How To Reheat Cooked Pork – 9 Proven Best Ways

According to the USDA, pork ranks number one as the most consumed meat in the USA. It comes in many forms and ways of cooking, making pork incredibly versatile to use in many recipes.

Some dishes are usually prepared in a massive amount considering the cooking process that can take hours. If you still have some portions left after everyone has finished their meals, you can always store them and reheat for later.

If you want to learn how to reheat leftover pork – from roast pork to ribs to sausages to meatballs, keep reading. We share the detailed instructions to heat up all kinds of pork dishes.

Can You Reheat Leftover Pork Safely?

As with other leftovers, cooked pork can be reheated safely as long as it was cooked and appropriately stored following food safety guidelines set by the USDA. (*)

Cook adequately. Raw and undercooked pork may contain parasites and harmful bacteria that will make you sick.

The USDA suggests cooking the meat to minimum temperatures to kill off the germs; 145 °F for any pork cuts and 160 °F for ground pork. Of course, you can cook them at higher temperatures depending on your preferences.

Refrigerate promptly. Cooked pork is perishable food that can get easily contaminated by harmful bacteria when left outside. Therefore, it is crucial to refrigerate any leftovers in 2 hours of cooking (or 1 hour if the temperature is above 90 °F. Place them in a shallow, airtight container.

Thaw safely. Frozen leftovers should be thawed safely in the fridge, in cold water (in a leak-proof bag), or in the microwave. Never leave them at room temperature for longer than two hours.

Reheat properly. Regardless of the dishes and reheating method, any leftovers should be evenly reheated until the interior reaches 165 °F to kill off any pathogenic bacteria.

How To Reheat Various Pork Dishes

When you reheat leftovers, you want them to stay tender and juicy, just like how they tasted on the day of cooking. Don’t worry. We have compiled the proper ways to reheat various pork dishes to preserve their original flavors and textures. Here they are.

Pork Chops

Whether you cooked a large batch or got some leftovers, there is a way to revive this comfort food without drying it out.

Follow the instructions below, and rest assured you can enjoy a plate of warm pork chops with mashed potatoes and applesauce.

Option 1: Reheating in the oven

1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F.

2. Place the leftovers in an oven-safe dish and add some liquid (broth or water). The extra liquid helps to retain the juice inside the meat and keep it tender.

3. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.

4. Reheat for 10 to 15 minutes. Check to see whether the pork chops are evenly reheated. They are ready when the interior reaches 165 °F.

5. Remove from the oven, rest for a few minutes, and serve!

Option 2: Reheating in a skillet

1. Prepare a large pan that’s enough to fit all the pork chops. They should sit in one layer.

2. Place them on the pan and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of broth or water to keep the meat moist and tender.

3. Turn on the stove on medium heat. Reheat for several minutes on each side until all sides heat up nicely. Feel free to add more liquid while reheating. Use a tablespoon so you won’t add too much at a time.

Option 3: Reheating in the microwave

Your microwave should be the last option because this kitchen appliance has a reputation for drying out cooked meat. You can avoid this issue by using moderate power. High heat tends to dehydrate food more quickly.

1. Place leftovers on a microwave-safe plate in a single layer.

2. Cover the dish with a damp paper towel.

3. Set the microwave on medium power (50%) and reheat for 30 seconds.

4. Check after 30 seconds. Repeat the cycle until there are no cold spots and the internal temperature reaches 165 °F.

5. Serve warm!

Roast Pork

Roast pork is one of the delicious dishes that results in plenty of leftovers. Of course, that’s not a problem because you can reheat the holiday special for later meals.

The key to reheating roast pork is using lower temperatures, so the meat stays juicy and tender. Here are the options on how you can do it.

Option 1: Reheating in the oven

1. Preheat your oven to 325 to 350 °F.

2. Place the roast pork in an oven-safe dish and cover it with aluminum foil.

3. Cook for ± 20 minutes. Check if it’s fully heated up and the interior reaches 165 °F. If not, return to the oven and cook for another 5 minutes.

4. Serve warm!

Option 2: Reheating in the microwave

1. Cut the roast pork into slices and place them on a suitable, microwave-safe plate.

2. Cover the dish with a lid.

3. Microwave on moderate settings for 5 minutes. Check the temperature. It should be ready if the interior has reached 165 °F.

4. If not, continue reheating for another 30 seconds and repeat as necessary until the meat reaches a safe temperature.

5. Serve and enjoy!

Pork Ribs

The smoky flavor of freshly grilled BBQ ribs is mouthwatering and irresistible. If you have some leftovers, of course, you want them to taste as finger-licking good as fresh off the grill. Follow our guide below to reheat them in the oven or grill.

Option 1: Reheating in the oven

1. Preheat the oven to 225 to 250 °F.

2. Take leftovers out of the refrigerator and let them stand at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes. Coat them with extra sauce or juice to keep them juicy and tender.

3. Wrap the ribs in double layers of aluminum foil to prevent the moisture from escaping and dry out the meat.

4. Place them in a baking tray and cook for 20 to 30 minutes. Adjust the cooking time depending on the portions. Make sure the internal temperature reaches 165 °F before removing them from the oven.

Option 2: Reheating on the grill

1. Remove the leftovers from the fridge and allow them to rest at room temperature while the grill preheats.

2. Preheat the grill on high heat.

3. Once the ribs are ready, coat with extra sauce and wrap them loosely in aluminum foil.

4. Grill them on medium heat for a few minutes and flip them to reheat the other side. Make sure both sides are nicely reheated.

Pulled Pork

Reheating pulled pork seems like an easy task. But you can end up with a dried-out mess if reheating goes wrong. Check our step-to-step instructions below to preserve the juiciness and delicate texture of leftover pulled pork.

Option 1: Reheating in the oven

1. Preheat the oven to 225 to 250 °F. Higher temperatures tend to dry out the meat more quickly.

2. Place the pulled pork in an oven-safe dish. Add the meat juice or broth to help to lock in the moisture.

3. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.

4. Reheat until the internal temperature reaches 165 °F.

5. Remove from the oven and enjoy to your liking!

Option 2: Reheating in the microwave

1. Place a portion of pulled pork on a microwave-safe plate.

2. Add extra liquid (sauce, meat juice, or broth) to moisten the meat.

3. Reheat on medium settings for 2 minutes.

4. Check if it is evenly reheated and has reached 165 °F. If not, continue reheating for 30 seconds.

5. Serve warm immediately.


How long can you keep cooked pork?

You can keep leftover pork refrigerated for 3 to 4 days. During this time, you can reheat as much as you need and keep the remaining portion refrigerated. Make sure the dish doesn’t stay out of the fridge for more than 2 hours. (*)

Can you eat leftover pork cold?

Yes. Provided that the meat was fully cooked, refrigerated accordingly within 2 hours of cooking, and eaten within 3 to 4 days. The USDA advises cooking pork, roast, and chops to 145 °F and 160 °F for ground meat. (*)

How many times can you reheat pork?

You can reheat leftovers multiple times, as long as they are handled and reheated correctly. However, the flavors and texture degrade after each reheating.Plus, any leftovers need to be back in the fridge within a two-hour window to remain safe. Therefore, it is best to reheat leftovers only once to preserve quality and safety. (*)

The Bottom Line

Pork is one of the most versatile meats that can be cooked up into so many delicious dishes. Whenever you have leftovers, you want them to taste as delicious as day one.

The proper ways of reheating cooked pork depend on the meat cut and initial cooking methods. Follow our detailed instructions to reheat different pork dishes to keep them juicy and tender!

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