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View Full Version : how hard is it to become a CBJ?


deepsouth
04-18-2013, 09:38 AM
i have been wondering recently how hard it is to become a certified bbq judge. i have been noticing comps pop up in my area and i've been thinking about taking the plunge.

are there study materials?

are there different tests for different regions?

is it pass/fail? how often does someone fail?

tia.

Vince RnQ
04-18-2013, 09:41 AM
All you need to do is take the CBJ class. If you are already a KCBS member, the price should be a bit lower, otherwise the cost of the class will also include a 1 year KCBS membership.

It really is as simple as that. No test at the end, no pass/fail.

deguerre
04-18-2013, 09:42 AM
What sanctioning bodies are showing up in your area? Taking a judges class for that specific body would do it I would think. I've been thinking of going to one for MIM/MBN in Memphis.

hamiltont
04-18-2013, 09:43 AM
Many times the Competition Reps will come in a day or so early to hold classes for CBJ & Table Captain. Check with the local comp organizers to see if any around you are doing that. Basically take the class and you're certified. Usually a portion of the class fee goes towards your first year's dues to the KCBS. Cheers!!!

Big George's BBQ
04-18-2013, 09:43 AM
Lots of areas have classes It is actually fun Check out the KCBS web site A lot are listed there

deepsouth
04-18-2013, 09:45 AM
It really is as simple as that. No test at the end, no pass/fail.

wait what seriously?

Vince RnQ
04-18-2013, 09:50 AM
wait what seriously?

Yes, seriously.

Boggles the mind. They don't even hold up a mirror to make sure everyone in the class is alive.

Of course, we've heard snoring before on the KCBS BoD recording so I guess we shouldn't be surprised.

fnbish
04-18-2013, 09:52 AM
wait what seriously?

Yes that is correct. There are many threads on the subject/debate of the education of judges, continuing education, etc. For KCBS at least there isn't a test at the end. That is just how they roll. I'm not saying right or wrong as again there are many threads already on that subject where people have discussed the pros/cons of how KCBS does it, if you want to search for more.

deepsouth
04-18-2013, 09:54 AM
Yes, seriously.

Boggles the mind. They don't even hold up a mirror to make sure everyone in the class is alive.

Of course, we've heard snoring before on the KCBS BoD recording so I guess we shouldn't be surprised.


no wonder people complain about scoring so much.


i don't really get that their is no testing.

i know certified beer judges have to take both a written (hard as fark) test as well as a tasting test at a later date, provided you pass the written test, 'graded' by master judges.

deepsouth
04-18-2013, 09:56 AM
Yes that is correct. There are many threads on the subject/debate of the education of judges, continuing education, etc. For KCBS at least there isn't a test at the end. That is just how they roll. I'm not saying right or wrong as again there are many threads already on that subject where people have discussed the pros/cons of how KCBS does it, if you want to search for more.


thanks. i'll check it out. i don't get over to the comp forum much since i don't cook or judge in comps..........yet.

mobow
04-18-2013, 09:57 AM
In the KCBS class you will learn the basic guidelines. You will learn how to become a good judge in your first 5 or 6 contest. Keith

swamprb
04-18-2013, 09:58 AM
Do you own a cooler?

nucornhusker
04-18-2013, 09:58 AM
no wonder people complain about scoring so much.


i don't really get that their is no testing.

i know certified beer judges have to take both a written (hard as fark) test as well as a tasting test at a later date, provided you pass the written test, 'graded' by master judges.I wish KCBS did this.

hamiltont
04-18-2013, 09:58 AM
wait what seriously?
Yep! Ain't nothin' like getting your BJCP cert. That's why I'm a CBJ & not a BJCP...:wink:

Cheers!!!

deepsouth
04-18-2013, 10:03 AM
Do you own a cooler?


i do.

fnbish
04-18-2013, 10:04 AM
In the KCBS class you will learn the basic guidelines. You will learn how to become a good judge in your first 5 or 6 contest. Keith

This is true, because even if there was a test you still don't have really any experience actually eating the food and honing in on the actual process of eating meat and judging it. Yes a test would confirm they learned/remember most of the information taught, but how soon after that test could it easily be forgotten anyways.

deguerre
04-18-2013, 10:15 AM
thanks. i'll check it out. i don't get over to the comp forum much since i don't cook or judge in comps..........yet.

