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CajunSmoker
01-26-2008, 02:12 PM
The following two threads have got me in the mood to practice making some boxes.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36590

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36655&page=7

My only comp was an IBCA contest and we didn't use any garnish. Since I plan to go to KCBS contests this year I figured I better get started practicing:-P. I have to admit that getting that garnish to behave is a lot harder than I expected.:mad: Anyway, here are my first two boxes. Ribs and brisket. I had to hurry a little since my daughter in law was waiting on me to finish so she could take them home with her:-D Tell me what you think, so I can try to do better next time.

http://img219.imageshack.us/img219/2342/img0413qe9.th.jpg (http://img219.imageshack.us/my.php?image=img0413qe9.jpg)

http://img144.imageshack.us/img144/7094/img0414ar4.th.jpg (http://img144.imageshack.us/my.php?image=img0414ar4.jpg)

ModelMaker
01-26-2008, 03:03 PM
Nice work mostly!!
You need to get a little more even and thicker bed of garnish. It looks like your using the smallest piece of parsley of the bunch. Try using larger groups (stalks) and fill up the bottom well. Also you must clean the sides of the box that are visable of sauce and crumbs.
The ribs should look as close as possible as one slab. We all know they're seperate pieces but the more it looks like a slab the more points you'll garner.
The brisket should be all the same size and placed in the box with the exact same margin showing from every piece. Easier said than done right? I think I would have put 2 or 3 more slices in or some chunks with bark or some burnt ends.
All in all a good base to work from.
ModelMaker

Ford
01-26-2008, 03:44 PM
Ribs - the meat looks great so overall appearance probably 7. It's not a 9 because there's parsley hanging over the ribs. Try to put the meat on top of garnish and not have green more than half way up the ribs. I'd just do 6 ribs in the box. makes it a little more squared up and you're not crowding garnish up over the top of the box.

From the looks of those boxes I think maybe you know how to cook.

Brisket - 6. need to even up the garnish along both sides. Uniform level of height. As above lay the meat on top of the garnish. I like to use 10 slices if I have 10 good ones. It makes the box look fuller. There's some "stuff " on the slices that makes it look bad. If the slices all can from the same brisket in order then they should line up better in the box.

For practice try taking shredded lettuce to fill half way up the box. The use leaves of green leaf to cover it. Now put the meat in leaving a border of lettuce around each side. Of course parsley looks better but this takes 2 minutes and parsley takes 30-40 minutes. It will give you an idea of how the meat can sit up in the box and jump out at you.

Ron_L
01-26-2008, 04:19 PM
My comments are in line with Ford.

i do have a couple of general things, however... Ford, I like your suggestion of using a bed of shredded lettuce as a base. Would this be legal in a competition? I suppose as long as it was shredded leaf lettuce, not iceberg, that would be OK.

Modelmaker, you commented about trying to make the ribs look like they came from the same slab. We try to do this, too, but as a judge, I typically have 30 seconds or less to look at each box. I don't know if i would really notice if the ribs were from one slab or not. Maybe subconsciously? I don't know.

MilitantSquatter
01-26-2008, 04:27 PM
As a judge, I would give those ribs a 9 for appearance. Honestly, those are some of the most appealing rib pics I've seen here in a while strictly from a meat standpoint. As a judge, I don't really give a crap about how the garnish looks. In the few seconds, I'm looking at the box my eyes are only on those ribs and garnish usually never sways my opinion.

As a cook though, I agree with others, you need to work on the box layout as most judges won't score like I would.


The brisket - a lot less appealing. 6-7 as a judge. Looks a bit tough/dry and not fond of whatever that stuff is on the slices. As a cook, I agree again on the box needing work. More slices, better layout, more attention to the garnish.

Good luck... you'll get there soon enough.

KC_Bobby
01-26-2008, 04:32 PM
A bed of shreaded lettuce is legal, in fact I'm pretty sure it's legal to just present the meat on shreaded iceburg if the competitor would like. I think we had samples that way in judging class. Someone please varify.

And I do think many judges do notice if the ribs came from the same rack or not, thus no reason to leave points on the table rather than on your card.

Ron_L
01-26-2008, 04:39 PM
A bed of shreaded lettuce is legal, in fact I'm pretty sure it's legal to just present the meat on shreaded iceburg if the competitor would like. I think we had samples that way in judging class. Someone please varify.

