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View Full Version : Brisket turn-in ?


chambersuac
07-18-2011, 05:38 PM
Okay, I have cooked many briskets in my life. Some have had great bark. Some have had great smoke ring. Some have had a mixture of both.

Today, I tried something different. The flavor is GREAT. One of the best tasting briskets I've had anywhere, not to brag. HOWEVER, the smoke ring is small (partly from being cooked on a BGE???) and the bark is very minimul.

Can/does such a brisket turn in ever win, or do you mark down for such on the score for appearance???

rcorun
07-18-2011, 06:31 PM
I want to say that it would not hurt apperance score- BUT- Lack of nice crusty crunchy bark may hurt apperance. Its something that is pleasing to the eye. You could say the same about lack of smoke ring, but I dont think it would be missed as much as bark. BUT who knows? make another one take some picks and ask for a vote here

davidh9946
07-18-2011, 06:52 PM
Smoke ring is not a factor. KCBS judges are told repeatedly to ignore the smoke ring because it can be "faked". Bark is another matter. As a master KCBS judge I enjoy the presence of bark. Others may or may not feel the same 'cause judges like what they like.

Good luck.

Muzzlebrake
07-18-2011, 07:04 PM
at 10.28 judges are specificly told to not consider a smoke ring when judging appearance. (http://www.kcbs.us/downloads/judges.mp3)

I received a comment card 2 weeks ago that said "smoke ring needs improvement":crazy:

boogiesnap
07-18-2011, 07:14 PM
smoke ring is not SUPPOSED to be judged, but don't it look nice? hard to avoid it being a factor regardless of the "criteria".

a nice crunchy bark, well, not so sure that would have ANY factor in appearance because the slices are pretty thin and thus making determining just how how nice and crusty the bark IS, would be a challenge at best. it's gonna be darker than the meat no matter what.

with that said, what IS important is does the bark impart a good flavor? is it not too hard and crusty? is what you put in the rub drawing the flavers IN TO the meat?

those IMHO would have far more bearing than the appearance or even texture of a nice crusty bark, in competition.

sean, whoever gave you a comment card regarding smoke ring should be tracked, very very closely.

Kenny Rogers
07-18-2011, 07:53 PM
I have the same problem with the BGE... I just can't get enough smoke from the egg, and not able to add more during cooking. I DID find a way to get LOTS of smoke for a long cook on the egg this last weekend though.... a box full of traeger pellets! I picked up a stainless steel box with holes at the top and bottom... worked great! AND I did a really low cook at 200 last time.
The Smoke ring is not supposed to be judged, however IMHO it adds to the appearance (BTW you can use tender quick to achieve that ring artificially, if you want), and I rarely put mine back in to develop that bark (I find it dries out and toughens my brisket)

Muzzlebrake
07-18-2011, 11:06 PM
smoke ring is not SUPPOSED to be judged, but don't it look nice? hard to avoid it being a factor regardless of the "criteria".

sean, whoever gave you a comment card regarding smoke ring should be tracked, very very closely.

see now I dont get that it is hard to avoid. It is the only thing that is specificly pointed out as something a judge is not to do when it comes to brisket. Seems as clear to me as a cook not being allowed to use propane.

I agree with the tracking part but I don't think there is a way to do so. There is nothing in the Table Captains instructions regarding this kind of thing.

roksmith
07-19-2011, 05:11 AM
Regardless of what the judges are supposed to be judging on, I always want some sort of smoke ring.. just doesn't look right without it. Bark, I couldn't care less about. Our process pretty much produces zero bark, but scores well unless I fark it up and under or over cook it a bit.

boogiesnap
07-19-2011, 07:38 AM
see now I dont get that it is hard to avoid. It is the only thing that is specificly pointed out as something a judge is not to do when it comes to brisket. Seems as clear to me as a cook not being allowed to use propane.

I agree with the tracking part but I don't think there is a way to do so. There is nothing in the Table Captains instructions regarding this kind of thing.

to elaborate, i don't think it is like "wow! that's a great smoke ring, i'm gonna give this a 9" when it otherwise should have been an 8. or "geez, where is the smoke ring? this gets a 5".

i think it just more of a subconcious kind of thing. it just simply looks better with a smoke ring than not. regardless of it is a scoring criteria.

while we're at it, why isn't it part of the criteria? is it because it can be chemically produced?

who would actually take the time to TQ a brisket at a comp to get an artificial smoke ring when your gonna go ahead and smoke the farkin thing anyway?

just wonderin'.

Fatback Joe
07-19-2011, 07:46 AM
while we're at it, why isn't it part of the criteria? is it because it can be chemically produced?


