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How Long Can Cooked Pork Sit Out – Cooked and Uncooked Pork

Cooked pork is a versatile food that you can use in many recipes as it can go with foods that call for immediate serving after cooking; the problem is knowing how long can cooked pork sit out before it becomes unsafe to consume.

How long can cooked pork sit out? It would be best if you keep cooked pork at room temperature for 2-3 hours. After that, it should be kept cold and consumed as soon as possible. Do not use cooked pork if it has an off smell or color. For safety, you should discard leftovers at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

Cooked pork can be refrigerated no longer than 2 to 3 days, depending on the cut you’re storing. According to the USDA, do not allow cooked meat or poultry products to sit at room temperature for more than 2 hours. At temperatures above 90 degrees F, food should be refrigerated. 

If you want to store a slice of cooked pork for longer than two days in the coldest part of your fridge, you must freeze it (or refrigerate it uncovered)

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What is pork meat

What is pork meat

Pork meat is the general name of edible flesh that comes from a pig. Even though that sounds pretty straightforward, there’s a lot to find out about pork meat. Pork meat is an excellent alternative for beef and chicken. It is less expensive than other meats, tasty, and very nutritious. It’s low in fat but has more protein and calories.

Pork meat is lean, succulent, and healthy. The sweet taste of pork meat is more nourishing than fatty beef and chicken. The nutritional value of pork meat is higher than other meats. Pork meat contains a high proportion of protein (20%), fat (5%), and calcium (0.5%).

Pork meat is one of the most highly consumed meats in the world. The meat of a pig serves as food. It is usually roasted or preserved to prepare pork as food (e.g., smoked, salted, or pickled). It is one of the most popular types of meat globally, and with around 1 billion consuming per day, it is second only to chicken as the most commonly consumed type of meat globally.

Pigs have become one of the most widely farmed animals globally and are often treated with extensive antibiotics to promote growth and abuse.

How long can cooked pork sit out?

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Cooked pork can sit out for up to eight hours (136 degrees to 140 degrees F) and still be safe to eat. Much of the taste, smell, and texture of pork are lost when the temperature exceeds 140 degrees F.

For raw, uncooked meat, the USDA recommends that ground meats be kept at 40 degrees or less, whole cuts of meat be kept at 41 degrees or less, and poultry is kept at 38.5 degrees or less. For cooked pork, however, you can keep it out for up to two hours without risking foodborne illness.

So if you’re going to be keeping your pork warm at room temperature for an hour or less, then there’s no harm done. If you plan on keeping it warm for longer than an hour, we recommend putting some foil over the top of your dish so that this process doesn’t occur quite as quickly

Pork is one meat you can’t leave out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. If you don’t plan to use pork within 2 hours, it is best to store it in the fridge so it doesn’t spoil. Also, pork must be hot before you serve it at 140°F (60°C) or higher.

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How long can pork sit out uncooked?

 uncooked pork

Uncooked pork can sit out for hours without being covered and will not attract insects as long as it is at a cool enough temperature (below 140 degrees). Pork is considered perishable food as the USDA recommends keeping raw meat below 40 degrees F.

Pork that is left outside of your refrigerator or in warm areas for more than two hours can begin to spoil if not eaten right away; you should refrigerate any pork left out longer than that. While you can freeze pork for preservation purposes, the quality will go down after the first day; thus, you should freeze the pork shortly after you purchase it.

It’s best to leave pork out for more than an hour or so, but it will last longer depending on how warm the temperature is and how fresh it is when purchased.

How Long Is Cooked Pork Good in the Fridge?

How long-cooked pork stays good in the fridge depends on what type of cooked pork it is. Cooked and refrigerated lunch meat can be kept for up to 3-4 days, cooked pork loin can be kept for 4-5 days, and cooked ham can last 5-6 days out of the fridge.

After these days, it should be frozen in an airtight container or wrapped tightly with a layer of aluminum foil to prevent contamination by harmful bacteria. 

However, eating pork that has been stored for an extended period may cause food poisoning and other illnesses. Poisoning from pork could get you sick for 2 days to 3 days. Cooked pork left out for more than 2 hours is no longer safe to eat, as bacteria can rapidly multiply and cause food poisoning.

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How Long Can Pork Be Left Out to Thaw

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A good time to thaw pork is overnight in the refrigerator. Thawing safe food takes time, but it doesn’t have to be slow.

That’s why USDA recommends thawing meats in the refrigerator whenever possible because it is a more controlled environment. It is safe to leave your pork out for about an hour, but there can be some bacteria exposure after that period.

Generally, pork should be refrigerated to keep bacteria from growing. To thaw it, place it covered in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours, depending on its size.

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How Long Can Pork Chops Sit Out to Thaw

There are many ways you can thaw frozen pork chops, including in the refrigerator or by placing them in cold water. However, one of the quickest ways to thaw pork chops is by using your microwave.

Place the pork chops in a microwave-safe dish. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and heat on high for 1 minute per pound of meat.

If you dont have a microwave, put it on a plate, not directly on the counter, and let it sit out for 30 minutes. You can leave it out for up to 2 hours if you keep the room at a temperature of 40 degrees or higher, but ideally, the chop should be thawed in 1 to 2 hours.

Pork Handling Basic Tips

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1. Defrosting Pork  

Pork may be cooked immediately after defrosting. However, the quality and juiciness of the meat will improve if it is left to stand in a refrigerator for a few hours. 

