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dmprantz
07-17-2012, 02:39 PM
Question for KCBS judges. When a box with meat in it is presented to you, how do you pick which sample you are going to eat? What have you seen other judges do? Examples:

Ribs: Do you always pick from either end, or will you take a middle rib? Do you always pick from the top row, or will you pick from the bottom row, even if it currently has something else on top of it?

Chicken: Do you always take an outside piece, or will you take a piece which is currently surrounded by other pieces?

Pork: If there are slices or chunks in the box, will you always take an outside piece? If there is pulled, do you always get uncovered pulled, or do you dig underneeth other peices?

Brisket: Same question on burnt ends if there. Also, do you always take the "top" slice, or will you dig underneeth and take the bottom or a middle slice?

In general, do you try to get the piece that is most convenient, looks like it will taste the best, or do you try to find the worst piece in the box and judge that? I've heard of judges who do that with ribs in FBA.

Thanks,

dmp

olewarthog
07-17-2012, 02:57 PM
Not a KCBS or FBA judge, but I am a Master judge in GBA. Personally, for ribs, I will take the best looking rib that I can take without touching any others in the box. Just being respectful of my fellow judges.

For pork, I will take a sample of each different "cut" in the box. If there is pulled, sliced money muscle & "tubes"; I will get a sample of each. I judge it as a sum of its parts not just on the best part or the worst part. This is what is taught in GBA judge training.

GBA doesn't do brisket, but I would treat it the same a pork. If there are burnt ends and slices, I will take both & judge it based on both. Chicken, I would do the same as with ribs.

QN
07-17-2012, 02:59 PM
Whatever is easiest to get out of the box. Whatever is on top, outside, or whatever. No reason to tear up a box to get something off the bottom or inside row. If there are different kinds; chopped, sliced, chunks, etc. then I will try to at least sample each type.

bigabyte
07-17-2012, 03:49 PM
The only category I ever pick anything other than the easiest to grab is ribs, and only if all ribs are from the center except for a lone short end piece, and I avoid the poor little overcooked guy if possible.

Fatback Joe
07-17-2012, 03:51 PM
Whatever that looks the best that I can get to without making a mess of things.

mobow
07-17-2012, 04:23 PM
Same as fatback joe

MattG
07-17-2012, 04:37 PM
Whatever that looks the best that I can get to without making a mess of things.

I agree.

sdbbq1234
07-17-2012, 07:13 PM
Whatever is easiest to pick without screwing up the rest.

If more than one sample is presented (pulled pork, money muscle and tubes), I pick one of each and judge by the sum of them all. KCBS asks that judges take one piece of each pile.

Same with brisket and burnt ends in the same box. I have had chicken thighs and breast meat in the same box as well; pick one sample of each.

wallace

CivilWarBBQ
07-17-2012, 07:16 PM
The only time I think it's appropriate to take anything other than the "next" sample from the box is when the cook has forced a choice, i.e. 3 drums and 3 thighs in a chicken box. In that scenario, I'll take the piece I personally prefer in order to give the cook the best possible score.

Other than that, I believe the random factor of selecting the next sample in the box is the most fair to both the cook and the other judges.

That's how I approach it anyway.

Drh7003
07-17-2012, 09:37 PM
Question for KCBS judges. When a box with meat in it is presented to you, how do you pick which sample you are going to eat? What have you seen other judges do? Examples:

Ribs: Do you always pick from either end, or will you take a middle rib? Do you always pick from the top row, or will you pick from the bottom row, even if it currently has something else on top of it?

Chicken: Do you always take an outside piece, or will you take a piece which is currently surrounded by other pieces?

Pork: If there are slices or chunks in the box, will you always take an outside piece? If there is pulled, do you always get uncovered pulled, or do you dig underneeth other peices?

Brisket: Same question on burnt ends if there. Also, do you always take the "top" slice, or will you dig underneeth and take the bottom or a middle slice?

In general, do you try to get the piece that is most convenient, looks like it will taste the best, or do you try to find the worst piece in the box and judge that? I've heard of judges who do that with ribs in FBA.

