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Sir Smoke A Lot
07-21-2008, 09:26 AM
I was really looking forward to my first judging experience this past weekend. As the moments before the first turn in approach, I was eager with anticipation.

Chicken - I am thinking to myself "Those are some pretty good presentations. Remember - garnish is optional, so you are judging how appetizing the chicken itself looks." I gave the chicken some fairly high scores all the way around. For the most part, it was cooked very well, and even though some of the sauces used were not exactly my cup of tea - it did not detract from the overall effort.

Ribs - Here is where I ran into some trouble. It was brought to my attention that my scores were lower than everyone else at my table. I know what a well cooked rib is supposed to be. Does that automatically make it a 9 on tenderness? I guess I don't believe it does. If it is well cooked, we are looking at above average at least. If it is not well cooked, does that make it average or below average? I tend to believe it does. If it falls off the bone when I take a bite, if I score that as average or better, is that not a dis service to the other cooks that nailed it? If your rib is well cooked, but you left the membrane on, that is going to hurt you. I don't leave it on - I expect everyone else to remove it as well. Removing the membrane does not make a rib above average - it is what everyone SHOULD do. From what I remember from the class, taste is rather subjective. I DO NOT like sickly sweet sauce. I am probably the exception around here. If your rib tastes like it was dipped in sugar, I am not going to score it high, because that is not what I like.

Pork - again, here is where I got in trouble. Once again, I was told my scores were lower than everyone else at my table. I believe I am good pulled pork cook. If I look at an entry and it looks like it is mush, I am not going to rank it high on appearance even though the box may look nice. I am judging it based on how much I am looking forward to trying it. Is this wrong? If you serve me mush, am I seriously supposed to score it high because it is "tender"? And if all I can taste is salt, even though it may be cooked well, I am going to knock you down.

Brisket - I think they figured I was a lost cause at this time. I got a "square" of brisket. It looked burnt on the top and it was full of fat. While the meat was tasty, it was overcooked and the fat inside detracted from it. Some of the entries were decent and they were cooked pretty well, but there was just not alot of flavor.

So, tell me, am I too hard? I judged things how I truly felt. It may have gone against everyone else at the table, but I was honest with myself. I understand the reps were only doing their job, letting me know my scores were low. I have no ill will toward them. I guess I am very hard on myself as a cook and that translates toward other cooks as well.

Has this happened to anyone else?

jbrink01
07-21-2008, 09:36 AM
In my KCBS judging class I was one of the lower scoring students (having cooked 3 years). It was suggested that those people worked so hard, they would be upset at my scores.

I have not and will not judge. If you cook sh*t, I'll score it accordingly!

U2CANQUE
07-21-2008, 09:38 AM
It sounds to me like you were very straight forward...it was not a matter of "I dont like this sauce" it was more, expectation for the process for the meat that went into the box....no resudual resentment score from being fooled by appearance to the time that you got to taste the meat.....sounds like a hellova time deciding....

Double D's BBQ
07-21-2008, 09:48 AM
Sorry, but I don't think your competent to be judging! You obviously don't know what a burnt end is and your scoring down for that and your bringing in your personal preferences into your judging and scoring down for that.

Sorry to be harsh here but many of us invest as much as $1000 per contest and expect those that are judging the cooks to have a minimal knowledge of what they are judging.

I'd give you a three as a judge and I'm being kind here!

I'll give you a 7 for being honest and seeking improvement!

Its nice to know that someone is looking at scores that deviate significantly from the norm.

Sir Smoke A Lot
07-21-2008, 09:59 AM
Sorry, but I don't think your competent to be judging! You obviously don't know what a burnt end is and your scoring down for that and your bringing in your personal preferences into your judging and scoring down for that.

Sorry to be harsh here but many of us invest as much as $1000 per contest and expect those that are judging the cooks to have a minimal knowledge of what they are judging.

I'd give you a three as a judge and I'm being kind here!

I'll give you a 7 for being honest and seeking improvement!

Its nice to know that someone is looking at scores that deviate significantly from the norm.


Seriously, is a 2" by 2" chunk of meat is a burnt end? I always thought burnt ends were diced chunks of meat from the point - they are NOT fatty, they are well done and very flavorful. The box that was turned in had 6 2" by 2" chunks of meat that were full of fat.

I have cooked in at least a half dozen contests, so I know what it takes to compete. I was one of 2 judges at my table that has cooked. I usually compete by myself so I am doing all the work. I have taken walks, so I can't be completely clueless.

Do you turn in ribs with a membrane?

U2CANQUE
07-21-2008, 10:01 AM
yeah, oooops, I didnt vison the "burnt top" with the fat as a burnt end......that is part of the presentation and meat that shows variety in the skills.....and damn good to boot.......

Double D's BBQ
07-21-2008, 10:10 AM
Seriously, is a 2" by 2" chunk of meat is a burnt end? I always thought burnt ends were diced chunks of meat from the point - they are NOT fatty, they are well done and very flavorful. The box that was turned in had 6 2" by 2" chunks of meat that were full of fat.

I have cooked in at least a half dozen contests, so I know what it takes to compete. I was one of 2 judges at my table that has cooked. I usually compete by myself so I am doing all the work. I have taken walks, so I can't be completely clueless.

Do you turn in ribs with a membrane?

Yes, burnt ends are either square or rectangular pieces of meat (depending on how the cook cuts them) that come off the point. They are full of fat and flavor and are generally regarded by most to be a delicacy and the most flavorable part of a brisket.

I'd go with your gut feeling here and either consider retiring from judging or increasing your BBQ knowledge. You owe that much to the cooks whose BBQ you are judging. Are you a CBJ? If so you're already violating your oath as a judge. Leave your personal preferences out and judge the product placed before you.

And yes we always take the membrane off the ribs. At least the top one. We leave the bottom one in tack. Did you know that a rib has two membranes? Hopefully you're not scoring down for that!

ZBQ
07-21-2008, 10:19 AM
Just some thoughts.........


Ribs - Here is where I ran into some trouble. It was brought to my attention that my scores were lower than everyone else at my table. I know what a well cooked rib is supposed to be. Does that automatically make it a 9 on tenderness? I guess I don't believe it does. If it is well cooked, we are looking at above average at least.

So what would it take to make it a 9?
Or do you think that a 9 doesn't exist?


If your rib is well cooked, but you left the membrane on, that is going to hurt you. I don't leave it on - I expect everyone else to remove it as well. Removing the membrane does not make a rib above average - it is what everyone SHOULD do.

I must have missed that in the judging class. Can you show me where
removing the membrane is a requirement or even suggested?

Yes, I remove it, but I would NEVER score down soley for that reason.


From what I remember from the class, taste is rather subjective. I DO NOT like sickly sweet sauce. I am probably the exception around here. If your rib tastes like it was dipped in sugar, I am not going to score it high, because that is not what I like.

I know that taste is difficult but if you think that all ribs that have a
sweet sauce on them are crap, aren't you doing a disservice by interjecting your personal tastes since sweet sauces are commonplace? What you are saying is, no matter how well a rib is cooked, if you put a sweet sauce on it, you will score it down. I would hate to have you for a judge.

Brisket - I think they figured I was a lost cause at this time. I got a "square" of brisket. It looked burnt on the top and it was full of fat. While the meat was tasty, it was overcooked and the fat inside detracted from it.

This sounds an awful lot like a burt end, part of the point.
Many judges like these.

So, tell me, am I too hard? I guess I am very hard on myself as a cook and that translates toward other cooks as well.

Maybe judging just isn't your cup of tea..........just my $.02.....nothing more.:cool:

Sledneck
07-21-2008, 10:26 AM
What were the scores they were questioning? Were you giving out 2,3,4's?

Sir Smoke A Lot
07-21-2008, 10:29 AM
Just some thoughts.........

You bring up some good points. I do believe a 9 exists and I did give some 9s on the chicken. That is really why I was asking - is a 9 reserved for an exceptionally cooked rib, or should it be more commonplace - for well cooked rib. It seems that the prevailing opinion is that it should be for a well cooked rib. This is the feedback I was looking for.

There is no requirement for removing the membrane, I guess I feel (therein lies my mistake - personal preference) that it detracts from the rib if you can't take a bite without pulling the meat away from the membrane.

I am still not envisioning what was turned in as burnt ends, but maybe I need more brisket education.

Judging probably is not for me. Lesson learned.

Podge
07-21-2008, 10:30 AM
by your comments, either you've not been to a judging class, been to a bad class, or didn't pay attention.

Sir Smoke A Lot
07-21-2008, 10:32 AM
What were the scores they were questioning? Were you giving out 2,3,4's?

No - the lowest score I gave out was a 4 for some pulled pork that I really wanted to spit out as soon as I put it in my mouth. It was completely mushy.

For chicken, the lowest was probably a 6.

For ribs, it was a 5.

The pulled pork was 4 and the brisket was 6.

Sledneck
07-21-2008, 10:39 AM
No - the lowest score I gave out was a 4 for some pulled pork that I really wanted to spit out as soon as I put it in my mouth. It was completely mushy.

For chicken, the lowest was probably a 6.

For ribs, it was a 5.

The pulled pork was 4 and the brisket was 6.I guess you were kind then because if it was to be spit out then accorsing to this you should of given it a 2


The Board of Directors have approved changes in the judging procedures for 2008. After, a year of testing and development, a new judging slip will be used beginning March 1st, 2008. Each number on the judging slip will have a definition associated with it. The starting point of six has been abolished. There will be no starting point. The definitions are as follows.

9 Excellent
8 Very Good
7 Above Average
6 Average
5 Below Average
4 Poor
3 Bad
2 Inedible
1 Disqualified

Sledneck
07-21-2008, 10:46 AM
Sorry to be harsh here but many of us invest as much as $1000 per contest and expect those that are judging the cooks to have a minimal knowledge of what they are judging.
.
Yes we do all spend upwards of a 1000 but I would hate to keep spending it an turning out bad food and not knowing how bad it was because a table of judges felt bad and didn't want to offend me because of their conscience on how much of my effort and money went in to it. That should be left at the door.

pigmaker23
07-21-2008, 10:48 AM
I Think you have it nailed down pretty well, Judging is not for you, lesson learned. its to bad for the teams that completed at this contest.

StayDown
07-21-2008, 10:54 AM
I was really looking forward to my first judging experience this past weekend. As the moments before the first turn in approach, I was eager with anticipation.

Chicken - I am thinking to myself "Those are some pretty good presentations. Remember - garnish is optional, so you are judging how appetizing the chicken itself looks." I gave the chicken some fairly high scores all the way around. For the most part, it was cooked very well, and even though some of the sauces used were not exactly my cup of tea - it did not detract from the overall effort.


This is how it should be, personal taste should not factor into the score.

Ribs - Here is where I ran into some trouble. It was brought to my attention that my scores were lower than everyone else at my table. I know what a well cooked rib is supposed to be. Does that automatically make it a 9 on tenderness? I guess I don't believe it does. If it is well cooked, we are looking at above average at least. If it is not well cooked, does that make it average or below average? I tend to believe it does. If it falls off the bone when I take a bite, if I score that as average or better, is that not a dis service to the other cooks that nailed it? If your rib is well cooked, but you left the membrane on, that is going to hurt you. I don't leave it on - I expect everyone else to remove it as well. Removing the membrane does not make a rib above average - it is what everyone SHOULD do. From what I remember from the class, taste is rather subjective. I DO NOT like sickly sweet sauce. I am probably the exception around here. If your rib tastes like it was dipped in sugar, I am not going to score it high, because that is not what I like.


I believe a fall of the bone rib could not be considered better than average on tenderness. It has been over cooked. As for the sauce, again, your personal opinion should not matter. Is the rib tasty? Even if you don't like sweet Q, is it good sweet Q if you did like sweet Q? I think not scoring something low that you know should be higherbut yet you don't like...is a major disservice.

Pork - again, here is where I got in trouble. Once again, I was told my scores were lower than everyone else at my table. I believe I am good pulled pork cook. If I look at an entry and it looks like it is mush, I am not going to rank it high on appearance even though the box may look nice. I am judging it based on how much I am looking forward to trying it. Is this wrong? If you serve me mush, am I seriously supposed to score it high because it is "tender"? And if all I can taste is salt, even though it may be cooked well, I am going to knock you down.

Tenderness is where you can knock people for mushy pork. You say if the box looks nice you will not score it good if the pork looks mushy..at this time..how do you know it is mushy? You say the box looks nice and that is appearance.

Brisket - I think they figured I was a lost cause at this time. I got a "square" of brisket. It looked burnt on the top and it was full of fat. While the meat was tasty, it was overcooked and the fat inside detracted from it. Some of the entries were decent and they were cooked pretty well, but there was just not alot of flavor.

So, tell me, am I too hard? I judged things how I truly felt. It may have gone against everyone else at the table, but I was honest with myself. I understand the reps were only doing their job, letting me know my scores were low. I have no ill will toward them. I guess I am very hard on myself as a cook and that translates toward other cooks as well.


This is just my opinion and I hope you as well as others become more consistent in judging. I know that we are all human and we tend to put our opinion into everything we do but judging needs to be consistent and not based off of what you do in a comp or what you like the best in the way of flavor.

Good luck to you in the future.

Has this happened to anyone else?

Let us all know if you judge again and how you feel that went.

Sir Smoke A Lot
07-21-2008, 10:56 AM
I Think you have it nailed down pretty well, Judging is not for you, lesson learned. its to bad for the teams that completed at this contest.

Again, I do appreciate the feedback. I realize I am not good judge material. I will not, however, apologize for scoring mushy pork low. At least to me, mushy pork is not average.

I think it boils down to this - just because I turn something in, I do not expect at least a 6. If I turn in crap (and I know that on a couple of occasions I have) I don't expect "average" scores.

Again, I appreciate the honesty and I respect your opinions. That is why I posted this thread.

StayDown
07-21-2008, 11:03 AM
Again, I do appreciate the feedback. I realize I am not good judge material. I will not, however, apologize for scoring mushy pork low. At least to me, mushy pork is not average.

I think it boils down to this - just because I turn something in, I do not expect at least a 6. If I turn in crap (and I know that on a couple of occasions I have) I don't expect "average" scores.

Again, I appreciate the honesty and I respect your opinions. That is why I posted this thread.


I agree that "crap" should nto be scored as a 6. At the same time though, is it crap in your mind because you don't like that style or is it truly just bad food?

I don't think padding scores to keep people from getting their feelings hurt does anyone any good. At the same time, being rude and giving out really low scores because it is not your style is not right either.

I would say to keep judging but try to more open when doing it and leave your opinion about what good Q should taste like at home...go by what they taught you in the class.

Then again..I could be wrong.

Dale P
07-21-2008, 11:13 AM
This past weekend I recieved these numbers for tenderness on my chicken.
8-9-7-9-8-5

Im thinking judge #6 had dull teeth.:mrgreen:

StayDown
07-21-2008, 11:16 AM
This past weekend I recieved these numbers for tenderness on my chicken.
8-9-7-9-8-5

Im thinking judge #6 had dull teeth.:mrgreen:


:lol: Yeah..it is odd how one number can be that far off. The again judging is done by humans and we all make mistakes or have pre conceived notions as to what good food should be like.

Slamdunkpro
07-21-2008, 11:23 AM
{rant}
My favorite comment from my judging class was "The cooks work hard and they aren't going to turn in poor food". Bullpocky! I've tasted some real crap and I've scored it accordingly. There is a lot of pressure on the judges to give high marks because "the cooks spend so much time, effort and money to compete". Well boo-hoo, let's just give everyone 9's, call it a tie and give everyone "participation" awards like they do in some "progressive" kids sports leagues.

Maybe it's time to face the facts that KCBS judging is a totally subjective scoring system with no standards whatsoever other than"it's what you like" - that's what they teach in the judge's classes (ZBQ can back me up on this we were in the same class - every question about taste got the same answer "base it on what you like"). How this isn't saying "judge based on personal preference" is beyond me.

