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cpw
05-15-2013, 12:17 PM
OK, So my team just competed in our first KCBS contest, using the exact same recipes we'd used in SCBA and FBA contests, with decent results. I won't say we did bad, we came in 8th out of 42 teams, with a 3rd place in brisket (which I thought was our worst meat, but what do I know?)

My question is on the taste score, and I'll use chicken (21st place) as an example: 7,9,8,9,8,7 on taste. I know the chicken didn't taste bad or off or anything like that, but when people say "1 bite" do they really mean 1 bite? Do I need to amp up the rub and sauce to the point where I couldn't/wouldn't want to eat more than 1 bite to get the taste score up? On chicken, I wasn't using any rubs or sauces that were out of the ordinary, everything was commercially bought.

thanks for any help

-Chad

Porcine Perfection
05-15-2013, 12:23 PM
I always take a bite from each side of the thigh. With chicken the first bite is so important because the skin game comes into play. Bite through skin is the goal of course, but as a judge I will only grade down if the skin becomes a "chin slapper".

mobow
05-15-2013, 12:26 PM
Don't change it for another contest or two. If the judges that gave you 7's are chronic low scorers you should see better scores next time. If the judges that gave you 9's are chronic high scorers you will see lower scores next time. Your mix of scores for this contest is hard to know what was what. JMO. Keith

cpw
05-15-2013, 12:28 PM
I always take a bite from each side of the thigh. With chicken the first bite is so important because the skin game comes into play. Bite through skin is the goal of course, but as a judge I will only grade down if the skin becomes a "chin slapper".

Our tenderness scores were low on the chicken as well, but I do know that the skin was bite through. We had several pieces that didn't go in the box and I made sure to taste them 10 minutes after turn in.

Lake Dogs
05-15-2013, 01:29 PM
cpw, at any contest (regardless of sanctioning body), what works great at one table may not work nearly as great at the next table. Taste is extremely subjective. What is too sweet to one person is perfect to another. Same for salt. Same for smokieness. etc.

Also, check with the organizers and see about % of CBJ's. Less CBJ's tend to reward heavily sauced things better, where more seasoned CBJ's grade it down because "it's not a sauce contest"...

cpw
05-15-2013, 02:16 PM
Also, check with the organizers and see about % of CBJ's. Less CBJ's tend to reward heavily sauced things better, where more seasoned CBJ's grade it down because "it's not a sauce contest"...

I think I remember the KCBS rep saying it was 100% CBJ. I would say that there was a fair amount of sauce on there, but not too much.

Lake Dogs
05-15-2013, 02:40 PM
My guess is, looking at your chicken taste scores, it was too this or too that for a couple of the folks. Can't tell, it could've been too bland, but it could've been too spicy, or too sweet, or just too much sauce itself.

I wouldn't read too much into any 1 contest, or 2 for that matter... 3 contests, with similar results, time to try things differently...

cpw
05-15-2013, 03:09 PM
My guess is, looking at your chicken taste scores, it was too this or too that for a couple of the folks. Can't tell, it could've been too bland, but it could've been too spicy, or too sweet, or just too much sauce itself.

I wouldn't read too much into any 1 contest, or 2 for that matter... 3 contests, with similar results, time to try things differently...

I hear ya. Our next contest is a Sam's Club qualifier, so I'm trying to improve just enough to get to 6th overall. The contest we just competed in was really to find out where we stood on scores.

bbq.tom
05-15-2013, 03:27 PM
I'm a 'two-bite' judge (NOT 2-bit) and usually use the first bite to test the skin and initial impression of taste. Second bite from the opposite side of the entry to help judge the texture/tenderness and finalize the taste score.

With your score spread it kind of looks to me like you have something slightly overpowering - either spice/sweet/smoke/bland/something. Some like it and some don't.

I'd get more input from another contest or three before changing much.

Sawdustguy
05-15-2013, 04:05 PM
Actually your taste numbers were not terrible. Your marks of 7,9,8,9,8,7 are not bad. You only had two marks that were not 8's or 9's. I would only tweek your chicken a little. You may not be that far off. Of course if you competed at another contest your marks could be totally different. There are too many variables to make a judgement from one set of scores from one contest. If it was easy everybody would win.

MikeJ65
05-15-2013, 09:42 PM
Our tenderness scores were low on the chicken as well, but I do know that the skin was bite through. We had several pieces that didn't go in the box and I made sure to taste them 10 minutes after turn in.

I know it is supposed to be two distinct scores, but taste and tenderness tend to get judged together. Tough, but perfectly seasoned brisket might deserve an x-9-5, but it is more likely to get an x-7-6. If your skin was a bit tough, it is very hard to get 9's on taste. I know this isn't how judges are trained, but its what I see happening. I think judges are reluctant to give really low scores, so they tend to do it this way.

