PDA

View Full Version : Judging question


tmcmaster
09-10-2011, 07:29 PM
Not to beat a dead (or on life support) horse, but, is it the opinion or official position of anyone on, or representing the board, that CBJ's are permitted to, or encouraged to offer specific cooking or preperation advice to cooks?

Example, a comment card that says "need to inject."

Thanks.

Funtimebbq
09-11-2011, 10:17 AM
My suggestion would be to answer "why" does the cook need to inject. Was the meat dry or did it not have any flavor? How does a judge know if the cook did or did not inject? I recall a comment card telling me I needed to take the membrane off of my ribs when I had done so. I suggest a judge be specific regarding their observations.
Benny

CivilWarBBQ
09-13-2011, 02:52 AM
I agree that comments from judges should be entirely empirical and free of the judge's guesses as to why a particular state was achieved. It is enough to simply relate what you experienced rather than attempt to blindly diagnose (or worse yet, propose a cure for) the negative attribute you detected in the sample.

Few things annoy a cook more than those "don't use lighter fluid" or "clean your grill" comments from judges. In most cases they are incorrect assumptions and not helpful.

tmcmaster
09-15-2011, 08:30 PM
Didn't KCBS Board members used to read this forum?

tmcmaster
09-19-2011, 07:43 AM
Anything from the BoD?

tmcmaster
09-25-2011, 06:31 PM
Complete silence from the Board? WTF?

Candy Sue
09-26-2011, 10:54 AM
What do you want the bod to say?

Judging is subjective. Never got a constructive comment card myself, so me, personally, I don't think much of them and I don't hold much account to them.

Obviously, you're expecting more from a comment card than I am.

Lake Dogs
09-26-2011, 11:17 AM
I've seen some (posted) that could've been helpful, and I've seen some (personal experience and posted) that weren't worth the paper nor time. For a long time I've been a fan of check-box comments, because knowing some of this could/would be helpful (IMHO). I mean, as a cook, I'd like to know. Probably the easiest would be tenderness:
Mushy Tough Rubbery Crunchy Greasy Dry Fatty

Taste might be:
too salty too sweet bland petroleum too spicy/hot off-taste too smokey too saucy

Appearance, probably not. It's purely subjective as to what the individual finds appetizing. They either do, or dont.

tmcmaster
09-26-2011, 02:28 PM
My inital request was on the comment that I recieved and saw (seperate contests) that gave a directive on HOW to cook. I.e, "Inject your meat." This too me is a judge overstepping the bounds of the oath and what they are supposed to do. I have no problem with descriptive terminology (mushy, fatty, bland, etc) but for a judge to tell a cook HOW to cook is just offensive (IMHO).

bbq.tom
09-26-2011, 05:14 PM
for a judge to tell a cook HOW to cook is just offensive (IMHO).

It would be like having a cook tell a CBJ how to judge!!! (IMHO):boxing:


Seriously, if comment cards are used correctly I think that they CAN be beneficial - as in stating the reason a particular score was given. But I definitely agree that a judge has NO business trying to tell a cook how to cook! When/if I give a 7 or below I think that the cook deserves to know WHY I gave that score! Without feedback from the judges on why the score was low how can a cook expect to "fix" a problem (if a problem exists). If 4-5 judges all gave the entry low scores I would hope (as a cook myself) to get at least ONE comment card to indicate WHY!

QansasjayhawQ
09-26-2011, 06:32 PM
I am both a cook and a judge.

When the judges are instructed on what to provide on the feedback cards, they are requested to provide 'constructive comments' that will 'help a cook improve'.

I think that there isn't much of a leap between 'use a sharper knife' and understanding that the judge found the edges of my ribs to be ragged and there for less appealing.

Or 'use less salt' means that my entry was too salty. Etc.

Remember, any time a person is feeling offended, that should throw up a signal flag that there is an opportunity to learn something.

I am here to learn as much as I can about cooking and competing in BBQ - everyone has something to offer, no matter who they are or what they have to say or how they say it.

Lake Dogs
09-26-2011, 08:58 PM
I hear ya, but often they're not saying "use less salt", they're saying "cooked too long" when it was actually "mushy" or worse it was actually "tough" and they thought it was cooked too long, when in either of those cases the cook chose the wrong piece of meat that was mushy (otherwise cooked to perfection) or it was tough because it was under-cooked. More often than not what they're recommending doesn't tell you what was wrong. In the example given at the start, what was wrong with the meat. Honestly, as a competition cook, I have no idea. "Need to inject"? Why? Was it too dry? Was it bland? Was the judge a moron? We're left to guess. I'm choosing option 3. My guess is that he/she has no idea what injecting has to do with it. For that matter, what if they DID inject? What was the value of that response? Some of injecting is WHAT you inject with, so as to assist in breaking down fats, or NOT to assist. It was a very bizarre recommendation.

