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CarolinaQue
07-09-2013, 09:39 AM
Thought this was interesting...a different (or maybe not) perspective:

http://www.nashvillescene.com/bites/archives/2013/07/08/city-paper-interview-pitmasters-on-the-perils-of-barbecue-competitions

Still Smokin
07-09-2013, 09:54 AM
Amen. I think that I should start pursuing the "Green Ribbon"!!!

Good find, thanks for sharing.

Bbq Bubba
07-09-2013, 09:56 AM
How competition bbq is "bastardizing" real bbq......

deguerre
07-09-2013, 10:04 AM
That was a fun read. I've been to Martin's Joint. It's good Que.

Smokin'Butts
07-09-2013, 10:10 AM
Good read, but I would have to disagree. Barbecue by my definition is unique to the individual. There is no "right" or "wrong" no "this way" or "that way". If you like it do it, if you don't, don't. It is common knowledge that competition bbq is a totally different beast than your backyard stuff. That said, most go into it with that mindset and I know of several whose "backyard" bbq with friends is nothing like that same person's "competition" bbq. Some people just enjoy the thrill of the competition and the fellowship. So for these guys to say that competition is ruining "real bbq", whether or not they mean to, they are the ones that are really hurting it. BBQ is good food, good friends, and good times. If all of those are there, then who cares how it happens.

Ok, done with my vent now. Hope everyone has a great day.

Vince RnQ
07-09-2013, 10:15 AM
The way I see it, everyone is entitled to their opinion but I don't have to agree with it.

I happen to like quiet time!

smokeisgood
07-09-2013, 10:25 AM
I liked that article.

deguerre
07-09-2013, 10:29 AM
The way I see it, everyone is entitled to their opinion but I don't have to agree with it.

I happen to like quiet time!

Does Alexa know that?:shock:



































:bolt:

























:behindsofa:

CarolinaQue
07-09-2013, 10:32 AM
Good read, but I would have to disagree. Barbecue by my definition is unique to the individual. There is no "right" or "wrong" no "this way" or "that way". If you like it do it, if you don't, don't. It is common knowledge that competition bbq is a totally different beast than your backyard stuff. That said, most go into it with that mindset and I know of several whose "backyard" bbq with friends is nothing like that same person's "competition" bbq. Some people just enjoy the thrill of the competition and the fellowship. So for these guys to say that competition is ruining "real bbq", whether or not they mean to, they are the ones that are really hurting it. BBQ is good food, good friends, and good times. If all of those are there, then who cares how it happens.

Ok, done with my vent now. Hope everyone has a great day.

I agree with what you are saying about it being up to the individual. However, I also agree with the article a bit regarding how competition que is shaping the perception of people regarding the complicated processes and technique's that go into it. People watch a tv show or visit a comp and think that is what it means to cook "good" que and have a bad experience trying to duplicate the process at home in the back yard.

I also agree with the articles opinion on KCBS to a large degree. With that said though, they've created a major marketing machine that is getting them a lot of attention, and by default, steer's people's perception of what makes "good" que.

Alexa RnQ
07-09-2013, 10:39 AM
Does Alexa know that?:shock:
All I know is that I'm at the hotel. http://www.divaherself.com/funny/shiner.gif

Slamdunkpro
07-09-2013, 10:46 AM
Clearly Martin is judge #6 - he needs a refresher in "Judge as presented" or he needs to stop judging.

Alexa RnQ
07-09-2013, 10:47 AM
And, let's see, in that article three of the four panelists haven't competed, and the fourth flat declares that KCBS has ruined BBQ. Further, if you think that every brisket entry presented to you at the Jack is "$#!+", then maybe you should politely decline to judge next year.

deguerre
07-09-2013, 10:50 AM
And, let's see, in that article three of the four panelists haven't competed, and the fourth flat declares that KCBS has ruined BBQ. Further, if you think that every brisket entry presented to you at the Jack is "$#!+", then maybe you should politely decline to judge next year.

This is probably why you shouldn't order the brisket at a Southern BBQ joint...

Podge
07-09-2013, 10:54 AM
This was an interesting article. I will have to add, that us competitors are not bastardizing BBQ. We do what it takes to win within the rules. If the judges like bastardized bbq samples, then it is them who is the cause of what we do. Take this article for instance, if that guy didn't have any success in injecting his brisket with god-knows-what, he wouldn't do it anymore. If he always had the same success with just getting a brisket and putting salt and pepper on it, he'd still turn that in.

I guess i'm trying to say, most all of us cook for the judges, and most of us would rather cook with a different flavor profile, etc. for our own tastes, which would surprisingly probably be more suited to the people who at first criticize us for Bastardizing. So, who is really ruining BBQ?

I say no one. We either cook a product we like, or we cook a product that wins, because the judges like and expect something specific.

Alexa RnQ
07-09-2013, 10:54 AM
This is probably why you shouldn't order the brisket at a Southern BBQ joint...
Oh, I have. I've done my fair share of BBQ tourism.

...which is why I'll be going to Gus's for fried chicken next time.

ique
07-09-2013, 10:59 AM
paraphrasing.. I haven't done the competition thing but I sure have a lot of opinions about it...

cameraman
07-09-2013, 11:00 AM
I don't think there's anything in that article that folks haven't been saying around here for years, but in a less judgmental way. I've seen it said time and again that comp q has nothing to do with backyard q because in most cases it's created for a perceived judges palate. Hell, even when you watch the tv comps you'll hear people talking about modding their recipes to cater to the locals' taste.

The pioneering modern photographer Alfred Stieglitz envied the amateur artist because he could pursue his vision without concern for the critics. A great jazz trumpeter I know said once that some of the finest musicians he knew were doctors. So it is in q I guess.

bruno994
07-09-2013, 11:05 AM
Good read, but I would have to disagree. Barbecue by my definition is unique to the individual. There is no "right" or "wrong" no "this way" or "that way". If you like it do it, if you don't, don't. It is common knowledge that competition bbq is a totally different beast than your backyard stuff. That said, most go into it with that mindset and I know of several whose "backyard" bbq with friends is nothing like that same person's "competition" bbq. Some people just enjoy the thrill of the competition and the fellowship. So for these guys to say that competition is ruining "real bbq", whether or not they mean to, they are the ones that are really hurting it. BBQ is good food, good friends, and good times. If all of those are there, then who cares how it happens.

Ok, done with my vent now. Hope everyone has a great day.
Well said sir...

bbq.tom
07-09-2013, 11:18 AM
Because teams cook in a wider area than just their backyard, and because judges travel beyond their backyard to judge, the "flavor profile" of competition barbecue meats has leaned toward the middle without anything specific "standing out". That gives the team a better shot at pleasing a larger percentage of judges.


Q-joint cooks are cooking for their specific locale and wouldn't last very long cooking their specific flavors in other parts of the land.


I.E., comparing restaurant barbecue to competition barbecue is just rediculous!

gettinbasted
07-09-2013, 11:24 AM
That is hilarious! A bunch of restaurant owners dogging on competition cooks for taking "shortcuts" and bastardizing bbq! I can promise that my competition turn ins are far closer to "real" bbq than the pasty gray crap you find in 99.9 percent of bbq restaurants!

dmprantz
07-09-2013, 11:40 AM
Very interesting. I know Carey and Pat personally....live around the corner from Martin's. I don't think they were right on everything, but they hit a few high notes.

dmp

dmprantz
07-09-2013, 11:41 AM
A bunch of restaurant owners dogging on competition cooks for taking "shortcuts" and bastardizing bbq! I can promise that my competition turn ins are far closer to "real" bbq than the pasty gray crap you find in 99.9 percent of bbq restaurants!

I think that before you start bad-mouthing these "restaurant owners," you should eat at their establishments and know the quality that they deliver and the pride that they take in it.

dmp

gettinbasted
07-09-2013, 11:45 AM
I think that before you start bad-mouthing these "restaurant owners," you should eat at their establishments and know the quality that they deliver and the pride that they take in it.

dmp

I don't believe they extended me the same courtesy!

deguerre
07-09-2013, 11:46 AM
I think that before you start bad-mouthing these "restaurant owners," you should eat at their establishments and know the quality that they deliver and the pride that they take in it.

dmp

Beat me to that one. Martin's puts out a damn fine rack.

timzcardz
07-09-2013, 11:50 AM
From the article:

The stuff that you got at Memphis in May, you know, 25 years ago was very different barbecue than you’ve got now.


And what today is the same as it was 25 years ago?

Some people just don't like change, and it doesn't matter whether it really is better or worse.

Not really a surprising perspective. It is simply one article interviewing like minded people.

