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Preparing Pulled Pork way in Advance

I'd like to cook pulled pork for my camp out on Sunday.

Does anyone know if it's possible to slow cook a pork shoulder (bone in), for 6 hours on Wednesday - freeze it - then slow cook it for another 2 hours at the camp on Sunday? Would this affect how it fell off the bone?

I'd prefer not to slow cook the entire time I am camping, so it would be helpful to do some prep beforehand.

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  1. You should re-post this in the Home Cooking board. That being said, Why not just cook it entirely and re-heat. It will still be good on Sunday as long as it's stored properly. For what it's worth, I have had pulled pork that was frozen and re-heated and did not like it, the texture was dry and stringy.

    1. are you suggesting par-cooking? that's generally not safe with meat. cook it all the way and freeze if you want, then reheat gently in flavorful liquid at camp.

      but honestly? you can cook it and not need to freeze if storing it only 4 days.

      1. What Lmrbest said. Cook it, pull it, freeze it. It reheats well.

        1. Why can't you cook it fully on Wednesday, shred it, add some sauce to it to moisten it, and then freeze it until you want to rewarm it with additional sauce on Sunday?

          1. If I did cook it, shred it, freeze it with some defatted juices, any suggestions on reheating it other than on low heat?

            1 Reply
            1. re: StepInside

              if you use high heat the meat may toughen up, so low heat is the best way.

            2. Completely cook. Do not pull. Do not freeze. Wrap and refrigerate.

              15 Replies
              1. re: Uncle Bob

                And then slow cook it on sunday for an hour or two and then pull it?

                1. re: StepInside

                  i'd pull it to reheat. you won't need 2 hours.

                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    Pulling cold pork is difficult. Its always best to pull it when it's warm and soft.

                  2. re: StepInside

                    No need to cook for two hours if it's completely cooked. Pull, warm and eat.

                    1. re: Uncle Bob

                      from what I understand, a pork shoulder does not pull easily cold.

                      1. re: StepInside

                        If it is cooked completely, falling apart, it might have a bit of solidified fat from cooling in the fridge, but it will pull fine. Yes, cook it completely, wrap in foil or pull right away, your choice, then simply reheat with some moisture at the site. How will you be cooking? Over a fire? Grills? Kitchen?
                        How long will you be there? Are you arriving at the camp on Sunday, or before?

                        1. re: StepInside

                          Not as easily as hot off the pit for sure...but still doable. ~~ In my world 'camp out' means out doors. No oven, no electrical appliances. ~~~ The more meat surface (pulled) that is exposed to the air/freezer/refrigerator the more it will dry out. Repeating. IMO Completely cook. Do not pull. Do not freeze. Take it to the 'camp out', pull and reheat by whatever means is available.

                          1. re: StepInside

                            I'll be camping from friday to monday - chose to cook for everyone Sunday night. Doh!

                            1. re: StepInside

                              Will this be sitting in a cooler or a fridge? How will you reheat it?

                            2. re: StepInside

                              Sitting in a cooler. Reheat by fuel powered stove top.

                              1. re: StepInside

                                If I were set on this particular dish, in those circumstances, I would cook it, pull it, freeze it, then by Sunday it will still be cold, then slowly cook it in a heavy pan over the burner. Will it lose some texture? yes.
                                But, that said... not so sure I would do it at all. My heavy bottomed pans don't fit well over the burner, using something thinner and smaller riskes sorching the bottom before it is heated through. Also, I think it would take more fuel than I'd be willing to use just to reheat.
                                No fire at all? No dutch oven in the coals kind of option? Did you mention how many people you are serving?

                              1. re: StepInside

                                That's a big pot of pulled pork to reheat. On a stove top. The more one stirs, the mushier it gets, and in my opinion, gets "too" pulled.
                                Is your heart set on this? Is it a specialty of yours? How primitive is the campsite? any electricity? If so, plug in a slow cooker or roaster.

                              2. re: Uncle Bob

                                We have four burners, so space won't be an issue. Taken all this advice, I definitely think I've got it.

                                1. re: StepInside

                                  As long as you have a decent reheating strategy, then, yeah, do it! Woodburner sounds like he/she knows what to do.

                          2. I do this professionally for a caterer... hundreds of times. Smoke or slow cook it to 200 internal temp. Pull it and sauce it -- I suggest a vinegar based sauce. It will complement the pork, and not be "over sauced." It will also keep it moist for the reheat. Put into one or several containers. You can freeze and defrost/reheat gently with excellent results. Or you can simply refrigerate and reheat as well. If you want, freeze, then put in a cooler, then 4 days later it will simply be fridge cold and ready to reheat. If well chilled, it will easily last 4-5 days just in the fridge. Holler if you want specifics on rub and sauce.

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: woodburner

                              How do you reheat it? What would you suggest?

                              1. re: StepInside

                                I cook the pork in

                                1 cup white vinegar
                                1 cup apple cider vinegar
                                1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
                                1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
                                1 tablespoon soy sauce

                                When the pork is cooked, I remove it from the dutch oven and defat the remaining liquid. Voila! This is a delicious sauce! Mix it all back into the meat.

                                Sometimes I also add some ketchup at the beginning or some yellow mustard..

                                1. re: woodburner

                                  Really interested in this vinegar based sauce recipe - eastern north carolina?

                                    1. re: Seeker19104

                                      And a pic... mine is the tray, my daughter did the close up on her butt!

                                    2. re: StepInside

                                      Hey. My understanding is that the western N Carolina goes with apple cider vinegar, some crushed red pepper (a lot, actually), and some ketchup to add a little tomato. The eastern NC is more hard core, without the ketchup!>> Very simple. I go with the western (Piedmont) version, but I cut it with some brown sugar and some water as well. So for one big butt, maybe 2C vinegar, 1C water, 1/2C ketchup, 1 or 2T brown sugar, and 1 or 2T CRP.

                                      I prefer to rub the meat, smoke (or roast) low and slow, get some nice bark on there, then pull and add enough sauce to fully moisten, but not let the meat swim in sauce.

                                      1. re: woodburner

                                        The recipe I originally used added crushed red pepper but I make this for someone who thinks he cannot tolerate ANY red pepper so I leave it out.

                                        I think the heat wod be good,
                                        . But I'd likely add my homemade hot sauce

                                      2. re: StepInside

                                        I have no idea . I live in Boston. Not the BBQ Capitol of the world. It's an Emeril recipe, actually.

                                        I do a bit of part time catering for small groups and its a hit.

                                        And my family craves it.

                                        I should also note that I carefully pull the pork to remove gobs of fat and skin and other unappetizing stuff

                                    3. Cook fully and pull while still warm. If available vacuum seal packages of your pulled pork and either refrigerate or freeze. The bags can be reheated in simmering water stove top at the camp