Maybe it's also time to consider that some of those 4's and 5's might actually be deserved and not just poor judging. I got a burnt end at a contest not too long ago that had a foreign object in it (piece of bone). I'm sure the cook didn't know it was there, but it was in my sample. The piece was inedible - period. I scored it as such. I then got a lot of pressure from the rep to bring my score "more in line" with the others as to not "punish the cook". Sorry, they turned it in, and I can only judge based on what is put in front of me.
{/rant}

I posted this in another thread, but I'll post it again here:

Here's my perspective as a judge:

I don't care how much money competitors spend, how far they travel or how much work goes into what's in front of me at judge's table. I know it's a lot but none of that matters. I look at each entry the same regardless of whether the competitor drove 5 miles or 500, spent $100 or $10,000.

When that box is opened, I judge:

Appearance:
Is it legal under KCBS rules?
Overall, how appetizing does the meat look?
Does it look dry or greasy?
Is the overall presentation clean?
If portioned, are the portions even?
If garnished, is the box balanced or does the garnish overwhelm or take away from the meat?
How much do I want to eat this entry based on what I see?

Tenderness:
Is it undercooked? (tough)
Is it overcooked? (ribs fall off the bone, brisket falls apart, pork mushy, chicken rubbery)

Taste:
Do I get the taste of the product itself?
Is it over/under salted?
Is it over/under seasoned?
Is it greasy?
Is it dry?
If pork, it it over cured (Hammy)?
If sauced, does the sauce compliment the product or overwhelm it?
How is the overall balance of flavor/sweet/heat?
How is the finish flavor?
Is there an aftertaste?

I do this for every sample put in front of me and score based on these criteria.

Divemaster
07-21-2008, 11:26 AM
First of all, I would like to say that judging is what brought me in to doing comps and not the other way around. My first judging experience was over 6 years ago at the Royal Open. It was there that I discovered how much 'distasteful' food (most p/c I could be without calling it s*%t) was being turned in.

I am a CBJ and have judged a number of contests, and I'll never do it again.

In my KCBS judging class I was one of the lower scoring students (having cooked 3 years). It was suggested that those people worked so hard, they would be upset at my scores.

I have not and will not judge. If you cook sh*t, I'll score it accordingly!

So was I and I feel the same way and expect to be treated the same. If I turn in crap I expect to be scored as such!


Sorry, but I don't think your competent to be judging! You obviously don't know what a burnt end is and your scoring down for that and your bringing in your personal preferences into your judging and scoring down for that.

Sorry to be harsh here but many of us invest as much as $1000 per contest and expect those that are judging the cooks to have a minimal knowledge of what they are judging.

I'd give you a three as a judge and I'm being kind here!

I'll give you a 7 for being honest and seeking improvement!

Its nice to know that someone is looking at scores that deviate significantly from the norm.
Why are you attacking him, was it your entry? Based on the description, I would have scored it the same!

I don't have a real problem with an all Burnt End Entry, but if you want to go with the 'Norm' (quoting you) where are the slices like every one else turned in? If I see an entry as described, the first thought is that the entry is really screwed up and most likely over cooked. What did the Reps do when they saw it?

Yes we do all spend upwards of a 1000 but I would hate to keep spending it an turning out bad food and not knowing how bad it was because a table of judges felt bad and didn't want to offend me because of their conscience on how much of my effort and money went in to it. That should be left at the door.

Thank you Sled. I too spend a good chunk of money on comps. But I would rather have scores that ACURATLY represent my entry than a higher score to make me feel good... To be honest, I don't like being lied to.

StayDown
07-21-2008, 11:28 AM
{rant}
My favorite comment from my judging class was "The cooks work hard and they aren't going to turn in poor food". Bullpocky! I've tasted some real crap and I've scored it accordingly. There is a lot of pressure on the judges to give high marks because "the cooks spend so much time, effort and money to compete". Well boo-hoo, let's just give everyone 9's, call it a tie and give everyone "participation" awards like they do in some "progressive" kids sports leagues.

Maybe it's time to face the facts that KCBS judging is a totally subjective scoring system with no standards whatsoever other than"it's what you like" - that's what they teach in the judge's classes (ZBQ can back me up on this we were in the same class - every question about taste got the same answer "base it on what you like"). How this isn't saying "judge based on personal preference" is beyond me.

Maybe it's also time to consider that some of those 4's and 5's might actually be deserved and not just poor judging. I got a burnt end at a contest not too long ago that had a foreign object in it (piece of bone). I'm sure the cook didn't know it was there, but it was in my sample. The piece was inedible - period. I scored it as such. I then got a lot of pressure from the rep to bring my score "more in line" with the others as to not "punish the cook". Sorry, they turned it in, and I can only judge based on what is put in front of me.
{/rant}

I posted this in another thread, but I'll post it again here:

Here's my perspective as a judge:

I don't care how much money competitors spend, how far they travel or how much work goes into what's in front of me at judge's table. I know it's a lot but none of that matters. I look at each entry the same regardless of whether the competitor drove 5 miles or 500, spent $100 or $10,000.

When that box is opened, I judge:

Appearance:
Is it legal under KCBS rules?
Overall, how appetizing does the meat look?
Does it look dry or greasy?
Is the overall presentation clean?
If portioned, are the portions even?
If garnished, is the box balanced or does the garnish overwhelm or take away from the meat?
How much do I want to eat this entry based on what I see?

Tenderness:
Is it undercooked? (tough)
Is it overcooked? (ribs fall off the bone, brisket falls apart, pork mushy, chicken rubbery)

Taste:
Do I get the taste of the product itself?
Is it over/under salted?
Is it over/under seasoned?
Is it greasy?
Is it dry?
If pork, it it over cured (Hammy)?
If sauced, does the sauce compliment the product or overwhelm it?
How is the overall balance of flavor/sweet/heat?
How is the finish flavor?
Is there an aftertaste?

I do this for every sample put in front of me and score based on these criteria.



Sounds to me like you have the right idea.

timzcardz
07-21-2008, 11:41 AM
This past weekend I recieved these numbers for tenderness on my chicken.
8-9-7-9-8-5

Im thinking judge #6 had dull teeth.:mrgreen:


Why? Did all 6 judges somehow get the same piece?

Maybe all 6 judges got it 100% right, and perhaps you put a tough piece in there that #6 ended up with.

HeSmellsLikeSmoke
07-21-2008, 11:47 AM
In my judging class, those in the class who competed, consistently had the lowest scores during the class.

The instructor then went on to say that the NEBS (if I remember who correctly ) has run test judging sessions to see if competitors would score more fairly than judges who had not competed themselves. The results showed that those judges who competed were much harsher and gave much lower scores.

Maybe this explains to some extent where Sir Smoke A Lot is coming from here.

One of the Brethren might have been involved and could give us some insight on this.

Brew-B-Q
07-21-2008, 11:49 AM
This past weekend I recieved these numbers for tenderness on my chicken.
8-9-7-9-8-5

I'm thinking judge #6 had dull teeth.:mrgreen:

In my first (and only so far) comp I received the following scores for ribs, Taste: 9-8-7-7-7-4

Makes me wonder if they should throw out the low and high for each category. Did they ever do it that way?

Podge
07-21-2008, 11:52 AM
This past weekend I recieved these numbers for tenderness on my chicken.
8-9-7-9-8-5

Im thinking judge #6 had dull teeth.:mrgreen:

I had a judge give me a 5 in appearance on chicken when the rest gave me 8's or 9's.. he/she must've been blind :icon_sleepy:icon_pissed:icon_sick

HeSmellsLikeSmoke
07-21-2008, 12:07 PM
In my first (and only so far) comp I received the following scores for ribs, Taste: 9-8-7-7-7-4

Makes me wonder if they should throw out the low and high for each category. Did they ever do it that way?

KCBS throws out the low.

Dale P
07-21-2008, 12:15 PM
Why? Did all 6 judges somehow get the same piece?

Maybe all 6 judges got it 100% right, and perhaps you put a tough piece in there that #6 ended up with.

Did they all get the same piece? Are you trying to be funny? Funny is fine, because that is what I was trying to do in my post, you know, laugh it off.

Was one piece not as good?
That is possible.

Smokin Gator
07-21-2008, 12:15 PM
KCBS throws out the low.

FBA doesn't and I sure wish they would.

Rhapsody
07-21-2008, 01:11 PM
judging isn't that hard. If you look at the food, do you want to eat it? How much? Thats where I start with my appearance score. I don't care what green is in the box, its about the meat and if IT looks good. As far as the brisket goes, that fat is there and I would score it accordingly, but it is a fatty piece of meat and a little beef fat isn't a bad thing. Some burnt ends I've pulled out of boxes, with fat, have been some of the best things I've had all day at a table. Take it all for what it is, not what you expect, believe or want.

Big George's BBQ
07-21-2008, 02:07 PM
As long as you feel you are being honest and fair as a judge that is what is important. When that part of the Comp is over ask the other people at the table how they scored things so you can see how you scored compared to them. You can not talk during judging but you can afterwards

smoke showin'
07-21-2008, 02:22 PM
stick to cooking it is more fun any way !

Dale P
07-21-2008, 02:43 PM
I had a judge give me a 5 in appearance on chicken when the rest gave me 8's or 9's.. he/she must've been blind :icon_sleepy:icon_pissed:icon_sick

Podge's Chicken Table

#1:-D my that looks good

#2:eusa_clap awesome

#3:icon_sick Im already full

#4:shock: I see a piece of skin curling

#5:icon_shock1: #6 just felt up my leg
#6:icon_cool feels kinda feathery, that cant look good. 5

Jeff_in_KC
07-21-2008, 03:03 PM
Having read this entire thread through, I'd agree that the original poster should either learn more about comp BBQ or stay away from judging areas!

I'm glad Sled posted the actual scoring definitions because I was going to if he didn't. No where in that list is a number defined as "well-cooked". And the sauce being too sweet causing you to score lower is really annoying to me!

OK I just have to mention this thing about being considerate of the time, effort and cash teams spend on this stuff in your scoring. Personally, I've made a similar comment before BUT I've never advocated cooks getting higher scores BECAUSE of it. What I believe should happen is that judges REMEMBER this fact and do their honest best effort because of it. I don't think we deserve higher scores but an honest effort at accurate, fair judging is deserved because of our output of time, effort and cash. I don't think anyone can disagree with that.

Divemaster
07-21-2008, 03:14 PM
I for one, would welcome back the response cards that we as judges used to be able to fill out as an explanation of why we scored something as we did.

As a cook, I think this would give us (cooks) a chance to see what was going through the judges head....

Scottie
07-21-2008, 03:17 PM
Those cards were a waste of time. We got them for 9's and most of the comments were "yummy", "perfectly cooked"... Not sure what that tells you. Then we would also get one for a 4 or lower... Which means spit it out...

So as a cook, they were meaningless.

Divemaster
07-21-2008, 03:20 PM
I'm just saying that some kind of feed back would be helpful rather than taking a shot in the dark.

Scottie
07-21-2008, 03:31 PM
I agree. I'm not saying they were completely worthless. I just think they had to be tweeked for them to be useful for the cooks. I cooked about 10 contests last year that had them. I received about 4 comments. Yummy tells me nothing... As I really hope it's "yummy" or else I shouldn't be competing. But it doesn't really tell me anything as a cook though...

Slamdunkpro
07-21-2008, 03:34 PM
And the sauce being too sweet causing you to score lower is really annoying to me!

OK I just have to mention this thing about being considerate of the time, effort and cash teams spend on this stuff in your scoring. Personally, I've made a similar comment before BUT I've never advocated cooks getting higher scores BECAUSE of it. What I believe should happen is that judges REMEMBER this fact and do their honest best effort because of it. I don't think we deserve higher scores but an honest effort at accurate, fair judging is deserved because of our output of time, effort and cash. I don't think anyone can disagree with that.

Two things:

Sweet/hot/tangy sauce is a neutral to me depending on how it balances on the product however if all I taste is sweet to the exclusion of all else where it becomes the dominate flavor then yes you are going to lose points. It's BBQ, not a Snickers bar.

As far as appreciation of effort, yes, it is the judge's obligation to take judging and evaluating seriously, as seriously as the cooks take the BBQ process if not more so. If you (a judge) are there for the grazing table or to stuff your cooler and "it all kinda tastes the same" then no, you should not be judging.

Slamdunkpro
07-21-2008, 03:44 PM
I agree. I'm not saying they were completely worthless. I just think they had to be tweeked for them to be useful for the cooks. I cooked about 10 contests last year that had them. I received about 4 comments. Yummy tells me nothing... As I really hope it's "yummy" or else I shouldn't be competing. But it doesn't really tell me anything as a cook though...

This is something they should teach and emphasize in the judge's classes; how to give meaningful feedback. I wanted to leave feedback on a couple of entries at my last judging experience: One entry was good except it had an odd bitter after taste that spoiled the experience. I though one entry was over salted, but otherwise spot on and I would have liked to have been able to communicate that this is what cost them a 9 in my opinion. There is no reason that the judge's sheet can't be a half sheet instead of a quarter and that table captains can't review the comments. I also think that some interaction between the judges during the actual judging would help to even out some of the "I don't like sweet/hot/vinegar/whatever issues.

Smokin Gator
07-21-2008, 03:48 PM
There were two things that I got out of my judging class that helped me greatly as a judge:

Think of Sonny's (a BBQ chain) as a 7. Go up or down from there based on your opinion of the entry.

Judge the entry for what it is. If it is a sweet entry then judge it as a sweet entry. If it is a spicy/hot entry then judge it as a spicy/hot entry.

When I judge I really try to follow those guidelines, especially the second one. Whether I like sweet BBQ, spicy BBQ, sauced or unsauced Q should not make any difference.

Divemaster
07-21-2008, 03:50 PM
I agree. I'm not saying they were completely worthless. I just think they had to be tweeked for them to be useful for the cooks. I cooked about 10 contests last year that had them. I received about 4 comments. Yummy tells me nothing... As I really hope it's "yummy" or else I shouldn't be competing. But it doesn't really tell me anything as a cook though...

This is something they should teach and emphasize in the judge's classes; how to give meaningful feedback. I wanted to leave feedback on a couple of entries at my last judging experience: One entry was good except it had an odd bitter after taste that spoiled the experience. I though one entry was over salted, but otherwise spot on and I would have liked to have been able to communicate that this is what cost them a 9 in my opinion. There is no reason that the judge's sheet can't be a half sheet instead of a quarter and that table captains can't review the comments. I also think that some interaction between the judges during the actual judging would help to even out some of the "I don't like sweet/hot/vinegar/whatever issues.
I agree with both of you. "Yummy" don't tell me chit... "There was a odd after taste" tells me where I should look...

I'm not asking for just any feed back, I want some thing that is constructive. If I bring a rib to Scotty, I'm expecting him to give me the kind of feedback that he would expect from me.

Podge
07-21-2008, 04:04 PM
if you cook "sweet", "hot", "salty", etc.. don't get mad and be surprised if a judge thinks it's too sweet, too hot, or too salty and your score reflects it. Their definition of each can be different than yours. If I tasted something too hot, or whatever, i'd mark it down.

Smokin Gator
07-21-2008, 04:23 PM
I agree that if I go way out on a limb then I should not be surprised if it gets marked down. I disagree that it should be marked down if it is "too hot, or whatever."

Sledneck
07-21-2008, 04:24 PM
There were two things that I got out of my judging class that helped me greatly as a judge:

Think of Sonny's (a BBQ chain) as a 7. Go up or down from there based on your opinion of the entry.

If sonnys is a 7 then i should be getting 180' s in every category:rolleyes::biggrin:

Smokin Gator
07-21-2008, 04:33 PM
Sonny's chicken=better than 13th!!! :-)

CajunSmoker
07-21-2008, 04:35 PM
I agree with most of what's been already said here, but if you give me a big chunk of burnt, fatty brisket and expect a high score your going to be disappointed.

Jeff_in_KC
07-21-2008, 04:37 PM
Two things:

Sweet/hot/tangy sauce is a neutral to me depending on how it balances on the product however if all I taste is sweet to the exclusion of all else where it becomes the dominate flavor then yes you are going to lose points. It's BBQ, not a Snickers bar.

I think a lot of this comes down to whether or not a cook uses TOO much sauce, not the fact that the sauce is sweet in the first place. You're right - it should balance on the product.