John Bowen
07-09-2013, 11:55 AM
IMHO Competition Q, Restaurant Q and Backyard Q are very different creatures.

In competition the goal is all about the single bite – in a restaurant you look for the meal and venue to create the experience and in the backyard – well that is about family and friends as much as the Q.

I really don’t see how you can fairly compare them.

CBQ
07-09-2013, 11:58 AM
Pat Martin doesn't understand wrapping. Cooks are infusing flavor, and managing appearance and tenderness. The speed of the cook is not a concern.

I am not sure how they can claim "everything is the same" and "some of it is inedible" in the same article. Which is it?

KCBS isn't driving anyone to a taste profile. They set goals for tenderness, but not taste. Competition cooks gravitate to what wins. Salt and pepper on a brisket isn't going to cut it.

Quite frankly, it comes across as a bunch of old geezers whining about the good old days. I can also picture them talking about cars ("With all these computers, you can't fix it yourself. It's not a real car! Sure, it's more reliable, fuel efficient, and performs better, but these young guys just drive their cars and don't understand the joys of spending a weekend doing a tune up in your driveway.")

Sawdustguy
07-09-2013, 12:01 PM
These guys have to wake up and realize that the Good Ole Days are right now. All cuisines evolve including BBQ. You have to learn to evolve or get stuck in the dark ages.

Alexa RnQ
07-09-2013, 12:28 PM
I am still having a hard time getting past the fact that these guys get paid every day to put out BBQ, but it's easier to lay back and badmouth the hobbyist who drops nearly $1000 to compete on the occasional weekend than it is to give some honest thought as to why a different type of BBQ is what wins.

Muzzlebrake
07-09-2013, 12:30 PM
Earlier this year I competed out in California and we were having a very similar discussion. I think there has been a centering or homogenization of what the general public considers to be good Barbeque which we as competitors may be contributing to. I know a lot of cooks that travel and compete all over and the vast majority of them don't change anything as they travel from place to place.

I also see this as larger trend throughout society and we are just one part of it. Take a look around next time you get off the exit on an Interstate, it's often hard to tell where you are until you look at license plates. Our society by and large likes the homogenous. Somebody explained it to me recently at a contest by saying " a Big Mac tastes like a Big Mac wherever you go". Lots of people find comfort in this and that is where a large portion of not only the judges come from but also competitors. It's only natural that the competition circuit will find its way towards that center as it grows in popularity.

So while I understand the gripes these gentlemen in the interview have, they might want to look around before they throw stones. I'm willing to bet when they watch the Titans game, they do their fair share of eating Domino's pizza and drinking Coors Light or something else that many of us don't consider to be pizza or beer.

BBQ_Mayor
07-09-2013, 12:34 PM
Great read i think. Theres a lot of different cooking styles, technicques and flavors that are all great in there own rights. I'd like to judge different kinds of bbq other than getting the same tastes and looks over and over.

cameraman
07-09-2013, 12:47 PM
These guys are the bbq royalty of a good size market and a pretty hot destination city in a state synonymous with pig q. Many are nationally recognized for their product and deservedly so. They spelled out their criticism of comp q elsewhere in the article and it's based on their experience competing. Their opinions, right or wrong in your view, provide valuable commentary on the state of barbecue today. Nah, I'm just farkin with ya. :razz:

Pappy Q
07-09-2013, 12:59 PM
Those that can, DO and those that CAN'T, put down the ones that can.

smokeisgood
07-09-2013, 01:04 PM
I think it is pretty easy to see what they are saying without taking offense. Talking BBQ in general, but take for specific example Trigg's ribs. He says he doesn't even like them, and cooks them differently at home, but they win him money. So why do they win him money, because "certified bbq judges" have taken a class and been told they are supposed to taste a certain way. Now, a great majority of the cooks put out some version of his ribs. Personally, I'd rather taste the one's he cooks at home and actually likes. I believe the shows like Pitmasters have fostered the perception that things should taste a certain way, even if that's not really that good. Which is why competition cooks I have talked to say they cook not to put out what they think is the best tasting product, but to offend the least amount of judges. Franklin's salt and pepper and garlic brisket probably would not score well these days, but where are actual people standing in line to eat? I think that's all they are saying.....but I could be wrong...

Alexa RnQ
07-09-2013, 01:22 PM
People are standing in line to eat what's being sold.

They'll also stand in line at People's Choice at BBQ contests.

daninnewjersey
07-09-2013, 01:31 PM
As a total rookie to comp BBQ (did my first last year in Wildwood) there are some things I noticed right away. First, just about every team was as nice as could be. We of course forgot to bring some things and wouldn't you know it some complete strangers we met there had hooked us up with what we needed. A greater group of people I have yet to find. Second....regarding the food...I agree with the article. While that bbq wins comps, it is SO labor intensive, ingredient filled, and downright complicated to make I got exhausted just watching some of these teams cook. We just cooked what we usually make...and hoped that we would beat at least one team.
We beat a few and in my book we were winners (especially since the ribs are the same ones I sell). Look to each his own I know...but it seems to me making the food that complicated would kinda take some of the fun out of it...for me anyway. I mean it seems if you don't have a muffin pan in your arsenal you really don't have a chance of doing well....:mrgreen::mrgreen:

smokeisgood
07-09-2013, 01:32 PM
People are standing in line to eat what's being sold.

They'll also stand in line at People's Choice at BBQ contests.
There's pretty decent bbq sold on a whole lot of corners in Austin. If they are standing in line for hours at one guys restaurant, that's saying a lot....

Pappy Q
07-09-2013, 01:33 PM
Like Podge said, we cook for what the judges want just like they cook for what their customers want. If their customers started demanding competition BBQ, you could damn well bet they'd be cooking and serving that.

smokeisgood
07-09-2013, 01:36 PM
Like Podge said, we cook for what the judges want just like they cook for what their customers want. If their customers started demanding competition BBQ, you could damn well bet they'd be cooking and serving that.
Correct....I think that was their point in a round about fashion. At least, that's what I took from the article.

rebelnorm
07-09-2013, 01:48 PM
Can't speak for the Jack but the MBN contests I judge I have never gotten anything that was inedible. Some might be tough, too sweet or too hot but again everyone has their own taste preference.

Pigs on Fire
07-09-2013, 01:53 PM
Most judges will tell you that the BBQ they get to eat at competitions....you can't buy it. Meaning it is so much better than anything you can go to a restaurant and get....boutique 'Q or not...

As far as the homogenization....that result is the product of the judging tent. Competitors seek out what hits. There's not many competitors with a pair big enough to try bold differences to try to get a table of judges to snap at it and give a 180.

People can gripe about the pot roast flavor and bullion flavor of brisket all they want. Evidently, the judges like it.

cdkeach
07-09-2013, 01:58 PM
I find it interesting that someone with such a low opinion of competitive BBQ, specifically Peg Leg Porker, had no trouble lowering himself to appear and compete on Season 4 Pitmasters.

dmprantz
07-09-2013, 02:25 PM
I find it interesting that someone with such a low opinion of competitive BBQ, specifically Peg Leg Porker, had no trouble lowering himself to appear and compete on Season 4 Pitmasters.

No argument that Carey is a media-hound, but I think you either mis-read or mis-understood his comments. What I read Carey to say is that the flavour profiles "Kansas City BBQ" have crept into other santioning bodies, particularly MBN/MIM. He also said that the blind box style that wins in KCBS, notably sliced and cubed money muscle, is also more popular in MBN/MIM now than it once was. His point, as far as I was reading, is that Memphis syle competitive BBQ is being pushed out....for better or for worse.

I grew up in Memphis and have eaten plenty of Memphis BBQ, and I've had plenty of KCBS BBQ. I've tasted first place shoulder from Memphis in May, and in my opinion, it tasted a lot more like KCBS "pork" than it did anything you'd find in Gridley's, Willingham's, Corkey's, The Public Eye, or The Commissary. I think that was his point. Love it or hate it, but at least understand it...

dmp

G$
07-09-2013, 02:32 PM
The Wright Thompson article (about the Fatback Collective) that was referenced in the piece was fascinating as well.

luke duke
07-09-2013, 02:32 PM
This was an interesting article. I will have to add, that us competitors are not bastardizing BBQ.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=165297

Hawg Father of Seoul
07-09-2013, 02:36 PM
This article hurts Bbq. They said it themselves, they want the money. They made these comments wit no regard to Bbq as a whole.

If they wanted to help Bbq they would be trying to help out the grey meat guys, the ones that need the help.

Muzzlebrake
07-09-2013, 02:42 PM
People are standing in line to eat what's being sold.

They'll also stand in line at People's Choice at BBQ contests.

