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View Full Version : Do boxes ever really get switched?


Wampus
06-24-2013, 09:55 AM
Because this past weekend really made us wonder.


I'm not just whining because we got our arse handed to us.
I know people say it all the time but we really don't know that the fark happened.
Our stuff was good.
Last weekend, we won brisket.
Did EXACTLY the same thing this weekend. Bad scores. D.A.L.

NEVER have we scored DAL in any category. Now I'm not saying we can't just have a bad week or a "not so good" brisket. But to go from winning to DAL with like a 144.00 score in 1 week?

Another thing that had us wondering was that we got a comment card with our ribs that said "The ribs were very vinegary." Only.....we don't use ANY vinegar in our rib recipe. None. Nada. Never had a comment or even a thought about vinegar in our flavor profile for ribs.

Pork? Absolutely one of the best pork cooks we've ever had. Taste was amazing and meat was perfectly cooked. We overshot last weekend a bit, but this stuff was flat out good.
Scored 25th out of 29.



As I said, I'm not just pissing and moaning. Seriously. We take the scores we get. Whatever.

But, this was just flat out ODD. At what point do you start really wondering if something was switched up? Even if we did think that was a possibility.....what then?


Just thought I'd run it by y'all.

Hawg Father of Seoul
06-24-2013, 10:10 AM
Not all reps are created equal. After the last BOD meeting, we now have 2 that we will never compete under.

Slamdunkpro
06-24-2013, 10:10 AM
Yes boxes get switched during the renumbering process, but it's a pretty rare occurrence and in the couple of times I've seen it happen it always gets caught and corrected. It's a lot more common to see comment cards go to the wrong team.

Ron_L
06-24-2013, 10:12 AM
It does make you wonder, doesn't it? The judges in Davenport handed us our asses in a clamshell this weekend, too, and the scores didn't make sense to us, either. Honestly, our food wasn't the best that we've ever turned in, but it wasn't as bad as the judges thought it was, and that isn't just the cook in me talking.

CBQ
06-24-2013, 10:32 AM
I suppose that mix ups could happen, but I think due care is being taken to avoid this.

KCBS Reps can and do audit scores if something seems amiss. Within the last couple of years, contests I have been at are looking up team numbers at turn in, and telling the person doing the turn what the team name is - just to verify that it's right. At the contests I attend, they check which tables your boxes have gone to, and try not to send any team's turn in a given table more than once. Sometimes the boxes are mixed up so they don't go to the table in the order that they were turned in. I don't know if all of these things are standard KCBS practice, but most of the northeast reps are doing these things as a practice.

It seems that a lot of effort is being made to ensure that turn ins are fair to the teams. I think, from what I see the few times I have judged, is that the process is pretty reasonably managed.

It's most likely the judge didn't correctly describe the flavor, but didn't like something about it. Maybe there was not vinegar, but had that taste. Judges will equate a taste with an ingredient. It was probably too tangy or not enough sweet for their taste.

For example, a common complaint from teams is getting a comment card that says the food had a "lighter fluid" taste when the team didn't use lighter fluid. It's probably a case of the judge describing the flavor incorrectly vs. a mix up. If you smolder a wood fire you can get creosote on the surface of the meat which will impart a lighter fluid taste to it and earn you a "lighter fluid" comment card.

Wampus
06-24-2013, 10:45 AM
I've talked to a few judges and asked about the numbering process and how all that works, so I know that they take great care to make sure thes mix ups don't happen and I'm not even thinking that it really DID happen, but it made us wonder is all.

Again, it's not like I'm just wondering about fluxuating scores from one contest to another. I get that judges tastes are different and there are so many variables that can affect a box once it leaves our hands, but it's just so extreme of a score for us that we've never had. We've been NOTHING if not consistent this and last year. We just have it down now. Some weeks are better than others, sure, but from 1st to DAL?

