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View Full Version : Please rate these turn in boxes


Jeremiah
10-23-2007, 11:52 AM
Sayville was our first competition and what an awesome even it was. The only problem is now that I'm spoiled with my expectations for other events :biggrin:. The organizers and directors cannot be thanked enough.

Many props to destro's wife Betsy who IMO did an awesome job with the turn in boxes. That aspect of the competition was truly giving me the most grief, as I'm not that great with the plating/garnish aspect of cooking. Her being there really saved my ass.

That said, we're definitely looking to improve wherever we can. We welcome your constructive criticism.

http://members.arstechnica.com/x/miah/chicken.jpg

http://members.arstechnica.com/x/miah/ribs.jpg

http://members.arstechnica.com/x/miah/pork.jpg

http://members.arstechnica.com/x/miah/brisket.jpg

smoke-n-my-i's
10-23-2007, 12:47 PM
Not being a judge, I will give you my honest opinion for what it is worth. I have only been in 2 comps so far, but have learned a LOT.

Chicken, too much sauce.
Pork, looks ok.
Ribs, again looks like too much sauce.
Brisket.... looks like a lot of small pieces all over the place.

Overall, I try to put more lettuce up the sides. You have a lot of white box showing.

For the first time out, doing a great job. You will improve. Keep your eyes out on the posts and you will see other boxes, and pick up tips as well.

Bill

cmcadams
10-23-2007, 01:47 PM
The photos are hard to go by. the light was a bit much for really getting detail.

Chicken looks dark, though. Ribs look pretty good, though I happen to like putting the ribs more together. Pork looks good but potentially dry, and brisket looks uneven and a bit sloppy.

If you're going to use garnish, make it more even.

If you're not going to sauce, rethink that; just more and more, I think teams are shooting themselves in the foot by not using some sauce on their meat.

for example: let's say 100% of judges (let's call it 100%) like sauce, and 70% like dry, also. pretty much 1/3 of your table is potentially going to count you down just for not having sauce. They shouldn't, no, but if they think that sauced tastes better, you should present them sauce, especially considering that 0 judges are going to count you down for having sauce.

mds2
10-23-2007, 01:49 PM
How thick are those slices of brisket? i cant tell if they are really thick or if it is just the angle.

For me, on the pork, I think the bark looks pretty dark, maybe cut back on those pieces just a little.

Ribs and chicken look pretty good.

ModelMaker
10-23-2007, 02:10 PM
Wow!! Thats your first shot? Really nice job!!
Chicken-8 Way too much sauce, little dark but not a huge problem
Ribs-8 Interesting presentation might be a little too out of the norm for some
Pork-7 Looks a pinch dry and disorganized, but thats what I like chunks w/bark
Brisket-6 Get those pieces lined up as close to perfect as you can. Try to look like one piece sliced up. Also a little thick,should be pencil thickness.

In all boxes try to keep greens the same height all the way around, even with edge.
What did you really get?
ModelMaker

butts a fire
10-23-2007, 02:35 PM
Here is my thoughts

Chicken a little dark maybe a little bit heavy on the sauce 6

Ribs I dig the presentation and think they look good but it is a little off the beaten path so some judges might not like it as much. 8

Pork nice bark maybe a little dark for me though and it looks dry from the picture. 7

Brisket thick slices and a little uneven. 7


All and all I think it is really good for your first time out.

shadetreebbq
10-23-2007, 02:49 PM
The chicken as already said to thick with sauce a thin glaze would be better.The pork did look dry but hard to tell from picture brisket looked fine as did ribs.

KC_Bobby
10-23-2007, 02:59 PM
Interesting to see what people from other regions of the country give for app scores and for what reasons.

ModelMaker
10-23-2007, 03:13 PM
Interesting to see what people from other regions of the country give for app scores and for what reasons.

And your thoughts on the matter?
ModelMaker

Big Mike
10-23-2007, 05:57 PM
Chicken looks a bit oversauced and the front two pieces seem to hang over the front edge of the box. Lettuce doesn't look too bad but try and bring it up the sides of the box more.

