PDA

View Full Version : **Judging**


DaSmokin'Chili
06-27-2013, 07:38 PM
Just got my CBJ this winter and I am going to judge my first comp., this weekend. Besides the appearance, taste, and tenderness; are there any other things I should look for too? From my research SWEET w/ a lil HEAT is the flavor profile that everyone uses, Are there any other popular flavor profiles?Any Other tips?:crazy:

CBQ
06-27-2013, 07:55 PM
It's what flavor YOU like, compared to all bbq you have tasted. Don't compare dishes. If you get 4 great dishes in a row, give them all good scores. It's not comparative. Sometimes you get great dishes at the same table, and the last ones you taste lose out.

When I judge, I look for a balance of smoky, hot, and sweet that highlights the meat being judged.

Look for craftmanship. Does the box look good? Does the flavor profile enhance the meat and not hide it? Would you want to eat this again?

A 7 is considered a poor showing by most teams. If it's good, it's an 8. If it's great, it's a 9. 9 9 9 is great bbq, but doesn't mean "greatest bbq i have ever had in my whole life". Some judges don't give out 9 9 9 ever. Don't be one of those.

If you give a 5 or lower, complete a comment card and tell people why. Don't speculate on what they did wrong ("you overcooked it"), just tell them what you didn't like ("it was too dry").

Talk to other judges about what they liked and why (AFTER your scores are in..you aren't allowed to discuss before than), for every bad judge we complain about on here, there are 5 good ones and you can learn a lot.

Smokin'Butts
06-27-2013, 09:04 PM
It's what flavor YOU like, compared to all bbq you have tasted. Don't compare dishes. If you get 4 great dishes in a row, give them all good scores. It's not comparative. Sometimes you get great dishes at the same table, and the last ones you taste lose out.

When I judge, I look for a balance of smoky, hot, and sweet that highlights the meat being judged.

Look for craftmanship. Does the box look good? Does the flavor profile enhance the meat and not hide it? Would you want to eat this again?

A 7 is considered a poor showing by most teams. If it's good, it's an 8. If it's great, it's a 9. 9 9 9 is great bbq, but doesn't mean "greatest bbq i have ever had in my whole life". Some judges don't give out 9 9 9 ever. Don't be one of those.

If you give a 5 or lower, complete a comment card and tell people why. Don't speculate on what they did wrong ("you overcooked it"), just tell them what you didn't like ("it was too dry").

Talk to other judges about what they liked and why (AFTER your scores are in..you aren't allowed to discuss before than), for every bad judge we complain about on here, there are 5 good ones and you can learn a lot.

Well said!

Ford
06-27-2013, 09:12 PM
Appearance - I want o dive into tht is 9, looks great is 8, looks ok is 7. Anything below that is basically I don't want to eat that.

Taste - rocks my world is 10 but you can only give 9. Fantastic is 9. That's real good is 8. I like that is 7. See above for less.

Tenderness/texture - man that's just right is 9. Almost perfect is 8. Real good is 7. Less see above.

Judging is simple. It's great to say judge as presented but you don't know if the cook meant for it to be hot or sweet. You do know about sauce or no sauce o should not penalize. At the end of the day if you like an entry and gave less than 8 you probably are Wrong.

Off oapbox now.

bbq.tom
06-27-2013, 09:12 PM
I agree with MOST of what Chris wrote, but have to take exception to the "flavor" being what you like. It's NOT supposed to be about what you like, but about how the flavors blend and enhance the taste of the meat.

Also, while a 7 is a problem for a team looking for a call, it is the appropriate score for an entry that is only "above average". Don't be afraid to give a 9 if the entry is "excellent" (DOESN'T HAVE TO BE PERFECT!!!).

Most of all, have fun and do your best.

motoeric
06-27-2013, 09:16 PM
Comment cards aren't restricted to only the negatives. Feel free to let a team know that you thought that they did a great job.

The only arbiters of what is 'real' BBQ are the Reps. Judge the food on it's own merits. Whether or not you dislike vinegar sauces, mustard sauces, unsauced meat, etc. isn't relevant. Judge what you've been presented.

Judging isn't a race. Don't feel bad if you are still judging when others at your table are finished.

Don't be shy about asking questions. That's what the Reps and the Table Captains are there for.

Try to write legibly.

Eat enough of every turn-in to be able to fairly evaluate the meat.

If you see any teams that are flying the Brethren colors and are so inclined, offering a hand with cleaning or packing up after judging is completed would be a classy move.

Have a great time!


Eric

CBQ
06-28-2013, 12:42 AM
I agree with MOST of what Chris wrote, but have to take exception to the "flavor" being what you like. It's NOT supposed to be about what you like, but about how the flavors blend and enhance the taste of the meat.

