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View Full Version : Judges' Instructions on temperature / appearance.


G$
08-15-2006, 10:49 AM
I am curious, are KCBS judges instructed to specifically weigh meat temperature as part of the texture of an entry? Or, is it more a subjective impact on their experience?

Second, if the process is to pass around the entry and score on Appearance, and THEN distribute samples and proceed with the rest of the scoring, could a judge revise his appearance score after getting his sample. (Just hypothetically, assume a chicken entry looks fantastic in the box, but when the judge takes a sample and turns it over during tast/texture, he sees black streaks all over it. Could he revise his appearance score?)

smokincracker
08-15-2006, 10:54 AM
Damn I was gonna but Chad would be the best to respond to this one.

djmarko
08-15-2006, 10:58 AM
No, there is no such instruction given to judges concerning temperature. Examples are given as far as what would be considered overdone or underdone and properly done but ultimately it is up to the judges senses to decide a score
Scores can't be changed without a Reps permission once the score has been written on the scorecard.

cmcadams
08-15-2006, 03:16 PM
The only reasons to change an appearance score is because of a potential DQ. the appearance has to be scored before judges grab the food... It wouldn't be fair to have a half empty box,t hen score appearance.

This means that, yes, you can hide a spot you don't want seen under other meat or parsley, but be careful... if it looks like you're hiding stuff, you may not score as well.

BrooklynQ
08-15-2006, 03:21 PM
Temp doesn't officallly play a role in judging, but I'd rather get a warm piece of meat than a cold one. Most times the food's pretty close to room temp.

Apperence scores are only when the meat's in the box. Table capts should check that everyone has finished their scores before handing out the meat for judging taste and tenderness.

Sawdustguy
08-15-2006, 04:02 PM
KCBS rules stipulate that temperature is to be disregraded when judging a turn-in. The rules also stipulate that once a mark is given it can not be changed. All teams should familiarize themselves with the rules before participating in a contest.

BrooklynQ
08-15-2006, 04:18 PM
Guy - I just reread the rules, and there's nothing in there about temp at all. Only to judge each sample as presented. So if it's hot, then it gets judged hot; cold - judged cold. Somethings just taste better hot.

MoKanMeathead
08-15-2006, 04:52 PM
The appearance scores can only be changed on the instruction from the KCBS rep (at a KCBS sanctioned event). That would normally happen if after removing the pieces of meat it was discovered that there was a foreign object in the box, like a lettuce core or something they couldn't see when everything was in the box.

Another way to judge appearance would be to judge it after the meat has been put on the judging plate. Then you can be assured that the judges are judging the appearence of the meat and not the garnish.

G$
08-15-2006, 04:53 PM
KCBS rules stipulate that temperature is to be disregraded when judging a turn-in. The rules also stipulate that once a mark is given it can not be changed. All teams should familiarize themselves with the rules before participating in a contest.

Thanks Guy, that's what I am trying to do! (Example, I bet many competitors do not know how the appearance scores are judged first, and 'separately')

G$
08-15-2006, 04:54 PM
Another way to judge appearance would be to judge it after the meat has been put on the judging plate. Then you can be assured that the judges are judging the appearence of the meat and not the garnish.

MoKan, please confirm that this is NOT how you have ever been instructed to judge, and just an idea to increase fairness.

The_Kapn
08-15-2006, 06:42 PM
Temperature?
All but one entry I have judged were room temp. One was "ice cold", literally. Tasted bad and was scored as such.
Guess they should have Micro Nuked it a bit more????? :lol: (only joking guys),

Appearance scores (in fact all of them) can not be changed after entered. True.
But, I (for some unknown dumb reason) skipped a line on my sheet.
Caught it immediately and showed table captain. He said that, if needed, he would get Rep to OK a change because it was just a clerical error. Luckily, the next entry scored the same (6's), so the "problem" disappeared. :lol:

FWIW

TIM

chad
08-15-2006, 07:02 PM
In training - at least the ones I've been to - judges are reminded that it's not the team's fault that the meat doesn't get to them immediately. Your box can sit for 0-10 or 15 minutes if things get hung up at turnin. So, heat it not "expected" - I have had some chicken that was so hot it had to cool before I could taste it. But, generally, you will not be marked down for room temp or tepid meat.

Appearance scores are marked first in both FBA and KCBS and may not be changed unless a DQ is declared. So, no, you can't revise your appearance score just because it has grill marks or whatever on the bottom...heck, it could have wilted lettuce stuck to the bottom - but that is not a reason to change an appearance score.

Westexbbq
08-15-2006, 09:03 PM
It's all true as per above IMHO, temp should be no factor, once judged in appearance, so let it be written, so let it be done; unless something obvious comes up per the capn or the rep.
(don't really enjoy cold que though, never had any too hot to taste.)
I do try and pay attention.

Sawdustguy
08-15-2006, 09:10 PM
Guy - I just reread the rules, and there's nothing in there about temp at all. Only to judge each sample as presented. So if it's hot, then it gets judged hot; cold - judged cold. Somethings just taste better hot.