But in regards to judges preferences, I like spicy BBQ though I'd never turn it in at comps because it would turn off too many judges but as a cook, that's my right to do or not to do. However, as a judge, you have to judge what's given to you regardless of personal preference. "It's BBQ, not a Snickers bar", while humorous, is not cool. "Sweet" is a style of BBQ. You can't turn up your nose at it. Now if it were sour or tasted like cream chicken gravy (hey Guy... there's a sauce for your comp chicken! :twisted:) or something way out of the ordinary, I can see it not being acceptable... maybe. Again, it's up to the cook what he turns in as long as it's within the legal guidelines. I recall one of our members here telling me at the Jefferson City, MO comp in 2007 that he was angered when he spoke with a judge after the awards who said he prefers Carolina style sauces and judged down anyone who used a sweet KC style sauce. That is SO wrong and judging down for a sweet sauce just because you personally don't like it is wrong as well. My opinion is that if a judge cannot at least appreciate ANY style of BBQ and at least know what is a good example of that style is (whether it happens to be his or her favorite or not), he or she should not be judging BBQ contests.

Smokin Gator
07-21-2008, 04:43 PM
if a judge cannot at least appreciate ANY style of BBQ and at least know what is a good example of that style is (whether it happens to be his or her favorite or not), he or she should not be judging BBQ contests.

Exactly!!!

Merl
07-21-2008, 04:55 PM
The second paragraph of the instructions and rules for judges played on the CD at every contest reads as follows:

"These procedures are intended to provide the standards you should use in judging this
contest. Remember, as a KCBS judge, you are not judging by what you like, but you are
judging to the standards defined by KCBS at this contest."

It is not about what a judge likes. Did the cook do a good job preparing the entry? Do the rubs and sauce complement the meat? Did the cook attain excellence? If the answers are yes, give it the score it has earned.

I do not like Indian food. I can judge it. I can tell when it is prepared and cooked to perfection. I can score it accordingly, even though it will never be my favorite taste and style of cooking. That is what is taught and expected of every CBJ!

Merl

Slamdunkpro
07-21-2008, 05:05 PM
However, as a judge, you have to judge what's given to you regardless of personal preference. "It's BBQ, not a Snickers bar", while humorous, is not cool. "Sweet" is a style of BBQ. You can't turn up your nose at it.

You are totally distorting my point - I never said I mark down sweet, I said " if all I taste is sweet to the exclusion of all else where it becomes the dominate flavor then yes you are going to lose points." The same could be said for spicy, vinegar, or any flavor combination.

Rick's Tropical Delight
07-21-2008, 05:19 PM
sooooooo, which comp was the original poster judging?

i would appreciate some feedback from the judges that judged my turn-ins.

look at my chicken numbers and tell me you wouldn't wonder.

anyway, i knew this would happen and that's why i was hesitant on competing in my first comp at all. seems it's all taken too seriously, but now i understand why.

Smokin Gator
07-21-2008, 05:20 PM
You are totally distorting my point - I never said I mark down sweet, I said " if all I taste is sweet to the exclusion of all else where it becomes the dominate flavor then yes you are going to lose points." The same could be said for spicy, vinegar, or any flavor combination.

I still disagree if you deem that is what the entry was going for.

Smokin Gator
07-21-2008, 05:24 PM
The only way I can think of at the moment is to present it like this... Perhaps the most regionalised BBQ sauce is the mayonnaise sauce in Alabama. If what some of you say is fine, then a judge in that area should only give high scores to chicken with that sauce. Is that correct??

CajunSmoker
07-21-2008, 05:34 PM
My few judging experiences have had judges from all over the country so most all tastes were represented.

But I still try to cook for the middle of the road, not too sweet, not too spicy to try to appeal to the most tastes. I almost want to call it the lowest common denominator.

Slamdunkpro
07-21-2008, 05:42 PM
I still disagree if you deem that is what the entry was going for.

How exactly does one determine that without talking to the cook prior to tasting? By this reasoning, an entry is no longer "over salted" it's "oven cured"; "flavorless" becomes "mild" or "natural"; "hotter than the bowels of hades and nothing else but fire" becomes "robust".

Let's take an extreme example: A cook pours HFCS and red dye #2 into a bowl and mixes to make their "sauce". By my judging methodology, I taste and evaluate based on the KCBS process of "It's sweet BBQ, is it good sweet bbq? Answer: No, it tastes like HFCS and nothing else - lose points. I'm not marking it down because it's sweet BBQ, but because it's BAD sweet BBQ.

Another example is where you get a sample and it's clearly a vinegar based BBQ but the flavor is so unbalanced with acidity from the vinegar that it's not good vinegar based BBQ - it's almost glass cleaner - mark down. Again it's not marked down because it's vinegar based, but it's BAD vinegar based.

And yes, as the judge it is my prerogative to deem the cook's intent based on the product I sample and score it accordingly. That is the system we have chosen to compete under.

Mo-Dave
07-21-2008, 06:14 PM
This past weekend I recieved these numbers for tenderness on my chicken.
8-9-7-9-8-5

Im thinking judge #6 had dull teeth.:mrgreen:

Just a thought, the judge that gave you a 5 may have gotten a piece that was a little more dry or over cooked. Same goes for the judge that give a 7, only they were being nice. The rest of the judges may have had good pieces, but only a little better than 7 and 5 and were a lot more forgiving:wink:
Dave

BigdogKC
07-21-2008, 06:22 PM
How exactly does one determine that without talking to the cook prior to tasting? By this reasoning, an entry is no longer "over salted" it's "oven cured"; "flavorless" becomes "mild" or "natural"; "hotter than the bowels of hades and nothing else but fire" becomes "robust".

Let's take an extreme example: A cook pours HFCS and red dye #2 into a bowl and mixes to make their "sauce". By my judging methodology, I taste and evaluate based on the KCBS process of "It's sweet BBQ, is it good sweet bbq? Answer: No, it tastes like HFCS and nothing else - lose points. I'm not marking it down because it's sweet BBQ, but because it's BAD sweet BBQ.

Another example is where you get a sample and it's clearly a vinegar based BBQ but the flavor is so unbalanced with acidity from the vinegar that it's not good vinegar based BBQ - it's almost glass cleaner - mark down. Again it's not marked down because it's vinegar based, but it's BAD vinegar based.

And yes, as the judge it is my prerogative to deem the cook's intent based on the product I sample and score it accordingly. That is the system we have chosen to compete under.

You are making a statement that someone competing would basically dip their entry in sugar, which is not correct. I see what you are saying and I agree with your point. I beleive that Gator is looking at it from the perspective that no one at a contest would do such a thing. They may however use a sweet sauce that as a judge you may deem too sweet for your taste. As a judge you are not supposed to judge them poorly simply because you think it is too sweet. If its candy, then ok...but nobody is going to try and put candy on BBQ...at least I hope not. The point is you have to judge on the quality of the Q, not your personal taste.

The_Kapn
07-21-2008, 06:22 PM
WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sir Smoke A Lot (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/member.php?u=4697) has the balls to post a frank thread about his judging experience.

He is attacked--no other word for it!

He is a cook and a judge.
Most of what he says is right on.

I am a bit, no-- I am really, embarrassed by the Brethren here!

TIM

Slamdunkpro
07-21-2008, 06:30 PM
You are making a statement that someone competing would basically dip their entry in sugar, which is not correct. I see what you are saying and I agree with your point.
That's why I said it's an extreme example.

I beleive that Gator is looking at it from the perspective that no one at a contest would do such a thing. They may however use a sweet sauce that as a judge you may deem too sweet for your taste. As a judge you are not supposed to judge them poorly simply because you think it is too sweet.If its candy, then ok...but nobody is going to try and put candy on BBQ...at least I hope not. The point is you have to judge on the quality of the Q, not your personal taste.
Nowhere in any of my posts did I say anything about judging to my individual or personal tastes, you are correct and I have stated over and over that judges should not mark down for individual taste preferences.

BBQ Grail
07-21-2008, 06:31 PM
WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sir Smoke A Lot (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/member.php?u=4697) has the balls to post a frank thread about his judging experience.

He is attacked--no other word for it!

He is a cook and a judge.
Most of what he says is right on.

I am a bit, no-- I am really, embarrassed by the Brethren here!

TIM

Yup! I just finished getting through this thread. There are a few people who need to rethink the strong tone/words they used. It's not what we are about here.

Thanks Tim for stepping in. A few apologizes are in order.

Mo-Dave
07-21-2008, 06:33 PM
I have heard judges say they looked at the box and new it was not going to taste good, thats just wrong.

One of the hardest things for a judge to do especially if they cook is not judge it the way they cook.

I have heard many judges say they like ribs falling off the bone and worse they don't like chicken.

I do think judges that cook are harder on other cooks than the average judge that doesn't.

I don't believe in sugar coating scores but something has to be really bad to get anything below a 5 and I would only give below that to let the cook know they really did something wrong and hope the rest of the judges agree to prove my point but its just a crap shoot.
Dave

Jeff_in_KC
07-21-2008, 06:38 PM
Yup! I just finished getting through this thread. There are a few people who need to rethink the strong tone/words they used. It's not what we are about here.

Thanks Tim for stepping in. A few apologizes are in order.

I don't know as I'd go that far. The original poster made claims in his judging philosophy that went against the KCBS judging guidelines. While some responses may have been harsh, I think most of us who have competed for any length of time have seen such things all too often and get pretty frustrated with them. I'd apologize if attacks were made personal but really all I've seen are opinions, not personal attacks. Of course those are pretty much like arse holes... everyone has one. :roll: :wink:

Smokin Gator
07-21-2008, 06:44 PM
You absolutely made my point... you cannot talk to the cook... but if you deem it to be bad sweet BBQ then mark it down.. If you deem it to be bad vinegar based BBQ then mark it down.

Just don't do it because it is not your favorite style of BBQ.

How exactly does one determine that without talking to the cook prior to tasting? By this reasoning, an entry is no longer "over salted" it's "oven cured"; "flavorless" becomes "mild" or "natural"; "hotter than the bowels of hades and nothing else but fire" becomes "robust".

Let's take an extreme example: A cook pours HFCS and red dye #2 into a bowl and mixes to make their "sauce". By my judging methodology, I taste and evaluate based on the KCBS process of "It's sweet BBQ, is it good sweet bbq? Answer: No, it tastes like HFCS and nothing else - lose points. I'm not marking it down because it's sweet BBQ, but because it's BAD sweet BBQ.

Another example is where you get a sample and it's clearly a vinegar based BBQ but the flavor is so unbalanced with acidity from the vinegar that it's not good vinegar based BBQ - it's almost glass cleaner - mark down. Again it's not marked down because it's vinegar based, but it's BAD vinegar based.

And yes, as the judge it is my prerogative to deem the cook's intent based on the product I sample and score it accordingly. That is the system we have chosen to compete under.

Dale P
07-21-2008, 06:53 PM
What I said was in jest but Im sorry if i stepped on any toes. My chicken deserved to be 17th place and I have been around long enough to pick 6-8 pieces that are real close to the same. As many as we cook at a time it isnt that tough to do. The same meaning, all dry, burnt, or perfectly cooked the way I like it. You can bet the farm i wont turn in raw.

The dull teeth and the :mrgreen: thing was a joke, and one I thought was sort of funny but Tim & Dave didnt get it I guess. No hard feelings here but people need to lighten up for sure.

Did not one person here think that Podges chicken table thing to be at least a little humerous?
Maybe i need a vacation.
dale

The_Kapn
07-21-2008, 06:57 PM
I don't know as I'd go that far. The original poster made claims in his judging philosophy that went against the KCBS judging guidelines.

Jeff,
I just went back and reviewed the origonal post.
What did I miss that "went against the KCBS judging guidelines."

I admit to being stupid, but maybe I am missing something here. :oops:
Help me out--OK?

TIM

TexEx
07-21-2008, 07:02 PM
The second paragraph of the instructions and rules for judges played on the CD at every contest reads as follows:

"These procedures are intended to provide the standards you should use in judging this
contest. Remember, as a KCBS judge, you are not judging by what you like, but you are
judging to the standards defined by KCBS at this contest."

I am an FBA CBJ not a KCBS CBJ so I don't have accss to the CD.

Are there actual standards contained on it? Or are they just general in nature.

parrothead
07-21-2008, 07:28 PM
WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sir Smoke A Lot (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/member.php?u=4697) has the balls to post a frank thread about his judging experience.

He is attacked--no other word for it!

He is a cook and a judge.
Most of what he says is right on.

I am a bit, no-- I am really, embarrassed by the Brethren here!

TIM
Well, now that you bring it up, we have been watching it all day. It was starting to go south, but mellowed out so we left it alone. Kudos to sir smoke a lot for treating some remarks that could have been taken much worse, with a grain of salt, and continueing the good discussion.

There have been some great opinions and view points to come out of this thread. Some of the other remarks? meh.

Back on topic.

BigdogKC
07-21-2008, 08:11 PM
That's why I said it's an extreme example.


Nowhere in any of my posts did I say anything about judging to my individual or personal tastes, you are correct and I have stated over and over that judges should not mark down for individual taste preferences.


I am with you...I didn't mean to say that you were talking about personal taste...that was me making my personal closing statement. Sorry. I was trying to point out that I think you two were mostly agreeing, but looking at it from different perspectives. I did notice you labeled as an extreme example; my point was that in a comp that would not happen. Which is the point of view I believe Gator had. Like I said I agree with what you said, I was just trying to point out that you two were not comparing the same things, and missing eachothers point.

I do however disagree with you on sweet sauce. Man I love a little molasses in my sauce...but too much would kill it!! :)

BigdogKC
07-21-2008, 08:36 PM
I was really looking forward to my first judging experience this past weekend. As the moments before the first turn in approach, I was eager with anticipation.

That tells me al I need to know. You wanted to do it, and were excited about. I can assume from that that you gave your best!!

Chicken - I am thinking to myself "Those are some pretty good presentations. Remember - garnish is optional, so you are judging how appetizing the chicken itself looks." I gave the chicken some fairly high scores all the way around. For the most part, it was cooked very well, and even though some of the sauces used were notexactly my cup of tea - it did not detract from the overall effort.

That is an excellent statement for a judge to make, seems like you went
a bit the other way on the ribs though.

Ribs - Here is where I ran into some trouble. It was brought to my attention that my scores were lower than everyone else at my table. I know what a well cooked rib is supposed to be. Does that automatically make it a 9 on tenderness? I guess I don't believe it does. If it is well cooked, we are looking at above average at least. If it is not well cooked, does that make it average or below average? I tend to believe it does. If it falls off the bone when I take a bite, if I score that as average or better, is that not a dis service to the other cooks that nailed it? If your rib is well cooked, but you left the membrane on, that is going to hurt you. I don't leave it on - I expect everyone else to remove it as well. Removing the membrane does not make a rib above average - it is what everyone SHOULD do. From what I remember from the class, taste is rather subjective. I DO NOT like sickly sweet sauce. I am probably the exception around here. If your rib tastes like it was dipped in sugar, I am not going to score it high, because that is not what I like.

I would like a little clarification here, since this is totally against what you said for Chicken. You said you didn't score down for the sauce, but here you would. I suppose if you are saying that it truly tasted like sugar, then I see the point. That would just be a bad sauce unless it was on some a dessert of some kind. I am not sure about the membrane...I think I would personally count off for it too, because it seems amertureish (sp) however if the rules don't specify...man I don't know. Thats tough, I think all you can do is use your judgement, and I would agree with you and count off.

Pork - again, here is where I got in trouble. Once again, I was told my scores were lower than everyone else at my table. I believe I am good pulled pork cook. If I look at an entry and it looks like it is mush, I am not going to rank it high on appearance even though the box may look nice. I am judging it based on how much I am looking forward to trying it. Is this wrong? If you serve me mush, am I seriously supposed to score it high because it is "tender"? And if all I can taste is salt, even though it may be cooked well, I am going to knock you down.

Based on what you wrote I would say that it was mabe a 6..7 tops. You suggest that the box looked nice overall, but it seems like you noticed that it might be mushy, which would make you not to eager to try it - clearly you should mark down for that. You were then vindicated when you tried it and it was in fact mushy - gross.


