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View Full Version : Ready to Give GBA a try?


olewarthog
12-30-2012, 01:18 PM
The GBA has the state of Georgia covered. Take a look at this map & find a GBA contest near you.

Map (http://goo.gl/maps/U6xas)

In GBA, "It's All About The Taste"

SteevieG
12-31-2012, 10:34 AM
Looks good. They've expanded quite a bit.

Lake Dogs
12-31-2012, 11:08 AM
We're still thinking of making the jump (back) from judge to comp cook. Probably would've last year, but more surgery for the wife threw a wrench into that. Then had planned on getting our Masters before it, but that changed when we got 8... <sigh>
Wont get that gold badge for a few years now, might was well get going.

We may do it, in Jackson... I'll have to see. Highly likely for us will be Tennille and Gordon.

With Gary and Dionne doing so well recently (no surprise for some of us), have we seen much revitalized interest in GBA?

Big Mike
12-31-2012, 01:33 PM
How does it work if you make finals. Do you have to have all new meat cooked or do you just try and hold some of what you already cooked. I'm assuming you just cook the extra meat to be ready at finals time.

Also, I went to the GBA website. It looks like the only thing in the box is meat; no garnish allowed. Is that right? And you actually compare each entry to each other, not on its own??

olewarthog
12-31-2012, 02:39 PM
Big Mike,

GBA does not allow garnish in the boxes. GBA using a comparative scoring system. Each table will have 4-6 boxes and a panel of 5 judges. Each box on a table is scored compared to the other boxes on that table between 7 & 10. Each judge scores for appearance, tenderness & taste. Each judge must award at least one 10 in each of the three criteria. Multiple 10's can be awarded in these criteria. After judging all boxes for all three criteria, the judge then scores for overall impression The judge gives a unique score to each box between 10.0 & 9.1. Each criteria has a weighted factor with taste given the highest factor. A perfect score for a GBA box is 600.

If you finish in the top 3 in any of the 3 categories, you advance to the finals. At this point you are guaranteed no worse than 3rd place in that category. Your preliminary score is dropped & you prepare a new turn in box. The 9 final entries (3 loin, 3 pork, 3 ribs) are judged by a separate panel of 5 judges. None of these 5 judged in the preliminary round. The highest scoring box among the 9 entries wins the Grand Champion. The Reserve Grand Champion is the team with the highest cumulative score of the three categories in the preliminary round. If the Grand Champion also has the highest cumulative score, the Reserve is passed down to the second highest cumulative score.

Be glad to answer any other questions you may have about GBA.

Big Mike
12-31-2012, 10:28 PM
Thanks for the information. I like the fact that there is no garnish. I also like the pork loin aspect. The Hog Jam looks to be about 8 hours away. It would be interesting to do something different from KCBS style competitions and to also see how much, if any, the flavor profiles vary between Georgia and Ohio.

que_dawg
01-01-2013, 08:48 AM
Superior Smokers and Right on Que will be cooking a few GBAs this year. We are looking forward to getting to know some of the GBA teams.

abangs
01-01-2013, 01:51 PM
Superior Smokers and Right on Que will be cooking a few GBAs this year. We are looking forward to getting to know some of the GBA teams.

Kevin
Which ones are you looking at??? We are thinking about trying some gba's

altomari8868
01-01-2013, 03:08 PM
Our team Hoggin the sauce BBQ will be taking the Judging class being offered on January 19th. For $50 you get to take the class and it gives you a years membership in the GBA. We figured we would do this first then enter a competition and give it a try..

que_dawg
01-01-2013, 03:26 PM
Kevin
Which ones are you looking at??? We are thinking about trying some gba's

We are definitely doing Brenau. I am also looking specifically at Perry, too. Hopefully a couple of more will follow.

olewarthog
01-03-2013, 02:41 PM
Looking forward to meeting you guys. I be contest rep in Perry & doing the scoring in Gainesville. I also am the organizer for the Hazlehurst BBQ Fest in May. I think y'all will like the GBA. Lots of friendly folks and pretty darn good cooks as well.

DawgPhan
01-03-2013, 02:51 PM
Be prepared to cook a lot of meat and have almost all of it on at the same time at one point.

4-6 butts
3-8 racks of ribs
2 pork loins

You cook a lot of food and use a lot more of everything else to cook these contests. I also would not want to cook one solo. I do think that GBA is a good bit more work than KCBS.

They are generally very well run contests and everyone is very friendly.

Lake Dogs
01-03-2013, 05:32 PM
^^^ Yep. Like in MBN, keep in mind that with any luck you'll make finals. It's up to you as to what you present for finals, and luckily unlike MBN finals in GBA are blind. Meaning, in MBN you'll present new/fresh racks of ribs, or whole pork shoulders, etc. Blind, if you want to "rob" your existing BBQ, that's up to you. I personally wouldn't, but that's me.

To me, that's part of the fun of it. Also it takes the tie-breaker B.S. out of the mix, for at least the top 3 teams in each category. There's more to winning than just winning your table; it's about the best BBQ out there on this day.

Lake Dogs
01-04-2013, 08:37 AM
Thanks for the information. I like the fact that there is no garnish. I also like the pork loin aspect. The Hog Jam looks to be about 8 hours away. It would be interesting to do something different from KCBS style competitions and to also see how much, if any, the flavor profiles vary between Georgia and Ohio.

Flavor profile? As a judge who was right at becoming a Master Judge, then they moved the mark, so I'm now at the old mark but not a MJ... there is no one "flavor profile" that wins. Certainly over the last 10 or so years BBQ in this region has gotten sweeter, but savory wins as often as sweet. I'd say ribs tend to be slightly sweeter than say pulled pork, but we've seen the sweetening of loins do ok too. More than anything, the balance seems to perform best, and those that hit the tenderness mark perfectly (can be very tough to do in loin) tend to make finals most.

cpw
01-04-2013, 08:57 AM
^^^ Yep. Like in MBN, keep in mind that with any luck you'll make finals. It's up to you as to what you present for finals, and luckily unlike MBN finals in GBA are blind. Meaning, in MBN you'll present new/fresh racks of ribs, or whole pork shoulders, etc. Blind, if you want to "rob" your existing BBQ, that's up to you. I personally wouldn't, but that's me.

To me, that's part of the fun of it. Also it takes the tie-breaker B.S. out of the mix, for at least the top 3 teams in each category. There's more to winning than just winning your table; it's about the best BBQ out there on this day.

So do you stagger your cook times to accommodate the 2 turn in times (hedging your bet that you'll make finals)?

DawgPhan
01-04-2013, 09:41 AM
So do you stagger your cook times to accommodate the 2 turn in times (hedging your bet that you'll make finals)?


If winning the contests is your goal, you must stagger your meats. Fresh hot product wins finals.

Lake Dogs
01-04-2013, 11:03 AM
If winning the contests is your goal, you must stagger your meats. Fresh hot product wins finals.

Yep. This is much easier to do in GBA than MBN, because in MBN you're usually using your smoker for on-site presentations... Thankfully GBA has no such animal. Pulled pork you could probably get away with keeping the whole butt/picnic/shoulder/ham wrapped and/or in a cambro, but ribs doesn't keep nearly as well nor does the tenderness on loins keep in a warmer (IMHO). If you can get this working, PLEASE tell me your secret!

olewarthog
01-04-2013, 01:43 PM
One tip for y'all looking at trying GBA. Plan on filling up those boxes. GBA judges like to see a full box.

Big Mike
01-04-2013, 05:46 PM
Be prepared to cook a lot of meat and have almost all of it on at the same time at one point.

4-6 butts
3-8 racks of ribs
2 pork loins

You cook a lot of food and use a lot more of everything else to cook these contests. I also would not want to cook one solo. I do think that GBA is a good bit more work than KCBS.

They are generally very well run contests and everyone is very friendly.

I currently cook KCBS comps solo.

Not having done a GBA comp, is there a particular reason you wouldn't want to do one solo. It looks like you have an hour between turn-in times so I would think you would be ok.

Big Mike
01-04-2013, 05:51 PM
Flavor profile? As a judge who was right at becoming a Master Judge, then they moved the mark, so I'm now at the old mark but not a MJ... there is no one "flavor profile" that wins. Certainly over the last 10 or so years BBQ in this region has gotten sweeter, but savory wins as often as sweet. I'd say ribs tend to be slightly sweeter than say pulled pork, but we've seen the sweetening of loins do ok too. More than anything, the balance seems to perform best, and those that hit the tenderness mark perfectly (can be very tough to do in loin) tend to make finals most.

Thanks for the info. I am originally from Alabama and my main sauce is a tomato/vinegar sauce that has a good bite to it. However, I tried that for pork in my first couple of comps up here and it bombed miserably. When I switched to sweet, my scores immediately went up.

DawgPhan
01-04-2013, 05:57 PM
I currently cook KCBS comps solo.

Not having done a GBA comp, is there a particular reason you wouldn't want to do one solo. It looks like you have an hour between turn-in times so I would think you would be ok.

GBA is a lot more work than a KCBS contest. Sure there is an hour between turn ins, but there is more to do. You basically have 2 cooks in one weekend with first round and finals. It's makes for a very long day.

Big Mike
01-04-2013, 10:01 PM
Hey Lake Dogs. You mentioned in another post that you could turn in multiple sauces and the sauces could be on the side. How does that work? Is the sauce(s) in a cup in the box or is it just in a cup that gets turned in along with the box?

Lake Dogs
01-04-2013, 11:20 PM
The organizer can/will provide cups for sauce; some you have to ask for cups... The cups are to be turned in along with the box. Turning the sauce in on-the-side gives judges options as to how much of your sauce they want. Turning in multiple sauces gives judges the option to choose which of your sauces they like best with your BBQ in addition to how much of it enhances the flavor best. IMHO, choices are good!!!

altomari8868
01-05-2013, 01:12 AM
I will be taking the judging class for the GBA on the 19th. Is there any chance a GBA team may be willing to let my partner and I tag along to a contest to get a first hand look of the differences between the GBA, FBA, and KCBS.
I can wash dishes and pitch trash with the best of them... We are in South GA. Please PM me if you could help a brother out.

Lake Dogs
01-05-2013, 12:00 PM
GBA differences from KCBS:

1 hour between turn-ins vs. KCBS’s 30 minute window

Pork Loin category, no Brisket, no Chicken

Top 3 scorers (in each category) from initial blind judging round make finals and have a 2nd blind turn-in.

No garnish allowed. Meat only in the box. You can line the bottom of the box with meat and in essence make a meat garnish. However, not in ribs. Rib meat cannot be taken off of the bone. Loin will need loin meat in the bottom; butt will need butt meat. The meat used as a garnish will also be judged. Careful; no sauce pooling.


Ribs tenderness is defined as “pull cleanly from the bone with only slight resistance” vs. KCBS’s “bite through” rib. For this reason you’ll see a few more baby back ribs in GBA vs. KCBS. I think you see more Cadillac cut and 2 bone presentations in GBA than you would in KCBS because of the “pull from the bone”.

Sauce can be presented on the side (in cups). If sauce is presented the judge must judge the meat with the sauce. However, it’s up to the judge to determine how much sauce best compliments the meat. Also, you’re allowed to present multiple sauces on the side. In this case the judge determines which sauce he/she feels best compliments the meat (and the amount) and scores accordingly (not averaged).

You have the same type of meat separation rules, etc.

Competition entry fees are usually in the $225 range, which is right there with KCBS.

In KCBS turn-in, as they amass enough entries to seat a table, they’re taken in and judging begins at that table. In GBA (as in MBN), all entries are amassed and put out to the tables at one time. It does no good to get your entry there early, as it will be sitting there cooling for the 15 minute turn-in window. FYI: for each of the 3 categories your entry will be at a table with different judge seating than the first time as well as a different mix of competitors’ entries.

Finals judges have not judged in initial rounds.

There are usually enough judges that they’ll judge 2 of the 3 categories. Where the KCBS judge generally takes 1 bite of your BBQ and makes a decision, more often than not the GBA judge will be taking 2, 3, or more bites, particularly with the comparison piece trying to determine which is the most perfectly tender, etc. It’s my opinion that the one-bite-amazing BBQ of KCBS may not fare as well in the 3 or 4 bite judging.

Not that this is different, but GBA judges tend to be in their mid 50’s, plenty older. Probably 60% men, 40% women. I’d say that there are only 20% smokers. I’d say that 60%+ of your CBJ’s are CBJ’s in another sanctioning body too. The average table out there will have 1 recently trained judge (not considered certified until they’ve judged 2 competitions), 3 CBJ’s (between 3 to 15 GBA competitions under their belt), and another 1 or 2 GBA Master Judges. The judges will be stone cold sober. Most will have had Orange Juice and Coffee that morning, usually snacking on sausage biscuits earlier in the morning… For what it’s worth, I began judging Memphis In May back in 2005. I recognize many of the GBA judges from that point in time (meaning, many of these have judges TONS of contests).

Big Mike
01-05-2013, 02:18 PM
Excellent info Lake Dog. I was wondering about the tenderness judging, especially when it comes to pork loin.

I'm starting to like the sound of the GBA. I may have to just move to Georgia.

Lake Dogs
01-05-2013, 08:10 PM
Excellent info Lake Dog. I was wondering about the tenderness judging, especially when it comes to pork loin.

I'm starting to like the sound of the GBA. I may have to just move to Georgia.

I must admit, I rather like it too...

By far, IMHO, the toughest thing as a competitor to get right is the tenderness of that darned pork loin. Early on, as a judge, it was a category that I frankly didnt care for judging, because most came in overcooked and tough, and a bit bland. The slices, if perfect, are about as thick as a pencil, perhaps slightly thicker than a brisket slice, and the meat will pull/tear apart without having to really muscle-up on it. It'll be slightly... spongy in texture.

Now, on most tables, we'll see 3 or more that are VERY tender.

DawgPhan
01-05-2013, 08:51 PM
the other thing with GBA is that you have to be able to cook a pork butt to even think about walking in pork. And not just slice the money muscle and dunk some tubes in blues hog good, but the entire pork butt needs to be perfect. You are going to use so much of it to build your box that it all has to be perfect.

Lake Dogs
01-05-2013, 09:18 PM
the other thing with GBA is that you have to be able to cook a pork butt to even think about walking in pork. And not just slice the money muscle and dunk some tubes in blues hog good, but the entire pork butt needs to be perfect. You are going to use so much of it to build your box that it all has to be perfect.


^^^ Absolutely! These guys REALLY know pork. I must admit, as a judge it's my favorite category to judge, because the worst entry at the table is just AWESOME.

Big Mike
01-05-2013, 09:27 PM
Is there someplace where all this information is located. I am sure the tenderness info is part of the judging class but I was on the GBA site and the rules page doesn't say anything about how meat can be turned in or being able to turn in multiple sauces, etc.

Lake Dogs
01-05-2013, 10:11 PM
PM that danged olewarthog; he's the website guy.

olewarthog
01-06-2013, 02:12 PM
Is there someplace where all this information is located. I am sure the tenderness info is part of the judging class but I was on the GBA site and the rules page doesn't say anything about how meat can be turned in or being able to turn in multiple sauces, etc.

The rules just state the meat can be turned in sauced or unsauced. The multiple sauces option is covered in the cook team briefing.

swamprb
01-06-2013, 02:56 PM
Sounds like a great organization with fun cooks. I see its also a Sanctioning organization.
Not trying to hijack, but I have a question for GBA Organizers. Since I cook in the Northwest and the majority are predominantly PNWBA Sanctioned events, I'm wondering if the GBA and other organizations like KCBS, FBA or MBN co-exist amicably? The GBA doesn't appear to have a forum, how does the word get out for events? Just a calendar to set your schedules with from the various organizations? Seems like a lot of choices to cook different events from various sanctioning bodies.

Big Mike
01-06-2013, 04:10 PM
Thanks olewarthog. Not having cooked a GBA comp, I'm just trying to run down as much info as I can on what is allowed in a GBA competition.

olewarthog
01-07-2013, 11:41 AM
Sounds like a great organization with fun cooks. I see its also a Sanctioning organization.
Not trying to hijack, but I have a question for GBA Organizers. Since I cook in the Northwest and the majority are predominantly PNWBA Sanctioned events, I'm wondering if the GBA and other organizations like KCBS, FBA or MBN co-exist amicably? The GBA doesn't appear to have a forum, how does the word get out for events? Just a calendar to set your schedules with from the various organizations? Seems like a lot of choices to cook different events from various sanctioning bodies.

IMHO, the GBA gets along quite well with other organizations. We have had one & have scheduled a second dual sanctioned GBA/MBN contest. In these events, a team can cook either or both. Many of the teams in GBA also compete in KCBS, FBA & MBN. We take the calendars from other organizations into account whenever possible in working with organizers in scheduling contests. It wouldn't be beneficial to either organization to have, say, a GBA & FBA contest within 25 miles of each other on the same weekend.

The GBA uses email, its website & social media ( Facebook & Twitter) to get the word out about our events. Our calendar is included each month in the National BBQ News & the BBQ Times newspapers.

Lake Dogs
01-07-2013, 02:35 PM
IMHO, the GBA gets along quite well with other organizations. We have had one & have scheduled a second dual sanctioned GBA/MBN contest. In these events, a team can cook either or both. Many of the teams in GBA also compete in KCBS, FBA & MBN. We take the calendars from other organizations into account whenever possible in working with organizers in scheduling contests. It wouldn't be beneficial to either organization to have, say, a GBA & FBA contest within 25 miles of each other on the same weekend.

The GBA uses email, its website & social media ( Facebook & Twitter) to get the word out about our events. Our calendar is included each month in the National BBQ News & the BBQ Times newspapers.

From the perspective of a mere judge and competitor in other sanctioning bodies competitions, I'd have to agree.