SIZZLING WIN: The Pit Crew, which includes Gray Stockdale, of The Stockpot Kitchen, and chef Jim Diliberto walked away as victors for their jalapeno poppers at the Bunderberg BBQ Battle 2019.
SIZZLING WIN: The Pit Crew, which includes Gray Stockdale, of The Stockpot Kitchen, and chef Jim Diliberto walked away as victors for their jalapeno poppers at the Bunderberg BBQ Battle 2019. Marc Stapelberg

'Out of this world' jalapeno poppers impress barbecue judges

HOW do you make Australia's best jalapeno popper?

If you ask Northern Rivers-based, award-winning barbecue team Pit Crew, there's actually quite a lot involved.

Pit Crew team member Gray Stockdale, who also co-owns Lismore's hugely popular Stockpot Kitchen, said the average jalapeno popper was just a jalapeno stuffed with cheese.

But the Pit Crew's creation is "just out of this world".

"What we do is we stuff our jalapenos with some cheese and smoke it," he said.

"Then we wrap it in pork sausage meat and smoke it again, before getting it out to glaze it and hit it with more barbecue spices and crumbled corn chips.

"It's really mental."

 

Lismore walks away victor in BBQ battle: The Pit Crew Gray Stockdale, of The Stockpot Kitchen, and chef Jim Diliberto walked away as victors at the Bunderberg BBQ Battle 2019.

Gray said the recipe was one he had used at Stockpot Kitchen before, so the team knew it was well-loved and tasted amazing.

Clearly the judges at last weekend's Bundaberg BBQ Battle loved it as well, with the Pit Crew standing out from a crowd of 49 of Australia's best barbecue teams.

The event, which serves as the Australasian Barbecue Alliance national championships, saw the Northern Rivers team bring home a swag of accolades, including a first place victory in the 'Jalapeno Popper Off' category.

The team also scored a third place for their chicken, an eighth place finish for their lamb and ninth place for their pork ribs.

"These are 49 of some of the best barbecue teams from right across Australasia," Gray said.

"To be included in the top 10 is a huge honour. We were stoked."

Gray said the Pit Crew team was made up of all "local blokes", including Niels Jack, Graham Wessling and Jim Diliberto, all of which "just really enjoy barbecue".

Gray said just to be able to compete in the championship, let alone be recognised, was a "win-win", but also to be able to taste other teams' barbecue was "even better".

"It's a win-win-win," he said.