Brisket - I think they figured I was a lost cause at this time. I got a "square" of brisket. It looked burnt on the top and it was full of fat. While the meat was tasty, it was overcooked and the fat inside detracted from it. Some of the entries were decent and they were cooked pretty well, but there was just not alot of flavor.

I personally would have loved the piece you describe...which is probably why I weigh 3 bills, but I certainly wouldn't submit a piece that looked like that. I think I read on here that judges are not supposed to count off if there is enough meat for everyone even if there are different cuts. However your piece was not as good as a slice may have been and there fore you have to judge what you were given. Its not your fault the cook didn't put enough slices in.

So, tell me, am I too hard? I judged things how I truly felt. It may have gone against everyone else at the table, but I was honest with myself. I understand the reps were only doing their job, letting me know my scores were low. I have no ill will toward them. I guess I am very hard on myself as a cook and that translates toward other cooks as well.

Has this happened to anyone else?

I don't know what scores you actually gave, so I don't know how harsh you were. I prefer to get judged honestly, but if goes sub 4 and eveyone else at a table is 6 and 7 then I would say WTF. I think some people just read more into what you posted then you actually meant. Kudos for not taking offense to it. I am glad you had the courage to post it, becasue I am about to do my first contest as head cook, and this has been very insightful for me.

StayDown
07-21-2008, 08:37 PM
sooooooo, which comp was the original poster judging?

i would appreciate some feedback from the judges that judged my turn-ins.

look at my chicken numbers and tell me you wouldn't wonder.

anyway, i knew this would happen and that's why i was hesitant on competing in my first comp at all. seems it's all taken too seriously, but now i understand why.

Don't let any of this discourage you. I enjoyed meting you and all the brethren and hope to meet even more as time goes on. Competing in anything can get serious when you are talking about spending money to rive, buy meat, etc. Just remember, it is fun and all about the food and friendships.

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sir Smoke A Lot (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/member.php?u=4697) has the balls to post a frank thread about his judging experience.

He is attacked--no other word for it!

He is a cook and a judge.
Most of what he says is right on.

I am a bit, no-- I am really, embarrassed by the Brethren here!

TIM


I don't think he was attacked. I took Dale's post to be some what of a joke. Then again, it is hard to get some humor across via a message board.

I think the original poster made some comments that were off base as far as judging standards and for the most part people tried to give their opinions, experience or actual language from the KCBS.

All in all I think it is a good thread and helps judges as well as competitors to figure out what to do different or what each is thinking.


As a person who is new to competition Q, I have learned a ton from this thread as well as this weekends comp.

Bentley
07-21-2008, 08:44 PM
If your rib is well cooked, but you left the membrane on, that is going to hurt you. I don't leave it on - I expect everyone else to remove it as well.

Removing the membrane does not make a rib above average - it is what everyone SHOULD do.



Whow...Probably best you arnt going to judge anymore!

Bentley
07-21-2008, 08:50 PM
{rant}
My favorite comment from my judging class was "The cooks work hard and they aren't going to turn in poor food". Bullpocky! I've tasted some real crap and I've scored it accordingly.

Amen...I have had some of the worst BBQ of my life as a CBJ!

The Pickled Pig
07-21-2008, 09:33 PM
Judges that deviate from the normal range of scoring are detrimental to the competition. Even if their opinion is "right" and everyone else at the table is "wrong", only a small sample of the entries is being subjected to their independence. The contest remains fair but only because all of the entries have an equal probability of facing that same judge.

I remember a couple of guys at my judging class that were downright proud of giving the lowest scores in the room. It was as if they wanted everyone in the room to know they could critique a dish better than anyone else...that they knew good BBQ better than anyone else.

I would suggest that if a particuliar judges is consistently scoring a couple of points lower or higher than the table average, then there is a problem. What good did a judge do if it was their score that was always tossed? They might as well have stayed home. This would be very easy to measure and track and thus provide valuable feedback for the judges, allowing them to improve upon their craft. They could even give out awards to judges.

As a cook, I have to adjust my cooking style and preferences for the judges. Is it too much to ask that they do the same for competitors? I don't have a problem with someone who is inexperienced at judging and gives out abnormal scores as long as they take the time to learn from the experience and improve on their judging rather than leave thinking everyone else was wrong. I think judging is a skill that has to be developed and feedback from other judges at the table is probably the best place to start.

I think I'm in the minority because I actually like the KCBS judging system. For being such a subjective process, it's remarkably consistent. I love it when judges take their job as serious as I do cooking. Throwing out the low score goes a long way to right a lot of wrongs.

But don't be the judge that comes to my space after turn-in and tell me you automatically give any entry with insert anything here a 3 because you're some sort of freaky purist BBQ snob looking to teach people how to do things your way.

Jeff_in_KC
07-21-2008, 09:54 PM
Jeff,
I just went back and reviewed the origonal post.
What did I miss that "went against the KCBS judging guidelines."

I admit to being stupid, but maybe I am missing something here. :oops:
Help me out--OK?

TIM

This one statement is what has cooks a little upset and for good reason in MY OWN opinion:

"I DO NOT like sickly sweet sauce. I am probably the exception around here. If your rib tastes like it was dipped in sugar, I am not going to score it high, because that is not what I like."

And here is the wording from the KCBS's judges CD that Sir Smokes A Lot would have heard prior to judging:

"These procedures are intended to provide the standards you should use in judging this contest. Remember, as a KCBS judge, you are not judging by what you like, but you are judging to the standards defined by KCBS at this contest."

Sir Smoke A Lot
07-21-2008, 10:04 PM
Well, I certainly stirred up a hornet's nest here. There has been ALOT of discussion, alot of speculation and some conjecture.

I went into this attempting to do the BEST job I could. I took my responsibility VERY seriously. I expected to eat alot of good, well prepared barbecue. I was somewhat disappointed in what was presented to me.

To clarify a couple points: The lowest score I gave, and I only gave it to one entry, was a 4 on some pulled pork that tasted like pork porridge.

I was taught in my class not to judge garnish. Garnish is not mandatory. You should base appearance scores on how eager you are to try the meat. If someone does a good job with garnish and it enhances the appearance of the meat, great. I understood that to mean "just because someone can make a pretty box, does not automatically make their box a 9". If I am looking a box of stringy pork that has all the firmness of overboiled spaghetti, but it is arranged nicely, sorry -I am not eager to eat that.

On some of the rib entries, the sauce absolutely detracted from the flavor of the rib. If you take a bite of rib and come away with a sugar buzz (I really am not exaggerating that greatly), how is that an excellent entry.

Last year at one comp, I thought about entering my chicken with a mustard based sauce. I knew it would be a gamble, and I ended up not doing it. I kinda wished I had, but I was just not confident enough that I could overcome some judging "expectations".

On the brisket entries, there were boxes with burnt ends included with the slices. The box that has caused so much controversy had 6 "chunks" of meat in it. These 6 chunks filled the entire box. Except for some lettuce, that was the entire entry. I always thought that well cooked brisket would have alot of the fat rendered out of it while cooking. These 6 chunks were so full of fat, it was difficult to get at the actual meat. While the rest of the briskets were not bad, they were also NOT outstanding. I have tried winning brisket and these entries were not up to that standard.

I have not taken some of jabs thrown at me personally, because none of you were there at my table. As a judge, I was sworn in to uphold "excellence" in barbecue, not give someone a warm fuzzy for turning in average or less than average food.

Jeff_in_KC
07-21-2008, 10:14 PM
You should base appearance scores on how eager you are to try the meat. If someone does a good job with garnish and it enhances the appearance of the meat, great. I understood that to mean "just because someone can make a pretty box, does not automatically make their box a 9". If I am looking a box of stringy pork that has all the firmness of overboiled spaghetti, but it is arranged nicely, sorry -I am not eager to eat that.

The only thing I have a problem with here is this: You're discussing APPEARANCE of the pork but your reason for scoring it down is that it is overcooked and mushy. Generally speaking, unless you got pulled pork that is so overcooked, it's beyond recognition (someone posted a photo of a WAY overcooked butt recently), you don't know that until you press it between your tongue and the roof of your mouth. And that's not appearance - that's tenderness scoring. Mushy pulled pork should lower your tenderness score, not appearance.

MilitantSquatter
07-21-2008, 10:31 PM
Credit to Sir Smoke A Lot for his honesty.

I know it's not what KCBS rules call for, but there are many aspects of the idea of judges judging bases on their personal preferences that I like. At least they can be honest and not try to live up to a fairytale idea that they can interpret what a cook was trying to accomplish. Unless you talk to the cook you have no idea if the entry submitted was what they tried to accomplish.

Rookie'48
07-21-2008, 11:15 PM
When I judged my first three comps (last year) I asked the table captain to keep an eye on my scores and to let me know if I was out of line with the other scores after we were done judging. I did this at a couple of comps this year also. I wanted to figure out if my tastes ran close to what most other judges' were. Each time the TC said that mine were "in line" with the others' scores (1 to 2 points max difference).
I started out helping on a team before I ever took the CBJ class. The head cook on that team usually gives a lower score to his own product than I do, and he is a tougher scorer all around than I am when he is judging (he is a Master CBJ).
I think that a lot of cooks are the toughest judges because they are looking for the "perfect" chicky, rib, etc. They know what their expectations are as a cook & they bring that expectation with them into the judges' tent.
Just my $0.02,

cigarnv
07-22-2008, 05:03 AM
I think we need to keep in mind that while there are a lot of great BBQ cooks out there, there are also a lot who are average at best. In my last three judgings I have gotten raw chicken, brisket that was cut with the grain, ribs with so much smoke they tasted like firewood and sliced pork that was so flavorless that it tasted like it was boiled rather than smoked. It is important to note that the chicken thigh which was raw was the only undercooked one out of the 6 turned in. To believe that each of the six "samples" submitted and tasted will be the same is foolishness... so yes you can have scores out of sync due to the cook rather than the judge.

Most of the "Q" I have judged this year has been average to good with possibly 15-20% being exceptional. The major flaws I see are undercooking, overcooking, over smoking, and extreme bitterness. I would suggest that the problem in judging is that far to many turn in's are over rated rather than under rated making it far more difficult for the truly outstanding entries to stand out. "Average" Q in a professional competition ought to be damn good and exceptional should make you step back and say WOW!! This is a game where folks should be measured by results, not by effort or how much they spent...JMHO.

Ford
07-22-2008, 05:35 AM
It took me a long time to read this yesterday and then I thought about it before posting. So here goes. You are certainly entitled to judge as you see fit. However when you are out of sync with 5 other judges at the table and the Rep speaks with you I'd think maybe you'd take the hint. Especially appearance scores! The KCBS does track judges and unless I'm totally misreading a lot of posts on different Forums, your CBJ standing will be discussed by the BOD.

Having said this I think you were wrong to score appearance of pork down because you thought it would be mushy. I agree on you with sickly sweet ribs and I know as a cook it's possible to get one. Heck all my ribs are sweet because that's what usually scores high. But that sugar can pool on the bones unless you carefully brush it when unwrapping and before adding sauce. Note I'm defending you score here.

Brisket - never seen or heard of large squares of brisket. It sounds like maybe the Rep needed to look at that box and communicate to a first time team what the judges look for in a brisket box. There are a lot of first time teams out there and you can get some funny boxes and less than great food when judging.

I think on any one category you can be totally off from other judges and doing a good job but all 4 categories means you are scoring low and need an attitude adjustment.

Ford
07-22-2008, 05:42 AM
I think we need to keep in mind that while there are a lot of great BBQ cooks out there, there are also a lot who are average at best. In my last three judgings I have gotten raw chicken, brisket that was cut with the grain, ribs with so much smoke they tasted like firewood and sliced pork that was so flavorless that it tasted like it was boiled rather than smoked. It is important to note that the chicken thigh which was raw was the only undercooked one out of the 6 turned in. To believe that each of the six "samples" submitted and tasted will be the same is foolishness... so yes you can have scores out of sync due to the cook rather than the judge.

Most of the "Q" I have judged this year has been average to good with possibly 15-20% being exceptional. The major flaws I see are undercooking, overcooking, over smoking, and extreme bitterness. I would suggest that the problem in judging is that far to many turn in's are over rated rather than under rated making it far more difficult for the truly outstanding entries to stand out. "Average" Q in a professional competition ought to be damn good and exceptional should make you step back and say WOW!! This is a game where folks should be measured by results, not by effort or how much they spent...JMHO.
you are correct with everything you say about cooking. But good cooks can get their food to taste the same for each piece of chicken for each contest and with consistent temps. Ribs from the same slab should taste the same if handled properly and cooked with care.

There will be bad food at tables and I agree it should be scored down. But appearance scores really should be fairly consistent for a box whether it's 4-5-6-4-5-6 or 7-8-9-7-8-9. To me what's not acceptable is 9-8-8-9-8-5 on appearance.

An earleir post said they were told at a class that Smokey Bones should be 6 or 7 (I read it last night). Well if that's the standard then I think the regular cooks on the circuit should be seeing nothing but 8,9's period. Yet you say average Q at a contest should be darn good. So how do the two ideas match up in the scoring tent.

Going to work now and won't be online until tonight.

Double D's BBQ
07-22-2008, 06:00 AM
This whole issue is being discussed over at the BBQ forum. Don't know if it involves the same judge/cook or not but the facts seem to be identical.

According to the reports on the forum the judge was giving 4's and 5's while the other 5 judges were giving 8's and 9's and then was overheard telling other teams that he had laid the hammer down.

I certainly hope that this is not you as they are reporting the incident to the KCBS Board of Directors. There is no room in our sport for militant judges.

Cue's Your Daddy
07-22-2008, 06:37 AM
[quote=Ford;692191]
It took me a long time to read this yesterday and then I thought about it Having said this I think you were wrong to score appearance of pork down because you thought it would be mushy.

This is a truthful question, what do judges base appearance on? If you look at an entry and it just doesnt look right(mushy), shouldnt it be judged down. I have never judged, and compete in maybe 2 contest a year, so i am just trying to find what judges are looking for. I have entered pork that when i put it in the box thought to myself, that looks mushy. So why cant i judge see that as well. Isnt that the same when you see pork that looks dry, that is judged down, and the reason people spray there entry with apple juice to make it LOOK moist. If you can see pulled pork that looks dry or moist, why cant you assume that pork is mushy and judge appearance that way, but ,aybe when you taste it the texture is great and that score will be high...Liek i said, just looking for some help

smokincracker
07-22-2008, 06:49 AM
Sir Smoke A Lot, LLC

Brother you did in deed stir up a hornets nest and for that very reason I have been reluctant to chime in on these types of discussions. Well I’m going to drop a couple of pennies here.

As a competition cook I have accepted the fact that if I put it in the box it will be judged. More cooks need to understand that. It is a pipe dream to think that your sauce will not be judged as it complements or detracts from the meats taste or texture. I expect not too many cooks elect to turn-in the product un-sauced. OK that being said. Your comments concerning your judging experience were very straight forward and too the point.

Uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices? I don’t think so. I appreciate your honesty, Objective or Subjective. The fact is your personal taste and preferences will be a factor whether the competition cooking crowed likes it or not.

At a FBA contest the score sheets list the judges as a number. That judge keeps that number thru all categories. This has shown me that an accumulation of strict or subjective judges on one table can make for a table you hope your product avoids.

So what do you have to do to win? Easy first and most important cook consistent average all around BBQ that the masses will enjoy in all categories and then avoid to low scoring tables by the luck of the draw.

In the recent past I began to find that the expense of the contest the travel time and the time taken away from my family was causing me to feel anxious at a contest. I began to expect good results and quickly the sweetness of a good time turned to bitter reality.

I would suggest to a few of the cook teams that chimed in on this thread to look back to the first few cooks you went too and remember how much more fun you were having then. Are you expecting too much from your-self souring the fun you used to have.

Good Luck Brothers

motley que
07-22-2008, 07:15 AM
I only judged once and ribs gave me the most trouble to score. The predominte flavor on at least 4 entries was honey. Not a little but it was like I was judging honey with a slight meat flavor. It was hard to be objctive but I was and my scored were on par with everyone at my table

I would have loved to score them low due to the fact that I personnaly didn't like them.but I scored based on what was in front of me and the quality it was

It would be nice though for bbq in a contest to taste of meat,smoke and sauce and not put me into sugar shock.

billm
07-22-2008, 07:41 AM
I for one, would welcome back the response cards that we as judges used to be able to fill out as an explanation of why we scored something as we did.

