View Full Version : American Royal Box feedback

10-12-2012, 05:04 PM
Here are some pics of my boxes from the Royal last weekend. This was my first competition, as well as all of my teammates. This was something my wife's work sponsored, so we were there for fun, which we had a lot of, but since then some of my friends and I have been talking about doing some next year, so I'm looking for feedback on my entries, and how to improve. I took a look at the worst box thread, just to remind myself it could be worse (thanks guys!), and am now ready for all the feedback I can get, especially the negative.

Also, I had a question I posted earlier (accidentally in the catering forum) that I'm hoping I can get some answers on as well. I don't know how many people visit both, so here's the link in case:


On to the pics:

Here is my chicken...a couple pieces the skin pulled back too much, but we made the decision to go with them as opposed to some pieces that didn't jive for size/color reasons.


And here is the brisket box, I put the slices in, and then dipped the tops of the burnt ends in sauce, and put them up front:


Thanks for the feedback, guys, I appreciate it!

10-12-2012, 07:01 PM
Congrats on your first comp, and probably the biggest of them all! I hope to be there next year myself.

As for the feedback, chicken and brisket looks to have too much glaze on them.

Brisket slices could use some more uniform/even pieces.

Maybe a little more garnish around the edges (I hate that part myself.)

Overall, pretty good for me.


10-12-2012, 09:30 PM
Looks pretty good for the first time. A lot of parsley stems sticking up in the chicken box. A little too much sauce for me. Fill the brisket box with more meat.

Good luck!

Rich Parker
10-12-2012, 09:49 PM
Make sure all of the parsley stems are down.

10-13-2012, 09:24 AM
Fill the box. Make it bust with meat. As Rich said, get neater with the putting green.
Here's my feedback (take it with a grain of salt):

Chicken: need to trim them to uniform size. Lots of threads on that. Watch out for the grill marks on the tops. Maybe heavy on the glaze... least of your worries IMO.

Brisket: need uniform slices, pack the burnt ends in there. Watch any treatment to the front of the slices. Looks like you have room for more slices. Throw more in there in that case. Table captains like to eat too ;)

Smokin' Hicks
10-13-2012, 06:26 PM
not to bad for your first time...so you wanted some and here is some

the one major thing that catches my eye in the brisket box is that all the slices are not going the same way making them look nonuniform

the other thing i would say is the ends of the brisket slices look very rough, like the meat might of been cooked a bit long and the edges started to tear or break when you were slicing the brisket, easy fix...extremely sharp slicer knife will take care of that....use your whole knife blade when you slice the brisket not shorty choppy saw like motions but long smooth cuts with the whole blade.

and definitely, like said above, put as much meat in the box while still maintaining that perfect box....it will keep your meat much hotter and it will help draw the attention of the judges eyes to the meat itself which gives you a little bit more room for error on the garnish.....we use parsley in our boxes also but when we do a brisket box we cut the brisket to the size of the box prior to cooking that way when we do box up the brisket the slices pretty much go from one side of the box to the other with out touching the box itself....the garnish is there but, much harder to see therefore less chance of a judge judging the garnish instead of mainly judging the meat

10-15-2012, 05:02 PM
Awesome...Thanks for the help guys, I really appreciate it.

10-16-2012, 09:46 AM
Agree with all of the above comments except adding extra meat for the TC or volunteers. Yes, they do appreciate it, but it can bite you back.
Don't add extra meat unless you want it judged.
Don't assume the last slice(s) of brisket is/are the ones the TC/vol get and place a so-so pieces there. They don't score your entry and can not influence the judges in anyway.

8 on the chicken, 7 on the brisket.

What were the appearence scores?

10-16-2012, 10:42 AM
I agree with most of what has already been said, but in my words:

Chicken - 8 - it would help to make each piece a bit more like the others around it. Ease up a little on the sauce. Skin is NOT mandatory and will hurt you more than help you in most cases. Garnish, while NOT judged, is an influence on appearance anyway. This box looks like you used OLD greenery and didn't take the time to build a platform before placing the chicken. Still looks pretty appetizing and with a little practice you should be able to get 9s in appearance without too much adjustment.

Brisket - 7 - definitely want to try to have each piece look the same. This includes placement (each piece being lined up the same), and the amount you place in the box. While only 6 slices are required, it usually looks better when the box is fuller - just make sure that ALL slices are top quality, as there is no telling where the judge will pull his/her slice from to judge. Judges like to see "moist" meat, but not lots of sauce or glaze.
On burnt ends, these look good and I don't think that you need to change them at all. Just make sure that they are truly burnt ends and not just chunks of meat. While judges are supposed to "judge as presented", if it looks like a burnt end and is only a separate chunk of meat it may be scored down.

Looks good for a start, and with a little practice and tweaking can look excellent!
Good luck!

10-19-2012, 02:40 PM
I haven't seen the official page from the Royal, but Outnumbered helped me decipher them, and he believes the appearance scores were:

Chicken (by judge, I don't know how to figure it up any other way)

9, 6, 7, 8, 9, 7


8, 7, 9, 8, 7, 9