The #1 Best Method for Reheating BBQ
~Chef Perry Perkins~
When I BBQ, I always like to cook more than I need.
If I'm doing it for business, I pride myself on never having run out of meat, regardless of how many "unexpected" guests show up. When cooking for myself and my family, I just like to have leftovers for the rest of the week!
Now, I have reheated BBQ using just about any method you can imagine, from a high-tech Sousvide machine, to wrapped in foil and tossed in the campfire coals, and after much, much trial and error, I have come to the conclusion that vacuum-sealing and slow-heating in hot water, is the #1 best method for getting back to that "just out of the smoker" flavor and consistency.
Basically, I'm talking about Sousvide. But, if you don't have a Sousvide cooker, or an immersion circulator, never fear...for this technique, a pot of hot water and some heavy-duty zip bags will work almost as well.
Note: I have noticed that I get more flavorful results if I use a vacuum-sealer, but the zip bags are a close second.
Always allow the cooked meat to come to room temperature BEFORE reheating. This insures that meats will be able to warm all the way to the center without taking so long that the surface begins to dry out.
If you're using a sauce, brush both sides of the meat with a thin layer, before bagging. If I'm NOT using sauce, I'll add a few tablespoons of apple juice or broth to the bag. For brisket and pulled pork, I save the juices that gather in the pan while the meat is resting. I de-fat them overnight, and add them to the bags with the meat, before sealing.
Vacuum seal the bag, or if using zips, press out as much of the air as you can before sealing.
Bring several inches of water to simmer is a pot large enough to hold your ribs, brisket, or whatever. Place the bag in the hot water, turn off the heat, and cover.
Allow the meat to rest in the water for 20 minutes, turning the bag over once.
Remove the bag, allow to rest ten minutes on the counter to reabsorb the juices, then open (carefully), and serve!
I've used this method flawlessly for:
This is a great method for serving left-over bbq while camping, as well, as you can freeze your portions in advance, then just thaw them the day you want to serve and use this method on any campstove, or ever over the fire.
For large pieces of meat, like un-pulled pork shoulders, or unsliced brisket, spray the meat generously with apple juice and add 1/4" of juice or broth to the bottom of the pan. Seal the pan tightly with foil and place in a pre-heated 200°F oven or smoker until warmed to your liking, then slice and serve.
For an extra punch of flavor, you can pre-heat your top grill to high, and sear the rested ribs or chicken for a few seconds per side, to re-set the glaze and give it a fresh kiss of fire!
“Left-over” BBQ doesn’t have to be dry and washed out. Make a little extra next time and enjoy it over rice, tossed with pasta, in any number of killer sandwiches, or just straight up!
~ Chef Perry