Just about everyone loves pulled pork. It makes for a wonderful dish to serve at family gatherings, and many people who enjoy cooking find it to be rather fun to cook as well.
However, to make sure that you make the most out of the hard work you put into cooking this dish, you are going to want to make sure that you store it properly. Improper storage can lead to a whole host of problems that nobody really wants to deal with.
Unfortunately, the way that pulled pork is stored depends entirely on the circumstances. The way that you store pulled pork at serving temperature is going to be vastly different than freezing pork, for instance.
Knowing how to store your pulled pork can make all the difference in its quality when you serve it up to friends and family.
Thankfully, pulled pork is a versatile and a sturdy meat. It can stand up well to being served as leftovers, it can refrigerate well, and you can freeze it if need be.
If you are putting it in the fridge or the freezer, you can rest assured knowing that it will reheat properly and evenly as well, making it a wonderful meat to cook over holidays when you can benefit from having more than enough to spare.
Storing Pulled Pork at Serving Temperature
If you need to store your pulled pork and you want to make sure that it will be ready to serve to people the moment you pull it out of its container, there are a few things that you can do to make this happen.
To keep the meat safe, it needs to be held at 140°F and higher. To hold pulled pork at this temperature, you are going to need a cooler (as a container) and a probe thermometer. This method will keep it warm for about two to four hours.
Of course, you should keep the thermometer inside the meat so that you can monitor the internal temperature without having to open the cooler at all. First things first, you should wrap the meat up as tight as you can in heavy-duty aluminum foil.
From here, you should place a good-sized layer of towels or newspaper at the bottom. This will serve as insulation between the meat and the interior.
Keep in mind that some types of coolers, particularly less expensive ones, might crack at the heat of pulled pork, making it all the more important to use a thick layer of insulating material to keep everything as it should be.
Once you have placed the meat onto the pile of towels or newspaper, you will want to put another layer of those towels and newspaper on top of the meat, although this is optional and best-suited to times when you need to keep it warm for closer to four hours.
Now, all you need to do is monitor the temperature to ensure that it stays where it should be, and that it drops no lower than 140°F.
Storing Pulled Pork in the Fridge
To make sure that your pulled pork stays as safe as it can be, you should keep in mind that the fridge is only a good method for three to four days.
Any longer than that, and you should be storing your pulled pork in the freezer instead. Otherwise, the fridge is a perfectly valid place to keep your leftover pulled pork for other meals.
To properly store the meat, you will want to use either sealable bags, heavy-duty aluminum foil, or storage containers to keep the meat properly covered and safe.
When you are packing up the pulled pork, you should do what you can to squeeze as much air as you can out of the packaging. The more air that’s left inside is all the more liability for something to go wrong with the meat, and nobody wants this to happen.
While you can always vacuum-seal containers of meat to put in the fridge, it is not at all necessary for this length of time. Chances are that if you are going to eat all of the pulled pork within four days, then there really won’t be any time for anything to fester and grow on the pork.
This means that you can be slightly more relaxed about making sure that it stays covered, fresh, and protected.
Storing Pulled Pork in the Freezer
On the other hand, you will definitely want to try and vacuum seal your pulled pork if you are going to be storing it in the freezer. Doing this not only ensures that nothing is going to get into the pork, but it also helps to prevent freezer burn from affecting your delicious meal.
If you don’t have anything to vacuum seal your pork with, this is okay, but you will have to find an alternative and you will have to make doubly sure that everything is sealed up as tight as it can possibly get.
You will want to wrap up portions of your pulled pork in aluminum foil or freezer paper, place it in a sealable freezer bag (while squeezing as much air out as you can), and then place it in the freezer. Aluminum foil is generally better at getting the job done than freezer paper, and the plastic bag helps to prevent your whole freezer from smelling of pork.
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