We've been running pretty close to top 50 on TOY scores, or at least top 100 for all categories. That shows consistency. Every week things end up pretty much the same for us, at least score wise. Not always "placement", but that's expected to a degree I think.

jaestar
06-24-2013, 10:47 AM
I'm in the same boat as you after this past weekend. My chicken average on the year has been 169. This past weekend I cooked really good chicken and got a 147. At this contest they did not hand out score sheets at all so I have nothing to go off of. How would someone go about having this looked into, or is it something that will never go anywhere so why bother?

jmoney7269
06-24-2013, 11:00 AM
All I'm sayin is we got four 1st briskest, two 2nds, and 1 3rd this year but our second to last comp where the IBCA president won and we got DAL also it makes you wonder alot. Not whining either but we could not find our brisket anywhere on the judging tables afterwards, but there was one empty box with no knife cut marks in the foil indicating it was not judged and the juice where the meat touched the foil tasted just like mine. There were some really sorry briskets in the finals table so you know it's like WTF! I have heard about boxes going out the back door several times. There is no proof but people just don't dream up this kind of stuff. I have no doubt that it happens. We just don't walk up our boxes anymore. Either my mom, sister or BIL do it, problem solved.

quarters69
06-24-2013, 11:01 AM
I'm clueless about those scores Wampus. I'm not whining like a little school girl, but. There's no way in he•• that we scored that bad. We knew our chicken wasn't perfect but the other 3. Completely clueless. Might be time to hang it up for me!!

Slamdunkpro
06-24-2013, 11:06 AM
But, this was just flat out ODD. At what point do you start really wondering if something was switched up? Even if we did think that was a possibility.....what then?


Just thought I'd run it by y'all.

I'm assuming this was a KCBS event? If so and you really think you got switched out you can go to the rep and ask to see your box since they save them. They will go through and pull your empty box with the blind number still on it then peel it off in front of you to make sure that the original team number underneath is yours. I don't know what happens if it isn't your original number since every time I've seen it done the numbers have been correct.

timzcardz
06-24-2013, 11:15 AM
Sometimes I wish my box had been switched! :wink:


And I've yet to hear anyone ask "What the heck happened? There's no way our entry should have been in the top five!" :shock:

sweetracks
06-24-2013, 11:18 AM
We actually thought the same thing at Sams club the first year. We had been top 6 or 7 in chicken at every event that year and finished second to last in Chicken and DAL overall. The thought crossed my mind briefly but I've tried to dismiss it as only a bad cook. That's the kind of thing that can get in your head and make you start doubting the whole judging process and that is no good.

jmoney7269
06-24-2013, 11:18 AM
Sometimes I wish my box had been switched! :wink:


And I've yet to hear anyone ask "What the heck happened? There's no way our entry should have been in the top five!" :shock:

We have turned in some junky ribs that were super salty smoke ring all the way through falling apart sloppy, and walked 1st. Even I thought you gotta be joking me!

CBQ
06-24-2013, 11:21 AM
Sometimes I wish my box had been switched! :wink:


And I've yet to hear anyone ask "What the heck happened? There's no way our entry should have been in the top five!" :shock:

Apparently you weren't at Green Lane when we took first in brisket :becky:

landarc
06-24-2013, 12:04 PM
Kempis, I got a comment card back that said 'brisket tastes like salmon', we still took a 3rd, but, apparently, one judge felt we had cooked it with some salmon. That cooker specifically never saw fish, as it was for pork and beef. Who knows sometimes.

ique
06-24-2013, 12:45 PM
Because this past weekend really made us wonder.



At the cooks meeting I always try to double check that the number on the boxes the reps give me match up with whats on their list. That's one way to get things switched up.

HarleyGirl14226
06-24-2013, 12:55 PM
And I've yet to hear anyone ask "What the heck happened? There's no way our entry should have been in the top five!" :shock:

We've had brisket that we thought was so bad we threw it away - and ended up walking with 3rd. We actually felt guilty getting up and accepting the trophy and check...

INmitch
06-24-2013, 01:47 PM
Kempis you and Jimmy are not the only one's scratching your heads. Wife n I thought it was our best cook this year. I was going to call Jimmy when we got home Saturday night but thought I better wait till the dust settles a little bit.

indianagriller
06-24-2013, 02:35 PM
Kempis you and Jimmy are not the only one's scratching your heads. Wife n I thought it was our best cook this year. I was going to call Jimmy when we got home Saturday night but thought I better wait till the dust settles a little bit.

