Pulled pork is an American BBQ dish that’s popular in the south. It’s typically slow-smoked over wood or cooked in a slow cooker. The meat is then shredded manually or mixed with a sauce. If you made pulled pork and have some leftovers, you may wonder if you can freeze them for eating later.
So can you freeze pulled pork? Yes, you can freeze pulled pork, whether it’s with sauce or not. Since it’s a meat product, you need to be extra careful handling it from prepping to freezing them. Pulled pork that is properly stored will last for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Does Pulled Pork Freeze Well?
Like most other meat products, pulled pork freezes very well. You can keep either freeze them with the sauce or no sauce. It’s better to freeze pulled pork without the sauce. This allows you to add freeze more per freezer bag.
Freezing pulled pork with sauces is possible, but you can’t freeze them in large amounts. If you do, you’ll need to use them all up when it thaws. Refreezing pulled pork is not recommended, and it’s quite dangerous. Pork that is frozen and thawed has a higher chance of contamination of bacteria.
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When it comes to freezing pulled pork, the process is really simple and only takes a few minutes.
Below is the method to freezing pulled pork:
1. Cool Down
Allow the pulled pork to cool down to room temperature. If the pulled pork is still warm, and it’s stored in the freezer, it will cause condensation. This will cause moisture and damage the pork.
2. Storage Containers
You can either use an airtight container or a plastic bag. Make sure it’s made for freezer usage. Otherwise, the container or bag won’t be able to withstand the freezing temperature and crack.
3. Portion the Pulled Pork
If the pulled pork doesn’t have any sauce, you can put as much as you can into a single bag.
On the other hand, if the pulled pork has sauce, you will want to portion them in smaller containers. This will prevent you from having any leftovers.
4. Sealing and Labeling
If using an airtight container, check the lid for any damages to it. If there are, discard them. Even a small tear could let air into the container.
Can You Freeze Pulled Pork With Sauce?
Yes, you can freeze pulled pork with sauce. When freezing them with sauce, you have to be very careful as to what sauce you use. BBQ sauce will freeze fine, and you should have no problem freezing them with pulled pork.
On the other hand, emulsified sauces, like mayonnaise or homemade vinaigrette will not be frozen. These sauces will freeze, but when it thaws, they will not return to their original texture and flavor. For that reason, it’s best to add these sauces once you thaw and reheat pulled pork.
When freezing pulled pork with sauces, it’s best to freeze them in portions. This way, you’ll only need to remove what you need without worrying about having any leftovers. It’s not recommended to refreezing any leftovers.
How Long Can You Freeze Pulled Pork?
Pulled pork can be kept fresh in the freezer for up to 3 months. After that time, it will still be safe to consume, but the quality of it will not be that great. Eating after time, you’ll notice the meat will become mushy and have a loss in flavor.
How Do You Defrost Pulled Pork?
The best method of thawing pulled pork is in the fridge. This will allow them to thaw evenly throughout without having a change in texture and taste.
If you need pulled pork much quicker, you can thaw them in cold water or in the microwave. Using both of these methods will require you to cook them immediately after thawing.
Using Pulled Pork After Freezing
When it comes to frozen pulled pork, there aren’t any limitations or restrictions. You can pretty much use them as you would with fresh pulled pork. Just make sure they are thawed completely first though.
Below is some food you can use frozen pulled pork for:
- Soups and Stews
As you can see, there is a lot of food you can use frozen pulled pork with. Properly frozen, they will taste the same as before you freeze them.
Can You Refreeze Pulled Pork?
Once pulled pork is frozen and thawed, it’s not recommended to refreezing them. Doing so will result in the pork becoming mushy when it’s thawed.
However, if the pulled pork has not thawed completely yet, and it’s still in the fridge, you can refreeze them.
To avoid having to refreeze pulled pork, you should freeze them in portions. This way, you won’t end up with any leftovers and have to refreeze them.
Pulled pork can be frozen, but you’ll need to handle the meat with care to avoid bacteria contamination. As long as you handle them carefully, keep them properly stored in the freezer, pulled pork will taste just like when it was fresh.