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Meat Man
04-30-2012, 09:24 PM
We just completed the Sams Club local here in SLC. The competition left many teams scratching their heads. At our event here in SLC scoring was very low and very inconsistent. It has been brought to question as to the judge selection process. First registered, first selected. Will the judge selection process be handled the same way for the regional qualifiers. I would hope there would be some sort of selection process as to assure the competing teams the best, most experienced judging possible.

Twelvegaugepump
04-30-2012, 09:26 PM
How does one select judges? Experience as the biggest factor?

Vince RnQ
04-30-2012, 10:23 PM
Judges register for the contests just as the teams do: On a first come, first served basis. Judges have to be CBJs in order to register, just as teams have to be KCBS members in order to register. Other than that, it is what it is.

Big Poppa
04-30-2012, 10:31 PM
Will sort of get used to it...it isnt perfect but usually evens out.

dmprantz
04-30-2012, 11:09 PM
I think it would be kinda cool if the regionals at least tried to select judges from the locals which feed into them, and same with national. Might be hard to find judges willing to travel. Did I hear correctly that national is all MCBJs?

dmp

Rookie'48
04-30-2012, 11:53 PM
I think it would be kinda cool if the regionals at least tried to select judges from the locals which feed into them, and same with national. Might be hard to find judges willing to travel. Did I hear correctly that national is all MCBJs?

dmp

Last point first: Yes, the Nationals accepted only Master CBJs. As for the other contests, local as well as regional, it was for KCBS CBJs only on a first registered, first accepted basis. I managed to sign up for one in Texas and one in Oklahoma this year (Spring Break Road Trip!) while skipping my home-town comp in Des Moines, Iowa.

No matter where the judges come from, every team is going to be judged by the same pool at that contest no matter if the scores are high, low or in between.

These are only my answers - not those of KCBS or the BoD.

drbbq
05-01-2012, 08:09 AM
I bet there are at least six teams that didn't think it was too bad.

Jacked UP BBQ
05-01-2012, 08:55 AM
Good food is good food, no matter who eats it.

Big Poppa
05-01-2012, 09:01 AM
Ray Will is one of the six that made it. He is a new competitior that is very nice and a really good cook. Great family too.

drbbq
05-01-2012, 10:15 AM
Sounds like all he needs is a little experience :)

HDBBQ
05-01-2012, 10:48 AM
Well I Can say as a new team to the Region 1 area coming out of the Intermoutain Barbecue Association. It would be nice to know if my score was spot on my cooking. I did compete in this contest of question and some of My mentor teams one being who started this post. Makes me wonder Did I really learn anything or am I still off.. I had 7's and 8's across the board for most part and like five 6's overall I took 13th in Ribs and 27th overall. (Not last place hehee)

Trailhound
05-01-2012, 11:34 AM
From what I have seen and heard on this and other forum it look like the judging was all over the place. One team got 664 in chicken and the judge next to him gave that teams 999 in chicken.

drbbq
05-01-2012, 12:23 PM
From what I have seen and heard on this and other forum it look like the judging was all over the place. One team got 664 in chicken and the judge next to him gave that teams 999 in chicken.

That would be an indication that one judge liked it and one didn't :)

But seriously the low score got thrown out. If two people give you a bad score that means that 33% didn't like it.

I'm not a fan of telling judges that they should all like the same thing every time.

SuperQue
05-01-2012, 12:28 PM
From what I have seen and heard on this and other forum it look like the judging was all over the place. One team got 664 in chicken and the judge next to him gave that teams 999 in chicken.

How do yo know it was a "him". You have to take into consideration the pool of judges that are at the contests that day. I don't like too sweet but the older lady sitting next to me might love it. Just sayin'

Meat Man
05-01-2012, 12:37 PM
I'm not complaining, It's hard to say, but I think we had a great cook and for the most part deserved what we recieved. Scores as a whole were lower for the teams participating at this event than others we been to. We are very new team, this was our 4th competition and we have alot to learn. I'm sure they arrange the judges at the tables to to try to even things out a bit as far as experience. I know it's very improtant to the event, officals, and judges to be fair and equitable in the scoring. I am glad to hear as the Sams Tour progresses the judge selection process does too.