Thanks,

dmp

Chicken- I take the next piece in the box if I am not first, If I am first to sample I pick the piece I want and pass it on. If it is a choice between a Leg or a thigh, I usually pick a thigh.

Ribs- I take the next piece in the box if I am not first, If I am first to sample I pick the piece I want and pass it on.

Pork- I take the next piece in the box if I am not first, If I am first to sample I pick the piece I want and pass it on. I always take a sample of each presented. I am not a super fan of "Money Muscle" I prefer pulled with bark, BUT if MM is in there, I take a piece.

Brisket- I take the next piece in the box if I am not first, If I am first to sample I pick the piece I want and pass it on. I take a sample of each that is presented.
I figure that it should not matter, as everything in the box should be the same.

CBQ
07-17-2012, 09:42 PM
Whatever that looks the best that I can get to without making a mess of things.

Me too. That's why, as a cook, I like to get more than 6 servings if I can, so even the last judge has a choice.

gmholler
07-17-2012, 11:23 PM
Depends on where I'm sitting and where the table captain started passing the box. Sometimes, like with brisket, I take the next piece that's available. With chicken, it's usually the piece that's left that's the least messy with sauce. Keeping the flavors of the sauces that correspond with each chicken sample to themselves(and sometimes ribs, but those haven't been as sauced as much in the past few years) can make things really tedious, but I don't want one sample that overpowers me to "bleed" into the next and confuse me. Lately I've seen this same kind of thing happen with some of the pork entries - they're getting to have an awful lot of sauce on them.

I like it when there's a choice for me, even if I'm the last judge. When I do table captain duty, I like it when there are some extra pieces in a box (or at least one extra for the TC) - I like being able to have an opinion to discuss with the table when that round is over...

Lynn H.

Outnumbered
07-17-2012, 11:30 PM
The only time I think it's appropriate to take anything other than the "next" sample from the box is when the cook has forced a choice, i.e. 3 drums and 3 thighs in a chicken box. In that scenario, I'll take the piece I personally prefer in order to give the cook the best possible score.

I would imagine in that scenario that you'd score them down on presentation? I believe I would, but I'm just curious.

CivilWarBBQ
07-18-2012, 01:22 AM
I would imagine in that scenario that you'd score them down on presentation? I believe I would, but I'm just curious.


No. Why would you automatically mark a box down on appearance just for having mixed chicken parts? As long as the meat looks inviting and the arrangement appealing, the type of chicken and quantity should have no bearing on the presentation score.

EatonHoggBBQ
07-18-2012, 06:36 AM
I pick what's next in the box trying only to touch the piece that I will be taking. As far as a mixed box, thighs/drummies, pulled pork/money muscle, I judge what's presented to me. I don't root through the box looking for my favorite cut of meat.

QN
07-18-2012, 09:15 AM
I would imagine in that scenario that you'd score them down on presentation? I believe I would, but I'm just curious.

I have been seeing quite a few folks lately writing/talking about "presentation". Even including a couple of articles in the Bull Sheet, but that is another story... :mmph:
Presentation is NOT a KCBS judging criteria and never has been. What is supposed to be judged is the appearance of the meat; not the green stuff, not the box, just the meat. Why are so many folks talking about how presentation is judged? Just judge the MEAT! It is a meat contest. If you want to consider presentation cook or judge in MIM/MBN contests.
rant over... :icon_blush:

QN
07-18-2012, 09:17 AM
No. Why would you automatically mark a box down on appearance just for having mixed chicken parts? As long as the meat looks inviting and the arrangement appealing, the type of chicken and quantity should have no bearing on the presentation score.

et tu Gowan? Presentation, really? Looks like quite a few folks need to read the KCBS judging criteria; Appearance, Taste, Tenderness. Presentation is not there.

dmprantz
07-18-2012, 10:01 AM
Thanks guys! Answers a lot of questions for me, but of course there's always a chance of getting a different kind of judge.

