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Juice Up, Flavorize and Reheat Pulled Pork

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I've had a several questions this year about how to reheat pulled pork and how to keep reheated pulled pork from being dry.

In this tutorial, I'll start off by showing you my favorite way to smoke up a pork butt, a couple of them in fact, and then, I am going to show you how to take that already cooked pulled pork (a day later) and make it taste like you just pulled it out of the smoker. It'll be juicier than it ever was, taste better than it did right out of the smoker and even have more smoke flavor;-)

Are you excited about this one? I sure am ;-)

Keep reading!

Helpful Information
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 14 hours
  • Smoker Temp: 225°F (107°C)
  • Meat Finish Temp: 207°F (97°C)
  • Recommended Wood: Hickory
What You'll Need
Step 1: Butts in a Pan

This step is optional but I highly recommend it: Place the pork butt into a half-size foil pan fat cap up. If you have multiple pieces of meat, use a separate pan for each one.

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Why use a pan? This keeps your smoker cleaner and ensures you catch all of those tasty juices from the pork butt.

Step 2: Mustard and Rub

Apply a thin coat of mustard to the fat-cap and sides of the pork butt. This helps the rub to stick really well to the meat.

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Then generously apply Jeff's original rub to the fat cap and sides of the butt.

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After mustard and rub application, let the butt sit there for about 10 minutes so the rub can become one with the mustard and then flip it over to fat cap down.

This is where it will stay during the cooking process.

Apply mustard and rub to the “now” top side and you are ready to cook.

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Leave it sitting there while you go get the smoker ready.

Step 3: Set up the Smoker

Set up your smoker for cooking at about 225°F (107°C) with indirect heat.

Note: if you are using a pellet smoker, here are some tips to help you out.

If your smoker uses a water pan, fill it up.

Give the smoker a little time to heat up before continuing with the smoke process.

Step 4: Smoke the Pork Butt(s)

Place the pans with the pork butts on the smoker grate and close the lid.

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Make sure you have good smoke flowing.. I used hickory wood for mine but you can use your favorite or whatever smoking wood you have available.

Keep the smoke going for at least 4-6 hours but it's okay to keep it going the entire time.

Maintain 225°F (107°C) throughout the smoking process and you can expect the pork butts to take about 14 hours to finish.

Some folks like to wrap or cover the pork butts once it hits 160°F (71°C) but I usually don't employ this method.

When the pork butts reach 207°F (97°C) in the thickest part of the meat, they are done cooking and ready to come into the house to cool down.

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Step 5: Reserve the Juices

Pour off the juices from the pan into a large jar or other container.

Here's some instructions for separating the fat from the juices if you want to do that.

Set them aside for later.

Note: Another option is to leave the juice in the pan and pull the meat apart right there in those juices. This is not as healthy but it tastes amazing and the meat is SO juicy and flavorful!

Step 6: Pull or Shred the Meat

After the meat has cooled for about an hour, use a couple of forks to pull the meat into pieces.  Don't shred it too much.. just let it fall apart into it's natural sections.

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Spend a few minutes removing any large pieces of fat or membrane and you're done!

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Cover the pans with the meat and place them in the fridge for reheating later.

How to Reheat Pulled Pork

As I mentioned previously, I've had a lot of questions on how to reheat pulled pork so that it doesn't end up dry or taste like it was cooked yesterday (even though it was). Here is my easy method to making it taste juicier, smokier and even better than it did the day before:

Step 1: Meat Into Pans

Preferably you can reheat this on the smoker but it will also work fine in the oven or even over the stop top or grill.

Place the meat into foil pans or even large cast iron skillets like I did.

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Step 2: Juice it Up

If you have reserved juices then pour that evenly over the top of the pulled pork. I often use these juices when I first serve the meat so it's common to now have any juice left when it's time to reheat. No problem!

Add a stick of butter to the top of the meat.

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Note: I was short on butter while taking these pictures so I had to use a half stick on each pan to make it work.  That was enough but in my opinion, a whole stick is best.

During the reheating process, the butter will melt and juice up the meat.

Step 3: Add More Seasoning

With the butter on top of the meat for more juice, add more seasoning over the top of the meat as well. I don't measure this but rather do it to taste. Add a good sprinkle then taste it. You can easily add more if needed right before you serve it up.

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I used Jeff's original rub during the cooking process which is a really great balance of sweet and spicy without being too far in either direction.

During the reheat, I prefer to use Jeff's Texas style rub instead of the original rub. It has a little more salt than the original and tends to bring out the flavor a little more.

Step 4: Reheat the Meat

On the smoker set it up for about 225°F (107°C) or even as high as 275°F (135°C) if you're in a hurry. Reheat uncovered for 30-60 minutes or until the butter is fully melted and the meat is good and hot all the way through.

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In a pellet smoker set it to the specialized smoke setting so you'll get maximum smoke flavor during the reheat. Leave the meat uncovered and reheat for 60-90 minutes or until the butter is fully melted and the meat is good and hot all the way through.

In the oven reheat covered with foil at 275°F (135°C) for about 30 minutes or until the butter is fully melted and the meat is good and hot all the way through.

Step 5: Serve It Up

When the meat is finished cooking, give it a good stir to mix in the butter, extra seasoning and the smoke (if you used the smoker).

Call dinner and enjoy watching everyone dig in!