Trailhound
05-01-2012, 01:20 PM
How do yo know it was a "him". '

Fine the judge next to "IT"

BC Squared
05-01-2012, 01:29 PM
Sounds like any other contest, judging inconsistency is an unfortunate part of competing. Usually happens when the flavor profile is anything other than modified Blues Hog!

Big Poppa
05-01-2012, 05:34 PM
hey dr bbq I know you like prime rib...so humor me...Judging can be improved....the only time the 6th judge bite you in the arse is when it is a tie breaker....as happened to us three weeks ago Tied for first in chicken with a score you may even like and the 6th judge gave us 655 no comment card...I still like second...but sometimte the dropped score can come back like a bad chili dog.

Meat Man
05-01-2012, 07:03 PM
Do table captains really question judges on the 3 point deviation in scores.

drbbq
05-01-2012, 07:35 PM
hey dr bbq I know you like prime rib...so humor me...Judging can be improved....the only time the 6th judge bite you in the arse is when it is a tie breaker....as happened to us three weeks ago Tied for first in chicken with a score you may even like and the 6th judge gave us 655 no comment card...I still like second...but sometimte the dropped score can come back like a bad chili dog.

Yeah I've been bitten many times. I once had a 180 in brisket at Tryon, NC and came in 5th.
But that's also my evidence why higher scores aren't the solution. Honestly I think we need an overhaul with statisticians and experienced culinary competition people involved (and I know some) that aren't influenced by "The way we've always done it".

It will happen at some point one way or another.

So I was very agreeable Sterling, I think you owe me another slice of prime rib :)

Andersen
05-01-2012, 07:58 PM
Scoring was a much debated topic at my table on Saturday in GA before the competition and by all after.

IMHO as a judge any score below an eight should warrant a comment card. A a good table captain should question a judge when their scores are below that of the table and ask the judge to complete a card if they have not already.

I firmly believe the scoring card is throwing off new judge, especially when the card says a six is average.This is competition bbq, average is your local bbq joint. Also I believe there should a mentoring system for new judges. In which a new judge must sit with a master judge for at least his first competition. The KCBS reps assigned to competitions as of late in GA have been very good at ensuring new judges with only 1-3 competitions experience sit next to a master for some guidance. They also will level out the experience levels at a table. New judges with no bbq competition experience need a better understanding of what is involved for the teams. As a judge I sincerely appreciate the time, effort and hard work put forth every weekend by the teams.

Just my two cents.

TTNuge
05-01-2012, 08:04 PM
IMHO as a judge any score below an eight should warrant a comment card. A a good table captain should question a judge when their scores are below that of the table and ask the judge to complete a card if they have not already.


I'm afraid the only problem with that is you will see a LOT of 8's that way. When a judge is on the fence and doesn't want to bother writing a comment they'll just score it an 8 to be done with it. My personal thought going through CBJ class and yet to cook in my first contest is that we should ask the judges to comment on each and every entry even if it's just a few words. As long as it's part of each and every comp and every entry they do then it won't be more work and maybe as a competitor I will get some constructive feedback.

Big Poppa
05-01-2012, 08:32 PM
ray you are DrBBQ.... I did a 180 on my bicycle going to the Stagecoach comp.
I believe that overjudging is a huge issue but nobody wants to complain about that....
My feeling is that you could spend years trying different things and at the end of the year you are usually where you belong....except for us we are over our heads.

Pickin' Porkers
05-01-2012, 08:57 PM
Yeah I've been bitten many times. I once had a 180 in brisket at Tryon, NC and came in 5th.
But that's also my evidence why higher scores aren't the solution. Honestly I think we need an overhaul with statisticians and experienced culinary competition people involved (and I know some) that aren't influenced by "The way we've always done it".

It will happen at some point one way or another.

So I was very agreeable Sterling, I think you owe me another slice of prime rib :)

Much agreed with Doc. It is time for a half point scoring system. I cannot think of any reason not to. This attitude of "this is how we have always done it" must go.

drbbq
05-01-2012, 09:07 PM
Much agreed with Doc. It is time for a half point scoring system. I cannot think of any reason not to. This attitude of "this is how we have always done it" must go.