I'd rather, as a cook, them say point blank what the problem is. As a cook, with any luck, I can figure out how to fix it. More often than not I've cooked 1,000 more butts than they have (seriously). I LOVE feedback, positive and negative. Give it, but dont critique the cooking method if you have no clue as to what I've done. A rookie or new team, if they dont understand how/what to change to fix the problem; they've always got bbq-brethren, right?


JMHO.

tmcmaster
09-27-2011, 07:21 AM
I hear ya, but often they're not saying "use less salt", they're saying "cooked too long" when it was actually "mushy" or worse it was actually "tough" and they thought it was cooked too long, when in either of those cases the cook chose the wrong piece of meat that was mushy (otherwise cooked to perfection) or it was tough because it was under-cooked. More often than not what they're recommending doesn't tell you what was wrong. In the example given at the start, what was wrong with the meat. Honestly, as a competition cook, I have no idea. "Need to inject"? Why? Was it too dry? Was it bland? Was the judge a moron? We're left to guess. I'm choosing option 3. My guess is that he/she has no idea what injecting has to do with it. For that matter, what if they DID inject? What was the value of that response? Some of injecting is WHAT you inject with, so as to assist in breaking down fats, or NOT to assist. It was a very bizarre recommendation.

I'd rather, as a cook, them say point blank what the problem is. As a cook, with any luck, I can figure out how to fix it. More often than not I've cooked 1,000 more butts than they have (seriously). I LOVE feedback, positive and negative. Give it, but dont critique the cooking method if you have no clue as to what I've done. A rookie or new team, if they dont understand how/what to change to fix the problem; they've always got bbq-brethren, right?


JMHO.
And this is the very crux of my question. Not as much a complaint, but a question, as to what can be done to help the judges who wish to provide an actual positive criticism the correct manner in which to do so.

As a cook and judge, I try to see both sides of the coin, and have NEVER thought to question HOW a meat was cooked, only the results. Are judges not speciically instructed to judge the meat AS PRESENTED; not, preperation methodology?

bover
09-27-2011, 09:10 AM
What do you want the bod to say?

Judging is subjective. Never got a constructive comment card myself, so me, personally, I don't think much of them and I don't hold much account to them.

Obviously, you're expecting more from a comment card than I am.

For the sake of cooks everywhere that are looking to improve their recipes and techniques, when it comes to the discussions on comment cards at the upcoming meetings I really hope the rest of the BoD's feelings are more positive than yours. There's no denying that the current system has room for improvement, so please consider some of the suggestions thrown out here such as changing the format of the card to a check box style as opposed to doing away with them completely.

Thanks.

bbq.tom
09-27-2011, 09:26 AM
Are judges not speciically instructed to judge the meat AS PRESENTED; not, preperation methodology?

Actually I hear these words A LOT more when receiving "judging instructions" for MBN than KCBS; HOWEVER, it is stated in both. I think that it is more emphasized in MBN as you actually get a brief on "how" the meat is cooked at the grill during "on-site" judging.

tmcmaster
09-27-2011, 09:35 AM
Actually I hear these words A LOT more when receiving "judging instructions" for MBN than KCBS; HOWEVER, it is stated in both. I think that it is more emphasized in MBN as you actually get a brief on "how" the meat is cooked at the grill during "on-site" judging.

I have never done an MBN event, so I have no knowledge of such. But, I'll take your word on it. Thanks!

Candy Sue
09-27-2011, 10:06 AM
For the sake of cooks everywhere that are looking to improve their recipes and techniques, when it comes to the discussions on comment cards at the upcoming meetings I really hope the rest of the BoD's feelings are more positive than yours. There's no denying that the current system has room for improvement, so please consider some of the suggestions thrown out here such as changing the format of the card to a check box style as opposed to doing away with them completely.

Thanks.


I can guarantee that the bod's opinions on comment cards run the full range. As far as my personal experience and opinion, it is only my opinion and there's 12 people on the board all with their own opinions. Besides, as president, I don't get to vote! I do like the check box idea.

Rookie'48
09-27-2011, 11:12 AM
... judge the meat AS PRESENTED ...