And I do think many judges do notice if the ribs came from the same rack or not, thus no reason to leave points on the table rather than on your card.

I'm not suggesting that anyone should not try to have ribs from the same slab. I agree that is would be silly to leave points on the table just in case. I'm just not sure if there is time to truly tell.

As far as the shredded lettuce, I looked at the rules and as KC_Bobby said, it is legal. (Emphasis is mine). It doesn't specifically state iceberg is Ok or not, however. It just says fresh green lettuce.

9. Garnish is optional. If used, it is limited to chopped, sliced,
shredded or whole leaves of fresh green lettuce, curly parsley,
flat leaf parsley and/or cilantro. Kale, endive, red tipped
lettuce, lettuce cores and other vegetation are prohibited.

Big Mike
01-26-2008, 04:41 PM
I agree with everyone else. Even out the garnish all around the box. You want it to be as uniform as possible. Same with the meat, make it as uniform as possible. I try and keep my brisket slices as close to the same length as possible. If they are different sizes I arrange then longest in the back to shortest in the front. If you apply sauce to the brisket, apply it evenly, no streaks or globs.

The ribs do look good. Again, just even up the garnish and don't let it hang over the meat. Try and make all of your cuts as smooth as possible so that you don't have a frayed edge look.

CajunSmoker
01-27-2008, 04:55 AM
Thanks for the feedback guys:cool:. I'm gonna give it another run next weekend with chicken and p pork. You know what they say, practice makes perfect (or at least better:rolleyes:).

Nitrofly
01-27-2008, 08:20 AM
Hi Roger


I have to be honest I think both
boxes are too messy for turn in.
I would give the brisket a 7 for
appearance and 6 for the ribs.
But I also showed them to the wife
a CBJ also and she said 8's for both
boxes.. How were the ribs?? they
look fatty to me and unless it was your
pet pig that's not your fault. and for the
brisket looks tasty moist. there pieces
of something that are bigger then KCBS
allows, Would I taste them with an open
mind. as some would say I'm just an SMA :rolleyes:

Sorry

CajunSmoker
01-27-2008, 09:37 AM
Hi Roger


I have to be honest I think both
boxes are too messy for turn in.
I appreciate your honesty and tend to agree with you. Like I said in my first post, it was my first try and I had a daughter in law rushing me so she could take the boxes home for dinner:roll:
I would give the brisket a 7 for
appearance and 6 for the ribs.
But I also showed them to the wife
a CBJ also and she said 8's for both
boxes.. How were the ribs?? they
look fatty to me and unless it was your
pet pig that's not your fault.
The ribs were very good, not fatty at all.
and for the
brisket looks tasty moist. there pieces
of something that are bigger then KCBS
allows,
The pieces of something that has been mentioned a couple of times are pieces of rub that had come off in the au jus. I gave it a couple of brushes to try and keep the pieces from looking dry in the picture. Every time i take a pic of brisket slices they look dry to me.
Would I taste them with an open
mind. as some would say I'm just an SMA :rolleyes:

Sorry

Certainly nothing to be sorry about, I asked for honest critiques and you gave yours. Thanks for taking the time to look and comment.

Rodger

tony76248
01-27-2008, 08:53 PM
Stick with IBCA. Why deal with someone not liking how your meat looks or the garnish. It should be all about the flavor and texture....

Mitchelina
01-28-2008, 10:34 AM
Guys, I think a 6 is too harsh. Garnish should not be a factor in any way unless it's out of spec. Yes it enhances the box but when I catch myself getting hung up on the garnish when I'm judging I really have to make a mental adjustment. Any CBJ class is going to tell you not to judge the garnish. You focus on the appearance of the meat.

Given that, based on the pictures I'd say between a 7-8 but I'd want to see the real thing to know for sure. The meat looks nicely cooked, I don't think the brisket looks dry, I think it looks moist. One of the things we like to do is lay the brisket slices in on the diagonal. And if you have good looking ribs, maybe flip one on it's side.

Keep playing with it. You'll find your own style. Also be sure to take pictures at turn in so when you do hit it you have a reference for the next time.

cmcadams
01-28-2008, 11:48 AM
I haven't read the others yet, but I'd say a 7 on the ribs; they look tastey, but messy and the garnish actually detracts for me, looking like you're trying to cover things up.

