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View Full Version : Judged a IBCA this weekend


jmoney7269
04-21-2013, 06:49 PM
Judging a IBCA comp today in Lagrange Tx. Lots of good teams here. A few Houston rodeo champs and a few state champs, I'm excited. Heather and I are judging chicken and ribs. Will report back

I was a little let down myself, figured there would have been more teams, last year they said they had almost 40. Both of the meridian champion teams were there "twisted system" and "just twisted"
Other good teams were
3 time world champion Eddie posas "this is it" also Pitmaker vault
My brisket nemesis "Sauced up and smokin" they also cook on a Pitmaker vault
My BBQ mentor Jason "you kill it we grill it"
Giddings fair champion 140 teams "Nothin but drunks"
What did I learn? The fields are only as hard as you make them. From this judging experience, I'm now more confident than ever that I can compete and beat the big dogs in Texas, especially the sanctioned ones.

the chicken. Only 2 boxes that were memorable. Box 11 and box 13. Heather agreed. Alot sauced and alot not very good, only gave out two 9's. Heather never scored anything higher than a 7. It's a shame, the most beautiful chicken of the day was one of the most bland. When I opened the box, I had some high expectations, and said to myself, this is the one! It was a DUDD!.
Ribs next.

Onto ribs. Some very memorable boxes, some great, some not so much. I Spit 2 out, we'll into a napkin and then in the trash can. I swear when I opened this box up, a mesquite limb jumped out of the box and slapped me across the face! No really, it numbed my tongue! Gladly it was the last box. Just for clarification we judge on taste, appearance, texture, aroma to come to a overall conclusion of a final score of 1-10. The best rib was something really unusual. It was definitely cooked over coals, very little wood if any, it was in between spicy and just mild. It had a semi sweet glaze and you could tell the rub had red pepper flakes in it. I opened the box and saw this, it impressed me, definitely a 9 bit not a 10. No transcendent ribs today. Was hoping for one with a little acidity to cut the sweet, smoky and salty.

Brisket:
The worst one tasted like over smoked mesquite jerky. Come on! Another didn't even trim the fat cap whatsoever before turn in. Some had gristly fat that was obvious they didn't get it above 160-170 internal. The decent ones were very delicate smoked and had decent bark but were not trimmed very well, still kinda fatty. Just about when I had just given up hope for that 1 transcendent brisket, I opened my very last box. It has a very natural looking smoke ring, dark red In color signifying they cooked with cherry wood, had a nice bbq'd over coals flavor, and they had it sliced just like I slice mine up. I gave it a 10 because they deserved it. Definitely the best one of the day. Usually when heather and I judge we leave shortly after but we decided to go and mingle with the teams. Well I will be a dang monkeys uncle, my buddy Jason was there and he asked if we judged, and i told him yeah. I had no idea he was doin this cookoff. He said, "did you taste your brisket in there?" I said "you little Copycattin ...... .....r !" Now that I think about it, it tasted identical to my brisket and was sliced the same. 2+2=4 duh! I showed him a few months ago how we do ours but I never expected him to copycat our identical recipe. After all the scores came through and Jason pulled 7th chicken, 7th ribs, 1st brisket, 3rd overall. I was happy for my buddy, he finally snapped off brisket win in a hard field. Taught him well. He helped me perfect chicken so it's a wash, overall a great day of BBQ!

RangerJ
04-21-2013, 07:19 PM
Judging a IBCA comp today in Lagrange Tx. Lots of good teams here. A few Houston rodeo champs and a few state champs, I'm excited. Heather and I are judging chicken and ribs.