There's pretty decent bbq sold on a whole lot of corners in Austin. If they are standing in line for hours at one guys restaurant, that's saying a lot....

I dont get this either.

I understand the peoples choice lines, captive audience, limited time to get something from a team you may only see once a year...

But to stand in line for hours to get something they have every day? Sorry no way. Like you said there pretty decent bbq on a whjole lot of corners, cant see one place being worth 4 more hours of my life better than another. if its that good, I'll come back when you have enough staff/capacity to handle the load. Maybe its the NYer in me but aint nothing that good that I am willing to waste that much of my life.

As a total rookie to comp BBQ (did my first last year in Wildwood) there are some things I noticed right away. First, just about every team was as nice as could be. We of course forgot to bring some things and wouldn't you know it some complete strangers we met there had hooked us up with what we needed. A greater group of people I have yet to find. Second....regarding the food...I agree with the article. While that bbq wins comps, it is SO labor intensive, ingredient filled, and downright complicated to make I got exhausted just watching some of these teams cook. We just cooked what we usually make...and hoped that we would beat at least one team.
We beat a few and in my book we were winners (especially since the ribs are the same ones I sell). Look to each his own I know...but it seems to me making the food that complicated would kinda take some of the fun out of it...for me anyway. I mean it seems if you don't have a muffin pan in your arsenal you really don't have a chance of doing well....:mrgreen::mrgreen:

I agree, they were a little off when describing the competitors as a whole, most are extremely friendly and helpful. We also like to have fun, sometimes a whole lot of fun but you have to realize that doesn't mean teams aren't serious. Like the saying goes, " The BS stops when the green flag drops".

The KCBS circuit is the largest and arguably the most competitive competition cooking curcuit in the country.You dont have to muffin pan your chicken but you better come prepared, you are going to be surrounded by some of the best people at their craft in the country at any given contest. Chris Hart said in another thread, doing it well enough to beat other teams each week is hard work. This is the big leagues and teams will take every measure they can to legally win but dont think that makes it any less fun. What they do might seem complicated to newcomers but look close when they are on stage, most are smiling from ear to ear.

cdkeach
07-09-2013, 02:48 PM
Okay. So I guess on re-reading it's only KCBS barbecue that he has a low opinion of. To paraphrase, a commingling of judges and styles has brought down the level of the barbecue. It has trended away from MBN (read: good barbecue) to KCBS (read: bad barbecue).

And apparently KCBS teams are nothing but "barbtude" while MBN is about a laid-back party get-together. He obviously hasn't been to ANY KCBS events in Georgia.


Some pot-roast briskets not-withstanding, I feel like most competition BBQ is light years better than what you'll find in a restaurant. It would not be cost or time-effective to produce competition BBQ for sale in a restaurant. Maybe the takeaway from the article is that since they can't serve competition quality BBQ in their restaurants, it's better to just bash it in the eyes of Joe Public.

mtbchip
07-09-2013, 03:06 PM
Competition BBQ... whoa. I got me an arse whipp'n last month on this site for shaking my finger at the Triggs Ribs trick of using margerine and foil to make ribs. I went on to say that my comp experience "opened my eyes" and closed my desire to compete.

Seems to me this article is SPOT ON. Gonna get a whole lotta folks bound up in their britches. "Because ya know we been doing it this way so long, it's GOT TO BE RIGHT". I don't know which post above referenced Trigg and his rib game. I don't know if it's a true quite that he doesn't like to eat what he makes for comp.

Nuff said. Comp BBQ has turned into a contest of who can put the best "lipstick" on that pig game. BBQ will NEVER taste like that from my cooker...... never.

daninnewjersey
07-09-2013, 03:15 PM
What they do might seem complicated to newcomers but look close when they are on stage, most are smiling from ear to ear.

Great point....and even the ones that don't place or do well still go nuts and cheer for the people that do....says a lot about the people in the BBQ world..

dmprantz
07-09-2013, 03:33 PM
Okay. So I guess on re-reading it's only KCBS barbecue that he has a low opinion of. To paraphrase, a commingling of judges and styles has brought down the level of the barbecue. It has trended away from MBN (read: good barbecue) to KCBS (read: bad barbecue).

I have a little bit of inside information on this, and I think it helps to understand where he's coming from: Carey has been cooking MBN/MIM for years, and believes that Memphis style BBQ is the shiznit. We're talking dry, savory BBQ that has been pulled. For him, turning in sweetly sauced pieces of sliced money muscle to win at an MBN event is just wrong. I'm not saying that I agree or disagree, but I get his point of view is all.

And apparently KCBS teams are nothing but "barbtude" while MBN is about a laid-back party get-together.

Again, I know from experience that some KCBS teams have been total jerks to him. Some warranted, some not. He's not the only MBN guy who thinks that KCBS teams are too uptight. I've spoken to a few others. Warranted or not, he's not alone in his opinion.

I feel like most competition BBQ is light years better than what you'll find in a restaurant.

I think it's fare to say that competition Q and Restaurant Q are different. Saying that one is better than the other is an opinion, but ponder this: I can think of 4 people that I know who own successful BBQ restaurants and compete on the current circuit successfully. None of them cook it the exact same. What that tells me is that each one is better for its intended purpose. Just my opinion.

Note: I'm not speaking for Carey here and haven't discussed this article or thread with him. I'm just saying that I think I know how he feels better than most.

dmp

Hawg Father of Seoul
07-09-2013, 04:16 PM
I can think of 4 people that I know who own successful BBQ restaurants and compete on the current circuit successfully. None of them cook it the exact same. What that tells me is that each one is better for its intended purpose. Just my opinion.

dmp

Why are you saying this to us. It's your buddy who just shll on these guys, not us.

Sorry that some one hurt his feelings in KCBS. Some things I might now say will definitely hurt his feelings.

Muzzlebrake
07-09-2013, 04:22 PM
Why are you saying this to us. It's you buddy who just shll on these guys, not us.

Sorry that some one hurt his feelings in KCBS. Some things I might now say will definitely hurt his feelings.

I think he was just trying to point out there can be a crossover between competition and restaurant styles of BBQ and they dont have to be exclusive.

I have no doubt that all 4 of these guys use tricks learned competing in the restaurant and restaurant skills when competing, I doubt they cook that food the same.

dmprantz
07-09-2013, 04:24 PM
Why are you saying this to us. It's you buddy who just shll on these guys, not us.

I honestly think you misunderstood my point. This whole thing is quite funny really. A lot of people have been on The Brethren over the years saying that they don't eat what they turn in, but one guy puts it in an article and people get their panties in a bunch. He's not my "buddy," but whatever.

dmp

Rich Parker
07-09-2013, 05:21 PM
Competition BBQ... whoa. I got me an arse whipp'n last month on this site for shaking my finger at the Triggs Ribs trick of using margerine and foil to make ribs. I went on to say that my comp experience "opened my eyes" and closed my desire to compete.

Seems to me this article is SPOT ON. Gonna get a whole lotta folks bound up in their britches. "Because ya know we been doing it this way so long, it's GOT TO BE RIGHT". I don't know which post above referenced Trigg and his rib game. I don't know if it's a true quite that he doesn't like to eat what he makes for comp.

Nuff said. Comp BBQ has turned into a contest of who can put the best "lipstick" on that pig game. BBQ will NEVER taste like that from my cooker...... never.

Why do you keep reminding us why you don't like competition bbq in the competition bbq section of this forum? :roll:

mtbchip
07-09-2013, 05:33 PM
Britches in a knot #1 asks:

Why do you keep reminding us why you don't like competition bbq in the competition bbq section of this forum? :roll:

Well of course, it's just so you can ask.................:doh: Anyone else wondering? Excuse me, but did I post this article or slap me for observing others with the same opinion. Is it I don't have enough subscriptions? Not enough posts to be of knowledge? Afterall, I'm only "on the road to being a farker", a long and winding road with LOTS of pot holes and "interesting at best" celebrities along the way.

Does the shoe fit? WEAR IT!


Please pass the margarine, love to squirt some on my meat!

Smoke'n Ice
07-09-2013, 05:46 PM
The referenced article, while being an interesting read, plays well in Memphis but not so well in Poughkeepsie or other areas.

Opinions are like a$$ holes, everyone has one; just some are larger than others. From a perspective of a small area of the US you get the opinion that theirs is the best, and it is, at that point in time and space. I can assure you that the stuff served in Memphis would not pass muster in Lexington and vice versus ; and the stuff served in NEW YORK CITY is bad dog food everywhere else (thatís an opinion).

