How to Keep Pulled Pork Warm for A Party

How to Keep Pulled Pork Warm for A Crowd 

When I was growing up, we always had barbecues during summertime, even sometimes in the cooler months also, although we would often have a buffet inside.

We’d get together with our friends and family and grill hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, ribs, and even steak.

But once you got past the hot dog phase, maybe your kids have grown up you were left with two options: either make pulled pork or BBQ brisket.

 Pulled Pork is a great option because it’s relatively cheap, versatile, and delicious. It’s also very easy to make and store. Use our pulled pork per person calculator if you are not sure how much pork to buy and serve.

Keeping Pulled Pork Warm in a Cooler

However, if you’re hosting a party and want something special, then you should consider making Brisket for a crowd also – you can use our brisket calculator to see the exact amount per person

One other tip for making sure you’re pulled pork keeps as warm as possible is not to forget the plates. By that, I mean serving it on warm plates will dramatically increase the length of time the pork keeps piping hot or at least close to the original temperature that you served it out for the longest time possible, which is important when serving pulled pork to a crowd.

How to Keep Pulled Pork Warm For A Big Group

Pulled pork is an easy dish to make at home, especially if you’ve got a smoker. But it’s also a great party dish because everyone loves a good pulled pork dish and sandwich made with the leftovers.

How to Keep Food Warm for Hours Before Serving — With No Moisture or Quality Loss

Sometimes, you must prepare food well in advance just because of the sheer numbers.  For example, if you’re hosting a party, you might want to make sure all the food is prepared the night before, so you can focus on other aspects of the event.

When you’re hosting an event, there is always something that needs to get done before you can start cooking. Just plan ahead.

• Set a schedule. Make sure you have enough time to prepare all the food you’ll need.

• Plan what you will serve first. When you are ready to begin cooking, you can go back to the kitchen and start preparing other dishes.

Here Are the Top 7 Ways in 2024 to Keep Pulled Pork Warm for A Crowd.

  1. Time your cook to be ready hours early, then keep it warm.
  2. Keep the meat warm by covering it with a layer of foil (even a double layer) and either a hot damp towel or under a warming light.
  3. Commercial food Warmer
  4. Hold at A Low Temp in The Oven
  5. Keep Food Warm in A Faux Cambro
  6. You Seal It in Plastic and Keep It in A Warm Temp Water Bath
  7. Just Cook Fresh, Time the Cooking Time Right, and Serve Hot.
Serving Pulled Pork On Hot Plates Will Keep It Warm Longer
Serving Pulled Pork On Hot Plates Will Keep It Warm Longer

Time Your Cook to be Ready Hours Early then Keep it Warm

Essentially, what you want to do is make your food WAY in advance and then keep it hot until your guests arrive. As an example: A pulled pork butt can take hours of cooking time, so set aside time the day before to cook and rest.

This way, if it’s finished after 4-6 hours, you can let it sit for 1 hour, then reheat it for 6 hours very slowly in a big oven so it is ready for when your guests arrive.

Of course, you will have to have your timing quite accurate so that all the cooking resting and final warming finish just as the guests are ready to eat.

You can always use BBQ sauce as a last resort if the meat dries out too much.

When cooking, there are many variables that can be considered. These may include the type of food, size of the meal, temperature of the oven, and the amount of time it takes to cook.

If you don’t consider all of these factors, then you will end up serving your dish undercooked or overcooked. 

You could also just buy pre-cooked meat at the store if you’re really pressed for time.

If you’re looking for a quick meal, though, you might want to consider buying pre-cooked meats.

Commercial Food Warmer

Restaurants and professional caterers are able to cook food in advance but keep it safe for an extended period of time way beyond the “moms ovenproof dish” method. 

This allows them to prepare food quickly and also keeps food safe until it reaches its final destination. Most restaurants and catering companies will keep food warm using an electric oven or stovetop grill.

However, keeping food hot for extended periods of time requires special equipment. A commercial microwave oven can be used to heat food, but it cannot maintain a constant temperature for very long.

Commercial freezers are designed to keep food cold, not hot. Freezing food kills many microorganisms present, but it does not kill all bacteria. And you will only use frozen pulled pork and have to reheat it if you are making it many days or weeks in advance of your week event.

There are many different types of commercial food warmers available. Some of the most popular ones are insulated carriers. These come in both electric and non electric versions. Electric models can keep food at temperatures above 150°F for  hours while non-electric models can maintain temperatures above 140°F for up to six hours.

However, these units are very expensive and not practical for the home cook.

You can often find them used on sites such as eBay and Craigslist.

One of the advantages of the commercial food warmers is firstly they are portable so are great to use at a big family July 4th picnic as a food warmer and secondly, they have a built-in Thermometer so you don’t need a meat thermometer.

Hold at a Low Temp in the Oven

You can keep food warm in your oven at temperatures ranging from 140 °F to 180 °F. If you’re using a convection setting, you’ll need to adjust the temperature accordingly. You should also check the temperature before serving to make sure it is food safe.

