Unless you are hosting a large crowd, a roast pork belly will lead to lots of leftovers. There is a myth that once cold, roast pork belly will lose its juiciness and the skin will become rubbery. We are here to prove otherwise.
Equipped with the right kitchen gadgets and following our step-by-step steps, you’ll be able to enjoy leftovers days after the feast.
What is the best way to reheat pork belly? the best way to reheating a crispy pork belly is using the oven and the grill to recover the crunchiness of the skin. You can also use the toaster oven to heat the meat. We recommend that you only use the microwave when no other option is available.
The Best Ways to Reheat Pork Belly
Pork belly is a flavorful dish that makes enough servings for everyone. It is often confused with bacon, but unlike bacon, it cannot be added to sweet dishes. However, pork belly can be cooked in almost any way, so leftovers shouldn’t go to waste.
You can reheat pork belly if you follow the proper steps for preserving it in the first place. In fact, you should only attempt to reheat pork belly when it has been stored properly and does not have any unpleasant odors.
You should never store roasted pork belly while it is still hot. Wait for it to cool down and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also cover it with aluminum foil if you plan to use it the next day.
In the freezer, pork belly can last up to 3-4 months, as long as you have stored it in a vacuum-sealed bag or container. It is recommended to shred roast pork belly before freezing.
Once you’re ready to serve the pre-cooked pork belly, you need to reheat the smoked pork belly to get it crispy again.
You should never reheat pork belly more than once. If you have a lot of leftovers, you can store them in separate vacuum-sealed bags.
There are different methods for reheating leftover pork belly, and we explain them in detail in our step-by-step guide so you can choose the right one for your needs.
Remember that in most cases you have to use two different settings to reheat the meat and crisp the skin so it doesn’t get soggy.
How to reheat pork belly in the oven
We love using the oven to reheat roast pork belly because that’s how it was made in the first place. For the best reheating results, it would be best to use a convection oven.
When stored in the fridge or freezer, the pork skin gets soggy, so you have to separate it from the meat to avoid burning or serving pork belly with a soft skin that no one likes.
If you store the pork belly in the freezer, thaw it overnight in the fridge before reheating. You should also take it out of the fridge ahead of time and let it come to room temperature.
When you reheat the pulled pork belly, you can add a bit of water or sauce to prevent the meat from drying out.
Here are the steps to reheat pork belly in the oven:
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Carefully separate the skin from the meat and place each one on a different baking tray. This will keep the meat moist and juicy while the skin stays crisp.
- Cover the meat with aluminum foil to retain moisture and place it in the lower rack of the oven. You can add a little water or part of the sauce to keep it juicy and tender.
- Keep the meat in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until it has heated through properly.
- Turn the grill on and allow the skin to crisp for about 15 minutes. Watch the color so it doesn’t burn.
This method does not overcook the meat or alter its flavor. At the same time, you can keep the pork belly in the oven for hours if you put it on low heat until it’s time for dinner.
If you don’t want to separate the meat from the skin, you can put the leftover pork belly on a baking sheet in the bottom of the oven. Once the meat has heated through, you can turn on the grill for up to 5 minutes or until crisp.
We know this method is time consuming, but it works the best because it keeps the meat juicy and tender.
How to Reheat Pork Belly in the Toaster Oven
The hot air from the toaster oven will reheat your leftover pork belly without drying out the meat. At the same time, the heat output removes condensation from the pork rinds or skin, so they don’t become chewy or gummy.
Covering the pork belly with aluminum foil will prevent moisture from escaping. You can use this method to reheat shredded pork belly without altering the flavor or color, after adding a little water or a little meat broth.
The idea is to let the pork belly release its juices, the same way it was cooked the first time. Once hot, you can activate the grill option. This way you will recover the crunchiness of the pork rinds.
Here are the steps to reheat pork belly in the toaster oven:
- Preheat your toaster oven to 400°F.
- Put the pork belly or shredded leftovers in an ovenproof dish or on a baking sheet.
- Cover leftovers with aluminum foil. This will prevent moisture from evaporating to keep the meat juicy and tender.
- Pop the leftover pork belly in the oven for up to 15 minutes.
- Uncover the dish and turn on the grill option for 5 minutes so that the skin is browned and crisp.
This method is faster than using the oven and guarantees good results because it maintains the texture of the meat. However, don’t leave the pork belly in the oven for too long after removing the foil, as this will dry out the meat.
If you have frozen pork belly leftovers, you should let them thaw in the fridge for a day, then leave them out until they come to room temperature. Freezing the skin can make it chewy if you don’t expose it to direct hot air at the end of the reheating process.
How to reheat pork belly in the microwave
Having a microwave is a great advantage because it reduces cooking and reheating time for various dishes. However, when it comes to reheating leftover pork belly, your microwave may not deliver the desired results.
You can only use the microwave if you’re in a hurry and don’t have access to an oven or toaster. It will reheat the pork belly while preserving its moisture so that you can serve it for dinner.
However, this will work if you have kept the pork belly in the fridge for a couple of days. If you’ve stored leftovers a little longer, the skin might become too rubbery.
For frozen leftover pork belly, use the defrost option to thaw the meat before reheating. This will not overcook the meat or change its texture. You can also store the pork belly in the fridge overnight until thawed.
To reheat leftovers, use the special reheat function or check the presets menu to find a function that will reheat meat. If you don’t have a reheat setting, turn the heat to low and microwave the pork belly for 5 minutes.
Here are the steps to reheat pork belly in the microwave.
- Put the pork belly in a microwave-safe oven and thaw it.
- Use the reheat option to reheat leftover pork belly. You can also turn the heat to low and microwave the meat for 5 minutes.
If you have kept the pork belly in the fridge for more than a couple of days, the skin will become rubbery and leathery. However, the microwave will work if you are in a hurry.
Can pork belly be reheated?
Yes, you can, and it will taste divine if you follow the proper steps. You can choose the method you prefer to reheat leftover pork belly, but not all methods give the same results.
The oven is the best way to reheat pork belly because it locks in moisture and keeps the meat juicy and tender. The grill will help keep the skin crisp and toasty.
The toaster oven also gives good results and is faster than the oven, so when you don’t have a lot of time but want to have a juicy and crispy pork belly, the toaster oven is your best option.
We recommend that you use the microwave only when there is no other option. Reheating meat in the microwave is never a good idea, and it will only work if you’ve kept your leftover pork belly in the fridge for a day or two. However, when you’re in a hurry, the microwave is hands down the best way to reheat pork belly.
Whichever method you choose, reheating pork belly starts with proper storage, so remember to use an airtight container and never store pork belly while it’s still hot.