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QansasjayhawQ
10-08-2011, 05:23 PM
Today I had the privilege to judge at Cookin' On The Kaw in DeSoto, Kansas.

One thing that really jumped out at me was this one pork entry that came across our table.

The entry included pulled, sliced and sliced money muscle.

Well, the money muscle was done to perfection and it tasted heavenly! It was by far the most perfect pork I've had the pleasure to taste in a long time.

I would have given the entry all 9's IF the money muscle slices were the only meat in the box. Perfecto!

But - unfortunately, the cook also included the other forms - which were not horrible by any means, but they definitely pulled down the overall score.

How many people include pulled, sliced, cubed and other forms in their entry?

Sometimes, one of the forms will pull the other forms up . . . so I can see that being a good thing.

But I keep thinking about that awesomely perfect money muscle (it was that good - I'll probably have dreams about it tonight) and how, if it was the only item in the box . . . wow.

And thank you very much, whoever you are. It was an honor to taste such a fine sample.

Lake Dogs
10-08-2011, 06:19 PM
I've seen this happen LOTS of times; LOTS. Usually at least one entry per comp. Also, same thing on sauce. I've seen what would've been HANDS DOWN winner in pork or whole hog go to middle-of-the-pack or worse because the sauce didnt match the flavors in the pork.

rookiedad
10-08-2011, 09:13 PM
what would the box have scored without the money muscle? also, as a judge, have you ever seen a box that contained only the money muscle? if so, how did that score?

Big Mike
10-08-2011, 09:50 PM
I have seen a money muscle only box and it scored very well.

Rookie'48
10-09-2011, 12:51 AM
Yes, these are the dangers of "as presented by the cook". If it's not up to par, leave it out. This poor guy just cost himself a 999 from at least one judge for that very reason. :>(

Smokin Mike
10-09-2011, 04:08 PM
that might be my box, muscle with very little sauce, pulled and chunked, I made the pulled from a MM that blew up on me,,, later I found the pulled was a tad dry. still got 4th out of it.

QansasjayhawQ
10-09-2011, 10:10 PM
what would the box have scored without the money muscle? also, as a judge, have you ever seen a box that contained only the money muscle? if so, how did that score?
I've seen other entries over the years where only the money muscle was entered - and only the sliced was entered - and only the pulled was entered. And any combination of the above, but rarely all three.

The style or part of pork shoulder that was entered was not important, in my opinion.

What does matter is depth of flavor. It's meat carrying about 50% of the flavor load with sauce/bark carrying the other 50% and the overall impression consisting of the perfect balance of sweet, salt and spice.

Presentation will gain you a bit . . . and don't enter a 'mushy' pork for tenderness . . . but . . .

hit those two points (presentation and tenderness) on a high note and then follow up with a flavor knock out blow . . . and wow!

rookiedad
10-09-2011, 11:08 PM
lets look at it like this... did the money muscle and the fact that it was perfect bring the box score up from where it would have been if it had not been included? i think the box is largely considered a "pulled" pork box, with sliced being somewhat regional and the money muscle added as an extra to hopefully raise the score of the box, like burnt ends in a brisket box. if the box rated higher with the perfect money muscle then it would have if it was not included, i would say it did what it was there to do. did you score it higher than you would have without the money muscle? also, the idea of a box with only the money muscle (perfect or not) is interesting. how would a brisket box do with only perfect burnt ends?

Rookie'48
10-10-2011, 12:04 AM
how would a brisket box do with only perfect burnt ends?

I've had a couple of burnt end only boxes. They have scored pretty well on the whole but I'm not sure that most judges are going to be ok with it. One I can remember judging got something like 899 from a couple of us - the others weren't so generous :roll:.