KCBS is, for want of a better phrase, a melting pot of bbq styles and ideas that play well in all parts of the US. We all know the rules and play to the larger audience if we wish to compete and win. Do we change the way we cook depending on the area we are in? Not normally; do we change the way we cook depending on the organization we are cooking in? Yes, to accommodate the rules and style of the area and the method of judging.

Most cooks and teams in any sport or competitive organization work within the rules to do their best and know that going outside the norm, while invigorating, may not win because it is too different. Hence the trend to a middle ground with very few points separating most teams at the end and the good ones who have perfected the norm always near the top. Each year, these players may, and most times, do change over time.

Vince RnQ
07-09-2013, 06:44 PM
There's pretty decent bbq sold on a whole lot of corners in Austin. If they are standing in line for hours at one guys restaurant, that's saying a lot....

I don't agree. I grew up in Tucson, AZ where there are a great many Mexican restaurants located on S 4th Avenue. I know this because I made a habit of trying as many of them as I could.

There was one restaurant there that always had a line of people waiting to be seated and it made me laugh because the food at that place wasn't any better or worse than a dozen other places within a 5 minute drive.

So why was there a line? It just so happend that it was frequented by a local television personality who would, on occassion, mention having dined there while he was on the air. People flocked to it because someone on TV liked it not because it was better than the competition. Again, it wasn't any worse either.

Popularity can result from a mulititude of reasons.

landarc
07-09-2013, 07:16 PM
I think the article is interesting. But, there was a point of view, and leading questions, to make a particular point of view heard. Since I am new to competition BBQ and old to "real" BBQ, I kinda look at these things and wonder why such emotion. If you don't like KCBS BBQ, then don't cook or eat it.

I happen to like both. I have noticed of late, that many of the Q joints I like, are panned by KCBS judges, as well as what I would call traditionalists. I don't think this is a bad thing, it is reasonable that people from different backgrounds and experiences would like different foods and tastes.

As to lines and making money, it is worth noting that there is far more money being made with Chile's/Applebee's type BBQ than there is in the places we all like to admire. Truth of not, the reason lines form, is because demand has been piqued. If a particular place gets buzz, then it gets lines. I do think it is ridiculous to compare restaurant cooking to competition cooking, in any genre. What you have to do to be successful in the restaurant business is so fundamentally different from competition, or backyard. There is no way to compare, and hence, no way to say one is being ruined by another.

BTW, some of the best ribs I have ever had got 5's and 6's across the board at a KCBS comp.

Lake Dogs
07-09-2013, 07:22 PM
I have a little bit of inside information on this, and I think it helps to understand where he's coming from: Carey has been cooking MBN/MIM for years, and believes that Memphis style BBQ is the shiznit. We're talking dry, savory BBQ that has been pulled. For him, turning in sweetly sauced pieces of sliced money muscle to win at an MBN event is just wrong. I'm not saying that I agree or disagree, but I get his point of view is all.



Again, I know from experience that some KCBS teams have been total jerks to him. Some warranted, some not. He's not the only MBN guy who thinks that KCBS teams are too uptight. I've spoken to a few others. Warranted or not, he's not alone in his opinion.



I think it's fare to say that competition Q and Restaurant Q are different. Saying that one is better than the other is an opinion, but ponder this: I can think of 4 people that I know who own successful BBQ restaurants and compete on the current circuit successfully. None of them cook it the exact same. What that tells me is that each one is better for its intended purpose. Just my opinion.

Note: I'm not speaking for Carey here and haven't discussed this article or thread with him. I'm just saying that I think I know how he feels better than most.

dmp


I grew up eating **** grilled, smothered in some sauce, you'd have to chew it into oblivion to be able to swallow the greasy, fatty, burnt sauce ****. Lets just say that growing up I thought I hated BBQ, particularly ribs.

Then, somewhere along the way, heaven forbid, I ran into a restaurant rib that was falling off the bone, and I LOVED IT. I thought this was BBQ....

I didnt run into really, and I mean REALLY DAMNED GOOD BBQ until I began judging Memphis In May BBQ back when MiM was a sanctioning body.

The ribs were (and are) extremely moist, pull cleanly from the bone with only slight resistance, and aren't sauced into oblivion; the very best dont have sauce at all; they dont need it. The pulled pork (from either the shoulder or whole hog) has wonderful bark, but it's not tough. It's spiced wonderfully and doesnt need sauce. The BBQ stands alone, on it's own, and could be a meal all by itself (no need for sides, or buns, or SAUCE). Frankly, IMHO, if you haven't experienced this, you're missing out.

Not that sauced, sweet BBQ isn't BBQ. It's your preference perhaps, and that's great if it is. I would like you to try some pure MiM/MBN Memphis Style Q sometime head to head, actually EATING (not sampling) them and decide for yourself.

I think what they were saying was that KCBS has had an influence. I know in 2004, 2005, we never saw money muscle come across an MIM table; never. The pork was pulled, and juicy, sometimes had a little bit of sauce, tender, not sliced/cut, and awesome. Times however they are a changin'.

All that B.S. above, like others have said, it's ludicrous to compare backyard (your personal preference), to restaurant (that which hopefully can be profitable), to competition BBQ which has to appeal to everyone and offend no one. They are not the same and never will be. Competing is a game. Whether you take it seriously (as perhaps the KCBSesque folks apparently do) or are there to socialize (try MBN; 2 folks dont cut it), you're not there to appeal to one persons personal preference, but to amaze X number of judges without offending even 1 judge. That's not your personal preference backyard Q; it's certainly not mine...

There's nothing wrong with that (above), other than to compare them is insanity.

jmoney7269
07-09-2013, 07:35 PM
Good read.

MilitantSquatter
07-09-2013, 08:07 PM
I think it was a good read....

landarc
07-09-2013, 08:13 PM
Warning: Opinion about to be stated with no basis of fact.

I think restaurants do far more to dilute the traditions of BBQ than competition BBQ has ever done.

Muzzlebrake
07-09-2013, 08:26 PM
The referenced article, while being an interesting read, plays well in Memphis but not so well in Poughkeepsie or other areas.

Opinions are like a$$ holes, everyone has one; just some are larger than others. From a perspective of a small area of the US you get the opinion that theirs is the best, and it is, at that point in time and space. I can assure you that the stuff served in Memphis would not pass muster in Lexington and vice versus ; and the stuff served in NEW YORK CITY is bad dog food everywhere else (thatís an opinion).

Easy on Po-Town, we're not biased one way or another :becky: and please tell me you said that about NYC tongue in cheek.


There was one restaurant there that always had a line of people waiting to be seated and it made me laugh because the food at that place wasn't any better or worse than a dozen other places within a 5 minute drive.

That's what I'm talking about. If you see a line at a pizza place in NYC it's probably tourists going where the bus driver told them to go get "the best". More than likely you can't throw a rock without hitting another place with stuff as good or better and no line.

The pulled pork (from either the shoulder or whole hog) has wonderful bark, but it's not tough. It's spiced wonderfully and doesnt need sauce. The BBQ stands alone, on it's own, and could be a meal all by itself (no need for sides, or buns, or SAUCE). Frankly, IMHO, if you haven't experienced this, you're missing out.

Whether you take it seriously (as perhaps the KCBSesque folks apparently do) or are there to socialize (try MBN; 2 folks dont cut it),

I can remember the first time I walked into a little roadside BBQ place and had that experience you are talking about. You're right if you haven't had it, you're missing out.

Are the MBN folks really not that serious? I understand the much bigger party atmosphere and the bigger teams and all but I would think that with the greater expense they would be very serious about what they are doing. I know that Myron, Melissa and Chris Lilly come from MIM/MBN backgrounds and they are serious fierce competitors. I do remember meeting Melissa at the Jack a few years ago and she laughed about us KCBS being scared to come into someone's site.

sitnfat
07-09-2013, 09:54 PM
I haven't had Pats or Carey's BBQ yet. Probably wont eat Martins but I will drive up by and stop at Peg leg. My good friend owns a local BBQ joint. My sister and I cater out of our family winery and I sell a hand full of times a year. Our prices are higher because we lean a little more towards a contest flavor. We don't want to lose money so we charge more. People don't bat an eye at the price especially if they have had it before. I'm 3-5 bucks higher per pound on pork and brisket. My buddy with the b a joint tried my BBQ for the first time and his words were. Don't open a BBQ joint I got kids to feed. They need to feed the fire (no pun intended) on the old school style. They have way more over head. Did they word it correctly I don't think so. They may loose some competition cook business but in the end they may gain some new customers.

