View Full Version : Ban the coolers and ziplocks for judges

10-04-2011, 06:27 PM
I judged my second contest a few weeks back and cook maybe 4-6 times per year. Not a ton, but we have fun. I can tell you, that the number of judges at the event that were taking the partially eaten food home was crazy! At least 3 people at my table took very small bites of the chx and then tossed it in the baggie.....I asked one guy why he wasn't taking bigger bites and he said he really did not like chicken but his wife does...

I want to start a "Ban the Bag" campaign!

10-04-2011, 06:35 PM
How about a "Ban the worthless judges" campaign instead?! :doh:

10-04-2011, 06:44 PM
How about a "Ban the worthless judges" campaign instead?! :doh:

There is no way I'm eating all that food. Why let it get tossed out?

I also think any judge that says, "I'm just here for the ribs" should immediately have their card revoked.

10-04-2011, 06:49 PM

There is no way I'm eating all that food. Why let it get tossed out?That's what I'm thinking, but when a judge is more focused on the leftovers aspect than the entry, THEY NEED TO GO.

I also think any judge that says, "I'm just here for the ribs" should immediately have their card revoked. Concur, Chris.

10-04-2011, 07:02 PM
How does someone who doesn't even like chicken get to be allowed to judge others cooking of it? Ban that dude!

10-04-2011, 07:30 PM
there is PLENTY of leftover food at a comp. no need for a judge to skimp on sampling a teams pinnacle piece just to be able to take it home.

ban the cooler and provide leftovers for them. enforce a minimum sample tasting by judges.

10-04-2011, 07:51 PM
One reason I take stuff home? Because it's farking GOOD Q and I can't have more than a couple of bites of it while judging! :(

10-04-2011, 08:23 PM
Small bite cooler judges typically give 999's I say keep em!

10-04-2011, 10:25 PM
I would be VERY careful about ascribing motives to people without talking to them. As long as a judge takes enough of a bite of something to render a reasoned score, I couldn't care less what they do with the remainder.

What constitutes a reasonable sample to some may be smaller than what it is for others and how much meat someone can consume in a two hour time period may differ as well.

IMHO weeding out a bad judge is a much better solution that disallowing the use of coolers or ziplocks.

If, as a competitor, you are concerned about judges not trying enough of a meat to render an informed opinion, ask the organizer to have the table captains alert the rep when they see scores that are out of whack that coincide with judges who take small bites.

If those judges have to be warned/instructed more than once, ban them.


10-04-2011, 11:25 PM
Ok, let's ban all coolers & baggies.

Now, because at least one team has been caught using a torch to "set his sauce" let us therefor make torch possesion a capital crime, or at least ban them for 1,000 years.

I'm just using your own logic here, BoneDaddy's.

Now if we can get some kind of continuing education programs for both judges & cooks to refresh some memories; if we can get some more judges to come out on Friday night & meet the teams that they'll be judging tomorrow; if we can quit the "Let's just lump 'em all together" attitude and deal with individual people - - - well then, I think that we might be on to something.

Most judges are doing the very best that they can to judge fairly.
Most judges do take a good bite or two from each entry.
Most judges cannot eat the 2 to 3 pounds of food that is put on their plate at a comp at a single sitting.
Most judges are not there to just fill their cooler while they fark over the cooks.

Yes, there are some judges who need to get a "talkin' to" as the old man used to say. And some judges probably need to be removed from the judging rolls permanently. But then again, there's no one group of people who are perfect.

10-04-2011, 11:43 PM
Ban? NO. Educate? yes! I don't like the notion that a judge would take a very tiny bite that was not enough to judge because he/she didn't really like chicken. As long as it was enought to taste the meat and sauce, then it is OK. I really would not want a 9 from a judge who didn't even get a big enough bite to taste what I had turned in.
I don't give a hoot what they take home, but at least take a big enough bite to judge. Most judges I have talked to take what they are doing very seriously because they understand what is on the line.

10-05-2011, 08:21 AM
IMHO a good idea to ban them but not for the reason you state. Strictly for Health Safety reasons. There's no way some ice in a small cooler can safely cool the meat added within the 2 and 4 hour windows.

This was discussed a couple of years ago by the BOD. They felt it was up to each organizer to make a ruling as they are the ones who would get sued if a judge gets sick.

If you were paying attention this year you saw the SAMS contests did ban coolers and health safety was the reason (or should I say their worry about liability if a judge got sick).

10-05-2011, 08:41 AM
Here we go again. Another pick on the judges thread. I'm a judge and I try to judge each entry on its own merits. I would consider myself a high scoring judge. I feel all these competitors work their butts off cooking this BBQ. I find it a little sad that there are so many threads in the forum picking on the judges. I do take home the leftovers. There is no way I could eat everything presented to me. I do eat enough to make a fair judgement of the item presented. Yes my family enjoys the leftovers. Is there a good reason to just throw it in the trash? If KCBS decided to ban coolers so be it. A few poor judges does not make all judges suspect. In general I think all competitors get an equal shot at any competition.

10-05-2011, 09:41 AM
I agree completely that a few jacka$$ judges do not make all judges suspect, but I also firmly believe that allowing coolers opens the door for impropriety. We can sit here and debate whether or not coolers are OK (yet again), but the chances of that debate actually changing anybody's mind are virtually nil. The one thing that nobody can argue however is that the simple fact that they are allowed in the first place is a source of contention. If it wasn't, this thread wouldn't exist.

