Many have been curious about how to store pulled pork properly. You can freeze pulled pork easily – follow our how-to freeze pulled pork steps below.
You can also freeze it if you’re using pork butt or pork shoulder to make pulled pork. This article gives you tips on how to freeze it, giving the best out of it during your parties or gatherings.
Pulled pork Top freezing Tip of 2022
Let’s say you know you will have leftover pulled pork – leave some in chunks or whole rather than shredding it. Upon freezing you will retain more moisture inside. The frozen pork will taste much better upon defrosting especially if you are making a pulled pork freezer meal or planning to serve pulled pork to a big group and you are making pulled pork in advance. If you are preparing pulled pork for a party then follow the methods below to freeze it up to several weeks before the big event.
You make also be interested in how much pulled pork do I serve per person for a big group – or how much pulled pork do I need per slider for a party.
How to Freeze Pulled Pork
Freezing pulled pork is just an easy thing to do if you have a large freezer that can store the quantity of your pork.
Here’s how to do it:
The first step that you should do is to make sure that your pulled pork is well-cooked. Freezing pulled pork that is not cooked properly is not a good idea and making sure it is properly done to prevent food contamination and food safety.
See our Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe.
Never freeze the pork when hot. Let it cool at room temperature for up to 2 hours in the kitchen or a place out of sunlight then you can put it in the fridge overnight before freezing. Do not forget to cover it. If you want to freeze it immediately after cooking, it is best to let it cool down as much as possible before freezing.
3. Wrap Portion into batches
Once your pork has cooled down, portion it into small portions and wrap them with plastic wrap, cling film, airtight container, or resealable freezer bags. This is a practical way to do it so that you will not have to take out everything if you want to cook a small portion. Also, wrapping them well like this is another way to prevent the risk of freezer burn.
When packing your pulled pork, make sure that they are packed tightly. Make sure that there is no air between them because this could cause freezer burn. Squeeze out the airtightly to ensure the air is out of the bag.
Once all your pork is wrapped and sealed, put them in the freezer. It’s important to keep them frozen if you do not plan to consume them within a couple of days.
6. Label and Freeze
Label each batch with the recommended best by date, according to its original packaging or manufacturer. Labeling each batch with the recommended expiration date helps you know when to throw away expired food.
It’s a good idea to label all food items because it is easy to actually forget what it is and certainly when you froze it. If you store food properly, you will reduce waste and be able to use it longer.
How Long Should You Store Pulled Pork
If you store your pulled pork in the fridge, it can last up to 3-5 days. Moreover, if you seal it inside airtight containers and bags and place it in the freezer, it can last up to 6 months. But if you only have a handful of leftover pulled pork, better store it in the fridge and seal it with an airtight container.
What are the Types of Pulled Pork
There are many types of pulled pork recipes available online. Some people prefer sweet pulled pork while others like their pulled pork savory, spicy and tangy. It all depends on what type of food you like best. However, there is one thing that you should keep in mind when making pulled pork.
The main difference between sweet and savory pulled pork is the amount of sugar added to the mixture. Sweet pulled pork typically contains mote sugar than savory pulled pork.
On the other hand, savory pulled pork has a stronger flavor. So, if you want to make a delicious pulled pork sandwich, you need to choose between sweet and savory.
What to Do with Leftover Pulled Pork
There are several ways that you can do with your leftover pulled pork. But one of the best is by adding a sweet BBQ sauce with a little brown sugar along with lettuce wraps. You can add this to your pork sandwiches or buns paired with refreshing drinks!
You can also opt to have any of these:
- Pulled pork Quesadilla
- Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese
- Pulled Pork Pizza
- Pulled Pork Sliders
- Pulled Pork Baked Potato
- Smoked Pulled Pork Roast
These are just easy recipes if you have mastered them already. Just replace or you can just simply add it with any main ingredient.
Frequently Asked Questions
How well does pulled pork freeze?
It freezes very well. In fact, we would say that it is even better after freezing. If you do not eat it right away, you can always put it in the freezer to enjoy it later. Moreover, it can last up to 6 months in the freezer if stored properly with no excess air and at a correct temperature of 0° F (-18° C).
Can you freeze pulled pork with sauce?
Yes, you can definitely freeze it with sauces.
How do you store leftover pulled pork?
Store it in the refrigerator for up to three days. Alternatively, you can freeze it in airtight containers and bags. To avoid bacteria growth, you must ensure that the bag is sealed tightly.
How to Thaw or Defrost Frozen Pulled Pork
There are a couple of ways to thaw or defrost your pulled pork recipe quickly after the freezing process. Aside from letting it sit at room temperature, you can also opt to do it in the slow cooker, oven, microwave, grill, or stovetop.
The best way and food-safe way to thaw frozen pulled pork is to defrost it slowly over night in the fridge.
That way the meat is kept at all times at a safe temperature and you can then reheat it later.
However, if you need to thaw the pork quicker or that same day then you can use these methods below.
1. How to Thaw Frozen Pulled Pork in A Slow Cooker or Crock Pot
Put the frozen pork and any juices into the slow cooker. You may want to mix up some barbecue sauce before adding them to the pan. Make sure everything mixes well before cooking it.
To thaw pulled pork in a slow cooker follow these steps:
Press the “warm” setting and thaw for at least 2 hours, depending on the quantity. You can check after one hour and turn the frozen pulled-pork to help in an even thawing process. The great amount of pork you have the longer it has to be defrosted.
The pork is now defrosted and you are now ready to use the pork as is or continue to make it warmer.
2. How to Defrost Pulled Pork in The Oven
To defrost and device (any ice crystals that have formed in the freezing process) your frozen pulled pork in the oven, follow these steps:
- Preheat it to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the frozen pork in a roasting pan or baking pan and pour the juices, if any. You can also add a little apple juice to help keep the defrosting pork moist.
- Cover the baking pan with a tight-fitting lid or an aluminum foil sheet.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes and check if the centre is thawed – you can use a probe thermoter.
- If the pork is thawed add your barbecue sauce if desired give it another 5 minutes.
- Let the defrosted pulled pork rest, or stand for 5 minutes.
3. How to Defrost Pulled Pork in The Microwave
- This option is the easiest and most convenient way to thaw your pulled pork. Here’s how to do it:
- Put the pork and juices into a large bowl.
- Pour enough water into a smaller bowl or microwave-safe containers to cover the top of the meat.
- Depending on the quantity of pulled pork heat the bowl containing the pork and juices in the microwave for 5 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes, and checking that it is defrosting evenly.
- Remove the bowl from the microwave and let it stand for 1 minute.
- Drain off the liquid and discard it – add BBQ sauce to keep it moist.
4. How to Thaw Frozen Pulled Pork on A Stovetop
This is the least desirable way to quickly defrost the frozen pork butt or should. Use medium heat on the stovetop. Follow these steps:
- Bring a pot of water to boil over high heat then reduce the temperature to just have simmering water.
- If you are going to place the frozen prok in the water directly add a little bit of salt and black pepper to help retain the flavor profile.
- I prefer to put the pork in a water safe bag and thaw that way in water – this of course retains the juices and flavors.
- Simmer covered for 30 minutes and check if pork has begun to thaw – at this stay you may choose to separate any big chucks of frozen pork that are sticking together.
- Turn off the heat and let cool slightly then drain when you deem it has defrosted.