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Greendriver
09-20-2011, 08:56 AM
As a cook or judge I don't particularly like formed thighs and would give em a 6 everytime. For those that do...here's a pan option. I don't have one so I don't know how it would work.
http://www.collectionsetc.com/Product/bake-perfect-brownies.aspx/_/Ntt-brownies

this same sight has another one with removeable dividers.

Alexa RnQ
09-20-2011, 09:00 AM
I wonder how many judges share the dislike of overly-formed "frankenfood"? I know there are some areas where it doesn't play well at all. But from what I read here and elsewhere, there must be some areas where it's practically mandatory!

Smokin' Gnome BBQ
09-20-2011, 09:22 AM
I wonder how many judges share the dislike of overly-formed "frankenfood"? I know there are some areas where it doesn't play well at all. But from what I read here and elsewhere, there must be some areas where it's practically mandatory!

I dont think it looks apealing at all, bbq isnt perfectly shaped..its bbq..

Gadragonfly
09-20-2011, 10:05 AM
I wonder how many judges share the dislike of overly-formed "frankenfood"?

Personally, I don't spend a lot of time considering the shape of the pieces in the box. I do like for all of them to look uniform - whatever shape they might take. Beyond that, I look for color, if the pieces appear moist, application of the sauce, overall care taken to build the box. But giving a 6 because the pieces are formed seems a little harsh to me. jmo-ymmv. Julie

SteerCrazy
09-20-2011, 10:29 AM
I dont think it looks apealing at all, bbq isnt perfectly shaped..its bbq..


I agree with you 100% unfortunately for whatever reason we've (I've) been told that the entries need to have some uniformity to them like ribs and brisket slices. Now pork, well there's nothing uniform about that, unless you're adding the money muscle. I believe you can have your presentation look uniform but when it starts to look like it's been 'molded' to look that way, well, I think that's a bit overboard and should be judged as such. IMO

deepsouth
09-20-2011, 10:47 AM
not a competitor, but on a personal level, same/same looking chicken looks pretty gross to me. i want my chicken to look like chicken and not some sort of meat cake. if i wanted perfectly shaped chicken, i'd buy tyson nuggets.

Pack-A-Smokes
09-20-2011, 11:11 AM
While it may be uniform, it looks fake.

gooose53
09-20-2011, 11:43 AM
While I agree with most; it looks fake, etc: Judging a box based on what you don't like is just not right. I don't care for mustard, but if I get pork with a mustard sauce I'm going to make sure I don't let that influence the score I give. I get into trouble alot talking about judging and this proves that some judges are biased. While I know it's true just don't tell me!!

Matt_A
09-20-2011, 12:11 PM
As a judge, I find perfectly formed glossy, reddish lumps in a chicken box a bit disturbing. I realize that it's an attempt to make everything look perfect and appetizing, but I'd at least like to be able to recognize it as being some identifiable part of a chicken.

I find this box (from bbqcritic.com) uite dsturbing...
http://www.bbqcritic.com/uploads/2/8/5/4/2854592/676378.jpg?630

Alexa RnQ
09-20-2011, 12:21 PM
I hate to say it, because I love orderliness and symmetry as much as anybody, but it looks like the soul was sucked out of it.

musicmanryann
09-20-2011, 12:32 PM
It does need a little more color, but I am drawn to it simply because I know how much care and consideration goes in to making chicken relatively uniform, even though it pales in comparison to this. I know it takes a lot more than just throwing them in a cupcake/brownie pan. Even if I did know how to make them like that, I don't think I have the skill-set/finesse to execute it.

Sledneck
09-20-2011, 12:39 PM
On the BBQ critic site that box along with another box similar to it all the responses were mostly 9's. On other boxes where the chicken looked like real chickens scores were all over the place. I'm horriblenat trimming chicken . I would say it's my biggest downfall.

Sledneck
09-20-2011, 12:41 PM
Just out of curiosity, how the he'll do they get to look
Like that??

Matt_A
09-20-2011, 12:45 PM
It's a sad commentary on what's happened to judging when visually "real" chicken gets worse scores than artificially primped, trimmed, glazed and polished unidentifiable objects. Whatever happened to the chicken?? I judge a few weeks ago and over 80% of the chicken turn-ins were so heavily sauced and glazed that it was hard to pick up, and once you picked it up, it stuck to your fingers like glue.

SmokeInDaEye
09-20-2011, 12:54 PM
Just out of curiosity, how the he'll do they get to look
Like that??

They almost certainly adding meat to the thighs.

Q-Dat
09-20-2011, 01:08 PM
I think I'm gonna invent a muffin pan that makes chicken thigh shaped muffins.......

Matt_A
09-20-2011, 01:13 PM
Just out of curiosity, how the he'll do they get to look
Like that??
Most likely they deskinned, deboned, carefully trimmed the meat and either scraped and reattached the skin, or used chicken breast skins which are leaner and are able to completely encompass the thigh meat. Probably used the muffin-tin technique to get them all the same size and shape.

Rub
09-20-2011, 01:45 PM
We'll make them look like that at Q School in MD.

swamprb
09-20-2011, 03:57 PM
I prefer the Wilton Mini Loaf pans.

FWIW, I've seen folks using metal rings to keep the skin from shrinking and for uniformity.

Contracted Cookers
09-20-2011, 04:13 PM
chicken chicken. thats all you hear about.what about all of the so called burnt ends. that are sculpted and munipliated

AZScott
09-20-2011, 04:27 PM
I think I'm going to grind my chicken and then wrap it in paper thin skin for that perfect shape. Then it's into the Parkay bath inside this fancy brownie pan!!! Yep, that's the ticket. On a weird side note, would that be KCBS legal?

