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View Full Version : Does Burnt ends help or hurt your presentation?


BBQ_Mayor
07-07-2008, 10:14 AM
This kind of came up in another post but not to hi-jack that post I thought it would be fun to get some input on this.

Adding burnt ends to your brisket presentation. Does it help or hurt your presentation scores? Why put them in if it doesn't help?
I'd like to hear what judges have to say. What do you like to see in a brisket box?

Pigtrip
07-07-2008, 11:16 AM
As a judge, I like to see burnt ends in the box along with slices. I don't think it necessarily adds or detract from the aesthetics of the box, but giving me two things to try can only help the overall score-- if the burnt ends look good.

As for why to put them in if it doesn't help? Even if it doesn't help your presentation scores, they can help your taste and tenderness scores-- deckle is your friend.

What do I like to see? Beef that looks and tastes like beef, not candy.

Big Mike
07-07-2008, 11:16 AM
I honestly don't see that adding burnt ends could help your presentation scores but I can see them hurting if they are not presented well along with the slices.

As for "why put them in if it doesn't help". I think where a burnt end really helps you is in the taste and tenderness category. We all know that if you present both slices and burnt ends, the judge is supposed to try both and base their score off of both.

However, the way I see it is there are judges out there that really like burnt ends and more than likely they will taste that burnt end after they try the slice because they are saving what they hope to be the best for last. So, if your slices were a bit off but your burnt ends are killer, that judge is very possibly gonna score you on his impression of that killer burnt end and not the average slice because it was the last thing he tasted and the last impression left on his mind before writing that score down..

Alexa RnQ
07-07-2008, 11:29 AM
Our scores improved after we added burnt ends, but I have to admit that our brisket was improving too. They'd better be awfully good burnt ends, though, or they're going to be a disappointment that will lower your score. The presentation score will suffer if the burnt ends obscure anything else the judge wants to look at.

Sawdustguy
07-07-2008, 11:35 AM
It shouldn't matter as far as presentation goes. If a judge marks down a turn-in box for not having burnt ends, they are doing everyone a dis-service and should not be judging. If burnt ends are included in the box they should be judged along with the brisket for presentation.

Plowboy
07-07-2008, 11:37 AM
I always worry about the less experienced judge know knowing what a burnt end is. They are a big chewy compared to a slice. Not like a hockey puck, but in comparison. They are from a different muscle with different characteristics. I worry about the less experienced judge knocking me down because that piece was "tough".

It ain't a Jack Links Nugget, dude! <Shameless plug for ScottieD>

Plowboy
07-07-2008, 11:41 AM
Also, the category is Appearance and not Presentation. The judges should be looking at how the meat looks and not how it was presented. Now presentation has an affect on appearance, but the score is for looking delicious and not looking pretty.

HoDeDo
07-07-2008, 11:54 AM
pretty delicious.

Dale P
07-07-2008, 11:56 AM
Judging fair and without bias has to be tough. I like cooking!

Most of the pics you guys display look better with them imho but I get to stare at them and nit pic all I want. That has to make a huge difference.

Bigmista
07-07-2008, 12:00 PM
I always worry about the less experienced judge know knowing what a burnt end is. They are a big chewy compared to a slice. Not like a hockey puck, but in comparison. They are from a different muscle with different characteristics. I worry about the less experienced judge knocking me down because that piece was "tough".

It ain't a Jack Links Nugget, dude! <Shameless plug for ScottieD>

Maybe I'm doing something wrong because my burnt ends are never chewy. They always come out extra tender.

Hey I just remembered, I brought some for lunch today.

MMMMMM...burnt ends....

CivilWarBBQ
07-07-2008, 01:52 PM
Assuming you have two boxes that are identical in every way except one contains burnt ends and one does not, I think the one with BE may have a chance to do slightly better in appearance across all six judges.

That said, I agree with Diva. Since your taste and tenderness scores will be a composite of all the meat in the box, I don't put anything in there unless I feel it will help. If there is the slightest doubt as to the quality of a type of meat and I have another type already in the box, I leave the questionable item out.

Sledneck
07-07-2008, 02:00 PM
I turn in slices and pulled (yes I am talking about brisket not pork)

CivilWarBBQ
07-07-2008, 02:44 PM
Interesting. How does that do in NY?

There are definitely region differences even within KCBS contests - for example here in Georgia sliced pork is rare and burnt ends, while not uncommon are not present in the majority of the boxes I've personally judged. The only time I've seen pulled or chopped brisket is when it was so far overdone the cook had no choice because the slices wouldn't hold together. I've never tried it myself, so I'm curious about how the judges react to your pulled product.

