PDA

View Full Version : Taste? Texture? Taste? Texture?


BBQchef33
05-25-2011, 07:19 PM
Been doing some thinking about scoring systems.

Appearance / Taste / Texture.... Usually, Appearance is weighted the least and taste weighted the highest, which makes the taste of the food the dominant portion of our scores.

BUT what is the real challenge in cooking in competition?

We can all make something taste good. (just smear some blues hog on it :becky: ). We agonize over flavor profiles, balancing, smoke/wood influence, temps etc.. but in all actuality, a non offensive commercial rub will taste just plain old good. So, what is our real challenge??? And what hits the judges first in that first bite?

We establish our flavor profiles out of a jar or 10, prep the meat and into the pit it goes. Flavor is done.. ...But then we spend hours checking, probing, foiling, un-foiling, setting, dipping, dunking, shredding slicing and pulling, not drying it out, not undercooking it, not burning the skin, not making it too tough or too mushy. Whats the challenge.. taste?? or texture?

Soooo...what has more of an influence on the judges? When the judge bites that thigh, what do they notice first. Juicy, tender, dry or chewy? thats the FIRST impression, and then comes the flavors. Texture hits first, and can make your score RIGHT THEN AND THERE. Can perfection in texture mentally influence the judge and over shadow mediocre flavors. ?? if so, then why is the texture weight the lowest? Or is THAT WHY the texture weight is lower(to balance the scoring?)

Think about it, a great, well balance flavor profile will never hold up a tough brisket, mushy pork, undercooked chicken, or chewy rib. I dont think i ever heard a judge say it was tough, but tasted good so I gave it all 9's. Or you nailed the texture, and screwed up the flavors, and get penalized because the weight of the texture is less than the weight of the flavor scores. You cooked it perfectly, but the judged hated your profile.. why get nailed.. ??

What if..... the weights were reversed, giving texture more weight than flavor??? Just sayin... :thumb:



discuss.

Bentley
05-25-2011, 08:03 PM
To me taste is the most important part of a competition and I think should have the highest weight for score. Having said that, I think I can cook meat as well as any competition team competing, but when it come to flavor profiles, we sure seem to be hit and miss.

I do think some judges can't distinguish between taste and tenderness or at least they dont seem to seperate it when it comes to judging. I have judged plenty of meat I have given 9's in taste, and 6 or 7's in tenderness and the inverse is true, just like you pointed out.

I used to think as judges got more experience, their scores woud reflect it, but I have sat with a few Master CBJ's at contest and I have scored a piece of meat a 7 and they gave it a 5, that has made me scratch my head a few times...I like to think I know the difference between below average, average and above average BBQ. When you start talking about Very Good and Excellet I am sure more subjectivity comes into play, but when you start giving 5's and below, you need to be able to articulate why, and I find too many CBJ's, Masters or not that cannot.

Smokin' Gnome BBQ
05-25-2011, 08:10 PM
I think it takes real skill to take a tuff piece of meat and make it tender.. taste is important, but I think cooking a piece of meat is the hard part..

The_Kapn
05-25-2011, 08:11 PM
FBA weights tenderness and taste almost equally.
Now that I have learned how to cook the meat properly--I like that!

Basically (rounding off) 10% appearance, 45% each for tenderness and taste.
If I am off--RUB or someone will correct me.

Works for me.

TIM

bigabyte
05-25-2011, 08:12 PM
Just my opinion (and I don't post here a lot so take it with a grain of salt)...

The entrance criteria towards winning is cooking the meat right, and from there it's a flavor/appearance contest. If it looks good and has the best sauce/rub, etc of the day, but is not cooked right, it's not going to win.

roksmith
05-25-2011, 08:15 PM
I too think taste is and should be more important. Texture is simply getting the time and temperature right. Flavor is a whole other animal. Our ribs, for example, go thru 5 individual steps.. Each adding another layer to the flavor of the ribs.

Meat Burner
05-25-2011, 08:23 PM
Big guy, I do think taste should be the most important score. JMHO.

bigabyte
05-25-2011, 08:28 PM
Actually, I guess I'll add a couple more thoughts.

First, the meat needs to be cooked right to have a shot at winning (I just can't see tasty, well arranged, tough ribs winning).