Foods should be kept above 145° F but to prevent them from drying out using a baking tray covered with aluminum foil if you find the meat is just a little bit dry you can spray it with some apple juice or chicken broth and again cover and give it time for the moisture to infuse back into the meat.

This method works best for something that needs to cook slowly, like pulled pork. You remove the pork shoulder and let it sit before you pull it. Then you put it back in the same pan with a little braizing liquid and place it in the oven. You can also use this to reheat pork leftovers.

Carryover Cooking — What Is It and Why Is It Important?

You can use carry-over cooking of pulled pork for up to 1 hour essentially you are using the latent heat within the bulk pork to keep it warm and safe. The FDA recommends a maximum of two hours you have before you should consider the port becoming unsafe. You can keep it warmer by using the aluminum foil, and possibly even a double layer which will trap the warmth as well as the moisture. Lost moisture of course leads to dry meat so that is something we want to avoid if we can. As already covered above we can add back a little moisture by spraying on some chicken broth or even warm apple juice.

Foil Hot Towel In a Cooler Method

Start by wrapping the pork meat in aluminum foil. Then, put the pork meat inside a slow cooker. After that, add the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker and cook it at low heat. Once the pork meat is cooked, remove it from the slow cooker and let it rest for 10-30 minutes before serving.

After wrapping the pork butt in a towel, put it in a plastic bag and then place it in a cooler for at least two hours. If you have a Cambro container, put the meat inside of it. This will keep the meat moist. You should also leave it out overnight. This will allow the collagen to break down and give your meat a firmer texture.

You can also use your hands, but you’ll need something to hold onto while you’re eating. You might try using chopsticks, but if you’re not Asian, you may prefer to use forks. If you’re really adventurous, you could try using bear paws!

Why Does Pulled Pork to Dry Out?

A Lack of or reduction of moisture or water content is the main or obvious reason but it’s really a bit more complex. The truth about dry pulled pork is that if it’s cooked properly, it’s not really dry at all. The problem is that as the pulled pork cooks, the moisture inside it slowly evaporates. When that happens, the cooling effect from the evaporation isn’t enough to counterbalance the heat of the cooking method, smoker or otherwise. That means the inside temperature for the cooked meat rises dramatically. Then, if the temp gets high enough, the meat starts losing moisture even though it’s still hot. This causes the meat to become coarse and dry. If left sitting around for a long time it can get tough and chewy.

Methods to Re Moisten Pulled Pork Before Serving to A Party

There are many different ways to prepare pulled pork. Some prefer using a slow cooker while others prefer baking it in an oven. There are also various spices and seasonings you can add to your recipe. You can even mix them all together!

Use a Slow Cooker plus Chicken Broth

A Crock Pot is an excellent tool for cooking meat because it keeps the temperature constant throughout the cooking time. You can cook all kinds of meats in a Crock Pot including beef brisket, chicken thighs, lamb shanks, ribs, turkey breast, and even pork shoulder. It also works well for making soups and stews.

To get the best results, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using a slow cooker. If you’re not sure what size to buy, go with the largest size available.

A large enough Crock Pot will hold about 5 gallons of liquid, commercial ones can be even larger.

You can also add some water to the pan to help keep the meat moist. You can even sprinkle a small amount of salt over the top if you’d like. Chicken stock is great because it adds flavor, but it doesn’t have to be added to every batch. Apple juice or white wine can be substituted for chicken stock.

How to Keep Pulled Pork Moist After Cooking?

You can also pull pork dry if you prefer. To do this, you’ll need to remove any excess fat before placing the pork in the oven. You can either do this yourself using a paper towel and your fingers or ask someone else to help you. Once the pork is removed from the heat, let it cool a little and serve.

If you have made it the day before then wrap the meat tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

How to Keep Pulled Pork Moist When Making Ahead of Time

You may not want to see this happen, but unfortunately, during the rush of holidays, you might forget to pack the pulled pork so that it won’t get dry. If you remember to pack the pulled pork properly, you’ll be able to enjoy it at the table.

You can also try using a slow cooker. You’ll need to put the meat in the crock pot, add water, and seasonings, and cook on low heat until done.

If you’re looking for something a bit easier, you can always just wrap the meat in foil (with a little moisture added) and place it in the oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit 

The key to making great pulled pork is to not overcook the meat. If you cook it too long, the meat will become tough. To prevent this, add liquid to the pan periodically. You should also keep an eye on the temperature of the meat while cooking. 

How to Keep Pulled Pork Moist for the Following Day?

If you’re looking to enjoy pulled pork the next morning, you’ll need to keep it fresh until then. You could either cook it all at once and let it cool down overnight, or you could pull it apart and put it back together again before serving.

When storing it, you should try to keep it in one piece because the longer it stays in one piece, the less likely it is to dry out.

So in conclusion, whether you cook it and serve the pork timed perfectly to your guest’s arrival, or use one of the other methods to have a warm temperature for pulled pork you do have a choice. One method will give you meet piping hot as well as a tender meat dish the other will give you nice warm meat that if made correctly will be moist and welcomed by your guests.