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View Full Version : Reason for lowball scores - chicken


Ford
09-27-2013, 10:28 AM
There's been a lot of talk about lowball scores by a judge since the new score sheets. There is some justification for a judge just scoring everything low. But there's lots of reasons for a judge to get a different experience. I'll post this for each of the 4 meats.

Just post 1 reason for taste and/or tenderness.

Small pocket of fat not properly trimmed out and judge bites just that spot. That can be close to a spit experience.

bbq.tom
09-27-2013, 10:40 AM
Also, I was at a table where five of us judges got good chicken thighs and the judge beside me got a drastically undercooked thigh (RED juices).

swamprb
09-27-2013, 10:42 AM
"overly sauced"

TooSaucedToPork
09-27-2013, 11:37 AM
How does "overly sauced" as a description effect taste and tenderness? I read that as appearance.

I'm not trying to get on anybody, but that is not a descriptive reason...
Now if, as a judge, you said..."the sauce in places was thicker than others, detracting from the overall taste of the meat"

bbq.tom
09-27-2013, 11:48 AM
How does "overly sauced" as a description effect taste and tenderness? I read that as appearance.

I'm not trying to get on anybody, but that is not a descriptive reason...
Now if, as a judge, you said..."the sauce in places was thicker than others, detracting from the overall taste of the meat"

Over-sauced could also mean that the flavor of the sauce completely drowned out the flavor of the meat. That would be Taste category.

ITBFQ
09-27-2013, 11:59 AM
For tenderness - overcooked. Chicken is mushy.

TooSaucedToPork
09-27-2013, 12:24 PM
Over-sauced could also mean that the flavor of the sauce completely drowned out the flavor of the meat. That would be Taste category.

Correct...which is what I said when I spelled it out and didn't make it a generalized term.

If I, as a cook, got a comment card that simply states "over sauced" what does that mean...

Did I put too much sauced on detracting from appearance?
Did the Taste of my sauce drown out the meat?
Did the sauced clumping up cause a taste problem?

Descriptive terms clearly outlining the problem are needed. If judges want better BBQ, they need to communicate problems to us clearly, in the most descriptive terms possible...

Understanding is all about communication

bbq.tom
09-27-2013, 12:55 PM
Correct...which is what I said when I spelled it out and didn't make it a generalized term.

If I, as a cook, got a comment card that simply states "over sauced" what does that mean...

Did I put too much sauced on detracting from appearance?
Did the Taste of my sauce drown out the meat?
Did the sauced clumping up cause a taste problem?

Descriptive terms clearly outlining the problem are needed. If judges want better BBQ, they need to communicate problems to us clearly, in the most descriptive terms possible...

Understanding is all about communication

I beleive the new comment cards have "over sauced" only as a box in the Appearance category. It can be written in for other purposes, but like you stated, I hope that a more descriptive term would be used.


At some point in the future, I would hope that KCBS will adopt a "comment required" on EVERY score. That would not only improve judges (having to be accountable for each score with a reason) as well as improve cooks (knowing exactly why each judge gave each score). It would take a bit longer, but would weed out the judges that are just there for fun (read - NOT serious), and I'm sure cook teams wouldn't mind 1 hour between turn-ins. Also, BAN coolers!

ITBFQ
09-27-2013, 01:36 PM
Also, BAN coolers!

This will go a long way weeding out "those who are there to get fed" from those of us that take it seriously. I heard one husband and wife duo (judging at different tables) say to each other after judging "We are going to eat good this weekend!" I've judged next to the guy twice now, and I can almost guarantee that his scores are dropped every single time. No. More. Leftovers. Period.

bbq.tom
09-27-2013, 01:55 PM
This will go a long way weeding out "those who are there to get fed" from those of us that take it seriously. I heard one husband and wife duo (judging at different tables) say to each other after judging "We are going to eat good this weekend!" I've judged next to the guy twice now, and I can almost guarantee that his scores are dropped every single time. No. More. Leftovers. Period.

