We’ve surely experienced a day or two of overcooking on the BBQ pit. And while your guests do not consume all the BBQ delicacies by the end of your BBQ party, we certainly hope you didn’t trash them. I mean you can always save it for another meal and the good news is that many BBQ foods lend themselves well to freezing. Thawing and reheating is easy, too, but do require a few tricks, and below, we’ll share our secrets. Enjoy it while waiting for better days to come.
The key to freezing is to keep oxygen out of your food. For best results, we recommend portioning the BBQ leftovers into sturdy resealable ziplock or vacuum packs, removing as much air as possible before zipping the bags shut. Freeze flat for more efficient storage and shorter thawing times. Homemade barbecue sauces and marinades can be frozen in ice cube trays, then popped into resealable plastic bags for longer-term storage.
To thaw, place the frozen vacuum pack of BBQ foods in a pan or bowl in the refrigerator the night before you wish to consume it (a few hours for BBQ vegetables or fruits). If you’re in a hurry, you may wish to submerge the vacuum pack (make sure it’s leak-proof) in cold water, changing frequently. Or thaw and reheat by submerging the package in simmering water on the stovetop. We do not recommend thawing in the microwave as the results tend to be uneven.
For best results, bring a pan of water to a simmer on the stovetop. Submerge the frozen or thawed vacuum-packed BBQ food in the water until it is thawed and at your preferred serving temperature. Add warmed BBQ sauce if the food seems dry.
Alternatively, you may reheat your BBQ meats in a low oven (225 to 250 degrees) with a bit of liquid and wrapped tightly with foil until your desired serving temperature.
Reheating your BBQ meats, especially pulled pork, in a slow cooker may be a popular option. However, this exposes the meat to the danger zone (40 to 140 degrees fahrenheit) for several hours. This exposes your BBQ foods to bacteria which may possibly lead to a stomach upset. Furthermore, the meat also loses much of its flavor, making it a less popular option for us.