Alexa RnQ
09-20-2011, 04:31 PM
I think I'm going to grind my chicken and then wrap it in paper thin skin for that perfect shape. Then it's into the Parkay bath inside this fancy brownie pan!!! Yep, that's the ticket. On a weird side note, would that be KCBS legal?

Hey, if it's raw and untreated at meat inspection... :thumb:

Lake Dogs
09-20-2011, 07:15 PM
As a judge, I find perfectly formed glossy, reddish lumps in a chicken box a bit disturbing. I realize that it's an attempt to make everything look perfect and appetizing, but I'd at least like to be able to recognize it as being some identifiable part of a chicken.

I find this box (from bbqcritic.com) uite dsturbing...
http://www.bbqcritic.com/uploads/2/8/5/4/2854592/676378.jpg?630

MANY times I've found myself to be the odd judge (on bbqcritic.com) who doesnt care for little red balls of luv because they dont look like food, and frankly christmas ornaments (which many look like) dont invoke that "you must eat me" emotion. Meaning I dont salivate and think "I must take a bite". If done REALLY well I find myself actually erroring and giving them a 7 when I really want to give them a 5 or worse. Simply put, to me, they're just not appetizing.

:eusa_clap

Lake Dogs
09-20-2011, 07:18 PM
chicken chicken. thats all you hear about.what about all of the so called burnt ends. that are sculpted and munipliated

Somehow most still end up looking like sliced/chopped/cut pieces of beef. Some of the chicken chicken chicken, if it didnt come across the table in the chicken entry, you couldnt tell it was chicken... I've actually seen one entry come across one time that I had to do a tripple take; they looked like taters.

rookiedad
09-20-2011, 08:03 PM
MANY times I've found myself to be the odd judge (on bbqcritic.com) who doesnt care for little red balls of luv because they dont look like food, and frankly christmas ornaments (which many look like) dont invoke that "you must eat me" emotion. Meaning I dont salivate and think "I must take a bite". If done REALLY well I find myself actually erroring and giving them a 7 when I really want to give them a 5 or worse. Simply put, to me, they're just not appetizing.

:eusa_clap

i'm not trying to get down on you because i respect what you have said on these forums and have learned from you, but when judging are you supposed to judge on your personal oppinion, or the ability of the cook to produce the results that were intended?

Fat Freddy
09-20-2011, 09:19 PM
I need tons of help with my chicken scores and if I honestly thought that "formed" chicken would help my scores I would try it. But my practice attempts with cupcake pan chicken has been more of a disaster than anything so i have never even tried it at a comp.

Jeffp
09-20-2011, 09:21 PM
Ok, I will admit it, I tried the square pan. At the time, my chicken was not doing well and I thought...just maybe...Well, I was wrong. It scored terrible. The chicken was moist and had what I thought was good flavor but the scores didnt reflect it. I promptly tossed the pan and went back to my previous chicken and got back on the right track. To be honest, Chicken has always been my worst category but that was a new low. I thought it looked cool and different but apparently it was just me.

The Pickled Pig
09-20-2011, 10:20 PM
Just out of curiosity, how the he'll do they get to look
Like that??

They almost certainly adding meat to the thighs.

I don't know who's chicken is in the picture but I've made few entries that look similar.

You don't add meat to get thighs that shape and size...you remove it. And you don't need breast skins or quarter skins for that size as the original skins work just fine. The lighter color is likely due to it being poached in butter to soften the skin and not having enough cook time left to add deeper color. And for these shapes, a regular foil pan works just fine as they will hold shape without added support as long as they are partially cooked before disturbing. There is no need to pin the skins or use any other contraption to hold them in place. The even gloss comes from dunking rather than pouring or brushing the sauce on.

I appreciate the craftsmanship of that entry. I know there was a lot of effort that went into the entry and I think the cook pulled it off. It would get a solid 9 from me.

For the purist pillow haters out there, what part of the pig does a chunk from your pork box look like or tell me what part of the cow does that slice of brisket you use look like? Even an untrimmed thigh does not look like a real chicken thigh. So I don't get why you use a different standard for chicken. None of what we put into our bellies resembles the animal part in its original form.

The Pickled Pig
09-20-2011, 10:44 PM
I think I'm going to grind my chicken and then wrap it in paper thin skin for that perfect shape. Then it's into the Parkay bath inside this fancy brownie pan!!! Yep, that's the ticket. On a weird side note, would that be KCBS legal?

Been there done that and I think it would be considered a sausage but don't know for sure about it.

http://www.thepickledpig.com/ppforumimages/dec08chicken/b1.jpg

http://www.thepickledpig.com/ppforumimages/dec08chicken/b8.jpg

http://www.thepickledpig.com/ppforumimages/dec08chicken/b11.jpg

RedPig
09-20-2011, 10:47 PM
I'm no expert, by any account, but I have cooked a few comps and I've been all over the place with my chicken scores. Granted, I'm still learning and I'm starting to figure out, finally, what the judges might want. I've turned in chicken like the pic and it did not score well. As they say, people eat with their eyes, and looking at the turn in box did little in the eye appeal category. The pic does not conjur up the image of what most would call bbq chicken. A lot of time went into preparing and presenting the entry, but they don't give points for that. Appearance counts the least, but when you look at a scoresheet and see how close scores end up, it means everything. I feel if the pieces are of somewhat uniform size, looks like traditional chicken, has good color and the box looks neat, then it should score well.