I hate to hijack this thread onto coolers, but you are right, there is just something about watching a judge be more interested in putting the leftovers from their judging plate into a cooler than concentrating on giving a good score. I'm not saying that every judge that packs a cooler isn't in it for the right reason, but everyone knows that it only takes a couple to ruin it for the rest of us. I used to be a "take home the leftovers" judge, but once I knew that cooks looked at cooler judges as "only in it to get fed and take food home", I changed and haven't taken anything home in a couple years. Banning coolers would go a long way to closing the chasm between cooks and judges. IMHO

BaggerBill
09-27-2013, 02:28 PM
I hate to hijack this thread onto coolers, but you are right, there is just something about watching a judge be more interested in putting the leftovers from their judging plate into a cooler than concentrating on giving a good score. I'm not saying that every judge that packs a cooler isn't in it for the right reason, but everyone knows that it only takes a couple to ruin it for the rest of us. I used to be a "take home the leftovers" judge, but once I knew that cooks looked at cooler judges as "only in it to get fed and take food home", I changed and haven't taken anything home in a couple years. Banning coolers would go a long way to closing the chasm between cooks and judges. IMHO

I hate to be hijack this thread as well, but as a new competitor (I'm getting ready to enter my 3rd comp next week), could you explain this "cooler" thing? Are you saying that a judge take his/her bite of the meat and puts the rest in a cooler to take home? I've never paid attention to the judges tent. Anything beyond where I turn in my box is something I never paid any mind to, but you got me curious about this....thanks!

BMerrill
09-27-2013, 02:31 PM
Ban coolers in the judges area.
Have each team make a goody bag for a judge.
After judging, the judge pulls a team name from the hat and visits the team where his goody bag is waiting.

bbq.tom
09-27-2013, 02:48 PM
I hate to be hijack this thread as well, but as a new competitor (I'm getting ready to enter my 3rd comp next week), could you explain this "cooler" thing? Are you saying that a judge take his/her bite of the meat and puts the rest in a cooler to take home? I've never paid attention to the judges tent. Anything beyond where I turn in my box is something I never paid any mind to, but you got me curious about this....thanks!

Yes, judges are often allowed to take home the samples on their plate after judging. Not always, but often. The hope is that ALL judges take at least one good sized bite and you will find that many judges take at least two bites of each entry to fairly judge the meat. This topic has been discussed MANY times on this forum.

bbq.tom
09-27-2013, 02:52 PM
Ban coolers in the judges area.
Have each team make a goody bag for a judge.
After judging, the judge pulls a team name from the hat and visits the team where his goody bag is waiting.

Hey Billy? with Holy Smoke BBQ team? I was the nuisance in Salisbury for you and Gordon, both Friday evening and Saturday after judging!

Anyway, I totally agree that this would be a great idea for not only keeping the judges from worrying about the meat on their plate going in a cooler, but would also get judges and teams together to hopefully talk and build a better relationship.

McEvoy AZ
09-27-2013, 04:28 PM
How about too salty.

Smoke'n Ice
09-27-2013, 04:35 PM
I beleive the new comment cards have "over sauced" only as a box in the Appearance category. It can be written in for other purposes, but like you stated, I hope that a more descriptive term would be used.


At some point in the future, I would hope that KCBS will adopt a "comment required" on EVERY score. That would not only improve judges (having to be accountable for each score with a reason) as well as improve cooks (knowing exactly why each judge gave each score). It would take a bit longer, but would weed out the judges that are just there for fun (read - NOT serious), and I'm sure cook teams wouldn't mind 1 hour between turn-ins. Also, BAN coolers!

You have to understand that there are current and past members of the board who have fought the use of comment cards forever. They don't want them because it makes the rep work a little harder correllating and distributing them. If we, as cooks, want comment cards on all entries, we will have to pay more because of the need of a third rep. :icon_smile_tongue:

hogzillas
09-27-2013, 04:37 PM
too fatty, rubbery skin - yes it's 2 but rather a single post than 2 posts

boogiesnap
09-27-2013, 05:17 PM
y'all are straying too far from FORD's topic.

he's not offering reasons your BBQ was scored low. he's offering and looking for discussion on what could legitimately cause ONE low score out of the six judges.