Haastyle
07-09-2013, 11:19 PM
I enjoyed the read. Here's what I got. They don't like KCBS. The drive to win is pushing most people to cook the same way which isn't his way so they don't like it. They see that style creeping over into other competitoin circuits. His weekend parties used to be more fun. That there is a newly perceived notion in the public's eye that bbq is suppose to taste a certain way. -I actually agree with that ides of theirs. For me if its good its good but to tell me it has to taste a certain way is so French, and I ain't flipping French.

Another thing I won't bash them on for lashing back at KCBS and its cookers is they are passionate people. Passionate about BBQ, it obvious. And when a passionate person is told that their product isn't up to specs, the one they make every single day.... It can't finish top 50%, that joe schmoe and his wife are pumping out better stuff, we tasted it and judged you that way on it.... That will hit anyone who cares about what they do hard and close to the heart. Now I don't doubt for one second they have a fine product, And if you don't want to change you shouldn't have to. But in that same breath things change for two reasons only. One: is things end because they are bad, the second reason: is something came along thats better. And again, that idea that "the something better" isn't their something... sucks. It ticks them off. I'm OK with that too.

But I definately agree that TELLING people and judges how things should taste and THAT IDEA of flavor profile is defined as what good is, or what REAL is..... thats not good. Apperance, texture, tenderness, those are tangible traits you can quantifiy with a ruler if you want. Flavor is a whole new ball game.

TailGateJoecom
07-10-2013, 01:24 AM
....Opinions are like a$$ holes, everyone has one; just some are larger than others. From a perspective of a small area of the US you get the opinion that theirs is the best, and it is, at that point in time and space. I can assure you that the stuff served in Memphis would not pass muster in Lexington and vice versus ; and the stuff served in NEW YORK CITY is bad dog food everywhere else (thatís an opinion).
........

:hand:

TailGateJoecom
07-10-2013, 01:34 AM
......That's what I'm talking about. If you see a line at a pizza place in NYC it's probably tourists going where the bus driver told them to go get "the best". More than likely you can't throw a rock without hitting another place with stuff as good or better and no line.....



There are a few places that are worth the wait, like Totonno's in Coney Island. Grimaldi's under the Brooklyn Bridge used to be one of those places. But then Patsy sold it and it began to slip. The funny thing is now the situation with tour buses like you mentioned. Patsy sold his place to some guy, the guy ended up a few years later getting tossed from the building for not paying rent and taxes, and opened shop up the block. Patsy came back, reopened in his original spot under a new name, Juliana's, and the crazy lines of Asian tourists are none the wiser and wait in line at the new Grimaldi's up the block while you can walk in to Juliana's a few storefronts down and get what people up the block are thinking they will get by waiting in line at the wrong place, lol.

Sorry, i know a bit off topic, but I am a bit of a pizza snob so it doesn't take much to get me going when the subject comes up.

CivilWarBBQ
07-10-2013, 02:16 AM
I enjoyed the article, and as a restaurateur I understand where they are coming from, and as a judge and competitor I agree with some points and disagree with others.

One aspect that I think should be pointed out that hasn't been touched on is this:

KCBS is not responsible for the shift in taste to sweet heavily sauced BBQ - companies like Kraft are.

The public's taste has been influenced far more by what they buy in the condiment aisle at their local grocery than by anything that goes on at a BBQ competition, and today's judges grew up eating gallons of Open Pit, KC Masterpiece and the other corn syrup laden products long before they became CBJs.

As a society we have become addicted to sweet foods - that isn't something you can lay at the door of any BBQ sanctioning body.

The Cosmic Pig
07-10-2013, 02:50 AM
....Opinions are like a$$ holes, everyone has one.

My mother-in-law doesn't; they sowed hers shut when they did her colostomy... :heh:

Lake Dogs
07-10-2013, 06:40 AM
Are the MBN folks really not that serious? I understand the much bigger party atmosphere and the bigger teams and all but I would think that with the greater expense they would be very serious about what they are doing. I know that Myron, Melissa and Chris Lilly come from MIM/MBN backgrounds and they are serious fierce competitors. I do remember meeting Melissa at the Jack a few years ago and she laughed about us KCBS being scared to come into someone's site.

I've only competed in a couple of KCBS competitions, so it's tough for me to gauge the difference... In MIM/MBN, noobies tend to party like no tomorrow and have a tough time making the show; literally. Experienced MBNers tend to party pretty good, but settle in and have some shift things going on, but generally even with "the show" it's taken fairly light hearted and upbeat, so yeah, it probably is a little less serious (but absolutely just as competitive).

Competitor fierce; you bet; but not wound very tight... I mean, my goofy small team has a tradition of doing tequila shots just before each series of shows... I mean, it's Patron; someone has to drink it! It's more a "relax and enjoy the ride" thing...

Perhaps it's the "garnish factor". While KCBS guys are getting anal retentive getting that garnish just perfect in the box (Friday evening), the MBN guys are having another beer and telling another lie...

<JOKE>

Podge
07-10-2013, 07:29 AM
I enjoyed the read. Here's what I got. They don't like KCBS. The drive to win is pushing most people to cook the same way which isn't his way so they don't like it. They see that style creeping over into other competitoin circuits. His weekend parties used to be more fun. That there is a newly perceived notion in the public's eye that bbq is suppose to taste a certain way. -I actually agree with that ides of theirs. For me if its good its good but to tell me it has to taste a certain way is so French, and I ain't flipping French.

Another thing I won't bash them on for lashing back at KCBS and its cookers is they are passionate people. Passionate about BBQ, it obvious. And when a passionate person is told that their product isn't up to specs, the one they make every single day.... It can't finish top 50%, that joe schmoe and his wife are pumping out better stuff, we tasted it and judged you that way on it.... That will hit anyone who cares about what they do hard and close to the heart. Now I don't doubt for one second they have a fine product, And if you don't want to change you shouldn't have to. But in that same breath things change for two reasons only. One: is things end because they are bad, the second reason: is something came along thats better. And again, that idea that "the something better" isn't their something... sucks. It ticks them off. I'm OK with that too.

But I definately agree that TELLING people and judges how things should taste and THAT IDEA of flavor profile is defined as what good is, or what REAL is..... thats not good. Apperance, texture, tenderness, those are tangible traits you can quantifiy with a ruler if you want. Flavor is a whole new ball game.

Totally agree.. very well said !

Smoke'n Ice
07-10-2013, 07:30 AM
Easy on Po-Town, we're not biased one way or another :becky: and please tell me you said that about NYC tongue in cheek.

Actually, I used it to make a point. Remember the commercial for sauce and the tag line was "Made in New York City?, Git a Rope". The intent was to say that the sauce, I think Pace, was real downhome and others were just imitator wanabes.

It just illustrates that other factors, to include public preception, come into the equation of what makes good bbq for each person and region and could be as simple as "what is acceptable everywhere." While not being the best, it is the acceptable NORM.

bignburlyman
07-10-2013, 07:41 AM
I think what they were saying was that KCBS has had an influence. I know in 2004, 2005, we never saw money muscle come across an MIM table; never. The pork was pulled, and juicy, sometimes had a little bit of sauce, tender, not sliced/cut, and awesome. Times however they are a changin'.



When I started judging KCBS contests 15 years or so ago, there was never slices of any kind in a pork box. And usually not even chunks, everything was pulled/chopped. I think the first guy that put slices in must have surprised the judges so much and won handily that the word got out and everyone started doing it. Also when I started judging sauce was used much less than today. I mean these days people are even saucing brisket heavily. :doh::tape:

dosvans
07-10-2013, 08:14 AM
But I definately agree that TELLING people and judges how things should taste and THAT IDEA of flavor profile is defined as what good is, or what REAL is..... thats not good. Apperance, texture, tenderness, those are tangible traits you can quantifiy with a ruler if you want. Flavor is a whole new ball game.

I don't know of any KCBS CBJ class that dictates taste for a specific meat, or anyone that dictates taste in the Judges tent. How to determine tenderness yes, but not taste. I think those that are implying such are way off base.

Podge
07-10-2013, 09:05 AM
Just shows there are two sets of Competition BBQ'ers, those who have potential to win, and those who can't and bitch about it.

dmprantz
07-10-2013, 09:51 AM
Just shows there are two sets of Competition BBQ'ers, those who have potential to win, and those who can't and bitch about it.

I don't know about all that. As the head cook of the FatBack Collective, Pat Martin made the final table at Memphis in May in 2011 for whole hog, and Peg Leg came in ninth in shoulder in 2013.

For those interested in what the heck Pat Martin knows about good (restaraunt) BBQ, check out the following article:

http://www.10best.com/destinations/tennessee/nashville/restaurants/barbecue/

dmp

Q-Dat
07-10-2013, 11:37 AM
As far as the "Homogenization" of flavors in competition BBQ goes. Its going to continue until there is some sort of reward for individuality.

