How To Reheat Pulled Pork (Without Drying It Out)

How often do you reheat leftovers? Pulled pork is delicious, but it can dry out easily. If you want to enjoy it again, you’ll need to reheat it properly.

How To Reheat Pulled Pork (Without Drying It Out)

Pulled pork is a great way to get your family into the kitchen and cook together. The problem is, once you pull it off the grill, it can dry out before you even eat it.

In this article, we will be discussing ways in which you can reheat your already cooked pulled pork. Yet, with these methods, you don’t have to worry about your pulled pork drying out. 

The Best Way To Store Your Pulled Pork

Pulled pork is one of those foods that’s best eaten right away. However, if you are planning on storing it for later use, then you should store it in an airtight container.

This helps preserve the flavor and texture of your pulled pork. You can also freeze your pulled pork in its own packaging or wrap it up in foil.

If you’re going to store your pulled pork in its original package, make sure that it has been vacuum sealed.

Vacuum sealing prevents oxygen from entering the package, thus helping to keep your food fresh.

You can also freeze your pulled meat by wrapping it tightly in aluminum foil. Make sure that there is no liquid inside the package when freezing it.

Once frozen, place the package in a freezer bag and transfer to the freezer. When ready to thaw, remove the package from the freezer and let sit at room temperature until thawed.

Another option is to put the whole package in the fridge. In fact, you may find that pulling the pork from the refrigerator first makes it easier to handle.

Storing Leftover Pulled Pork In The Refrigerator

When stored in the refrigerator, pulled pork lasts for around 3 to 5 days.

After five days, you should start checking the expiration date on the package. If it says “use by” or “best used by”, then you know that it’s time to throw it out.

However, if the package doesn’t say anything like “use by” or just “best used by”, you can still safely store it in the refrigerator.

Just remember to take it out every day to check the expiration date.

The temperature of the meat must be kept below degrees Fahrenheit. This will then prevent ant bacteria from growing and will prolong the life of your pulled pork.  

Reheating Your Pulled Pork In The Oven

There are two different ways in which you can heat your pulled pork: using a microwave oven and using a conventional oven. Let’s discuss both options.

Using A Microwave Oven

Step 1

Put your pulled pork in a microwave safe container. You shouldn’t microwave your pork while it is still in its vacuum pack.

A BPA free or Pyrex container are the two best options for microwaving your pulled pork.

Step 2

Microwaves can quickly and easily dry your pork. Therefore, at this step, it is best to add some sauce or leftover marinade onto your meat.

This will not only add moisture to your meat, but give it some more flavor as well. 

Step 3

Put your microwave on a low to medium setting. You should be aiming to reheat your pork to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, as recommended by the USDA.

You can now put your pork into the microwave and heat the pork for around 5 to 10 minutes. 

After your pork has been heated, you can add more sauce if you want to. This is down to personal preference.

Depending on how many leftovers you have to reheat. If you choose the microwave method, you may have to reheat the pork in smaller batches.

This will ensure that all the pork is reheated to the correct and safe temperature. 

Using An Oven

Step 1

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. This allows for the pork to be warmed slowly. As a result, the juices in the meat won’t be evaporated, so a low heat will keep your meat moist.

Step 2

Place your remaining pulled pork in a baking dish with any leftover juices you may have. You could also add a bit of apple juice.

These juices are to add a little extra moisture to your meat. However, be aware not to add too much, otherwise you’ll just make the pulled pork soggy. 

Step 3

Place the pulled pork and juices in the preheated oven for around 30 minutes.

The pork should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, which is considered the safest temperature for pork. 

Step 4

Mix your pulled pork to make sure all the meat is coated in its juices. This will make sure that every strand of meat is moist. 

Step 5

This is the step when you can either serve straight away. Or you can add extra sauce like BBQ sauce to the reheated pulled pork and then serve. 

Reheating Pulled Pork Using The Sous Vide Method

The sous vide method is a different way of reheating your pulled pork. With this method, you let your pulled pork sit in a vacuum sealed plastic pack in a pot of boiling water.

However, with this method, you need to have already stored your pulled pork in a vacuum sealed pack. 

Today, the majority of vacuum packs will not melt in the water.

As a result, you don’t need to worry about any toxic chemicals getting into the water or into the meat, which could be cancerous. 


Step 1

Heat your water to around 170 degrees Fahrenheit. The USDA recommends that with red meat, your water should be above 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thus, 170 degrees is the perfect and safe temperature. 

Step 2

Now that your pot of boiling water has reached the correct temperature, you can place the pork in the water. 

Inside the pack, your pork will be heated by the heat of the temperature of the water. However, this method allows the pork to retain its own juices and stay moist.

You should leave the pork in the water for around 30 minutes.

Alongside this, you can reheat frozen pulled pork using this method, but you will need to leave the pork in the water for much longer, for at least 45 minutes. 

Step 3

Now you can take the pork out of the water and remove it from the vacuum bag.

Once you have taken the bag out of the boiling water, leave it to cool down slightly for a couple of minutes.

Then you can carefully open the vacuum pack and place your pulled pork onto a serving dish or plate. 

Grilling Your Leftover Pulled Pork

You may have decided that you don’t like the sound of those other methods. Instead, you want to reheat your pulled pork by grilling it.

By grilling your pulled pork you do get a smokey flavor which you can control. 

Remember that if you have frozen your leftover pulled pork, you will need to let it thaw out before you can do anything with it. 

Step 1

Your pork needs to be soft to the touch. This step is only important, if you have frozen your pork first. 

