Pork fares best in the freezer if packaged with freezer-friendly materials like waxed paper, aluminum foil, or heavy-duty plastic bags.
Wrap any meat tightly so that air does not escape and freeze at 0°F. Generally, fresh cuts of pork can last up to six months, while ground pork can last up to three.
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Pork is easiest to thaw when placed in the refrigerator in its original wrapping. Small roasts will take three to five hours per pound, while larger roasts can take up to seven hours per pound. Thawing ground pork depends entirely on the thickness of its packaging.
It is safe to cook frozen or partially-frozen pork, but its cooking time may take 50 percent longer. Frozen pork should not be cooked in a slow cooker.
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Sealed pork products can typically last in the fridge for two to four days, with ground pork having a slightly shorter shelf life at one to three. Ham or other smoked pork products like bacon can be stored for up to a week, though this only applies to products that aren’t vacuum sealed or prepared with preservatives. The latter can obviously last a lot longer.
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Next: How to Store Pulled Pork
How to Store Pulled Pork
As with other cooked meats, pulled pork can be stored in an airtight container and placed in the refrigerator. It should, however, be consumed or frozen within a few days.
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Next: How to Freeze Pulled Pork
How to Freeze Pulled Pork
Because pulled pork is typically made in a slow cooker, chances are likely that you'll have excess meat. Cooled pork can be transferred to freezer bags, but be sure to leave at least an inch of space from the top. The frozen pork will expand and this will prevent the bag from splitting. You can also use airtight freezer containers.
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Next: How to Thaw Pulled Pork
How to Thaw Pulled Pork
The most effective way to thaw your bags of pulled pork is to place them in a saucepan of simmering water. You'll have hot and steamy, barbecued meat in no time!
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Sometimes the slow cooker is a source of easy, one-crock meals; other times it’s merely a crucial stop in a longer journey. These rich, comforting enchiladas are in the latter category: Pork shoulder, dried chiles, and tomatoes slowly turn luscious over as many as 10 hours in the slow cooker, then get turned into a memorable filling, rolled into sauce-dipped tortillas and baked under a blanket of cheese. Serve these on a Sunday afternoon with a refreshing tangle of jicama and orange salad and a pitcher of agua de Jamaica or beer.
Game plan: Cook the pork shoulder up to 2 days before you need it, remove it from the cooking liquid, let it cool for an hour, and refrigerate both the meat and liquid overnight. Skimming the fat is a breeze after it’s solidified, and rolling and baking the enchiladas will take no time at all.
For more, see also our classic cheese enchilada recipe.