I humbly stand corrected.

MilitantSquatter
08-15-2006, 10:18 PM
Scores can't be changed without a Reps permission once the score has been written on the scorecard.

Rich or anyone else - I have not & would not do this myself or personally seen it before when judging, but I'm guessing not every table captain remembers to check to ensure that the appearance score is clearly written down before moving to the next entry to pass around for appearance. From what I've seen, once the box is passed around, and the judges shake their heads in agreement that they have sufficiently viewed the entry, the table captain will then move to the next box.

If the table captain does not do this, who is to know if a score was crossed out and re-scored by a judge prior to or after seeing other boxes for appearance or when actually eating the meat to judge the taste and tenderness score ?

Especially using a pencil... erasing the original score or just crossing out and re-scoring must occur.... especially for contests with new judges or non-certified judges who may not pay attention to the rules.

What happens in this case ?

CharlieBeasley
08-16-2006, 07:45 AM
As one who is learning from experience cooking (many forms), retired Military, and tries to be a good man I would like to say as I learn the BBQ world I have run into many competitors and judges and the vast majority are honest people with a desire to do the best they can do in their life\hobby as a judge I have a personal mandate to myself to be honest, fair, and ethical in every thing I do while acting as a judge. When I cross the road and finally get to cook I will take this mandate to myself appearance is judged as you look at it not later and there is a reason for that. Appearance is also just that what you see if you do not see it it does not exist and because we are judging the turn in appearance not each piece then we MUST judge the picture not the ugly bird hiding in the tree. I hope that as a judge (this does not include the one or two that go just for lunch and should be shot) we will all hold to the other we take and remember just how much time, effort, thought, work, and pressure has gone into the appearance we are judging. Rant off ethics rules

Neal
08-16-2006, 08:26 AM
who is to know if a score was crossed out and re-scored by a judge prior to or after seeing other boxes for appearance or when actually eating the meat to judge the taste and tenderness score ?

Especially using a pencil... erasing the original score or just crossing out and re-scoring must occur.... especially for contests with new judges or non-certified judges who may not pay attention to the rules.

What happens in this case ?

When acting as a TC, you should look over EVERY score card as they come back to you after each judge scores their entries. It is not hard to do - you only have 6 cards to look over. You examine for a few things - including a number that might be way off (a 3 when everyone else gave a 6 or 7) or a number that has been crossed out or erased and a new number re-written.

Also, it is not hard to observe the judges at work and see someone use an eraser. If it happens, just ask why they are doing it...at which time you can inform them that the number has to stay the same, or they may be just re-writing the same number if it's not clear. Also - most contests I've judged use "golf pencils" that don't even have erasers.

cmcadams
08-16-2006, 08:40 AM
Going into this weekend as a cook first to judge my first comp, I think I have the attitude that the cooks are trying their best, they paid their money to be there, I'm not there for lunch but to see how good their stuff is (as opposed to how bad it is).

The benefit of the doubt should always go to the cook. Temp is not within their control, appearance, once anything is taken out of the box, isn't in their control. I will try not to bias myself by comparing to what I think I can do, but let each piece stand on its own... otherwise, all brisket gets scored down in taste compared to mine. :)

I'm not planning on giving 9's across the board, but I want to approach the judging from a positive light as opposed to intentionally looking for reasons to mark down. To me, anything below a 5 should be justified to a table captain, and a 2 or 3 is only if it is inedible or just obviously thrown into the box with no care whatsoever. I know how hard the cooks work, and I'm judging to become a better cook.

I personally think every CBJ should have to cook as part of a team at least once!

Neal
08-16-2006, 11:37 AM
Sounds like the right attitude to me. You always have to give the cookers the benefit of the doubt...score up when in question. Judges should always remember that cooks are working not in a professional kitchen or even at home...they are working in a remote location against a variety of elements - any one of which can adversly affect their final product in a - and MOST of the stuff that comes across you table is still better than anything you'll get in a restaurant.

Sawdustguy
08-16-2006, 09:04 PM
Going into this weekend as a cook first to judge my first comp, I think I have the attitude that the cooks are trying their best, they paid their money to be there, I'm not there for lunch but to see how good their stuff is (as opposed to how bad it is).

The benefit of the doubt should always go to the cook. Temp is not within their control, appearance, once anything is taken out of the box, isn't in their control. I will try not to bias myself by comparing to what I think I can do, but let each piece stand on its own... otherwise, all brisket gets scored down in taste compared to mine. :)

I'm not planning on giving 9's across the board, but I want to approach the judging from a positive light as opposed to intentionally looking for reasons to mark down. To me, anything below a 5 should be justified to a table captain, and a 2 or 3 is only if it is inedible or just obviously thrown into the box with no care whatsoever. I know how hard the cooks work, and I'm judging to become a better cook.

I personally think every CBJ should have to cook as part of a team at least once!

