View Full Version : Turn in boxes at Cape BBQ Fest.

08-27-2006, 10:53 PM
Here they are. Brisket, Chicken, Pork and Ribs.
Feel free to make comments or pointers.

08-28-2006, 10:44 AM
46 views and nobody's going to help Slat out here? I'll try but take my suggestions for what they are - I have no judging experience or training and have only competed once myself.
Nice color and smoke ring (I know they're not supposed to judge the ring but it does look nice).
Interesting arrangement of the slices but it looks a little disorganized and they look a little dry. Since the top slices are layed across the pile, they're bent over and showing a little seperation in the meat which might be construed as being overcooked. I know everyone layers their slices as they were cut, but that presentation is appealing. You get to see more of the nice color on the outside of the meat and if you sauce, it gives it a nice moist appealing look too. It looks like you had nice color on the outside - show it off. I do like that you include the chunks of point too.
I like that you pretty well filled the box. Most only put 6 thighs in but your arrangement looks a little more abundant. That can be appealing. The color looks too brown to me, but that could just be the picture. I know that the color of your chicken shouldn't be a detractor but the fact is that when people think BBQ chicken, they normally think red. Other than that, I like it.
I like the little slices - they look like pig's ears. The human eye likes symmetry though, consider putting the pile in the center and the little pig's ears all the way around like a little pork sunburst w/o too much leaf showing (this goes back to the abundance thing). I think some bigger chunks in the pulled part would be nice too, especially some nice chunks of bark.
Again, an intesting arrangement but a couple of the outer bones look lost in the leaves. Some of the parsley is covering the meat too, and I don't think the flat leaf has as much visual appeal as the curly. I think you'd need to make the center part of the arrangement pop out at the judges a bit more (again, abundance). Maybe could use a little work on the color of the meat too if you're going to put 4 bones in meat side up.

I hope I don't sound too critical with my suggestions, that is not my intent. In fact, I think your boxes look pretty good and I can tell you that I'm getting kind of hungry as I'm typing this. Remeber too that I'm speaking from almost complete inexperience, so I could just be talking out my a$$. I hope you find this helpful though. Good luck, Kirk.

08-28-2006, 11:34 AM
I forgot to ask, how did you do?

08-28-2006, 11:58 AM
That brisket presentation is unique. However, it looks dry now and it hasn't even hit the judging table yet. That presentation does nothing to help keep the moisture in the brisket until the judge takes it out of the box. I'll sacrifice my presentation any day for one that will get a better product on the judging plate. Try dipping your brush in the juices in the bottom of the foil and brushing each slice if your brisket is dry. Also consider mixing equal parts of brisket juice and sauce together and brushing with that. It all depends on whether you want a sauced brisket turn-in or not. Then shingle the slices in the box so that they overlap at least 3/4 of each other. This will help keep the moisture in the slices.

I can't cook chicken, so I can't comment on yours. Pork looks fine, a little dry maybe. Try misting some water or apple juice on your pork just before you close the lid. Also try misting the cut ends of the ribs. Any time you exposed that end of the warm/hot meat to the air, it's going to start drying out immediately.

Just my thoughts. Nice job.


08-28-2006, 12:10 PM
Not that I know any better, but:

The brisket does look dry. I'd be half afraid that someone would think you're sculpting, but I don't think it is. We spray a bit of apple juice and water on the brisket to help it not look dry (same with everything else, for that matter). The lettuce curling over makes it look a little sloppy and hides some of the meat.

Chicken looks too dark. The parsley doesn't help with the presentation; either make it help or don't use it. Curly parsley might work better, as it won't lay down on the chicken.

Pork could be more uniformly laid out. The 2 types of pork can touch; I think I'd just put more pulled in and lay the slices tucked under it a bit.

Ribs look hidden under green stuff. If you're doing 4 on their sides, I would try to get them all more the same size, but you matched side to side.

In general, things look dry, though photos are hard to judge by... though everyone does it anyway. :)

08-28-2006, 12:22 PM
I'm no expert either. That said...

I think the parsley in the middle of the chicken and ribs takes away from the presentation and hides some of the meat. We usually just put parsley only around the outside.

I agree that the chicken looks dark.

I also am very interested in how you scored.

08-28-2006, 09:43 PM
I scored 38th in chicken, 27th in ribs, 20th in brisket and 11th in pork. Which made me 24th overall in a field of 45. This also was my first comp.

08-28-2006, 10:06 PM

Congrats on your first contest !!! Hope you enjoyed it enough to want to do it again...

Here's the critque, but it's meaningless as long as you like what you submitted and felt it was the best you could put together on that day under the pressure of a timeclock.

I agree with many of the comments posted above...

From here, all I can comment on is appearance... most look a bit dry... I think with some more liquids/sauces added back in or on, along with a little more organization with the meat placement, you'll see improvement next time out...

Chicken would look real nice with a nice glaze on top... I'm not a fan of using flat leaf parsley......the rib in the upper right looks a bit small compared to the others, not a big deal, but with a circular pattern, equal sizes and curves stand out..
Brisket is too layered... a judge is going to be almost forced to take the slice laying on top.
Pork needs more color... the chunks are good but you need more to fill up that section, maybe showing some bark sides too.

Thanks for sharing...

08-28-2006, 10:16 PM
Slat, I pretty much agree with the comments already received above. I will just remind you what I tell everyone...: fill the hell outta the box and keep it clean and moist looking. The less greenery showing, the better. I'd also agree on dumping the cilantro and going with curly leaf parsley.

Congrats! Middle of the pack is great for a first time out! Most importantly... are you hooked???

08-28-2006, 10:23 PM

I am no expert but alot of presentation is smoke (no pun intended) and mirrors. There are so many little tricks that you will learn that will make your food look better. You will learn that drippings and apple juice will become your best friend. A comment was made that your brisket looked dry even if it is dry it can be fixed by soaking each piece in some warmed brisket juice and apple juice. The same can be done with the ribs by lightly saucing the sides. You will learn the tricks as we all do through experience and questions. It just makes us somewhat uncomfortable answering a question like this because it is not easy to do from pictures. Sometimes the camera lies because of funny light situations and we want to help with good answers.

08-28-2006, 10:54 PM
True the camera may lie, but the pointers of things to look for and the tips for correcting or improving can always be called upon in the future.