Re-heating Leftover Barbecue

After you cook up a bunch of pork butts for a party, you always want to have leftover barbecue.  First, you always want to make sure that you had plenty for everyone, and that means cooking too much.  Second, barbecue pork butts re-heat very well, and are as good the second time around as the first.

You need to draw a line between leftovers that you have chopped up and leftover whole butts.  You should have some of both.  You don’t want guests to stop eating because the pork hasn’t been chopped.  And you want an extra butt or two for another day.  For example, we just spent a couple of nights in Blowing Rock, NC, with brother Jim and his wife Cantey before heading to the beach.  I took a barbecued pork butt (left over from Independence Day) as a hostess gift.   A nice bottle of wine or two is nice, as are flowers or an interesting local food item or craft, but I can think of no better hostess gift than a pork butt.   It was very well received.

To re-heat a whole butt, fire up some Kingsford charcoal  and put the engaged coals on one side: we’re re-heating by indirect heat.   You don’t want a real hot fire.  You want to re-heat slowly at 250 or so.

Once the coals are going, place a handful or two of hickory chips on them and put the grill on.  Place the pork butt on the side away from the coals, and unwrap the aluminum foil in which you initially had wrapped it so that the foil is between the butt and the grill, but the foil is otherwise open to receive the smoke from the hickory.  (You probably can get rid of the aluminum foil completely, but I  use it to lift the butt from the grill when it is done.)  Put on the lid and adjust the vents to keep the heat low.

Welcome your guests and have some drinks and conversation for about an hour or so — or more.  Check the temperature from time to time to make sure the fire neither goes out or gets too hot.  When dinner is near, shut down the fire completely by closing all vents, and let the butt rest there for 15 minutes or so.  Take it into the kitchen, chop it up, add some Ollie’s barbecue sauce, and put it on the table.  Bask in the praise.

For the pork you have already cut up, place it in an airtight container and put it in the refrigerator.  The next day, take some out, make a couple of sandwiches and have some leftover potato salad.  Don’t bother to re-heat it.  The oven, the skillet, and the dread microwave will not improve its flavor.


Add some Ollie’s barbecue sauceand a few hamburger dill chips.  Enjoy.  Repeat at lunch and dinner for two days.  After that, take a break and eat other things for a day to clear your  palate and ease your waistline a bit.


And while you’re at it, click “follow” on our front page to receive blog posts in your email box.  Or bookmark us and check in from time to time.  If you’re planning a trip, you can “Search” the name of the city, state, or country for good restaurants (in Europe, usually close to sites, like the Louvre or the Van Gogh Museum, that you’ll want to visit in any event).  Comments, questions, and suggestions of places to eat or stories to cover are very welcome.  And check out our Instagram page, johntannerbbq.

5 thoughts on “Re-heating Leftover Barbecue

  1. For frozen BBQ, place the BBQ in a Colander over simmering water. This will defrost fairly quickly as well as steam the meat. it is very tasty this way


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