Ribs look good, but again bring the lettuce up the sides of the box. Also on the lettuce make it even all around the box. Don't have some hanging over the edge and some just to the edge or not to the edge at all.

Pork, just even up the lettuce in the box. I personally think the bark looks fine. The meat does look a little dry though.

Brisket, the slices are too thick. As mentioned above, only cut them about a pencils width. Also lay them in the box more evenly.

KC_Bobby
10-23-2007, 10:01 PM
And your thoughts on the matter?
ModelMaker

I wish he would have taken the pics all at the same angle above the box, like the pork picture. Overall, I think they look like very good boxes for a first time competitor.

Chicken - hard to tell the color of the chicken, looks dark but could be the angle of the picture not getting enough light on the chicken. I dunk my chicken, so you won't hear oversauced from me. I'm going to give it a 7, but it might be better than what the picture shows. Or might be worse, some of the sauce looks a different color, can't tell if that's the photo or the chicken.

Ribs - I personally don't care for the arrangement but I don't think I would not downgrade for that, especially since the cuts look very straight and smooth. Color looks good. Probably give it an 8.

Pork - the bark looks dry, could have used a spritz before shutting the box but I think the non barked meat looks OK. Not much of an arrangement and my eyes did notice the lettuce, unlike the first two. I'd say 7, spritz the bark and a little bit less lettuce showing it's possibly an 8.

Brisket - the cuts look thick, is that a sign of overcooked meat? And the box looks really full and heavy - not that it's a bad thing but something that crossed my mind. 7, slightly better than average and with a little more care slicing and laying out the slices the scores will go up.

I read alot of comments regarding the garnish (not only here, but a lot of presentation threads) and while attention or lack there of can absolutely make one or break a turn in, I personally try not to take the garnish into consideration when I judge (keep in mind, I only did it once) UNLESS I notice how good the turn in looks on the garnish or how bad the garnish is - did the garnish actually make the box look worse than the turn in would have looked without garnish in the box. I try to keep in mind that a judge is there to judge meat, not greens. I'm not going to give or take away a point because the garnish was perfectly even or not - assuming it's not distracting and I am able to focus on the meat or again, makes the meat look mouthwatering.

My original comment was that I was interested because it seemed as if different regions of the country thought different things regarding sauce and if the pork was dry or looked good.

The Pickled Pig
10-23-2007, 11:52 PM
First time out? You did a great job! I'd be far too embarrassed to show our first comp pics if I had them.

Leave the 7th rib out of the box and lay them out on an even plane. Get a little finishing sauce on the pork and consider adding some slices. Trim the brisket to fit the box and cut back on the number of slices submitted.

Absolutely amazing for your first comp. Great job!

Bentley
10-24-2007, 12:12 AM
Again, did not look at other posts...Ck-7 Rb-8 Pk-7 Bk-7

Edit Mod: Heck it's a sauce contest anyway so you can never have to much sauce, don't listen to these folks... the CBJ's are looking for that candy glaze, thats why I told my sister we would get waxed with her sauces at Viejas. She wanted to experiment, all this talk from judges in California that they are looking for spicier or something that stands out...BS, all 4 of her sauces did both and we got 14th. Sauces it up as much as you can and make it as sweet as you can...that what judges are looking for...Period!

Thanks for letting me vent! LOL!

Jeremiah
10-24-2007, 01:53 AM
Wow guys, thanks for all the great information. The chicken looks like crap in the picture, way too dark, I don't feel this pic accurately represents what it looked liked.

Sorry for the different angles on the boxes, being our first time we weren't too careful with taking the pics, wanted to make sure we got the boxes in on time, etc. I can honestly say that the chicken and brisket boxes looked far better in person than they do above. Will be much better with this part next time, promise!

I sprayed the pork down with apple juice prior to turning it in, it's possible I did this after snapping the photo but I can't say for sure.

The brisket slices, whether reflected in the photo or not, were all around a #2 pencil in thickness. I took great care in trying to achieve this, I think the photo shows some individual slices appearing as one larger slice.

