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View Full Version : Turn-in Meat Temperature


musicmanryann
08-26-2008, 02:00 PM
One thing we struggled with during our first competition was keeping the meat warm when putting our boxes together. Does anyone else struggle with this, and if so/not what do you do? How important is meat temp when judges taste your meat?

Todd Ras
08-26-2008, 02:08 PM
I'm new as well, but from what some have told me is they carry their boxes in insulated carriers like my wife uses for her dishes....maybe pyrex stuff. Not sure, if thats right or not.

Que'inKC
08-26-2008, 02:10 PM
We usually don't worry about it too much...We don't usually start preparing the boxes until about 15min until turn-in and our meat is usually really hot (right out of cooler) at that point.

Rightstuff
08-26-2008, 02:18 PM
We usually don't worry about it too much...We don't usually start preparing the boxes until about 15min until turn-in and our meat is usually really hot (right out of cooler) at that point.

I agree with Jeff.

musicmanryann
08-26-2008, 02:30 PM
I agree with Jeff.


Do you think though, that judges mark down if they taste meat that is on the cooler side?

goodsmokebbq
08-26-2008, 02:47 PM
They are not supposed to specifically mark you down for cold food, but warm / hot sure tastes better.

G$
08-26-2008, 03:33 PM
I doubt a judge has ever tasted our turn ins hot, despite the temperature they may be going in to the box.

GaryT1
08-26-2008, 03:41 PM
I agree. By the time the turn table people change the number and get 6 on a tray and then get it to the table captains, its already cooled off quite a bit. Then when they open it for appearance, all the heat is gone.
We use a large towel when it cool out and a smaller one when its hot. This seems to work fine.
The insulated things are best, but cost more.

Good Luck.....sounds like you got bitten by the BBQ bug! :-)

GaryT1

Podge
08-26-2008, 03:41 PM
i don't worry about it. regardless of how hot it is going into the box, it'll cool down quite a bit by the time the judge actually chomps down on it. When i practice, i let my samples set out for about 45 minutes to see how it is too at that time.

Bbq Bubba
08-26-2008, 04:04 PM
Warm food for turn-ins is preferred but remember, your laying your warm meat on cold lettuce or parsley, kinda defeats the purpose.

backporchbbq
08-26-2008, 04:38 PM
I would agree, we don't start putting the food in the boxes until 15 mins before. Besides the Pulled pork, which takes longer to prepare. The judges can't get food that is piping hot.

Question for judges, do you have any idea how long it takes from when we turn in our boxes until it hits your table?

Also when doing the kid Q I never got something hot. By the time they present all of them for appearance and then go around again to put the food on your card and you get to eat is 10 mins. I would be interested in seeing how long the entire thing actually takes from box to mouth of the judge.

Alexa RnQ
08-26-2008, 04:46 PM
We've never worried about it. When we practice cook at home, we wait a fair interval and re-sample the meat to see how the texture changes as it cools. I've never used any special carrier for the turn-in box, but I don't waste any time getting it there either.

CajunSmoker
08-26-2008, 06:17 PM
I would agree, we don't start putting the food in the boxes until 15 mins before. Besides the Pulled pork, which takes longer to prepare. The judges can't get food that is piping hot. I've had one piece of chicken that I would have called hot. Everything else has been lukewarm at best.

Question for judges, do you have any idea how long it takes from when we turn in our boxes until it hits your table? At the comps I judged at, they were on our table within 15min of turn in time.

Also when doing the kid Q I never got something hot. By the time they present all of them for appearance and then go around again to put the food on your card and you get to eat is 10 mins. I would be interested in seeing how long the entire thing actually takes from box to mouth of the judge.
....

The_Kapn
08-26-2008, 06:23 PM
The vast majority of the turn-in's I have judged have been "luke warm", kinda like room temperature. That is just the reality of the time line from cooking to the actual eating. No problem, no big deal.

I have had 2 (maybe 3) entries that were "stone cold", like in they came right out of the refrig or off of ice. I mean COLD.
I have no idea why.
But, they did not taste good and the texture left a lot to be desired.
Rare.

