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Eggspert
03-18-2013, 10:13 AM
I had some disagreement with my husband last night. He made an awesome brisket, but tried something a little different with the cooking and the bark on the brisket was a little tough. It had a bit of a beef jerky texture to it while the inside was moist and great. He really liked the tougher outside bark. I did not and felt it made the meat seem dry, even though it was moist meat.

He thinks brisket should have a crust on the outside, compared to the brisket we typically make that has a soft bark. I have never had brisket with a tough bark on the outside at competition judging or restaurants. So I ask you my brothers, should brisket bark be firm or soft? What scores better with judges. I think if you are not used to firm/tough bark and you get it, like myself you don't care for the texture. As a judge the tenderness of this brisket was perfect, but the tough bark killed it for me so if I were judging I would likely score 6-7 texture score.

Any thoughts or comments are appreciated!
Eggspert BBQ

Fatback Joe
03-18-2013, 10:24 AM
if I were judging I would likely score 6-7 texture score.


I think that line says it all.

Wampus
03-18-2013, 10:29 AM
Personally, I like a nice crusty, barky exterior as well, but just on the CHANCE that a judge wouldn't, I can't see turning slices in that way.

Jaskew82
03-18-2013, 10:59 AM
I recently worked out my technique to get a more "crunchy" bark. I used to get a soft bark. I find the crunchy bark feels more authentic and gives a better overall taste and appearance. But that is just me...

bbq.tom
03-18-2013, 11:13 AM
Judges are instructed to do the "pull test" on a slice to help determine the tenderness. From what you are describing, the slice would pull fairly easily (like it should) but the bark would NOT. This would result in deduction in the score for tenderness. I personally like a bit of tooth to the bark, but if it doesn't pull the same as the rest of the slice you may be harming your scores.

Rich Parker
03-18-2013, 11:48 AM
I had some disagreement with my husband last night. He made an awesome brisket, but tried something a little different with the cooking and the bark on the brisket was a little tough. It had a bit of a beef jerky texture to it while the inside was moist and great. He really liked the tougher outside bark. I did not and felt it made the meat seem dry, even though it was moist meat.

He thinks brisket should have a crust on the outside, compared to the brisket we typically make that has a soft bark. I have never had brisket with a tough bark on the outside at competition judging or restaurants. So I ask you my brothers, should brisket bark be firm or soft? What scores better with judges. I think if you are not used to firm/tough bark and you get it, like myself you don't care for the texture. As a judge the tenderness of this brisket was perfect, but the tough bark killed it for me so if I were judging I would likely score 6-7 texture score.

Any thoughts or comments are appreciated!
Eggspert BBQ

Remind him the wife is always right!

Dragline
03-18-2013, 11:55 AM
Remind him the wife is always right!

Ditto!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

indianagriller
03-18-2013, 12:07 PM
bark is overrated in competition bbq...

glenntm
03-18-2013, 01:05 PM
I agree with Indianagriller...

roksmith
03-18-2013, 02:38 PM
X3.... no bark for competition briskets

Jacked UP BBQ
03-18-2013, 02:45 PM
bark and burnt ends to me have the same thought process with people. The name makes you think crunchy or crusty, to me I think the exact opposite. Soft flavorful juicy texture from outside to in.

Bbq Bubba
03-18-2013, 03:50 PM
A competition judge wouldn't know what real bark was if it hit them in the face! ;)

JS-TX
03-18-2013, 10:58 PM
I don't like crunchy bark or soggy bark. I like it right in the middle, using butcher paper helps. I also agree that bark doesn't seem to be a factor in comps. even down here in TX. However, if you give them some nice in-between bark and some good meat- why not?

jmoney7269
03-19-2013, 07:56 AM
Remind him the wife is always right!

+1 they control half of every thing and all of one thing........ so if momma aint happy, nobodys happy!
bark is overrated in competition bbq...
+1
A competition judge wouldn't know what real bark was if it hit them in the face! ;)
a judge that competes equal amount they judge would. unfortunately everyone bastes with pan juices and sauce when the meat is sliced before boxing which is technically against the rules. hell if you cant beat em, copy em!

bbq.tom
03-19-2013, 08:07 AM
A competition judge wouldn't know what real bark was if it hit them in the face! ;)

NICE!!! And people wonder why there is derision between cooks and judges!

Many of us "competition judges" are also cooks, so this comment really exhibits either a lack of knowledge on your part or something more sinister.

ModelMaker
03-19-2013, 08:18 AM
+1 they control half of every thing and all of one thing........ so if momma aint happy, nobodys happy!