It's a scarey placce Jason. Lots and LOTS of teeth there...:shocked:

























Oh CRAP! This IS the Comp forum. (Getting the Hell outta Dodge mod)

fingerlickin'
04-18-2013, 10:26 AM
I just took the KCBS CBJ class last Friday. It's no sweat, we did get to mock judge some BBQ at the end. I will say I was unimpressed with what was presented to us. I actually think that it was better not to see perfect BBQ and it was beneficial to know what to score down for and how to find flaws in presentation and the like. Beyond the challenge of cooking comp Q for 120 people, there were purposeful mistakes made to educate. I did leave feeling better about my own BBQ though. Bonus.

Lake Dogs
04-18-2013, 10:45 AM
Other sanctioning bodies do it much different. I'll use 2 as an example of just how different they can be: MBN (was MIM), and GBA

1. You'll attend a fairly long class. They're fairly extensive. For MBN (if it's still how I did it when it was MIM), it was an all day class. GBA was 4 or 5 hours, as best I recall...

2. Both have tests. MIM used to have 2 tests, and entrance test and an exit test. Yes, some people fail and are not considered "trained". Taking the class and passing the tests DOESN'T make you a CBJ in either MBN or GBA; it makes you "trained".

3. Both then require that you judge 2 contests as a trained judge before becoming "certified". MBN actually has teams critique their on-site judges. It's rather interesting...

Then, the continuing education is fairly similar, from what I understand.

I'm sure other sanctioning bodies do it different from KCBS as well...


So, to the very first question, which IMHO wasn't really answered except for KCBS only folks, was:

are there study materials? In some, yes, but in most, no. They aren't the same.

are there different tests for different regions? Not that I know of within any 1 sanctioning body, but the various sanctioning bodies do them VERY differently, because their definitions are different, and their type of judging and scoring are VASTLY different.

is it pass/fail? how often does someone fail? In KCBS, from what I've read, no. However, in other sanctioning bodies, YES. I had 2 people fail in my MIM class way back when....

Bentley
04-18-2013, 11:00 AM
In the KCBS class you will learn the basic guidelines. You will learn how to become a good judge in your first 5 or 6 contest. Keith


Took me about 20. Anyone that can do it in 5-6 I tip my hat to!

mobow
04-18-2013, 11:35 AM
Took me about 20. Anyone that can do it in 5-6 I tip my hat to!
Eden is a tough town to judge in. lol

Ford
04-18-2013, 12:37 PM
Do you have pink pig suspenders and a straw hat? That always helps to be a CBJ.

Lake Dogs
04-18-2013, 12:40 PM
Ford, tell us about becoming an FBA CBJ. Are they KCBSesque, more like GBA, or unique unto themselves?

Slamdunkpro
04-18-2013, 01:15 PM
i have been wondering recently how hard it is to become a certified bbq judge.

tia.

As long as the check clears.........you're in!

The_Kapn
04-18-2013, 01:19 PM
Ford, tell us about becoming an FBA CBJ. Are they KCBSesque, more like GBA, or unique unto themselves?

HANCE,

FBA training is basically the same as KCBS.
A couple of hours of "class" and some mock judging and you are good to go.
No follow up or continuing education.

TIM

ViciousGame
04-18-2013, 01:56 PM
I just took a CBJ class a month ago. What I took away most from it was what to look for as far foreign items not allowed in the box, ie. illegal garnish, shards of foil, hair, etc. Also, how to score boxes without the six identifiable pieces and such.

One interesting bit was that one box purposely had only five pieces of chicken breast in the box. We were told to score normally; however, once the 6th judge was left without a piece we would retroactively re-score the appearance (just in case the 6th piece was hidden or something). When a judge picked up a piece of chicken, it broke in half. The judge is not allowed to pick up the half that fell back into the box, so magically there was a 6th piece for the 6th judge after all. The table captain helping us got a kick out of that. Needless to say, that judge who picked up the piece that broke in half scored the box a 5 in tenderness.

