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View Full Version : Rate my final practice cook.-Please!


bbqneo
05-07-2007, 10:19 PM
Did a final practice cook w/ turn ins on Sunday. Met all the times (surprised myself). Also did a whole packer brisket for the first time, and everyone loved it. (I love the point added some to turn in box-too bad the judges don't) Anyway, here is a look at my set up and the boxes, let me know what you think (I did not do garnish but may for the contest)

Mooner
05-07-2007, 10:30 PM
Neo, as your buddy I'm gonna tell you the truth. I am absolutely certain that everything in those boxes tastes like a million bucks but if you turn in like that your gonna get 2's and 3's on presentation..:sad: The chicken has no glaze and the skin has shrunk too much. Ribs look like they weren't cut with a sharp knife and the meat was ripped. Pork and brisket both look very sloppy, pieces arent uniform and look like they were just cut with no regard for appearance and thrown into the box. I love ya though, and you asked for honesty so im givin it to ya...:oops: Just want you to get good scores man. BY the way, I would eat all of it regardless cause I know it's the bomb..:wink:

P.S. If you want ask the guys for some turn-in box pics. A lot of us have them and would be happy to send you some so you know what to look out for when you present.

MilitantSquatter
05-07-2007, 10:34 PM
Well the good news is you got everything cooked in time...

Bad news I agree with everything noted by Jordan above. Need to focus on neatness, smooth cuts, quite dry as there is little shine from any sauce, juice etc.

Q Haven
05-07-2007, 11:11 PM
This should be a good start.....

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/modules.php?set_albumName=album52&op=modload&file=index&name=gallery&include=view_album.php

eurycea
05-08-2007, 07:46 AM
Are your boxes the same size as those used in a comp? Either the boxes look small or your thighs and ribs look big to me.

Bentley
05-08-2007, 07:52 AM
I would urge you to use garnish. Like your one brother said, use a knife next time to cut the ribs and brisket insted of just riping them apart with your hands! :eusa_clap :-D

tony76248
05-08-2007, 07:57 AM
Ummmmmm....ditto, ditto, ditto, ditto and ditto.

The good thing is you have plenty of advice to heed. Also you really are not that far from being where you want to go. A sharp knife will double your scores at this point.

billm
05-08-2007, 08:41 AM
Neo, as your buddy I'm gonna tell you the truth. I am absolutely certain that everything in those boxes tastes like a million bucks but if you turn in like that your gonna get 2's and 3's on presentation..:sad: The chicken has no glaze and the skin has shrunk too much. Ribs look like they weren't cut with a sharp knife and the meat was ripped. Pork and brisket both look very sloppy, pieces arent uniform and look like they were just cut with no regard for appearance and thrown into the box. I love ya though, and you asked for honesty so im givin it to ya...:oops: Just want you to get good scores man. BY the way, I would eat all of it regardless cause I know it's the bomb..:wink:




ditto..
BTW- i see you are in Geneva..you gonna cook the Elk Grove or Westmont comp?

River City Smokehouse
05-08-2007, 08:49 AM
Note to self: Does beer goggles work for bbq too!:grin:

Ron_L
05-08-2007, 09:13 AM
Dog pile on BBQNeo! :-D

The guys have given you some good feedback on some prep tips. From the pictures, I would guess that the ribs were a little bit overcooked and that may be why they didn't slice cleanly. Same for the brisket. The slices look thicker than the normal slice (pencil thick) and it looks like they are falling apart. Thde pork looks pretty good but could be arranged better and it does look dry in the picture. A little sauce would help make it shine.

I'm mixed on the chicken. The thighs do look large and that makes it harder to get them into the box evenly. I'm guessing that you want to turn in the chicken without sauce, and that's OK, but that makes the rest of the presentation that much more critical. The sauce can hide a lot of things :-D. For example, the skin is pulling back and exposing the meat on some of the pieces. With sauce, that wouldn't be so obvious.

If you need a taster, let me know! I think I sent you my cell number in a PM. I can be there before the food cools :-D

bbqneo
05-08-2007, 12:40 PM
Thanks all for the feedback. The ribs were almost fall apart tender and I had trouble using a sharp knife cutting through the bark. (I thought maybe chef scissors?) The brisket was a little more tender than I had hoped and it was difficult to cut w/out falling apart. Questions: Is it best to only turn in sliced brisket and pulled pork, or is it ok to mix both sliced and pulled (shreded) in the same box-doing a better job than I did?? Does everyone use sauce for shine purposes; can you turn in no sauce entries and get good scores for presentation? Thanks again for the feedback. PS I am entered in the Westmont comp as my 1st try, and I am leaning toward entering the Elk Grove one as well.