After that you are left with appearance and taste. Of those two, I think appearance should be the lowest factor.

This doesn't mean I think texture should be weighted the most however. I do think that ultimately it is a FLAVOR contest, and would like it weighted that way.

Just to clarify what I was saying.

Because I can't put a complete thought down in one post to save my life for some reason.

I'm sure I'll be back later to add some more.

JD McGee
05-25-2011, 09:08 PM
I strive for "properly cooked" (texture) meats first...then taste...then appearance. Nothing worse than a tough, mushy, or dry piece of meat...regardless of what seasonings or sauces are on it...my 2 cents! :becky:

Pitmaster T
05-25-2011, 09:17 PM
I will put my hat in this ring. There was once a poll somewhere that actually ranked some of these traits, albeit not for competition. But here is my respectful opinion. You are not going to win with poor scores in either so... you need to master both! Now that being said, I would say that texture is crucial - so crucial in fact I do not think it should be discussed as it is a given. In addition, the factor I just mentioned that I refuse to discuss any further has a crucial impact on taste... the reverse is not true. Think about that.

A guy whose name rhymes with "Mil bazzuto" aka - rhymes with "Barry" once called me to cuss me out. In the process he ended up telling me how he did a particular cut of meat. It got me to think one night. This guy takes this particular cut and slow cooks it at a really low temp, for a long time.... he has the equipment to do it too... anyway then he comes back and ramps the heat up real high... then slows it down. He says he does it for "depth." I tried it.... with equipment other than my stupidly inefficient Brazos, and I was VERY impressed... tenderness.... about as tender as my high heat method... but the reach to that tenderness ended up affecting the end taste.

So like politics, its circular. One can be so right they end up being radical... keep going and you end up in anarchy or tyranny both of which share the same space.

So my answer is.... sort of like what I said as another personality long ago. If you cannot get tenderness down you actually have no place competing anyway unless you like to hang with those of us that have the skills. But never forget the impact tenderness has (well if you can do it in a smoker - I am not talking about tender simmered meat :-) on flavor. So... the two are interconnected. Unlike appearance... which often is in most regions outside where I am, external to your taste. But that's another argument that has been done to death.

Pitmaster T
05-25-2011, 09:22 PM
BBQ Priorities POll #1 - What do we Learn to Cook For First? (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=77123&highlight=poll+mastering)
Polling Priorities #2- What Traits do we Conquer First? (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=77127&highlight=poll+mastering)
Polling Priorities #3 - What Traits do we conquer Second? (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=77128&highlight=poll+mastering)
Polling Priorities #4 - What Challenges/Challenged you Most? (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=77141&highlight=poll+mastering)

And the ever popular and fun - The Real Causes of Bad BBQ (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=84446&highlight=poll+mastering)

boogiesnap
05-25-2011, 09:49 PM
i've always felt tenderness is the gateway to taste. without tender, taste ain't worth a darn.

if ya aint gona enjoy chewing it, you ain't gonna enjoy tasting it.

as far as scoring, it's harder to make comp BBQ tender than taste good, i'd say flip flop.

like scottie said, all you need is smokin guns hot, blues hog, and a toothpick.

now where does the skill and quality q come into play? rubbing with SGH, saucing with BH, or executing your skills on your pit to make that toothpick do it's thang!

tender is an absolute and better BBQ. it either is or isn't cooked properly.

flavor is subjective. should be weighted less.

boogiesnap
05-25-2011, 10:05 PM
I too think taste is and should be more important. Texture is simply getting the time and temperature right. Flavor is a whole other animal. Our ribs, for example, go thru 5 individual steps.. Each adding another layer to the flavor of the ribs.


simply? c'mon now.

Still Smokin
05-25-2011, 10:12 PM
Texture/tenderness means alot, I learned that the hard way this past week cooking on a new cooker, my ribs needed at least another 1/2 hour and instead of a top 5 finish, I got 14th. BTW, I nailed the taste part!!!!

Slamdunkpro
05-25-2011, 10:27 PM
And now for something completely different......

