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View Full Version : Sticky Sweet Candied BBQ.........How did we get here???


Q-Dat
02-03-2012, 10:50 PM
Been thinking about this lately. Just about everyone that I talk to says that they don't particularly care for BBQ the way they make it for comps.

This is my question. How did we end up with such a drastic difference between what the typical judge likes and what everyone else likes?

Tack
02-03-2012, 11:00 PM
Judges can only base their taste scores on what they have learned is good BBQ. Unfortunately most of them were raised on Kraft style sauces and this equates to good BBQ to them. Now this is my opinion and I'll probably get flamed but so be it

kenthanson
02-03-2012, 11:02 PM
Because the people who started competing in Q made the Q rules and made it so they would win by telling the judges what to like.

But seriously now, it's kind of like the oscars, the movie you pick to watch on any Friday night isn't usually going win best picture, but the committee picks a movie that makes it seem smart and educated because the members want o feel smarter and more in the know thane regular Joe.

Terrible analogy-check
Bad reasoning-check
Not actually making sense- check

Q-Dat
02-03-2012, 11:31 PM
Because the people who started competing in Q made the Q rules and made it so they would win by telling the judges what to like. <br />
<br />
But seriously now, it's kind of like the oscars, the movie you pick to watch on any Friday night isn't usually going win best picture, but the committee picks a movie that makes it seem smart and educated because the members want o feel smarter and more in the know thane regular Joe. <br />
<br />
Terrible analogy-check<br />
Bad reasoning-check <br />
Not actually making sense- check


Whaaaaa??? They would NEVER tell people what kind of BBQ they should like............would they????

Sledneck
02-03-2012, 11:44 PM
I somewhat understand it, we have one bite . It has to something sweet , small kick to it with a wow factor. I don't think you will get that with let's say a dry rubbed rib. The dry rub rib might be good eats when you consume a half or full rack but as a single bite item woudnt. I love texas style brisket when I get a pile on butcher paper etc. But one bite of it being judges might seem bit plain

kurtsara
02-04-2012, 01:00 AM
I have wondered the same thing for a few years now, I also don't care for the chicken thighs all looking identical, it's just not normal, all chicken thighs are not the same

BBQ_Mayor
02-04-2012, 07:06 AM
Like Sledneck said, you have one or maybe 2 bites so you need to make that count with a lot of flavor up front. Of course if you made that for home, you wouldn't be able to eat too much.
As far as the sweet goes, almost everybody like sweet but fewer people like heat. Got to play the odds.

luckyduk
02-04-2012, 07:44 AM
I have wondered the same thing for a few years now, I also don't care for the chicken thighs all looking identical, it's just not normal, all chicken thighs are not the same

that is a whole different thread.......you ever read some of the judges comments on bbq-critic? :crazy::crazy:

As for sweet I agree with Ray, sweet is better than heat

Mike - CSBBBQ
02-04-2012, 10:03 AM
As Sledneck and Ray said you only have one bite and most of us use the sweet to conteract the heat for what we hope is a bite that makes them want another :pray:

Q-Dat
02-04-2012, 11:54 AM
As Sledneck and Ray said you only have one bite and most of us use the sweet to conteract the heat for what we hope is a bite that makes them want another :pray:

That makes sense. Balancing flavors is crucial, so it stands to reason that if you make one aspect more intense, then you have to do the same with the others too.

The Cosmic Pig
02-04-2012, 12:07 PM
I turned in ribs once that were so salty I was sure we'd come in DAL. We came in 6th out of 32-34 teams. :rolleyes:

bigabyte
02-04-2012, 12:38 PM
Sled nailed it. You are trying to pack the biggest "wow" into a single bite.

The best way to answer the question is to make a meal out of comp meat, eating as much of that as you would "normal food".

I know that when I make a bunch of food at home, and eat until I am full, I might feel tired or something, but nothing too unusual. After judging a comp, I'm a bit out of sorts for the rest of the day, and I'm not any more full than a bbq feast at home.

I would not want to hear what sodium levels, etc, would be in comp meat compared to regular food. It's probably mind-numbing.

QueNivorous
02-04-2012, 01:08 PM
I think with today's cooks all being very good and cooking very similar turn ins it's getting VERY close at the top. Judges just can't make great calls (IMO) after a few bites. The taste buds are so fouled up there is a real problem with scoring appropriately. Deciding between an 8 and a 9 might be easy at first but impossible after a few bites. To a cook the difference between an 8 or a 9 is HUGE!

BC Squared
02-04-2012, 01:46 PM
That sluggish feeling after judging is prob from a phosphate overdose!

Capn Kev
02-04-2012, 02:01 PM
It's like my daughter says when she eats my competition chicken thighs... "this stuff is like BBQ butter...".

I certainly don't see us going around eating sticks of butter for everyday meals, but a half stick o' garlic butter with some fresh caught lobster is nice "NOW AND THEN".

:)

BC Squared
02-04-2012, 02:06 PM
I put rub on my candy to even things out a bit....

Capn Kev
02-04-2012, 02:10 PM
That sluggish feeling after judging is prob from a phosphate overdose!

I tend to disagree. The sluggish feeling is most likely from a calorie or sugar overdose. Blues Hog alone comprises 80 calories per 2 tbsp...plus 510 mg of sodium! Many of the cooks I know (including myself) do NOT use phosphates in most of our meats. I do not use phosphates in 3 of the 4 categories. No need. There's only one meat category that I've seen a benefit by using phosphates, and that is brisket. When you cook your food in fat, baste it with fat, and it already has a high fat content... guess what, you get caloric overload.

Fat Woody
02-04-2012, 03:02 PM
I would agree that sweet is a necessary component as one of the four (five if you count umami) basic tastes. You strive to find a balance with sweet, salty, sour and bitter so a judge gets all of it in one bite; throw in some of that umami and they might just take two...

I also suspect that winning BBQ flavor profiles shift over time and that sweet is popular now. While we may not like it at home (just as I wouldn't bother to pimp out my chicken for dinner at home), if it's winning, you kinda have to go with it.

TooSaucedToPork
02-04-2012, 03:52 PM
Ahhh Grasshopper...

Another question for the ages.

It is this way because we as cooks LET it be this way. We wanted to maximize flavor into a single bite.

Sticky is glue...you apply it and it stays. Thus insuring that one bite will be perfect from anywhere on our meat.

Sweet, well every person on the planet loves salt + sweet. Its just human nature, sweet heat makes people happy, so pack in as much as you can into one bite...

I dare a diabetic to eat an entire rack of competition ribs and not go into a coma...

As cooks I believe we ALL prefer traditional BBQ, but that is not what wins...traditional bbq has flaws, which give it character...

We all produce Beverly Hills BBQ...nipped, tucked, scraped, and enhanced so far beyond its traditional form that it is a highly specialized field to call yourself a Competitive BBQ Pitmaster. It truely is an artform...

gmholler
02-04-2012, 04:29 PM
I was wondering aloud about this very same issue years ago while waiting for the judges' meeting to start - I *really* liked the pulled pork I used to get at KCBS contests, but all I'd been getting lately was slices and chunks of pork - and a more experienced judge told me "Ah, give this current crop of cooks time, they'll learn - somebody probably won a few times with what they've been putting out lately so everyone wants to turn it in"...that's probably still true...

Lynn H.