As a judge first and a competitor second, I'm in the camp that coolers shouldn't be allowed for the above stated reason. In my mind all of the arguments about wasting food, inadequate judging, etc. would be irrelevant if the opportunity for impropriety were to be removed.

10-05-2011, 10:31 AM
I can only speak for myself and my post that I made, so this doesn't apply to everyone...heck, maybe it only applies to myself.

I consider myself a judge, not a cook. I have judged a lot more than I have competed. I've competed enough to count the events on just one hand.

I don't consider this a "bash the judges" thread, because that would men I am bashing myself and other people I know who I respect very much.

That said, the majority of the time there is one person who I talk to in the judges tent when I am judging that always surprises me with their ignorance. It's like I am a magnet for them. I probably look like a dumbass (goes without saying really) and is probably why they decide to sit at the same table and talk to me. Because of this, I can't help but wonder how pervasive the problem is.

I really like engaging people in conversation after scoring to get their opinions. This is when that stuff finally comes out. I do not expect people to share my opinions, that would be ignorant. But I can not reason out an excuse for comments like:

"I love judging because I can't get food this good at home or at restaurants so everyone gets 8's or 9's for all the time and money they put into it". (I wonder where this mentality came from...the judging side or the cooking side?)

"I'm just here for the ribs". (I hear that one a lot)

"I hate brisket". (usually said by the person who is just there for the ribs)

"I score down if I can identify the sauce used while tasting, they need to doctor it up".

"I don't like BBQ chicken skin so I never eat it, I just peel it off". (so save some time during prep)

I better stop in case I'm just making stuff worse. So to all of you judges (myself included) who are being bashed, sorry!

10-05-2011, 10:44 AM
i'm sure glad beer judging isn't like bbq judging.

10-05-2011, 04:34 PM
Lots of passion on both sides of this issue. That is healthy as long as it is constructive.

All of those comments about not liking chicken, only here for the ribs, etc. need to
quietly filter up the line to table captains, reps and finally organizers.

It is the organizers who make the decisions about which judges return. Just crabbing
about the comment without quietly passing it along just perpetuates the problem.

I want to know - so I can make an informed choice about who judges and who does not at our contest. But don't create a scene that disrupts the process- a quiet word
in passing gets the information across.

I do not mind coolers, if the judges take enough of the entry to give it a fair judging.
Better than throwing away perfectly good - great- food . IMHO

Otherwise I agree with David about his statements regarding most of the judges.

10-05-2011, 07:16 PM
For Smokin' Up A Storm 2012:

NOTE: Due to liability issues, no coolers will be allowed in the judging area. All entries judged will be deposited in the recycling containers to be recycled by Valley Proteins, Inc.

I believe that there are enough judges out there that don't care about filling a cooler that I won't have much trouble filling the judging seats. The Public Health Regulations here allow the state and county to levy fines and pursue charges if people get sick. The Serv-Safe and HD cooling times normally cannot be met using a small cooler with some ice in it.

Fat Freddy
10-05-2011, 09:03 PM
Heck, the times I have judged I have never left enough of the meat to even think about taking any home unless I didnt care for it and then why would I want to. Of course my user name pretty much says it all. :grin:

10-06-2011, 02:17 PM
This subject has been hashed and rehashed continually on this forum, but, after removing the rogue 'small-bite' judge from the equation, I believe that it all boils down to the responsibility of the Table Captain to observe the judges at his/her table and "talk" with any judge who seems more interested in bagging entries than judging them. If the Table Captain cannot sway the judge to take larger bites then they can call over the Contest Rep who can "talk" to the judge and, if the behavior continues, ask the judge to leave and/or bar that judge from future judging.

I am one judge who enjoys my "left-overs" from my judging plate for lunch the next day or two. Occasionally, my wife and I share what we judged with each other to get another opinion. HOWEVER, we ALWAYS take at least two bites from each entry (from different sides of the thigh/rib or different parts of the pork/brisket) to ENSURE that the entry is judged as completely and fairly as possible.

Rather than ban coolers, I believe that the Contest Reps need to emphasize during the "Judges Meeting" that ALL judges must take two bites large enough to adequately judge each entry. If a judge has a problem with eating too much, then they can discretely spit out the sample after judging it.

I was always taught to "clean my plate" at each meal, so throwing away perfectly good food (minus two bites each) goes against my upbringing. However, if coolers are banned I will accept this, as I thoroughly enjoy the judging process and wouldn't think of quitting just because I couldn't take something home.

As far as the health aspect of bagging left-overs from the judges plate, it probably needs to be mentioned by the contest rep during the judge's meeting also, as well as during CBJ training. Many contests that I judge have a waiver that must be signed when applying to judge that contest. I'll take my chances (with the blue-ice bricks in a small insulated cooler) as I have been doing.

Just my humble opinion...

Big Ugly's BBQ
10-06-2011, 04:22 PM
How does someone who doesn't even like chicken get to be allowed to judge others cooking of it? Ban that dude!

The same way a vegetarian can get certified, take the class, become a member. They cannot turn anyone away.............

Laugh, but it did happen at least twice that I know of during 2010.

10-06-2011, 05:06 PM
The same way a vegetarian can get certified, take the class, become a member. They won't turn anyone's money away.............

FYP :becky:

10-06-2011, 09:29 PM
How does someone who doesn't even like chicken get to be allowed to judge others cooking of it? Ban that dude!

The same way a vegetarian can get certified, take the class, become a member. They cannot turn anyone away.............

Laugh, but it did happen at least twice that I know of during 2010.

So much for giving your word to "objectively and subjectvely evaluate ....." :evil: