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View Full Version : Reading Comments On BBQCritic.com.....


Q-Dat
02-18-2013, 11:19 AM
Can be depressing.

Leave your chicken natural looking and people say they need to be more uniform.

Make them more uniform and people tell you they don't look natural.

Sauce your pork and they say too much sauce.

Don't sauce it and they say it looks dry.

Have a light colored bark and they say it doesn't look like BBQ.

Have a NORMAL bark and thet say it looks too dark.


I hope that the consistency throughout that group isn't typical of whats really out there but deep down I know that it is.

And before anyone says it no I do not want or expect everyone to like the same things, but I really have to wonder if many of these people even really like BBQ.

tnjimbob
02-18-2013, 11:30 AM
Sounds like they are focusing too much on the critic, not enough on the BBQ.

bwsy2k
02-18-2013, 11:35 AM
The old saying " you cant win" really hits this one on the head. seems like whichever way you go, they are looking for the opposite.

Q-Dat
02-18-2013, 11:35 AM
The bark thing is what baffles me the most. Makes me think that these people grew up eating crock pot pulled pork.

fnbish
02-18-2013, 12:13 PM
I hear ya :grin:. I submit a bunch of my boxes. Your chicken point is spot on. I've seen boxes that were more "natural" looking chicken and the sizes varied, but not by much and were beautiful.....and there can be lots of comments as to how those pieces need to be more identical. I try and get mine pretty uniform and sometime get slammed for not looking "natural" or they look "manufactured".

Another I see a lot of is ove rsauced comments for the meats, I get it on my chicken a decent amount of the time. But the thing is is that people looking on BBQ Critic can stare at a picture for as long as they want and nitpic every detail. In reality the boxes circle the table pretty quickly. I've only judged once, but seemed like you had maybe 2-3 seconds a box. Also the lighting when a person takes the picture really makes a difference too and can mess up how it looks.

So I actually look at the nitpicking as a good think since the judges on bbqcritic can point everything out that I may miss during the crunch time of putting the meat in the box for turn ins or even that I don't see when I look back on my pictures.

I don't know how everyone else's boxes compare on bbqcritic to what the actual appearance scores you received are, but I find the folks online are much much harsher. Again because they have more time to look.

My new favorite past time is submitting a box that got all 9's and see how much it can get torn apart. But the feedback is largely very useful to a cook. Just got to look past some of the outliers.

Here is a chicken box of mine that got a bunch of over sauced and manufactured comments, but got all 9's at the competition and was how our chicken looked for a while and rarely got an 8. Unfortunately then the judges at the competition have to taste it :becky:.
http://www.bbqcritic.com/17/post/2013/01/chicken-box-168.html#comments

cdkeach
02-18-2013, 12:21 PM
Looks like a good box to me Jason. I know it's not a bad thing to have overly-critical judges review your box and maybe catch things that you've missed. Still I'd take a lot of the comments with a grain of salt. "Looks kind of like chicken". Are you kidding me?

cpw
02-18-2013, 12:36 PM
My new favorite past time is submitting a box that got all 9's and see how much it can get torn apart. But the feedback is largely very useful to a cook. Just got to look past some of the outliers.

Here is a chicken box of mine that got a bunch of over sauced and manufactured comments, but got all 9's at the competition and was how our chicken looked for a while and rarely got an 8. Unfortunately then the judges at the competition have to taste it :becky:.
http://www.bbqcritic.com/17/post/2013/01/chicken-box-168.html#comments

I had the opposite happen to me...I submitted a pic of a box that TANKED in appearance, so I submitted hoping to find out why. Everyone raved about the appearance. Of course, it was an SCBA box so there was no garnish. That may have had something to do with it.

And BTW, that's a fine looking chicken box!

Q-Dat
02-18-2013, 12:37 PM
"Looks kind of like chicken". Are you kidding me?