+1

a judge that competes equal amount they judge would. unfortunately everyone bastes with pan juices and sauce when the meat is sliced before boxing which is technically against the rules. hell if you cant beat em, copy em!


Exactly which rule is being broken here?
Ed

jmoney7269
03-19-2013, 08:56 AM
Exactly which rule is being broken here?
Ed

In Texas comps such as lonestar, IBCA etc meats can be cooked with sauce or glazed bit once the meat is off the Pit and cut, it's not supposed to have anything done to it, suppose to go straight to the box. I see kcbs teams brushing more sauce on when the meat is in the dang box. Brisket with sauce brushed on the back and so on.. On our turn ins, they check in between the slices of brisket just to make sure you didn't

Bbq Bubba
03-19-2013, 09:13 AM
NICE!!! And people wonder why there is derision between cooks and judges!

Many of us "competition judges" are also cooks, so this comment really exhibits either a lack of knowledge on your part or something more sinister.



Sinister. :twisted:

I am a comp cook and a comp judge but also a restaurant pitmaster. THIS is what i call bark. If this was turned in at a comp most judges would probably cringe.

Real BBQ!

glenntm
03-19-2013, 09:20 AM
Sinister. :twisted:

I am a comp cook and a comp judge but also a restaurant pitmaster. THIS is what i call bark. If this was turned in at a comp most judges would probably cringe.

Real BBQ!

Thanks darn good looking brisket...

bbq.tom
03-19-2013, 09:46 AM
There is a difference between how you cook in competition and how you cook for yourself or others (non competition). Personally, I prefer my ribs "over-cooked" (falling off the bone), and that is how I cook them when I cater events because that is how others want them, but I know not to cook that way in competion.
Your brisket looks great, but how is the tenderness of the bark?
There is a reason behind the rules and guidlines that KCBS put in place (not always logical - GARNISH!?!?), and judges are instructed to follow the rules. No matter what is accepted or commonplace in catering or restaurant or backyard, the judges must judge according to the established rules.

My point is that there is no purpose behind making the statement "A competition judge wouldn't know what real bark was if it hit them in the face!" other than to incite dissention amongst the ranks. You stated that you yourself are a "competition judge", so you are contradicting yourself with your own statement.

CBQ
03-19-2013, 10:59 AM
I see kcbs teams brushing more sauce on when the meat is in the dang box. Brisket with sauce brushed on the back and so on.. On our turn ins, they check in between the slices of brisket just to make sure you didn't

It's not against KCBS rules. You can't pool sauce in the box, but no issues applying it to meat.

jmoney7269
03-19-2013, 02:04 PM
That's what I'm talkin about BBQ bubba!
This how we turn em in at comps.
http://i897.photobucket.com/albums/ac174/justinmargist/CDEDEC45-016E-4B01-9EA5-A9C2EC8991DD-2228-000003E356DF0050_zps7ca7d0ee.jpg
This How we eat em at home
http://i897.photobucket.com/albums/ac174/justinmargist/4E483AFA-14BD-4D14-AC42-FF55ADCE7E6C-3392-0000056963DAAACD.jpg

Lake Dogs
03-19-2013, 02:22 PM
At the risk of getting in deep, I'll jump in on this.

I happen to like a nice crisp bark if it's not too hard, BUT how does that fit into the tenderness category/scoring as defined? Answer: It doesn't, not very well. So, by definition, judges must/should grade it down, regardless of their personal preference. Same with ribs. What if a judge prefer his/her ribs just falling apart tender, even to the point of being mushy. They *SHOULD* judge down on this, IF they're doing their job. Their job is to enforce and grade to the standard as defined, not make up their own rules about what they prefer and dont prefer. That's left up to the taste category...

Know the rules of the game and play by them, or lose. It is, afterall, a game.

ALX
03-20-2013, 11:10 PM
Know the rules of the game and play by them, or lose. It is, afterall, a game.


I agree....Having been a small part of a team competing in 30 plus comps or more the last 5 years...and having success.....Judges are what they are.....

Having a master judge ask you after a comp..."how do you judge a bone"....makes you double take....in this case the ribs being judged were so over cooked when reaching in the box only a bone came out....He gave them inedible...the first time judge next to him gave a 7...."cause she knew how hard folk work to do this".....

I would say 99% of folk in my region have had corned beef etc....A texas etc.style brisket would probably be at 2-5 %....

Pitmaster T
03-21-2013, 06:30 AM
NICE!!! And people wonder why there is derision between cooks and judges!

Many of us "competition judges" are also cooks, so this comment really exhibits either a lack of knowledge on your part or something more sinister.