BurntFinger_Jason
09-20-2011, 10:55 PM
looks like traditional chicken

This statement implies that you are comparing the chicken entries to a preconceived idea of what chicken should be, and not judging each entry on it's individual merit. If the cook set out to create small boneless uniform chicken pieces, then I think they did a really good job.

Chipper
09-21-2011, 05:30 AM
Just out of curiosity, how the he'll do they get to look
Like that??

We turn in chicken that looks similar. It's de-boned, trimmed and the skin is scraped till it's translucent. Our scores have been from first to last. Go figure...

Rich Parker
09-21-2011, 05:33 AM
As a judge, I find perfectly formed glossy, reddish lumps in a chicken box a bit disturbing. I realize that it's an attempt to make everything look perfect and appetizing, but I'd at least like to be able to recognize it as being some identifiable part of a chicken.

I find this box (from bbqcritic.com) uite dsturbing...
http://www.bbqcritic.com/uploads/2/8/5/4/2854592/676378.jpg?630

Looks good to me.

Smokin Hoggz
09-21-2011, 05:51 AM
I appreciate the craftsmanship of that entry. I know there was a lot of effort that went into the entry and I think the cook pulled it off. It would get a solid 9 from me.

For the purist pillow haters out there, what part of the pig does a chunk from your pork box look like or tell me what part of the cow does that slice of brisket you use look like? Even an untrimmed thigh does not look like a real chicken thigh. So I don't get why you use a different standard for chicken. None of what we put into our bellies resembles the animal part in its original form.


Dito....Agreed!!!!

rookiedad
09-21-2011, 08:02 AM
As a judge, I find perfectly formed glossy, reddish lumps in a chicken box a bit disturbing. I realize that it's an attempt to make everything look perfect and appetizing, but I'd at least like to be able to recognize it as being some identifiable part of a chicken.

I find this box (from bbqcritic.com) uite dsturbing...
http://www.bbqcritic.com/uploads/2/8/5/4/2854592/676378.jpg?630

the piece at top center is too big. the piece at bottom right corner is too small. the pne above it tapers too much on the outer edge. the negative space formed by parcely in the top right quadrant does not form a near perfect diamond shape like the rest and all the pieces should have been moved a centimeter to the right. the shine, while nice is uneven. perhaps blues hog mixed half and half with benjamin moore matte finish gloss would solve that.

GreenDrake
09-21-2011, 09:06 AM
As a judge, I find perfectly formed glossy, reddish lumps in a chicken box a bit disturbing. I realize that it's an attempt to make everything look perfect and appetizing, but I'd at least like to be able to recognize it as being some identifiable part of a chicken.

I find this box (from bbqcritic.com) uite dsturbing...
http://www.bbqcritic.com/uploads/2/8/5/4/2854592/676378.jpg?630

That must be a huge turn in box or frog thighs.

PorkQPine
09-21-2011, 09:21 AM
I don't know who's chicken is in the picture but I've made few entries that look similar.

You don't add meat to get thighs that shape and size...you remove it. And you don't need breast skins or quarter skins for that size as the original skins work just fine. The lighter color is likely due to it being poached in butter to soften the skin and not having enough cook time left to add deeper color. And for these shapes, a regular foil pan works just fine as they will hold shape without added support as long as they are partially cooked before disturbing. There is no need to pin the skins or use any other contraption to hold them in place. The even gloss comes from dunking rather than pouring or brushing the sauce on.

I appreciate the craftsmanship of that entry. I know there was a lot of effort that went into the entry and I think the cook pulled it off. It would get a solid 9 from me.

For the purist pillow haters out there, what part of the pig does a chunk from your pork box look like or tell me what part of the cow does that slice of brisket you use look like? Even an untrimmed thigh does not look like a real chicken thigh. So I don't get why you use a different standard for chicken. None of what we put into our bellies resembles the animal part in its original form.

Agree 100%, CBJ's who give this entry a 5 should retake the class, better yet, they ought to cook on a team and see just hard it is to produce a product like this. Solid 9.

Lake Dogs
09-21-2011, 09:30 AM
i'm not trying to get down on you because i respect what you have said on these forums and have learned from you, but when judging are you supposed to judge on your personal oppinion, or the ability of the cook to produce the results that were intended?

and:

> I appreciate the craftsmanship of that entry. I know there was a lot of effort that went into the entry and I think the cook pulled it off. It would get a solid 9 from me.


Rookie, the appearance score is fairly simple: what's appetizing to you, the judge. If you want to reach in and take a bite, that's definitely an 8 or 9, depending on how severely you want to hit it. The ***** is that it comes down to what is and isn't appetizing, to individuals.

While I definitely appreciate the craftsmanship that went in, and it's definitely pretty, I want to grab a hook and put it on the tree. There's nothing part of this entry that says to me "you must eat this right now". To me, personally, it does a little of the opposite, because the images I have in my head aren't food related. It's like with money muscle; some presentations are WONDERFUL and yeah, I'd want to hit that. However, you can take that same money muscle, arrange it slightly differently, and it pretty much looks like a turd or a penis (DRBBQ documented his that he did this intentionally). Some people may find turds or penis's appetizing; I dont. That's just me. This is merely the appearance score; nothing to do with taste or tenderness whatsoever.

A lot of times, when I see these, my instinct is to give them a 4 or 5, but I dont. I actually ERR and out of respect for the craftsmanship and effort, I'll usually give them a 7, even if it's not appetizing at all.