Frozen pork should be thawed in a microwave or in its original wrapping at room temperature to prevent the growth of bacteria. 

Never defrost pork by leaving it at room temperature for more than 2 hours (if it has not been cooked before refreezing).

To defrost the meat in the refrigerator, place it on a tray in the meat compartment. It should be left in the compartment for several hours, depending on the quantity. For example, 100 kg (220 lb) of unstacked pork takes 7–8 hours to defrost.

However, suppose you don’t correctly defrost your food before storing it in the freezer. In that case, the water that freezes within the food can cause the freezer to thaw out, resulting in wasted electricity and moist, spoiled foods. Freezing pork should be done immediately after purchase.

2. Storage

Storage is one of the most critical aspects of pork handling. Proper storage can reduce losses and make your job easier. Also, freezing pork yields better color and flavor when compared to refrigerated storage.  

The best way to keep fresh pork is to freeze it. How can you tell if the pork is still fresh? It will have a clean and sweet smell. If it’s starting to smell sour, it should be used or frozen as soon as possible.

However, the USDA recommends storing whole pork at a temperature of 35°F – 39°F and processed pork at a temperature of 40°F – 140°F. To store your whole pork, place it in the coldest part of your refrigerator and away from other foods. 

For example, lay it on a shelf high above foods with strong odors, such as onions or cabbage. Some people prefer to wrap the meat in butcher paper to protect it from exposure to light and prevent any juices from dripping on other foods.

3. Cooking Temperature

Pork is best when cooked to 145°F internal temperature. For roasts and larger cuts, we recommend cooking it to 160°F internal temperature. Every time you open the grill or smoker, the heat escapes and affects cooking times and temperatures.

Whichever way you choose to cook or reheat your pork, the temperature is the key to producing a succulent result.

4. Avoiding Contamination

Some tips for handling pork safely to avoid contamination include thawing if frozen, using clean utensils as you work, keeping cooked and raw pork separate, and keeping cooked pork refrigerated until you’re ready to eat it. And one of the best methods to use is to cook it thoroughly in your oven or with a slow cooker.

Additionally, Always rest the meat on a cutting board during handling and use simple, additional utensils such as plastic bags, paper towels, or utensils made of wood or other materials that can be sanitized easily.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you eat cooked pork left out overnight?

It’s perfectly okay to eat pork left out overnight without heating it. Generally speaking, refrigerating or freezing meats doesn’t make them safer. It can make them more dangerous by allowing bacteria to grow faster and produce more toxins.

How long can cooked pork sit out before it goes bad?

Pork can sit out for 2 hours before it goes bad; you should serve pork immediately or freeze it within two hours. Cooked pork left out at room temperature for more than two hours can be unsafe to eat. For food safety reasons, cooked pork needs to be stored in the refrigerator and eaten within two days.

What happens if you eat cooked meat left out overnight?

Meat and other food substances such as eggs can become contaminated with bacteria that cause food poisoning. When cooked food is at room temperature for several hours, this lining is the perfect environment for bacteria to grow, resulting in illness and possibly death if not dealt with properly.

How long can you leave pork out at room temperature?

Pork can only be safe to eat for between 1-2 hours. You should only keep it out for two hours maximum. The safe temperature for pork is 145–160 °F as measured by a food thermometer; it is essential to learn how long pork remains safe when left out at room temperature.

How long can raw pork chops sit out?

Pork chops can sit out at room temperature for about 1 hour before cooking. Cooking the pork chops within this time frame will reduce your risk of foodborne illness. Cooking raw pork chops will kill any potential bacteria before it gets a chance to grow and thrive on the meat.


Many pathogens may cause you to get ill from undercooked pork, but they will not survive much more than 2 hours or so of sitting out at room temperature, and that’s why you need an answer to the question of how long can cooked pork sit out. If you cook and immediately cool pork to 140°F or below within the first couple of hours of cooking and then put it in the fridge or freezer until serving time, you will be fine. You can’t let it sit out for days because of the risk of growing harmful bacteria like Clostridium botulinum which can cause botulism poisoning.

How to Keep Pulled Pork Warm for a Party

Pulled Pork Recipe

Tender, juicy, and cooked to perfection You may make pulled pork in the oven, a slow cooker, or an instant pot.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pulled Pork Recipe
Servings: 4
Calories: 527kcal


  • 1 Bowl
  • 1 Oven


  • 4 lb pork shoulder
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 ounces coke
  • bbq sauce


  • Cut the meat into four pieces after trimming the superfluous fat.
  • In a small bowl, combine the spices. Rub the mixture evenly over the pork. (This can be finished the previous evening.)
  • Heat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Around the pork in the Dutch oven pot, pour coke. Cook for three hours with a lid on the pot. Take off the lid and continue cooking for a further one to two hours, or until the pork is soft and falls apart with a fork. Discard the oven and shred the meat. Adding barbeque sauce is optional.
  • Pour coke around the meat in the slow cooker after placing it there. When the pork is soft and readily shredded with a fork, cook it covered on LOW (prefered) for 8 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours.
  • Pour coke around the meat in the instant pot after placing it in. Cook for 70 minutes on Manual/High pressure. Allow the pot to naturally release pressure for another 15 minutes after the timer chimes. Shred the meat and remove the lid.



Calories: 527kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 185mg | Sodium: 830mg | Potassium: 1018mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 619IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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