I do this all the time and I'm telling you, it's as good as it was when it first came off the smoker, some even say it's better and I don't disagree.

Let me know how it goes in the comments below if you give it a try.

4.1 from 41 votes

Juice Up, Flavorize and Reheat Pulled Pork

I am going to show you how to take that already cooked pulled pork (a day later) and make it taste like you just pulled it out of the smoker. It'll be juicier than it ever was, taste better than it did right out of the smoker and even have more smoke flavor;-)
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time14 hours
Total Time14 hours 10 minutes



  • Place the pork butt into a half-size foil pan fat cap side up.
  • Apply about 2 TBS of yellow mustard to the top and sides of the meat then coat the top and sides with Jeff's original rub.
  • Wait about 10 minutes then flip the pork over to fat cap side down.
  • Apply the same mustard and rub to the "now" top side and it's ready to cook.
  • Setup your smoker for cooking at 225°F (107°C) using indirect heat. If your smoker uses a water pan, fill it up.
  • When the smoker is ready, place the pan(s) of pork butt on the smoker grate and let it smoke cook for about 14 hours or until it reaches an internal temperature of 207°F (97°C) in the thickest part.
  • Remove the pan from the smoker and let the meat cool for about an hour.
  • Pour the juice into a separate container if desired and pull or shred the meat into pieces using two forks.You can also leave the juices in the pan to mix into the meat as it's pulled apart.
  • Serve immediately!

How to Reheat the Next Day

  • Place the meat into a foil pan or a cast iron skillet. Lay a stick of butter on top and sprinkle about ¼ cup of Jeff's Texas style rub on top of the meat.If you have reserved some of the juices, you can pour that on top as well.
  • Smoker: Uncovered at 225-275 for 30-60 minutes or until butter is melted and meat is hot all the way through.
  • Pellet smoker: Uncovered at 160-180 for 60-90 minutes or until butter is melted and meat is hot all the way through.
  • Oven: Uncovered at 275 for 30 minutes or until butter is melted and meat is hot all the way through.
  • Serve immediately!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Can you freeze the leftovers? I myself don’t have a problem eating the next day. But family tends not to want the same same meal the next day or even two days later.

    1. Yes, you can freeze the leftovers. Thaw in the fridge for a day or two before reheating or you can place the sealed bag in a pot or sink of cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes until the pork is thawed enough then follow the reheat instructions as outlined in the post.

  2. 3 stars
    My preferred method is to place the meat in a steam basket in a large pot and steam it for a minute or two. Keeps things moist without adding more fat like using butter. Big caveat though – this only works for smaller quantities, but certainly enough to feed my family. Works really well for sliced brisket or pastrami!

  3. 5 stars
    Hey! I tried your reheating/juice-up method last night for a pork shoulder I smoked and pulled the day before. It was amazing, and I agree that it tasted even better than the day I made it! Absolutely will be using this method all the time in the future. Thanks a bunch!

  4. we have a local bbq joint that is pretty good, but often kind of dry by the time we serve it. I threw in some apple juice and used your stick of butter technique. Everyone thought it was the best pulled pork that place had ever produced! my secret!

  5. 4 stars
    I vacuum pack and when I reheat I just put it whole bag into the hot water for about 30-40 minutes. Can’t tell if it came off the smoker or not. Never tried the butter idea but, might make an attempt at that.

  6. 5 stars
    Great tips.

    I often do two butts at a time so I can freeze one.

    I am a huge fan of Carolina vinegar sauce. so normally re heat in a cast iron skillet with some Carolina vinegar sauce. works and tastes great.

  7. I always vacuum freeze my pulled pork after smoking it. Usually enough for 4 in each pouch. Reheat covered in those foil pans with a splash of Shiner and sprinkle some rub in. Takes like It just came out of the smoker. Thanks for all you do. Cheers🍺


  8. 4 stars
    Your procedure works well but instead of pouring the leftover stock over the pulled pork, heat the stock, add the pulled pork to the hot stock, mix well, then add the butter to the top. It will all heat up quickly and will be less likely to overcook during the re-heat process. We all know overcooked pulled pork can get dry quickly so be sure to check the temp. You don’t need to bring it to a high temp as long as you remember that you’re not cooking it, just re-heating it.

  9. Here’s another idea on saving the juices from the pork butt. After you pour it into a jar, or other sealable container, turn it upside down in the refrigerator. When the fat solidifies at the top (which is the bottom of the jar), take it out, open the jar, and pour the juices into another container. I use Mason jars for this, and after pouring the juices off, I put the Mason jar in the freezer. I keep it to store other cooking fat so I don’t have to pour it down the drain. Then I toss it in the trash when it’s full.

  10. I don’t have a problem with keeping it moist.
    But… with it taking on the I have been in the fridge all night taste. What to do to fix this problem?

    1. Neal, by adding the butter and extra rub and even more smoke if possible, it should not have that “I cooked this yesterday” flavor.

      Be sure to cover it really good during it’s fridge time or store it in a zip top bag that is sealed closed so it doesn’t pick up any off flavors from the fridge.

  11. I have reheated in the oven and microwave before only to dry it out. Recently i used a souis vede and it came out amazing. You can set it to 120 or 130 which is a good eating temp and leave it as long as you like without additional cooking. The fat and juices are contained in the bag and always comes out like freshly cooked. I freeze small portions for 3 or 4 sandwiches and a butt lasts for weeks for my wife and I.