TIM

Smoky River BBQ
08-26-2008, 06:44 PM
I recently judged a backyard contest, and I know that the boxes were in the judges area within 10 minutes of turn in time. However, the boxes also sat on a table for another 10 minutes or so before they were presented to us. No one's fault, it just took that long to get through the samples. The ones towards the end were not cold, but more like room temperature. I did not see one sample that was warm, let alone hot. I don't believe that it took away much, if any, from the taste or texture of the samples, though.

Trainwreck
08-26-2008, 09:02 PM
I am new to contest cooking and I am pretty sure my food was close to cold at my first contest and warm at best at the last one. I think the cool down actually helped my brisket firm up a bit in the last contest.

KC_Bobby
08-26-2008, 09:10 PM
I've judged a handful of times and honestly, I've never even considered the temperature of the meat. If it were less then luke warm I'd probably notice.

But like said before, it likely no more then warm by the time a judge puts it in his/her mouth.

Here's the process after you drop it off at the table - in case you don't already know:
1) goes from turn in table to another table where the number gets changed
2) when the next 5-6 turn ins are ready to go to the judges, the tray gets handed off to the table capt
3) The table capt rights down the numbers and puts the boxes in order from low number to high number. Sometimes comps will make sure the same competitors entries don't go to the same judges in following catagories so table capts trade turn in boxes
4) The table capt takes the tray to his/her table and announces the box numbers to the judges
5) The table capt opens the first box and shows it to all 6 judges at the table for appearence. When they get the look they need, the box gets closed back up. Then the next entry gets opened for appearence. This gets down for all the entries of that catagory.
6) The table capt goes back and opens the low numbered box and gives it to the first judge to get a sample and hand around.
7) As the first entry is going around, the table capt gets the next one and so forth. Buy the time the last judge has the first entry the first judge has about 4 or 5 of them.
8) After a judge has all the entries on their plate, they can taste the first entry for taste and tenderness. Then each judge rights down both of those scores before biting into the next entry.

So all in all, each entry has likely left the cooks set up for about close to 15 minutes before it gets it's first bite taken - likely longer.

Jacked UP BBQ
08-26-2008, 09:39 PM
We have actually taken our lettuce we be under the meat and heated it up before we put it in the box, I have no idea if it worked but we gave it a shot. You could feel the difference when running the box up to the turn in window.

ssbbqguy
08-27-2008, 04:38 PM
One trick I've used for years is a warm container, usually rectangle, filled with warm water to pre heat the lettuce, parsley to lessen the temp. shock. I like to deliver entry as close to hot as possible. In K.C.B.S. contests, they can be delivered to table quickly. At the resturaunt when the food is delivered warm to cold, do you like it or send it back? Same thought with judges.Even if the turn-in is 100 feet away, it is still delivered in insulated caddy. Never know, standing in a line, and shower pops up cooling your best que? Bottom line. temp affects taste. Just my way, works for me, Steve.

Stoke&Smoke
08-27-2008, 04:52 PM
As a judge, I have been served cold food several times. I'm not talking cooled down to ambient temp here, I'm talking cold as in refrigerated.:eek:

I wouldn't mark down automatically for it, but if it's refrigerated, you really don't get the same taste and texture, so I wouldn't advise it!

I think judges also have to understand that, once the box leaves the teams hands, it's out of their control how long that box may sit, so you have to understand it your sample isn't piping hot.

I don't know how much we'll be judging any more as we've been bit by the cooking bug!:shock:

StLouQue
08-27-2008, 10:07 PM
At one contest a couple months ago, our table received really hot chicken. I mean hot to the point of some judges dropping pieces as they were picking them out of the box. How the hell did the cook pull that off? Several CBJs agreed, that the temperature was hot enough to detract from the flavor.

ModelMaker
08-28-2008, 01:30 PM
It is not uncommon to have really hot chicken. Pry because it just came off the grates. Most everything else is coolered beforehand and is rightfully just warm. Temp. is not a critical factor simply because it has been 10 -15 min. since it left your hands.
We as judges understand that.
More than once I have had ribs that were cold, not just not hot but noticeably cold. That means the cooks' ribs were done so early hey had to fridge them just to keep from killing us. Of course the score gets lowered due to lack of taste and texture.
ModelMaker