Actual scores:

Chicken:

7 8 8 8 7 7

Ribs:

7 7 8 7 7 6

Pork:

7 6 7 6 7 5

Brisket:

6 9 7 7 8 7

We won for 7th place in Brisket and finished 13th overall. I am very pleased with our results. One judge gave me a 555 for pork, the other scores were 7s and 8s I think that hurt us bad. I wish this judge would have used the comment cards.

We received 2 comment cards, one stating the chicken had too much sauce. The other stating:

"Glory unto this Brisket. I shall worship it as my Messiah".

That one is going on the wall :mrgreen:

Sledneck
10-24-2007, 04:26 AM
. One judge gave me a 555 for pork, the other scores were 7s and 8s I think that hurt us bad. I wish this judge would have used the comment cards.

The lowest score gets dropped in KCBS so it did not affect your score. Getting a comment card should of been mandatory but unfortunately its not

River City Smokehouse
10-24-2007, 05:14 AM
It's hard to see, the pics are not close enough. But since you asked.....
The chicken has a funny color(not appetizing to me) may just be the light. Sauce seems heavy.
Ribs look dry, keep sauce off the sides of ribs. They also need some texture on the outside. I think they are too light of color also.
Pork looks very dry although I like the bark. A lot of bark sure helps if it tastes good. Anyone can put a blob of meat in a box. Kick it up and show a couple different cuts. Cubes, slices, pulled....a little of all
Brisket slices don't look smooth. They seem jagged. Slices are also too thick. Try and shoot for just under pencil thickness. Trim your brisket to fit the box. Don't bend your slices to make them fit. Fill the box with 50% slices and 50% burnt ends.

***Don't mean to offend. You asked for comments. I will give them. That doesn't say I can do better or that I am right about it. It's what I've learned from judging and cooking in contests.

ZBQ
10-24-2007, 09:04 AM
The lowest score gets dropped in KCBS so it did not affect your score. Getting a comment card should of been mandatory but unfortunately its not

I have to agree Sledneck. At least if you are going to score down for something. That way the cook knows what was wrong and can try to avoid that in the future. I also think that it would force the judge to think about WHY he/she is going to score down.

I can't stand it when someone tells me "I just didn't like it."

If you can't indentify a SPECIFIC REASON you didn't like it, you probably shouldn't be judging IMHO.

On topic: I pretty much agee with everyone else. Sauce was too heavy on chicken and looked too dark. Ribs have sauce on the side of one and not the others. Most likely the pic or my monitor, but the ribs look like they have an "orange" color to them like a buffalo wing sauce. Brisket box looked kinda like the meat was just "flopped" in there and needed to be more uniform and little pieces cleaned up was what stuck out for me. Pork box looked good, I liked the bark. Those are the pieces I would have grabbed when the table captain presented it to me for a sample.

These scores are based on the pics we see. They might have been different in person.

Chicken- 6
Ribs- 7
Pork- 9
Brisket- 6

That doesn't say I can do better or that I am right about it.Ditto

KC_Bobby
10-24-2007, 09:21 AM
Edit Mod: Heck it's a sauce contest anyway so you can never have to much sauce, don't listen to these folks... the CBJ's are looking for that candy glaze, thats why I told my sister we would get waxed with her sauces at Viejas. She wanted to experiment, all this talk from judges in California that they are looking for spicier or something that stands out...BS, all 4 of her sauces did both and we got 14th. Sauces it up as much as you can and make it as sweet as you can...that what judges are looking for...Period!

Thanks for letting me vent! LOL!

Bentley, interesting comment. I've wondered about the heavy sauce too. Does anyone think that the amount of sauce is a regional thing, or is it nationwide?