Step 2

Use a two zone method on your grill. This method requires you to have a cool side and a hot side. Thus, keep your charcoal or open flame to only one side of the grill. 

Step 3

Take your pulled pork and wrap it in aluminum foil. You could also add some water or BBQ sauce to the pork as well.

This will add some extra moisture to your pork as it’s being reheated. 

Grilling is known to dry out all meats such as chicken, beef, and pork. Therefore, just one cup of water can help add a lot of moisture to your pulled pork as it’s reheated. 

Step 4

Now your pork is wrapped up, you need to wait for the hotter area of your grill to reach around 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

It would be helpful to have a grilling thermometer to help you know precisely when your grill has reached the optimal temperature.

This temperature will help your pork to cook evenly. 

Step 5

While the grill is heating up, you can leave your wrapped pork on the colder side of your grill.

Yet while the hot side of the grill is getting to 170 degrees, due to conduction the cool side of your grill will be warm.

This then will be slowly warming the foil that you have wrapped your pork in. 

Step 6

Once the hot side has reached 170 degrees Fahrenheit, you can put the pork in foil on that side of the grill.

Now, you should aim to grill the pork for around 20 to 45 minutes. Then the pork is ready to be served. 

Steaming Your Leftover Pulled Pork

How To Reheat Pulled Pork (Without Drying It Out)

A method that not many people would think of, yet steam is a great option. Not only does it give you a chance to add more flavor to your pork, but will keep it extremely soft and moist.

There is also no way you can accidentally burn your pork with this method as well.

You can just use water for the steam, yet some people like to boil apple juice and have apple juice steam.

The apple juice gives your pork an extra layer of sweetness. It may be worth trying one day.


Step 1

Bring a pot of water or apple juice to the boil and place a steaming basket over the pot. 

Step 2

Add your pulled pork to the steaming basket, but try not to overfill it. The steam needs space to be able to freely move through and between the pieces of pork.

Step 3

Place a lid on the steaming basket and let the pork steam for around 30 minutes. During this time, you may need to add more liquid to the pot.

Step 4

Once the pork is cooked, then you can add more sauces to add even more flavor to your juicy reheated pulled pork. 

Reheating Pulled Pork With The Skillet Method

Step 1

Coat your skillet with some non-stick cooking spray.

Step 2

Add any leftover dipping sauce or sauce in general. This sauce should cover at least 2 inches of the bottom of your pan.

Ideally, you want enough sauce to be able to coat all of your pulled pork. 

Step 3

Bring the sauce you have added to your pan to the boil. It should be at a medium to high heat.

Step 4

Add your pulled pork and stir everything together. Let the sauce and pork cook for around 3 to 5 minutes. 

Step 5

Now you are ready to serve your sticky reheated pulled pork. 

Keeping Your Pulled Pork Juicy 

By reheating your pulled pork, you do risk the chances of ruining the flavor and texture of the pork.

As a result, the best way to make sure that this doesn’t happen to your pork, you need to keep it juicy and moist.

The best way to do this is to add more moisture to your pulled pork to prevent this from happening.

There are various liquids you can add to add extra moisture to your pulled pork, and it doesn’t just have to be water. 

BBQ Sauce 

BBQ sauce is a popular option to be added with leftover pulled pork. Also, most people have some BBQ sauce in their cupboards that can be used. Or you can easily make your own. 

Pulled Pork Drippings 

If you have saved the drippings when you first made the dish, then add them to the reheating process.

You may have to remove the layers of white fat that have formed on  the top, and then you can add these drippings to your pork to be reheated.

This will give your pork a really meaty flavor. 

Apple Juice 

We have mentioned apple juice a couple of times. Everyone knows that apples work really well with pork.

Apple juice is naturally very sweet, and this sweetness can be added to your pulled pork though  the reheating process. 


Broth is an easy-to-make liquid ingredient that adds moisture and flavor to your pulled pork recipes.

To make your own broth, boil some meat, vegetables, and spices in a pot—then strain the resulting mixture. 

Cola or Soda 

Like apple juice, cola, or soda can add some extra sweetness to your pulled pork. Whilst also adding moisture as well. 

How Many Times Can Pulled Pork Be Reheated?

The best thing about pulled pork is that it is so versatile. You can easily make it into sandwiches, tacos, burritos, wraps, salads, pasta dishes, etc.

So if you ever find yourself with leftovers, there is always a way to turn them into something new.

The most important thing to remember is that you must never refrigerate your pulled pork once it has been reheated.

If you do, then the meat will dry out and become tough.

If you are going to reheat your pulled pork, then I recommend doing it within 24 hours of being made.

After that, your pulled pork will lose its moisture and become very hard to eat. It can last in the fridge for a couple of days, but the longer you leave it, the dryer it will become.

Also, the more chance that bacteria will begin to grow. Thus, after 5 days, it’s time to throw your leftover pulled pork away.

Final Thoughts

Pulled pork is a beloved dish that is extremely delicious. Yet sometimes, we create too much and have leftovers.

With these leftovers, you may be unsure what you can do with them, without making them dry.

In this article, we have given you several ways that you can reheat your pulled pork without making the pork itself go dry.

When it comes to reheating pulled pork, you must remember to add extra liquids. As this is where a lot of people mess up and end up with dry pork leftovers.

We have given you all the tips to keep your pork moist and all the methods on how to create another delicious meal from your leftover pulled pork. 

Hopefully, this article has given you everything you need to reheat that leftover pulled pork to perfection.

John Rinder
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