Well, at least in my CBJ class (a few years ago now), they said it was about what we liked for the taste score. At the end of the day, taste is subjective, and I can only compare it to my lifetime experience of BBQ. I don't know what sometime tastes like to you and it's difficult for you to explain it to me.

A lot of people in the class asked what the BBQ was supposed to taste like, and the answer was there wasn't a KCBS standard for taste - it's what we thought of the taste. (Unlike tenderness, which does have more objective standards to test.)

Of course your suggestion that flavors blend and enhance the taste of the meat certainly is a good guideline.

CBQ
06-28-2013, 12:58 AM
Whether or not you dislike vinegar sauces, mustard sauces, unsauced meat, etc. isn't relevant. Judge what you've been presented.

I do agree with this. I think it is, at the end of the day, your impressions that matter, but those impressions should be based on what is presented. Maybe you like sauced ribs, but if you get unsauced ribs how do they stand up to other unsauced ribs you have tasted before? Don't ding the cook for their style, but evaluate how well they executed the style.

One of the things I liked about the late movie critic Roger Ebert is that he reviewed movies in the context of their genre. If a film was in a genre he didn't care for, he would still evaluate the film on it's own terms. If the film was a goofy comedy, how did it stand up to other goofy comedies? He didn't ding it for not being Shakespeare, it just had to be good at what it was. BBQ should be treated the same way.

If you see any teams that are flying the Brethren colors and are so inclined, offering a hand with cleaning or packing up after judging is completed would be a classy move.

That has never happened to me! We do, however, like to talk to judges after the judging is done about their impressions - what they liked and disliked and why. Of course we have no way of knowing if they tasted our dishes or not, but just hearing what they thought is valuable.

ModelMaker
06-28-2013, 07:03 AM
The most important thing you can do during your entire judging career is leave your personal likes, dislikes, and preconcived ideas in your car before going into the judges tent. Your only job is to judge each cooks effort, each and every box all by itself and on its own merit.
JUDGE ONLY WHAT IS PRESENTED! Not lack of burnt ends or "I don't like chicken legs"

My personal dislike is chicken ornament balls, but I have trained my thought process that if they show up in the box, I judge them as the are presented. If they are excellent in appearence, taste and tenderness then they most certainly will receive 9's from this judge.

Good luck on your journey and never stop learning to be better.
Ed

BBQ_Mayor
06-28-2013, 07:07 AM
Judge the meat as it is presented to you. Taking your tastes flavors out of the equation. You want to judge the meat in front of you as the cook presented to you. Did that team have a nice presentation? Did that team have a great texture or tenderness. Did that team put a good flavor on their product..(salt, peppery, heat, spicy)?? There is no negetive flavor, just one that might compliment the others.
Good luck and have fun.

mobow
06-28-2013, 08:28 AM
You are not going to have a good grasp of how to judge things until you have several contest under your belt. Every contest you judge will give you the opportunity to become a better judge. Keep in mind you are learning and while you are learning give the cooks the benefit of the doubt when you can. Keith

carlyle
06-28-2013, 11:35 AM
My advice to a new judge is not to go into the contest with preconceived ideas of what you are looking for.

As others have already said: judge what you are presented.

And clean your palate between entries - I like a sprig of parsley, a little bit will do

and you won't have lingering taste from the previous entry influencing what you are

currently judging.

From your location, I am guessing that this is a KSBS contest, right?

If that is so, listen carefully to the CD before judging, and talk with your table mates after each category.

Treat this whole process as a learning experience.

You are on the threshold of culinary wonderfulness. Have fun and enjoy.

Podge
06-28-2013, 12:34 PM
#1 - Judge how you were taught
#2 - I hope you had a good teacher.

walrus79
06-28-2013, 12:47 PM
My simple advice, if it's good, score it well, if not, give it a 5 or 6, but let the cook know what you didn't like about it.

Person pet pieve of mine...if you go around afterward and a team asks, "Hey, eat any good food today"? Don't tell them "it was ok" or "not really", or "a little disappointing". That's last thing you want to hear after being up all night and busting your behind to put good entries in a box. Just lie if you have to! Otherwise, go buy a smoker, a pop tent and some meat and do it yourself!

Funny how these are the guys (or gals) with a full cooler of meat from their table to take home!

Ok, off the soapbox now, enjoy your experience, it will be fun and rewarding. The part above about helping to clean up would be a classy move...just be careful if you're ever by my tent, I just might take you up on it!

fnbish
06-28-2013, 01:25 PM
My simple advice, if it's good, score it well, if not, give it a 5 or 6, but let the cook know what you didn't like about it.