That is the explanation I have always heard.

Sawdustguy
07-19-2011, 07:59 AM
Okay, I have cooked many briskets in my life. Some have had great bark. Some have had great smoke ring. Some have had a mixture of both.

Today, I tried something different. The flavor is GREAT. One of the best tasting briskets I've had anywhere, not to brag. HOWEVER, the smoke ring is small (partly from being cooked on a BGE???) and the bark is very minimul.

Can/does such a brisket turn in ever win, or do you mark down for such on the score for appearance???

Being that the score on presentation is a small portion of your overall score when compared to taste and tenderness I would never have any problem turning in a brisket that had dynamite taste and texture with mediocre presentation.

chambersuac
07-19-2011, 08:33 AM
Thanks for all the replies. I agree that a smoke ring looks really nice and I like bark, too. I won't be using my Egg to cook at a comp, but I wanted to use it yesterday, 'cause it's easy and makes great Q. :)

I went very simple on seasoning - Light dusting Kosher Salt, Medium amount of course ground black pepper, and then pretty heavy on my seasoning salt. Again, as far as flavor, it was awesome. Oh, I did inject with Kosmo's Beef Injection. LOVE that stuff.

The tenderness was just right, in my limited experience - a pencil-width slice pulled apart easily, but didn't fall apart. That's what I'm looking for, right???

But, for a good bark, what do I need???? Some kind of sugar? I would think something that has to caramelize??? I have used several rubs, like Bovine Bold, etc. and always got a good bark, but I don't know what it is that caused it.

Yes, you're right - I'm new to comps. (I figured you guessed that by now. LOL) In fact in three weeks, I'll be turning in my first brisket.

I appreciate all the feedback from both competitors and judges...you guys are awesome!

GreenDrake
07-19-2011, 09:21 AM
Try putting the brisket on cold, not room temp. That seems to help with the nitrite conversion and provide a nice smoke ring.

Sawdustguy
07-19-2011, 09:28 AM
But, for a good bark, what do I need???? Some kind of sugar? I would think something that has to caramelize??? I have used several rubs, like Bovine Bold, etc. and always got a good bark, but I don't know what it is that caused it.

Dan,

We use Todd's Bovine Bold and we have found adding a little sugar to the rub makes the Bark much nicer. I don't think that Bovine Bold has much sugar on it's own so we add sugar to get that nice caramelization.

Jacked UP BBQ
07-19-2011, 11:13 AM
define bark and bark texture?

chambersuac
07-19-2011, 11:16 AM
define bark and bark texture?

When I think of bark, I think of the dark(er) crusty, kinda-crunchy exterior that develops on smoked/rubbed meats.

boogiesnap
07-19-2011, 11:22 AM
The Maillard reaction occurs when the denatured proteins on the surface of the meat recombine with the sugars present. The combination creates the "meaty" flavor and changes the color. For this reason, it is also called the browning reaction. The Maillard reaction occurs most readily at around 300 F to 500 F. When meat is cooked, the outside reaches a higher temperature than the inside, triggering the Maillard reaction and creating the strongest flavors on the surface. In the early twentieth century, Louis-Camille Maillard happened upon what came to be known as the Maillard reaction when he was trying to figure out how amino acids linked up to form proteins. He discovered that when he heated sugars and amino acids together, the mixture slowly turned brown.

bark is BBQ lingo.

chambersuac
07-19-2011, 12:52 PM
boogiesnap, that's what I said, isn't it? See, being a Pastor, I don't like to be too wordy. No Pastor does. LOL


Thanks for the lesson though. I didn't know that, but I do know I like bark/the Maillard reaction - or any other term used for it :)

GreenDrake
07-19-2011, 08:07 PM
I love the bark, which is not maillard..I generally apply a simple rub of EVOO before heavy rub on brisket, for pork, always CYM for a great bark. Trying out Kosmos this week, had also considered the jaccard with a vacuum pack, may be the ticket. It's all gouda, bbq is about a hobby we can eat.

boogiesnap
07-19-2011, 09:00 PM
I love the bark, which is not maillard..I generally apply a simple rub of EVOO before heavy rub on brisket, for pork, always CYM for a great bark. Trying out Kosmos this week, had also considered the jaccard with a vacuum pack, may be the ticket. It's all gouda, bbq is about a hobby we can eat.


good bark is. :-P

heat plus meat equals flavor.

what's CYM?

