View Full Version : Please judge my Boxes

08-26-2013, 10:41 PM
I thought our meats tasted good but our scores didn't reflect that. and any constructive criticism will help us in our future endeavors

Lake Dogs
08-27-2013, 07:53 AM
For presentation ideas (and what not to do, with some whys), I suggest looking at bbqcritic.com

Of course we cant speak to the taste or the tenderness without trying it, but I'll give a first stab at presentation/appearance:

Chicken, first the pic small and a bit dark, so it's tougher to tell. That said, they could be trimmed up a little for a more appetizing appeal, but the color is nice and dont appear to be overly sauced. Probably a 7, maybe an 8. Probably your best box. The problem is that in many areas the judges have come to almost expect the little over-sculpted round red balls they call chicken. Others may slam you on appearance score; I hope not.

Ribs, nice color, but there are bits of something (garlic perhaps?) in the sauce (at least I hope that's what it is) that is distracting and taking away. A little heavy on the sauce. Also, the front rib should be showing off the beautiful smoke ring, but you dont have one... I'm thinking... probably a 7, but possibly an 8.

Pork... Ummmm..... Not good. Slices like that are a tough sell, at least in this region. To us (from the deep south), it screams undercooked and fatty. I dont know; the display is haphazzard, not a particularly appetizing color to it, it just doesn't work for me. I'm thinking 6 and that might be generous.

Brisket... Similar in many aspects to the pork. It looks like you might have the fat-cap up vs. down (on the left side). Specs and flakes and bits... Burnt ends dont look good IMHO. I dont know, another not working for me; a 6.

Take a look at bbqcritic.com for ideas.

08-27-2013, 09:17 AM
^^^ I agree with the above. I'd put the fatty end of the brisket down for sure. Chicken doesn't look uniform. Try to get them to be roughly the same size and shape.

08-27-2013, 09:23 AM
Here is my humble opinion on the appearance, I always comment that scoring from pictures is harder and possibly harsher than at the table because you can study longer to see something to critique. Here goes:

1: Chicken Quick score 7-as mentioned color looks pretty good, not sloppy with sauce. Longer study the color is a little uneven, darker in spots. Pieces are not uniform, I don't score down for this but there seem to be many that do. Looks like the pieces are a little big to fit the box without overlapping, not anything wrong with it but the left side looks like it overlaps more and kind of unbalances the box.

2: Ribs Quick score 8-To me this is actually your best looking box, decent color and shine. At first glance it looks like a bit too heavy sauce, but the front piece really doesn't look that heavy, but the sloppy sauce on the ends of the front piece should probably be cleaned up, it really draws my eye in the picture.

3: Pork Quick score 6, maybe 7-not really sure on the giant slices, they look tasty but actually for me the pulled looks a lot better. Adding a little more bark pieces with the pulled, and a full box of it might have been better. The dark specks all over the face of the slices again draws the eye, and not in a good way.

4: Brisket Quick score 6 or 7-I can honestly say I have never seen brisket arranged like this, just glanceing at it has a resemblance to something I won't describe in detail, lol. The cuts look a little ragged, and the black specks on the slices again draw the eye. The slices look pretty good but as Lake Dogs mentions it looks like the fat is up on the left, and down on the right. I think the arrangement being different would make my score at least 1 point higher.

08-27-2013, 10:29 AM
And from the East German judge:

I cleaned up the chicken pic.

Solid 6, maybe a 7 in person, nice shine, nice color, sauce could be more even and the thighs could be trimmed better.

Ribs - 7/8 Nice color and shine, cuts are ragged and distracting

Pork 4/5 - Grey, dry looking, looks like it was just tossed in the box. Not appealing

Brisket 4/5 - where to begin, everything is buried in the garnish, strands and fragments on all the slices, plus they are very ragged. Ends look black and off putting

08-27-2013, 05:38 PM
And from the East German judge:

I cleaned up the chicken pic.


From this judge's perspective, I'd say:

Chicken = 6, shapes and coloration are too dissimilar, skin looks strange with all those wrinkles, sauce is not spread evenly, but still looks 'okay'.

Ribs = 7, too much sauce and not spread evenly, surface of ribs appears to have debris on them covered with the sauce, ribs are cut unevenly, but still looks kind of appetizing.

Pork = 5, slices are too big and look like there is a lot of fat in upper portion of the slices especially to the right. bark looks too dark (looks burnt) which definitely detracts from the appeal. Pulled pork looks like you just threw it in the box without any care - align the pulled pieces so that it looks attractive, and remove that ONE piece of bark in the pile that looks out of place. I like that you haven't drenched the pork with sauce, but some judges want that extra flavor from the sauce.

Brisket = 6, looks too gray, BEs in the middle look too big compared to the slices - just looks strange. Slices split by BEs is definitely a new one on me, but I think you could get away with it better if the BEs were smaller. again, debris on the slices isn't helping. looks dry also.

Hawg Father of Seoul
08-27-2013, 06:31 PM
If we were friends and you gave me a piece of the pork or brisket, I would say, "got any that you didn't use to clean your grill with?"

Sorry for being harsh, but some times we have to hear the stuff people say behind our backs.

Ribs and chicken are good for me.

08-27-2013, 06:52 PM
I want to say that all the imput from the Brethern is never taken out of context. All the advice will be looked at and improved on. This was my second comp and the first one that I cooked most of the meat so as far as I am concerned, a) we did not come in last place overall b) we met a bunch of great people c) we had alot of fun. We are planning on coming out again next year but we know we need to do some practice runs between now and then.

Once again I want to Thank all of you for your imput and advice even if it has to be harsh at times. That is the way we are going to improve.

08-27-2013, 07:20 PM

Thanks for posting the pics and asking for the honest feedback. I have not had a chance to compete yet and this was very valuable to see and hear the feedback. I hope to get in that comp next year, hope to see you and the rest of the fellas then!

08-27-2013, 09:19 PM
Chicken - uniformity of pieces
Ribs - looks fairly good but maybe slice them more evenly as they look a little on the uneven side
Pork - looks more like prime rib slices to me than port butt
Brisket - maybe lay slices from to back w/ burnt ends on each side or in front or back of slices

08-28-2013, 03:02 PM