dmp

bignburlyman
07-18-2012, 12:48 PM
I always try to get to a judges table in time to get the corner spot, so depending on which way the captain passes I am either Judge #2 or (gasp!) Judge #5. Chicken I usually take whatever is close, unless they have sliced breast then I will try to get a piece from the middle if I can without disturbing the other samples. Ribs if I am second I will take one of the inside ribs if arranged that way. I try not to get one of the outside bones, I think it has a greater chance to dry out and cool off. With pork if it is all pulled or chunks I take what is easiest, with slices I will again take an inside slice. For brisket if i am second to take my sample it depends on what judge 1 took: if they took the first slice I will take the second, if they pulled a slice out of the middle I will get mine from the middle also. Again, I "usually" don't want to take the first slice or piece that has been exposed the most, I think it has a greater chance to dry out and cool off.

And by the way, I don't believe I have ever messed up scoring when I was Judge #5. :rolleyes::becky:

ModelMaker
07-18-2012, 02:43 PM
I usually "fake" sneeze into my hand and linger over the box with it and more times than not I can have whatever piece I desire....
Ed

majorlee69
07-18-2012, 10:22 PM
Incredibly informative!! thanks for your answers and thank you dmprantz for your question!!

Bentley
07-19-2012, 12:12 AM
When a box with meat in it is presented to you, how do you pick which sample you are going to eat? What have you seen other judges do? Examples:

Ribs: Do you always pick from either end, or will you take a middle rib? Do you always pick from the top row, or will you pick from the bottom row, even if it currently has something else on top of it?

Chicken: Do you always take an outside piece, or will you take a piece which is currently surrounded by other pieces?

Pork: If there are slices or chunks in the box, will you always take an outside piece? If there is pulled, do you always get uncovered pulled, or do you dig underneeth other peices?

Brisket: Same question on burnt ends if there. Also, do you always take the "top" slice, or will you dig underneeth and take the bottom or a middle slice?

In general, do you try to get the piece that is most convenient, looks like it will taste the best, or do you try to find the worst piece in the box and judge that? I've heard of judges who do that with ribs in FBA.

Thanks,

dmp


I will take what I consider to be the best piece I see that is avaiable. Never paid attention to what other judges are doing.

I will take a middle rib if it is calling me!

Will take a piece of chicken that is "surrounded".

Pork & Brisket, again best piece(s) avaiable...

I think you can tell what piece I am trying to get...

Huh...picking the worst piece, man I guess I am just a self centered, selfish SOB, would never dawn on me to do that...

CivilWarBBQ
07-19-2012, 02:34 AM
et tu Gowan? Presentation, really? Looks like quite a few folks need to read the KCBS judging criteria; Appearance, Taste, Tenderness. Presentation is not there.

I think you're splitting hairs there. I guess I use the the words "Appearance" and "Presentation" interchangeably like a lot of folks do. Same deal for Taste/Flavor and Tenderness/Texture. Knowing the procedures and standards for KCBS judging is more important than the terminology used IMO.

-GF

QN
07-19-2012, 04:20 PM
I think you're splitting hairs there. I guess I use the the words "Appearance" and "Presentation" interchangeably like a lot of folks do. Same deal for Taste/Flavor and Tenderness/Texture. Knowing the procedures and standards for KCBS judging is more important than the terminology used IMO.

-GF

I agree it is terminoogy; however, based on comments I have heard made by judges this year at contests I have judged, there is a perception when people talk about judging presentation rather than appearance that they are considering/judging more than the appearance of the meat when determining what score they write down. While you can use the terms presentation and appearance interchangeably all you want to, they do not mean the same thing and from what I have observed it can have an impact on appearance scores. When you use the term presentation people start to talk about what garnish was used, how the garnish looked, how the garnish was arranged, etc. etc. It is a meat contest and we are supposed to judge the appearance of the meat, not presentation. I think a lot of folks using the term presentation has resulted in some lower appearance scores and that is based on my personal first-hand observations and conversations with judges at contests this year, not just splittng hairs. Flavor is definitely a big part of taste as texture is of tenderness. Appearance of the meat and presentation can be two quite differnet criteria.

2Fat
07-19-2012, 04:27 PM
I will take what I consider to be the best piece I see that is avaiable. Never paid attention to what other judges are doing.