ModelMaker
10-24-2007, 11:00 AM
You guys can feel free to think saucy, but I sit with 5 other judges times 6 or 7 tables and it's a common remark that real thick and super sweet is not met with all the gusto you seem to think.
I will state that the majority of the judges that speak of this matter prefer a glaze vs a carpet of sauce.
Perhaps a poll of judges is in order?
ModelMaker

Sledneck
10-24-2007, 11:01 AM
You guys can feel free to think saucy, but I sit with 5 other judges times 6 or 7 tables and it's a common remark that real thick and super sweet is not met with all the gusto you seem to think.
I will state that the majority of the judges that speak of this matter prefer a glaze vs a carpet of sauce.
Perhaps a poll of judges is in order?
ModelMaker
Im for the glaze

Jeremiah
10-24-2007, 11:04 AM
I like to glaze as well, we went a little heavy with the sauce on the chicken as there was a lot of spice in the rub, you needed some sweet to stand up to that. I'm going to be modifying some things and practicing my butt off for next season.

Thanks for all the tips guys, and stop apologizing for giving your opinion, I'm a big boy I can take it. I wouldn't have asked if I didn't want your honesty.

cmcadams
10-24-2007, 11:05 AM
MM, I agree... too much sauce is the other extreme, and it's bitten us when our sauces were too thick.

Brandonnash
10-24-2007, 07:12 PM
Agree with the pork and the spritz. Maybe a slight bit of apple juice??

Jeff_in_KC
10-24-2007, 07:24 PM
Bentley, interesting comment. I've wondered about the heavy sauce too. Does anyone think that the amount of sauce is a regional thing, or is it nationwide?

I was told by someone who regularly competes in Michigan and Wisconsin to sauce heavy or the judges there don't think it's BBQ. We did some and didn't on brisket. Ended up 10th out of 56 teams so who knows? But it's what I hear about the Great Lakes area. Likewise, I'm guessing you use vinegar based sauces in the southeast comps but that's a total guess on my part. Maybe someone else can chime in from down that way.

StLouQue
10-24-2007, 11:39 PM
I found all entries visually appealing. Excellent job.

Chicken: I would bet the left piece, second row was the best representation of what Jeremiah's chicken really looked like. I attribute the dark color mainly to shadow. (Next time - turn the chicken around to face the sun.) These greens enhance the chicken without appearing deliberately showy. I especially like the lettuce splitting the two columns down the center. Just a tad too saucy. 8

Ribs: I dig this presentation. 9

Pork: Take out one of those "dark bark" pieces on the lower right-hand side. My eyes are drawn to them, makes me wonder if it will be dry. Otherwise, good mix. 7

Brisket: Can't tell what's going on towards the back after slice #6, from this angle. Looks yummy though. 8


I prefer to sample barbecue dry. In my mind, sauce should be judged separately. Still, I evaluate barbecue based on the choices the cook made, not my personal preference. To me, these boxes all looked good...how I wish I could have tasted them.

River City Smokehouse
10-25-2007, 06:10 AM
I found all entries visually appealing. Excellent job.

Chicken: I would bet the left piece, second row was the best representation of what Jeremiah's chicken really looked like. I attribute the dark color mainly to shadow. (Next time - turn the chicken around to face the sun.) These greens enhance the chicken without appearing deliberately showy. I especially like the lettuce splitting the two columns down the center. Just a tad too saucy. 8

Ribs: I dig this presentation. 9

Pork: Take out one of those "dark bark" pieces on the lower right-hand side. My eyes are drawn to them, makes me wonder if it will be dry. Otherwise, good mix. 7

Brisket: Can't tell what's going on towards the back after slice #6, from this angle. Looks yummy though. 8


I prefer to sample barbecue dry. In my mind, sauce should be judged separately. Still, I evaluate barbecue based on the choices the cook made, not my personal preference. To me, these boxes all looked good...how I wish I could have tasted them.

Hate to call you out, but garnish should not even be a consideration. Is this your first rodeo?:rolleyes: You know it is a meat contest.