I think that would help short term, but really just be a band-aid. I say let's fix it for good.

AZScott
05-01-2012, 09:18 PM
Ray, what are your thoughts on fixing it?

drbbq
05-02-2012, 08:23 AM
...... Honestly I think we need an overhaul with statisticians and experienced culinary competition people involved (and I know some) that aren't influenced by "The way we've always done it".

It will happen at some point one way or another.

......................

From above.

Slamdunkpro
05-02-2012, 09:13 AM
I believe that overjudging is a huge issue but nobody wants to complain about that....
Agree. The scoring range is 2-9 not 7-9. They wouldn't give you all those numbers if they didn't want you to use them. Go to a half point system and people will complain about getting 7.5's

rweller
05-02-2012, 10:00 AM
Do table captains really question judges on the 3 point deviation in scores.

I have TC a lot and I never question a judge on 3 point deviation. If there is a big differance 4 or more I will make it a point to let the REP know and he can talk to the judge.

rweller
05-02-2012, 10:13 AM
I'm not complaining, It's hard to say, but I think we had a great cook and for the most part deserved what we recieved. Scores as a whole were lower for the teams participating at this event than others we been to. We are very new team, this was our 4th competition and we have alot to learn. I'm sure they arrange the judges at the tables to to try to even things out a bit as far as experience. I know it's very improtant to the event, officals, and judges to be fair and equitable in the scoring. I am glad to hear as the Sams Tour progresses the judge selection process does too.

I'm pretty sure Mike Lake was the Rep at SLC. I was a TC for him the week before at Jeff City, MO. When seating judges he makes everyone leave the area and ask for all judges that are new or only judged 1 contest to go in and sit down, one at a table. Then he ask for all Master CBJ to go in and sit at different tables with the 1st timers. The he fills in with the other CBJ's and so on until tables are filled.
About as good as you can do it I think.

Meat Man
05-02-2012, 10:23 AM
Every event is its own beast. Mike and Theresa were great, and very qualified KCBS reps. Thanks for shining some light on what goes on under the big tent for me Ralph. We are new and would really benefit from taking a judging class and judging a comp or two. Hopefully they will offer a class in our area sometime soon.

Big Poppa
05-02-2012, 10:51 AM
Judging class....thats a whole other subject....Raise your hand if you got one piece of edible food when you took the class....

Warthog
05-02-2012, 11:13 AM
Judging is just what it is. Consider it luck of the draw (table). Every KCBS computation uses the same system. Guess you could go with PROFESSIONAL judges and pay them to judge. Those who are not happy will still be unhappy.
It is just part of the game. There are good and bad judges and cooks.

TooSaucedToPork
05-02-2012, 11:34 AM
People always use the excuse that there are bad cooks and bad judges in KCBS, and that is the way it is...

Problem with that logic:

Bad cooks only hurt themselves.
A Bad Judge hurts 4-6 teams.

The judge is a very important part of this organization...and improper training is not the big problem. the problem is improper retention of knowledge.

One example of a bad decision is we have trained the new KCBS judges that Blues Hog or a clone is the correct taste of BBQ. Now of course other tastes can win over that (and do), but the general concensus is that is what BBQ should taste like.

KCBS should adopt a few single recipes of each meat to serve at judging classes. Cookers for judging classes stick to that recipe and it serves as a base for tastings. The scoring system remains intact and KCBS has successfully defined what bbq should taste like. That way every judge starts out on the right foot...

Just my humble opinion...

Big Poppa
05-02-2012, 12:43 PM
Back on track for Will....You are also reacting to the actual score and not the place you finished....if its the same for everybody it works out. I can tell you that when we started just three years ago we got lucky in our first comp....looking back totally clueless (some may agree today) the next couple of comps the judges hammered us....we thought ey were mean cruel and out to get us.....we look back now and laugh...we know that we got what we deserved.....get some miles under your feet and it becomes easier to deal with....keep on smoking my Friend. You are really doing well for just four cooks....