Harbormaster
05-08-2007, 01:10 PM
For me this is an excellent thread.
First, BBQNEO you got some really good feedback, and know where you need to make improvements.
Although I didn't post an evaluation, I looked at the post and did an eval in my head as I looked at the pics. I guess all you fellas taught me something, because I saw EXACTLY what you saw. This is huge because it helped me learn what it is I need to do to turn in good looking boxes. (I will do my first comp in the fall hopefully)
BBQNEO, if you get a chance, go to a comp as a spectator, maybe even find a Brethren team, and just stay out of their way and watch them prepare the boxes. Of all the things I learned when I went to a couple last year, it was watching the boxes get prepped and staying the hell out of the way that will go the farthest. (BTW, Ron L prepares some killer boxes, IMHO, and is a hell of a nice guy. Heed his words)

Mooner
05-08-2007, 01:34 PM
Just think about this stuff like a regular person would. If your at a restaraunt and you see a plate that is just gorgeous, perfectly presented, beautiful color, etc. Then you see a plate that wasn't cared for. the same stuff is on it but sloppily placed, sauce all over etc. In your head, which one would taste better just on appearance? If it looks good it's probably gonna taste good! This is the mental war you play with judges.

billm
05-08-2007, 01:42 PM
PS I am entered in the Westmont comp as my 1st try, and I am leaning toward entering the Elk Grove one as well.

we will be at both westmont and elk grove..stop on by and say hi

eurycea
05-08-2007, 01:44 PM
Is it best to only turn in sliced brisket and pulled pork, or is it ok to mix both sliced and pulled (shreded) in the same box-doing a better job than I did??

I think for your first time out you should probably stick to one thing in the box. It will make it easier to figure out what you need to work on and what you need to keep. If you get a couple of bad scores you really won't know if it was the pulled that they disliked or the sliced. If you do put both in, make sure you have enough for 6 samples of both.

DeanC
05-08-2007, 01:54 PM
I thought maybe chef scissors?

I don't think the scissors are such a good plan, if a very sharp knife tears them up, then I think that the scissors will be even worse. Did you foil them? If so I would cut back on the foil time or the overall cook time. Fall apart/off the bone is great to eat but will most likely be judged as overcooked at a contest.

Scottie
05-08-2007, 02:27 PM
Thanks all for the feedback. The ribs were almost fall apart tender and I had trouble using a sharp knife cutting through the bark. (I thought maybe chef scissors?) The brisket was a little more tender than I had hoped and it was difficult to cut w/out falling apart. Questions: Is it best to only turn in sliced brisket and pulled pork, or is it ok to mix both sliced and pulled (shreded) in the same box-doing a better job than I did?? Does everyone use sauce for shine purposes; can you turn in no sauce entries and get good scores for presentation? Thanks again for the feedback. PS I am entered in the Westmont comp as my 1st try, and I am leaning toward entering the Elk Grove one as well.

Neo, maybe try slicing your ribs with a serrated knife. It works for me if I have something that is too tender to cut with a sharp knife. Look me up at Westmont. It's my hometown and I will be there nice and early to prepare... :wink:

Scottie

crackerjack BBQ
05-09-2007, 02:33 AM
Maybe a 'sonic blade' rechargeable electric knife. It works well for getting thin even cuts. You just have to remember to bring all the parts for your comp. or it won't work.

nthole
05-09-2007, 11:16 AM
Someone mentioned practicing with the correct sized box. Since I haven't been to a competition, what is the correct sized box? It doesn't list it in the KCBS rules.

And I'm assuming, turn in boxes are provided? Or is that something you have to bring yourself?

Scottie
05-09-2007, 11:28 AM
I believe that they are 9" boxes. With a high lid...

Scottie

Solidkick
05-09-2007, 12:16 PM
Just for comparison sake only, and so that you can see the difference, let's compare your turn in box to one of mine....we'll use brisket.
Give it another try brother! You can do this, If I can, You can!

Harbormaster
05-09-2007, 12:53 PM
Mr Kick, that is a fine lookin box o' brisket. When you prepped those slices, it looks like you trimmed them so they were all the same length, is that the case?

