View Full Version : Our first comp turn in pics - please comment

05-20-2007, 09:15 PM
The following are pics of our first competition turn ins.

Chicken - we were just happy to get it turned in on time without scoring a DQ for not getting it done. Looking at the pic, I see a corner without parsley and yes, the piece in the upper right is smaller - thus the bunch of parsley there.

Ribs - would you have added some parsley in the lower left corner?

Pork - we really didn't have a clue here, shreaded, chunked, sliced ... any help would be appreciated. I generaly shread when making at home, but I feared it would turn to mush as I sauced it. Maybe I should have added sauce and used a couple forks to shread it some more after the sauce.

Brisket - we were very happy with how this looked in the turn in box compared to how it looked an hour before

Boondoggle BBQ - the Boondoggle brothers take a minute for a pic. We had a great time, meet some fine people, learned a few things and are both very tired.

Please comment on the presentation of each. I'll post our results for each after I get a few comments.

05-20-2007, 09:17 PM
definately better than 13th place chicken for sure

05-20-2007, 09:53 PM
Not bad overall...

Chicken looks like maybe some skin is pulled back but really looks appetizing to me. Try for a little more consistency in size and shape.

Ribs - I don't see much wrong with appearance other than the gap between the back two bones. I also quit turning bones on their side and started scoring a bit better.

Pork - sliced does better in the KC area. Think about trying that next time. I'm a pulled pork fan though so I would be fine with this. Trouble is, everyone can make a pile of pulled pork look good so the competition is a bit tougher here.

Brisket - Not a fan of how you chose to place it in the box... too much empty space at the upper left. Appears to be a couple of places where the bark is broken on the first slice. It may just be my personal preference but I like to TRY to keep all slices close to the same length.

On all boxes, I think you over-did the garnish. It looks "bushy" and a bit sloppy. Keep it inside the box! :lol:

Pretty decent work for your first contest... keep working at it and after ten or so contests, compare your turn-in pictures to these... you'll laugh at yourself! I know I did when I compared mine. :wink:

Oops... almost forgot to critique the final photo... you look too damned sober! :lol: Drink more beer!

05-20-2007, 09:56 PM
i think the brisket slices should of been cut on one size to make them all a more uniform length

05-20-2007, 10:02 PM
I agree that there is too much garnish. It shouldn't hang over the side of the box

05-21-2007, 07:37 AM
I think the Chicken looked good in the box, may have sit down just a bit low in the box but not too bad.
Ribs- first thing that caught my eye was the rib at the top. It looks like a different size. Try to keep them all from the same rack if possiable.
Pork- the meat looks good. the greens are spilling over the edge of the box.
Brisket- again, I think the meat looks good and the greens are spilling over the box. Also,try and get even overlap with each slice. And if possiable, add burnt ends. They seem to always score higher for me.
Overall - nice job. What were your scores?

p.s. I would agree with Jeff, looking too sober in the last pic.

05-21-2007, 08:04 AM
Overall nice looking boxes. In addition to the comments above, I'd add these...

Chicken - pin back the skin with toothpicks while cooking to keep it from pulling back. Keep track of the toothpicks!

Ribs - The look great. You can improve a little by lining hte upper left rib up with the rest. Also, I think that laying ribs in their side exposes you to the judges thinking that the meat looks dry, even if it isn't

Pork - My first reation was "too much sauce", but that's probably not enough to get it knocked down. It looks like you started to do a ring of bark around the bark but didn' finish it. A ring of nice bark pieces would look good.

Brisket - it looks moist and shiny! I't hit that! :-D. Try to keep th eslices the same length. It looks neater.

Nice job!

05-21-2007, 09:54 AM
Chicken - pin back the skin with toothpicks while cooking to keep it from pulling back. Keep track of the toothpicks!

One other comment on pinning with toothpicks. Do not use colored toothpicks otherwise the color will bleed into the meat. Had a friend that ran into that problem.