Meat Man
05-02-2012, 12:57 PM
I know what I did wrong on my pork box. I didn't listen to my wife! He he! We're so green and just tring to understand so we can do better. To this point we have had some success, and it's very contagious. We are getting better and a lot more comfortable with each comp we do. Personally I felt we had a solid cook, no top calls but three in the top ten. I'm total OK with how it turned out for us, 4th place is very sweet. I really appreciate all the input, it helps to put things in perspective.

Andrewsribshack
05-02-2012, 02:11 PM
The problem was they did not have 28 judges two weeks before event. Several first time judges were there as a cook I would have liked to know that before I had to register for the event. I was expecting more from KCBS and SAMs as a national tour event. Everyone now knows that these events are nothing special you get 100% cbj that's it just like any other weekend event no difference there is no higher judging standard for SAMs. I take nothing from those who won the event is what it is and it was not the fault of the judges that it occurred it was the way it was organized. Until this problem is fixed competitive BBQ is not going anywhere your not going to get more sponsor money until it is addressed.

Second point. as a cbj if I can do one event then I should be able to do any event regardless of how many times I have judged. If not then don't call me a cbj call me a butt in a chair to make event happen. KCBS need to make all judges the same. Until is happens your still going to have 9s and 5s at the same table. We all know of some of the mcbj we don't want judging our food for several reasons! My taste buds are just as good and equal to any other cbj. The KCBS class is where to fix it!

Andrew Petrehn
Andrews Rib Shack

Porcine Perfection
05-02-2012, 02:29 PM
This is a very interesting topic. For the record, I am a CBJ and have judged over 20 events and am not a cooker. The key word to this whole deal is subjective. What I think is great another judge may think is terrible. I guess my best advice to cookers is to cook to your locals. Most of the judges will be from that area and are used to that type of preparation. I'm not saying that is right, but if you keep the judge in their comfort zone there is no doubt that you will receive higher scores. I once judged a contest in North Carolina where one box of pulled pork had red barbecue sauce. You thought the Civil War was back on. I'm sure that team did not score well that day.

I think appearance is the most flawed in judging. Judges are supposed to judge the meat and not the garnish, but when was the last time you saw a box with no garnish get any type of decent score. It could've been the best meat on the planet but would not have gotten anything more than a six. If one is supposed to judge the meat and not the garnish then why put garnish in there at all? Luckily appearance is also the lowest weighted score. Unless something is beautiful or the box was dropped I never score anything different than a six or seven.

Someone in an above post wanted comment cards if they did not score an eight or higher. This really would be no good as a score of six or seven would still indicate good food, just something lacking to that particular judge .And if the cook made the adjustment and that might cause an adverse reaction to another judge. Once again the word subjective comes into play. There are really no rules on tasting, only guidelines and that is the bottom line.

I know the amount of time and money teams put into a contest and I wish there was a better defined way to determine the winner. But as long as humans are judging there will be varying opinions.

I guess if I was a cook my motto would be have fun and hope the barbecue gods smile on you that day.

Rookie'48
05-02-2012, 06:57 PM
One example of a bad decision is we have trained the new KCBS judges that Blues Hog or a clone is the correct taste of BBQ.

Speaking strictly as a Master CBJ with over 65 contests judged and having helped out at three CBJ classes after taking my own judging class, I'm going to say that judges are NOT taught a flavor profile - or at least they had better not be taught one! Judging is subjective and objective, each judge is supposed to judge each entry on it's own merits not as to what they like or dislike.

They might have had BH or a BH clone on the meat at the class but that's not held up to be the "correct" taste.

Bentley
05-02-2012, 07:12 PM
So is there a way to confirm you are a judge for a certain event? I sign up last years and I know it is different this year. I signed up for Las Vegas, do not recall getting anything saying you are a confirmed judge for Las Vegas. The Monday before the contest I get an email telling me I am a judge...sorry, had already made other plans.

I believe I signed up for the contest in NJ as I would like to see what other BBQ profiles are around the country and am going to be in VA for the summer. I know I signed up before it was full, but I dont recall getting anything that said you are a confirmed judge for the contest.

How does one confirm? Dont want to make other plans if I am a confirmed judge, but I have no idea if I am. Unless I am missing something, I got no confirmation when I signed up.