Person pet pieve of mine...if you go around afterward and a team asks, "Hey, eat any good food today"? Don't tell them "it was ok" or "not really", or "a little disappointing". That's last thing you want to hear after being up all night and busting your behind to put good entries in a box. Just lie if you have to! Otherwise, go buy a smoker, a pop tent and some meat and do it yourself!

Funny how these are the guys (or gals) with a full cooler of meat from their table to take home!

Ok, off the soapbox now, enjoy your experience, it will be fun and rewarding. The part above about helping to clean up would be a classy move...just be careful if you're ever by my tent, I just might take you up on it!

Maybe the judges could word it a little differently I guess, but I like it when they are honest :becky:. I follow up by picking their brains on why it wasn't good or why something they had was awesome. Brutal honesty helps. Just because they didn't like something or the food wasn't that spectacular overall doesn't mean they didn't appreciate the experience :grin:. I'd have judges over to my house every free weekend I have if i could, to give me their brutal honesty on why my food sucks or is good :thumb:.

BMerrill
06-28-2013, 01:38 PM
Forget everything you have seen on BBQ Pitmasters.
They are not judging under KCBS rules.

Take judging serious, you are there to judge, not to eat lunch and save some for a snack. Cooks have spent many hours of time, preparation, and expense to present what's in the box. They deserve a fair and honest evaluation. With that said, before you can get your CMJ, you will be required to help a cook team. Do this early. You will have a greater appreciation of what's in the box.

Judge what is presented, not what you want.
Example: Skinless/ boneless chicken, is just that, boneless/skinless chicken. Neither are required in the box. If it isn't in the box you can not judge it, nor make speculations of why it isn't. If it looks good, taste good and is tender and moist, then score it accordingly. If a judge makes a comment like, "Guess entry ### can't cook chicken skin" on a skinless entry, let the table captian know. The rep should caution and/or remove the judge.

Thick sliced brisket, is thick sliced brisket. Contrary to popular belief, it's not sliced thicker because it is over cooked. No where in the rules says brisket should be sliced to the thickness of a #2 pencil. No burnt ends? They are not required either.

When I took my CBJ class the scoring system was discriped like this.
9-you will eat it all and then tell your significate other how fantistic it was. You want another piece.
8-you will eat most of it, then tell your significate other how good it is, offering them a small bite and eat the rest.
7- you will eat a few bits, tell your significate other how good it is, offering them a few large bites, and eat most of it.
6- you taste a small bite, it taste like resturant chain food. You offer it all to your significate other. Don't finish your plate. Fill out a comment card.
5 and below- you taste, may spit it out. Don't offer it to anyone. Fill out a comment card using both sides.
2- Not eatable.

After the contest, please spent some time walking around and talking with the cooks. It is much appreciated.

Bentley
06-28-2013, 03:01 PM
Period. My only addition to that sentence would be ANY Judge.

If it is Great, Average, or Poor, judge it that way.

Be prepared to articulate why you gave every entry the score you did, whether you have to or not.

My advice to a new judge is not to go into the contest with preconceived ideas of what you are looking for.

MoKanMeathead
06-28-2013, 03:03 PM
Whether or not you dislike vinegar sauces, mustard sauces, unsauced meat, etc. isn't relevant. Judge what you've been presented.



I hear this a lot from judges but don't think I get it. If I don't like vinegar based sauces and I am presented with an entry of pulled pork with a vinegar based sauce How can I judge it? If I don't like the taste of vinegar how do I know if it is a good vinegar based sauce or a not so good vinegar based sauce. I'm not talking about a sauce that is so strong that it will know your socks off just a "normal" vinegar based sauce.

There are no KCBS guidelines for taste for a reason...people like different tastes. If I don't like something I am presented, I will naturally score it lower than if I liked it.

Smoke'n Ice
06-28-2013, 03:46 PM
If you give a 5 or lower, complete a comment card and tell people why. Don't speculate on what they did wrong ("you overcooked it"), just tell them what you didn't like ("it was too dry").

With the new score program, comment cards can not be tracked so therefore, they are going away. Not something that I would have done but, computer programmers are limited in their ability, especially the ones that KCBS contracted.

This will be in place by mid-July.

Takes a load off of the judges as they will not have to be able to read and write. (this was meant sarcastically (sp))

fnbish
06-28-2013, 04:40 PM
I hear this a lot from judges but don't think I get it. If I don't like vinegar based sauces and I am presented with an entry of pulled pork with a vinegar based sauce How can I judge it? If I don't like the taste of vinegar how do I know if it is a good vinegar based sauce or a not so good vinegar based sauce. I'm not talking about a sauce that is so strong that it will know your socks off just a "normal" vinegar based sauce.

There are no KCBS guidelines for taste for a reason...people like different tastes. If I don't like something I am presented, I will naturally score it lower than if I liked it.

