Can you freeze BBQ pulled pork?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you freeze bbq pulled pork?” and discuss how long does pulled pork last?

Can you freeze BBQ pulled pork?

Yes, you can freeze bbq pulled pork. But just before or after cooking, like our BBQ Pulled Pork Recipe or our Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork Make-Ahead. For food safety reasons, you only want to freeze and thaw the meat once. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, cooked meat can be stored for 2 to 3 months (2,3).

According to official statistics the main pork producer worldwide is China. It accounts for about 50% of the world’s world production of pork. Currently, swine meat provides over 30% of the world-wide meat consumption (1).

Make careful to remove as much air as possible from the freezer bag before closing, then shred the meat and place it in the bag with the sauce. Preventing freezer burn may be done by removing the surplus air. You may defrost and reheat it either on the stovetop or in the microwave, depending on your preference.

  • 12-15 pounds of pork shoulder butt roast
  • BBQ sauce in a single bottle
  • Serve with 3 Tbsp. liquid smoke buns.

The following are the ingredients for the rub:

  • Brown sugar, 3 mugs.
  • 1 tbsp. of onion powder
  • 14 cups of garlic powder
  • paprika, about a quarter cup
  • 1/4 of a teaspoon
  • 3 Tbsp. of cayenne
  • 3 Tbsp. of black pepper
  • Ground Thyme (1 Tbsp)
  • A tablespoon of dill is all that is needed.

Spread the dry rub over the exterior of the roast after it has been washed and dried. A big, resealable freezer bag may be used to store the rubbed pork roast in the freezer. Remove the air, seal, and put in the freezer. In a medium resealable freezer bag, place any remaining rub and freeze for future use. 

The day before cooking, remove the bag from the freezer and let it to defrost. Pour 1/2 cup of water and 3 Tbsp. of liquid smoke into the slow-cooker once it has been thawed. It is time to get your slow cooker on. Cook for 7-9 hours on low. 

Drain the excess oil and water from the crockpot after the food has been cooked. Pull the roast apart using tongs or two forks. Add 1/2 of the remaining BBQ sauce to the shredded chicken and combine well. People have different preferences when it comes to the amount of sauce they want on their pulled pork. 

Increasing the amount of BBQ sauce will result in a more saucy and, thus, more messy dish. Pork should be served on a bun. Sandwiches made with hamburger buns are a good choice. It’s up to you whether or not you add pickles and onions to your BBQ pork sandwich. Before slathering pork on top of the buns, I like to spread some garlic mayo on them.

Pork meat, uncooked or cooked, may be safe to eat when preserved by freezing, however, it is susceptible to deterioration during time, which may result in poor sensory quality. Pigmeat contains high levels of unsaturated fatty acids relative to ruminant meats and is more susceptible to oxidative deterioration of lipids and myoglobin. Oxidation may be manifest as off-odors and off-flavors detected by sensory panels (4).

When added with salt or marinated prior cooking, the shelf life of meat is decreased. This happens due to the increased oxidative processes induced by salt addition, which results in bad sensory characteristics. A study showed that the oxidative value detected, measuring  thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), increased in all treatments over time in cooked pork loins. Marinating in 3% NaCl solution resulted in higher TBARS values compared to the controls, in agreement with previous studies demonstrating that salt addition increases the intensity of oxidative reactions. In addition, TBARS values were significantly higher in cooked samples as compared with the raw samples, probably because cooking induced an additional oxidation (5).

Slow cooker pulled pork may be served in a variety of ways

As an alternative to pulled pork sandwiches, here are a few additional ideas for what to do with your leftovers:

  • a flour tortilla wrap with pulled pork nachos and a salad
  • To those who are unfamiliar with poutine, it is a dish in which cheese, gravy, and in this example, pulled pork are placed on top of baked french fries.
  • a quesadilla stuffed with pork tacos and noodles

When it comes to Pulled Pork

Pig shoulder (also known as pork butt or Boston butt) is slowed-cooked until the flesh is so soft that it breaks apart when poked with a fork. This dish is a delectable treat. This dish may be made in a slow cooker, but we like to cook it low and slow on the grill for a more luxurious experience.

It is possible to massage the pork before cooking it with a mixture of brown sugar and other spices. Depending on what you want to do with the pork once it’s cooked, the ingredients may change. You should keep the rub basic if you want to utilize the pork in a variety of ways.

205 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature at which pork is done. When the meat has cooled enough to handle, shred it with two forks.

How long does it take to pulled pork spoil?

Chemical reactions, oxidation in particular, are responsible for changes in color, flavor and odor of meat and, accordingly, often determine the practical storage life of meat products. In a study, processed pork meat was stored at frozen conditions Oxymyoglobin oxidation and lipid oxidation were strongly accelerated by added salt and more moderately by exposure to fluorescent light (6).

Pulled pork has a shelf life of three to four days if stored in the refrigerator (2,3). Frozen pulled pork may be eaten up to 3 months after cooking if the bags are tightly sealed and the freezer temperature is maintained.

Is it possible to freeze pulled pork that has been marinated in BBQ sauce?

When it comes to freezing pulled pork, sauce tends to clump the meat together, so it’s best not to add any at all. Portioning might be problematic as a result of this. If the sauce is strong enough, it’s okay to freeze the pork and the sauce at the same time, however, we don’t suggest it.

To avoid any unpleasant surprises, ensure sure the sauce can be frozen without harming its taste and texture. To see whether it works, place a tiny amount in an ice cube tray and freeze it before thawing. Pork should not be frozen if the sauce separates or does not look excellent.

Lipid oxidation is a major cause of quality deterioration in meat products during storage that lowers their nutritional and functional properties and negatively affects their sensory characteristics. Lipid oxidation determines off-flavors, color, and texture defects and reduces the shelf-life of meat products due to the formation of toxic compounds including reactive oxygen species, free radicals, and hydroperoxides. TBARS values reflect the content of secondary products of lipid oxidation, mainly aldehydes and carbonyls, which may contribute to the development of off-flavors in oxidized meat and meat. This oxidation value may increase during storage of cooked meat if the meat is previously salted or marinated, when compared to cooked meat not marinated (5).

To learn more about freezing bbq pulled porks click here

Other FAQs about Pulled Pork that you may be interested in.

How to freeze pulled pork?

Can you cook pulled pork in a slow cooker?

How long is pulled pork good in the fridge?

Can you freeze cooked pulled pork?


In this article, we answered the question “Can you freeze bbq pulled pork?” and we discussed how long does pulled pork last?


  1. Soare, Elena, and Irina-Adriana Chiurciu. Study on the pork market worldwide. Scient Papers Manag Econ Eng Agri Rural Develop, 2017, 17, 321-326.
  2. Foodkeeper. United States Department of Agriculture.  
  3. Freezing and Food Safety. United States Department of Agriculture.
  4. Sheard, P. R., et al. Shelf life and quality of pork and pork products with raised n-3 PUFA. Meat sci, 2000, 55, 213-221.
  5. Nour, Violeta. Effect of Sour Cherry or Plum Juice Marinades on Quality Characteristics and Oxidative Stability of Pork Loin. Foods, 2022, 11, 1088.
  6. Andersen, Henrik J., Leif H. Skibsted. Oxidative stability of frozen pork patties. Effect of light and added salt. J food sci, 1991, 56, 1182-1184.