05-21-2007, 05:42 PM
I have never competed in KCBS but everything looked real good to me. I liked the brisket with the nice even smoke ring. It did look too moist for what we do here in IBCA. We probably would have had to soak up that juice with a paper towel at the turn-in table. The chicken looked real good, but one piece (lower left) looked like it was missing some skin and lower right looks like the skin shrunk too far back too. I think the ribs looked great. That one piece on the top does look off kilter but I think it is just the way it is sitting in the box. I honestly didn't like the way the pulled pork looked. It actually looked like chunked pork and not shredded enough to be considered pulled to my liking. All that said, because you asked, everything looks awesome and it looks like it tasted very very good.

05-21-2007, 06:02 PM
I do not normally comment on pics of turn-ins.
And that is just a personal decision about cameras and all of that :oops:

In this case:
Please remember-- it is a meat contest and not a garnish contest.
Too much garnish will take away the beauty of the meat.
If you elect to garnish, it should just frame, highlight, or compliment the meat.
It should not be the focus or "draw the eye" (for good or bad) of the beholder.

Just some thoughts.


05-21-2007, 06:17 PM
i think the brisket slices should of been cut on one size to make them all a more uniform length

For once, I will agree with Steve (other than his lack of chicken cooking skills :lol: )

As a Judge and Competitor, I try for and like to see slices that are from the same brisket and presented in the original order.

Whether they are trimmed on one or both sides before or after cooking, or they just wind up in order is immaterial to me.

Chad and I have trimmed both sides, just one side, or not at all. It really depends on the brisket selected and it's width.
We do try to make each peice "stack" on the next with the same amount of meat showing--just attention to detail.

The top flight entries will be from the same brisket, presented in order, with some good looking organization.



05-21-2007, 07:29 PM
I would have added that perhaps you could have pre-trimmed your brisket and it would have came out with a more uniform look.

One thing I can say about IBCA is that I am glad we do not garnish. I also like that we turn in the half chickens. I am starting to appreciate that more and more as I read and view these KCBS turn-ins.

05-21-2007, 07:41 PM
I would have added that perhaps you could have pre-trimmed your brisket and it would have came out with a more uniform look.

One thing I can say about IBCA is that I am glad we do not garnish. I also like that we turn in the half chickens. I am starting to appreciate that more and more as I read and view these KCBS turn-ins.

Yeah, the garnish is a "nut-roll" issue in KCBS.
Stroing and valid feelings on both sides of the fence there.

FBA is like your TX folks--"it be about the meat" :lol:
But, that presents it's own challenges also :oops:

Then jump over to MIM and you get a whole new set of standards and expectations :oops:

CEE LA VIE----???

I guess, pick something ya like and go cook!
Have a great time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


05-21-2007, 08:13 PM
First off , Great looking First turn ins!!! You are definately on the right track!! Very smart of you to ask for opinions, if you are sincere about the answers that you will get.

My answer to all of the pix is that , make the meat the show case and not the garnish. Fill the box with as much ( same size ) pieces that you can without crowding the box. I use very little garnish in my boxes so that I can build a monument to meat that when the judges see it, it's the meat they remember and not the garnish. Chicken--- same size pieces!! Ribs-----nice box but co-ordinate size. Pork--- Show more bark!! Brisket---- More pieces, more uniform in size.

Just my 2 cents but what the hell do I know!!

05-21-2007, 08:48 PM
I've noticed most of the above comments say too much garnish and I agree fully. Let the meat standout, not the greens. Plus think about this, what happens to the turn in box after you try to close it with this much garnish, in other words what does it look like when it is opened at the judges table. (Did sauce get all over the lettuce and make it look sloppy or did the meat shift in the box.) I've seen this happen. Anyways the meat did look real good and I bet tasted better you did good on your first time out. JMO

05-21-2007, 10:48 PM
Thanks for all the feedback. I didn't want to comment while you all were adding input as an effort to make sure I wouldn't alter your real thoughts. Trust me, we wanted honest opinions so I do honestly value everything all of you have added. Constructive critism is well taken here.