Yea, even Kempis was afraid to call me saturday night... I was :boxing: mad. But, there is always this weekend i guess... im over it really i am ... :rolleyes:

Trucky1008
06-24-2013, 02:40 PM
At the cooks meeting I always try to double check that the number on the boxes the reps give me match up with whats on their list. That's one way to get things switched up.

Two weekends ago I did just that, asked the rep to verify my box numbers with his list and the response I got was "I've been repping for over 20 years, your numbers are just fine". He did end up verifying the numbers for me but he took my inquiry very personal. I had no specific reason to think my box numbers were wrong but I just wanted to verify.

INmitch
06-24-2013, 02:44 PM
Yea, even Kempis was afraid to call me saturday night... I was :boxing: mad. But, there is always this weekend i guess... im over it really i am ... :rolleyes:

I'm not! This is the most discouraged I've been in a loooong time.:mmph:

Mad About Que
06-24-2013, 02:59 PM
I had to look back and make sure I wasn't in the "Things Losers Say" forum.. ha. no seriously... cook it right...and be consistent. Close the box and hope for the best. While first to last with the same product is just crazy.

loco_engr
06-24-2013, 03:29 PM
What does DAL & TOY stand for?
Thanks

mobow
06-24-2013, 03:35 PM
Dead A## Last
Team of the Year

Podge
06-24-2013, 03:39 PM
I think it’s very highly possible that alternate numbers get switch!.. If you ever watch turn in’s, it is not the rep (usually) who verifies the numbers and sticks on a new one. Sometimes reps are not around to double check what all is going on. I’ve scratched my head more than once wondering WTH happened when I see scores of some teams I KNOW that can cook a hell of a lot better on a bad day, when I see their scores. More and more, I find it extremely important to go to contests where I know the reps will do a good job, and have competent people around them.

MikeR
06-24-2013, 03:39 PM
D ead A zz L ast and T eam O f the Y ear

Hawg Father of Seoul
06-24-2013, 04:10 PM
Kempis, I got a comment card back that said 'brisket tastes like salmon', we still took a 3rd, but, apparently, one judge felt we had cooked it with some salmon. That cooker specifically never saw fish, as it was for pork and beef. Who knows sometimes.

How much fish sauce though? Redboat?

quarters69
06-24-2013, 04:18 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by indianagriller
Yea, even Kempis was afraid to call me saturday night... I was mad. But, there is always this weekend i guess... im over it really i am ...

I'm not! This is the most discouraged I've been in a loooong time.

I'm not either!! This is gonna take awhile!!

landarc
06-24-2013, 04:24 PM
How much fish sauce though? Redboat?
Funny enough, none. I was not the head cook, in fact, I was not supposed to be cooking at all, but, when I got there and took a few tastes of the rub and sauce, I told the head cook they were way off. He asked me to make some adjustments. Thus, I ended up making the rubs, sauces and a few other adjustments. No fish were harmed in the process. It was truly weird.

Ron_L
06-24-2013, 04:37 PM
I'm not! This is the most discouraged I've been in a loooong time.:mmph:

So maybe now the Fat Boys Go Karting League is sounding like a better idea?

:becky:

I'm going to take up competitive macrame...

carlyle
06-24-2013, 04:49 PM
It is possible to make a mistake in re numbering. But very difficult for it to go undetected.

Since labels are printed in advance, there has to be 2 mistakes that reverse the numbers on 2 teams boxes for the labels to come out even. Again, possible, but unlikely. Very unlikely.

Look for another cause.

bbq.tom
06-24-2013, 05:29 PM
I've worked the turn-in table and can assure you that there were NO mistakes at that contest! Can't verify other contests, but if they are run like the one I worked then there is almost NO way for numbers to get switched.
If you have a serious question then talk to the REPs immediately and they can attempt to see if anything happened. Again, HIGHLY unlikely!

Pappy Q
06-24-2013, 05:30 PM
We had a great cook at SAMs Knoxville, really felt great about everything. 3rd chicken, 5th ribs, 8th brisket...everyone thought we were going to be GC. Pork was like 26 of 28 and 140 something...our lowest score ever. Finished 11th overall. I keep telling myself I'm over it but my wife doesn't believe me.

