View Full Version : Box Prep

06-29-2006, 06:50 PM
One of the areas I feel we could improve in is the turn in box. I would like to ask two things; for those of you who are judges what are you looking for, what gets your attention and what do you want to see. Second does anyone have photos , instructions or examples of good turn in boxes that will impress the judges. Thanks in advance.


06-29-2006, 07:28 PM
Top of this page click on "File Section"
Left column that page click on "Photos"
Right column that page click on "Turn in boxes"
or just click this:

06-29-2006, 08:10 PM
This is a really loaded and somewhat dangerous question.

The "rules" for KCBS and FBA are pretty loose on appearance, rightfully so.
So, for discussion purposes only--I will list a few things that grab my attention.

I mentally break the appearance into two parts--I will call them "artistic" and "edibility".

Artistic is what I consider the skill of the chef in putting the box together in an organized manner. I do not care what organization he or she had in mind, just--organized and and not just "piled into the box".
Are the pieces of similar size and shape? Not "clones", just similar.
Are pieces arranged in an organized manner with consistent spacing in whatever pattern the chef chooses?
Is the "knife work professional" for sliced pieces? Clean edges. Slices parallel and of uniform thickness?
Are "pulled" presentations arranged in with some attempt to highlight the "premium" pieces, like bark or "tubes"? Judgment call here, but I have seen Judges almost fight for great looking bark pieces. Never hurts to showcase them, IMHO!
Is garnish (if used) tastefully distributed and of a reasonable quantity, or is it presented as the "star" of the box instead of the meat? NOT jugging the garnish here guys, just it's application! I could care less about the garnish unless it overpowers the meat.
Poor scores go to the boxes put together with little thought or attention to detail (and that is the key here). Garnish "out of the box", sauce marks all around the Styrofoam, general "disarray" in the presentation do not score well.
My final thought here--I have seen some real innovation on presentations! Chicken leg "lollipops" worked well at Plant City this Spring. Sliced pork is doing better all the time. Do not be afraid to try something if you are comfortable with it. Just keep it neat, clean, and organized! No "pattern" is dominating, as far as I know :lol:

The bottom line here is--"Am I looking forward to eating this meat?"
Or, "Am I ambivalent or hesitant to proceed?"

Edibility is harder to discuss or quantify.
Does it look moist and tasty? I have no idea how to describe that!
Does it have a "tasty looking color" for that meat? Hard to describe, but "burned meat" looks "burned" and is normally "charcoal black" and dry looking. I am not saying black bark is bad--I have produced and judged many butts and briskets with black bark. But, burned is burned. Different thing.
Does it look like the sauce (if used) is the star, or the underlying meat. I am referring to the extremes I have seen where the sauce was so thick you could hardly see the meat underneath. If I can not see the meat, I have trouble seeing the quality of the underlying product.
Basically, the really good entries will look, well, YUMMY :lol:

The bottom line is that "Appearance? or "Presentation" scores are a small part of the overall because of weighing, But, they are yours to get or throw away and can make the difference! :lol:

I am sure anyone can take anything I have said and pick it apart forever.

Bossman asked a question, I am trying to give him some thoughts, that is all.


06-29-2006, 10:58 PM
Awesome job, Tim! I learned a few things myself from reading your reply. Thanks! Makes me wonder if my chicken scores have dropped because my sauce is thicker recently. Maybe I'll try to reduce the quantity of sauce on my meat in the "candied thighs" category!

06-29-2006, 11:47 PM
Thanks Tim, for our first contest I think we did pretty well. With it being the first time I wanted to make sure I wasnt missing something and could improve in this area. I wish they would put a judges comment section in the results so we can know just what to improve on.


07-03-2006, 06:49 PM
No pickin from here Tim!! I think you covered the bases quite well on boxes. If it's neat and you want to quit judging apperance and get on to eatin it...youv'e done your job well, and will be rewarded.