Now as promised, the scores:
Finished 36 out of 87 teams
Overall score was 632.5708 - winner had 674.2854

chicken 155.4286 (51st)
ribs 167.4284 (13th)
pork 147.9996 (68th)
brisket 161.7142 (22nd)

Total 632.5708

A few comments and learnings from your thoughts:
Overall garnish - less bush :roll: , keep it inside the box going forward and make sure the meat is the focus - sounds reasonable and logical

Chicken - trust me, that entire cook was a boondoggle:mad: . I started on the backwoods with the intention of finishing on the grill, but my grill was well over 400* at 11:00 and I had to close it down to get to down to 350 before I could add it on there. At 11:40, I didn't know if I'd get the meat over 162*, I took it off as I hit 166*. 100% rookie mistake that effected the color and picks I had to choose from. In addition to all that, I didn't even care for taste of the end product (ironically, I just ate two pieces tonight and it was alot better after 48 hours) - so the overall score was probably higher then what it really deserved. About the only good thing I could say about it was that the skin was bite through and had a consistant taste throughout.

Ribs - my brother did this cook and tray. They were great tasting and tender. I believe these ribs were in order off of the rack - but not 100% sure. Our neighbors complimented them too looks and taste.

Pork - I was clueless on how to make the turn in box. Sadly, I didn't really give it much thought until I was trying to go to sleep that Friday night. That's about the time it hit me that at home every time I shreaded it up, it turned to mush. Therefore I didn't shread near as fine for that reason - could be due to me being in a hurry to eat, using my fingers and not taking the time to do it gently. So I'm all ears in order to keep it from turning to mush and shread it up. Also, what type of sauce do you all use to finish? I used one that was probably a little to vinagery tasting for KCBS.

Brisket - again, I'm almost positive that these slices came off the same brisket in order, but we did not precut the brisket to make them the same length. Sometimes the obvious isn't so obvious. :roll: My brother also did this cook, and arranged most of the tray. I filled in parsley to fill the bare spots of this box plus tried to cover up some ends of the cuts because the ends were torn up and crumbled off due to being overcooked. It was his first time cooking on my Backwoods.

Thanks again for the input and feel free to add more.

Now who has room for an extra this weekend at the Woodlands for someone (me) to watch prepare trays and ask a few questions? While I'm begging, who has an extra pass to get in?

05-22-2007, 10:16 AM
One thing I have learned is you will improve with each event. I think all in all you have no place to go but up. That is a good thing. Congrats on your first cookoff.

05-22-2007, 10:46 AM
That is a really good finish for your first time out. You almost made the top 1/3 of the field on your first cook. Almost got a call in ribs. That's damn good for a very tough contest your first time out.

05-22-2007, 12:37 PM
I have to say that is great first time out. I rember my first competition, talk about getting hooked!

05-22-2007, 02:32 PM
As a CBJ, I have started to try and think what could be done to make the boxes look better...I think all 4 of those are 8's. All I could think was less leaf hanging out the sides!

05-22-2007, 10:27 PM

05-22-2007, 11:23 PM
Don, have the individual scores came yet?

05-23-2007, 06:16 PM
I have to say that is great first time out. I rember my first competition, talk about getting hooked!

Welcome, Bill... head over to Cattle Call and introduce yourself! :wink:

05-24-2007, 11:41 PM
Individual appearance scores:
Chicken - 6 7 8 7 5 8 - chicken needs appearance work - guessing more color, less green and precut pieces to the same size

Ribs - 8 9 9 9 8 9 - I'd say those are pretty good for the first time, you can bet we'll use the same set up again and make some minor minor improvements like having the ribs line up more uniform (check for spaces)

Pork - 8 9 7 8 8 9 - better then I would have guessed with all that green hanging out. I'm going to try for a whole ring of chopped bark around the pulled/chunked pill in the middle. And minimize the green.

Brisket - 8 8 9 8 8 8 - less green, maybe precut the flat so the lengths are a bit more uniform and work on equal spacing

05-25-2007, 05:15 AM
With out reading what has already been said, this is how I see it:

Chick- Trim up the garnish so it's not hanging out of the box. The skin on a few has pulled back. Toothpicks can help with that. I just learned that little trick myself. Are the dark spots burnt spots or chunky sauce? Score-6

Ribs- Same as above for the garnish. The top rib is not lined up with the rest in the row but other than that looks good. Score-7

Pork- Same as above for the garnish. I like the big chunks and barky pieces around the edges. Score-8

Brisket- Same as above for the garnish. Try not to cover the meat with the garnish. The meat looks good. Score-8