Pulled pork is a delicious barbecue staple that’s perfect for gatherings and meals all week long. But like any cooked meat, you have to be careful about how long does pulled pork last in the fridge before going bad.
Knowing the right pulled pork fridge life can help you avoid food waste and foodborne illness. Read on to learn everything you need to safely store and reheat leftover pulled pork.
How Long Does Pulled Pork Last In The Fridge?
Freshly cooked then rested pulled pork stored properly in the fridge will last 3-4 days – as USDA suggested. To maximize the shelf life, portion the pork into shallow airtight containers and refrigerate immediately after cooking and allowing it to cool. Pulled pork lasts for less time than other leftover meats since the shredding exposes more surface area to potential bacteria growth.
Ground or shredded meats like pulled pork & pork shoulder should not be kept beyond 3-4 days, even when refrigerated. If you cook a large batch, plan to freeze the excess pulled pork for longer-term storage.
How long will pulled pork be good for after cooked?
It will depend on the environment that you choose to preserve your precious leftovers:
- At Room Temperature – 2 hours
- Refrigerated – 3 to 4 days
- In the Freezer – 2 to 3 months
The juice in pulled pork fridge life depends on factors like ingredient quality, cooking hygiene, and storage conditions. Trust your eyes and nose – if the pork smells, looks, or tastes bad, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Discard expired pulled pork.
How long is BBQ pork good for in the fridge?
BBQ pulled pork stored in the fridge will last for 3 to 4 days after cooking. The acidic barbecue sauce actually helps prevent bacteria growth slightly compared to plain pulled pork.
Just be sure to refrigerate the BBQ pork immediately after cooking, keep it in an airtight container, and use within 3-4 days for food safety. It’s important too with seafood, you should know how long can raw shrimp can stay in the fridge if you want to cook it.
How long does pork last in the freezer?
Pulled pork that is properly frozen in airtight packaging or containers will be kept for 2 to 3 months in the freezer. For the best quality, use frozen leftover pulled pork within 2 months.
To freeze, let cooked pork cool completely first. Portion into freezer bags or containers, removing as much air as possible before sealing. Freeze immediately and avoid thawing until ready to reuse.
Can You Cook Pulled Pork Then Freeze Pulled Pork?
Absolutely, pulled pork can be frozen! It’s a great way to store leftovers for a long time. Here’s how to do it:
First, let your pulled pork cool down to room temperature. Don’t leave it out for more than two hours to avoid bacterial growth. Once cool, put it into a freezer-safe container or a heavy-duty freezer bag. It’s a good idea to portion it out into meal-sized amounts so you only thaw what you need each time.
Before you seal the bag or container, try to remove as much air as possible. This helps to prevent freezer burn which can affect the taste and texture of the pork. Then, seal it tightly.
Write the date on the bag or the container so you’ll know how long it’s been in the freezer. Pulled pork can be safely frozen for up to three months. When you’re ready to eat the pork, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.
By freezing your pulled pork, you can have a delicious meal ready to go whenever you need it!
How Can I Tell If Pulled Pork Has Gone Bad? Signs That Pulled Pork Is Bad To Eat
If you’re unsure whether your pulled pork has gone bad, there are a few key signs to look for:
- Smell: Fresh pulled pork has a meaty smell. If it smells sour, rancid, or just off, it’s likely gone bad.
- Color: Fresh pulled pork is usually a pink or brown color. If it’s gone bad, it might look gray or green.
- Texture: If the pork feels slimy or sticky, those are signs it’s gone off. Fresh pork should feel moist, but not slimy.
- Mold: This one’s easy. If you see any mold or other unusual growths on the pork, don’t eat it.
Trust your senses. Any pungent odors, unappealing colors or bacterial sliminess means pulled pork has gone bad and should not be eaten. When in doubt, throw it out.
What Are The Risks Of Eating Spoiled Leftover Pulled Pork?
Knowing how long does pulled pork last in the fridge is important. Eating spoiled leftover pulled pork, or any spoiled food for that matter, can be risky because it may contain harmful bacteria or toxins.
