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NJ’s Wildwoods BBQ Wins Brisket King NYC 2023

The Wildwoods BBQ team won Brisket King NYC 2023. (Photo by Anthony Scerri / Smoke Sweats)

On Wednesday night, a new Brisket King was crowned. The team behind newcomer Wildwoods BBQ in North Wildwood, NJ, won both the top prize and People’s Choice trophies at Brisket King NYC, beating out several past winners. Held this year at Pig Beach NYC in Queens, Brisket King attracted hundreds of barbecue fans who were able to try a fantastic assortment of smoked brisket, sides, and drinks.

The winning brisket from Wildwoods BBQ. (Photo by Sean Ludwig)

Wildwoods BBQ was a frontrunner going into Brisket King based on pedigree. Led by pitmasters David Gill and Joel Romano, Wildwoods BBQ opened in mid-2021 and has since become a Jersey Shore favorite for smoked meats and creative sides. Gill previously ran the pits at renowned Hometown BBQ in Brooklyn, and he had been mentored by previous Brisket King winner Billy Durney. Romano was the executive chef for The Goat’s Beard in Philadelphia for eight years.

Blue Smoke's succulent brisket over mac and cheese propelled the joint to the runner-up position for the night. (Photo by Sean Ludwig)

The runner-up trophy was awarded to pitmaster Bret Lunsford of Blue Smoke in Manhattan, who has wowed the crowds in the past with his authentic, tender Texas-style brisket. His brisket was served over gooey, tasty mac and cheese, which was one of the night's best sides. Blue Smoke in Battery Park City is one of the best places to eat brisket in NYC, so the award was well deserved.

Additional awards of the night included:

This was the 12th edition of Brisket King NYC, and the largest version of the event to date. Having the gathering outdoors at Pig Beach’s huge beer garden/event space helped people spread out more and allowed more folks to mingle with the rockstar pitmasters.

Click here to check out more photos of Brisket King NYC 2023.