Someone once asked (with a statement): You mean that if this came across the table at a restaurant that you wouldn't like it? My answer was no, I wouldn't touch it, so I would have no clue as to whether I'd like it. If I purchase a chicken, barbecue chicken if you will, I want to see chicken, smell chicken, and taste barbecue'd chicken. Christmas balls ain't it. I'd send the plate back and order ribs. Cant reallly do that when judging... :-) The chicken can be sliced, diced, whole parts, it really doesn't matter to me as long as it looks like chicken. These, IMHO, dont, and the images that I conjur in my head aren't food at all, much less appetizing.

To the brisket, it's brisket, not beef [all briskets are beef; but all beef ain't briskets]. If it looks like brisket, great. However, if someone presented red balls of luv (even if brisket were hiding in there somewhere) I wouldn't find it appetizing at all. Same for ribs and pork. Watch that money muscle; they can get tricky!!!!

Lake Dogs
09-21-2011, 09:36 AM
Agree 100%, CBJ's who give this entry a 5 should retake the class, better yet, they ought to cook on a team and see just hard it is to produce a product like this. Solid 9.

Some of us have and do compete (with pretty good success) regularly.

Obviously to you this image is linked with chicken and you salivate when you see it. That's fine.

As to retaking the classes, look carefully at the definition of appearance score and how it is to be judged. It gets down to is it or is it not appetizing. That IS obviously subjective. We've had this same argument many times earlier over pork.

Lake Dogs
09-21-2011, 09:42 AM
There's another way to come to the same understanding. What if that box (the one pictured above so many times) came across in the pork entry. What would your score be then?

It doesn't look like pork, does it? It doesn't to me. As pork, is it appetizing? It isn't to me, but that's just me. So, it's not appetizing. Mind you, your answer could've been yes, it's appetizing, then fine, score it appropriately. Mine wasn't.

Why do I even ask this, you ask? Because obviously it's not pork. I ask because it's not too terribly tough to cut/slice/carve pieces of pork into balls and coat them in sauce. So, why dont we see entries like this come across? Because it doesn't look like pork, that's why. Same for me, only this doesn't look like chicken either, IMHO.

deepsouth
09-21-2011, 09:53 AM
it actually looks like a plate of wedding meatballs on steroids to me.

Carnivorous Endeavors BBQ
09-21-2011, 10:09 AM
Wow, reading this thread enlightens me to getting appearance, taste & texture scores of
998, 999, 998, 998, 988, 677. I've even sat next to a judge who commented " i just hate those little chicken balls, as soon as i see them i know i won't like that chicken" WOW!!!

Lake Dogs
09-21-2011, 10:24 AM
Wow, reading this thread enlightens me to getting appearance, taste & texture scores of
998, 999, 998, 998, 988, 677. I've even sat next to a judge who commented " i just hate those little chicken balls, as soon as i see them i know i won't like that chicken" WOW!!!

While if they were little red balls of luv, I understand the 6 in appearance (although I probably would've given a 7), the 77 in tenderness and taste seem unwarranted, and have NOTHING to do with appearance score (as we all know).

atvalaska
09-21-2011, 10:51 AM
Up here where things are big... the chicks are big, and there is no way to get "12 "in a box (like the pic above) save the nuggets for mickey D's....... imo ;) bty ; way chicken ain't round or square., and 25% of the score goes for looks...50% for mr tasty ! :)

swamprb
09-21-2011, 12:00 PM
Where a lot of people hate chicken, I embrace it! I don't always enjoy prepping it before a contest, but there is something theraputic about it for me. Last year we seemed to do pretty well in our scores, but this year, new teamate/cooker we tried a lot of different styles of cooking and the judges haven't cared much for my offerings. I was all about the combo box and included sliced skin on breast with thighs and sometimes wings. But after a few disappointing results we decided to dumb it down and just do thighs. Personally, I feel the new CBJ's probably go nuts for the pillow thighs or cupcake chicken and the experienced judges sneer and want chicken that looks like barbecued chicken. I say that because we get comment cards and when I was dabbling in the boneless pillows, I would bring extras around for TC's and helpers and heard reports of "someone is doing weird things to chicken". Tried it, got the hint, took the message and moved along. I'm not knocking it, its always good to learn as many styles to cook in this game we play.

Q-Dat
09-21-2011, 12:13 PM
It seems from reading this, and other threads, that there are just judges that hate this style of chicken. I can't imagine a scenario where a judge would score down for natural looking chicken. They might not be blown away by just looking at it, but they won't hate it.

Taking this into consideration, I am going to refrain from making "chicken balls". Yes they can get you alot of 9's, but it would seem that they can also get you some 5's and 6's. And since we are talking about appearance, I have decided to be satisfied with some 7's and 8's. With the KCBS scoring set up the way that it is, you don't need all 9's on appearance. It would be nice, but the scoring is weighted so heavily towards taste and tenderness that if you nail these and get decent appearance scores you should stand a pretty good chance, unless I am mistaken.

I got some good advice recently that basically said that many judges are not looking for what they can love about your food. They are looking for something to dislike.