Ford
04-18-2013, 02:03 PM
HANCE,

FBA training is basically the same as KCBS.
A couple of hours of "class" and some mock judging and you are good to go.
No follow up or continuing education.

TIM

Have to judge first contest before getting credentials. I think because its a smaller group people get to know each other. With the hour window I think there's more discussion between judges. But like kcbs there is often a judge 6. Unlike kcbs their score counts. And score sheets let cooks track judges. Some are low ball for all 4 categories, others just way off for one.

landarc
04-18-2013, 02:44 PM
If they did a test for CBJ's like they do for beer, there would be almost no CBJ's for judging. The test for Beer judging is highly detailed and many fail. One of the harder things is that you must be able to identify styles and taste them out. It is a total different world, same as wine judging for real wine competitions.

BBQ is about taste, and the vagaries are there, not die to lack of education, but, due to some folks are biased and refuse to change their opinions.

NRA4Life
04-18-2013, 03:25 PM
The main requirement is you have to have a deep rooted evil desire to leave a bbq competitor in total bewilderment as to why there is such a huge difference in your score vs. the other 5 judges at your table. That is all. It is a cool conversation starter though..."in my spare time I'm a certified bbq judge". That word "certified" gets them every time.

ModelMaker
04-19-2013, 07:21 AM
While it is indeed easy to become a CBJ (KCBS) it takes many,many contests to become seasoned. You never stop adjusting due to experience and self-improvement.
You cooks that get the goofy scores it may well be CBJ's in their early contests.
All we can hope for is a mix of more experienced judges will smooth out the curve.
Sadly, the aquisition of judges is more about income the expertise, but in time the judges that take it seriously will give you cooks a fair shot.
Ed
You dicks with the cooler ref. are problaby the ones that get left on the judging plate
as we all chuckle about your effort.

Westexbbq
04-19-2013, 10:31 AM
I was surprised years ago as to how easy it was. Since then I have helped cook for a couple of CBJ classes and that is where you get to do all the "tricks" they use to teach the prospective judges, per post #26 above. I have wondered as well if it would help if CBJ's had to go through a more rigorous training but the idea is to just learn the basics as to what KCBS wants to see and then go out and make sure you're a fair and competent Judge at contests.

deepsouth
04-19-2013, 12:44 PM
While it is indeed easy to become a CBJ (KCBS) it takes many,many contests to become seasoned. You never stop adjusting due to experience and self-improvement.
You cooks that get the goofy scores it may well be CBJ's in their early contests.
All we can hope for is a mix of more experienced judges will smooth out the curve.
Sadly, the aquisition of judges is more about income the expertise, but in time the judges that take it seriously will give you cooks a fair shot.
Ed
You dicks with the cooler ref. are problaby the ones that get left on the judging plate
as we all chuckle about your effort.


come on now. no reason to call people dicks.

ModelMaker
04-19-2013, 02:58 PM
come on now. no reason to call people dicks.

If they're going to belittle my passion and effort as a judge as well as others that feel as I do, then I'll not apologize for my remarks.
The cooler dig gets old quickly....
Ed

Brauma
04-19-2013, 03:16 PM
A new judge really learns at the table, after scoring is done, when the judges can talk (whisper if other tables are still judging) to each other about what they just saw and ate.

^ This was told to me by a Master Judge a few weeks ago.

So, it takes quite a few comps for a new judge to earn some credibility. But they all score the same. Meaning, a newbie's scores are weighted the same as a Master Judge. Your only hope is that you dont have two low-scoring overly-discerning newbies at the same table. Scary.

Outnumbered
04-19-2013, 07:37 PM
come on now. no reason to call people dicks.

Guerry tried to warn you. :biggrin1:

:bolt:

Crash
04-20-2013, 04:43 AM
I'm a cook...and not a good one. I've taken the KCBS judging class twice just to get a better all around idea of what it all entails. It's very easy to get certified.

I have the utmost respect for judges that commit themselves to continually judging BBQ contests. It is definitely not an easy chore.

On another note, and a funny story...at our first class, a new judge gave a mock-up comp pork box a 3 on appearance. Why? He didn't think it "looked" like there would be enough for 6 judges to sample. The KCBS rep reminded him that he was incorrect on the appearance score. So props to KCBS for that.