I think that taste and tenderness are so intertwined that they should be one score:boxing:

So, what to do with the other scoring criteria? How about Appearance (lowest weighted) Taste/Tenderness (highest weighted) & Creativity (middle weighted). Adding creativity as a scoring criteria would help reverse the homogeneous trend in entries and encourage cooks to stretch the envelope a bit.

BBQchef33
05-25-2011, 11:14 PM
BBQ Priorities POll #1 - What do we Learn to Cook For First? (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=77123&highlight=poll+mastering)
Polling Priorities #2- What Traits do we Conquer First? (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=77127&highlight=poll+mastering)
Polling Priorities #3 - What Traits do we conquer Second? (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=77128&highlight=poll+mastering)
Polling Priorities #4 - What Challenges/Challenged you Most? (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=77141&highlight=poll+mastering)

And the ever popular and fun - The Real Causes of Bad BBQ (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=84446&highlight=poll+mastering)

interesting results.

Poll #4 reinforces my theory. BBQ cooks find texture/moisture the hardest to perfect. Thats the challenge. Taste is easy to NOT screw up by simply using a good rub. I am not saying its easy to perfect or to succeed in exactly what one is trying to produce.. but its hard to make BBQ taste bad... short of a total screwup like marinating a pork butt in margarita mix. :bow:


but nailing that perfectly cooked rib or brisket takes time and practice. Being we are competing for the title of 'the best', shouldnt the winner be the one to conquer the biggest challenge.

:becky:

landarc
05-26-2011, 01:07 AM
From a personal point of view, I find that texture is the most important thing. I am a texture eater first, then flavor second. This is why I don't like fish, it isn't the taste, it is the texture. As it applies to competition BBQ, for me, I would not have a hard time separating them, as texture is more empirical than taste. But, while I can judge it separately, good BBQ has to have both. I would think equal weighting would be better.

Q-Dat
05-26-2011, 03:46 AM
Then there are people such as myself. I can cook any entry to whatever texture I want, but that does me no good until I know what texture I should be shooting for. I have had the supposed tenderness guidelines described to me numerous times, but until I get to try a good example of a winning texture for myself, I'm just making an educated guess.

As far as taste is concerned, the way I understand it is that judges are taught to look for the most balanced combination of the major tastes. Those being salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and heat. Problem with that is different people have different thresholds for different tastes. A well balanced flavor profile to me will be too sour, or maybe not sweet enough to someone else. Also a flavor profile can be very well balanced but still be overwhelming or bland depending on the situation and the taster.

But I agree on the main topic wholeheartedly. I think a good example is steak. Now I think we have all had a bad steak at one time or another. I have had quite a few myself. I have never disliked a steak because of the seasoning used. It has been because it was dry or tough or both every time. Also I have never said "Man that steak tasted great but it was tough!" For me, the texture of a bad steak overshadows any good that was accomplished with flavoring. Conversely I can't imagine liking a steak that was cooked to perfection but was covered in some nasty bizarre rub.

I personally see them as integral to each other.

roksmith
05-26-2011, 06:51 AM
simply? c'mon now.

Yup, easiest part to get right. If ya screw that up it's cuz ya didn't pay attention.

MilitantSquatter
05-26-2011, 07:02 AM
but nailing that perfectly cooked rib or brisket takes time and practice. Being we are competing for the title of 'the best', shouldnt the winner be the one to conquer the biggest challenge.

:becky:

I agree 100%, but let's face it.. you, as a competitor, are there to please the judges... and the judges want food that "taste" great.

Hub
05-26-2011, 07:13 AM
Giving taste the highest weight in scoring makes great sense! It is the basic reason for competition because it absolutely cannot be described and it is different for all of us. Appearance and texture are important to the overall effect, but taste is the attribute that nobody can ever perfectly predict.

Appearance and tenderness could be computerized, but taste will never be.