This person told me that you want the judge to bite into your entry and say "there's nothing wrong with that"

RX2006JE
09-21-2011, 12:30 PM
While I agree that it does start to look like nuggets instead of a thigh, they do have for the most part uniformity. Everywhere I have read and have heard from judges is that they want to see uniformity. Now I have done chicken both ways and the "nuggets" have scored the best for me not scoring out of the top 3. For me it seems that the judges want uniformity, which is more difficult to attain if at all in "normal" bbq chicken, but when they see the heavily trimmed uniform thighs comments are made that "it doesn't look like chicken." Ribs are hard to find that have straight bones and if you turn in some that are cut crooked because of the way the bones curve you get scored down because they are not uniform although that is traditional presentation for ribs. So my question is do the judges want meat to look like meat "tradidional" bbq or something that is sculpted and pleasing to the eye. I have seen when things look like meat they have been scored down for not being uniform enough and when things are formed not sculpted, as that would be a DQ, they are also scored down for not looking like the initial product or preconceived notions. It all comes down to a personal preference and that will never change unless the judging is not done by a person.

Rub
09-21-2011, 12:31 PM
I got some good advice recently that basically said that many judges are not looking for what they can love about your food. They are looking for something to dislike.

Unfortunately I think this is becoming a trend with some of the "master judges" out there. It's a terrible way to go, and one that needs to be stopped IMO.

That said, I always thought it's not supposed to matter what the judge thinks chicken is supposed to look like that affects scores. Preconceived notions are a big no-no, correct? So why all the comments stating something like "...if I see chicken balls I'm giving it a 5 automatically..." Unless I'm missing something - and I may be - this type of judging is BS and incorrect, and should be addressed. The judge is in need of remediation and a refresher. Please correct me if this is incorrect.

Lake Dogs
09-21-2011, 02:06 PM
Using no pre-conceived notions, score this (below):

http://www.bbqcritic.com/uploads/2/8/5/4/2854592/676378.jpg?630

Remember, no pre-conceived notions:

How would you score this, in appearance, in the brisket entry:

Now, what if it came in the pork entry:


9's? Now now, no pre-conceived notions!

Smokedelic
09-21-2011, 02:55 PM
Using no pre-conceived notions, score this (below):

http://www.bbqcritic.com/uploads/2/8/5/4/2854592/676378.jpg?630

Remember, no pre-conceived notions:

How would you score this, in appearance, in the brisket entry:

Now, what if it came in the pork entry:


9's? Now now, no pre-conceived notions!
Hopefully, the first judge at the table would inform the table captain that they are fairly certain that the entry isn't brisket/pork. If you would give an appearance score to this entry for the brisket or pork category then you have no business being in the judging tent because this is obviously a chicken entry and shouldn't be scored for pork or for brisket.

Gadragonfly
09-21-2011, 03:23 PM
Using no pre-conceived notions, score this (below):

http://www.bbqcritic.com/uploads/2/8/5/4/2854592/676378.jpg?630

Remember, no pre-conceived notions:

How would you score this, in appearance, in the brisket entry:

Now, what if it came in the pork entry:


9's? Now now, no pre-conceived notions!

I'll bite......I've seen pork that was pulled and then formed, probably using an ice cream scoop, and placed in the box in 6 or 8 mound. There is no reason that brisket, pulled, couldn't be done the same. If it was presented to me and looked as clean as that box, as well organized, uniform size, moist, nice color....I'd give it a 9. -Julie

Rub
09-21-2011, 03:24 PM
Using no pre-conceived notions, score this (below):

Remember, no pre-conceived notions:

How would you score this, in appearance, in the brisket entry:

Now, what if it came in the pork entry:


9's? Now now, no pre-conceived notions!

If this box came across as a legal pork or brisket entry, I would have to think that the cook was very clever, put a lot of time and effort into making it look neatly presented, and probably score it a 9. And IF toads had wings they wouldn't bump their a$$eS when they hop.

But the point is that some judges have the mindset that they would automatically score it down because it doesn't look traditional enough. Personally I think it is well within the realm of what chicken can look like and is commonly accepted in bbq contests. To penalize the team because a judge personally doesn't agree with the style is wrong, IMO. If I submit a Cadillac cut on my ribs and a judge doesn't like the look of it and prefers single bones/single meat, should the team be penalized? Heck no. As someone said earlier, judges are supposed to judge what is presented to them. If a team wants to submit trimmed thighs, you judge them as trimmed thighs. The category doesn't state that chicken must look as it does when you get it from the market. There is no legitimate basis for scoring down for that for appearance, IMO.

swamprb
09-21-2011, 03:48 PM
If I submit a Cadillac cut on my ribs and a judge doesn't like the look of it and prefers single bones/single meat, should the team be penalized? Heck no. As someone said earlier, judges are supposed to judge what is presented to them.

But when you do Hollywood or Cadillac rib entries and the judges ding you for "uneven knife cuts" because they don't get it, you have to scratch your head and wonder if they are even trained to distinguish the different cuts. I believe most are not.

Lake Dogs
09-21-2011, 03:59 PM
If this box came across as a legal pork or brisket entry, I would have to think that the cook was very clever, put a lot of time and effort into making it look neatly presented, and probably score it a 9. And IF toads had wings they wouldn't bump their a$$eS when they hop.

But the point is that some judges have the mindset that they would automatically score it down because it doesn't look traditional enough. Personally I think it is well within the realm of what chicken can look like and is commonly accepted in bbq contests. To penalize the team because a judge personally doesn't agree with the style is wrong, IMO. If I submit a Cadillac cut on my ribs and a judge doesn't like the look of it and prefers single bones/single meat, should the team be penalized? Heck no. As someone said earlier, judges are supposed to judge what is presented to them. If a team wants to submit trimmed thighs, you judge them as trimmed thighs. The category doesn't state that chicken must look as it does when you get it from the market. There is no legitimate basis for scoring down for that for appearance, IMO.

