Your BBQ party is finally over. After days of planning, your event went off without a hitch.
Now you’ve started cleaning up and getting your kitchen back to some sort of normalcy.
You notice platters of pulled pork and smoked pork butt are left sitting on the table and already making lands to reheat the pork later in the week.
However, how long has that pork been sitting at room temperature? How long will cooked pork last at room temperature?
Can Cooked Pork Be Left Out Overnight?
No, pork cannot be left out overnight. You don’t want to risk your succulent pork getting contaminated with bacteria.
It’s best to store your cooked pork since bacteria can develop at room temperature at excessive rates.
How To Store Cooked Pork
There are several ways you can store cooked pork. The easiest way is to place it into an airtight container and place it in the fridge.
Do not place the cooked pork in the door or at the front of the fridge.
The temperature in these areas fluctuates and is not cold enough to keep the pork at a safe temperature. Store the cooked pork at the back of the fridge.
Cook pork stored in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
You can also ensure your pork stays fresher longer by using a vacuum sealer to package your leftovers.
You can place your cooked pork into the freezer and freeze it for up to 2-3 months.
You can use the leftover cooked pork for sandwiches or add it to your mac and cheese.
How To Defrost Cooked Pork
To defrost pork, you must place it into a baking dish. The baking dish will catch any juices released by the pork.
Place your cooked pork into the fridge and let it thaw overnight.
Alternatively, you can also place the pork into a vat of cold water to thaw it.
However, you must make sure the pork is sealed well and free of any tears or perforations. If water gets into the frozen cooked pork, it could dilute its flavor and texture.
In addition to this, make sure you drain the water and replace it every 30 minutes.
You can also thaw frozen cooked pork in the microwave, but you must proceed with caution as the microwave is notorious for drying foods out.
Moreover, you cannot place cooked pork that has been thawed in cold water or the microwave back into the fridge or refreeze it.
It must be consumed immediately or discarded.
If you are dealing with raw pork, it should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F.
Lean cuts such as pork tenderloin should never be cooked passed 145°F.
On the other hand, pork butt contains a healthy portion of fat and connective tissues so it can handle being cooked to 195°F.
Whether you are reheating pork chops or reheating pork tenderloin, pork should be cooked to 165°F.
You can test the pork with an infrared thermometer to determine if it is at the correct temperature.
With an infrared thermometer, you won’t have to stick the probe into the thickest part of the meat.
Simply point the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat and wait for a reading.
How Long Can Cooked Pork Sit Out
I understand not wanting to throw an entire platter of leftovers into the trash. No one enjoys wasting food.
While the leftover pork may still look appetizing, it could be riddled with bacteria.
Unfortunately, pork can only sit out for 2 hours at room temperature. This is due to the temperature danger zone.
In short, the temperature danger zone is the range of temperatures between 40°F and 140°F.
In the danger zone, bacteria can double in as little time as 20 minutes.
After 2 hours, can you imagine how many bacteria will be on your cooked pork after 2 hours?
It is best to discard any leftover cooked pork that has been sitting out for more than 2 hours.
If you live in a humid climate, its best to discard your food after 1 hour since it can become contaminated with bacteria in half the time.
You can avoid your food becoming contaminated with bacteria by storing all leftovers within hours after they were cooked.
If you know you are not going to eat the leftover cooked pork within 4 days, freeze it.
How To Tell if Cooked Pork Is Bad
Knowing if cooked pork is just as essential as knowing how long pork lasts in the fridge.
Luckily you can use your senses to determine if your cooked pork is bad.
Rotten pork will have visible signs of mold. Discard your pork if there is mold on it.
In addition to this, if your pork has a rancid smell, it is a sign that it is spoiled.
If your pork has a slimy texture, it means it is rotten and should be tossed in the trash.
If you perform the touch test, wash your hands as well as all kitchen surfaces and tools the pork came into contact with warm water.
What Happens if You Eat Bad Cooked Pork?
If you consume bad pork, expect to develop a case of food poisoning.
Although many people rebound from food poisoning, I don’t know anyone who has enjoyed dealing with vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, fever, or other gastrointestinal issues.
In addition to this, certain groups of people like the elderly and children under for are at higher risk for developing food poisoning.
Save yourself the trouble and discard rotten cooked pork.
Pork tastes irresistibly delicious as long as it is cooked the right way.
You can find it at most parties and events because everyone wants to get delicious succulent pork.
However, do not leave your pork sitting at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
Once it has been sitting at room temperature for more than 2 hours has to be discarded. Store your cooked pork in the refrigerator or freezer as soon as dinner is over.
You might also be interested in the following:
- How Long Can Cooked Beef Sit Out
- How Long Can Cooked Chicken Sit Out
- How Long Can Cooked Steak Sit Out
- How Long Can Cooked Bacon Sit Out
- How Long Can Cooked Sausage Sit Out
- How Long Can Cooked Ground Beef Sit Out
- How Long Can Cooked Salmon Sit Out
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.