GreenDrake
07-20-2011, 05:48 AM
Boogie, CYM is Cheap Yellow Mustard

Hub
07-21-2011, 06:17 AM
What I look for in brisket appearance is:

1. consistency of slices (width, thickness)
2. placement of slices artistically in box
3. Garnish (if used and it almost always is) fresh, attractive, balanced, right stuff
4. appetizing look -- moist, balanced arrangement, inducement to taste

Rarely, we'll see pulled or chopped brisket and in those few cases I tend to judge it like pork.

I've seen some ridiculous smoke ring augmentation that must have taken pounds and pounds of salt cure to induce (and affected the flavor negatively, too). I obey the rules and ignore it. An obviously natural smoke ring is nice but not an appearance factor.

Bark is not a requirement in the brisket catgegory for any facet (appearance, taste, tenderness). Good burnt ends add interest but aren't required. About 30% of the brisket entries I see have burnt ends included. "Bark" on a slice of brisket isn't a judging factor.

Appearance is very important but has the lowest weighting factor. Thus, concentrate your time and effort toward having an attractive entry (you can't usualy have poor appearance and win) but taste still carries the big load. Far too many brisket entries are bland and dry, even if tender. I'm a cook, too, so I know how hard it is to get a high-scoring brisket entry -- good luck!!!

Wampus
07-21-2011, 07:46 AM
Bark is not a requirement in the brisket catgegory for any facet (appearance, taste, tenderness). Good burnt ends add interest but aren't required. About 30% of the brisket entries I see have burnt ends included.

This is interesting. I've not competed by myself, but have visited and hung out around several teams and even cooked with a team before and will next weekend. Most of the teams I've spoken to HAVE included burnt ends. I know that there is no requirement for them, but I have been told and always assumed that they can only help. Kind of like a money muscle in pork......they're GOOD, so are sort of a bonus for judges.

I mean would you say that (as a judge) burnt ends have NO bearing on your score? They may not be a requirement, but if they're there and they're REALLY GOOD, does having them help some how in the end?

indianagriller
07-21-2011, 07:53 AM
One thing that was told to me by one of the best in BBQ is that you only put in the box what you WANT judged, there have been times my food was on and i turned in a 5lb brisket box, other times the judges got the best 6 slices i could manage. I only turn in burnt ends when they are as good or better than slices.

Sawdustguy
07-21-2011, 11:46 AM
One thing that was told to me by one of the best in BBQ is that you only put in the box what you WANT judged, there have been times my food was on and i turned in a 5lb brisket box, other times the judges got the best 6 slices i could manage. I only turn in burnt ends when they are as good or better than slices.

If your burnt ends are not as good as your slices something is horribly wrong.

Hub
07-22-2011, 05:38 AM
"I mean would you say that (as a judge) burnt ends have NO bearing on your score? They may not be a requirement, but if they're there and they're REALLY GOOD, does having them help some how in the end?"


Placing two (or more) components of the same meat in a competition box can be a gamble. Most judges will take samples of everything provided (e.g. slices and a burnt end piece) and try them. After that, opinions differ and things get cloudy as to scoring.

Some judges will do some kind of mental "average" of the pieces. Others will score on what they thought was best. When new judges ask me what to do in these instances I tell them, "I'm on the side of the cook -- whatever is the best piece is what I judge".

Net, I think the best strategy is to provide multiple components ONLY when both or all are, in the opinion of the cook, mighty good stuff. Don't put in burnt ends, for instance, if they aren't up to your standards just for the sake of having them there.

smokeyw
07-22-2011, 06:14 AM
Even though judges are told not to judge based on smoke ring, I agree that it does make the entry look nice. I believe that sometimes a judges subconscious plays a role even though they believe in their mind they are not judging a certain criteria such as smoke ring. It is kind of like when a lawyer objects in a trial and the judge sustains the answer or comment of the witness and tells the jury to ignore it. Try as they may, they will not forget it even if they say they did. Based on this I believe that a smoke ring does matter sometimes.

boogiesnap
07-22-2011, 07:39 AM
the double component was at play in my last box and it is clear in the scores. burnt ends were spectacular, slices...well. the judges that scored the best in the box(BE's)gave me 9's for taste and tenderness. the ones that averaged or scored down gave me 6's. i think it was 3 and 3. so if they're good, by all means put em in, it can only help.

indianagriller
07-22-2011, 08:17 AM
There have been a time or two where i know for a fact the Burnt Ends carried the box, the flat was a bit underdone, but the BE were money, and carried me to a 2nd place finish last year.

chambersuac
07-22-2011, 01:20 PM
You guys have been helpful - thank you.

Doing another trial run tomorrow.

big brother smoke
07-22-2011, 02:42 PM
I do not worry about bark, Dan. I just try to turn in a moist product. If happens fine, I think some (I use too) dry out brisky trying to achieve a good bark.