Pulled pork consists of shredded, slow-cooked pork mixed with barbecue sauce.
You might have invited your friends over on a Sunday afternoon and spent a significant part of your morning making a delectable batch of pulled pork.
The trouble is that you overestimated how much people would eat, leaving you with leftovers.
Not to worry, because this is not a bad problem to have.
You can still store your pulled pork, which will taste just as good a day or two later as it did when you freshly made it.
For some of us, pulled pork gets better as it ages since the spices used continue to infuse into the meat, making it tastier.
Storing pulled pork for longer than the recommended limit can result in it becoming moldy and spoiling.
Eating it can make you sick.
Thus, it is important to know, how long does Pulled Pork last?
What’s Pulled Pork?
Pulled pork is one of the most popular barbecue dishes in the U.S.
It originated in southern America, and consists of shredded, slow-cooked pork mixed with barbecue sauce.
Pulled pork is slow roasted, cooked or smoked over low heat until tender, such that you can shred it easily with a fork.
The shredded meat is then tossed with barbecue sauce and served on sandwich buns and sides of your liking.
Consuming pulled pork is significantly beneficial for you.
Pork is a powerhouse of essential minerals and vitamins, and only three ounces of cooked lean pork provides a third of the daily recommended amount of niacin, thiamin, vitamin B6 and selenium.
A palm-size amount of pork also provides you with 22 grams of protein that helps maintain muscle mass.
For those not meeting the basic protein requirements, pulled pork could help significantly.
How Long Does Pulled Pork Last? Does Pulled Pork Go Bad?
Yes, pulled pork spoils if not stored appropriately or when kept for prolonged periods.
The following is the estimated shelf life for it:
- Shelf life in pantry .
When you purchase fresh pork to make your pulled pork, you should refrigerate it at 40 degrees F and use it within three to five days.
If you are not planning to use the meat within this period, you should freeze it at 0 degrees F.
After transforming the raw pork into delicious pulled pork, ensure that you consume it within two hours and one hour if the temperature is above 90 degrees F.
- Shelf life in Fridge.
If you do not finish all the pulled pork within the recommended two hours, refrigerate it at 40 degrees F or less.
You should consume pulled pork stored in the fridge within three to four days, by reheating at 165 degrees F while still hot and steaming.
You should cover leftover pulled pork, seal it in an airtight storage container or wrap it in airtight packaging when storing in the refrigerator to retain moisture, keep bacteria out, and prevent it from picking odor from other foods.
- Can pulled pork be frozen?
You can also freeze pulled pork, which is a wonderful way of preserving leftovers when you remain with too much.
You can freeze it and use within three months.
There are safe ways of thawing your frozen pulled pork, including in cold water, in the fridge, or microwave.
You should never thaw frozen foods at room temperature.
It is best to thaw pulled pork in the refrigerator since it will remain safe for consumption for three to five days in the fridge and can be safely refrozen if not cooked within this time.
If you thaw it by microwaving or using cold water, ensure to cook before refreezing again.
How to Tell if Pulled Pork is Bad?
Eating rotten pulled pork can make you sick. Therefore, you should always look for any signs that the pork is bad.
If you notice the signs identified below, it is time to throw the pork away.
At times, it might be easy to tell if the pulled pork is bad by merely looking at it.
In reality, to know whether the pulled pork is bad, first conduct a visual inspection.
Signs of bad pulled pork
- Mold .
Check if there is any mold on the pulled pork.
Mold is a strong indicator that the pulled pork is rotten.
You may consider removing the moldy portion and eating the other part; however, you are strongly advised against doing that because you do not know whether the other part is bad or not.
- Changes in texture .
Look for any texture changes in your pulled pork.
If you notice any change in the pulled pork’s texture, do not eat it.
- Slimy feel .
Another clear sign that pulled pork is bad is if it has a slimy layer covering it.
If the pork feels moist or slimy, it is time to throw it away.
- Changes in hue .
Additionally, keep an eye on changes in the pulled pork’s hue.
It should be red not gray, red or blue.
However, it is essential to note that a change in the pork’s color does not necessarily mean it is bad.
- A bad scent .
Ammonia-like smell is another telltale sign that your pulled pork is bad.
Scent is the quickest way to tell whether your pork is bad.
If you detect an unpleasant odor when sniffing the pulled pork, that is enough proof that it is bad; throw it away.
- Mold grows from microscopic spores that float around in the air. When the spores fall on a piece of humid pulled pork, they grow into mold.
- Changes in the pork’s texture, hue and a slimy outer layer occur due to prolonged exposure to humid environment. Store the pork in an air tight packaging bag to avoid exposure to water and other elements that accelerate the spoilage.
Eating rotten pulled pork can be harmful to your health.
Be keen to identify signs of bad pulled pork. It is easy to identify bad pulled pork.
First, conduct a visual inspection of the pork.
If you notice any mold on the pork, it is time to throw it away.
Another sign of bad pork is a change in texture; if you notice any of the expected changes in the pork’s texture, there is a high probability of it being bad.
Additionally, always be on the lookout for changes in the pork’s hue or if it feels slimy or moist.
If the pork has a slimy layer on the top, throw it away immediately.
Last but not least, scent is a fast way of telling whether your pulled pork is bad or not.
If you notice any unpleasant odor when you smell your packaged pork, do not eat it because you might end up on a hospital bed.