Ford
09-27-2013, 06:48 PM
Ban coolers in the judges area.
Have each team make a goody bag for a judge.
After judging, the judge pulls a team name from the hat and visits the team where his goody bag is waiting.

That horse has been beaten to death. Kcbs does not have the ability to enforce this. They can only suggest to the organizers that they ban coolers. Same with celebrity judges.

Ford
09-27-2013, 06:52 PM
y'all are straying too far from FORD's topic.

he's not offering reasons your BBQ was scored low. he's offering and looking for discussion on what could legitimately cause ONE low score out of the six judges.

Well I agree with you but in the case of chicken one piece could have been oversalted. Especially if they apply each spice directly without first blending. Same with poor skin trimming leaving fat. That's why I try all the pieces not turned in for bite. Don't have to set it can spit as I'm not a judge.

TooSaucedToPork
09-27-2013, 07:10 PM
That horse has been beaten to death. Kcbs does not have the ability to enforce this. They can only suggest to the organizers that they ban coolers. Same with celebrity judges.

KCBS does have the ability to outlaw judges from taking home leftovers, thus putting an end to need for coolers.:tape:

Ford
09-27-2013, 07:25 PM
KCBS does have the ability to outlaw judges from taking home leftovers, thus putting an end to need for coolers.:tape:

This has been discussed for years. The bod years ago said it was up to the organizers as to who judged and if coolers could be allowed.

ModelMaker
09-27-2013, 09:44 PM
Hey Billy? with Holy Smoke BBQ team? I was the nuisance in Salisbury for you and Gordon, both Friday evening and Saturday after judging!

Anyway, I totally agree that this would be a great idea for not only keeping the judges from worrying about the meat on their plate going in a cooler, but would also get judges and teams together to hopefully talk and build a better relationship.


Don't know if I need a better relationship with someone who thinks the only reason I'm there is to get some free food!
Those that know me, know better.
Ed

CBQ
09-27-2013, 11:36 PM
How does "overly sauced" as a description effect taste and tenderness? I read that as appearance.

I'm not trying to get on anybody, but that is not a descriptive reason...
Now if, as a judge, you said..."the sauce in places was thicker than others, detracting from the overall taste of the meat"

Too much sauce, or sauce not properly set, can affect the mouth feel of the chicken. To me, that would affect the tenderness score. (it's texture)

TooSaucedToPork
09-28-2013, 12:17 AM
Too much sauce, or sauce not properly set, can affect the mouth feel of the chicken. To me, that would affect the tenderness score. (it's texture)

Correct, the comment I was responding to only said "overly sauced" which could have been interpreted as a lot of things. I was trying to hint at being more descriptive

Atlasman
09-28-2013, 05:31 AM
Who cares what the list of things that "could" happen once in a blue moon to a single piece of food in your box?? Is this info cooks are somehow in the dark about??

More important is that if a judge does find that needle in a haystack a simple explanation shouldn't be difficult to provide. When the same judge finds the needle in the haystack ALL DAY there is a problem.

One bad piece of meat is a cook problem...........bad meat ALL DAY coincidentally landing on only one judges tray??? No way........that is a judge problem.


Accountability...........where is it on the judging side??

boogiesnap
09-28-2013, 07:51 AM
i can agree with that, but again, that's a different subject.

the focus in these threads is helping the cook understand the game better. nuances and all.