As a cook, I think this would give us (cooks) a chance to see what was going through the judges head....

I wanted those cards to until I received my first ones at a comp...same brisket entry ..same table..one card commentd on how tender the brisket was and another card from the same table for the same entry said brisket wastoo tough...so tell em again what value these cards are to a cook ??8)

blues_n_cues
07-22-2008, 08:19 AM
(in case this is intrepreted wrong-i'm just stating opinion for myself).
this is precisely why i recently decided not to compete or judge-
1)after serving x-amount of people over the years i either cook what style the majority or the customer has a taste for(i.e. carolina style etc.)and
2) i have too much personal opinion to be subjective in judging.

i do still love to go to contests & see the rigs & meet other cooks & expand my horizons though.i do commend the judges for sittingthrough the ordeal(much food,heat,rain,you name it......)
just my .02 for me.

BBQ Grail
07-22-2008, 08:56 AM
This whole issue is being discussed over at the BBQ forum. Don't know if it involves the same judge/cook or not but the facts seem to be identical.


And it's been discussed here many times before. As long as there are competitions of one type or another with judges of one type or another, there are going to be these type of discussions.

No matter what the rules or guidelines are, judging will always be subjective. People are people and no matter how much we hope and want them to be something else, they aren't. I would bet a competition doesn't take place where a cook or two doesn't think they got jobbed by a judge or two.

Witness the recent Stagecoach comp in California (I think I have the facts straight). Two day comp, same cooks, same chicken, same judges. Day one close to last place. Day two, first place. Why? Because people are people. And I bet most, if not all, the judges thought they were doing their very best. And they probably were.

When you put your meat on the scoring table you have immediately put your fate in the hands of people you have no control over. Fair? You bet it is. You knew what was going to happen when you decided to join in.

Judges are people and some may bend the rules. It's life. And people don't like it. But some cooks are doing it to. Remember our recent thread on what constituted keeping your meat in one piece? The rules are black and white to some and gray to others. Some would call it cheating, some would call it "getting an edge."

It is...what it is!

ModelMaker
07-22-2008, 09:19 AM
Ok, my turn.
At BBQloo here in Waterloo last weekend there where 32 teams the big guns, Pellet Envy,Lota Bull, several strong regional teams and 11 local first timers.
The table behind us had 2 DQ's in chicken, one had foil and wax paper in the box, the other was a half a chicken (one judge had a good meal).
Our chicken was all pretty good except one entry appeared to have been rolled in minced garlic a la panko crumbs. He was judged down severly by the majority as it was way overboard in garlic taste.
Taste. There is no standard by KCBS in the taste scoring ,it is the only area where subjective per judge scoring is acceptable. You cannot tell someone how to score taste. Can't be done. All other areas of judging have KCBS guidelines all should understand before judging (hence the certification class).
Ribs- were very disapointing one was underdone, one I checked to see if it was really as pink (uncooked) as it looked (no blood but very underdone). One entry was 6 bones just plunked in the box, one was Hollywood cuts upside down in a circle (was not even close to pleasant in appearence), one had the membrane still on and remained after I took 2 bites.
Pork-one entry was a butt sliced cross ways with all areas of fat and muscle evident (not a good look), one entry was a pile of obviously mushy shreaded goo (think baby Sh!t).
Brisket- One was cut with the grain, one had slices so long they curled around the edge of the box. Two were slices and burnt ends (one was the best I've ever eaten).

Point being, from contest to contest it varies as to what expeience you will have as a judge. Marshalltown you have to hunt to find a dog, same with Mason City this week. If you can leave your (I'm a way better cook than these guys) attitude at home you will become a better judge and have more fun (this is the goal right?)
Sure some of my home cooks are better than what I judge. But I'm not there to compare mine to anybodys.
ModelMaker

BBQchef33
07-22-2008, 10:47 AM
Admin note: (Soapbox Warning).

This thread is worth its weight in gold to ALL new judges, competitors and members. Sir smokes alot was honest, upfront and forward with his initial post. That took balls.

He started this thread with the title 'First (and probably last) time judging'

and

he finished with "So, tell me, am I too hard? I judged things how I truly felt. It may have gone against everyone else at the table, but I was honest with myself................. Has this happened to anyone else?"

IMO, He went into that judging tent with the intention of doing the best job he can. He had expectations, and his experience was different from his expections, so He came to us looking for advice and other opinions on his experience as a first time judge. For him to do this, he obviously had a feeling something was awry and he presented brutal honesty, and he got some back in return.

Although some responses were harsh, they were also honest and straightforward, AND CIVIL. Furthermore, in many places, be it forums or face to face conversations, those responses would have sparked a flame war and feud that would have turned into an argument, or dragged this thread into moderation, possibly be locked down or deleted. Instead, we have an outstanding bit of knowledge that future and present judges can look to and understand the many perspectives and factors that play on that KCBS place mat.

The mods had this thread in their scopes all day yesterday. We were waiting for the eruption that never happened. Thanks to all you folks for keeping this honest(although sometimes brutally honest and harsh). It remained civil and informative instead of reeling off becoming threatening and unproductive. This will help future judges, present judges and cooks.

As both a cook and CBJ, I hope the information being presented will make for better judging as well as, from a cooks perspective, a better understanding of what can happen to us at that table.

On a personal note:

I have read the musing on other forums. Guys this was his FIRST TIME OUT!.. I would hope that Sir Smoke Alot, as well as ANY new judge takes this as a learning experience. I personally would rather encourage him to learn form this and improve, not quit. Who would you rather have judging your stuff? The town mayor who is completely clueless and compares your stuff to famous daves, or an experienced cook who is looking for your BBQ to be better than his own. Every judge has a first time experience. The difference is, this one documented it honestly and looked for guidance, to either improve, or be willing to give it up if he cant do it subjectivly. Its spilt milk now. But its up to us, his BBQ peers, (and KCBS) to help them improve, not break out the torches and pitchforks and run them out of the judging tent. We are called BBQ Brethren for a reason.

Sledneck
07-22-2008, 10:52 AM
This is why you are the Poohbah:eusa_clap

StayDown
07-22-2008, 11:00 AM
Like I said before, I thought this thread was handled very well and I myself have learned quite a bit from it.

Im would also like to say that I hope Sir does not quit judging but reads some of the things here, listens to the CD again and maybe tries to keep more of an open mind and pallet the next time he judges. Don't quit on the Q and it won't quit on you!


Thanks to the mods and admins for allowing this keep going se we all can benefit!

BBQchef33
07-22-2008, 11:02 AM
heres a couple of other threads regarding judging.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?p=192369

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=28326


soemthing I found interesting in one post from a year ago..s eems this topic was around before.

They dont however tell u what tastes good. What they DO ask, is that you try to judge as fairly as possible, for instance, if you absolutly HATE nutmeg,and u get an entry that has nutmeg in it.. do u classify it as inedible? I would hope not.. are the flavors balanced?, is it overbearing? , judge it on ITS OWN merit and as presented, regarlaess of your disdain for a specific flavor. I hate anise, yet i have had bbq with anise, or 5 spice in it that I did not trash.. i graded as presented. i remember it clearly, i was able to say that as a BBQ sample, it was very good, what the chef accomplished, was a well prepared sample, well balanced in flavors and aroma, etc..even though i did not like a specific flavor in it.. he did make a quality product. I may not go back for seconds, but becase of the training, i can do my best to judge as fairly(and professionally) as possible.

Papa Hogg
07-22-2008, 11:56 AM
But in regards to judges preferences, I like spicy BBQ though I'd never turn it in at comps because it would turn off too many judges but as a cook, that's my right to do or not to do. However, as a judge, you have to judge what's given to you regardless of personal preference. "It's BBQ, not a Snickers bar", while humorous, is not cool. "Sweet" is a style of BBQ.

Wow you contradict yourself here...You admit that you would never turn in Spicy BBQ because judges would not score it well, but if I am not mistaken Spicy BBQ is a style of BBQ as much as Sweet BBQ. So why shouldn't Sweet BBQ be scored low, like Spicy BBQ if it is not to a judges preference as you state?

It sounds like a lot people like to blame the judges when they get low scores, because we all know that as a competition cooks, whose friends and families all tell us we make the best BBQ ever could never turn-in anything deserving a score of 5 or less....PLEEEEEASE!

If as a competition BBQ cook you can't accept that judging is always going to have some subjective nature to it, then be prepared to be pissed off a lot more than having fun cooking. I personally prefer to have fun & if I do well & take some walks that just adds to the enjoyment I had cooking for a weekend. If I don't score well...hey at least I got to cook all weekend & bs with some other cooks & friends, which sure beats pulling weeds or cleaning the garage!

Thanks for your post & your honesty Sirs Smokes & to everyone that slammed you I think you all need to take yourselves a little less seriously & start having some more fun, because that is what BBQ is all about. Last time I checked I never saw pissin' & moanin' as ingredients to making good Q.

Just my .02...well maybe .10 :wink:

Scottie
07-22-2008, 12:06 PM
I'm sorry....

Cooks got screwed and we want him to be a matyr now?

The reps and table captains talked to him about his low scores. He said screw it and went on? And now we should feel sorry for him? What if a team had a GC taken away because of his scoring?

Brethren or not. At least 24 cook teams were not scored properly at this contest because of his rebel stance.

Whether I am looked at as a non-compliant, so be it. But a bunch of cooks got the raw deal on this.

Scottie

Just Pulin' Pork
07-22-2008, 12:13 PM
Thanks for your post & your honesty Sirs Smokes & to everyone that slammed you I think you all need to take yourselves a little less seriously & start having some more fun, because that is what BBQ is all about. Last time I checked I never saw pissin' & moanin' as ingredients to making good Q.


This thread is only going to get better! Can wait to see what this turns into!

Cue's Your Daddy
07-22-2008, 12:21 PM
The other Forum which will not be named because the brethren can not be named there, makes it sound like you gave low scores on purpose.. Is that true, because on your first post it sounds like you were trying to be honest to what you believe in. There is a big difference in how this is being talked about. To me it sounds like you were just being honest to what you believe...

Sir Smoke A Lot
07-22-2008, 12:22 PM
I'm sorry....

Cooks got screwed and we want him to be a matyr now?

The reps and table captains talked to him about his low scores. He said screw it and went on? And now we should feel sorry for him? What if a team had a GC taken away because of his scoring?

Brethren or not. At least 24 cook teams were not scored properly at this contest because of his rebel stance.

Whether I am looked at as a non-compliant, so be it. But a bunch of cooks got the raw deal on this.

Scottie

When I posted this, I did not expect the kind of response it has recieved (good and bad).

I came here looking for feedback, not looking for sympathy or to be a "martyr".

The tone of your post makes me sound like I was deliberately scoring teams low because I had it out for them. You could not be further from the truth.

If this had meant nothing to me, do you seriously think I would put myself out there looking for feedback? If this was some sort of joke, do you think I would post about it and then ask for responses?

At the table, I had a decision to make - be true to myself and score how I honestly felt, or artificially bump up the numbers to "come in line" with everyone else. You know what I did.

The words "subjective" and "objective" are both used in the oath. While I tried to be as objective as possible, I did use some subjectivity because that is what I promised to do.

Scottie
07-22-2008, 12:26 PM
What about you ignoring the table captain and the rep? When they came to you?

Sorry, you were dead wrong and messed with a lot of teams. You ignored warnings from the higher ups at a contest.

Sir Smoke A Lot
07-22-2008, 12:28 PM
The other Forum which will not be named because the brethren can not be named there, makes it sound like you gave low scores on purpose.. Is that true, because on your first post it sounds like you were trying to be honest to what you believe in. There is a big difference in how this is being talked about. To me it sounds like you were just being honest to what you believe...


There is absolutely no way I would score low on purpose. My chicken scores were right in line with everyone else. It was not until after ribs that I was made aware that the scores were low.

To the best of my knowledge, there were no brethren competing at or judging the contest I am referencing.

Papa Hogg
07-22-2008, 12:51 PM
I'm sorry....

Cooks got screwed and we want him to be a matyr now?

The reps and table captains talked to him about his low scores. He said screw it and went on? And now we should feel sorry for him? What if a team had a GC taken away because of his scoring?

Brethren or not. At least 24 cook teams were not scored properly at this contest because of his rebel stance.

Whether I am looked at as a non-compliant, so be it. But a bunch of cooks got the raw deal on this.

Scottie

How did cooks get screwed? They turned their product in for judging by 6 different judges. I re-read Sir's original post & it sound's like he was being fair, salty mushy pork, chicken scored well, membranes left on ribs, a horrible presentation of brisket...

Just because the other judges were giving higher scores what makes them right? Because they were closer in agreement? No where in his post does it sound like he was trying to take a "rebel" stance, it sounds like he was trying to fairly judge the boxes that were put in front of him like he was judging his own product.

Another thing it is possible to get a bad rib, piece of chicken, bite of pork or brisket. Think about it, most cooks cook several slabs of ribs, 12 - 20 chicken thighs, a few butts & a couple of briskets. I know that my rib box contains ribs from all the slabs I cook not just one slab because I am looking for ribs of a uniform size, color ect, so how would I know if 1 one the ribs in my box was not perfect, I'm not tasting or testing for tenderness with any of the ribs I turn in. It's a crap shoot in that I tried product from all the slabs & what I tried was good, but does that mean a rib that came from the center of a slab is as good a the third rib in? I don't believe it does. Same goes for Pulled Pork & Brisket, my boxes do not contain meat from one butt or brisket, especially if the taste & tenderness from the 2 or 3 butts I cook seem to be consistent to me, I will then use the meat that looks the best. I've cooked briskets where I missed a clump of cayenne in my rub & there is a part of that brisket that is a lot spicier than the rest of the brisket where that clump of cayenne got broken down on it.

If you can cook 3 - 5 slabs of ribs & every single slab is identical every single time then http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh211/ejstratman_2008/worship.gif I know I can get them close but there are always differences, if there weren't then I would be winning GC'c in every contest I enter. Even Burger King sells a bad Whopper every now & again.

BigdogKC
07-22-2008, 12:51 PM
What about you ignoring the table captain and the rep? When they came to you?

Sorry, you were dead wrong and messed with a lot of teams. You ignored warnings from the higher ups at a contest.

I will state first that it is difficult to judge a person's tone on a message board. Next I will state that if I am judging your tone correctly, you are being a bit of jerk here. I am not faulting you for your opinion, but man you are acting like he came and pissed on your shoe.

He didn't mess anything up as his score was dropped, since it was the lowest. If he was more par for the course, then his score probably still would have been dropped, it would have just been a 6 instead of a 4. It is not that big of a deal. I understand being pissed, because maybe this happened to you at a contest, but here is your chance to explain things to that judge that you thought screwed you. So far you all you have done is try to make him feel guilty. Why not post constuctive critisim and then you have helped improve a judge for future contests. At least give him some credit for opening himself up. Personally I am all for trying to better yourself, so lets throw out some more suggestions on how to do things better, rather than pouring salt on a wound.

CivilWarBBQ
07-22-2008, 01:00 PM
There were two things that I got out of my judging class that helped me greatly as a judge:

Think of Sonny's (a BBQ chain) as a 7. Go up or down from there based on your opinion of the entry.


OMG! Did the instructor seriously say that? Was this an FBA or KCBS class?

If Sonny's product is a 7 it would be difficult for me NOT to score most entries a 9 at a contest. Where would we be if you had multiple 180s in each category at every contest?

Scottie
07-22-2008, 01:08 PM
I will state first that it is difficult to judge a person's tone on a message board. Next I will state that if I am judging your tone correctly, you are being a bit of jerk here. I am not faulting you for your opinion, but man you are acting like he came and pissed on your shoe.


Brian and I have exchanged PM's. Whether you feel I am a jerk is not the important issue here. As type print does not catch the tone or the impression that someone is trying to do.

But to have someone single out the people that "slammed" him as jerks is just dead wrong, as one poster did.

I for one would be really upset if I was a team at this contest and now I am seeing this whole thread.