Podge
07-07-2008, 02:47 PM
I turn in just slices. i would have to have some phenominal burnt ends before i would turn them in, and i never have in a contest, so i just gave it up. I just do the best i can to make the brisket flat great.

Sledneck
07-07-2008, 02:57 PM
Interesting. How does that do in NY?

There are definitely region differences even within KCBS contests - for example here in Georgia sliced pork is rare and burnt ends, while not uncommon are not present in the majority of the boxes I've personally judged. The only time I've seen pulled or chopped brisket is when it was so far overdone the cook had no choice because the slices wouldn't hold together. I've never tried it myself, so I'm curious about how the judges react to your pulled product.
Reaction has not been bad. I have only done it 3 times and these were my results

1st place williepalooza 2007
6th place Sayville 2007
10th place yardley

The Pickled Pig
07-07-2008, 03:20 PM
Our scores greatly improved after including burnt ends. But that's probably because our slices need all the help they can get.:-D

The Pickled Pig
07-07-2008, 03:34 PM
Since your taste and tenderness scores will be a composite of all the meat in the box, I don't put anything in there unless I feel it will help. If there is the slightest doubt as to the quality of a type of meat and I have another type already in the box, I leave the questionable item out.

So you would turn in a box of burnt ends w/o slices if the slices were questionable?

Just Pulin' Pork
07-07-2008, 03:41 PM
So you would turn in a box of burnt ends w/o slices if the slices were questionable?


Paul you took the words right out of my mouth! I was just about to post that question!

Sledneck
07-07-2008, 03:56 PM
So you would turn in a box of burnt ends w/o slices if the slices were questionable?

Paul you took the words right out of my mouth! I was just about to post that question!
My vote is ABSOLUTELY. f the burnt end are good you have a better chance than turning in bad slices

watg?
07-07-2008, 04:00 PM
Reaction has not been bad. I have only done it 3 times and these were my results

1st place williepalooza 2007
6th place Sayville 2007
10th place yardley



Nice looking box there.

The Pickled Pig
07-07-2008, 04:37 PM
My vote is ABSOLUTELY. f the burnt end are good you have a better chance than turning in bad slices

That's gutsy! We almost did it once when 3 of 4 flats were severely overcooked but the last flat turned out okay. I've asked several experienced teams around here about this and although some had tried it, not one of them had any success with a BE only entry.

I think judges in these parts expect to see sliced flat at a minimum and treat the BEs as a bonus. Kind of like on pork, every time we've turned in just slices, we've been punished by the judges. I think they expect pulled pork at a minimum and treat other styles of presentation as a bonus.

I'm not saying that is the way it should work, just that I think it does.

The_Kapn
07-07-2008, 04:41 PM
All I will offer has been said before.
However you do it, make sure it is your best!

Last fall, we turned in our normal entry with flat slices and some point chunks for a KCBS event.
The slices were "dead on" for tenderness.
Great taste on everything.
Appearance and taste scored really, really well.

Our point chunks were "split" in tenderness, for some reason.
8 point pieces, of which 5 were really tender and 3 were not. :oops:
Long story as to why that happened.
But, Tenderness scores were 4 - 8/9's and 2-5/6's. (scores from memory, too lazy to look them up).
Guess who got the "not so tender" chunks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We still took a walk in a really tough field.
Side computation says we would have picked up $300 or more if we had just left the chunks off, or made sure we had a quality product in all areas.

Just make sure that what you submit is the best you can do and it will all be fine.

TIM

KC_Bobby
07-07-2008, 04:42 PM
Last comp we knew our flats were undercooked and discussed just putting in the burnt ends. In retrospect, I wish we would have. If for no other reason just to see how they scored cause it wouldn't have placed much worse.

rookiedad
07-07-2008, 05:53 PM
how many ways are there of making burnt ends anyway? i make mine out of the "burnt ends" of a flat not the deckle, cooked down in some sauce. i put them in the box the only time we competed and i was happy with the results but i ain't all that experienced with briskets, so am i just doing it wrong?

Bigmista
07-07-2008, 07:18 PM
I only do burnt ends with the point. Cut it into chunks, sprinkle them with some rub, toss them in some sauce and back in the smoker for 2-3 hours.

CivilWarBBQ
07-07-2008, 10:02 PM
Hah! I wondered if somebody would catch me on that. ;)

No, that's one of the places I'd not have the guts to go to. I'd be afraid the judges would freak out if we sent in a box of nothing but BE. (Wonder if it's ever been done?) Here in Georgia brisket isn't well understood anyway, burnt ends even less so. If my slices weren't making it I'd be inclined to chop the flat and put it in with my burnt ends, hoping for the best. That's why I asked the question below about how well pulled brisket fared in NY.