Lighten Up Francis - YouTube

I think your contribution here makes things worse. Every competitor learns or soon learns that there is going to be an idiot judge. Today it seems with the rise in popularity and of course competitions rising up in areas never known for bbq, where you have a handful of decent pitmasters, it is logical that you are going to get judges that suck as judges, and thereby... as people. I do not see how it "exhibits a lack of knowledge" as he never insinuated judges don't cook... just that they suck in their impressions about bark at times. So his observations are rather informed.

I am a teacher. It is logical and universal for students to have animosity toward me when I exhibit authority over them. So I do not get unhinged when a kid gets an attitude if I correct him or her. Its not supposed to be that way the other way around. The teacher is not supposed to dislike the student.

I draw a parallel to this to your situation. The criticism he gave about judges not being able to correctly judge "bark" is legitimate. It cannot be changed I guess but it is legitimate. You are a judge. Imagine for a moment standing and giving your results directly to the competitor. There will be some criticism of your points and not all will be just "sore losers."

So.... maybe your comment toward this competitor shows you have a "lack of understanding and knowledge about the competition end of the sport." I might add, the competitors are why you are there in the first place. In addition, they have a lot more on the line than you do.

Finally, the issue of bark is an issue I have seen discussed here a lot. So, it is bigger than you. The judges he is commenting on either have been trained to not count bark, are not knowledgeable enough on the proper process to separate judging it from the tenderness, are from a region where they do not know how to make a brisket with bark (that is not an insult) and thereby do not understand it, or simply do not prefer it, probably for the previous reasons. Yes, I know there is not a point column on "Bark." (Although it feasibly could be considered texture.)

In my opinion, judging brisket without bark is like .... people who prefer their french fries microwaved or soggy from the grease pit. A great fry has a crispy outside and puffy, tender inside. This is more complex and thus should be worth more points (as it is more difficult to attain) than a soggy fry. Likewise, so is a brisket with a tender, moist inside and a crusty outside. Or a steak with a well done crusty and caramelized exterior and pink interior. So the only reason I FEEL it is not considered judgeable essentially is because ... you simply cannot find quality judges with experience and enough cooking knowledge on how it got there in the first place in order to judge it. The training of certified judges is a money making process (this is not an insult - the whole competition exist because someone is supposed to make money with the organizers making profit as designed). In the last few years its been simple....take the money, get em' in and out with the nice "judge card" in their hands when they leave.

No training is going to include a day on bark for economic and time reasons.

Remember, when you are a judge...you have to realize that yes some people are going to be sorry cooks and just pissed that they are losing. But there are those jilted from this process..... and it is why, some will steer away from true quality brisket, in order to not offend the senses of the inexperienced, or dumb assed judge that has a card with this ink that is still dry.... or.... the judge that became a judge not for the love of what competitors do... (which is only attained by doing it) but because they have a chip on their shoulder themselves (probably from a much deeper inferiority) and want to make others pay. You can usually smoke these people out by seeing quotes like yours that do not understand the universal truth that at times, people do not like the referee because he is blind as a ****ing bat. The ref or ump is supposed to realize he is going to be a target and not get all outraged about it.

JS-TX
03-21-2013, 10:15 AM
I think it comes down to judges expectations. If judges aren't used to seeing bark and don't appreciate the whole "concept" of bark, they are possibly going to mark it down. If every competitor starting putting more bark in their boxes, then after awhile the judges would get used it. Like Donnie says, you can't really fault them for it.

Alexa RnQ
03-21-2013, 10:24 AM
Well, I'll tell you what. I think bark is overrated, period. In competition AND on a dinner plate. Yes, it's a deep and constitutional flaw of mine, but it is what it is.

And I would submit that there are a number of other people whose preferences fall in line with mine, and statistically speaking, some of them are going to end up in the judges' tent. Are those preferences supposed to be set aside when judging, YES. Does everyone successfully do that all the time, never allowing the slightest shading of that preference to affect the tenderness score of a slice whose bark gives the faintest resistance to a pull test? Welllllll.......

ButchB
03-21-2013, 03:40 PM
So judges will score a brisket down on tenderness if it has bark? What about the pork category? They don't score it down because of bark. Whats the difference? Is it just the pull test on the brisket that causes it to get scored down?

ALX
03-21-2013, 10:55 PM
Lighten Up Francis - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6cxNR9ML8k)

I think your contribution here makes things worse. Every competitor learns or soon learns that there is going to be an idiot judge. Today it seems with the rise in popularity and of course competitions rising up in areas never known for bbq, where you have a handful of decent pitmasters, it is logical that you are going to get judges that suck as judges, and thereby... as people. I do not see how it "exhibits a lack of knowledge" as he never insinuated judges don't cook... just that they suck in their impressions about bark at times. So his observations are rather informed.