The brisket I'd give a 6-7. Get the rub off the slices, even them up and put about 3-4 more slices in, or burnt ends/cut up bark.

I used to be against saucing my brisket, but I do it now for comps... judges tend to like sauce, and even the ones that don't mind dry still like sauce. IMO, you're more likely to have a judge say something should have been sauced than one say something shouldn't have been sauced.

It was actually Ford that first mentioned something about saucing, though he probably doesn't remember. Our first comp was in Carmel, IN, in 2005, and Ford was there but not competing; he was a huge help to us on Saturday morning. We didn't win anything, but didn't come in DAL, and came in middle of the pack with brisket.

TOPS BBQ
01-28-2008, 12:12 PM
Rodger - In KCBS garnish is OPTIONAL. The meat does look VERY good. If I were you, I would learn how to prepare MUCH better boxes or just submit as you would IBCA.

I believe those boxes would not be scored as well because of the looks of sloppy garnish. If you're going to add it, you better make it look like you put some time into it.

That meat does look good though. Try evening out the brisket and show the side of the ribs more so that the smoke ring can be seen.

Good Luck!

butts a fire
01-28-2008, 12:17 PM
I have to pretty much agree with everyone on the Garnish but if I were judging this entry I would give the ribs 7-8 and the brisket a 6 mainly because of the pieces of rub on the meat. I really like the color of the ribs and the shine of the sauce, those ribs made me want to eat one which is what I look for.

I think that is pretty dang good for a first try.

Ford
01-28-2008, 12:59 PM
It was actually Ford that first mentioned something about saucing, though he probably doesn't remember. Our first comp was in Carmel, IN, in 2005, and Ford was there but not competing; he was a huge help to us on Saturday morning. We didn't win anything, but didn't come in DAL, and came in middle of the pack with brisket.
I do remember spending a fair bit of time chatting with the new kid. You guys were about the 2nd or 3 rd spot in from the driveway and Dan (Rubmasters) was a couple down from you or maybe even next door. And I will always sauce brisket in KCBS after a DAL and being asked by the rep if I was one of the 3 idiots that didn't put on sauce cause we all scored terrible. Now Mark maybe didn't use the word idiot but he sure implied it.

burnin butts
01-28-2008, 06:01 PM
I would have to give the ribs a 7 because it's above average, and I thought that you had good rib placement. But, the garnish needs work.
The brisket I would give a 6, because it is only average. The meat placement is not uniform. The garnish needs work. All in all, your on the right track. A couple of tweeks here and there, and you'll have where the judges want it!!

CajunSmoker
01-28-2008, 07:28 PM
I do remember spending a fair bit of time chatting with the new kid. You guys were about the 2nd or 3 rd spot in from the driveway and Dan (Rubmasters) was a couple down from you or maybe even next door. And I will always sauce brisket in KCBS after a DAL and being asked by the rep if I was one of the 3 idiots that didn't put on sauce cause we all scored terrible. Now Mark maybe didn't use the word idiot but he sure implied it.


I've never liked sauce on my brisket and have never really seen a picture that I remember of a brisket box with sauce on it. If anyone has a pic or two of sauced brisket boxes I sure would like to see them so I will have some idea of what I'm shooting for.:confused:

cmcadams
01-30-2008, 09:22 AM
I do remember spending a fair bit of time chatting with the new kid. You guys were about the 2nd or 3 rd spot in from the driveway and Dan (Rubmasters) was a couple down from you or maybe even next door. And I will always sauce brisket in KCBS after a DAL and being asked by the rep if I was one of the 3 idiots that didn't put on sauce cause we all scored terrible. Now Mark maybe didn't use the word idiot but he sure implied it.

Dan was right next door... gave us a great compliment at about 4 am. He said he hoped we at least got a walk of some sort because he was watching us, and we at least knew how to cook, with it being our first comp. We did end up scoring above him in brisket.

Rodger, here's a shot of a 2nd place brisket from a comp we did last year:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2307/2231009022_1a6cdab050.jpg

CajunSmoker
01-30-2008, 01:57 PM
Thanks for the pic Curt. One more ? if I may. Is each piece of brisket sauced individually and then boxed or is the sauce brushed on after it is in the box. I'm just guessing but I would assume it was brushed on after boxing.

cmcadams
01-30-2008, 02:14 PM
We cut the slices we're going to use, then make sure there's no rub on the sliced part, and carefully brush a thin coat of sauce on each slice. The cubed pieces are kind of tossed in a little bit of sauce just to coat them.

cmcadams
01-30-2008, 02:15 PM
Looking at the box now, I wish we'd put some more cubed pieces in the lower left corner, too.