NRA4Life
05-26-2011, 07:45 AM
As a judge, I think texture/tenderness is something that is apparent before flavor with 3/4 meats. I bite into a piece of chicken and first thing I get is the texture of the skin (rubbery, bite through, etc...), second is the tenderness of the meat (dry, moist, etc), then the flavor will come through as I'm chewing. Ribs, same thing...undercooked, overcooked, or ideal is apparent immediately along with the tenderness if the membrane hasn't been removed. Brisket tenderness is apparent first. The pull test is accomplished prior to tasting, over/under/ideal cooked is strongly determined before even taking a bite. I think pork may be the one meat where tenderness and taste may be evaluated more closely together (in time) during the sampling, unless of course the pork has bone fragments and then the tenderness is apparent pretty quickly. I don't know if the scores should be weighted with taste/tenderness equal, taste>tenderness, or tenderness<taste...I'm just relaying the way things appear to me when I'm judging.

Lake Dogs
05-26-2011, 08:21 AM
The single biggest factor in the average or even the winning entries in a sanctioned cookoff of some size to an un-sanctioned (ala. Back Yard) is the tenderness of the entries. I've had plenty that taste fine, but had ghastly texture/tenderness. By a long margin this one piece separates the men from the boys. With a little practice anyone can hit a decent taste profile and presentation, but to get it tender and moist, rendering almost all the fat, without getting mushy takes time and practice.

Lake Dogs
05-26-2011, 08:25 AM
And now for something completely different......

I think that taste and tenderness are so intertwined that they should be one score:boxing:


Respectfully I'll disagree. I've seen MANY (contrary to someones earlier post) that had terrible tenderness (usually undercooked, but sometimes overcooked and/or mushy) that tasted GREAT, and I've also seen plenty where they nailed the texture/tenderness but the flavor was off. A good judge will pull the meat apart, squeeze it, etc. for tenderness and only afterwards take a bite.

Bigdog
05-26-2011, 08:26 AM
... and the judges want food that "taste" great.

...less filling!!:wink:

BOT: I have a different angle. Although I agree that taste "should" have a higher score, why not make them all the same due to the fact that what tastes good to one person may not taste good to another. Maybe the scores would be more fair this way.

BearCat
05-26-2011, 08:47 AM
How about Appearance (lowest weighted) Taste/Tenderness (highest weighted) & Creativity (middle weighted). Adding creativity .........

I agree on my first comp attempt here in the Midwest I used a Carolina style mustard sauce on my pork which I think is the best way to have pork, and afterwards talking to the organizer about our scores, just to get an idea of where to go. She told me this is a BBQ contest not really a Mustard contest. I was blown away as I always thought BBQ was a style of cooking not a sauce.
As I have learned if the Judge does not taste BH then you did not provide a good taste. Therefore open up the Creativity and let the judges work to know all the flavors that are out there.

Carnivorous Endeavors BBQ
05-26-2011, 09:27 AM
I'm with Landarc on this one...Great Texture with no flavor or great flavor with bad texture will both get you nowhere. The are intertwined in my mind. They should be weighted equally for scoring but still be separate scores as they are unique but equally important.

QansasjayhawQ
05-26-2011, 09:44 AM
Being we are competing for the title of 'the best', shouldnt the winner be the one to conquer the biggest challenge.
There is no one single biggest challenge (of the three) to overcome. What I look for when I judge (and therefore when I cook) is the Total Package - hitting high marks in every aspect is going to determine how well I've done.

Think about a basketball team. I can think of a couple times where high shooting percentages, a high number of assists, low turnovers have all been there - but if their free throws are stinky then they almost (or do) lose.

Same here with BBQ - the team that consistently hits all attributes right on the money each time will do the best.

Is it subjective? Somewhat. But there has to be a reason the same top teams win again and again each weekend. They are pleasing a (mostly) different set of judges each time.

The Total Package is the ultimate challenge.

That's what I think anyway - for whatever that's worth! :-)

Jorge
05-26-2011, 10:00 AM
I understand the point, but I just can't quite buy into it.

I agree that it's relatively easy to make something taste good with all of the off the shelf ingredients available. Making it taste good enough to win is a different matter, and there is room for a lot of creativity in tweaking the entry prior to placing it in the box. That's one area where a lot of the more consistent, and successful, cooks shine. I know a well known cook that I've watched perform a miracle on what was mediocre product by his standards. It is also an area where the cook has almost total control over their final product. Sometimes meat will take on different levels of flavor for various reasons, but in the end the cook does have the opportunity to either fix or mask deficiencies.