I am a teacher. It is logical and universal for students to have animosity toward me when I exhibit authority over them. So I do not get unhinged when a kid gets an attitude if I correct him or her. Its not supposed to be that way the other way around. The teacher is not supposed to dislike the student.

I draw a parallel to this to your situation. The criticism he gave about judges not being able to correctly judge "bark" is legitimate. It cannot be changed I guess but it is legitimate. You are a judge. Imagine for a moment standing and giving your results directly to the competitor. There will be some criticism of your points and not all will be just "sore losers."

So.... maybe your comment toward this competitor shows you have a "lack of understanding and knowledge about the competition end of the sport." I might add, the competitors are why you are there in the first place. In addition, they have a lot more on the line than you do.

Finally, the issue of bark is an issue I have seen discussed here a lot. So, it is bigger than you. The judges he is commenting on either have been trained to not count bark, are not knowledgeable enough on the proper process to separate judging it from the tenderness, are from a region where they do not know how to make a brisket with bark (that is not an insult) and thereby do not understand it, or simply do not prefer it, probably for the previous reasons. Yes, I know there is not a point column on "Bark." (Although it feasibly could be considered texture.)

In my opinion, judging brisket without bark is like .... people who prefer their french fries microwaved or soggy from the grease pit. A great fry has a crispy outside and puffy, tender inside. This is more complex and thus should be worth more points (as it is more difficult to attain) than a soggy fry. Likewise, so is a brisket with a tender, moist inside and a crusty outside. Or a steak with a well done crusty and caramelized exterior and pink interior. So the only reason I FEEL it is not considered judgeable essentially is because ... you simply cannot find quality judges with experience and enough cooking knowledge on how it got there in the first place in order to judge it. The training of certified judges is a money making process (this is not an insult - the whole competition exist because someone is supposed to make money with the organizers making profit as designed). In the last few years its been simple....take the money, get em' in and out with the nice "judge card" in their hands when they leave.

No training is going to include a day on bark for economic and time reasons.

Remember, when you are a judge...you have to realize that yes some people are going to be sorry cooks and just pissed that they are losing. But there are those jilted from this process..... and it is why, some will steer away from true quality brisket, in order to not offend the senses of the inexperienced, or dumb assed judge that has a card with this ink that is still dry.... or.... the judge that became a judge not for the love of what competitors do... (which is only attained by doing it) but because they have a chip on their shoulder themselves (probably from a much deeper inferiority) and want to make others pay. You can usually smoke these people out by seeing quotes like yours that do not understand the universal truth that at times, people do not like the referee because he is blind as a ****ing bat. The ref or ump is supposed to realize he is going to be a target and not get all outraged about it.

Dang...your head is so far up your own arse....I hope you teach college age folks....:clap:

landarc
03-21-2013, 11:05 PM
She said the bark has a jerky quality, that is a flaw no matter what. Bark that is crisp but, cracks easily, bark that is a little crunchy, that can be interpretation. But, when bark gets that hard surface and has a jerky quality, that is not ever going to serve you well in competition, and honestly, isn't going to be great table fare either, unless you love jerky and chewy brisket. (I know a few who do though)

Pitmaster T
03-22-2013, 06:13 AM
She said the bark has a jerky quality, that is a flaw no matter what. Bark that is crisp but, cracks easily, bark that is a little crunchy, that can be interpretation. But, when bark gets that hard surface and has a jerky quality, that is not ever going to serve you well in competition, and honestly, isn't going to be great table fare either, unless you love jerky and chewy brisket. (I know a few who do though)

Good point Landarc.... is that your daughter in your avatar? You know what they say about redheads. Whew...

kyleness
03-22-2013, 04:27 PM
I am a CBJ as well as a competition cook. I cook more than I judge but I will judge half as many competitions as I cook at to get an idea of how the flavors change as well as how they are different in the other regions. I have received brisket with as well as without bark at competitions. I do the pull test as they instruct to do but I don't typically knock down points if there is bark on the outside as far as tenderness is concerned, I may if it is extremely bad like the jerky she is talking about. I judge the entire piece of meat as a whole. From me you would more likely see an impact on the taste than tenderness. If it pulls apart fine but its hard to chew I'd have to look at knocking down points. But a good bark is not hard to chew, it is very flavorful and has more of a crunch to it which I do not find hard to chew. Personally I would tell the husband to tone it back a bit. In the end the meat has to be easy and desirable to eat.