Yellow Card BBQ
09-28-2013, 11:43 AM
I got called over by an organizer (who incidentally trained me) for being much lower than the other judges in chicken once, and I can tell you (and told him) it was because I got a real fatty piece. Just luck of the draw, I guess.

landarc
09-28-2013, 12:19 PM
Uneven cooking on one piece of chicken

I had this happen where I had to use two different sources for chicken, and one source cooked just a tad faster than the other, and some of the chicken was just a tad denser.

columbia1
09-28-2013, 01:13 PM
I was up in Canada earlier this year and tasted a team's chicken that was done cup-cake style including cutting the knuckles, I got a mouthful of bone chards, I was thinking to myself, hope the ones the judges get are OK. BTW they were and they did very well in chicken that day. If a judge did get the same piece I was given I imagine it would have been a HUGE low-ball score in texture.

Uomograsso
09-28-2013, 08:35 PM
I hate to hijack this thread onto coolers, but you are right, there is just something about watching a judge be more interested in putting the leftovers from their judging plate into a cooler than concentrating on giving a good score. I'm not saying that every judge that packs a cooler isn't in it for the right reason, but everyone knows that it only takes a couple to ruin it for the rest of us. I used to be a "take home the leftovers" judge, but once I knew that cooks looked at cooler judges as "only in it to get fed and take food home", I changed and haven't taken anything home in a couple years. Banning coolers would go a long way to closing the chasm between cooks and judges. IMHO

No it wouldn't. My scores would be the same either way. If I give something a bad score, i.e. below a 6 it doesn't go home. 99% of the judges I have sat with are also their to judge first. The only person I have ever seen that was there to "eat" was a non CBJ who I had to remind to only take 1 piece when I was a table captain. Taking home left overs is just a bonus. I also am against the huge waste of throwing all the food away.

I would gladly give comments on all my scores as I was taught in my CBJ class that I need to be able to justify every score I gave. I would also like to think that my fellow judges wouldn't have a problem with it either. After the score cards have been turned in the first question asked is "which was your favorite" "which one was the worst" We judges discuss what we like and dislike about each entry and the majority of the time we all are saying the same thing. In the times when we are not that judge usually has a valid reason to dislike and entry the other judges did not.

In reply to this topic I have seen 5 pieces of cooked chicken and one raw piece. I have also seen 5 pieces of cooked chicken and one dry over done piece. I have also seen one piece that had a huge glob of rub and sauce on it. Chicken is one the categories where there can be a wide variance in consistency.

As to sauce it can and does affect the taste score. This is a meat competition and if the judges cannot taste or if the sauce does not compliment the meat then that should affect taste score. Meat, rub, sauce should be balanced and compliment each other.

Bama Q
09-29-2013, 07:49 PM
Contest Judging, There is a lot of pressure to score high, Some judges say . I only give 8 or 9 on appearance. no body gets a Score less than 7. you will kill the teams chances of winning. they spend a lot of money to get here,yes they do!! So have I as a Cook Judge and Restaurant owner. Judging is not judging when only 7,8.9 are given. At a resent contest On the chicken, you couldn't tell if you were eating, rabbit, squirrel,etc. No smoke, flavoring on the out side of exotic junk, no chicken taste or No smoke. just mush with a flavor.. I would like to see a print out of judges score on my table ,just the way cooks get one. It would help me fine tune my judging. WHEN I JUDGE , I TRY TO BE FAIR , BUT I MUST HAVE THE ABILITY TO DIFFERENTIATE GREAT BBQ FROM BAD BBQ and score accordingly. That,s my Job. I agree with carlyle (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/member.php?u=19796)

dhuffjr
09-30-2013, 10:48 AM
You have to understand that there are current and past members of the board who have fought the use of comment cards forever. They don't want them because it makes the rep work a little harder correllating and distributing them. If we, as cooks, want comment cards on all entries, we will have to pay more because of the need of a third rep. :icon_smile_tongue:
I guess I give computer people too much credit. I don't see any reason why a system of predetermined items, to sweet, too hot, to salty, to smokey, fatty, etc couldn't be put in the categories and have them entered with the scores. It would printout with the new scoring program and there would be nothing to correlate. It would take a bit longer to enter the results. I think everyone would win.

It could however make the path to the top easier and bunch everyone up and make the scores even closer.