If you increase the importance of texture/tenderness I suspect in time you will see cooks resort to the shotgun approach I learned when I first started learning to cook comp BBQ. In those days, cooking 4 select-choice grade briskets wasn't a problem and cost was no issue. Today, it's a different story. A team that can afford to cook 4 Wagyu briskets and stagger them slightly picks up a competitive advantage before they even unload the first cooler. If the solution is to have the organizer provide meat, then you open the door to favored teams getting the better meat etc... Beyond that, I believe that meat selection is something that should be left to the cook. Let the cook demonstrate what they can do with the meat of their choice, which best fits the cooking style they have chosen.

And finally, have you ever told someone that you'd go back to a restaurant because the steak tasted OK but it was really tender and perfectly cooked?

ique
05-26-2011, 10:01 AM
I agree 100%, but let's face it.. you, as a competitor, are there to please the judges... and the judges want food that "taste" great.

Interesting points Phil. But I agree with Vinny here. The most important aspect of barbecue is that it tastes great so that should get the highest weight. Who cares if you nailed texture if the rib tastes like lighter fluid?

Lake Dogs
05-26-2011, 10:06 AM
I agree on my first comp attempt here in the Midwest I used a Carolina style mustard sauce on my pork which I think is the best way to have pork, and afterwards talking to the organizer about our scores, just to get an idea of where to go. She told me this is a BBQ contest not really a Mustard contest. I was blown away as I always thought BBQ was a style of cooking not a sauce.
As I have learned if the Judge does not taste BH then you did not provide a good taste. Therefore open up the Creativity and let the judges work to know all the flavors that are out there.

DUDE! While her comment was a bit of a **** *** comment, the truth is simply that mustard sauces are not only very regional, but really only about 30% of people like them. You're trying to average UP, not average DOWN. You'd be much better to go without sauce than even the worlds best mustard sauce. I love some, but I'd never put that forth in a competition. 2 judges will love it, but the other 4 will kill you sure as shootin', and we dont want that, do we?

Anyway, this is a thread hijack. Sorry, back on topic.

Creativity? Ummm... In presentation its really considered a mark and could get you DQ'd. In flavors? At some point it stops being barbecue and becomes something else. I'm reminded of a chili cookoff (this really happend, but it's an analogy) where the team next to us cooked 200 rib eyes (it was a large cookoff). They seasoned them with a little garlic and chili powder, grilled them up, sliced them into fairly small pieces, and presented that as chili. While it was some of the best eats of that day, they scored way way way down towards the bottom. Seems everyone decided that while it was delicious, it wasn't chili. Anyway, same goes barbecue, IMHO. Barbecue has many hundreds of years of tradition, and the farther we go from that tradition (being creative) the less barbecue we have...

RangerJ
05-26-2011, 10:30 AM
Anyway, same goes barbecue, IMHO. Barbecue has many hundreds of years of tradition, and the farther we go from that tradition (being creative) the less barbecue we have...

You mean like no fat underneath chicken skins? Family and neighbors won't touch the stuff, they like me just to season it and throw it on the pit. If the skin comes off so be it.

I think taste is "winner" in this but I believe that appearance and tenderness set the stage. The aforementioned lighter fluid example is spot on.

Sawdustguy
05-26-2011, 10:44 AM
On more than one occasion I have heard cooks Johnny Trigger, Chris Hart, Steve Farrin etc. claim that perfectly cooked meat wins contests. It kind of makes sense. I think a lot of the top cooks use similar or the same ingrediants. I hear the big boys are using Blues Hog, Smoking Guns, The Slabs, Plowboys etc. How different can the flavor profiles be? I do agree the greatest challenge is tenderness/texture. Maybe they should be reversed. It makes sense to me.

Sledneck
05-26-2011, 11:39 AM
I think the who has the best blues hog food contest is easier than how well i can cook so im gonna stay on the side of taste being weighted the highest. in fact tenderness should be dropped lower than appearance. I want my putting greens to get the credit they deserve. Great tasting Beef jerky is awesome, think about it

BearCat
05-26-2011, 11:48 AM
I hear ya DOG, I have adapted and mustard stays at home.

Maybe i will get into a comp that wont alow sauce sometime (then judges wont know what to do without the BH,) and see how my rubs work.