Edit: I just signed up for Pittsburgh. Below is the message I got. Let me ask a question, if you got this, would you consider yourself a confirmed judge? This is what I got when I signed up for Las Vegas...and did not hear anything else from KCBS till the Monday before the contest when I got an email from Troy Black telling me they looked forward to seeing me in Las Vegas.

Am I missing something? If you got the message below would you consider yourself a confirmed CBJ for a contest? Am I wrong to think I should receive something sooner then 6 days before the contest telling me I am in?

Below is also also what I received for the Pleasentville, NJ contest...Should I am assume I am confirmed there too?

************************************************** ********************************

2012 Sam's Club National BBQ Tour

Judge Registration

Congratulations BENTLEY N MEREDITH! You have successfully registered for the following event:
Pittsburgh, PA - 8/11/12

We will contact you with further information. Thanks for your interest in the Sam's Club National BBQ Tour!

TooSaucedToPork
05-02-2012, 07:31 PM
Speaking strictly as a Master CBJ with over 65 contests judged and having helped out at three CBJ classes after taking my own judging class, I'm going to say that judges are NOT taught a flavor profile - or at least they had better not be taught one! Judging is subjective and objective, each judge is supposed to judge each entry on it's own merits not as to what they like or dislike.

They might have had BH or a BH clone on the meat at the class but that's not held up to be the "correct" taste.

The CBJ class I took, the chicken was Blues Hog, the Glaze on the Ribs were a Blues Hog doctor as well as one of the Pork entries...

I asked questions such as "what should this entry taste like" and "tell me what the flavor profile is" - they couldn't tell me...Now how am I supposed to know how to judge something, when what I'm tasting can't be explained.

I think every new judge at every CBJ class should taste the same recipe, that way consistancy is achieved from the get-go and what their tasting can be explained. The training flavor profile would be known beforehand, and that gives you the ability to train a palete from the 1st taste.

Like I said...my opinion

Bentley
05-02-2012, 07:39 PM
I think every new judge at every CBJ class should taste the same recipe, that way consistancy is achieved from the get-go and what their tasting can be explained. The training flavor profile would be known beforehand, and that gives you the ability to train a palete from the 1st taste.

Like I said...my opinion


As soon as KCBS can get the matter repicators from the Enterprise this will work...BTW, who's flavor profile will we be using?

TooSaucedToPork
05-02-2012, 09:33 PM
Have them take some from the KCBS Cookbook, or ask some of the great BBQ people we have among us if KCBS can use their cookbook recipes. It doesn't mean THAT is what BBQ SHOULD taste like. It means KCBS adopts a few rubs, brines, etc that can be mass produced and given to Instructors to be used for cooking samples for CBJ Classes. That way EVERYONE tastes the basic same profile and questions asked can be answered truthfully.

ie A CBJ in training asks "What should I taste?" The instructor can answer and they can look at the description of the recipe and answer truthfully...

Yes the appearance could differ, but if a cook sticks to the process they are given, it should turn out the same 95% of the time. You garnish it exactly like the pictures you are given by the instructors. Again consistancy in training.

Tenderness will always be an issue, but again, stick to a single process that is given and low and behold 95% of the time you get your desired result.

Yes some of it is subjective...the recipe will differ a little depending on who cooks it, but if the cook sticks to the exact process given to them, consistancy at judging classes can be achieved and judges will be better trained, and most importantly...trained the same.

You want a world class, well trained judge...then as in any World Class training program, consistency in training is the key to success.

speers90
05-02-2012, 09:47 PM
Judging class....thats a whole other subject....Raise your hand if you got one piece of edible food when you took the class....

I was wondering if it was just in the class I was at, the food was awful.

Bentley
05-02-2012, 09:52 PM
I appreciate the detail explaination...I think the generic rub/sauce is a good idea, but I dont think you would ever get anyone to agree, ergo it will never get done. Not sure who stores the supplies? If KCBS stores them and ships to the person cooking for the class more cost for class...I am just afraidyou cant standardize something as subjective as taste.

I think you can teach tenderness. To me that would be easy. You cook the 4 different meats to 3 different temperatures, 160° 195° and 215°.