BBQPrincess
05-09-2007, 12:54 PM
BBQNEO, Solidkick gave you an excellent reference here. Just do not allow garnish to hang over the sides of the container. While garnish is not to be "judged" I personally feel it definitely adds to the attractiveness of the presentation when done neatly, correctly! (No, I would not judge on it, however!) PORK: You need larger slices, arrange it neatly (don't just toss it in), and I think sauce gives a better appearance (personal opinion).
CHICKEN: Looks like it has been dipped in bread crumbs and I would have no desire to eat it whatsoever. Need thigh size to enable you to arrange three pieces in a row, two rows; total 6.
RIBS: REPEAT...you must have clean, smoothe cut slices. Assure it is not overcooked, of course. Get rid of that "ripped apart look". Arrange the bottom side of the ribs on the bottom of container and arrange neatly in a row.
BRISKET: Slice pencil thick and have clean cut looking slices. (This looks like a train wreck). Arrange attractively, use your choice of spritz to help make them shine.
IMO I really think all of your meats would be more attractive if you brushed on some sauce, too. Somehow, this just really makes it stand out. I think you have a lot of great feedback here and I wish you the best when you compete!!!!! Keep us posted. This is all constructive criticism in hopes it helps you become a winner!

QansasjayhawQ
05-09-2007, 01:48 PM
I've been reading through this thread - and one hint I can give you is to pin the skin of your chicken down using wooden toothpicks before you cook them. The toothpicks will keep the skin stretched out over the entire piece while it cooks. Then, when you're ready to go to the box, just be sure to gently remove each one - and don't leave any behind! :-D

Solidkick
05-09-2007, 05:33 PM
Mr Kick, that is a fine lookin box o' brisket. When you prepped those slices, it looks like you trimmed them so they were all the same length, is that the case?

Yes I did, and I wasn't real happy with the results, as you can see I tried to cover it up with chopped down the sides...didn't get it past them.....:oops:
This placed 8th.......

Bigmista
05-09-2007, 07:42 PM
This is a pic of a first place pork box we did:

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/101/295675416_6cfc59e530.jpg?v=0

And this was a 2nd place brisket in an IBCA contest with no garnish

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/63/220431316_d7182a22f6.jpg?v=0

Hope it helps!

DMDon
05-09-2007, 09:00 PM
Neo, maybe try slicing your ribs with a serrated knife. It works for me if I have something that is too tender to cut with a sharp knife. Look me up at Westmont. It's my hometown and I will be there nice and early to prepare... :wink:

Scottie


Noe, I would jump at the chance to Look up Scottie at westmont. How often will you get a chance to see the reigning Jack daniels champ work his magic.

cmcadams
05-10-2007, 09:12 AM
I've always done no sauce on brisket. But recently, I got some advice that will make me change that...

People like sauce. Whether you do or not, people like it. Judges are people. Judges often like sauce. While a not-sauced entry may do fine. I've not heard a judge complain that an entry had sauce on it, but I have heard them say they would have liked sauce on an unsauced entry.

So I'm going to sauce my turn ins from now on and see what happens!

Double D
05-10-2007, 09:45 AM
I would agree with the previuos post about sticking with the one cut
in a box

Double D
05-10-2007, 09:50 AM
boy you guys work quick... my post about previuos post got bumped to next page

bbqneo
05-13-2007, 08:34 PM
Thank all of you for your advice. I would like to know if on the brisket people cut the slices to get uniform pieces?? If not how do you do it??
Second, here is the latest edition of chicken-no garnish but I will in comp- Am I getting the idea????(note the blackish crust is the rub everyone loves)

Ron_L
05-13-2007, 08:42 PM
Definitely better, but it would look neater if all of the thighs were the same size. It takes some careful selection but you should be able to find six that are the same size.

cmcadams
05-14-2007, 06:19 AM
Keep in mind that you're allowed to cut the thighs to make them more uniform in size; you don't have to just put in what get.

And they still look dry.

Lobster Boy
05-14-2007, 08:09 AM
The thighs look pretty good! Don't be afraid to trim them so that each one is the same size and shape as the rest. There should be NO ragged edges or pieces sticking out here and there. You may want to trim the bone ends to make them more uniform. Last, glaze them with hot BBQ sauce mixed with some fruit jelly, maple syrup or other sweetner.

I've tried to attach a photo of my contest thighs. I hope I did it correctly.

Mooner
05-14-2007, 10:58 AM
Looks good, you may try and trim them a little more evenly before you rub them. But otherwise they look great.