Ford
01-30-2008, 02:18 PM
Thanks for the pic Curt. One more ? if I may. Is each piece of brisket sauced individually and then boxed or is the sauce brushed on after it is in the box. I'm just guessing but I would assume it was brushed on after boxing.
I brush each slice individually on the cutting board and arrange them and then put them all in at once. Too many chances for dripping sauce on the garnish if you brush in the box and the idea is to completely coat each slice (front and back) with in my case cooking juice and a little sauce mixed in. Now I would use a tweezers to pick off any pieces of debris on the slice and if necessary use a very fine paint brush (artist kind) to touch up sauce. If necessary you can even blot up a problem area on the slice and then touch up with the brush.

CajunSmoker
01-30-2008, 02:20 PM
Thanks for the help guys. I'll give it a try next time.

Dale P
01-30-2008, 03:05 PM
Curt that meat looks good to me.

paydabill
01-30-2008, 05:28 PM
I think they booth look excellent - good job!

KCBS the garnish is optional on paper - but I do not knwo toom many people who do not use it

matthew burt
01-30-2008, 09:06 PM
I think they both look good as well.

CajunSmoker
02-02-2008, 11:26 AM
I've been waiting all week to get another chance at making some boxes. I decided to do the other two turn ins this week, so I hope you guys will give me some more critiques. I really appreciated all the input last week.

http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/856/020208cook009go7.th.jpg (http://img137.imageshack.us/my.php?image=020208cook009go7.jpg)

http://img128.imageshack.us/img128/4982/020208cook010du2.th.jpg (http://img128.imageshack.us/my.php?image=020208cook010du2.jpg)

cmcadams
02-02-2008, 11:32 AM
The chicken looks good, except that the front right piece is too small compared to the others.

the pork isn't bad, but sauce more evenly and include a whole lot more meat.

Just my opinions.

Ford
02-02-2008, 12:58 PM
OK - 7 chicken, 7 pork. I gave it above average but just by a little.

Chicken - lloks dark in both the thumbnail here and the blowup. Could have trimmed them a little better to start and have a more uniform shape. Little piece of garnish sticking out between the back right and middle right. Catches attention and takes it away from meat.

Pork - like Jim said - more meat. But nice layout. The front "pulled" section - if you do pulled you need to watch for strings of pork. You have some. Now some judges may say it's pork and others will say he could have taken more care in putting it in the box. Use tweezers to either remove them or bury them.

For a beginner they are pretty good boxes. I know for a couple of years I didn't turn in boxes looking that good.

watertowerbbq
02-02-2008, 01:01 PM
i would definately add more meat for the pork. i went to a class and they really pushed the idea of filling up the the turn-in box.

on that same note, if most of your thighs are small, you might consider adding 2 more and getting 8 in there. as long as you are practicing at home, i'd give it a shot.

spicewine
02-02-2008, 08:39 PM
3 words!! Fill The Box!! Make it look like you are generous!! In this case, " Size Does Matter!!" My opinion as follows----

Ribs--- Don't sell your box on parsley only unless you make it look like the putting greens on a golf coarse. Use the leaf lettuce to accent (not ovewhelm the box ) Tilt your ribs slightly up so that the judge can see your smoke ring ( My team mate Fredbird might be able to help you with this. 3rd place ribs at the American Royal Invitational last year ) He is a Brethren and you should PM him.

Chicken- The chiken didn't fill the box. I think that you could have put 9 pieces in that box and again the garnish was sparse. We put 12 to 14 pieces in our turn in ( because we can )

Pork--- The pork looked great. Garnish was weak. Again " fill the box " It shows the judges that you are generous and proud of your turn in. We turn in slices, pulled and chunks. Results KCBS last Year--3 First Place Finishes and a 3rd.

Brisket---Slices should be uniform, get rid of the chunks, bits , or pieces on the meat. Put as many slices that will fit in the box. Again garnish was weak. I know that they say that garnish doesn't or is not a factor in the scoring but think again!!!! If it looks great, peoples perception is that it will taste great.

Good Luck, and I feel that you are well on your way to " Walking the Walk"

Spice