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How to reheat large amount of pulled pork?

momlovemomlove Posts: 497Registered User Member
edited February 2013 in Parent Cafe
What's the best way to reheat a large amount (7-8 lbs) of cooked pulled pork? Right now it is frozen. I was hoping to not add barbeque sauce to the pork, but to let the individuals top their sandwiches with sauce in the amount they choose. The pork was very juicy and flavorful right after cooking, and I want to maintain the same consistency when I serve it.

Can I reheat it on low in a crock pot for a couple of hours? Would I need to add some amount of liquid to keep it from drying out? How long is too long to reheat it in a crock pot?

This is my first venture into pulled pork, so I'm hoping all these expert cooks on CC can help with my big family dinner this weekend. Thanks in advance!
Post edited by momlove on
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Replies to: How to reheat large amount of pulled pork?

  • musicamusicamusicamusica Posts: 5,135Registered User Senior Member
    Defrost for a few days in the fridge, then put in a heavy covered pan with a bit of chicken broth. Warm on the stove.
  • mominvamominva Posts: 2,305Registered User Senior Member
    We put the frozen hunk into a zip lock bag and defrost in a warm bath, changing the water as it cools down.
    We just let the cold defrosted meat warm up to room temperature before serving.
  • interesteddadinteresteddad Posts: 23,624Registered User Senior Member
    Pulled pork is slow cooked at 225 degrees or so. Just do the same thing to heat it up. You could do it in a large pot on the stove (covered). You could do it in a foil (or other large baking pan) covered, in the oven. Crockpot would be Ok. You could even do it in the microwave, although that might be hard for that much.

    As long as it's covered and there's some liquid, you are just going to be braising it as it warms up. It's like a pot roast, you can basically do that indefinitely.

    If it were frozen, I'd probably pull it out of the freezer and stick it in the fridge 24 hours ahead of time. It won't be the end of the world if it's still a little frozen when you start heating it.
  • interesteddadinteresteddad Posts: 23,624Registered User Senior Member
    We put the frozen hunk into a zip lock bag and defrost in a warm bath, changing the water as it cools down.

    I don't much care for that idea for as long as it would take to defrost six pounds of meat. I defrost shrimp under running cold water into a bowl, but that only takes a few minutes. The danger zone for bacteria is between 40 degrees and 140 degrees. Defrosting something in warm water is going to put the meat in the danger zone for a long time. I'm not saying that it's going to kill you because starting out frozen, there isn't going to be a lot of bacteria, but food poisoning is not a pretty thing. I'm kinda picky about food safety.
  • abasketabasket Posts: 9,190Registered User Senior Member
    I will tell you this. I made an froze two large containers of pulled pork last week to use for S's graduation party on Sunday (in addition to the serving I made the day of the party which was fresh, not frozen). Silly me, I thought I could just microwave it at like 30-50% to thaw and reheat to put in the crockpot. It took FOREVER to thaw it through the microwave!!!! It was packed pretty tight in the plastic containers - very dense - it was kind of a nightmare.

    So my best recommendation is to thaw it in refrigerator the day before or so.
  • speiheispeihei Posts: 365Registered User Member
    S-L-O-W-L-Y and in 225-250 degree oven for a L-O-N-G time.

    It's worth it to do it right.
  • Lafalum84Lafalum84 Posts: 7,535Registered User Senior Member
    Ideally it would have been frozen in smaller packages, so it would thaw more quickly (as well as freezing more quickly). As a food service administrator, I say put it in the refrigerator for several days. If you don't have time to do that, I'd say the tepid/warm bath, but every half hour or so unwrap it, pull off the thawed part and put it in the fridge, and just re-wrap and put the frozen part back into the tepid bath.

    interesteddad is correct, 40 - 140 F is the danger zone. If perishable food such as meat is left in that zone for more than 4 hours, it should be discarded.
  • interesteddadinteresteddad Posts: 23,624Registered User Senior Member
    If you don't have time to do that, I'd say the tepid/warm bath, but every half hour or so unwrap it, pull off the thawed part and put it in the fridge, and just re-wrap and put the frozen part back into the tepid bath.

    At that point, you might as well just put the whole brick (however defrosted it may be from the fridge) in a large covered dutch oven on low heat stovetop or oven, and defroast it while heating it up to serve. I've done that with beef stew I've frozen for a quickie meal. It's not ideal from a texture standpoint, but we are talking about a shredded braised meat that's been cooked and frozen -- not a piece of prime filet or fresh off the docks haddock.

    If I were heating up seven pounds of pulled pork, I'd go buy one of those aluminum foil turkey pans. Add a little liquid, cover with foil and heat in the oven, stirring a few times, until the center of the meat reads 150+ degrees. Pull it out of the oven and let the young men have at it. You could adjust the consistency of the meat a bit by pulling the cover off at the end if it's too juicy. You could hold it for a couple hours in a 200 degree oven covered.

    When I smoke pork shoulders, I usually freeze one whole after it's cooked. Then, pull that out, defroast it in the fridge, heat the whole thing up in the oven, and pull it at that point.
  • curmudgeoncurmudgeon Posts: 12,109Registered User Senior Member
    There is no safe way to do this.They will all kill you. Dead. The only appropriate disposal point in the U.S. at present is at 3204 Curmudgeon Ranch Road, Curmudgeon, Texas. Please send a couple of forks, too.
  • KYParentKYParent Posts: 118Registered User Junior Member
    Did this last week. Let pork thaw in the refrigerator. To heat, I put some water in the bottom on a crock pot...not a lot of liquid but just enough to prevent sticking to bottom, then put on low heat for about 3 hours. Turned meat occasionally to get it to heat evenly.
  • momlovemomlove Posts: 497Registered User Member
    Curmudgeon, if I thought you would be anywhere close to the family reunion this weekend, I would invite you in a heartbeat. You would liven up the PARTY, of that I'm quite certain :D
  • momlovemomlove Posts: 497Registered User Member
    Thanks everyone for your help! I knew you would all come through for me. I'm not used to cooking for such a large group and your suggestions are great. I'll let you all know how it all turns out! Thanks again!
  • MollyMaeMapleMollyMaeMaple Posts: 1Registered User New Member
    so how did it turn out?
  • hudsonvalley51hudsonvalley51 Posts: 2,396Registered User Senior Member
    What a great problem to have.
  • musicamusicamusicamusica Posts: 5,135Registered User Senior Member
    I surely hope she got that pork reheated within the 2 1/2 year timespan
    (when the OP posted)
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