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View Full Version : Brisket Question for Judges?


QDoc
03-30-2011, 03:48 PM
Do you like the fat cap left on or cut off?

rksylves
03-30-2011, 04:01 PM
I personally like it off. I'm certainly not going to eat it and I don't want to have to mess with pulling off excess fat.

My $0.02

Russ

carlyle
03-30-2011, 04:31 PM
What he said , rksylves.

I do not think that having it on there adds anything to appearance.

mobow
03-30-2011, 05:00 PM
I'm not sure I have ever seen it left on. keith

Slamdunkpro
03-30-2011, 05:03 PM
Off.

Bones
03-30-2011, 05:04 PM
Do you like a little fat say 1/8 to 1/4" or none at all?

bignburlyman
03-30-2011, 05:05 PM
I do not mind the thin layer of fat that covers the flat, but I dislike the seam of fat that separates the point from the flat. If you leave a thin fat cap on the meat, place it down in the box, so it isn't the first thing a judge sees for appearance.

Bones
03-30-2011, 05:17 PM
I do not mind the thin layer of fat that covers the flat, but I dislike the seam of fat that separates the point from the flat. If you leave a thin fat cap on the meat, place it down in the box, so it isn't the first thing a judge sees for appearance.

I would agree because that is what I do and have had some success. The difference is that I usually leave the fat up. I may make the change to down.

worthsmokin
03-30-2011, 05:25 PM
Just a thin layer maybe, or none. Down for sure.

ModelMaker
03-30-2011, 05:36 PM
The big thick glob of fat on a nice slice of brisky is kind of a turn off. If you can't see it during presentation it won't bother the score. If I have to tear it off to eat it, it may.
Ed

NRA4Life
03-30-2011, 05:42 PM
Off. No fat at all.

Meat Burner
03-30-2011, 07:01 PM
Off.

Mister Bob
03-30-2011, 07:15 PM
When I compete, I cook with it on then take it off before it goes into the box. I guess that means when I judge I prefer to see it that way, but I take each box on it's own merits. Great brisket with a thin line of fat left on beats good brisket with all the fat off, all day long.

sitnfat
03-30-2011, 07:48 PM
I ain't a judge but I agree with mister Bob I leave just a thin line of fat. Fat is flavor.

Bentley
03-30-2011, 10:14 PM
As a CBJ I am to eat the meat and judge as it is presented, so that is what I will do, do I eat much warm brisket at a competition? No. Room temperature fat is nasty! But if a team presents the slice with fat on I have to eat it that way.

As a preference, I do not think the fat from a brisket is as flavorful as the fat from a Rib-Eye, so I would prefer just the beef.

Rookie'48
03-31-2011, 12:30 AM
As a CBJ I am to eat the meat and judge as it is presented .....I do not think the fat from a brisket is as flavorful as the fat from a Rib-Eye, so I would prefer just the beef.

That pretty much sums it up right there ^^^^^.

Crash
03-31-2011, 05:17 AM
Left on, but do have to respectfully disagree with MM.

If you can't see it during presentation it won't bother the score.

100% disagree. Is it the same as having a bad injection mark that isn't visible on the first (and only) seen slice? Should it NOT "bother" the score? Not at all trying to call you out, and YES, I totally agree it should not "bother" the score..

Technically speaking, seeing the fat that separated the point/flat and/or a rogue injection should not cause judges to score down on taste/tenderness. IMHO, I 100% believe it will, even when it shouldn't.

If Judges (especially 2-6) see a large line of fat on the bottom and/or a rogue injection mark after scoring appearance, your day is done in the brisket category. Even if a judge is supposed to score on taste/tenderness, I believe that visual display affects the mind's palate of judges 2-6 after judge 1 has taken his sample.

Hub
03-31-2011, 07:04 AM
There are no rules concerning what to do with the fat cap, but in my experience probably 90% or more of the entries I see are highly trimmed (fat off). Bear in mind that most judges are going to eat the entry as presented and some will eat around the fat and some will taste it if it is included. Most brisket arrives at the judging tables well cooled down and low-temperature fat can be a turn-off for many.

I would not score a fat-on slice of brisket down deliberately because the fat was left on but would evaluate the effect of the fat for each judging factor. However, why take the chance that a seam of tepid fat is going to turn off a judge -- trim it.

smalls65
03-31-2011, 07:30 AM
I like a small thin layer of fat just for flavors' sake...but not alot...I would just trim it just to be on the safe side...

Lake Dogs
03-31-2011, 09:04 AM
What bentley said. OFF. Beef fat on brisket is NASTY even warm, so luke warm or cold, UGH.

A pic of a practice run:

http://i570.photobucket.com/albums/ss141/hance_patrick/20933_1343033137197_1272271852_30974782_1407438_n. jpg

Big Sticky
03-31-2011, 10:40 AM
This is a simple but great question. Love all the opinions.

bover
03-31-2011, 12:02 PM
As a judge, I have to agree with the statement of taking off the fat. It's just not appetizing or visually appealing on this particular cut of meat.

As a cook however, the real question is whether to remove the fat before or after you cook it. That's a whole different debate, but without a doubt get rid of it at some point.

ModelMaker
03-31-2011, 12:30 PM
Left on, but do have to respectfully disagree with MM.



