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 ;-)
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 14 hours
- Smoker Temp: 225°F (107°C)
- Meat Finish Temp: 207°F (97°C)
- Recommended Wood: Hickory
- 1 Boston Butt (Pork Butt)
- 1 half-size foil pan
- 2 TBS Yellow mustard
- ½ cup Jeff's original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub)
- 1 stick (¼ lb) of butter
- ¼ cup Jeff's Texas style rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub)
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.
Why use a pan? This keeps your smoker cleaner and ensures you catch all of those tasty juices from the pork butt.
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.
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.
Leave it sitting there while you go get the smoker ready.
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.
Place the pans with the pork butts on the smoker grate and close the lid.
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.
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!
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.
Spend a few minutes removing any large pieces of fat or membrane and you're done!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
During the reheat, I prefer to use the Texas rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled 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.
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.
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.
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.
Juice Up, Flavorize and Reheat Pulled Pork
- 1 Boston Butt ((Pork Butt))
- 1 half-size foil pan
- 2 TBS Yellow mustard
- ½ cup Jeff's original rub
- 1 stick butter ((¼ lb))
- ¼ cup Jeff's Texas style rub
- 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!
Note: You can also order the formulas for my rubs and sauce and make these yourself at home. Grab those HERE and download immediately.