What to do with Leftover Smoked Pulled Pork

iSmellBBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich on Plain White Bread (ran out of buns)
iSmellBBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich on Plain White Bread (ran out of buns)


Always smoke too much meat, so you’ll have leftovers for a few days. That’s one of my long-standing barbecue rules. Besides, if you have a decent-sized smoker like my Brinkmann Smoke ‘N Pit offset smoker, which I recently used for this pulled pork and a few racks of ribs, it isn’t much work at all to add more meat to the process.

So what do I do with all of that pulled pork? Well, I usually enjoy a few big, sloppy pulled pork sandwiches. There’s something about this combination of ingredients that makes a barbecue lover like me very, very happy.

Putting this together is pretty straightforward, but there are many variables, and some ingredients are personal preference, of course. Sometimes it depends on what you happen to have on hand.

For example, we had run out of buns by this final day, so I had to use regular white bread. That’s fine in a pinch, as long as the bread is fresh and soft. It can make or break a sandwich like this, depending on its condition.

Building Your Pulled Pork Sandwich

I’ve been enjoying this particular batch of pulled pork for a few days now, and was down to the last remaining bits when these photos were taken. I actually had to add some rib meat to complete the sandwich, so you may see some of that in the mix.

Heat the Meat

Heat up a good portion of smoked pulled pork in a small dish, covered, then place meat on bottom bun (or bread slice).

Warm Pulled Pork - Piled high after heating in a separate dish
Warm Pulled Pork – Piled high after heating in a separate dish

I use a microwave, but am careful not to over-heat it, as the meat can dry out and become chewy. You can ruin it pretty quick, so check it periodically during the process. Do not put it in the microwave as pictured above, or you’ll ruin the bread – heat only the pork, and in a separate dish.

If I’m heating up a larger quantity for the whole family, I usually place it in a steaming basket, in a pan with 1/2″ of water boiling in the bottom. It works well, as long as you don’t leave it in too long.

Sauce It Up
Sauce Added to Taste
Sauce Added to Taste

Add the sauce of your choice, in the quantity you prefer.

This is optional, of course. If you’ve never had a pulled pork sandwich, you may even want to leave the sauce off completely, and just keep some handy for testing. This way, you won’t ruin an entire sandwich if you don’t like it. Just lift a corner, add some, take a bite, and see what you think.

There are endless varieties of sauces, so take your pick or experiment with whatever is on hand. One will hit the spot for you.

The quantity of sauce is a big factor, as well, so experiment with it.

Slaw Makes it Better
Slaw Added
Slaw Added

Its mighty good on this sandwich.

But again, this is personal preference and there are endless varieties of slaw available. Some are sweeter, some are courser than others, and seasonings vary widely.

Just find one you like. Pulled pork sandwiches are great with or without it, but slaw does add a nice touch. It’s cool, creamy and crunchy all at the same time.

Top it Off & Dig In
Topped Off
Topped Off

This is a very simple sandwich, yet incredibly delicious.

So, have some napkins ready and dig right in. You’re going to make quite a mess, but you’ll also enjoy it immensely.

Two final thoughts…

I’m convinced that heating the meat releases much more of the smoky flavor in each bite, so be sure you get the meat hot.

Potato buns are especially good, if your local grocer has them. Otherwise, just make sure your buns or bread are fresh. Bread that is old, stale and dry will ruin this sandwich.

If you have comments, please add them below.

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8 thoughts on “What to do with Leftover Smoked Pulled Pork”

  1. I don’t really eat a lot of pulled pork or pork period cause the salt in the pork makes me swell up but that sandwich made me want one. Good way to get people interested in a particular food. 🙂
    Good luck and Best wishes.

  2. You know your pulled pork well and I can tell it is very near and dear to your heart. I only wish that the people over at Sonny’s could’ve read this email before I went there yesterday. I got the All You Can Eat sliced pork and first got a cold pulled pork sandwich that was so dry I had to take a sip of drink between every bite. They made up for it with the second one but I had to throw in the towel because they took so long between each reorder that the two year old couldn’t take it anymore. I only wish they had your passion for barbeque.

    1. I’ve often wondered how hard it must be for restaurants to keep barbecue “fresh” so it’s always ready for customers. Probably much harder than I think.

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