerge the entire bag of pulled pork, and heat it up on the stove on a medium to high setting. The goal is to bring water to its boiling point and turn off the heat. 
  3. Place the vacuum sealed pork into the water, and leave it in for 30 to 60 minutes.

4. The Skillet Method

As long as you moisten the pulled pork before reheating, you can use the skillet without worrying about losing some of its original texture and taste.

You’ll need:

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Start by coating the skillet with nonstick cooking spray, and then add the leftover dripping sauce – it should cover at least two inches of the pan’s bottom, but ideally, it should be enough to cover the pulled pork. Bring it to a boil at a medium to high heat.
  2. Now, add the pulled pork, stir everything, and let it cook for three to five minutes.
  3. After you turn off the heat, you should cover the skillet, and let the meat sit for another five to seven minutes.

That’s it – now you’re ready to serve!

Additional tip:

​Add a splash of red wine to help freshen up the flavor of pulled pork.

Related Read: How To Reheat Steak?

There’s One More Thing You Can Try (Although I Don’t Recommend It)

I’m not that against reheating pulled pork in the microwave (although I’m not a huge fan of it) – John is the one who has a veto on giving grilled and smoked meats the microwave treatment.

However, I figured it’s better to give you some advice on how to reheat pulled pork the right way, rather than to let you ruin your leftovers by drying them out and making them stringy.

You’ll need:

  • A microwave-safe container
  • Paper towels or parchment paper
  • Leftover dripping sauce
  • A tiny amount of BBQ sauce or apple juice 

Here’s a tip:

Adding a small amount of apple juice or BBQ sauce before reheating will help avoid over-drying the meat.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Now, all you need to do is place the pulled pork in a microwave-safe dish, cover it with either parchment paper or paper towels, and put it in the microwave.
  2. Stick to a low or medium temperature setting, and microwave for one to two minutes at a time to preserve moisture.

Here’s The Best Compact Microwave You Can Use To Reheat Pulled Pork

Barbara’s Pro Tips For Reheating Pulled Pork

  • You know that sauce that drips while you’re cooking pulled pork? Don’t throw the dripping sauce away after you finish cooking. Store it in the fridge, and when it’s time for reheating, add it to the pulled pork for extra moisture. 
  • You should remove the thick layer of fat that will form on top with a spoon before you use it, though.
  • If you don’t have any dripping sauce, you can use some meat broth, instead.
  • Try adding some apple juice to pulled pork while you’re reheating it – it will tenderize the pork, plus it will add a certain something to the flavor. 

Final Thoughts

After you’ve spent many hours on getting the pulled pork to be just right, it would be a shame to ruin the leftovers by picking the wrong reheating method, right?

That’s why I hope this article helped you figure out how to reheat pulled pork the right way – without compromising its taste and juiciness.

Did you give one of these methods a try already? Did you like the outcome?

Feel free to leave a comment below! 🙂

Barbara Whitney
 

For the last 20 years, I’ve been cooking, preparing, researching, and gathering recipes, tools, and knowledge about food and the way we prepare it. Raising two lively boys and spoiling one great husband later, it’s safe to say that I’ve optimized my kitchen to deliver the best possible meal, no matter the occasion.

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