What do ya think, do you think there would be a difference in tenderness in Chicken, Ribs, Shoulder & Brisket if each were cooked to those temperatures?

va92bronco
05-03-2012, 08:12 AM
Have them take some from the KCBS Cookbook, or ask some of the great BBQ people we have among us if KCBS can use their cookbook recipes. It doesn't mean THAT is what BBQ SHOULD taste like. It means KCBS adopts a few rubs, brines, etc that can be mass produced and given to Instructors to be used for cooking samples for CBJ Classes. That way EVERYONE tastes the basic same profile and questions asked can be answered truthfully.

ie A CBJ in training asks "What should I taste?" The instructor can answer and they can look at the description of the recipe and answer truthfully...

Yes the appearance could differ, but if a cook sticks to the process they are given, it should turn out the same 95% of the time. You garnish it exactly like the pictures you are given by the instructors. Again consistancy in training.

Tenderness will always be an issue, but again, stick to a single process that is given and low and behold 95% of the time you get your desired result.

Yes some of it is subjective...the recipe will differ a little depending on who cooks it, but if the cook sticks to the exact process given to them, consistancy at judging classes can be achieved and judges will be better trained, and most importantly...trained the same.

You want a world class, well trained judge...then as in any World Class training program, consistency in training is the key to success.

Won't that just train new judges to only give good scores to the flavor profile you give to them in the class. If you standardize the flavor profile, and tell them this is what you should be tasting. You are effectively telling them that barbeque should taste this way. When they are actually judging, then there is a real concern of them only scoring the flavor profile that they are taught. Anything else then they will think "well that is not how barbeque is suppose to taste". Won't that just make more teams go for the exact same flavor profile inorder to do well.

Isn't one of the great things about barbeque is that there are so many different ways to do it? Why standardize the judges class that could hurt teams that are innovative and trying different things. Why try new things if you know the judges are looking for one profile. Isn't that a real unintended consequence?

Taste is subjective. Everyone tastes differently. The best you can do is try to please the majority. You can't please all of the people all of the time.

Rookie'48
05-03-2012, 10:14 AM
Bottom line: You're going to have different meats cooked by different cooks at different classes. Tell me how you can standardize a taste profiled out of that. Or, as Bentley asked, whose flavor profile should we hold up as the "perfect" one?

Slamdunkpro
05-03-2012, 10:24 AM
Or, as Bentley asked, whose flavor profile should we hold up as the "perfect" one?
Mine!:caked:

G$
05-03-2012, 10:30 AM
Is the intent of the food samples at a CBJ class to demonstrate what "good" barbeque tastes like?

I think(/have always assumed) the answer is no.

Just use Salt & Pepper then. If the intent is to discuss legal/illegal, done/undone, tender/tough/mushy, then use Salt, Pepper, and "Open Pit".

I am a little serious.

Toddler
05-11-2012, 01:08 AM
So is there a way to confirm you are a judge for a certain event? I sign up last years and I know it is different this year. I signed up for Las Vegas, do not recall getting anything saying you are a confirmed judge for Las Vegas. The Monday before the contest I get an email telling me I am a judge...sorry, had already made other plans.

I believe I signed up for the contest in NJ as I would like to see what other BBQ profiles are around the country and am going to be in VA for the summer. I know I signed up before it was full, but I dont recall getting anything that said you are a confirmed judge for the contest.

How does one confirm? Dont want to make other plans if I am a confirmed judge, but I have no idea if I am. Unless I am missing something, I got no confirmation when I signed up.

Edit: I just signed up for Pittsburgh. Below is the message I got. Let me ask a question, if you got this, would you consider yourself a confirmed judge? This is what I got when I signed up for Las Vegas...and did not hear anything else from KCBS till the Monday before the contest when I got an email from Troy Black telling me they looked forward to seeing me in Las Vegas.

Am I missing something? If you got the message below would you consider yourself a confirmed CBJ for a contest? Am I wrong to think I should receive something sooner then 6 days before the contest telling me I am in?

Below is also also what I received for the Pleasentville, NJ contest...Should I am assume I am confirmed there too?

************************************************** ********************************

2012 Sam's Club National BBQ Tour

Judge Registration

Congratulations BENTLEY N MEREDITH! You have successfully registered for the following event:
Pittsburgh, PA - 8/11/12

We will contact you with further information. Thanks for your interest in the Sam's Club National BBQ Tour!

