View Full Version : Looking for some feedback - Turn In Boxes

05-15-2012, 02:10 PM
We've been doing this competition thing for 3 years now, but only about 4-5 contests per year. We would love some honest critique about our turn in boxes. There were 29 teams overall at this contest. We pulled a very disappointing 19th overall.

Our thoughts on these boxes are: Chicken - they say more is better, but is 9 too much? Sauce may be too gloppy. This came in 20th with a 154.57. Brisket - it wasn't, but looks very dry in this box. Brisket came in 24th with a 147.43. Pork - what do the judges really want? Pulled, chuncks, slices? Personally we think the chunks look the best. Pork came in 22nd with a 158.86. Ribs - this was our best rib box ever, and best turn out in ribs with a 12th place and a 168.

All scores were 7's, 8's, and 9's with the exception of one 6 and one 5, and absolutely no comment cards from any judges (which would have been nice with a score of 5).

Thanks in advance! :razz:

05-15-2012, 02:14 PM
My guess is you will find the answers in your Taste and Tenderness scores
Boxes look good

05-15-2012, 02:17 PM
At a quick glance, I say they are all consistent, and not too bad.
The one thing that leapt out at me was the meat was sitting "down" in the garnish. Try building a flat bed out of leaf lettuce or parsely and let your meat sit "on top" of the bed.
Your pork looks similar to how we do ours (chunks).
Great cut on the ribs. We do 4 over 4 for our ribs, but that's a personal decision.

05-15-2012, 02:18 PM
This is only a critique....

Pork and brisket look a little dry. Chicken has a "lumpy" appearance.

Rib give a glaze to it so all ribs are shiny. Full box with more meat and less green.

Good luck!!!!

05-15-2012, 02:33 PM
What Scotty said. My sentiments exactly. The small white flecks in the brisket make me think it was a little underdone?

05-15-2012, 04:07 PM
Thanks for the input everyone. Good to hear that the boxes look consistent. I am still working on the "putting green" concept. It takes practices and I'm not very good at it, which is why we've gone to lettuce. I will try building the boxes up more so the meat is sitting on and not in the lettuce. @Jeff - you are right about the brisket, I think it was a little undercooked. First time I've heard the "white spots" comment, so that's good information to have. We are learning every time we cook. Hopefully someday we'll be walking everytime we cook! Thank you again!

Butcher BBQ
05-15-2012, 04:34 PM
Always nice to you at a comp. Me looking at the brisket I would try to slice just a little thinner and looking at the outer edges the ends look like they could have been burnt compared to the top of the slices. Chicken looks fine just a little dark for me. Pork try mixing the bark pieces around the box and not mostly at the top. Yes the 2 big meats do seem to be starving for a drink (by the pics).

Butcher BBQ
05-15-2012, 04:37 PM
Let me clear myself on the pork box, what I mean is the bark chunks need to be where they look mixed in with the main body of the box not just on the border. Because to me when looking at the pic I see bark, plain, then bark. make it blend together.

05-15-2012, 04:40 PM
If you don't want to play with parsley fill the box with chopped lettuce (no core) then put a layer of leaves on top. It will look lik the meat won't fit but it will compress some. That way the lettuce is not around the side of the meat. It showcases the meat better. May take a couple of practice runs to get it right. Take leftovers home and practice there.

I agree with the comment that taste and tenderness may be a problem as well. You didn't say if the 5 and 6 were appearance. Anything less than 8 in t & t is a killer score. Remember an 8 average in eac is just a 160.

Scottie is right about fill the hoc. Brisket add burnt ends or try 11 or 12 slices. Ribs add one across the top. Pork fill the box to the edges. Seeing 1/4 inch of green is lots. Or add slices. I liked the chicken. We've seen 12 in an FBA box but they are trimmed a little more. Just get it sitting higher and greens not wrapping around.

I love FBA more and more as I see these threads. Only need greens at Lakeland, plant city and the SAMs events ( hopefully 3).

05-15-2012, 04:58 PM
One thing you might try to help a little with the appearance is to spritz the whole box with a mixture of apple juice and water right before you close the lid. We mix it about 50/50 and just let it sit out on Saturday mornings so it is room tempurature. Try it at home if you want but it will make your meat look a lot better.

05-15-2012, 04:59 PM

Here are some directions on the parsley box from Diva Q's web site. I agree with Dave that the chicken looks a little dark, and there is too much in the box. You might try a lighter toned rub on the chicken. The lettuce is just kind of overwhelming the meat in the pictures. The putting green isn't hard, it just takes 30-50 mins per box, but you can do them up before the contest and transfer them to the official turn in box with usually just a little touching up.

05-15-2012, 05:13 PM
Brisket-8 Only reason I woud not give this a 9 is it LOOKS dry and this is an apperance score.

Chicken-8 Your right about to many pieces, the center row, left and center piece do not have the same apperance, so that is why I give an 8 and not 9.

Pork-8 See brisket comment for the reason why this is not a 9.

Ribs-9 Excellent rib.

Master CBJ #5382.

05-15-2012, 05:50 PM
My guess is you will find the answers in your Taste and Tenderness scores
Boxes look good

05-16-2012, 09:45 AM
I hear you, we left FL to move west, I did love the FBA cops, & if you saw my "frustrated" post it explains it. But I am out west to stay, so......

05-16-2012, 10:48 AM
@ Butcher, always good to see you too! The input is valuable. Thank you so much. @ Ford the 5 & 6 scores were not in appearance and yes, they are killers. So, having said all that - one more crucial question for you guys (probably won't be my last though :grin:). We are a husband/wife team, and we both took the CBJ class but haven't judged a contest yet. We learned in the class all about the brisket pull test. Taste and appearance aside, we have cooked every brisket so far to what we thought was a great "pull". But we get the feeling that judges think that might not be quite done enough. The same goes for our ribs. When we have the perfect bite mark left, judges usually score it as not tender enough. Is everyone out there adhering to the recommended pull test/bite mark rule, or do you think that judges want their brisket/pork ribs a little more done than even KCBS recommends?