100% disagree. Is it the same as having a bad injection mark that isn't visible on the first (and only) seen slice? Should it NOT "bother" the score? Not at all trying to call you out, and YES, I totally agree it should not "bother" the score..

Technically speaking, seeing the fat that separated the point/flat and/or a rogue injection should not cause judges to score down on taste/tenderness. IMHO, I 100% believe it will, even when it shouldn't.

If Judges (especially 2-6) see a large line of fat on the bottom and/or a rogue injection mark after scoring appearance, your day is done in the brisket category. Even if a judge is supposed to score on taste/tenderness, I believe that visual display affects the mind's palate of judges 2-6 after judge 1 has taken his sample.



Well your certainly entiteled to your HO but if your still judging the samples appearance after it hits your plate IMHO you are judging incorrectly. After you enter your score for appearance that part of judging that sample is complete. If the cook sneaks in a ugly chunk 3 slices back it has NO bearing on taste and tenderness scores...
Have you never looked at the bottom side of a pretty chicken thigh only to find some folded up less than appealing wad of skin?
And by the way, I do sample the line of fat if presented that way, and score accordingly. The question was what do judges think of fat cap left on the samples in the box.
All in all I fight dearly not to judge according to my personal tastes and dislikes. The cook puts it in the box and I try to judge it that way.
Ed

Crash
03-31-2011, 02:47 PM
Well your certainly entiteled to your HO but if your still judging the samples appearance after it hits your plate IMHO you are judging incorrectly. After you enter your score for appearance that part of judging that sample is complete. If the cook sneaks in a ugly chunk 3 slices back it has NO bearing on taste and tenderness scores...
Have you never looked at the bottom side of a pretty chicken thigh only to find some folded up less than appealing wad of skin?
And by the way, I do sample the line of fat if presented that way, and score accordingly. The question was what do judges think of fat cap left on the samples in the box.
All in all I fight dearly not to judge according to my personal tastes and dislikes. The cook puts it in the box and I try to judge it that way.
Ed
I couldnt agree more and I thank you for being one of a handful of judges that truely judges brisket based on the three individual criteria.

Unfortunatley, not all judges are able to do this.

Mister Bob
03-31-2011, 04:12 PM
While judges are trained to judge each of the three categories independently, and we all try to do so (I hope), I can't help but believe that each category effects the other even if subconsciously, and even if only a little.

When competing, I have found that the better my presentation scores are, the better my taste and tenderness scores are, even though I'm using the same recipes, meat sources and processes. There could be several reasons for this, like it landed on a high scoring table, or I just happened to get a good tasting chicken, cow or pig, or I drank a little less that day and was on the top of my game, BUT...

There's a saying, "You eat with your eyes first". If something looks unappealing, subconsciously you might be predisposed to think it tastes unappealing. Conversely, if it looks great you might subconsciously believe it tastes a little better.

I also believe taste and tenderness are similarly intertwined. While perfectly tender meat could taste terrible, it would be very difficult for a tough piece of meat to 'taste' a nine. Taste is a subjective term that includes flavor, aroma, personal preference, mouth feel and many other things. If it chews like leather, it would be extremely difficult for even outstanding flavor to fight through the judges unpleasant experience.

People are not computers. Try as you may to keep things fair and keep each category separate, your subconscious might not cooperate.

Just sayin'...

ModelMaker
03-31-2011, 05:39 PM
"People are not computers. Try as you may to keep things fair and keep each category separate, your subconscious might not cooperate"

I think that is a plus for human judges, given a set of parameters a machine would always generate the same outcome. Being human I can force myself to ignore that piece of pork that was a little mushy but has fantastic flavor.
Trust me you want the subconsious to be able to be controled.
Ed

Bentley
03-31-2011, 07:56 PM
While perfectly tender meat could taste terrible, it would be very difficult for a tough piece of meat to 'taste' a nine.

I would have to disagree with you. More then once I have given a 6 for tenderness and a 9 for taste and vice versa!

Mister Bob
03-31-2011, 09:18 PM
Being human I can force myself to ignore that piece of pork that was a little mushy but has fantastic flavor.
Trust me you want the subconsious to be able to be controled.
Ed

I'll have to disagree. By the very nature and definition of the word subconscious, it cannot be controlled or influenced by conscious thought.

Here's what Merriam Webster has to say:

subĚconĚscious adj \ˌsəb-ˈkńn(t)-shəs, ˈsəb-\
: existing in the mind but not immediately available to consciousness <a subconscious motive>
Ś subĚconĚsciousĚly adverb
Ś subĚconĚsciousĚness noun

Being human, your subconscious can influence you conscious thoughts, but not the other way around. We might want it to be otherwise, but it just isn't so.

HONCHO GREGORY
03-31-2011, 11:34 PM
try cookin two at the same time, 1 fat on and one fat off. cook for yourself not for the judges, if you win great, if you don't you still have good bbq you like to eat

garyk1398
04-01-2011, 08:01 AM
I recently became a CBJ and the instructor said the same words as Bentley "You are to eat the meat and judge as it is presented".

If the team is putting a slice of brisket with fat in the box, I'm assuming that's what me to judge and I'll eat it. Do I want to? No, not really, but that is what was given to me.