If you’ve ever wondered how to freeze pulled pork, we’ve got you covered.
Learning that you can freeze pulled pork will transform how you view leftovers! We’ll show you the best way to do it.
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Is pulled pork one of your favorite meals?
If you enjoy preparing this moist, delicious meat that you can eat as an entree or add to your favorite bread to prepare a sandwich, you’re probably wondering if you can freeze the meat and save it for later.
Whether you use pork shoulder or pork butt, freezing pulled pork is a simple way to make it last longer while preventing it from going bad on you.
Whether you’re cooking ahead for an upcoming holiday or want to make the most of your leftovers, we’ll tell you everything you need to know.
Can You Freeze Pulled Pork?
You’ll be glad to know that, yes, it’s possible to freeze pulled pork. You have a few options when freezing the meat.
You can freeze it before you’ve added it to any of your favorite recipes, just as the meat. However, you can also freeze it after you’ve added different ingredients to it.
So, for example, you’re making a BBQ pulled pork, you can allow the leftovers to cool down before putting them in the freezer to save them for later. You can add the barbecue sauce prior to freezing, or afterward.
It’s not uncommon for people to make different variations of pulled pork in advance, freeze it, and then use it later when they want to make a meal with it.
If you know you’re going to have more pork than you’ll eat in a few days, you can also keep a big chunk of it intact and freeze that, instead of pulling it apart first.
It’s up to you!
Bonus: You can also freeze baked beans!
How Long Does Pulled Pork Last?
If you’ve made pulled pork and you’re putting it in the fridge, you can expect it to remain fresh for three to four days.
However, after that point, bacteria may grow and cause the food to spoil, making it inedible.
If you want it to last longer, the best solution is to put it in the freezer instead of the fridge.
The cooked meat will remain fresh and edible for up to three months when stored properly and kept at a cold temperature in the freezer.
Before using it, you’d need to remove it from the freezer, set it in the fridge, and allow it to thaw overnight.
Steps for Freezing Pulled Pork
If you want to freeze your pulled pork, the best way is to follow these simple steps to get the job done with ease:
- Cook your meat as you normally would, whether you’re preparing it in the oven, on the stove, or even in the slow cooker.
- Wait for your pulled pork to cool down completely. It can take some time for it to reach room temperature.
- Add your pork to an airtight container or large freezer bag that you can seal shut. If you have a vacuum sealer for food storage, you can use that as well to remove as much air as possible to reduce the risk of freezer burn.
- Because the freezing process can dry out meat, it’s a good idea to reserve any cooking juices and freeze the liquid separately, if possible. We want to retain as much moisture as possible!
- Remove any excess air from the bag if you decide to store the pulled pork in the freezer bag.
- Label your container or bag full of pulled pork so that you’ll know when you prepared it and place it in the freezer. Remember, it should stay fresh for up to three months when frozen.
Storing leftover pork is a simple, straightforward process, especially since pork freezes so well. Make sure that you have the proper storage containers or bags to use when putting your meat in the freezer.
If you’ve prepared large batches of pulled pork, you’ll likely need more than one container to use for food storage purposes. You don’t want to overfill your containers or food storage bags because that can cause a mess.
If you have a small portion, you won’t need as many containers.
How to Reheat Frozen Pulled Pork
Before reheating the pork, the first step is to thaw it out–this is the safest way, rather than cooking from frozen.
From there, you have a few different options for reheating the pork.
You can reheat the thawed pulled pork in the oven. Thaw the pork out in the fridge overnight before transferring the contents of your bag or container into a dish.
To reheat the pork in the oven, set your oven to 250F, transfer the pork and juices (or chicken broth, apple juice, or water) to a glass dish or roasting pan, cover with aluminum foil, and place on the middle rack of the oven. Allow the meat to reheat for around 25-35 minutes.
Be sure to check the oven periodically to give the meat a stir and to make sure it’s not burning.
You can check the internal temperature of the meat using a meat thermometer to ensure that it’s hot and ready to eat (at least 165F).
In addition to reheating the pulled pork in the oven, you also have the option of defrosting it in the fridge and then reheating it in the microwave, as long as you’ve transferred it to a microwave-safe container.
It’s only good to reheat the meat in the microwave if you’ve already seasoned it and added your sauces to it, otherwise it can dry out.
Stove Top Method
And, if you don’t like to reheat food in the microwave, feel free to place your thawed pulled pork in a large pot and reheat it over medium-low heat on the stove top.
You’ll want to add some of the cooking juices (or a bit of chicken stock) and stir every few minutes to get every piece as hot as you like before you serve it.
Slow Cooker Method
If you have a Crock Pot, you can use it to reheat your pork.
Add the thawed pork with a little bit of liquid, and let it cook on the warm setting for a couple of hours, stirring occasionally.
Instant Pot Method
You can also reheat pulled pork in the Instant Pot.
The steamy environment of the pressure cooker helps to keep the meat nice and moist.
This is one of my favorite ways to reheat it! I think it’s the best option because it yields the best results.
Simply follow these instructions for how to reheat pulled pork in the Instant Pot.
Using Leftover Pulled Pork
Now that you know you can freeze pulled pork, consider doing that with any leftover pulled pork you might have.
If you’re freezing the pulled pork, it lasts a lot longer and helps you prevent wasting food. As a bonus, you always have a freezer meal at the ready!
You can use leftovers from your pulled pork recipe to make a delicious meal, such as pork tacos, pork sandwiches, over macaroni and cheese, or a crowd-pleasing favorite you might not have tried yet–bola de carne.
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