YankeeBBQ
05-26-2011, 12:00 PM
When we teach our classes we talk about the last few minutes before we put the food in the box. This is the chance you have to take your food to that next level and get the taste just right. I know a lot of teams that don't even taste their entry's before turning them in. That's a big mistake in my opinion. Judges don't have salt and pepper shakers so you better taste the food and decide if it needs a little kick. That's why taste is more important in my opinion. True you can't fix the tenderness at the last minute but you sure can improve the taste.

Lake Dogs
05-26-2011, 12:53 PM
I hear ya DOG, I have adapted and mustard stays at home.

Maybe i will get into a comp that wont alow sauce sometime (then judges wont know what to do without the BH,) and see how my rubs work.


On MBN comp tables we see about 50% ribs without sauce, maybe 60-70% without in a few competitions. Pork, almost never with sauce, so probably 80%... That has changed a little lately; we're seeing more sauced pork. It was about 95% without, and then it was presented on the side. Now 70% or 80% without, and mostly on the side, except ribs....

Q-Dat
05-26-2011, 02:25 PM
What if each contest were sponsored by a different rub and sauce, and each competitor were required to use at least half of each as their rub and sauce. That would leave plenty of room for creativity but have everyone using the same base.

The sauce and rub makers win with some great advertising, and then more emphasis could be placed on texture. Might be tricky to enforce, but I bet something could be worked out.

Just a thought.

Podge
05-26-2011, 03:25 PM
I think taste and tenderness should be the same score, they both affect each other.

Podge
05-26-2011, 03:27 PM
I think the who has the best blues hog food contest is easier than how well i can cook so im gonna stay on the side of taste being weighted the highest. in fact tenderness should be dropped lower than appearance. I want my putting greens to get the credit they deserve. Great tasting Beef jerky is awesome, think about it

Ya don't need Blues hog to win a contest ! :thumb:

G$
05-26-2011, 07:22 PM
I think that taste and tenderness are so intertwined that they should be one score:boxing:

Me too.

Q-Dat
05-27-2011, 09:44 PM
Ya don't need Blues hog to win a contest ! :thumb:



And even if you do, and win alot, you can never get into selling your rub or sauce because you will be using someone else's stuff.

Pitmaster T
05-28-2011, 12:33 PM
This could be a regional problem that has no real answer. I thought about this some more.

"Who cares if you nailed texture if the rib tastes like lighter fluid?"

Respectfully, this makes a great point but not really applicable the way its worded.

Let me illustrate by reversing the entire sentence above so that it logically makes the same argument that texture and tenderness is premiere.

Who cares if the ribs taste great if you pop them in your mouth and they are actually make of latex and silicone with stainless steel bolts that pop out and pierce both cheeks. I mean if you place a nice saucy salty rib in your mouth you don't expect to get your cheeks pierced? Monty Python Mod.

That was a little funny joke there.


In areas where the regional litmus test for decades (before our new century) was "zest" then I would agree. These areas I used to live in and even when I left New England and I would say I did BBQ people would always want to comment about their sauce or mine. Which from a Texan standpoint is kinda a weird thing to have a conversation about. As far as 2007 I distinctly remember conversations where people would talk about how they make great bbq in the oven.

Now I am going to be REAL careful to be SURE to indicate this is not how I feel about our CHAMPION brethren from the North. Especially not Icue who has championed at the Jack. Its a commentary on the region's tasters - the New Englander BEFORE 2000, who sought to judge came from a different stock than someone from the south.

Don't agree? How many conversations you have heard when speaking with a Northerner about BBQ have some indication of a southern exposure as a hint of credibility? I never will forget Clint and I got into it once about him defending northern bbq and he defended his skill brilliantly by mentioning he was FROM Texas and I think he lived in Memphis a while. I may be wrong.

NOW THE BRETHREN WEBSITE SINCE 2004 HAS HELPED LEVEL THAT PLAYING FIELD!!!!!!!!!!!!

But in areas where salt and pepper and maybe two or three other ingredients were used but championships were won or lost on the smoke, the ring, the texture, bark then the role of taste is different.

