Unless you’re entertaining a big crowd, a roasted pork belly will definitely result in plenty of leftovers. There’s a myth that once cold, roast pork belly will lose its juiciness while the skin will become chewy and rubbery. We are here to prove otherwise.
Equipped with the right kitchen appliances and when following our detailed steps, you can enjoy your leftovers days after your feast.
What is the best way to reheat pork belly? The best way to reheat a crispy pork belly is using the oven and the broiler to restore 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 there’s no other option available.
The Best Ways To Reheat Pork Belly
Pork belly is a tasty dish that yields enough servings for everyone. It’s often confused with bacon, but unlike bacon, it can’t be added to sweet dishes. However, pork belly can be cooked in almost every way, that’s why leftovers shouldn’t go to waste.
You can reheat pork belly if you follow the right steps to store them in the first place. In fact, you should only try to reheat pork belly after it’s been stored properly and doesn’t have any foul smell.
You should never store roast pork belly if it’s still hot. Wait until it’s cold, then keep it in an air-tight container in your fridge for up to 4 days. You can also cover it with aluminum foil if you’re planning to use it the next day.
In the freezer, pork belly can last up to 3 or 4 months, as long as you have stored it in a vacuumed sealed bag or container. It’s recommended to shred pork belly roast before freezing it.
Once you’re ready to serve your precooked pork belly, you need to reheat a smoked pork belly while restoring the crispiness of the crackling.
You should never reheat pork belly more than once. If you have a large number of leftovers, you can store them in separate vacuum-sealed bags.
There are different methods to reheat pork belly leftovers, and we explained them in detail in our step-by-step guide so you can choose the right one based on your needs.
Remember that in most cases, you need to use two different settings to reheat the meat and crisp the skin, so it doesn’t turn soggy.
How to reheat pork belly in the oven
We love using the oven to reheat roast pork belly because this is how it was initially made. For best reheating results, it would be better to use a convection oven.
When kept in the fridge or freezer, pork skin becomes soggy, so you need to separate it from the meat to avoid burning it or serving pork belly with soft skin that nobody likes.
If you keep pork belly in the freezer, thaw it overnight in the fridge before reheating it. You also need to remove it from the fridge in advance and let it reach room temperature.
When you reheat shredded pork belly, you can add a little water or sauce to prevent the meat from drying out.
Here are the steps to reheat pork belly in the oven:
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Gently separate the skin from the meat and place each on a different baking sheet. This will keep the meat moist and juicy while the skin stays crispy and crunchy.
- Cover the meat with aluminum foil to retain the moisture and place it in the lower part of the oven. You can add just a tiny bit of water or some of the sauce to keep it juicy and tender.
- Keep the meat in the oven between 10 and 15 minutes, or until it has adequately warmed.
- Turn on the broiler and let the skin crisp for about 15 minutes. Keep an eye on the color, so it doesn’t burn.
This method doesn’t overcook the meat or alter its taste. At the same time, you can keep pork belly in the oven for hours if you set it at low heat until it’s dinner time.
If you don’t want to separate the meat from the skin, you can put your leftover pork belly on a baking sheet at the bottom of the oven. Once the meat has heated, you can turn on the broiler for up to 5 minutes or until it has become crunchy.
We know this method is time-consuming, but it works 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 pork belly leftovers without drying up the meat. At the same time, the heat output removes the condensation from the crackling or skin, so it doesn’t turn chewy or rubbery.
Covering your pork belly with aluminum foil will prevent the moisture from escaping. You can use this method to reheat shredded pork belly without altering the taste or the color after adding a little water or some meat broth.
The idea is to allow the pork belly to release its juice, the same way it was cooked the first time. Once hot, you can activate the grill option. It will restore the crispiness of the crackling.
Here are the steps to reheat pork belly in the toaster oven:
- Preheat your toaster oven to 400°F.
- Put your pork belly or shredded leftovers in an oven-safe dish or baking sheet.
- Cover the leftovers with aluminum foil. This will prevent the moisture from evaporating to keep your meat juicy and tender.
- Put your pork belly leftovers in the oven for up to 15 minutes.
- Uncover the dish and turn on the grill option for 5 minutes to brown and crisp the skin.
This method is faster than using the oven and guarantees good results because it maintains the texture of the meat. However, don’t leave pork belly in the oven for too long after removing the aluminum, as this will dry out the meat.
If you have frozen pork belly leftovers, you need to let them thaw in the fridge for a day and then let them sit outside until they reach room temperature. Freezing the skin might turn 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 big plus because it cuts down the cooking and reheating time of various dishes. However, when it comes to reheating pork belly leftovers, your microwave might not deliver the desired results.
You can only use the microwave if you’re in a hurry and have no access to an oven or toaster oven. It will reheat pork belly while retaining its moisture so you can serve it for dinner.
However, this will work if you have kept your pork belly in the fridge for a couple of days. If you have kept your leftovers a little longer, the skin might become too chewy.
For frozen pork belly leftovers, use the defrost option to thaw the meat before reheating it. It doesn’t overcook the meat or change its texture. You can also keep the pork belly in the fridge overnight until it thaws.
To reheat your leftovers, use the special reheat feature or check the preset menu to find a function that reheats meat. If you don’t have a reheat setting, set the heat to low and microwave your pork belly for 5 minutes.
Here are the steps to reheat pork belly in the microwave.
- Put your pork belly in a microwave-safe oven and defrost it.
- Use the reheat option to warm up your pork belly leftovers. You can also set the heat to low and microwave the meat for 5 minutes.
If you have been keeping your pork belly in the fridge for more than a couple of days, the skin will become chewy and rubbery. Nevertheless, the microwave will work if you’re in a hurry.
Can you reheat pork belly?
Yes, you can, and it will taste divine if you follow the right steps. You can choose your preferred method to reheat pork belly leftovers, but not all methods deliver the same results.
The oven is the best way to reheat pork belly because it retains the moisture and keeps the meat juicy and tender. The broiler will help keep the skin crispy and crunchy.
The toaster oven also gives good results and it’s faster than the oven, so when you don’t have much time but still wish to have a juicy and crispy pork belly, the toaster oven is your best bet.
We recommend that you use the microwave only when there’s no other option. Reheating meat in the microwave is never a good idea, plus it will only work if you have kept your pork belly leftovers in the fridge for a day or two. However, when you’re in a rush the microwave is certainly the best way to reheat pork belly.
Whatever method you choose, reheating pork belly starts with proper storage, so remember to use an air-tight container and never store away pork belly when it’s still hot.