Respectfully Rub, and I really tend to agree with you almost 100% down the line ALL the time, on this one we'll just have to disagree, IF:

If it doesn't look like chicken at all (to the judge). My point above is that you can sculpt pork to look like this (brisket would be almost impossible), and I for one wouldnt expect to receive over a 6 or 7, and then only because the sauce shines. Judges aren't supposed to judge effort. You and I both know it. Appearance is simple; what IS or IS NOT appetizing. We both know this too. To your point, if someone is grading down for "no legitimate basis", then absolutely wrong. However, if they dont find it appetizing whatsoever, they're supposed to start grading/judging on apparent effort?
Really? Where is that in the rules/training <rhetorical>? Ok, I'll rephrase: I'm fairly certain that that's not the way to go. So, IF a judge finds it un-appetizing (which obviously you cannot imagine), what should they do?

Different scenario, but same problem: What if the ribs come in blackened? Some people really like that black look and grade them 8's and 9's. What about the 3 judges that hate blackened meat and find the look and smell distasteful? They're supposed to judge on effort? No, we both know it.

It's subjective. Apparently some people find little red balls un-appetizing.

SmokeInDaEye
09-21-2011, 04:09 PM
As a damn cook I am impressed by the work that went in to making those perfect red chicken balls but as a damn eater I ain't looking forward to the meal....

Lake Dogs
09-21-2011, 04:13 PM
As a damn cook I am impressed by the work that went in to making those perfect red chicken balls but as a damn eater I ain't looking forward to the meal....


^^^ I've tried, and have not succeeded... THIS IS PERFECT.

Matt_A
09-21-2011, 04:35 PM
I think I'm going to grind my chicken and then wrap it in paper thin skin for that perfect shape. Then it's into the Parkay bath inside this fancy brownie pan!!! Yep, that's the ticket. On a weird side note, would that be KCBS legal?
Rules say skin-on , skin-off, bone in , bone out, sliced, chopped, pulled are all legal for chicken. Grinding and stuffing.... that would probably be considered sausage.

Matt_A
09-21-2011, 04:48 PM
Appearance is a subjective criteria. We are instructed that it's a subjective area. Subjectivity means personal preference. Do you find it irresistible and crave a bite of it? Would you pay for it in a restaurant? So YES, personal taste is what it's ALL about. I commend the cook for going to such painstaking effort to get that box built, but that effort alone does not determine the score. Personally, I do not find it appetizing, and I surely would not pay for it in a restaurant.

Matt_A
09-21-2011, 04:53 PM
That said, I always thought it's not supposed to matter what the judge thinks chicken is supposed to look like that affects scores. Preconceived notions are a big no-no, correct? Please correct me if this is incorrect.

See my comment above. The only standards given during judging class are for tenderness. For Appearance & taste it is clearly and repeatedly stated that it is a subjective matter and they can not tell you how to judge for appearance or taste. They specifically say that you should view the box and use your own judgement about whether or not you find the entry appetizing.

Rub
09-21-2011, 05:05 PM
Respectfully Rub, and I really tend to agree with you almost 100% down the line ALL the time, on this one we'll just have to disagree, IF:

I think I can agree that we're going to disagree on this as well.

Save for cutting off the oyster and evening up the sides, those thighs are not doctored up that much. So if we don't trim them up, that leaves us with trapezoids with a bump on one end. Now we have a challenge of placing those in the box so that it still looks neat, symmetrical, and doesn't expose too much green or bottom. We'll prolly get dinged for that now. Just how much can you trim off before the anti-uniformity judges take away points?

And SIDE, I'll have to respectfully disagree with you too. If I saw those come across my table I'd be excited to dig into one. Any cook who pays that much attention to detail has got it going on, and is most likely turning in a kick-a$$ piece of chicken.

SmokeInDaEye
09-21-2011, 05:34 PM
And SIDE, I'll have to respectfully disagree with you too. If I saw those come across my table I'd be excited to dig into one. Any cook who pays that much attention to detail has got it going on, and is most likely turning in a kick-a$$ piece of chicken.

No offense taken, brother, it just doesn't appeal to me. I can score well on appearance with the worst food in the world but it doesn't mean it'll do well on taste and tenderness. Personally I would rather have a plate of this than the chicken pillows...

Rub
09-21-2011, 05:51 PM
No offense taken, brother, it just doesn't appeal to me. I can score well on appearance with the worst food in the world but it doesn't mean it'll do well on taste and tenderness. Personally I would rather have a plate of this than the chicken pillows...
Fried chicken, that's a whole 'nother story :thumb:

GreenDrake
09-21-2011, 08:15 PM
I would judge it 9 or 10. For those of us who have worked hard to get our chicken into the game, there is nothing shameful about that box. Sure we would like to step outside the norm and be creative, but that there, I would look forward to tasting. I got the bite through and saucing as well as flavor down pat, not gonna change that. But that there is a work of art if I had done it. My last one was decent but nowhere near that beauty.

Last comp mine was off the chart delicious, I tried to do something like that, but need more time with the cleaver. I may be doing the Babe Ruth call shot but this weekend, I plan on walking for my chicken turn in.

On the flip side, that box must be 18 inches. or the thighs are the size of a silver dollar.

Smokin' Gnome BBQ
09-21-2011, 08:22 PM
:confused:I must honestly say to all you ( both sides) are full of crap!!!
1. the pillows look good (even if you cant tell what it is)
2. if a server/waiter/waitress brings me something that looks like sausage pillows and I ordered chicken, Im gonna kick them in the crotch or grab some boobs!!.
3. it really should look like what it is..if its a judging thing..well the judges need to go or change. meat should look like meat not some cheesey ash gift I gave my mom when I was a kid.. trimed and sized the same are one thing..making a fart and a shart be the same thing is just wrong..and yes we have all done it...

