Midwinter Craving: Smoky and Succulent BBQ Pulled Pork

Pulled pork is definitely a summer picnic kind of dish, but lately we've been craving it like mad. And it seems we're not alone! We've spotted several pulled pork recipes in the past few weeks that we can make while staying cozy indoors. Which one should we make this weekend?

1. North Carolina Pulled Pork from Gourmet - As is tradition in North Carolina, this recipe calls for a "mop" of vinegar instead of the barbecue sauce we're more used to. Sounds tasty! (Scroll down to the bottom for the oven-cooking method.)

2. Indoor Pulled Pork with Three Sauces from Cook's Illustrated, via Bitten Word Blog - The Bitten Word boys give this recipe two BBQ-sticky thumbs up! It's also one of the only recipes for indoor pulled pork that seems to successfully pull off the smoky, crunchy crust of authentic barbecued pork.

3. Pulled Pork Sandwiches from the Boston Globe - This recipe puts a fruity spin on pulled pork. The shoulder is first braised with apples and fig before being pulled and mixed with the fruit-infused cooking juices.

4. Braised BBQ Beef Sandwich from Simply Recipes - Prefer beef to pork? This recipe is for you. It's also very simple and straight forward, combining the braised meat with your favorite BBQ sauce (we recommend making your own!).

5. Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos from the Naptime Chef - The slow-cooker is an ideal tool for cooking that pork until it's practically falling apart under its own weight.

6. Lighter Pulled Pork Sandwiches from Martha Stewart - If you'd like to cut some of the fat, try Martha's technique for using the tenderloin instead of the shoulder!

7. Oven-Roasted Vietnamese Pulled Pork from Sunday Nite Dinner - Instead of spice and vinegar, this version incorporates plenty of warming Asian spices and an intriguing lemongrass sauce.

We have 3.5 pounds of pork shoulder defrosting in our fridge. Which recipe sounds the best to you?

Related: How to Cook (and Shred) a Pork Shoulder

(Image: Roland Bello/Gourmet)