So take it as you may. I can be the jerk in this whole thing if you want. But I know that entries were not judged properly or the rep and table captain would not of had to pull a judge to the side to let them know that.

I'm done. I had my piece that I wanted to say.

Scottie

Papa Hogg
07-22-2008, 01:35 PM
But I know that entries were not judged properly or the rep and table captain would not of had to pull a judge to the side to let them know that.
Scottie

Must be nice to be omnipotent :wink: Re-read Sir Smoke's original post, he has valid reasons for the scores he gave, just because his scores were not the same as everyone else at his table does not mean that he did not judge the entries properly.

When you say that the rep & table captain had to pull him aside and "let him know"...it sounds like the mob getting to an NBA ref or a French Judge at an Olympic Ice Skating event. It sure sounds like he judged the entries in front of him based on his experience as a cook & what he took from the judging class.

Since you seem to be omnipotent please let us know if the other judges, the rep & the table captain like Chili's Baby Back, Baby Back, Baby Back Ribs & that may just clear this whole sorted mess up as to who is in the right here :biggrin:

Jeff_in_KC
07-22-2008, 01:35 PM
I'm with you on this, Scottie. But I guess I won't re-hash it.

And Papa Hogg, you mentioned I contridicted myself when I said I wouldn't turn in spicy BBQ. I don't agree. I said I would not take the chance... the chance that I'm going to get an idiot judge who decides spicy BBQ is not acceptable because he or she prefers it sweet. As a competition cook, you're basically reduced to keeping everything middle of the road if you want to do well because the masses of people out there think Famous Daves BBQ is awesome, Applebee's babyback ribs are the gold standard and Kraft BBQ Sauce is da bomb.

Jorge
07-22-2008, 01:39 PM
Time OUT!

This discussion needs to remain civil, period. There is some quality to this discussion that could be of benefit to future judges. Unless overruled by a higher power (Phil, or a moderator) it can continue. Common courtesy and respect will be shown by all, to all.

If you have any questions, see my avatar...and then be happy if you get to deal with me rather than Phil. I'm more soft spoken, and gentle.

CivilWarBBQ
07-22-2008, 01:41 PM
My opinions on this topic as a judge, cook and organizer:

All the KCBS reps I've talked to agree that new judges tend to give lower scores than more experienced judges. It's one of the reasons organizers are discouraged from placing more than one virgin judge on each table. The hope is that if the newbie scores out of sync with the rest of the table the "drop the low score" process will negate the impact of the new judge. With FBA keeping all the scores it would be a different story.

Perhaps the expectations of the new judge are simply too high - having never judged "professional" barbecue before they anticipate that every entry will be so much better than anything they've tasted before. After judging a few contests you realize that this is not the case.

In many ways competition cooking is more difficult than cooking at home or in a restaurant because you don't have the convenience and comfort of having a full kitchen and climate controlled shelter at hand. In addition, contests are open to anyone willing to pay the entry fee, so the experience and skill level of cook teams varies widely too. As a result, the entries a judge is presented with will run the gamut from unbelievably good to downright bad and should be scored accordingly.

It takes a while to get the feel for judging and align your personal scale with the bulk of the judges in the sanctioning organization. I personally score somewhat differently now than I did when I was certified in 2006 because I've made it a point to discuss scoring after each entry to gage whether my own scoring is in line with that of the rest of the table. Consistency of judging is most important.

Oh, and one other point. No team "deserves" a score based on how much they spent to compete, how far they traveled, how difficult the weather conditions were or any other factor except for the quality of the box they turn in. Artificially inflating scores because you feel empathy for cooks does them a disservice. Cooks want honest, consistent judging of the product they turn in, not pity points.

VGuilford
07-22-2008, 01:51 PM
Oh, and one other point. No team "deserves" a score based on how much they spent to compete, how far they traveled, how difficult the weather conditions were or any other factor except for the quality of the box they turn in. Artificially inflating scores because you feel empathy for cooks does them a disservice. Cooks want honest, consistent judging of the product they turn in, not pity points.

This is the best statement I've read so far.
I'm a CBJ and haven't judged a contest since I got it. I will one day and I hope I judge the contest to the best of my ability.

BigdogKC
07-22-2008, 02:12 PM
Brian and I have exchanged PM's. Whether you feel I am a jerk is not the important issue here. As type print does not catch the tone or the impression that someone is trying to do.

But to have someone single out the people that "slammed" him as jerks is just dead wrong, as one poster did.

I for one would be really upset if I was a team at this contest and now I am seeing this whole thread.

So take it as you may. I can be the jerk in this whole thing if you want. But I know that entries were not judged properly or the rep and table captain would not of had to pull a judge to the side to let them know that.

I'm done. I had my piece that I wanted to say.

Scottie

I said you were being "a bit of a jerk" meaning you could make your point without resorting to an anger filled rant.

At what point did he say he was "pulled a side"? It has been a day, but I beleive I read that the judge did his job by letting him know that his scores were lower than the others. You make it sound like they were ready to kick his butt out. Again, no one got screwed, because his score got dropped. If one of the teams read this, and got pissed, then they aren't thinking too clearly, because he didn't affect them at all. The process worked correctly - he (a first time judge) scored the way he thought best, and the table captain let him know he was lower than the others.

I don't feel like you are a jerk, if I did I wouldn't waste my time. I am a nice guy, but sometimes I can be a bit of a jerk, and I was merely pointing out that I think you might be having one of those times.

By the way, if you are "slamming" a person for asking for advice then by definition that makes you a jerk. If you however decide to let them know you think they were wrong and explain why in a non insulting way, then you are a Brother!! Which is what I thought this site was all about!!:-P

Sir Smoke A Lot
07-22-2008, 02:24 PM
Why do I suddenly feel like Rodney King?

"Can't we all just get along?" :grin:

This has been a spirited discussion. I am grateful for the feedback. The fact that this has raised some hackles means that we are all very passionate about BBQ.

Now, no riots or looting, please....

Dale P
07-22-2008, 02:27 PM
Brian i do not think its funny anymore. I think there is damage done that cannot be repaired.

Papa Hogg
07-22-2008, 02:30 PM
Now, no riots or looting, please....

Fark...I just threw my office chair threw my office window & stole someone's lunch out of the refrigerator!

Papa Hogg
07-22-2008, 02:33 PM
Brian i do not think its funny anymore. I think there is damage done that cannot be repaired.

It's ok maintenance has been called to fix my office window & the lunch I stole was a veggie hot dog so I put it back, minus one bite.

Podge
07-22-2008, 02:34 PM
I have to ask, as i've not seen in the 111 threads, unless i missed it somewhere.. Sir smoke a lot, have you been to a CBJ class before you had your first judging experience ?

Sledneck
07-22-2008, 02:38 PM
Brian i do not think its funny anymore. I think there is damage done that cannot be repaired.
What damage???

BBQchef33
07-22-2008, 02:39 PM
Time OUT!

This discussion needs to remain civil, period. There is some quality to this discussion that could be of benefit to future judges. Unless overruled by a higher power (Phil, or a moderator) it can continue. Common courtesy and respect will be shown by all, to all.

If you have any questions, see my avatar...and then be happy if you get to deal with me rather than Phil. I'm more soft spoken, and gentle.


agreed..

Here we have a new judge, first time out, that asked for and needed feedback and guidance. Having them go on the defensive is counterproductive. Lets take advantage of a situation. What we should continue to do here is offer the coaching required to ensure a new judge who reads it prior to going out the first time has this perspective in the back of his or her mind. New judges need mentoring too.

Its been established that SSAL did what he believed was right. There was no vendetta and he was not out to get anyone, but his interpretation of whats right and that of others is different. Instead of rehashing what happened last week and the spilt milk(which can not be changed) by going through shoulda, woulda, coulda, I think its more productive to continue to discuss the solutions, give coaching and advice as to proper judging methods and have those in the position decide if they can be successful at the judging table. Instead of harping on the past lets try to have a positive impact on our future contests.

Our Mods will not let a lynch mob form. No torches, no pitchforks. As long as it stays positive and productive we will continue to build on this.

Dale P
07-22-2008, 02:40 PM
It's ok maintenance has been called to fix my office window & the lunch I stole was a veggie hot dog so I put it back, minus one bite.

Ha ha.

Slamdunkpro
07-22-2008, 02:53 PM
At the risk of pouring more gasoline on the fire......

As a CBJ I'd be a lot happier if the cooks did show us their passion vs cooking for the masses. You like it Spicy? Bring it! You like Vinegar? Bring it! Sweet? Bring it! You get the idea. I've been at tables where it was hard to tell one entry from another - especially in chicken, all 6 thighs on my plate looked and tasted like they could have come off the same pit with the same sauce, all homogeneous middle of the road BBQ, makes it hard to differentiate sometimes.

Bentley
07-22-2008, 03:05 PM
All the KCBS reps I've talked to agree that new judges tend to give lower scores than more experienced judges.


My experience is just the opposite!

BigdogKC
07-22-2008, 03:07 PM
It's ok maintenance has been called to fix my office window & the lunch I stole was a veggie hot dog so I put it back, minus one bite.

You should do the victim a favor and throw that veggie dog in the trash. Also you should probably go through a cleansing ritual tonight to ensure that that "one Bite" doesn't have any lasting effects on you. I suggest a nice big steak!!

CivilWarBBQ
07-22-2008, 03:28 PM
That's interesting. Is this observation coming from your personal experience or from KCBS reps you have talked to?

The Turk
07-22-2008, 03:33 PM
Let me tell you all first hand about this contest. I was there. After the contest ended the word spread quickly among the teams we were near, mostly established teams that compete often. We first heard about it from other judges, then table captains, then reps. None of these people confirmed who the judge was and they should not have. I personally heard him talking to another team about his scoring entries low and that he was approached by the reps. I know Sir Smoke Alot, he's a nice guy. His scoring was so far off base that the table captains we talked to were upset, they know these teams put alot into each contest, new teams to the big dogs. When we pulled out the score sheets it was apparent who had him as a judge. One team that scores very well at every contest had appearance scores of 9,9,9,9,8,5. He had tenderness scores of 9,9,8,8,8,5. He did place well in the catagory but I'm sure someone else got hit worst. One of the judges we talked to said the other judges at the table were all experienced so he was way off base on his scoring. Most of the teams there knew by the end of the day who it was and I only hope they don't hold it against him as a cook. I know the reps were going to let KCBS know as they monitor judges.

Smokin Gator
07-22-2008, 03:35 PM
OMG! Did the instructor seriously say that? Was this an FBA or KCBS class?

If Sonny's product is a 7 it would be difficult for me NOT to score most entries a 9 at a contest. Where would we be if you had multiple 180s in each category at every contest?

It was an FBA class, so it is a 10 point scale. They also said that you should start at a 7 because you should assume that if it made it to the table it was a legal entry and that would make it "average" or a 7.

To me it makes sense... yes, most of the scores I give are 8 and up. To me that is how it should be at a comp with experienced comp cooks. Now I have had some REALLY bad stuff that I marked less that 7. I remember one such comp were two of the brisket entries at our table tasted so much like creosote that several people at the table spit the bite out!!

Buster Dog BBQ
07-22-2008, 04:14 PM
Well, I think we have all had judge 6 score off the mark from others. Heck in Mason City last year for my brisket I had a 3 for taste and everything else for taste in brisket was 7 or higher. Where was the rep on that? Guess what I am saying is this guy judged the way he thought was right and after two rounds the reps/table captains stepped in. Don't blame him. In my opinion the table captain should have noticed this right from the start and addressed it. In fact they should do that at all contest as there is no reason to get a 4 point swing on anything unless a piece of food is raw or burned. Just my opinion.

Jeff_in_KC
07-22-2008, 04:48 PM
I've been at tables where it was hard to tell one entry from another - especially in chicken, all 6 thighs on my plate looked and tasted like they could have come off the same pit with the same sauce, all homogeneous middle of the road BBQ, makes it hard to differentiate sometimes.

Why is this an issue? You aren't supposed to try to differentiate one sample from another. Each is to be judged on its own merits. If they all taste identical, that's not a problem. They all should get the same score in taste.

I'm guess I'm getting a little confused as to what's being taught in CBJ classes out there. :roll:

Slamdunkpro
07-22-2008, 04:58 PM
Why is this an issue? You aren't supposed to try to differentiate one sample from another. Each is to be judged on its own merits. If they all taste identical, that's not a problem. They all should get the same score in taste.

I'm guess I'm getting a little confused as to what's being taught in CBJ classes out there. :roll:

Once again you missed my point, but that's OK, I'm outta this one.

Rick's Tropical Delight
07-22-2008, 05:21 PM
Once again you missed my point, but that's OK, I'm outta this one.

i got your point and i want to try it sometime. what do you think would happen if i turn-in in my jerk chicken?

Jeff_in_KC
07-22-2008, 06:07 PM
Once again you missed my point, but that's OK, I'm outta this one.

I haven't missed any of your points. You just keep making new ones. If I would have had an issue with the rest of your statement, I would have mentioned it. I agreed so I didn't.

The Turk
07-22-2008, 06:08 PM
I also exchanged e mails with Sir Smoke today. He truly feels terrible and he believes he judged it as he saw it. He is really a great guy. Its good to know that the other judges , Table captains and reps are looking out for us teams. I don't think he'll be judging soon and I hope he doesn't stop cooking contests as everybody will get over it.

C-Town Smoker
07-22-2008, 06:14 PM
I have been talking about this a lot lately on my weekly internet radio show on www.latalkradio.com

I did a round table about bias and garnish a few weeks back...a lot of good ideas were shared but no real solution was given in order to get the judges to stop scoring what the turn ins aren't and start scoring them FOR WHAT THEY ARE!!

Looks like I have another piece of judging issue to talk on during the show tonight...

Feel free to weigh in if you are so inclined!

Show starts at 9pm EST
Call in number is 216-220-0966
Email is bbqcentralradio@gmail.com

This is not a promotion for the show by the way! It is a real issue that has been burning for quite some time !

Greg

smoke-n-my-i's
07-22-2008, 08:04 PM
Let me start with this. I have been reading this thread off line now for the last two days.

I have refrained from posting, but I have to.

First, I think SSAL had a LOT of balls for even posting what he did. From my take, he did what he thought was right at his very first judging. Now, how did you do at your first judging???? Did you have some that you judged down because you didn't like sauce because it didn't come up to yours? Did you score one up because it had to be to be in line with everyone else's? Get the picture?

I would love to judge, but being allergic to pork, I can't. It is hard enough cooking it without being able to even taste what I turn in.... now try that. Turn in pork and ribs without tasting it ! ! ! ! How would you do?????

Yes, I agree some comments were harsh. But, again, Thank you SSAL for posting and asking for opinions. You got them. And everybody has one, just like the part of their anatomy that they are sitting on. Take the comments for what they are. An opinion.

Now for my question to all of you judges and judging school teachers. Are all of the classes taught the same? The same standards? The same material word for word? Or are they taught from general information and each teacher adds their personal touch? If that is the case, their is most likely a LOT of different techniques and information that is not the same, that will account for a lot of differences of opinions and scoring ideas. So, my question to ALL judges, what is average? Where is the standard?

Now for my opinion on feedback sheets. I understand that they use to be used, and from what I have read even here, some were worthless. I think if a score of 6 or under is given, then there should be a statement as to why. Simple wording: mushy, underdone, tough, etc.... I think you get the picture. Then if only one judge gives a low score (it just happened to me this weekend) then we would know if one piece of meat happen to slip in under cooked, or what ever.

SSAL, consider judging more, you will learn and I am sure you did what you felt is right. It is your opinion as to what you did, not someone elses.

OK, rant mode off now. My $.02 worth for what is worth....

jacob
07-22-2008, 08:16 PM
First let me say I have never competed nor have I judged. I have just read every post from the first to where I am now.

What reading this has done for me, it makes me want to maybe one compete and judge as well.

I see Sir had his first judging experience and came here to ask for advice. Took guts to post what he did, but in none of the post did I feel like he was bragging on the way things turned out. Seemed more like he was really concerned about the judging that he had done and felt the brethren here could help guide him on how to improve that. If he did indeed make the statement I read about the hammer, have you not ever just said something in jest and had it taken out of context.