Pappy Q
06-24-2013, 05:34 PM
It seems to me that the biggest chance for a mistake would come at the point when scores are put in the computer...a bunch of numbers that have to be recorded at a hectic time. Lots of room for honest human error.

buttburnersbbq
06-24-2013, 06:33 PM
It makes you wonder if the turn in boxes handed out were labeled wrong. So what ever you turned in was actually someone else team number . Just a suggestion .

CBQ
06-24-2013, 06:42 PM
It seems to me that the biggest chance for a mistake would come at the point when scores are put in the computer...a bunch of numbers that have to be recorded at a hectic time. Lots of room for honest human error.

That is the most likely point, as it also involved reading people's handwriting reliably. I would like to see score cards where you check boxes labels 1-9, vs. having the reps puzzle over whether that was a 9 or a 4.

Slamdunkpro
06-24-2013, 07:00 PM
That is the most likely point, as it also involved reading people's handwriting reliably. I would like to see score cards where you check boxes labels 1-9, vs. having the reps puzzle over whether that was a 9 or a 4.
I wouldn't. We experimented with that type of score sheet last year and the amount of text on the page required demanded that it either be very small or the score sheets enlarged. Then you have the issue of sauce drops, finger marks or stains obscuring or marking multiple spots.

NRA4Life
06-24-2013, 07:23 PM
It makes you wonder if the turn in boxes handed out were labeled wrong. So what ever you turned in was actually someone else team number . Just a suggestion .

This wasn't the problem. When Mike Lake and his wife handed out the boxes they had you verify the number on each box matched the number next to your team name on their sheet and then initial their sheet signifying you verified it. I got some wacky scores at this contest as well, I suspect there were a bunch of new judges at this contest.

indianagriller
06-24-2013, 08:24 PM
This wasn't the problem. When Mike Lake and his wife handed out the boxes they had you verify the number on each box matched the number next to your team name on their sheet and then initial their sheet signifying you verified it. I got some wacky scores at this contest as well, I suspect there were a bunch of new judges at this contest.

Didn't happen for our boxes they handed us our boxes during middle of set up and I know I didn't initial anything.

Kit R
06-24-2013, 08:53 PM
Kempis, I got a comment card back that said 'brisket tastes like salmon', we still took a 3rd, but, apparently, one judge felt we had cooked it with some salmon. That cooker specifically never saw fish, as it was for pork and beef. Who knows sometimes.

This is bizarre, but I got a comment card three weeks ago saying my ribs tasted like they'd been cooked in a smoker that had been used to cook fish. And trust me we didn't finish 3rd. That comment card had me freaking out over our ribs source. Fortunately I was able to get to a place where I could attribute the comment to an outlier and moved on to a 2nd place finish this past Saturday in the "fish cooker".

rib runners
06-24-2013, 09:37 PM
Stay with your same meat game.

That Sam's had 6 to 8 judges that never judged before or just one contest under their belt. They were scattered out but just saying............

If you check out Sam's events, they seem to lower scores.

I was a table captain.

Ron

NazBQ
06-24-2013, 10:20 PM
I got a DAL in ribs last month because we had an accordion rib in the box and all the judges didn't get a sample. I took a pic before turn in that showed all six were clearly cut and separated. Made me wonder if it wasn't a different box. :mad:

ModelMaker
06-25-2013, 08:35 AM
Hey, was this the 4th contest in June? That explains it all.
We the members of the secret society of judges (SSOJ) always look up who did well on the 3rd week of June and really let the teams have it!! In conjunction with the secret society of reps (SSOR) which tell us the numbers of those boxes, we have our little bit of fun with you all.
Have a great week..
Ed

TooSaucedToPork
06-25-2013, 09:09 AM
As a CBJ and Cook, I offer you a possible explanation...palette cleansing

One entry into another can create different tastes. You think what you cooked is too salty, and you walked...could be the entries before yours toned down the salt...or you could just be hyper critical of yourself...

The same goes the other way, you make a perfect rib, then he judges taste butt ribs right before yours. With the taste of butt still lingering it throws your profile off.