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View Full Version : Question for Judges on Ribs and Chicken


bearnakedbbq
08-08-2011, 09:29 PM
So what % of the turn-in boxes has sauce on them?

What is your personal opinion on leaving the sauce off?

I think the sauce makes the ribs nice and shiny, but I prefer both of these plain, but heard you must sauce, if you want a good score? Is this true?

troy

mobow
08-08-2011, 09:40 PM
for chicken and ribs, i think so. for pork a little bit helps. brisket can do well without it. keith

QansasjayhawQ
08-08-2011, 09:53 PM
chicken and ribs - yes, you're right that sauce helps with the appearance scores - but - probably about half of the judges I've talked to say that they appreciate a well cooked piece of chicken and a rib that has either no sauce or very light sauce.

With pork, sauce helps kick the flavor up, but if you get the flavor up with injection then you don't need as much sauce.

Agreed with mobow - brisket does great without sauce - but the juice makes a huge difference.

Hope this helps -

MilitantSquatter
08-08-2011, 09:56 PM
So what % of the turn-in boxes has sauce on them?

What is your personal opinion on leaving the sauce off?

I think the sauce makes the ribs nice and shiny, but I prefer both of these plain, but heard you must sauce, if you want a good score? Is this true?

troy

I think you should leave sauce off the turn-in box.... it makes the box look messy.

save the sauce for the meat

:bow:

Rookie'48
08-08-2011, 11:37 PM
When I cook at home I serve it dry with sauce(s) on the side. You can't do that at a KCBS comp so it's either sauce on the meat or serve it nekkid. Unfortunatly mobow has hit it pretty good - you'll probably tank if you turn in chicken or ribs dry. It shouldn't matter, they should be judged on their own merits, but the reality is that a lot of judges want the sauce.

I, on the other hand would rather taste the meat :shock:.

LongTong
08-09-2011, 12:38 AM
A nice and shiney piece of meat always looks better. I've been told and tend to agree that you look for a piece of meat that you would pick over others of a similar type in a buffet line to help formulate the appearance score.

Think of it this way:

We've all seen primered or unpainted race cars be the class of the field on any particular race day but, they aint gonna win no best of car show dough...

NRA4Life
08-09-2011, 06:26 AM
So what % of the turn-in boxes has sauce on them?

I've judged a couple contests. 100% of the ribs and chicken have had sauce on them.


What is your personal opinion on leaving the sauce off?

Personal opinion...I don't sauce my ribs at home. But my personal opinion doesn't really matter when judging competition ribs or chicken.


I think the sauce makes the ribs nice and shiny, but I prefer both of these plain, but heard you must sauce, if you want a good score? Is this true?

Your preferences as a cook or consumer don't matter in competition BBQ. You aren't cooking for yourself at a comp, you are cooking for the judges and you need to offend the least amount of those judges at the judging table. If a rib entry has sauce on them, and the sauce complements the rub, smoke, and meat, I would venture to say it would consistently score better than an unsauced rib.

Arlin_MacRae
08-09-2011, 08:45 AM
I've judged far more turn-ins that are sauced than unsauced, but I've given top scores to unsauced meat, too. A beautiful and consistent glaze is hard to beat, but if the ribs and chicken have good color without it I have no problems with them at all.
Now you can certainly oversauce meat. I'm not a big fan of a sticky mess, even if I don't (can't) take points off for it unless the sauce is pooled, but spending a lot of time cleaning honey or whatever off my face and hands makes me grumpy. :wink:

Warthog
08-09-2011, 10:11 AM
Chicken and ribs have always been served sauced in all KCBS comps I have judged. No pooled sauce as that will disqualify your entry.

SuperQue
08-09-2011, 12:46 PM
Yes, the majority of Chicken and ribs are turned in with sauce, especially chicken. It's the most heavily sauced and when done properly they look fantastic. Now that being said one of the best chicken entries I've tried had no sauce but was one of the best I've ever had.

mfreeman73
08-09-2011, 06:13 PM
In the comps I've judged, most all of the chicken and ribs have sauce on them to some degree. The chicken at the Battle of the BBQ Brethren this past weekend had the sauciest chicken I've ever had. I think went through a paper towel roll just in that one category. :P

Pork usually has some sauce mixed into the pulled stuff. Brisket is rarely sauced, at least not with your typical bbq sauce.

GreenDrake
08-09-2011, 09:49 PM
I am still working on my chicken and am convinced it is the devil. Question for you comp guys who reduce your fats, rather than scrape...do you just season under the skin and on the chicken, and leave the topside untouched until finish sauce?

bbq.tom
09-09-2011, 11:34 AM
As a judge, I judge higher on appearance for meat that appears moist (as opposed to dry), which means that on chicken and ribs I generally score higher for appearance on sauced meat than un-sauced meat.

On pork and brisket - moist looks better, but NOT heavily sauced! And especially don't make it look like you "sauced" your pork and brisket AFTER putting it in the box!

Matt_A
09-09-2011, 11:50 AM
If the chicken box passed in front of me had 6 pieces of golden brown chicken that had what appeared to be crispy skin, I personally find that more appealing than the candied chicken I so often have to take a bite of... but yes, most entries come across the table sauced/glazed.

CMALANGA
09-09-2011, 01:02 PM
As a judge and competitor I've seen both saced and non-sauced entries. Personally I hate the appearence catagory, but in focusing on the meat if it looks like it took time to prepare - chicken skin is wrapped and not shriveled, etc. I'll mark that higher than a saced entry that looks junky or over saced. Having said that in competition I always glaze the chicken for turn in. Ribs I personally prefer a crust to a very loose sauce. But again if it looks like time went into it I don't mark anybody down. In competition we generally glaze our ribs so they are shined up but not "wet" necessarily. Appearence wise we've done pretty well with both catagories.

tdwalker
09-09-2011, 02:25 PM
Reflecting much of what has already been mentioned here:

100% of judged entries ribs/chicken have been sauced.

I would not penalize (nor should anyone) for lack of sauce.

Having said all of that, I think that you might find a higher than average quality of judge on these forums. I could easily see some bad judges marking down for anything unusual or outside their own perceptions of what BBQ should be.

Lake Dogs
09-09-2011, 02:50 PM
And, some of it has to do with which sanctioning body you're contributing to. I think *most* of the judges in KCBS rather expect a rib to be sauce, but a few (like Arlin) regard it properly... In MBN while most do come in sauced, last MBN comp I judged roughly 1/3 weren't sauced and if I recall correctly two of the top 3 that day weren't sauced. This has changed over the years, because in the early 2000's I'd say that 70-80% at an MIM competition came in neked.

BBQ Bandit
09-09-2011, 09:01 PM
Had a few chicken entries without sauce... good seasoned flavor without overwhelming the meat.
Personally... did not see a reason to deduct for lack of a sauce... stood on its own appearance.
Don't recall it being a prerequisite or a rule defined at the Judge's course.

However all the ribs I saw were sauced.