These can lead to foodborne illnesses, which are not only unpleasant but can also be dangerous, especially for people with weakened immune systems, the elderly, pregnant women, and young children.
Here are the potential risks:
- Food Poisoning: The most common risk is food poisoning, which can cause symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever. These symptoms can start a few hours after eating the spoiled pork, or they might not appear until several days later.
- Salmonella: This bacteria can cause salmonellosis, a type of food poisoning. Symptoms are similar to general food poisoning but can be more severe and last longer.
- E. Coli: This bacteria can cause severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. Most people recover in a week, but it can be severe in some cases.
- Listeria: This bacteria can lead to a serious infection called listeriosis, which can be life-threatening, especially for people with weakened immune systems.
- Botulism: Although not as common, this serious illness is caused by a toxin produced by bacteria in spoiled food. It can cause paralysis and can be life-threatening.
If you suspect you have food poisoning, it’s important to stay hydrated and rest. If symptoms are severe or persist for more than a few days, seek medical attention immediately. Remember, it’s always better to prevent foodborne illness by practicing proper food safety, including not eating spoiled food.
What Is The Best Way To Store Pulled Pork In The Fridge?
To maximize the shelf life of refrigerated pulled pork:
- Let the pork cool completely before refrigerating. Avoid large, dense containers that slow cooling.
- Divide into shallow, sealable containers. Shallow depth allows for faster chilling.
- Ensure containers are airtight. Cover pulled pork securely to prevent contamination.
- Avoid overcrowding the fridge, as this slows temperature regulation.
- Refrigerate at 40°F or below. Use an appliance thermometer to monitor.
- Label containers with the date cooked or use the oldest first. Track fridge time.
- Use clean utensils to serve. Never reuse pulled pork after spoons have contacted it.
Proper cooling, containment, labeling and temperature control gives pulled pork the longest safe fridge life. So, how long does pulled pork last in the fridge? Discard pork if older than 3-4 days refrigerated.
How To Reheat Pulled Pork Safely? Thaw The Frozen Pork Leftover
To make pulled pork hot and delicious gain, here are the step-by-step instructions:
- Thaw frozen pork in the fridge overnight before reheating. Do not thaw at room temperature.
- Use the stove, oven, or microwave to reheat to 165°F. Stovetop or oven heating is best for texture.
- Bring sauces, broths, or barbecue sauce to a boil before adding pork.
- Stir and rotate pork to evenly heat through. Recheck the temperature with a food thermometer.
- Only reheat once for food safety. Do not cool and re-reheat pork again after the first time.
- Discard any pork that does not reach 165°F upon reheating. Partial cooking can increase bacteria risks.
When reheating pulled pork, be sure to heat thoroughly so any potential bacteria that may have grown is destroyed. Since we know the answer to the question how long does pulled pork last in the fridge – only reheat pork that has been safely stored for under 4 days in the fridge or 2-3 months in the freezer.
Can I eat pork after 5 days in the fridge?
Yes, refrigerated cooked pork is safe to eat within 4-5 days. Check for any foul smell or change in color before consuming.
Is pork OK in the fridge for a week?
Raw pork can last 3-5 days in the fridge. Beyond that, it’s safer to freeze it.
Can you freeze pulled pork after 4 days?
Yes, you can freeze pulled pork in a sealer after 4 days. Ensure it’s cooled properly before freezing.
Is cooked pork in the fridge for 7 days safe to eat?
Cooked pork is generally safe to eat within 7 days if refrigerated properly. Check for any signs of spoilage before eating.
In summary, how long does pulled pork last in the fridge? Always observe proper storage times, temperatures, conditions, and reheating guidelines to safely enjoy leftover pulled pork and avoid the risks of foodborne illness.
Check for signs of spoilage and when in doubt, throw it out. With the right care in the fridge or freezer, pulled pork leftovers can be deliciously savored for days after cooking.
- How long can you keep cooked pork?: https://ask.usda.gov/s/article/How-long-can-you-keep-cooked-pork
- Pulled pork: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulled_pork
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