Bentley
05-15-2013, 11:10 PM
My question is on the taste score, and I'll use chicken (21st place) as an example: 7,9,8,9,8,7 on taste. ...but when people say "1 bite" do they really mean 1 bite? Do I need to amp up the rub and sauce to the point where I couldn't/wouldn't want to eat more than 1 bite to get the taste score up?

For me as a judge, it is simply getting full too fast if it is much more then one healthy bite. Now that more an more teams are putting in multipul pieces of pork and brisket with burnt ends...trying to manage the amount of food intake is the biggest reason I rarely take more then one bite...

And no, I have not taken BBQ home with me from judging since 2004.

Not sure how to give you any advice on the rest.

Smokin Hoggz
05-16-2013, 05:27 AM
I always take a bite from each side of the thigh. With chicken the first bite is so important because the skin game comes into play. Bite through skin is the goal of course, but as a judge I will only grade down if the skin becomes a "chin slapper".

Sounds like you only need to make a small adjustment, whether its more/less salt, sweet, spice, sauce etc...

When I took the judging class we were told not to judge the chicken based on the skin, and if the skin came off not to judge it down.

Smokin' Gnome BBQ
05-16-2013, 07:07 AM
Sounds like you only need to make a small adjustment, whether its more/less salt, sweet, spice, sauce etc...

When I took the judging class we were told not to judge the chicken based on the skin, and if the skin came off not to judge it down.

I also was told that you were NOT to score down on skin that comes off. I have read the discussions many times on here but it still doesn't seem that all judges follow the guide lines provided.

boogiesnap
05-16-2013, 07:16 AM
i would hope judges arent scoring down JUST because the skin came off. however, i could agree that it would change the overall product being eaten and thus may affect score. maybe even for the better?:wink:

gettinbasted
05-16-2013, 07:21 AM
I also was told that you were NOT to score down on skin that comes off. I have read the discussions many times on here but it still doesn't seem that all judges follow the guide lines provided.

Interesting. Flabby, slimy skin is off-putting in both taste and tenderness. It is a lot to expect from judges to ignore it. If it goes in the box, it should be scored. I guess having it stay on or off may not be what affects the score. It is the reason (tough) that the skin slid off that will move a score down.

MAP
05-16-2013, 07:54 AM
Sounds like you only need to make a small adjustment, whether its more/less salt, sweet, spice, sauce etc...

When I took the judging class we were told not to judge the chicken based on the skin, and if the skin came off not to judge it down.

I also was told that you were NOT to score down on skin that comes off. I have read the discussions many times on here but it still doesn't seem that all judges follow the guide lines provided.

So what you are saying is that if I get crispy skin (which I can and do at home) and it comes off, it is better than soft but bight through skin????

Smokin Hoggz
05-16-2013, 10:42 AM
So what you are saying is that if I get crispy skin (which I can and do at home) and it comes off, it is better than soft but bight through skin????


Nope, not saying that at all. Just saying when I took the judging class, they said to not judge down the chicken on its skin (whether rubbery or not).
I'm not trying to stir the pot, just saying what the instructors taught us in the judging class.

boogiesnap
05-16-2013, 10:46 AM
Nope, not saying that at all. Just saying when I took the judging class, they said to not judge down the chicken on its skin (whether rubbery or not).
I'm not trying to stir the pot, just saying what the instructors taught us in the judging class.


i was told that if it came off, to taste it and include in judging, but don't mark down because it came off.

not tryin to stir the pot either, i swear.

Smokin' Gnome BBQ
05-16-2013, 10:52 AM
Interesting. Flabby, slimy skin is off-putting in both taste and tenderness. It is a lot to expect from judges to ignore it. If it goes in the box, it should be scored. I guess having it stay on or off may not be what affects the score. It is the reason (tough) that the skin slid off that will move a score down.

The point of my statement was if the skin pulls off (per what was explained at the CBJ class and rep had said) should not effect the score. slimy or flabby is different, what if the skin is well "scraped" and tender or crispy comes off should that be scored down?

cpw
05-16-2013, 11:02 AM
Another question related to the "tenderness affects taste" line of thinking, which I agree with. We used crappy Tyson family pack chicken (which I won't be doing again, mainly because they were all over the place in terms of size and quality), is it worth my while to buy organic, fancy chicken (either Publix organic, or Smart Chicken) to help with tenderness?

PatAttack
05-16-2013, 11:05 AM
I hear ya. Our next contest is a Sam's Club qualifier, so I'm trying to improve just enough to get to 6th overall. The contest we just competed in was really to find out where we stood on scores.

We're cooking in that one, too!:thumb:

See you there.