To me this is the crux of the matter. As KCBS CBJs we are instructed to judge "As presented by the cook", and to me that means to judge the entry as a total. If the pulled is great but the slices are mushy - shame on ya, you just lost some points. If the burnt ends are the best in the world but the sliced briskie is way heavy on the salt - you just lost some points. If all I can see or taste is the 3/8 inch thick sauce instead of seeing or tasting the rib - guess what - you've lost some points.
If I give you a 6 or lower score I feel that I owe it to you to tell you why I think that your product sucked. That might include comments like:

"Way over done, very mushy"
"All I can taste or see is sauce, not the meat"
"Chicken was almost raw, way under cooked"
"Falling off the bone - over cooked"
"Nasty after taste - only flavor was chili powder"

I'm not trying to tell the cook how to prepare or cook their entry, I'm telling them why I scored their product that low in order that they might improve their score next time. To me that beats the hell out of giving a 9-6-8 with no explanation as to why I gave that a 6 in taste. Maybe the check box idea would work better, but I'd still like to have an area where I could leave my own comments.

bbq.tom
09-27-2011, 11:37 AM
If I give you a 6 or lower score I feel that I owe it to you to tell you why I think that your product sucked. That might include comments like:

"Way over done, very mushy"
"All I can taste or see is sauce, not the meat"
"Chicken was almost raw, way under cooked"
"Falling off the bone - over cooked"
"Nasty after taste - only flavor was chili powder"

I'm not trying to tell the cook how to prepare or cook their entry, I'm telling them why I scored their product that low in order that they might improve their score next time.

Dave, I totally agree with you on almost everything you say - except that I would not add on the comment card: "Way over done", "way under cooked", "over cooked", etc., as these in a way are telling the cooks "how" to cook - just like saying "cut down the heat or take the meat off the grill sooner", etc. I believe to just tell "what" I found and leave the rest to the cook to figure out how to fix. Just my humble opinion.

Lake Dogs
09-27-2011, 12:54 PM
For the sake of cooks everywhere that are looking to improve their recipes and techniques, when it comes to the discussions on comment cards at the upcoming meetings I really hope the rest of the BoD's feelings are more positive than yours. There's no denying that the current system has room for improvement, so please consider some of the suggestions thrown out here such as changing the format of the card to a check box style as opposed to doing away with them completely.

Thanks.


Josh,

+1

Thanks. ABSOLUTELY. Feedback is good. It can get MUCH better.

Lake Dogs
09-27-2011, 01:02 PM
I can guarantee that the bod's opinions on comment cards run the full range. As far as my personal experience and opinion, it is only my opinion and there's 12 people on the board all with their own opinions. Besides, as president, I don't get to vote! I do like the check box idea.

Mind you I just wrote down a few there in my suggestion off the top of my head. I think by adding just a couple to each that we could probably hit the 98th percentile or better, and also hit the good old reliable KISS rule too.

bbq.tom
09-27-2011, 02:08 PM
Mind you I just wrote down a few there in my suggestion off the top of my head. I think by adding just a couple to each that we could probably hit the 98th percentile or better, and also hit the good old reliable KISS rule too.

Hance, Initially I didn't like the idea of a "check mark the appropriate box" as it limits judges to not think for themselves; HOWEVER, the more I've thought about it the more I like the idea of a check box system! It sure would speed up comment cards (slowing down the whole judging system being my pet peeve), as instead of having to think too hard about what to write, you could just check the most appropriate box to what conditions you found. HOPEFULLY, this would encourage more judges to leave comment cards for low scores! Not much makes me madder as a judge than to hear someone else at my table state that they gave a low score and know that they didn't fill out a card!!!
Not much makes me madder as a cook than to know that someone gave a low score and they didn't fill out a card too!!!

I would suggest a different comment card for each category (appearance, taste, & tenderness) so that there could be a variety of options particular to each category without being so small you couldn't read them.

Lake Dogs
09-27-2011, 02:32 PM
I'm trying to dream up check boxes for appearance, but it's just so subjective, because beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. I think the score itself in this case pretty much says it, whatever it is... But, for tenderness, and taste, I think we (KCBS folks) could easily come up with it. Yeah, it took me a while to see the beauty in that check box approach, but the more I read, the more I see, the more sense something simple and effective makes. I think it would take a little prep for someone to present the idea to the BOD. Right now it's too rough. But a little prep and I think it might fly.

bbq.tom
09-27-2011, 04:42 PM
Appearance check boxes could include:

- looks dry
- sauce dripping off
- looks black/burnt
- strange color
- looks grainy
- looks greasy
- sauce uneven
- not enough meat to look good

Not saying that these are all good "comments", but it is somewhere to start. IMHO