That one kills me too! Ok we all know @*#!& well that the entries are all chicken! Its not a meatball. Its not a burger. Its not a muffin or a cupcake so let it go! Why should it bother someone if it is round? Its chicken!

fnbish
02-18-2013, 12:45 PM
Looks like a good box to me Jason. I know it's not a bad thing to have overly-critical judges review your box and maybe catch things that you've missed. Still I'd take a lot of the comments with a grain of salt. "Looks kind of like chicken". Are you kidding me?

Yeah that comment was my person favorite and one of the reasons I submit as much as I can :grin:. I wonder how many judges who leave comments like that have ever tried to make competition chicken :razz:.

Hawg Father of Seoul
02-18-2013, 12:46 PM
Don't take it serious man. They are telling you exactly what they want to see. Look for boxes that are close to your own and see what they get dinged for.

We seldom get an 8 in appearance (just done a few contests), but now have decided we will always chose taste over appearance if we have to choose. Once we make our taste almost all nines, then we will worry about re-tightening up the appearance.

Disregard the nonsense about too dark pork bark. You know if it is burnt and the judges will too when they taste it.

nthole
02-18-2013, 12:52 PM
Sounds to me exactly what a judges table would sound like. Which is why this is so hard.

bbq.tom
02-18-2013, 04:12 PM
"Looks kind of like chicken". Are you kidding me?

Just curious, when was the last time you saw a perfectly round piece of chicken, or in this case a perfectly square piece of chicken?

As a judge I can understand the comment. If it doesn't look natural, then it loses a bit of appetizing appeal IMHO.

As a cook I find the comments much more valuable than the scores given on BBQ Critic.

boogiesnap
02-18-2013, 04:45 PM
I hear ya :grin:. I submit a bunch of my boxes. Your chicken point is spot on. I've seen boxes that were more "natural" looking chicken and the sizes varied, but not by much and were beautiful.....and there can be lots of comments as to how those pieces need to be more identical. I try and get mine pretty uniform and sometime get slammed for not looking "natural" or they look "manufactured".

Another I see a lot of is ove rsauced comments for the meats, I get it on my chicken a decent amount of the time. But the thing is is that people looking on BBQ Critic can stare at a picture for as long as they want and nitpic every detail. In reality the boxes circle the table pretty quickly. I've only judged once, but seemed like you had maybe 2-3 seconds a box. Also the lighting when a person takes the picture really makes a difference too and can mess up how it looks.

So I actually look at the nitpicking as a good think since the judges on bbqcritic can point everything out that I may miss during the crunch time of putting the meat in the box for turn ins or even that I don't see when I look back on my pictures.

I don't know how everyone else's boxes compare on bbqcritic to what the actual appearance scores you received are, but I find the folks online are much much harsher. Again because they have more time to look.

My new favorite past time is submitting a box that got all 9's and see how much it can get torn apart. But the feedback is largely very useful to a cook. Just got to look past some of the outliers.

Here is a chicken box of mine that got a bunch of over sauced and manufactured comments, but got all 9's at the competition and was how our chicken looked for a while and rarely got an 8. Unfortunately then the judges at the competition have to taste it :becky:.
http://www.bbqcritic.com/17/post/2013/01/chicken-box-168.html#comments

i've admired that box from afar for a while now....

i agree, damned if you do, damned if you don't. :evil:

gtr
02-18-2013, 05:10 PM
The best part is that if you turn off your computer, they all go away. :clap2:

cdkeach
02-18-2013, 05:20 PM
Unfortunately if you turn in a box of 6-9 thighs that all look natural (i.e. like they actually might have come off a chicken), judges will score you down because they aren't uniform.

Now, if I could only learn to bread and raise six-legged chickens I'd be set. Imagine a beautiful box with 6 thighs, 3 being mirror images of the other 3 because they all came off the same chicken.

Unfortunately with 6 legs they'd probably be pretty damn fast and too hard to catch.

WineMaster
02-18-2013, 05:27 PM
Look forward to seeing what Mike Cannon writes. Always something good.