Sal

did I make any sense?

Mooner
09-21-2011, 08:40 PM
As a judge, I find perfectly formed glossy, reddish lumps in a chicken box a bit disturbing. I realize that it's an attempt to make everything look perfect and appetizing, but I'd at least like to be able to recognize it as being some identifiable part of a chicken.

I find this box (from bbqcritic.com) uite dsturbing...
http://www.bbqcritic.com/uploads/2/8/5/4/2854592/676378.jpg?630

I'll bet that box got a 9 though didn't it.

boogiesnap
09-21-2011, 08:55 PM
say what you will. look at the replies on BBQcritic. 9's all day long.

cook for the judges...not your preconceived notion of what the judges should like.

RedPig
09-22-2011, 03:08 AM
This statement implies that you are comparing the chicken entries to a preconceived idea of what chicken should be, and not judging each entry on it's individual merit. If the cook set out to create small boneless uniform chicken pieces, then I think they did a really good job.No, that is not what I'm "implying". What I mean is a chicken entry should at least resemble/look like what's generally accepted to all, as chicken. If you honestly did not know otherwise, could you even tell it was chicken?

Lake Dogs
09-22-2011, 07:48 AM
:confused:

did I make any sense?

No more nor no less than the rest of us SOB's. :thumb:

deepsouth
09-22-2011, 08:04 AM
i posted this picture on a different non-bbq forum and asked, "what is this mystery meat", and here are the responses so far.....

Battered, deep-fried, glazed chicken, a la "cheap chinese" lemon chicken.

Rocky Mountain Oysters
I was thinking the same thing
You guys beat me to it!
You guys beat me to it.
Montana tendergroins (i'll assume this is testicles as well)



Spam ?

bbqed chicken thighs smoked in a muffin tin (this guy competes)

Thats my thinking due to that show Pit Masters when that one dude lost his mind over his muffin tin technique.
"HE STOLE MY MUFFIN PAN!"



i'll post more as people reply.

5 votes for rocky mountain oysters (or the like) so far.

SmokeInDaEye
09-22-2011, 08:25 AM
:confused:I must honestly say to all you ( both sides) are full of crap!!!
1. the pillows look good (even if you cant tell what it is)
2. if a server/waiter/waitress brings me something that looks like sausage pillows and I ordered chicken, Im gonna kick them in the crotch or grab some boobs!!.
3. it really should look like what it is..if its a judging thing..well the judges need to go or change. meat should look like meat not some cheesey ash gift I gave my mom when I was a kid.. trimed and sized the same are one thing..making a fart and a shart be the same thing is just wrong..and yes we have all done it...

Sal

did I make any sense?

You never make sense.

Smokin' Gnome BBQ
09-22-2011, 10:51 AM
You never make sense.

finally, something we can both agree on!!!:crazy:

Greendriver
09-22-2011, 11:52 AM
Rub, there was a time when I first started that I thought I was the best. I now know that was dumb azz thinking there. I also have come to realize that most anyone knows more and fairs better than me. I still go and try to do my best and have even started leaving the scotch at home in that effort. With that said I think where your line of thinking goes astray is when you assume that folks "with preconcieved ideas" score it down. I would not be scoring it down at all, that's just the score I gave it. Now if that's not within the quidelines of judging maybe the issue should be trying to get a clarification or something from sanctioning body, but I don't personally see that it is needed, but if I liked my chicken that way I might.

AUBBQ
09-22-2011, 12:44 PM
I really appreciate the time and effort a cook had to take in order to achieve this box. To me they don’t look like muffin pan chicken thighs. Obviously the cook took extra care to insure that they were relatively even in size/shape, which is also what I do every time I prep chicken. I don’t want a bunch of different size pieces for apparent reasons. I don’t trim mine that small, nor do I build my chicken box like that, but personally I wouldn’t score them down based on appearance. That said I’m not judge by any means. I’m still trying to figure out what judges are looking for. :-D

ique
09-22-2011, 01:07 PM
9 all day. Maybe not my favorite style, but the chicken "appears" perfect.

Instead I'll ding the cook on taste for using Blues Hog since everyone uses Blues Hog. :-D

Matt_A
09-22-2011, 03:10 PM
Let's talk about the concept of "Scoring It Down".... First, I would have given this box a 7 just because of the obvious effort and skill it shows. I wouldn't score it higher simply because I don't find it irresistibly attractive. Now some may consider that I have "scored it down", but in reality I "scored it up". You see, we are instructed as judges to use the judging criteria on the judging slip. 7 is Above Average. 6 - Average (not 9 - Excellent) is where we are taught to start our judging, so a 7, or 8 is Scoring Up, not Down.

deepsouth
09-22-2011, 03:14 PM
i posted this picture on a different non-bbq forum and asked, "what is this mystery meat", and here are the responses so far.....

Battered, deep-fried, glazed chicken, a la "cheap chinese" lemon chicken.

Rocky Mountain Oysters
I was thinking the same thing
You guys beat me to it!
You guys beat me to it.
Montana tendergroins (i'll assume this is testicles as well)



Spam ?

bbqed chicken thighs smoked in a muffin tin (this guy competes)

Thats my thinking due to that show Pit Masters when that one dude lost his mind over his muffin tin technique.
"HE STOLE MY MUFFIN PAN!"



i'll post more as people reply.

