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I put some pork shoulder in the slow cooker along with water, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, and spices. I then cooked it until it was falling apart. There's enough to last about a week.

Should the leftover meat be stored in the juices, or will the acids break it down too much? Would it be better to store the liquid in a separate container, and just spoon some over the meat before reheating?

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  • I don't actually 'know the answer' to this in the strictest sense, but I'd compare it to whether you would lift all the meat out of anything that could be termed a 'stew' for similar reasons. – Tetsujin Mar 30 at 15:43
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    A week is iffy when it comes to food safety - please consider freezing some or sharing it. See our generic post on the subject. – Stephie Mar 31 at 4:41
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If not consuming right away, it is often recommended to allow meat that was braised to cool, and be refrigerated in its juices. For this reason, many recipes suggest making a braise a day ahead for better flavor. I don't think your concern is break down of the protein, as much as it is shelf life. If you are not going to fully consume the product within 3 - 4 days, freeze a portion of it.

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Your braising liquid is now a delicious stock. Congrats! You certainly can store the meat and stock together, but the meat has no color and the result is too wet I find. The meat still has plenty of fat to be succulent on its own. I reserve the stock in the fridge and separate the lard. With the remaining stock I cook black beans. When I reheat the pork, I reverse sear the pork in the reserved lard. The meat simply won't dry out, it's too fatty.

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I usually keep a part of the meat in the juices and reheat it that way the next day. Sometimes I divide the meat and liquid and have one portion in the fridge and one in the freezer.

If I have enough meat, I will take some out of the juices and cool and/or freeze separately. Depending on the meat it can be used as is or has to go in a dish with a lot of liquid.

You can see from that I feel you can do both, in and out of the juices and fridge as well as freezer.

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