I will take a middle rib if it is calling me!

Will take a piece of chicken that is "surrounded".

Pork & Brisket, again best piece(s) available...

I think you can tell what piece I am trying to get...

Huh...picking the worst piece, man I guess I am just a self centered, selfish SOB, would never dawn on me to do that...

I do exactly the same!!

dmprantz
07-19-2012, 04:28 PM
It's more complicated than that though. Presentation doesn't just mean the garnish. It also includes how the meat is arranged: Are you covering ribs, are your thighs similar in size and shape, and laid out symmetrically. Are your slices all lined up neatly. These are things that have nothing to do with garnish, but are still part of "presentation" more than "appearance" and still get judged in that score. Regardless of the garnish, I have found that judges score better for food which presents well, not just food that looks good to eat. Right or wrong, that's what I've found.

dmp

CivilWarBBQ
07-19-2012, 04:37 PM
Fair enough Mark.

The Great Greenery Debate has been going on as long as I've been doing KCBS events, I my guess is that it will continue forever as there doesn't seem to ever be enough anti-garnish folks to make the salad go away.

My own approach as a cook is to accept the fact that garnish does matter in KCBS events, even though the rules say otherwise. There are the published rules and then there is the harsh reality of what does and doesn't score well, and I think realigning your head to this is one of the hardest things for a good cook to adjust to when they move to competition cooking.

In some ways it is actually easier for a total novice to get into KCBS events because they can simply Google up the so-called "popular flavors" recipes and turn out paint-by-numbers competition BBQ without too much difficulty. Those of us who are foolish enough to try to coax the judges over to our own personal view of what championship BBQ is take a lot of Blues Hog beat-downs for our efforts. :wink:

Brewer
07-20-2012, 01:48 AM
I'm with Bentley, I take the best looking piece and don't give a sh*t about what the other judges think. It's always random and I'm selfish.

QN
07-20-2012, 08:26 AM
It's more complicated than that though. Presentation doesn't just mean the garnish. It also includes how the meat is arranged: Are you covering ribs, are your thighs similar in size and shape, and laid out symmetrically. Are your slices all lined up neatly. These are things that have nothing to do with garnish, but are still part of "presentation" more than "appearance" and still get judged in that score. Regardless of the garnish, I have found that judges score better for food which presents well, not just food that looks good to eat. Right or wrong, that's what I've found.

dmp
Yes, I completely agree with you. The word "presentation" being used by many when they should be using the term appearance is part of the problem. This has become prevalent througout KCBS; KCBS officials, cooks, judges, authors of Bull Sheet articles, etc. are all using the term presentation. You can say it is just semantics and try to minimize the issue, but your statement about judges scoring better for food which "presents well" is a great example of what is happening to appearance judging. Cooks and judges are both overthinking what should be involved in appearance and it is impacting appearance scores.

Disconnect
07-21-2012, 01:39 PM
Yes, I completely agree with you. The word "presentation" being used by many when they should be using the term appearance is part of the problem. This has become prevalent througout KCBS; KCBS officials, cooks, judges, authors of Bull Sheet articles, etc. are all using the term presentation. You can say it is just semantics and try to minimize the issue, but your statement about judges scoring better for food which "presents well" is a great example of what is happening to appearance judging. Cooks and judges are both overthinking what should be involved in appearance and it is impacting appearance scores.

Maybe I've been lucky with the comps we've done, but I've seen some winners building boxes that had terrible looking greens (by our team standards.) I know appearance is weighted down, but if "presentation" (neatness of greens, etc) was as important as some are saying it would easily have pushed them out of the first/second spot. (Somewhat disappointing to us, since my wife can make a curly lettuce box worthy of framing :becky:)

Personally, I don't really care. I love the way the boxes look with greens, but we've done a no-garnish event before and that was OK too. I'll just go with whatever KCBS decides is "right". Unless they eliminate curly lettuce, then we might have to have a chat out back :caked:

I do appreciate the feedback judges give here. That is one of the things I always look for in these threads, and we find it incredibly helpful.