Brisket:
The worst one tasted like over smoked mesquite jerky. Come on! Another didn't even trim the fat cap whatsoever before turn in. Some had gristly fat that was obvious they didn't get it above 160-170 internal. The decent ones were very delicate smoked and had decent bark but were not trimmed very well, still kinda fatty. Just about when I had just given up hope for that 1 transcendent brisket, I opened my very last box. It has a very natural looking smoke ring, dark red In color signifying they cooked with cherry wood, had a nice bbq'd over coals flavor, and they had it sliced just like I slice mine up. I gave it a 10 because they deserved it. Definitely the best one of the day. Usually when heather and I judge we leave shortly after but we decided to go and mingle with the teams. Well I will be a dang monkeys uncle, my buddy Jason was there and he asked if we judged, and i told him yeah. I had no idea he was doin this cookoff. He said, "did you taste your brisket in there?" I said "you little Copycattin !" Now that I think about it, it tasted identical to my brisket and was sliced the same. 2+2=4 duh! I showed him a few months ago how we do ours but I never expected him to copycat our identical recipe. After all the scores came through and Jason pulled 7th chicken, 7th ribs, 1st brisket, 3rd overall. I was happy for my buddy, he finally snapped off brisket win in a hard field. Taught him well. He helped me perfect chicken so it's a wash, overall a great day of BBQ!

? You judged all 3?

JS-TX
04-21-2013, 07:24 PM
I've judged IBCA/TGCBA a few times and have been surprised as well. Don't know if it's because the meat is not warm/hot or just that my standards are higher being a comp cook as well. Then again everybody has different taste buds...

So how do you slice your brisket? Seems there aren't too many different ways you can do it for a comp.

Yea, I've judged all 3 before... never again.. :sick:

jmoney7269
04-21-2013, 07:52 PM
? You judged all 3?

Dude you have never seen me eat! I eat like I drink beer and I love BBQ!
I judged 16 samples of each category. I hadn't eaten anything yet and went conservative on my sampling size.

jmoney7269
04-21-2013, 07:56 PM
I've judged IBCA/TGCBA a few times and have been surprised as well. Don't know if it's because the meat is not warm/hot or just that my standards are higher being a comp cook as well. Then again everybody has different taste buds...

So how do you slice your brisket? Seems there aren't too many different ways you can do it for a comp.

Yea, I've judged all 3 before... never again.. :sick:
Can't tell ya all that. Took me 3 years of gettin my butt stomped to give Away that important of a step. I can tell you this, it has alot to do with the type of brisket I use

I was definitely full, 2 Categeories from now on.

gmholler
04-21-2013, 08:12 PM
Thanks for putting your stomach on the line!

We have a lot of KCBS judges here that just plain want to do a BBQ contest and can't get in to one, for whatever reason, and lots of them will think they can treat it the same as a KCBS contest - and they end up excusing themselves after ribs! We tell the judges we'd prefer they do no more than 2 categories, but it's not really fair to the cookers if we have only the bare minimum of judges for just one category. But then, we've had local football teams and some law enforcement officials come to judge that are more than able to eat everything in sight!

Lynn H.

BigCountryBBQ
04-22-2013, 10:13 AM
That's why they call judging Subjective! :) What you like someone else may not. What some call bland others will call spicy! :) Day in and day out, the middle of the road BBQ will place more often than not. Not too spicy, not too sweet, not bland, just middle of the road. The extreme stuff will do well in some locales, just as savory instead of spicey, heat, sweet or whatever will place better in certain areas.

What some say is oversmoked, some judge is gonna say that taste just like mine and give it a good score! :) :) What some say that subtle smoke profile is perfect while another judge wants it to taste like creosote cuz thats the way they cook there. Middle of the road folks day in & day out will get ya further down the road overall.

bruno994
04-22-2013, 10:31 AM
Thanks for posting J$...

JS-TX
04-22-2013, 11:05 AM
That's why they call judging Subjective! :) What you like someone else may not. What some call bland others will call spicy! :) Day in and day out, the middle of the road BBQ will place more often than not. Not too spicy, not too sweet, not bland, just middle of the road. The extreme stuff will do well in some locales, just as savory instead of spicey, heat, sweet or whatever will place better in certain areas.

What some say is oversmoked, some judge is gonna say that taste just like mine and give it a good score! :) :) What some say that subtle smoke profile is perfect while another judge wants it to taste like creosote cuz thats the way they cook there. Middle of the road folks day in & day out will get ya further down the road overall.