5 votes for rocky mountain oysters (or the like) so far.

so far from this we have:

2 identified it correctly either through competing or "pit masters" tv show
1 identified it as deep fried cheap glazed chinese chicken
1 identified it as spam

and the winner.....

5 votes for testicles!

Kenny Rogers
09-22-2011, 03:14 PM
It's a sad commentary on what's happened to judging when visually "real" chicken gets worse scores than artificially primped, trimmed, glazed and polished unidentifiable objects. Whatever happened to the chicken?? I judge a few weeks ago and over 80% of the chicken turn-ins were so heavily sauced and glazed that it was hard to pick up, and once you picked it up, it stuck to your fingers like glue.

I agree, there's something disturbing about using a bic razor to shave your chicken before cooking it, to give it that "bite through" skin that all judges demand.

Rub
09-22-2011, 04:21 PM
I'm the one who talked about it being scored down. I thought it was this thread - maybe it wasn't - I surf a lot of sites, but one judge made a comment that basically stated "...if/when I see chicken at my table that looks like that (the trimmed little pillows) I always score it down to a 5 (or 6?)." That was the comment that got me torqued about this from the beginning.

Like I said, I thought it was this thread but maybe it wasn't. No time to look now, I'm packing for a contest. Gotta go trim up some more pillows! :thumb::boxing::wink:

atvalaska
09-22-2011, 06:01 PM
Let's talk about the concept of "Scoring It Down".... First, I would have given this box a 7 just because of the obvious effort and skill it shows. I wouldn't score it higher simply because I don't find it irresistibly attractive. Now some may consider that I have "scored it down", but in reality I "scored it up". You see, we are instructed as judges to use the judging criteria on the judging slip. 7 is Above Average. 6 - Average (not 9 - Excellent) is where we are taught to start our judging, so a 7, or 8 is Scoring Up, not Down. if there were 6/a little bigger... in the box what would you score it?

rookiedad
09-22-2011, 08:27 PM
I agree, there's something disturbing about using a bic razor to shave your chicken before cooking it, to give it that "bite through" skin that all judges demand.

i can see it now!!!! the day will come when chicken with perfect bite through skin gets scored down because it does not respond like natural chicken skin under the same circumstances. and you know what... i kinda agree with that, because when you start wrapping breast skin around thighs (which i would probably do in competition to avoid scraping) i think you have stepped away from cooking real bbq... just a little bit. so, lets start it right here! judges, i implore you.......score down bite through skin! :becky:

Matt_A
09-22-2011, 10:33 PM
if there were 6/a little bigger... in the box what would you score it?
If they looked like that... fewer and larger wouldn't make a difference. I don't find Christmas Ornaments very appetizing. I'd still give it a 7.

Crash
09-23-2011, 04:58 AM
I'd 9 that box on presentation..... some judges totally overthink the appearance score. IMHO, of course.

Balls Casten
09-23-2011, 08:00 AM
Under the analogy that this is not an appealing box. Would someone that did not like chicken ever score more than a 6? Because “chicken is just not appealing to me”

I think the “does it make me want to dig in” question refers to the difference in the high end of the scoring. It is the last question a judge should ask, not the first. The first question, regarding appearance, would be is the box clean? Has the fat been trimmed away? Is the meat placed in an orderly/balanced fashion?

I understand the not liking the candy finish or the trimming done. But that should not score that box average.

rookiedad
09-23-2011, 09:04 AM
Under the analogy that this is not an appealing box. Would someone that did not like chicken ever score more than a 6? Because “chicken is just not appealing to me”

I think the “does it make me want to dig in” question refers to the difference in the high end of the scoring. It is the last question a judge should ask, not the first. The first question, regarding appearance, would be is the box clean? Has the fat been trimmed away? Is the meat placed in an orderly/balanced fashion?

I understand the not liking the candy finish or the trimming done. But that should not score that box average.

agreed! also remember that boxes such as this evolved due to the fact that when boxes of "real" looking chicken were presented for comments, they were criticly dinged with comments such as "not uniform", "visible bone in top right corner", "skins need to be pinned" and "piece number two has a brushstroke in the sauce". these were judges comments.

Matt_A
09-23-2011, 12:52 PM
This is the never-end chicken thread!!!! We can beat the never-ending pork chop thread!!!

Greendriver
09-23-2011, 01:25 PM
I think the end is near, lol. or maybe I should say, the end will come as soon as someone figures out if it is within the parimeters of judging chicken properly or not to use the infamous "preconcieved" notion of what BBQ Chicken should look like! In the mean time me thinks you'll do o.k. either way with your lowly bird.

SmokeInDaEye
09-23-2011, 02:35 PM
The solution is to grow chickens that taste more like bacon then all of us cooks won't have to fancy it up so much.

Sledneck
09-23-2011, 06:49 PM
Using no pre-conceived notions, score this (below):

http://www.bbqcritic.com/uploads/2/8/5/4/2854592/676378.jpg?630

Remember, no pre-conceived notions:

How would you score this, in appearance, in the brisket entry:

Now, what if it came in the pork entry:


9's? Now now, no pre-conceived notions!


Showed this picture to my boys separately with no backstory.17 year old has been cooking w me fo 6 years , 13 doesn't care much for comp BBQ


My 13 year old gave it a 6
Comments: TOO shiny, looks like they are encased in plastic. Kind of looks like a bald guys shiny head. Unappetizing

My 17 year old Gave it a 6

Comments: to shiny, unappealing and uneven color, looks like it was coated w urethane. Urethane not appetizing.