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Old 03-24-2009, 09:59 AM   #1
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Default pulled pork - cook now, eat later??

Hi all.

Here's a logistical question for you experienced smokers:

I'm committed to doing pulled pork for a lunch for a bunch of friends. Because of time and location, etc, I can't do the cooking the day of the gathering. In fact, looks like I'll have to cook and freeze the meat (perhaps a week in advance), then thaw/heat and serve. I know that's not ideal, but it's what I have to work with...

After I cook up the pork butts, do I shred'em and freeze'em and then reheat trays of shredded meat, or do I freeze them whole and then shred them after they've been thawed and reheated? Or??

What do you think will result in a better final product?

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Old 03-24-2009, 10:02 AM   #2
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I'd shred and freeze jsmo

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Old 03-24-2009, 10:17 AM   #3
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Pull, VacPak in two lb foodsaver bags, freeze until needed, cold water thaw and then simmer in a big pot of water for about thirty min.

This is the ideal way that I would do it.

I have a Church function in a couple of weeks that will afford me nothing but a microwave. In that cirumstance I am going to cook the day before we leave vacpak and refrigerate. Then, as needed, I am going to heat the unopened bags in the microwave for about four minutes kneading every min or so.

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Old 03-24-2009, 10:19 AM   #4
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We pull and chill first, then FoodSaver for freezing, and reheat the bags in simmering water.
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:23 AM   #5
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Freeze whole or big chunks. Shred after reheating won't dry out this way.
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:26 AM   #6
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Thx for the quick responses!

So the pulling or shredding first, as 3 of you suggest, won't make the meat dry out more than freezing in chunks and shredding later when reheated? That's sort of my fear that is driving this question...

I don't have a vacuum pack device, so it would be foil, syran wrap, zip lock bags, that sort of 'technology' for me.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:28 AM   #7
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Pull the pork and them freeze. It is easier to pull it when it is warm off of the smoker. Add some sauce and freeze. Reheat in boiuling H2O as suggested
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:01 AM   #8
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pull, shread and then freeze. i reheat heat mine in bbq sauce and simmer till hot all the way through
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:18 AM   #9
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I pull and freeze. I vacusuck with the Foodsaver. I do mine in 1 lb. packages. A 1 lb. pack takes about 10 minutes in simmerign water. I don't have any problems with the meat drying out.
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:20 AM   #10
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I just did this several weeks ago....I broke into big "chunks", de-boned, then vac sealed and froze....thawed in fridge and re-heated in foil pans in a slow oven, about 250.....then pull warm.....came out nice and moist.....I think you lose some valuable juices if you pull first....just my 2 cents..
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:39 AM   #11
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I managed a BBQ resturant recently, and we would pull everything, leave in bigger chunks than you would want to eat, but not HUGE then we would wrap and put in fridge... its not freazing, but same sort of deal, and the meat was normally pretty good...(The cooks didnt care, if the meat was bad it wasnt becuase of cooling, it was becuase of bad work!)
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:45 AM   #12
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The ideal way as mentioned "pulling and vac pac'n then heat in boiling water is best". Since you don't have vac pac I wouldn't pull first though. also sprinkle on some mo rub and apple juice when heating and you want to keep it sealed tight with foil or whatever while heating it too. either way you do it it's gonna be good, pork it hard to screw up by over cooking.

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Old 03-24-2009, 12:12 PM   #13
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Thanks for the comments, there's nothing better than experience when it comes to these things.

This'll be the first time some of these folks will have tried pulled pork, and certainly it'll be a first for them to try it home made (we're a little slow on the uptake out here on the west coast of Canada, eh?) so I want it to be a good first impression!
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Old 03-24-2009, 12:48 PM   #14
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I reheat pulled pork in an aluminum pan covered with foil. Put in oven at 250. Mix 50/50 apple juice and bbq sauce and lightly coat everything. Cook until heated through. My wife just reheats without adding sauce and its always very good and never dry.
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:43 PM   #15
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I just posted a thread on this subject this morning:
(Re-Heating Packaged Meats)

Since you don't have the cryo-suck option, I would zip lock it and put it in the fridge if it's within 3 days and in the freezer if longer.

I too would reheat in the oven with a mixture of 25% apple cider vinegar and 75% apple juice. Into that mix I would add some (but not to much) of your rub and pour over the meat and mix well. Use only as much liquid as you need to make/keep it moist... You don't want the meat to need swimming leasons!

Reheat in the oven covered for roughly 30 minutes to an hour depending how thick a layer you have in your pan (1-2 inches 30 minutes, 3 inches 45 minutes, anything more 60 minutes)... Remember you want to bring ALL of the meat above 140* in order to get it into the 'Safe Zone' and you need to keep it above or at 140* to avoid illness.

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