Bentley, I have been registered here since 2004, and you are the lucky recipient of (I believe) my first ever post. I am a CBJ, and lurking here to eavesdrop on these cook teams is a blast (and really shows what they go through to become artisans of the craft). I'm much more active over at your forum, under the same username.

To answer your question, YES, that means your judging spot is confirmed. That's just how Sam's Club does it. If you are registered, you're in. When all judging spots are taken, you can register for the wait list, but that is a different message. And once the wait list is full, you can't register at all. So when they say "congratulations BENTLEY N MEREDITH" they mean it. Looks like you'll be judging two contests this year.

And since I've stepped out of the shadows, I'll just toss this out there. I judged a Sam's Club regionals last year, and it was obvious that it was not your average contest. The thirty-one teams at the event clearly had earned their way there. I was seated next to a judge who I believe said he'd been certified since 1995 and that it was his 85th KCBS contest. He had endless stories to tell and seemed to know most of the teams and cooks and organizers by name. He also said he judges MBS and that the quality of turn-in at our particular Sam's Club regional was "every bit as good as this year's Memphis in May" and that it was "almost a shame to have to judge a contest where so many teams that deserve to walk will go home with nothing." So I don't know what happened at your contest, but from where I sat, it sure seemed like the locals had done a fine job of selecting quality teams for regionals.

Now somebody said this earlier:

"The CBJ class I took, the chicken was Blues Hog, the Glaze on the Ribs were a Blues Hog doctor as well as one of the Pork entries...

"I asked questions such as 'what should this entry taste like' and 'tell me what the flavor profile is' - they couldn't tell me...Now how am I supposed to know how to judge something, when what I'm tasting can't be explained.

"I think every new judge at every CBJ class should taste the same recipe, that way consistancy is achieved from the get-go and what their tasting can be explained. The training flavor profile would be known beforehand, and that gives you the ability to train a palete from the 1st taste."

I'm sorry to call someone out, but that is just nonsense. There is no "training flavor profile" being taught to judges, nor should there be. There is no answer to the question "what should this entry taste like?" This isn't Famous Dave's. Everything should taste a little bit different, that is the whole point. Maybe it's like nothing you've ever tasted before, and it's a 9.

There are reasonable guidelines in presentation and tenderness, but flavor is subjective by its very nature. I don't care if they're CBJs or team captains or James Beard winners, everybody's got their own preferences.

And as far as Blues Hog goes, if it has become a de facto standard then it's not because somebody glazed the chicken with it at a CBJ class, it's because somehow it keeps ending up on all the meat teams send to the judges.

ModelMaker
05-11-2012, 08:01 AM
Scoring was a much debated topic at my table on Saturday in GA before the competition and by all after.

IMHO as a judge any score below an eight should warrant a comment card. A a good table captain should question a judge when their scores are below that of the table and ask the judge to complete a card if they have not already.

I firmly believe the scoring card is throwing off new judge, especially when the card says a six is average.This is competition bbq, average is your local bbq joint. Also I believe there should a mentoring system for new judges. In which a new judge must sit with a master judge for at least his first competition. The KCBS reps assigned to competitions as of late in GA have been very good at ensuring new judges with only 1-3 competitions experience sit next to a master for some guidance. They also will level out the experience levels at a table. New judges with no bbq competition experience need a better understanding of what is involved for the teams. As a judge I sincerely appreciate the time, effort and hard work put forth every weekend by the teams.

Just my two cents.


If you would take a minute and read the April or May Bullsheet (assuming your a member of KCBS) or look online at the KCBS website under (KCBS News) you would see there already exits a CBJ continueing education initiative to mentor the first time CBJ.
Secondly, comment cards for anything under an 8, are you serious?
Do you think your and everbody elses BBQ is always "very good"?
I'm sorry but there ALWAYS are a good portion of average (6) entries at every contest I've ever judged, and I'll give you that 6 in a heartbeat.
The only time you get a comment card from me is if I give you a 5 or less and I have something constructive to tell you.
Time, effort and hard work have nothing to do with scoring in a KCBS contest.
Ed