I wish all judges thought that way.

slat
08-16-2006, 10:04 PM
Don't forget that KCBS rules do not stipulate that the meat has to be cooked. It could be taken out of the package sliced and served. That doesn't mean you have to eat it, but you have to score it.

cmcadams
08-17-2006, 06:00 AM
Not that I'm just trying to pimp my blog, but I posted my preconceptions, at least some of them, of what will happen this weekend. Next week, I'll post what really happened!

Blog (http://buckymcoinkumsbbq.typepad.com/buckyblog/2006/08/competition_jud.html)

Sawdustguy
08-17-2006, 08:06 AM
Don't forget that KCBS rules do not stipulate that the meat has to be cooked. It could be taken out of the package sliced and served. That doesn't mean you have to eat it, but you have to score it.

You must score it for taste. I would say it's tuff to score taste without taking a bite. I also don't think that will win you many contests.

CharlieBeasley
08-17-2006, 08:34 AM
Don't forget that KCBS rules do not stipulate that the meat has to be cooked. It could be taken out of the package sliced and served. That doesn't mean you have to eat it, but you have to score it.

Under chicken it states Smoked with clear juices if present, under Pork Ribs it states We must first determine how well it has been cooked and then defines properly cooked, under Pork shoulder it states "Here again check for it being properly cooked and not overcooked." and finally under brisket "This is perhaps the toughest piece of meat the contest cook will be cooking" These are just guidelines but each one tells how to judge if the meat is properly COOKED" Hummmm:wink:

djmarko
08-17-2006, 08:37 AM
Rich or anyone else - I have not & would not do this myself or personally seen it before when judging, but I'm guessing not every table captain remembers to check to ensure that the appearance score is clearly written down before moving to the next entry to pass around for appearance. From what I've seen, once the box is passed around, and the judges shake their heads in agreement that they have sufficiently viewed the entry, the table captain will then move to the next box.

If the table captain does not do this, who is to know if a score was crossed out and re-scored by a judge prior to or after seeing other boxes for appearance or when actually eating the meat to judge the taste and tenderness score ?

Especially using a pencil... erasing the original score or just crossing out and re-scoring must occur.... especially for contests with new judges or non-certified judges who may not pay attention to the rules.

What happens in this case ?

Vinny, you're absolutely right. Something like what you suggested could happen. Any good judge should know the rules and abide by them. I would think and hope that at some point in time any judges who are not following the rules would be exposed and either corrected or asked not to judge any more.

I would think a pencil erasure would not be difficult to spot by the Reps and or the table captain.

From what I've read here the majority of people who judge want to do the right thing by following the rules. They want the results to be right. We all have a vested interest in getting the job done right. There will always be some bad judges. We can only hope that the system takes care of weeding them out.

slat
08-17-2006, 10:35 PM
Then why was I told at the class I took and at contest I have judged by reps that the entry doesn't have to be cooked? I understand that it must be determined how well it was cooked, but there is nothing that says it must be cooked.

cmcadams
08-18-2006, 05:21 AM
The rules also state the safe handling rules, and, unless it's frozen, an uncooked entry would violate that... :)

If I get a raw entry in chicken, then one of my 'predictions' (on my blog) will come true!

Here they are:


Some judges will take themselves too seriously. Ok, a lot of teams spent a good amount of money to be there, but it's barbecue, not life and death. It should be fun, and judges shouldn't think they're more important than the cooks... Without judges, there's still great barbecue. Without cooks, there's nothing to judge!
Some judges will have negative attitudes. This goes along with the first item. Judges should be conditioned to err in the direction of the cook. If there's a question, mark up, not down.
Some judges won't have a clue about what they're doing. Some will judge taste and tenderness on what they like, not on what the entry is or what barbecue is necessarily supposed to be. Some will want sauce and mark down dry entries. Some won't like sauce and will mark down sauced entries. Some will think ribs are supposed to fall of the bone and will mark down ribs that bite off the bone instead. This is why the KCBS throws out the low score!
I'll probably be hungry when I start, and barely able to eat anything when I'm done. I'll try to pace myself, but we'll see how I do when I report back next week!
Someone will change a score once it's written down. This may be someone that decides that the appearance score should have been lower or higher or they started to compare entries. Each entry is to be judged on its own, so you do whatever you're judging, write down that entry's score, then move on to the next entry.
I will end up with a piece of chicken that I can't stand. I don't know why I think this, I just do!
Ribs will be very sweet. I mean VERY sweet!
There will be no disqualifications at my table. These aren't very common, so it's not a stretch to say this one.
After the judging, someone will complain that the judging was too inconsistent. However, the typical teams will be at the top of the results again, disproving that judging is inconsistent. Look at it this way... If I am judging at a lower standard than the judge next to me, one of two things will happen: 1. my score will be thrown out as low score, or 2. my other scores will also reflect the same bias toward lower scores. Where this is potentially bad, however, is where different tables don't have similar situations. However, I go back to my original thoughts on inconsistent judging in comps... When you sign up to compete in any event that's decided by human opinion, you're taking the chance that inconsistencies will exist. Sucketh it up!
After it's all over, I'll be tired of barbecue for a while. I figure at least until the next day.