I do somewhat see where you are coming from here and you are right that there isn't a written guideline for taste. But vinegar based sauces are a big part of the BBQ world. It would be like someone judging a cake contest, but a judge doesn't like dark chocolate (a common flavor in cake). So do they hammer each team that submits dark chocolate cake and is that fair? I guess I'm saying if a person doesn't like one of the main flavors of a competition/food they are judging (whether its chili, cake, bbq, seafood, burger cookoff, etc) they they shouldn't judge.

SaucyWench
06-28-2013, 07:13 PM
Unless you are an award-winning competitor, do not score down because you "can do better than that at home."

Derussi
06-28-2013, 09:36 PM
My experience at my 1st contest was that everything was awesome and I probably gave high scores. These cooks are amazing but overtime you will start to figure out the subtle differences between a "9" and a "7". Just judge each meat as it's presented. Take enough of a sample to judge an entry fairly but be careful not to "overindulge" in the early catagories or you might so full that pork and brisket don't get your full attention. Enjoy the experience and I guarantee that you will meet some of the nicest people you will ever meet.

Uomograsso
06-28-2013, 11:24 PM
Lot's of good things being mentioned in this thread. It is very difficult to leave your personal tastes out of the judging. As mentioned people like different things. Some like vinegar or mustard based sauces, some don't, so how do we judge things we don't like. It was mentioned, balance. Does the everything that went into that piece of BBQ on your judging sheet balance. Does the sauce over power the meat? Does the rub over power it. Or does it meld with the meat and make everything work together? When ever I get something that is not with the "normal" flavor profile, I try to work out if the new rub or sauce enhance the BBQ meat to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts. As for scoring it's right there on the card 9=Excellent (NOT PERFECT as some has pointed out) 8=Very Good, 7=Above Average, 6=Average, 5=Below Average, 4=Poor, 3=Bad, 2=Inedible. Just as you should not be afraid to give 9's, don't be afraid to give 6's or lower. But, let the team know why you gave them a low score. If judges give everything nothing lower than a 7's then we are being dishonest as well. I have had contests where I was amazed at the outstanding BBQ entries I was allowed to judge. I have also had contests where most of the entries were less stellar as well. It is the luck of the draw. But most important be have an open mind when you judge the entries.

TailGateJoecom
06-29-2013, 02:00 AM
With the new score program, comment cards can not be tracked so therefore, they are going away. Not something that I would have done but, computer programmers are limited in their ability, especially the ones that KCBS contracted.

This will be in place by mid-July.

Takes a load off of the judges as they will not have to be able to read and write. (this was meant sarcastically (sp))

That is bulls##t and laziness, it should not be much of a deal to program in functionality for someone to put notes in with a given score.

bbq.tom
06-29-2013, 07:12 AM
That is bulls##t and laziness, it should not be much of a deal to program in functionality for someone to put notes in with a given score.

Personally, I'd like to see KCBS go to where every judge was required to provide comments on EVERY score. This way the cooks know exactly what the judge was thinking and would make the judge truly think about what they were giving.
Would this slow down the process, YES, but it would be better for both the cooks and judges. Most likely the turn in times would have to be an hour apart, but that would also help the teams, judges, REPs, and organizer.

Just an idea. Other organizations do it this way very successfully.

Dauvis
06-29-2013, 08:25 AM
That is bulls##t and laziness, it should not be much of a deal to program in functionality for someone to put notes in with a given score.

That is what I thought too. Could it be that they are going to use handhelds that do not have a keyboard?

Smoke'n Ice
06-29-2013, 04:13 PM
That is what I thought too. Could it be that they are going to use handhelds that do not have a keyboard?

No, the reasoning is the computer is so blind that trying to marry comment cards to the final printout would be hard for the rep to do. I do believe that this is BS but that is why they be history. I know that some people oppose this but, standing up to ML, who is and has been against the comments cards, is a battle that most BM's won't, can't. ba;;'s, to try.

TailGateJoecom
06-29-2013, 11:31 PM
No, the reasoning is the computer is so blind that trying to marry comment cards to the final printout would be hard for the rep to do. I do believe that this is BS but that is why they be history. I know that some people oppose this but, standing up to ML, who is and has been against the comments cards, is a battle that most BM's won't, can't. ba;;'s, to try.

I don't understand that. The scores have to get linked to the team, how can comments not be linked up as well.

I have dealt with good devs and bad devs in my time, the good ones can figure out a way to get something done that I require, the bad ones find reasons why it can't or shouldn't be done because they don't know how to do it. I can't imagine this scoring system is sooooo advanced that it supposedly took over 2 years to develop, that would be the first red flag to me.