It's not something I really want to do, but sometimes things go wrong and a back-up plan never hurts...

PatioDaddio
07-07-2008, 11:31 PM
I've contemplated whether or not to include burnt ends and decided not to. By doing so, you effectively have two entries in one box. You have two styles of brisket with vastly different expectations of each. Also, the KCBS CBJ training doesn't teach about what defines a good burnt end, so you really are hanging out there.

In short, I feel I would be flirting with disaster by including two very different styles of the same cut in one box. If both aren't excellent, you're dead meat.

Just my $0.02,
John

Jeff_in_KC
07-07-2008, 11:44 PM
Last year at Jefferson City, we overcooked the brisket and couldn't get good slices so we turned in all burnt ends. We didn't do well but I don't know if it was due to being all burnt ends or if it just sucked.

CivilWarBBQ
07-08-2008, 12:43 AM
Last year at Jefferson City, we overcooked the brisket and couldn't get good slices so we turned in all burnt ends. We didn't do well but I don't know if it was due to being all burnt ends or if it just sucked.

Ah, that's what I wondering. That's the situation I spoke of earlier where I think I'd try turning in chopped. Hopefully we'll never have to find out how it would score!

MoKanMeathead
07-08-2008, 07:59 AM
We turned in all burnt ends once at a non-KCBS sanctioned contest. This contest we actually presented our entry to the judges and were able to BS them about how we cooked it. They asked if we turned in BEs because we screwed up the slices - I lied and told them we planned on turning in BEs only from the begining. They didn't believe us and really marked us down even though the BEs were pretty good.

Sledneck
07-08-2008, 08:01 AM
We turned in all burnt ends once at a non-KCBS sanctioned contest. This contest we actually presented our entry to the judges and were able to BS them about how we cooked it. They asked if we turned in BEs because we screwed up the slices - I lied and told them we planned on turning in BEs only from the begining. They didn't believe us and really marked us down even though the BEs were pretty good.I think I would of scored it up. I'll take burnt ends over slices any day

BBQchef33
07-08-2008, 09:29 AM
the judges shoul be judging AS PRESENTED.. So IMO, a box of GREAT burnt ends blows away slices anyday..and I judge them as brisket.. shouldnt make assumptions that the brisket was over cooked just because its turned in pulled or chunked. BUT........:)

After falling asleep, I incinerated 3 briskets at a recent contest. The flats were so bad I considered turning in nothing. There was no way a slice was coming off them.. i had to SAW thru them witha serated knife...

But the points was good, so i chunked it up, added some rub and sauce and hit them hard over a hot grill for a few seconds to carmelize them. And turned in a pile of burnt ends.

677 789 788 898 887 798 Came in 21st overall in a field of 87.

so the judges liked them.. and considering my options, the brisket didnt do that badly.

ZBQ
07-08-2008, 09:39 AM
We turned in all burnt ends once at a non-KCBS sanctioned contest. This contest we actually presented our entry to the judges and were able to BS them about how we cooked it. They asked if we turned in BEs because we screwed up the slices - I lied and told them we planned on turning in BEs only from the begining. They didn't believe us and really marked us down even though the BEs were pretty good.


Perhaps you just aren't a very good liar............and it had nothing to do with what was in the box..........

just a thought.......

YankeeBBQ
07-08-2008, 10:31 AM
I always worry about the less experienced judge know knowing what a burnt end is. They are a big chewy compared to a slice. Not like a hockey puck, but in comparison. They are from a different muscle with different characteristics. I worry about the less experienced judge knocking me down because that piece was "tough".

It ain't a Jack Links Nugget, dude! <Shameless plug for ScottieD>

Burnt ends are chewy ??? Not mine

Divemaster
07-08-2008, 10:53 AM
Last comp we knew our flats were undercooked and discussed just putting in the burnt ends. In retrospect, I wish we would have. If for no other reason just to see how they scored cause it wouldn't have placed much worse.
I wish I had done that at my last comp...

Maybe I'm doing something wrong because my burnt ends are never chewy. They always come out extra tender.


I only do burnt ends with the point. Cut it into chunks, sprinkle them with some rub, toss them in some sauce and back in the smoker for 2-3 hours.

Burnt ends are chewy ??? Not mine
Mine either... Infact, my catering customers almost always ask for them as apps....

Big George's BBQ
07-08-2008, 03:11 PM
If good add them. Just have them looking nice like the rest of the Brisket and the same number of pieces