Well said. I do think cooking this way requires a leap of faith cause who isn't tempted to add a little extra oomph here and there to appease their own tastes?

jmoney7269
04-22-2013, 11:29 AM
Well said. I do think cooking this way requires a leap of faith cause who isn't tempted to add a little extra oomph here and there to appease their own tastes?

JS-TX
I kid you not, I saw teams putting a 1.5 food mini split on the vault every 45-1hr. That pit doesn't need that much wood! I use 1 chunk only to smoke my food and it tapers off and I don't add anymore. When I say a mesquite limb whacked my tongue, I'm not kiddin!

Hawg Father of Seoul
04-22-2013, 11:33 AM
Probably some guys just out having fun. I won't lie, I made some acrid stuff to begin with. Some people learn, some don't.

JS-TX
04-22-2013, 11:39 AM
J$, I know what you mean. Not only does it taste bad but it can possibly make you sick.

jmoney7269
04-22-2013, 01:24 PM
Probably some guys just out having fun. I won't lie, I made some acrid stuff to begin with. Some people learn, some don't.

One of the guys doin it was Eddie Posas 2 time world champion BBQ team "this is it" I didn't understand it. He's a hell of a nice guy, but I hate mesquite over smoked food, and apparently so did the other judges, he didn't even walk top 10. He got 2nd place brisket in the San Antonio rodeo this year almost 400 teams. What could he have changed?

landarc
04-22-2013, 01:32 PM
Thanks for posting, good to read a judges view from time to time

All_grilla_no_filla
04-22-2013, 06:24 PM
Oddly enough, luck often plays a factor in even the more experienced teams. Sometimes it was just destined to not be their weekend. I've been to comps where many of the better teams have tanked, and some no-name walk a couple or more times. I definitely think it's more of an aberration than the norm. But you have a great point that when you have these guys with these nice, expensive pits, sponsors, point standings, etc, that they would put out their absolute best product, each and every time. But the reality is that they're just hitting one comp after another, spinning 'em to win 'em. I've also been seeing a trend lately in teams whose bark is certainly more intense than their bite. We'll exchange product once things are all turned in, and I'm baffled at what some of these people are turning in :confused: lol

QTEX
04-22-2013, 10:15 PM
That's why they call judging Subjective! :) What you like someone else may not. What some call bland others will call spicy! :) Day in and day out, the middle of the road BBQ will place more often than not. Not too spicy, not too sweet, not bland, just middle of the road. The extreme stuff will do well in some locales, just as savory instead of spicey, heat, sweet or whatever will place better in certain areas.

What some say is oversmoked, some judge is gonna say that taste just like mine and give it a good score! :) :) What some say that subtle smoke profile is perfect while another judge wants it to taste like creosote cuz thats the way they cook there. Middle of the road folks day in & day out will get ya further down the road overall.


Yes sir very well said.

jmoney7269
04-22-2013, 10:46 PM
Oddly enough, luck often plays a factor in even the more experienced teams. Sometimes it was just destined to not be their weekend. I've been to comps where many of the better teams have tanked, and some no-name walk a couple or more times. I definitely think it's more of an aberration than the norm. But you have a great point that when you have these guys with these nice, expensive pits, sponsors, point standings, etc, that they would put out their absolute best product, each and every time. But the reality is that they're just hitting one comp after another, spinning 'em to win 'em. I've also been seeing a trend lately in teams whose bark is certainly more intense than their bite. We'll exchange product once things are all turned in, and I'm baffled at what some of these people are turning in :confused: lol
Yeah it amazes me sometimes also. I used to kinda cringe when my arch nemesis in a certain category would be there already when I'm rolling up, now I just think to myself "they got a fight on their hands now" the whole expensive pit, huge $$$$$ setups used to scare me till I started whoppin some tail on my UDS's like RangerJ said can happen. He said gimme my trash cans against all them expensive rigs. I like the ferocity, it's a definite driving force in what may make any team great.