I don't see that happening.

Podge
07-10-2013, 12:03 PM
As far as the "Homogenization" of flavors in competition BBQ goes. Its going to continue until there is some sort of reward for individuality.

I don't see that happening.


I think there can be reward for individuality. As long as it flavor fits with the definition of American BBQ, therefore, individuality can only go so far.. I try to do that all the time. I don't want to be the same as everyone else. So far, that line of thinking has worked out for me.

Rich Parker
07-10-2013, 12:35 PM
Carey Bringle: Iíve seen it in the KCBS circuits, but I donít see it in the MBM [Memphis] circuit. The MBM folks seem to have more laid-back party get-together kind of time, whereas the KCBS guys seem to be more me and my wife against the world, **** everybody else. Quiet time at 10 p.m. The first time I did a KCBS competition, they almost threw me out four times because I didnít know what the hell quiet time was. I was like, "What do you mean quiet time in a barbecue competition? What kind of bull**** is that? Itís about staying up and having a good time. Weíre getting our second keg delivered here."

This has got to be the furthest statement from the truth I have ever read about competition BBQ especially KCBS events that I have been to.

I have watched competitors give other competitors rubs, sauces, meat, injections, wood, charcoal, knives, park their trailer, make their boxes, change their tire, wake them up, start their fire, and fix their truck!

We have potlucks that rival most 5 star restaurants and share all of our food with our neighbors. :drama:

Q-Dat
07-10-2013, 12:47 PM
I think there can be reward for individuality. As long as it flavor fits with the definition of American BBQ, therefore, individuality can only go so far.. I try to do that all the time. I don't want to be the same as everyone else. So far, that line of thinking has worked out for me.

True but what I am thinking of is "individuality" being added as a 4th scoring criteria. Of course it would need to be weighted below the other three in value, but I think it would go a long way towards fixing the problem. Lets face it. It woyld be the least important category, but I doubt anyone would want to leave those potential points on the table.

But like I said. It ain't gonna happen.

tnjimbob
07-10-2013, 01:56 PM
Although I don't think restaurant 'que & competition 'que are mutually exclusive, there isn't a lot of common ground. Many competitors who want to get into the restaurant business will parlay their awards into some sort of pedigree, like "award winning...", "championship...", etc., while people who start out in restaurants don't usually start competing, except for maybe Chris Lilly. If anything, I see more competitors opening BBQ places than the other way around.

Competition cooks generally say that if they had a restaurant, they would have to charge exorbitant prices to produce competition 'que and they say they would have a hard time repeating that process consistently on a daily basis.

I think that restaurant 'que tends to focus more on simplifying the process to insure consistency, focusing more on cooking than seasoning, injecting, etc. as competitors focus on. One sure way to get people to dislike restaurant 'que is for it to be amazing one day, and lousy the next time you visit. Of course, patrons who visit other BBQ places between visits can alter their perception of what good BBQ tastes like, and upon their return, the original place's 'que won't be as good as they remembered.

This is not to say that restaurants can't be successful competitors, and competitors can be successful restauranteurs, but there isn't generally much overlap between the two. Regardless of the homogenization or dissonance that exists within BBQ, I don't believe that there will be much crossover until competition 'que begins winning with restaurant 'que. I don't see that happening either.

Lake Dogs
07-10-2013, 02:19 PM
True but what I am thinking of is "individuality" being added as a 4th scoring criteria. Of course it would need to be weighted below the other three in value, but I think it would go a long way towards fixing the problem. Lets face it. It woyld be the least important category, but I doubt anyone would want to leave those potential points on the table.

But like I said. It ain't gonna happen.


Actually, and especially with seasoned judges, individuality is appreciated, even desired and rewarded. That said, it still has to taste good and still has to taste like something that harkens the notion of BBQ.

A guy who I happen to highly respect and is a brethren went out and created a rub and sauce combination that went fairly heavily down the rasberry trail. I'll say this; rasberries are very tart; VERY. Tart, like salt, or cayenne heat, etc. isn't everyones cup of tea. He was trounced in the scoreing, and came away with "uniqueness is punished". I would suggest that they didnt punish the uniqueness, but punished the tart.

dmprantz
07-10-2013, 02:28 PM
I think that was half of Pat's point about all the briskets tasting like beef boulion. "Winners" often (usually?) inject or otherwise cook with a salty beef based liquid because it's what wins, and winning techniques are copied. The other, unspoken part of his comments are that teams look for a lot of flavour in one bite, wether that flavour is beef, salt, or sugar. He doesn't think it's good BBQ, but maybe he just doesn't understand KCBS BBQ?

The other, point is of course that The Jack, that pinnacle of competition, putting the luckiest and best of the best against each other uses judges who don't know much about judging. People who are celebrities and have been a CBJ for less than 24 hours. Sure the comments can (and will) be made that "good BBQ is good BBQ," and several of the recent winners (iQue, Quau, Pig Skin) have been dominant teams, but I think it's a good point to remember. Just rambling thoughts I guess.

dmp

Q-Dat
07-10-2013, 02:36 PM
Actually, and especially with seasoned judges, individuality is appreciated, even desired and rewarded. That said, it still has to taste good and still has to taste like something that harkens the notion of BBQ.

A guy who I happen to highly respect and is a brethren went out and created a rub and sauce combination that went fairly heavily down the rasberry trail. I'll say this; rasberries are very tart; VERY. Tart, like salt, or cayenne heat, etc. isn't everyones cup of tea. He was trounced in the scoreing, and came away with "uniqueness is punished". I would suggest that they didnt punish the uniqueness, but punished the tart.


Yes, it does of course still have to taste good, but I think KCBS judging classes are influencing the new judges notion of what good is supposed to taste like. Oh I know that they don't come right out and tell them what to like, but they do tell them that good BBQ should be "balanced". I am so sick of this idea that balanced flavors are necessarily good. Theres a big difference between BBQ that tastes great and BBQ that doesn't taste "offensive". What we actually have is mild flavors, bordering on bland that are being balanced by training wheels. In this case the training wheels are in the form of sugar or other sweetness because its the easy way to round out the sharp edges on some flavors without having to get very creative.

Balanced and good are not necessarily the same thing.

landarc
07-10-2013, 02:38 PM
I don't happen to think BBQ, at any level or venue particularly rewards innovation. I get the chance to talk with CBJ's, cooks and aficionados of BBQ fairly often out here, along with restaurant owners, and the final thing I walk away with, is that there is a very narrow window for which BBQ can be good. People across a broad spectrum have an idea of what BBQ is, and if you vary from that, they get uncomfortable. There are differences by region, but, even there, the differences are really small. KCBS is one form of BBQ flavor, but, I don't think it varies all that much from other forms, it just pushes one or two profiles more.

Lake Dogs
07-10-2013, 02:45 PM
Yes, it does of course still have to taste good, but I think KCBS judging classes are influencing the new judges notion of what good is supposed to taste like. Oh I know that they don't come right out and tell them what to like, but they do tell them that good BBQ should be "balanced". I am so sick of this idea that balanced flavors are necessarily good. Theres a big difference between BBQ that tastes great and BBQ that doesn't taste "offensive". What we actually have is mild flavors, bordering on bland that are being balanced by training wheels. In this case the training wheels are in the form of sugar or other sweetness because its the easy way to round out the sharp edges on some flavors without having to get very creative.

Balanced and good are not necessarily the same thing.


I haven't been to a KCBS judging class, but I would hope that they aren't telling them what it should or shouldn't taste like, or that it should be "balanced" or not. They may, and IMHO that would be wrong.

That said, it's different in giving advice to new competitors. Telling them to try not to **** off any one judge is one thing, but instructing judges as to what and how to score it, that's another matter altogether.

Lake Dogs
07-10-2013, 02:51 PM
Kind of a side spin on this topic; some sanctioning bodies allow sauce presented on the side, and some of them allow multiple sauces. The last few times I competed in MBN I presented our main sauce and a second sauce on the side. The second sauce was a vinegar sauce that I'd never, ever, under any circumstance present it as just the one sauce, because not all judges like vinegar on their BBQ. But, some do. The ones that like it, tend to love it and it helps our scores IMHO. The ones that dont tend to like to drink our main sauce straight, and IMHO that too helps our scores. I also think presenting the sauce on the side helps because it allows the judge to choose how much sauce they think compliments the meat, and how much they prefer. After all, it's about appealing to those darned judges, isn't it?

Now, if only I could get 'em to have a shot of tequila with me . . .