Greendriver
10-25-2007, 09:24 AM
The boxes as a whole represent what I feel is a common problem with building boxes when your just starting out, i.e. boxes too full. The chicken and the brisket boxes are the hardest to keep from getting too much in the box and that's what I see with your chic and brisket boxes - pork and ribs fit the box better and look PDG to me. As far as color on the meat and too much sauce I'd hate to speculate with the light on the pics but I agree that plenty of sauce is better than none or not enough as long as it has set up good and not running off. I think it's kinda silly to buy into the principal of "oh if your putting sauce on bbq you just can't cook good bbq is the problem" - good sauce taste GOOD and folks like it. I like both dry and sauced ribs, I prefer sauced chicken, don't much matter about brisket, and with pork I prefer sauced.

destro
10-25-2007, 03:45 PM
hey i liked the way it all tasted

peculiarmike
10-25-2007, 04:14 PM
I personally do not pay much attention to the green stuff in the boxes except to make sure it is not the forbidden items. Have judged some that had no greenery, just a plain box with meat in it. Works fine for me.
The appearance score is about the meat's appearance, not the foo foo. Does it look like something I would want to eat? Or toss to the dog?

Jeremiah
10-25-2007, 08:01 PM
hey i liked the way it all tasted

Bit biased there eh ?

Bbq Bubba
10-25-2007, 10:24 PM
I personally do not pay much attention to the green stuff in the boxes except to make sure it is not the forbidden items. Have judged some that had no greenery, just a plain box with meat in it. Works fine for me.
The appearance score is about the meat's appearance, not the foo foo. Does it look like something I would want to eat? Or toss to the dog?
Has anybody ever done a turn in for KCBS and skipped the green's just for the hell of it??

StLouQue
10-26-2007, 03:32 AM
Hate to call you out, but garnish should not even be a consideration. Is this your first rodeo?:rolleyes: You know it is a meat contest.

Howzabout ratcheting down the 'tude, Dude?

Jeremiah asked for "constructive criticism"...I'll stick by mine. I offered my opinions on the appearance of the boxes, as a whole. IMO, the garnish was done well, and I explained why. Does it look better than an entry submitted without garnish? That's not my job to decide. Each box is to be judged on its own merits.

Oh yeah, while I'm at it, I don't agree with your assessment of Jeremiah's boxes. But, so what? We don't have to agree, and I don't have to "call you out." Grow up.

KC_Bobby
10-26-2007, 09:17 AM
Well I've now self-justified the value of taking the time to make nice garnish presentations. Ya never know who's going to judge your meat.

crewdawg52
10-26-2007, 11:27 AM
Chicken - 5: Too saucy and looks a little burnt (hard to tell from pic)
Ribs- 5: Doesn't make me want to grab them and eat
Pork-7: Like it
Brisket-6: Slices don't look even. Crowded.

Have you thought of using a glaze....

*Did not read any previous posts prior to this posting*

Jeremiah
10-26-2007, 03:37 PM
Have you thought of using a glaze....


Yes, and decided against it (for brisket anyway) because I couldn't get one together that I thought was worth it. I was pretty busy (still am) leading up to the competition and simply did not have time to work on it. I'm going for a beefy glaze on my brisket if I wind up using one.

I glazed pretty much everything else, I did spray the pork with apple juice which might have occurred after snapping the photo. I don't remember.

cmcadams
10-26-2007, 03:39 PM
Yes, and decided against it (for brisket anyway) because I couldn't get one together that I thought was worth it. I was pretty busy (still am) leading up to the competition and simply did not have time to work on it. I'm going for a beefy glaze on my brisket if I wind up using one.

I glazed pretty much everything else, I did spray the pork with apple juice which might have occurred after snapping the photo. I don't remember.

Good call... if you don't like the taste, don't worry about appearance.... I would rather get better taste scores than appearance any day. We kind of split hairs here, especially since we can't taste the photos. The goal, though, is to up both scores, of course.

If you don't have a glaze you like, sugar water helps keep things looking wet, or diluted apple juice. That way you get your appearance a bit better while not much affecting the taste.

Jeremiah
10-26-2007, 04:00 PM
Just to be clear about glazing, I did glaze all turn ins except brisket, the brisket was plenty moist and scored well overall (came in 7th with it, 13th overall for all 4 entries).

I think I might have glazed the pork after taking the photo, hence the reason why it does not show.

Thanks again for all the comments, really helps with planning how I'm going to modify things for the future.