Lake Dogs
02-18-2013, 05:32 PM
It's a tool, to help both cooks, but mainly to help judges. There's a balance to being critical, yet allow for differences. Then, subjectively, what is appealing and appetizing to one person can just as quickly turn off another. That indeed is the ***** of it.

fnbish
02-18-2013, 05:42 PM
Just curious, when was the last time you saw a perfectly round piece of chicken, or in this case a perfectly square piece of chicken?

As a judge I can understand the comment. If it doesn't look natural, then it loses a bit of appetizing appeal IMHO.

As a cook I find the comments much more valuable than the scores given on BBQ Critic.

This is very true. And for me there are just as many judges who say they don't like the "manufactured chicken" as there are judges who say things like "could have trimmed the chicken more evenly" if the cook leaves it "natural". So it is easy for cooks to say "you can't win"......But both these types of judges in my experience make up a very small portion of judges as a whole. You can do it either way and score great. Our manufactured thighs rarely get an 8........in appearance that is........taste is another story :icon_blush:........a long sad story.........where I end up crying in the fetal position in the corner.........listening to Lionel Richie's "Hello"..........

cdkeach
02-18-2013, 05:51 PM
Unfortunately if you turn in a box of 6-9 thighs that all look natural (i.e. like they actually might have come off a chicken), judges will score you down because they aren't uniform.

Now, if I could only learn to breed and raise six-legged chickens I'd be set. Imagine a beautiful box with 6 thighs, 3 being mirror images of the other 3 because they all came off the same chicken.

Unfortunately with 6 legs they'd probably be pretty damn fast and too hard to catch.

Gowan
02-18-2013, 11:17 PM
Truth is that the only thing photos of boxes are really good for is as a reference to match up with the scores the judges gave you that day.

When people try to judge a picture, they tend to be very picky because they have all the time in the world to form an opinion. And of course the quality of the exposure comes into play.

Very different than the experience you get when you see a moving box for 2-3 seconds during live judging.

chriscw81
02-18-2013, 11:28 PM
i dont compete. if i did i would probably go crazy......

watg?
02-19-2013, 08:45 AM
chicken....ugh

thillin
02-19-2013, 11:37 AM
"Score 8: Nice presentation; a bit too much glaze for my liking"

Wouldn't too much glaze for my liking come in on the taste, not appearance?

bbq.tom
02-19-2013, 12:26 PM
Wouldn't too much glaze for my liking come in on the taste, not appearance?

No, "too much glaze" is an Appearance score comment.
It COULD be repeated in the Taste score, but what flavor is "glaze"?
It should be better defined to be a legitimate Taste comment.

Lake Dogs
02-19-2013, 12:49 PM
On of my friends who regularly charges/instructs judges talks about how the least subjective part of judging is appearance, and I regularly humbly disagree with him. To many people, if it's not slathered thick in sauce, then it's just not BBQ and therefore just not nearly as appetizing. I'm almost the opposite. Humans tend to "taste" a little with our eyes, and truly beauty is in the eye of the beholder; each beholder differently. One persons perfectly rounded red chicken (I guess those are thighs) are another persons Christmas ornaments. One persons look at a dark barked tube of meat is another persons image of dog poop (and I might suggest not nearly as appetizing, but then again...). Add in garnish on some of these, and certainly there's additional room for humans to be human...

It's subjective. It's why I try to explain (and apparently I fail) to cooks to try to play to the middle; to not do something so much this way or that, so that you dont alienate someone. One down score can be (and is) tossed out, but two score downs and you're toast.

Chicken is a real b**ch, IMHO. Some have come to expect and basically demand those muffin tin chickens, where others like me really prefer chicken to be recognizable as food (first off) and frankly as a bird.

CBQ
02-19-2013, 01:31 PM
On of my friends who regularly charges/instructs judges talks about how the least subjective part of judging is appearance, and I regularly humbly disagree with him. To many people, if it's not slathered thick in sauce, then it's just not BBQ and therefore just not nearly as appetizing.

And after your sauce laden entry gets a high appearance score, they slam you on texture when they bite it and end up wearing a big glob of sauce. "Too much sauce", "Can't taste the meat"