I know this is a serious topic and I am not qualified to say how or what he should have done at the judging. But I am qualified to say what I have read here, a lot of honesty some harsh some not so harsh.

I read his post as wanting feedback on how to be better form those who have already been there and done that.

I read Phil's post about it was his first time out. I am curious was any one here already a pro at judging there first time out.

In closing I tip my hat for his honesty and I hope that he doesn't give up on this one experience.

For me after reading this thread, it has made me want to learn more about competing and more about the judging process.

I'm going back over to my box now, my response here was not meant to offend anyone and I hope I haven't done so, it was just my opinion.

thanks for a interesting read and discussion.

The Pickled Pig
07-22-2008, 08:21 PM
I have been talking about this a lot lately on my weekly internet radio show on www.latalkradio.com (http://www.latalkradio.com)

I did a round table about bias and garnish a few weeks back...a lot of good ideas were shared but no real solution was given in order to get the judges to stop scoring what the turn ins aren't and start scoring them FOR WHAT THEY ARE!!

Looks like I have another piece of judging issue to talk on during the show tonight...

Feel free to weigh in if you are so inclined!

Show starts at 9pm EST
Call in number is 216-220-0966
Email is bbqcentralradio@gmail.com

This is not a promotion for the show by the way! It is a real issue that has been burning for quite some time !

Greg


The show is under way and this topic is coming up after the break so if you're interested and can listen in the next few minutes it's not too late.

http://www.latalkradio.com/Greg.php
Click on the Listen Live link

Mutha Chicken BBQ
07-22-2008, 09:14 PM
At the risk of pouring more gasoline on the fire......

As a CBJ I'd be a lot happier if the cooks did show us their passion vs cooking for the masses. You like it Spicy? Bring it! You like Vinegar? Bring it! Sweet? Bring it! You get the idea. I've been at tables where it was hard to tell one entry from another - especially in chicken, all 6 thighs on my plate looked and tasted like they could have come off the same pit with the same sauce, all homogeneous middle of the road BBQ, makes it hard to differentiate sometimes.



Mabey the CBJ's need to have a more delicate palate to differenciate the subtle differences in proven winning recipes.

Again they are to be judged on their own merit, Not an expectation of a preconcieved notion of BBQ nirvana.Although that is what we as cooks strive for.

NOTE: This was not intended to be a Slam against you, Just an opinion was not being said with any malice.

watertowerbbq
07-22-2008, 09:28 PM
I was really looking forward to my first judging experience this past weekend. As the moments before the first turn in approach, I was eager with anticipation.

Chicken - I am thinking to myself "Those are some pretty good presentations. Remember - garnish is optional, so you are judging how appetizing the chicken itself looks." I gave the chicken some fairly high scores all the way around. For the most part, it was cooked very well, and even though some of the sauces used were not exactly my cup of tea - it did not detract from the overall effort.

Ribs - Here is where I ran into some trouble. It was brought to my attention that my scores were lower than everyone else at my table. I know what a well cooked rib is supposed to be. Does that automatically make it a 9 on tenderness? I guess I don't believe it does. If it is well cooked, we are looking at above average at least. If it is not well cooked, does that make it average or below average? I tend to believe it does. If it falls off the bone when I take a bite, if I score that as average or better, is that not a dis service to the other cooks that nailed it? If your rib is well cooked, but you left the membrane on, that is going to hurt you. I don't leave it on - I expect everyone else to remove it as well. Removing the membrane does not make a rib above average - it is what everyone SHOULD do. From what I remember from the class, taste is rather subjective. I DO NOT like sickly sweet sauce. I am probably the exception around here. If your rib tastes like it was dipped in sugar, I am not going to score it high, because that is not what I like.

Pork - again, here is where I got in trouble. Once again, I was told my scores were lower than everyone else at my table. I believe I am good pulled pork cook. If I look at an entry and it looks like it is mush, I am not going to rank it high on appearance even though the box may look nice. I am judging it based on how much I am looking forward to trying it. Is this wrong? If you serve me mush, am I seriously supposed to score it high because it is "tender"? And if all I can taste is salt, even though it may be cooked well, I am going to knock you down.

Brisket - I think they figured I was a lost cause at this time. I got a "square" of brisket. It looked burnt on the top and it was full of fat. While the meat was tasty, it was overcooked and the fat inside detracted from it. Some of the entries were decent and they were cooked pretty well, but there was just not alot of flavor.

So, tell me, am I too hard? I judged things how I truly felt. It may have gone against everyone else at the table, but I was honest with myself. I understand the reps were only doing their job, letting me know my scores were low. I have no ill will toward them. I guess I am very hard on myself as a cook and that translates toward other cooks as well.

Has this happened to anyone else?

I didn't read any of the other posts before I replied. I didn't want to be influenced.

The only thing I would take you to task is the statement that the cook should remove the membrane. No where does it say that the cook has to remove the membrane. If you bite into it and it is tender and tasty and the membrane is in tact, no deduction is warranted. If the membrane is intact and makes the bite tough or chewy, then by all means lower the score, but the presence of the membrane alone does not automatically warrant a reduction.

I don't necessarily have a problem with a judge who scores lower than other judges at the table, however I would like to know how much lower were you? I cooked a contest recently where my taste scores were 758987. As a cook, I'm scratching my head trying to figure out how one judge gives a 9 and another a 5.

HoDeDo
07-22-2008, 11:17 PM
Ok - I may simplify this waaaaaay too much... but here is my shot folks. We have a new judge that happens to be a comp. cook. They have a high expectation as to what makes "high scoring" product. If this is the judges first time judging, they do not have a wealth of contests to rely on to help them "set the bar" for where scores land. There are two things that will help someone with this: (a.) experience. aka judge more meat... or go watch several tables of folks judge meat... in some other volunteer capacity. (b) learn from feedback. I would say that no one expects you to "give" 8s and 9s away. But if a table of seasoned judges is scoring higher, it might be a chance to use that to "calibrate" your own scale to the accepted one. It would likely calibrate on it's own over time.... The table capt. and reps, in speaking with you, are sharing that wealth of experience and helping normalize the scale. Lets think of it as a baseball field. If you are playing in a kiddie field, you will be able to smack home runs all day long. If you are playing the long wall at Kaufman Stadium, you may never hit a "home run". You hit the ball 325 yards in both places.... same performance by you the player.... with vastly different outcomes. This is where Scottie is going with his "getting screwed" comment -- If your que is not judged on the same playing field - it is not getting fair treatment. The judging scale needs to be the same between all the judges. (or relatively close right... we all know taste will never be the same...) You dont want one to deem your que a homerun based on low criteria, and one to deem you a failure due to thier higher criteria. We want the same basic scale for all the judges.

Long post to get to my point - SSAL -- as you continue to judge, use the info from these folks to help "calibrate" your scale. NOT to dissuade you from scoring how you feel. Just note that the TC's and reps are trying to make sure the scale is the same, not the score. If all the judges call something an 8 and you give it a 5 -- maybe you just need to calibrate your scale. For example - the dr. keeps telling me I weigh 200, but I know my scale at home says 185 :) He thinks I might have a calibration issue.

Hope that 11pm meandering is helpful.... BTW - I've been on the "low scoring" table, and lost a grand champ from it... and I have seen where I have beaten someone that got "hit" by a lower scoring judge or table..... It is really a microchasm of the contest circuit in general... you can look by region and see variations in scores of the top 10 teams, you can see variation is contests, by table and by judge.... the bottom line is, it happens all over, and if it is too far out of wack -- as some have noted, it becomes the throw away, and ends up not counting at all. IF the person has two of those low scores at a table... you have to start to wonder if they earned it. Now with my cooking, it is always the judges fault....:rolleyes: But that is a whole other thread. I think Sled would tell me it is my red thermapen and I just need two blue ones....

Bentley
07-23-2008, 02:13 PM
You hit the ball 325 yards in both places....

Man I cant do that with my driver! If someone can do it with a bat they should be in Yankee Stadium!

Sorry...Couldnt resist!

Cue's Your Daddy
07-23-2008, 04:53 PM
This is almost like the GRILL KINGS THREAD of 2006

HoDeDo
07-23-2008, 10:12 PM
Man I cant do that with my driver! If someone can do it with a bat they should be in Yankee Stadium!

Sorry...Couldnt resist!

Yea, yea... I knew it was going to come from one of ya.... :rolleyes:
I wish i could come up with some better examples... Having an issue with scale was not a problem under the old system. Everyone started at "9" and lost points for thing that were not up to snuff. It didnt force folks to have to try to figure out what "average" was. I imagine it is tough figuring out what the scale really is. I know I have only judged once... and I constantly found myself asking - am I being to hard relative to the other judges? Is a 7 I gave in taste really an 8 or really a 6.... Too much stress, so I 'm sticking to cooking for the forseeable future. (That and my diet would frown on me eating Que all afternoon. )

Rhapsody
07-23-2008, 11:18 PM
I have a judging question now though, if the meat is salty, doesn't that warrant a lowered score in taste?

BBQchef33
07-23-2008, 11:31 PM
if salt is very dominant(or any overpowering seasoning), then most likely, the flavors/seasonings are not well balanced. It would loose a point or 2 with me.

Mutha Chicken BBQ
07-24-2008, 07:12 AM
Having an issue with scale was not a problem under the old system. Everyone started at "9" and lost points for thing that were not up to snuff. It didnt force folks to have to try to figure out what "average" was. I imagine it is tough figuring out what the scale really is.

I'll second that!

I think it is easier to find fault and take a point away than to give a point for what you may or may not see. Thus giving the scoring system an almost random effect. what is average to you or average to me may very widely. Thus earning someone a 9 or a 5 for the same entry.

Under the Old rules it would have been closer to a 9-8

Just my 2 cents.

Podge
07-24-2008, 07:23 AM
if salt is very dominant(or any overpowering seasoning), then most likely, the flavors/seasonings are not well balanced. It would loose a point or 2 with me.

AMEN !

HoDeDo
07-24-2008, 07:59 AM
if salt is very dominant(or any overpowering seasoning), then most likely, the flavors/seasonings are not well balanced. It would loose a point or 2 with me.

This can also be said - for the debate around "spicy" bbq as well... Some heat is fine, but if the heat is all you get, it could be judged down for it. The heat is very subjective also - someone that feels they can't taste the meat due to "heat", could judge you down.

If I got a hot sample, even if it is a little hotter than most... I would likely still be able to score it based on the meat, as I am tolerant of heat and it typically takes alot to blunt my pallet. My neighbor goes into fits and is sensitive to sprinkle of cayenne - about closes off her airway.

I think the arguement for the prevelence of sweeter BBQ -- is that you have more room for error, and less sensitivity to it. Probably take more to reach a threshold of "too sweet" vs. a threshold of "too spicy". Let's you find the "sweet" spot easier :rolleyes:

PimpSmoke
07-24-2008, 08:14 AM
Wow,

And sometimes I wonder why I never dove into the comps headfirst, now I remember. I guess I'm just content to be a helper and that's it.

From what I'm reading here, there is a SERIOUS flaw with the judging procedure if a judge has to "put there score in line with the other judges". Why are you judging then?

If one tables scoring lower than another will hurt a certain team, then that's a problem that needs to be addressed. Until you can find a way that ALL judges judge ALL teams, then the system is flawed.


Personally, I never followed through with my vision of having my own "team" because of certain issues with the judging as well as the prevailing characteristics of the circuit. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to slather everything I turn in with Blues Hog just because that is what the judges "expect". I don't like Blues Hog that much. I'm not going to turn in thighs if my thighs suck, I'll figure out a way to make better smoked chicken that isn't a thigh. Now if I turned in pulled chicken or maybe legs, how do you think I would get judged? (Be honest now). If I turned in a box of PP with a Low Country Mustard sauce in Shannon, how do you think that would go over? (Once again be honest).

Could be that I'm way off base here, but that's what I see as a helper and "cheerleader" that never had the money or desire to have his own team.


(*activate flame suit*)

Mo-Dave
07-24-2008, 10:47 AM
The Rep and Table Captain took note and made a gesture to to help the new judge level out his scoring a bit. Judges take the heat way to often when more concern should be directed at the TC and if they performed the duties as prescribed.

This in my humble opinion does not happen often enough and I would like to see this happen more. Many times the TC is also new or just off the street with no experience in judging or cooking. They are only concerned with setting up the tables collecting score sheets and getting the next round of boxes.

As a judge I like to know were my scores are compared to the rest of the judges and many times its hard to get a TC to relay that info. The TC is a key link between the Rep and the Judges and need to be able to spot and report a low scoring or high scoring judge.

I would highly recommend that all new judges be required to Table Captain their first time out, its a real eyeopener and will explain a lot about what goes on in the judging area. I have never judged a contest that wasn't in need of more TC.

Sir Smoke A Lot don't give up yet, give it another go and by all means try being a Table Captain, like I said its an eyeopener, its fun and you will be able to visit the grazing table and taste a wide array of bbq that you would not be able to do as a judge.
Dave

PimpSmoke
07-24-2008, 11:38 AM
As a judge don't you want to to be impartial and objective?

How can you say you are not influenced by another judges score? That just doesn't make sense at all. Why not just have one guy judge and then see if everyone agrees with him/her? Judging should be COMPLETELY blind IMO.

I guess I just have a problem with the concept. How can one JUDGE when they are being suggested on what to score.

Papa Hogg
07-24-2008, 12:19 PM
I'm not going to turn in thighs if my thighs suck, I'll figure out a way to make better smoked chicken that isn't a thigh. Now if I turned in pulled chicken or maybe legs, how do you think I would get judged? (Be honest now). If I turned in a box of PP with a Low Country Mustard sauce in Shannon, how do you think that would go over? (Once again be honest).

Could be that I'm way off base here, but that's what I see as a helper and "cheerleader" that never had the money or desire to have his own team.


(*activate flame suit*)

Hey Pimp good to hear from you & hope to see you at the Zoo-B-Que in Racine again this year, I think RonL has room for you in his cot again :wink:

I've turned in Chicken at a comp that I used a version of Chris Lilly's Alabama White Sauce on, and neighboring teams tried some & gave it rave reviews as well as the contests spectators. The chicken was cooked perfectly, bite thru skin, moist meat, color, it was probably the best chicken entry I've ever produced...it finished 30 out of 40 entries. I was told by other people at the contest & people on this forum, well of course it didn't score well, it's not what the judges "expect", you have to give the judges what they are looking for. That's farked up...you can turn in the best product out there but if it is not sickly sweet and what the judges are "expecting" to get you will not score well. I can tell you I would not serve the chicken that I turn in at contest to family & friends but if the judges want sugar with a splash of tomato sauce then that's what I'll turn in. I've turned in chicken that has not been cooked as well IMHO than that chicken I used the White Sauce on, but used a sickly sweet sauce & came in 11th.

I've also turned in dry ribs that had a little kick to them, but not overwhelming, & did not fare well with that entry either...

So I've resigned myself, that if I am going to compete I need to take creative genuis out of the equation & give the judges what they expect & save the really good Q for family & friends. Then just enjoy the weekend cooking & competing...

Mo-Dave
07-24-2008, 12:58 PM
As a judge don't you want to to be impartial and objective?

How can you say you are not influenced by another judges score? That just doesn't make sense at all. Why not just have one guy judge and then see if everyone agrees with him/her? Judging should be COMPLETELY blind IMO.

I guess I just have a problem with the concept. How can one JUDGE when they are being suggested on what to score.

I would not look at it as a suggestion to score as the others are but just a note to let you know where you are as apposed to the others if indeed you are way out at left field. Impartial and objective is exactly what he is being called out on here.

As a cook I would like to know its going to be judged on a level playing ground with minor ups and downs to be expected, thats only fair to expect. If a judge or the KCBS sees they are always going to be way off base, then the judge himself should set it out or KCBS should take some action regarding that judge, with some required retraining perhaps.

I don't know if Sir Smokes A Lot competes a lot or wins much if not maybe this should be a lesson learned for both judging and cooking, if he is a consistent winner then maybe he is spot on and the rest of the judges were way off, know one will know that until he judges a few more times and I hope he will.
Dave

jbrink01
07-24-2008, 01:08 PM
So I've resigned myself, that if I am going to compete I need to take creative genuis out of the equation & give the judges what they expect & save the really good Q for family & friends. Then just enjoy the weekend cooking & competing...