Pat

Team OMFGBBQ

Cast Iron Chef
05-16-2013, 11:11 AM
Another question related to the "tenderness affects taste" line of thinking, which I agree with. We used crappy Tyson family pack chicken (which I won't be doing again, mainly because they were all over the place in terms of size and quality), is it worth my while to buy organic, fancy chicken (either Publix organic, or Smart Chicken) to help with tenderness?

I use the big Tyson packs from Sam's club with good results. I go through every package to get one with consistent sizes and color. I haven't tried the grocery store packages.

gettinbasted
05-16-2013, 11:13 AM
The point of my statement was if the skin pulls off (per what was explained at the CBJ class and rep had said) should not effect the score. slimy or flabby is different, what if the skin is well "scraped" and tender or crispy comes off should that be scored down?

If you read the end of my comment, I'm not disagreeing with you at all. The fact that the skin pulled off or not shouldn't be a criteria to be judged on. The underlying factor of why it pulled off or not might be.

Personally when I judge, if the skin pulls off but tastes good and has a good texture, I will just eat the rest of the skin and give it good marks. This is rarely the case. Most of the time when the skin pulls off it is for a reason and disgusting.

Unfortunately we all know the reality is that bite through skin is a point of judgement by most judges, regardless of flavor and texture.

cpw
05-16-2013, 11:13 AM
We're cooking in that one, too!:thumb:

See you there.

Pat

Team OMFGBBQ

Awesome! We're Yes, Dear BBQ. I'll make sure to look you up. And make sure to pay no attention to whatever is being discussed in this thread. :mrgreen:

-Chad

Smokin' Gnome BBQ
05-16-2013, 11:55 AM
If you read the end of my comment, I'm not disagreeing with you at all. The fact that the skin pulled off or not shouldn't be a criteria to be judged on. The underlying factor of why it pulled off or not might be.

Personally when I judge, if the skin pulls off but tastes good and has a good texture, I will just eat the rest of the skin and give it good marks. This is rarely the case. Most of the time when the skin pulls off it is for a reason and disgusting.

Unfortunately we all know the reality is that bite through skin is a point of judgement by most judges, regardless of flavor and texture.

you are 100% correct! that makes us both right!:razz:

bbq.tom
05-16-2013, 03:10 PM
Nope, not saying that at all. Just saying when I took the judging class, they said to not judge down the chicken on its skin (whether rubbery or not).
I'm not trying to stir the pot, just saying what the instructors taught us in the judging class.

VERY interesting!!! I took my CBJ class over 4 years ago and we were told to bite through the skin and judge it along with the chicken as it is part of the entry. If it doesn't have bite through (or flaps against your chin) we are to score down on tenderness as it is a part of the entry. (Mike Lake was my instructor.)
My wife took her CBJ class 3 years ago and I sat in on it, and it again was explained the same - judge the skin as part of the entry. (Ron Harwell was her instructor.)
Maybe CBJ trainers are teaching something different these days, but you would think that something would be said in the judges meeting about the change.

The only statement that is on the recording concerning chicken skin is: "if presented with skin on, you should at least taste the skin". That's it.

One comment - I'd rather bite into a chicken thigh with NO skin than one that has poor bite through or flaps against my chin.

Hoss
05-16-2013, 11:02 PM
I am a certified KCBS judge.When I judge,I take ONE bite of each entry.Load it up,you only get one chance.Comp Q ain't everyday eating Q.

Pappy Q
05-17-2013, 06:02 AM
another question related to the "tenderness affects taste" line of thinking, which i agree with. We used crappy tyson family pack chicken (which i won't be doing again, mainly because they were all over the place in terms of size and quality), is it worth my while to buy organic, fancy chicken (either publix organic, or smart chicken) to help with tenderness?

yes!

Pappy Q
05-17-2013, 06:08 AM
VERY interesting!!! I took my CBJ class over 4 years ago and we were told to bite through the skin and judge it along with the chicken as it is part of the entry. If it doesn't have bite through (or flaps against your chin) we are to score down on tenderness as it is a part of the entry. (Mike Lake was my instructor.)
My wife took her CBJ class 3 years ago and I sat in on it, and it again was explained the same - judge the skin as part of the entry. (Ron Harwell was her instructor.)
Maybe CBJ trainers are teaching something different these days, but you would think that something would be said in the judges meeting about the change.

The only statement that is on the recording concerning chicken skin is: "if presented with skin on, you should at least taste the skin". That's it.

One comment - I'd rather bite into a chicken thigh with NO skin than one that has poor bite through or flaps against my chin.

There are so many variables in judging from who taught the class to how the reps seat judges to what kind of mood each particular judge is in that day, that if you think try to make sense of any of it, it'll drive you crazy. As hard as it is, you just have to turn in the best you can do that day and hope that all the stars align for good results.