Perhaps I should realign. Making an argument that you are not going to win if you don't master one or the other does not mean that mastering BOTH are not necessary to win (in most cases). Icue for instance, I bet never won one contest (including the jack I think) without putting the hammer down in BOTH segments.

More thought could be - and I have seen this happen - and perhaps this may uphold Icue's point, that since JUDGING often is by the cubic inch.... some guys whacked out rub - albeit on a tougher piece (and in the north at times slathered with sauce) might actually awake the Judge's palette enough to do better than a superior counterpart (one that would probably please the judge if he were in fact to eat maybe a 1/4 of each). But alas that does not happen.

The question I think Phil posed was not intended for extremes like really bad taste or really bad texture. But since the elements of texture intertwine with taste... and taste can be "purchased and sprinkled" on.... well then.... I say texture and tenderness (and even moistness) may have the edge.

Someone here mentioned that everyone should get the same meat. That is taking things too far. My plan is better. Have all judges surgically altered so that they can eat 1/4 pound of every entry, swallowing each bite but it being emptied into a huge pit at the bottom of the judges table... a kind of pre-duodenal poop bag.

Pitmaster T
05-28-2011, 12:40 PM
To be prudent - the questions were:



BUT what is the real challenge in cooking in competition?

So, what is our real challenge???

And what hits the judges first in that first bite?

Whats the challenge.. taste?? or texture?

Soooo...what has more of an influence on the judges?

When the judge bites that thigh, what do they notice first. Juicy, tender, dry or chewy?

Can perfection in texture mentally influence the judge and over shadow mediocre flavors. ??

Why is the texture weight the lowest? Or is THAT WHY the texture weight is lower(to balance the scoring?)

You cooked it perfectly, but the judged hated your profile.. why get nailed.. ??

What if..... the weights were reversed, giving texture more weight than flavor???

Pitmaster T
05-28-2011, 01:03 PM
Okay I did a quick regional poll. I read each post to 43 and through out all that did not answer (and that's okay) and those that commented twice. I divided them into regions. North South and West (there was one west)

North

13 opinions 7 for Texture/Tenderness 5 for Taste

Although Sled's post was indeed dripping with tasty and saucy sarcasm, I counted as a vote for Texture/tenderness

South

10 Opinions, 6 for Texture.Tenderness, 4 for Taste but I reserve Ranger's opinion until I can "get at him" and show him he really does not believe what he is saying. He is near me. :-)

West

One opinion Texture/tenderness

So overall that's 14 for Texture/Tenderness, 10 for taste. I also did not count opinions that (although I think are credible) claimed the two were intertwined. I agree with this partly but just wanted to get a count of taste versus whatever.

Of course this does not take into account if the person is from the south and living in the North.

Q-Dat
05-28-2011, 04:43 PM
I just know that every time friends of mine visit up north somewhere they say it was nice but the food was really bland. I do realise though, that Louisiana is definitely on the high end of the flavor spectrum. I have no doubt that the food in Wisconsin tastes fine to the folks up there. And many of them would no doubt call our food over seasoned.

Texture seems to be pretty universal.

Dale P
05-29-2011, 07:11 AM
Our last contest we cooked at we tanked. I know why too, because everything we turned in was either tough or mushy. The taste was "i thought" excellent but we failed on texture. We got what we deserved, nothing.

boogiesnap
05-29-2011, 06:42 PM
here's a question.

what would the raw scores need to be BEFORE weighting for there to be a tie in 2 entries.

1 that nailed tenderness, but not taste. and 1 that nailed taste and not tenderness. appearance being equal.

how bad can tenderness score and still have taste overcome and vice versa to creat 2 equal final scores?

i don't know the numbers/can't do the math:rolleyes:

Pitmaster T
05-30-2011, 12:31 PM
dance with the boogie get downnnnnn cuz boogie snap is always the best in town.

Bourbon Barrel BBQ
05-30-2011, 04:15 PM
We don't change flavor profiles event to event. We know our combination of rub and sauce can win. The biggest factor for us is whether or not the foods texture is correct. I think that they are both linked together but after you find a flavor profile that doesn't taste like dirt the challenge is still making sure it's cooked correctly. I imagine there aren't many entries in a contest that want to make a judge want to gag. I'd be willing to bet there are several entries that are tough as leather.