Pulled pork is a popular food item that is found across many countries.
It is a trendy dish that is favored by people of all ages and tastes.
While it’s easy to prepare and delicious to eat, many people are uncertain about the shelf life of their pulled pork.
In this article, we’ll be exploring the question of how long cooked pulled pork lasts, and whether it goes bad.
What is Pulled Pork?
Pulled pork is an iconic dish made by slow-cooking seasoned pork shoulder or pork butt, resulting in tender and juicy meat that’s easy to pull apart.
The dish is typically cooked for several hours, sometimes up to 12 hours or more, to ensure it is cooked to an appropriate temperature throughout.
While the seasoning and toppings on pulled pork vary from region to region, it’s typically served on a bun or with sides such as coleslaw or baked beans.
How Long Does Cooked Pulled Pork Last?
The shelf life of cooked pulled pork depends on several factors such as how it was prepared and how it was stored. On average, cooked pulled pork will last up to four days if it was stored properly in the refrigerator at or below 40°F. However, if the pork was originally cooked, then immediately refrigerated, it can last up to seven days.
How to Store Cooked Pulled Pork?
It’s important to properly store cooked pulled pork to ensure it remains fresh and tasty for as long as possible.
- Refrigerate: If you have leftover pulled pork, the best way to keep it fresh is to refrigerate it within two hours of cooking. Place the pork into an airtight container or resealable plastic bag and refrigerate it for up to four days.
- Freeze: Cooked pulled pork can last up to six months when frozen. To freeze it, wrap the pork tightly in foil or plastic wrap, then place it in a resealable plastic freezer bag. When ready to use, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
- Reheat: To reheat cooked pulled pork, it should be heated to an internal temperature of 165°F. You can reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop, but for the best texture, consider reheating it in the oven wrapped in foil.
How to Tell if Cooked Pulled Pork Has Gone Bad?
While cooked pulled pork can last for several days when stored correctly, it’s important to know when to throw it away. Eating pulled pork that has gone bad can lead to food poisoning and potentially severe health problems. Here are some indicators that indicate that your cooked pulled pork has gone bad:
- Off smell: If the pork has a rancid or foul odor, it’s most likely not safe to eat.
- Discoloration: If the pork has a grey or brown hue, it’s a sign that the meat has spoiled.
- Texture: If the meat has a slimy or mushy texture, it is likely spoiled.
- Taste: If the pork has a strange or sour taste, it’s best to discard it.
Can You Freeze Cooked Pulled Pork?
Yes, you can freeze cooked pulled pork. If you have leftover pulled pork and do not plan on using it within four days, consider freezing it. One of the main benefits of freezing cooked pulled pork is that it can extend its shelf life by up to six months, making it ideal for meal prep or planning your meals in advance.
Tips for Maximizing the Shelf Life of Cooked Pulled Pork
- Store immediately: To maximize the shelf life of cooked pulled pork, it should be stored immediately after cooking.
- Use airtight containers: To help prevent any spoilage, it’s best to store the pulled pork in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag.
- Refrigerate within two hours: Cooked pulled pork should be refrigerated within two hours of cooking to prevent bacterial growth.
- Properly thaw: If you are planning to freeze your pulled pork, make sure to thaw it properly in the refrigerator or cold water.
- Reheat properly: Cooked pulled pork should be reheated to an internal temperature of 165°F to ensure it is safe to eat.
Cooked pulled pork is a delicious and popular dish that can be enjoyed by many, but it’s crucial to understand how to properly store it to maximize its shelf life. If stored correctly, cooked pulled pork can be kept in the refrigerator for up to four days and in the freezer for up to six months.
But, if you notice any signs of spoilage, such as an off smell or slimy texture, it’s best to discard it to avoid the risk of food poisoning. By following these tips, you can ensure that your pulled pork remains safe to eat and delicious for as long as possible.
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.