TheJackal
07-10-2013, 03:13 PM
Actually, I used it to make a point. Remember the commercial for sauce and the tag line was "Made in New York City?, Git a Rope". The intent was to say that the sauce, I think Pace, was real downhome and others were just imitator wanabes.

It just illustrates that other factors, to include public preception, come into the equation of what makes good bbq for each person and region and could be as simple as "what is acceptable everywhere." While not being the best, it is the acceptable NORM.

Yes. That is the commercial I thought of while reading this thread. It is a Pace Picante salsa commercial. Pace is a brand owned by Campbell's which is based in Camden, NJ. I always got a kick out of that.

Slamdunkpro
07-10-2013, 04:05 PM
Iíve seen it in the KCBS circuits, but I donít see it in the MBM [Memphis] circuit. The MBM folks seem to have more laid-back party get-together kind of time, whereas the KCBS guys seem to be more me and my wife against the world, **** everybody else. Quiet time at 10 p.m. The first time I did a KCBS competition, they almost threw me out four times because I didnít know what the hell quiet time was. I was like, "What do you mean quiet time in a barbecue competition? What kind of bull**** is that? Itís about staying up and having a good time. Weíre getting our second keg delivered here."
This has got to be the furthest statement from the truth I have ever read about competition BBQ especially KCBS events that I have been to.

I have watched competitors give other competitors rubs, sauces, meat, injections, wood, charcoal, knives, park their trailer, make their boxes, change their tire, wake them up, start their fire, and fix their truck!

We have potlucks that rival most 5 star restaurants and share all of our food with our neighbors. :drama:
If someone has to have quiet time explained four times.....:wacko:

Diva Q
07-10-2013, 04:32 PM
At the end of the day its all BBQ. It may not be your Mammas, Your Daddy's or even your Granddaddy's but it is still BBQ. I have traveled from coast to coast in the US & Canada and eaten BBQ at over 150+ joints. Some of it was absolutely fantastic. Some of it was crap. Some was old school some was new school. Its still BBQ.
I have attended MIM multiples of times = tasted many entries that used so much cure it would knock your socks off - Its still BBQ.
I make KCBS over injected over sauced overly manipulated entries- Its still BBQ.
And in my own backyard I make what I like to eat simply seasoned food - Its still BBQ.

There is absolutely no reason to pigeon hole BBQ into one corner. Not ever. There are too many facets, styles and interpretations. Just eat what you like. Make what you like and compete how you like. Don't like what you are judging - don't judge. Been to a contest and treated like crap - don't go back. Don't like the atmosphere of a sanctioning body - don't participate. Seems pretty simple to me.
For me - It is much better to celebrate the differences..

Its all still BBQ.

CarolinaQue
07-10-2013, 06:26 PM
At the end of the day its all BBQ. It may not be your Mammas, Your Daddy's or even your Granddaddy's but it is still BBQ. I have traveled from coast to coast in the US & Canada and eaten BBQ at over 150+ joints. Some of it was absolutely fantastic. Some of it was crap. Some was old school some was new school. Its still BBQ.
I have attended MIM multiples of times = tasted many entries that used so much cure it would know your socks off - Its still BBQ.
I make KCBS over injected over sauced overly manipulated entries- Its still BBQ.
And in my own backyard I make what I like to eat simply seasoned food - Its still BBQ.

There is absolutely no reason to pigeon hole BBQ into one corner. Not ever. There are too many facets, styles and interpretations. Just eat what you like. Make what you like and compete how you like. Don't like what you are judging - don't judge. Been to a contest and treated like crap - don't go back. Don't like the atmosphere of a sanctioning body - don't participate. Seems pretty simple to me.
For me - It is much better to celebrate the differences..

Its all still BBQ.

Definitely the best statement/assessment so far IMO!!!

Lake Dogs
07-10-2013, 06:30 PM
Definitely the best statement/assessment so far IMO!!!
someone is a suck-up! :caked:

Q-Dat
07-10-2013, 06:46 PM
I haven't been to a KCBS judging class, but I would hope that they aren't telling them what it should or shouldn't taste like, or that it should be "balanced" or not. They may, and IMHO that would be wrong.

It took me a while to find it, but I knew I remembered hearing it.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WPEtECibFk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

The instructor starts talking about taste at about 10:52 into the video. He stresses balance multiple times. Once again, balance is not necessary for great flavor. Certain meats can be outstanding if you lean one way or the other with one or more of the 4 basic tastes.

Podge
07-10-2013, 07:25 PM
Don't hate the player, hate the game. (but I love the game!)

CarolinaQue
07-10-2013, 07:48 PM
someone is a suck-up! :caked:

But it's DivaQ...duh!!!

Don't be jealous...you're still my dog...Dog!!:mrgreen:

dmprantz
07-10-2013, 07:55 PM
Don't hate the player, hate the game. (but I love the game!)

I recall neither Mr. Martin nor Mr. Bringel making personal attacks against any single person. Just KCBS competition BBQ, which is the game. The personal attacks were here in the Brethren. For some reason, that just doesn't surprise me.

dmp

Lake Dogs
07-10-2013, 08:09 PM
But it's DivaQ...duh!!!

Don't be jealous...you're still my dog...Dog!!:mrgreen:

And yes, hopefully everyone knows I was joking, and what DivaQ wrote probably did say it all. It's all BBQ, one way or another. What I like/prefer may not be what you like/prefer, but it's still BBQ.

I do think it's a shame at what Q-Dat showed. No one should be instructed as to what it should, or shouldn't for that matter, taste like. They should be instructed that it's not a sauce contest, and that they should be judging the taste of the meat, and how the seasonings/spices/sauces used enhance and compliment the meat flavor, not mask it.

TheJackal
07-10-2013, 09:47 PM
Don't hate the player, hate the game. (but I love the game!)

I recall neither Mr. Martin nor Mr. Bringel making personal attacks against any single person. Just KCBS competition BBQ, which is the game. The personal attacks were here in the Brethren. For some reason, that just doesn't surprise me.

dmp

:arrow:Carey Bringle: ...the KCBS guys seem to be more me and my wife against the world, **** everybody else.

Certainly sounds like he's talking about the players here. Was that supposed to be a compliment? Certainly didn't seem like one. :roll:

dmprantz
07-10-2013, 10:02 PM
Please re-read what I said. It shouldn't be too hard since it was quoted. Which single person did Carey personally attack? You have a name? A physical description of the guy? Oh yeah, he said "KCBS," like I thought he did. The way I read it, he talked about the environment at KCBS events. The game that the body puts on. I doubt every one will agree, especially those who love that game, but I'll repeat, I don't see where he said anything bad about any specific person. At least a couple here have made negative comments specifically about him.

dmp

Hawg Father of Seoul
07-10-2013, 10:35 PM
Please re-read what I said. It shouldn't be too hard since it was quoted. Which single person did Carey personally attack? You have a name? A physical description of the guy? Oh yeah, he said "KCBS," like I thought he did. The way I read it, he talked about the environment at KCBS events. The game that the body puts on. I doubt every one will agree, especially those who love that game, but I'll repeat, I don't see where he said anything bad about any specific person. At least a couple here have made negative comments specifically about him.

dmp

You are right, he did not hate on a single person, he hated on 95% of the PEOPLE.

You said he was not your buddy, that seems like a good stance. I'll go ahead and say they are not my buddies either. My buddies typically try to piss on less than 50% of a given population. It's just the way we roll.

SaucyWench
07-10-2013, 10:36 PM
It took me a while to find it, but I knew I remembered hearing it.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WPEtECibFk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

The instructor starts talking about taste at about 10:52 into the video. He stresses balance multiple times. Once again, balance is not necessary for great flavor. Certain meats can be outstanding if you lean one way or the other with one or more of the 4 basic tastes.

This is not a KCBS judging class. These are non-certified judges grabbed off the street, or perhaps celebrity judges. The rep is trying to make sure they have a clue, but I think he's gone way, way beyond what he should have told them!

fnbish
07-10-2013, 10:46 PM
You are right, he did not hate on a single person, he hated on 95% of the PEOPLE.

You said he was not your buddy, that seems like a good stance. I'll go ahead and say they are not my buddies either. My buddies typically try to piss on less than 50% of a given population. It's just the way we roll.

Exactly this. :becky:

Q-Dat
07-10-2013, 11:49 PM
This is not a KCBS judging class. These are non-certified judges grabbed off the street, or perhaps celebrity judges. The rep is trying to make sure they have a clue, but I think he's gone way, way beyond what he should have told them!

I'm glad to know that its not a CBJ class.

But I do wonder how prevalent this notion is of balanced being better just because its balanced.