Much like what I cook to sell. What I eat at home is nothing like what earns me $$. Most people in my part of the world want flavorful, but not off on any tangent, and they want sweet sauce. Just how it is.

I make a killer vinegar based North Carolina Style Sauce. When I set it out for a catering, it stays and they eat the sweet stuff.

acorette
07-24-2008, 02:31 PM
Let's have all judges just give everyone 9's and we'll all win a tie for GC.

My $0.02 - I applaude SSAL for doing his best in his first judging experience. Judge as you see it, with what you got out of the Judging Class. That's the way I think it should be. As long as you aren't off base with the rules, your opinion on the score should stand as you called it. When I choose to judge a comp, that's exactly how I will do it. I will follow the rules, use what I learned in the judging class, and enter a score that I see fit for each entry and category. I shouldn't have to explain myself if I don't line up with the other judges. The score I choose to give is my opinion.

For all us cooks out here, we take a gamble with every entry we submit. We all should know it's a crapshoot when we have human judges - there IS and always will be a subjective element to the judging process. The KCBS scoring system means that we only go to one table out of many, and there will be an element of luck involved. If you don't like that, then why enter in the first place? Nobody ever said there would be 100% fair and equal judgement and that the winner was the true best turn in out there. If you can invent a better scoring system, go for it and maybe people would like it better than KCBS. If you chose to compete under KCBS, luck of the draw will come into play as judges' subjective views come into play.

Good thread!

Bentley
07-24-2008, 03:00 PM
I shouldn't have to explain myself if I don't line up with the other judges. The score I choose to give is my opinion.




I somewhat agree with this statement.

The only thing I would ask of a judge or expect of myself when I am judging is, if you give a 4 or a 9, can you justify why, whether you are asked or not!

stlgreg
07-24-2008, 06:17 PM
I said you were being "a bit of a jerk" meaning you could make your point without resorting to an anger filled rant.

At what point did he say he was "pulled a side"? It has been a day, but I beleive I read that the judge did his job by letting him know that his scores were lower than the others. You make it sound like they were ready to kick his butt out. Again, no one got screwed, because his score got dropped. If one of the teams read this, and got pissed, then they aren't thinking too clearly, because he didn't affect them at all. The process worked correctly - he (a first time judge) scored the way he thought best, and the table captain let him know he was lower than the others.


I disagree all the teams he scored were screwed.
I look at it a bit different. If he is scoring on the scale with everyone else then perhaps someone else's score gets dropped and the cook can get some more points.

Bascialy using your argument says its ok he was a lot lower than everyone else and thats ok because it get drops.
What i am saying, if we have a judge scoring lower then we know which five judge scores will count when we are done. If there are six "normal" judges then we are dropping a realistic score because we dont know which score will be dropped when the judges take their seats.

MayDay
07-24-2008, 07:03 PM
Wow!!! This thread is an eye-opener no matter which side of the fence you're on (competition judge or cook). I'm neither yet, but I would hope to be judged honestly and impartially on the food itself, the overall balance of flavors, texture, etc. Not on how it conforms to Status Quo QUE. Keep in mind the status quo changes all the time and is different everywhere.



Reading through the whole thread, these responses stood out for me:

Judging Guidelines (#21, p2) – SlamDunkPro
Developing a Consistent Personal Scale (#110, p8 – CivilWarBBQ
Calibrating your Personal Scale (#139, p10) – HoDeHo
Score Justification (#155, p11) – Bentley
SSAL's first-time judging seemed fair and honest, despite some biases and his relative inexperience. Seems like he's being bashed a lot for sticking to his standards, his interpretation of the rules, and for being OFF the bell curve.

The bell part of the curve is not necessarily the "true" mark, just an indication of where the common ground is. Perhaps SSAL was right on the money? And perhaps all the other judges were off the mark? Just supposing....



This begs the question:
Does one inflate the score to raise a failing grade? i.e. give high marks to all for mediocrity?
Or does one submit what they think is the true grade? And fail most of the class?
________________
MayDay
Kamado/BGE,Cobb

HoDeDo
07-24-2008, 08:17 PM
As a judge don't you want to to be impartial and objective?

How can you say you are not influenced by another judges score? That just doesn't make sense at all. Why not just have one guy judge and then see if everyone agrees with him/her? Judging should be COMPLETELY blind IMO.

I guess I just have a problem with the concept. How can one JUDGE when they are being suggested on what to score.

It is not so much that they are being suggested on what to score... it is that you are trying to set the same scale. 5 mm vs. 5 ft. which scale is your 5 on.... The TCs and reps should be looking across the scores and address any variance that is large to ensure that the judge is in the same scale as the rest of the judges. If the food sucks, it sucks. score it that way.... but the grey area is where the seasoned folks are trying to help.

The flaw is... that the scale does not have a defined starting point. Start at "6", which is average.... well average is different to different folks. and is average edible.... or does the average guy over smoke his meat.... so you are looking for the average champion's food.... etc...

Since there is not a defined scale, and there is a wide range of judging experience.... Those folks are just trying to help normalize the scale, not keep people from judging how they feel.

HoDeDo
07-24-2008, 08:29 PM
This begs the question:

Does one inflate the score to raise a failing grade? i.e. give high marks to all for mediocrity?
Or does one submit what they think is the true grade? And fail most of the class?

So this goes to my point. As a new judge on day 1(which is what SSAL was).... how do you know what is mediocre, or failing.... ? There are some basic ideas around appearance, and texture has some specific things you can test against that are objective... The taste area... is largely subjective. again, not a failing of the judge, but more definition required to ensure all the judges are judging the same way. More experience in ensuring that the basic scale is accurate. As close to unbiased as possible.

BFoster
07-24-2008, 09:59 PM
Yep, I'm new to this site and I don't compete...but, what I seem to be learning is that mediocrity wins the wars where good BBQ wins the battles. IMHO, I'd rather win the battles.

It just doesn't seem right to me. BBQ has been my hobby for 25 years..and I won't give my good friends food that isn't up to my own standard. I'm not sure I dig the fact that if something is a bit different, it's rated lower.

I realize that standards are almost impossible to uphold but, when you make everyone cook something within a certain taste, everything is going to come out the same which will make judging just like a boxing match.

Not trying to stoke a fire, just my opinion.


-Brian.

PimpSmoke
07-25-2008, 07:02 AM
It is not so much that they are being suggested on what to score... it is that you are trying to set the same scale. 5 mm vs. 5 ft. which scale is your 5 on.... The TCs and reps should be looking across the scores and address any variance that is large to ensure that the judge is in the same scale as the rest of the judges. If the food sucks, it sucks. score it that way.... but the grey area is where the seasoned folks are trying to help.

The flaw is... that the scale does not have a defined starting point. Start at "6", which is average.... well average is different to different folks. and is average edible.... or does the average guy over smoke his meat.... so you are looking for the average champion's food.... etc...

Since there is not a defined scale, and there is a wide range of judging experience.... Those folks are just trying to help normalize the scale, not keep people from judging how they feel.


Well then based on what your saying Andy, I would venture a guess that the BOD needs to re-evaluate the judging procedure. Something isn't working here.

PatioDaddio
07-25-2008, 09:13 AM
Here's a seemingly stupid and simple question...

Isn't the KCBS rule to drop the lowest score expressly designed to limit the damage of a "rogue" judge? In other words, how much overall score damage can one judge really do, intentionally or otherwise?

I apologize if this was addressed earlier in the thread.

John

Podge
07-25-2008, 09:43 AM
Here's a seemingly stupid and simple question...

Isn't the KCBS rule to drop the lowest score expressly designed to limit the damage of a "rogue" judge? In other words, how much overall score damage can one judge really do, intentionally or otherwise?

I apologize if this was addressed earlier in the thread.

John

I agree with that statement, and would also like to see the highest score dropped too. just go with the 4 judges left. that would be a lot more interesting. A rogue judge could be just as easy as a 999 as a 577, if the rest were a combination of 8's and 9's. Both of these judges have a potential to put you in the top 10, or knock you out of the top 20.

No one complains about the rogue high scoring judge. I've had entries make it to the top 10 that i didn't think they should have, and vise-versa. But look at it this way, if a high scoring rogue judge on table #1 gave one entry a 999 that wasn't good, and you're on table #2 and had an exellent entry and got a 567. what's fair ?

PatioDaddio
07-25-2008, 10:06 AM
I agree with that statement, and would also like to see the highest score dropped too. just go with the 4 judges left. that would be a lot more interesting. A rogue judge could be just as easy as a 999 as a 577, if the rest were a combination of 8's and 9's. Both of these judges have a potential to put you in the top 10, or knock you out of the top 20.And I'd agree with that, Podge. What we're really talking about is statistical variance. Outliers on either end of the spectrum need to be flattened or eliminated. Absent some complex statistical calculations (like perhaps standard deviation), dropping the high and low is a quick and dirty way of removing the "noise" from the scores.

I'd vote for moving to a 7-judge table (simply let the captain judge -- first) and throw out the high and low scores. I think these two simple steps would go a long way toward getting truer scores. Many teams already include a portion for the captain anyway, and s/he judging first would perhaps help establish the "baseline" that has been mentioned/alluded to frequently in this thread.

John

JamesTX
07-25-2008, 11:58 AM
Why don't you just norm all the judges scores so that each judge's average is a 6? That way, if a judge is to lenient, their scores will be adjusted down, and if a judge is too harsh, their scores will be adjusted up.

Isn't the relative standing from one entry to the next (within a single contest) that is important? I mean, you don't try and compare scores from one contest to those from a different contest do you?

Podge
07-25-2008, 03:20 PM
Why don't you just norm all the judges scores so that each judge's average is a 6? That way, if a judge is to lenient, their scores will be adjusted down, and if a judge is too harsh, their scores will be adjusted up.

Isn't the relative standing from one entry to the next (within a single contest) that is important? I mean, you don't try and compare scores from one contest to those from a different contest do you?

I personally do not compare one contest's scores to another. I've won a couple of grands with scores in the 630's and in the 670's. Comparing contests together is, i think, useless. I do like to compare what I have turned in to the scores i got in a contest. Sometimes i feel they are in line, sometimes i don't. I do think a lower scoring contests seem to have more newbie judges, (therefore, scores can be all over the place, and add up lower at the end) and the higher scores have more estabished judges.I could be wrong, but that's my theory and my experience.

baughman
07-25-2008, 09:13 PM
I have always had problems with any sport that doesnt have a clear cut finish line so to speak. But I realise in sports like BarbQ, skateboarding, diving, and figure skating.

There has to be a way to judge. The problem is it has to be by a person. Unless they are going to invent a device to test the 3 cats. But then it would be pure science and not art, which is what Barbq leans taword in my mind.

I mean how would a computer test it? Would the meat closest to a set moisture point get tenderness? Then a template would be used to make sure slices are perfect for looks? Not sure yet how a computer could do taste tho hehe.

All in all. I am amazed at how well contests are judged in Barbq for the most part. I mean there are tons and tons of comps out there each week, and most KCBS contest seem to be close to the same.

Most other sports with judging. have the same judges travel around to each comp. since there is only an event or 2 each week or month.

REally i think KCBS jsut needs to come out and say, everyone use sweet sauce. At least then you know.

AA I am prob way off being a noob here. But thats my 2 cents.

All in all. The more I look into competing the more I am amazed at the friendlyness, and devotion to the sport there is.

I post in a few other sports forums. And by far and away this is the most easy going. This thread did tend to slide a bit. But everyone tried to be nice. Cant say that for pretty much any other sport.

HoDeDo
07-25-2008, 10:11 PM
Well then based on what your saying Andy, I would venture a guess that the BOD needs to re-evaluate the judging procedure. Something isn't working here.

Pimp - I think you are correct.... but having said that -- some folks must be getting that "special flavor" or touch into thier cooking...

Because if it really was a crap shoot -- how would someone like say, Pellet Envy, be able to get 7 Grand Championships all over the country. It isn't just mastering mediocrity as someone mentioned earlier.... It is cooking good quality que that is a notch above the rest. Even with the judging as it is... somehow the cream still rises to the top, and isnt that the goal? If I hear the Slabs are going to be at a contest, I know they are going to be up there in the hunt, 4 Men and Pig, Ribs 4 U, you name it.... there are teams you see/hear week in and week out. Those names get called in Sugar Creek MO, Burlington KS, and everywhere in between... It is because they produce excellent Que, and have great flavor profiles that a large percentage of the judges like.

PimpSmoke
07-25-2008, 10:31 PM
Well, I think that is a very good point. I have seen it, but what about those teams that place in the top three that no one has ever heard of?


It happens at every KCBS comp, someone out there scores big.


Is it good Q? Or have they touched on mediocrity?

PatioDaddio
07-25-2008, 10:35 PM
You know, come to think about it, there really are two fundamental problems -- statistical (score) variance, which is founded in group-think, while the other is more objective.

The masses seem to feel that middle-of-the-road sweet is "the holy grail", while the the independent-minded judges seem to want to judge the product as it's presented.

I think this probably lends credibility to the position that both the high and low scores should be thrown out. How else (minus major mental gymnastics) do you flatten the curve?

John

P.S. Yes, I realize that all BBQ judging is subjective from the outset, but it seems the goal is to remove "rogue" biases.

HoDeDo
07-25-2008, 10:44 PM
Well, I think that is a very good point. I have seen it, but what about those teams that place in the top three that no one has ever heard of?


It happens at every KCBS comp, someone out there scores big.


Is it good Q? Or have they touched on mediocrity?

Personally, I think it is good Que... and just a team that does not cook alot of contests....

learning to cook the good stuff, in any situation... (hot/cold, rain/shine, etc) that is what makes the champions we see year in and year out. Consistency is the next level. Win one, and that's great. But there are only 24 teams in the entire country that have won 2 or more grands this year. and of those, a handful definately win thier share....

PimpSmoke
07-25-2008, 11:00 PM
Consistency is HUGE!! I agree, But at the expense of expanding Q??

Being able to turn out good Q every time out is awesome. that is a championship team.

I just wish the judging was a bit more.........open, don't know what else to say.

Big George's BBQ
07-26-2008, 07:03 AM
I would love to reach the point of consistency. As I continue to cook my Que does improve. I think one of the problems with judging is that like those that cook it takes time and experience to reasch the area of consistency. That is why I thing that there should be mentoring at a contest for the less experience judges. I have only judged two events a back yard and a desert. Even at those events I was nervous that I would be the one inconsistent score that would ruin a persons placement. I was for the most part in line with the rest of the table. Mentoring would help the learning process.

Double D's BBQ
07-26-2008, 07:24 AM
That's an interesting point George. I would like to see Rookie judges be an addition to the table. Maybe they could judge for a year while learning from the more experienced judges. I don't think there is a perfect solution but I do like the idea of something like an apprentice program for judges.

HoDeDo
07-26-2008, 07:42 AM
Yea, Pimp I know what you mean.... I think however, that having tasted some of that uber champ BBQ over the last few years -- they are expanding BBQ -- the flavors pop, above the rest. I mean brisket that explodes in your mouth, chicken that is moist and tender. Time and again, you can look at folks that have gone to a class like Rod's class, and have incorporated some of his techniques and/or flavor profiles into thier own cooking - and BAM! I don't know anyone that carbon copies things from the class stuff; but the ones that have married it with the best of thier own, crank out even better que.

JamesTX
07-26-2008, 08:57 AM
Or have they touched on mediocrity?

If I ever need a slogan, that will be it - "Touching on Mediocrity"!

Good one.

Podge
07-26-2008, 07:28 PM
Yea, Pimp I know what you mean.... I think however, that having tasted some of that uber champ BBQ over the last few years -- they are expanding BBQ -- the flavors pop, above the rest. I mean brisket that explodes in your mouth, chicken that is moist and tender. Time and again, you can look at folks that have gone to a class like Rod's class, and have incorporated some of his techniques and/or flavor profiles into thier own cooking - and BAM! I don't know anyone that carbon copies things from the class stuff; but the ones that have married it with the best of thier own, crank out even better que.

Bingo !.. and add in the fact that a lot of teams take competition BBQ serious enough to practice every weekend they get the chance, even in the winter.