One person's balanced is another person's bland.

roksmith
07-11-2013, 05:24 AM
Balanced and bland are not even in the same ballpark.
Bland is the lack of flavor. Balanced is correctly proportioned flavor.
Has nothing to do with how much flavor.

Q-Dat
07-11-2013, 06:34 AM
Balanced and bland are not even in the same ballpark.
Bland is the lack of flavor. Balanced is correctly proportioned flavor.
Has nothing to do with how much flavor.

Bland = Boring for me so maybe that's the word that I should have used. Bottom line is there are plenty of foods that people love that aren't the least bit balanced.

Lake Dogs
07-11-2013, 09:41 AM
I'm glad to know that its not a CBJ class.

But I do wonder how prevalent this notion is of balanced being better just because its balanced.

One person's balanced is another person's bland.


Q-Dat, I've been to many different sanctioning bodies training sessions, many times. Each stress different points for certain, but I'd never seen any talk about flavor much at all (including "balance"), other than it's your preference and is the most subjective.

I think it is. What's happening is KCBS is growing leaps and bounds. Doing this they have to bring on new judges fairly quickly to fill the need. The more people that are brought in, frankly, a larger sampling of the general populous is represented. While they're instructed on tenderness requirements (regardless of their personal preferences), their tendency to think (and/or want) sweet sauce has influenced what competitors submit, because nobody wants to complete and get trounced. KCBS, being the largest now by a fairly big margin, certainly has it's influence on other sanctioning bodies, as many competitors compete in multiple sanctioning bodies' events... What I'm trying to say is that I think the change and the influence is a natural part of the growth.

I do think that some of this change is really a shame, because the very best ribs I've EVER had in my lifetime probably would not be cooked or submitted any longer. In 2005 I had the pleasure to judge MiM winner Gwatney National BBQ team's ribs, which were presented without any sauce, and while I've made plenty of GC'ing ribs, and judged plenty of GC'ing ribs, to day that one rib was still the all time best. I dont think anyone would submit a true Memphis rib any longer. I imagine every once in a while, in MBN, they'll get some, but it's rare, when in 2004, 2005,... it was the norm.

Perhaps that's what the interviewees were trying to say... I dont know.


For what it's worth, in the few KCBS competitions that I competed in, I didnt see what the one guy was saying... Mind you, I'm one to try to "play by the rules", and if the rules say "quiet time", I abide by them. For that reason, personally, there are competitions fairly local that do not allow alcohol (not even beer in a red solo cup), and I've politely passed when asked if we'd participate.

Goddahavit
07-11-2013, 09:45 AM
And yes, hopefully everyone knows I was joking, and what DivaQ wrote probably did say it all. It's all BBQ, one way or another. What I like/prefer may not be what you like/prefer, but it's still BBQ.

I do think it's a shame at what Q-Dat showed. No one should be instructed as to what it should, or shouldn't for that matter, taste like. They should be instructed that it's not a sauce contest, and that they should be judging the taste of the meat, and how the seasonings/spices/sauces used enhance and compliment the meat flavor, not mask it.

I do not agree with this either, to you that is your feeling, to me bbq has sauce, its up to the individual if its too heavy or overpowering. you are trying to direct peoples taste scores with that statement. Judge the entry, as a whole, if you like it score it that way, if you dont score it that way.

everyone has a choice to either compete or not, if you compete its up to you how you prepare your entries, flavors etc. If your not winning, then change or dont, but you cant complain about the judges for liking what they like. If people do it for fun and are not worried about the results, great, but we cant afford that, i can cook for several hundred people for the cost of a comp, so for me I want to have as much fun as possible and still do my best. that way if we dont walk, i still had a great time with friends and teams we like to hang with.

gettinbasted
07-11-2013, 11:27 AM
Q-Dat, I've been to many different sanctioning bodies training sessions, many times. Each stress different points for certain, but I'd never seen any talk about flavor much at all (including "balance"), other than it's your preference and is the most subjective.

I think it is. What's happening is KCBS is growing leaps and bounds. Doing this they have to bring on new judges fairly quickly to fill the need. The more people that are brought in, frankly, a larger sampling of the general populous is represented. While they're instructed on tenderness requirements (regardless of their personal preferences), their tendency to think (and/or want) sweet sauce has influenced what competitors submit, because nobody wants to complete and get trounced. KCBS, being the largest now by a fairly big margin, certainly has it's influence on other sanctioning bodies, as many competitors compete in multiple sanctioning bodies' events... What I'm trying to say is that I think the change and the influence is a natural part of the growth.

I do think that some of this change is really a shame, because the very best ribs I've EVER had in my lifetime probably would not be cooked or submitted any longer. In 2005 I had the pleasure to judge MiM winner Gwatney National BBQ team's ribs, which were presented without any sauce, and while I've made plenty of GC'ing ribs, and judged plenty of GC'ing ribs, to day that one rib was still the all time best. I dont think anyone would submit a true Memphis rib any longer. I imagine every once in a while, in MBN, they'll get some, but it's rare, when in 2004, 2005,... it was the norm.

Perhaps that's what the interviewees were trying to say... I dont know.


For what it's worth, in the few KCBS competitions that I competed in, I didnt see what the one guy was saying... Mind you, I'm one to try to "play by the rules", and if the rules say "quiet time", I abide by them. For that reason, personally, there are competitions fairly local that do not allow alcohol (not even beer in a red solo cup), and I've politely passed when asked if we'd participate.

Great observations.

Us competition cooks have a herd mentality. We copy what wins. My feeling is that these things run in a cycle and we are already seeing a little pushback from over sweet sauces.

Someone will win something big with a dry rib, teach a class, and dry ribs will be everywhere.

roksmith
07-11-2013, 11:56 AM
I don't see it as herd mentality. I see it as evolution. Adapt or fail.

Big Mike
07-11-2013, 09:05 PM
This was an interesting article. I will have to add, that us competitors are not bastardizing BBQ. We do what it takes to win within the rules. If the judges like bastardized bbq samples, then it is them who is the cause of what we do. Take this article for instance, if that guy didn't have any success in injecting his brisket with god-knows-what, he wouldn't do it anymore. If he always had the same success with just getting a brisket and putting salt and pepper on it, he'd still turn that in.

I guess i'm trying to say, most all of us cook for the judges, and most of us would rather cook with a different flavor profile, etc. for our own tastes, which would surprisingly probably be more suited to the people who at first criticize us for Bastardizing. So, who is really ruining BBQ?

I say no one. We either cook a product we like, or we cook a product that wins, because the judges like and expect something specific.

Hey Podge. I think your last couple of statements is pretty much what the article was talking about. In a competition, we cook for the judges who expect things a certain way. However, most of us as cooks would not cook that way for ourselves because we don't necessarily consider it to be good bbq. We consider it to be overly sweet and overly seasoned.

IMHO some of what is being done to present a winning turn in to the judges is not really bbq. For example, braising chicken in a pan of butter is not bbq as far as I am concerned, it is braising. I am not against injecting, I don't do it at home, but I will inject pork for a comp. That being said, when I do inject, I use something like apple juice and spices. When you start injecting with phosphates, etc I think you get away from bbq.

Big Mike
07-11-2013, 09:08 PM
Great observations.

Us competition cooks have a herd mentality. We copy what wins. My feeling is that these things run in a cycle and we are already seeing a little pushback from over sweet sauces.

Someone will win something big with a dry rib, teach a class, and dry ribs will be everywhere.

Exactly. There doesn't seem to be much originality out there. I'm not saying there isn't any; there are some out there that are winning doing there own thing.

Stark-O-Rama
07-12-2013, 06:37 AM
Wait a minute - you can inject beef bouillon into brisket & win :shock:

Kave Dweller
07-12-2013, 07:58 AM
I thought it was a great article of 3 guys opinions. I agree with most of what they said. I do wish you could turn in something different and get judged fairly on it which I don't think you can, I think you get judged as an outcast. My opinion.

Lake Dogs
07-12-2013, 09:11 AM
I do not agree with this either, to you that is your feeling, to me bbq has sauce, its up to the individual if its too heavy or overpowering. you are trying to direct peoples taste scores with that statement. Judge the entry, as a whole, if you like it score it that way, if you dont score it that way.

everyone has a choice to either compete or not, if you compete its up to you how you prepare your entries, flavors etc. If your not winning, then change or dont, but you cant complain about the judges for liking what they like. If people do it for fun and are not worried about the results, great, but we cant afford that, i can cook for several hundred people for the cost of a comp, so for me I want to have as much fun as possible and still do my best. that way if we dont walk, i still had a great time with friends and teams we like to hang with.

For what it's worth, that section (in red above) is almost verbatim from MIM, MBN, and GBA CBJ class....