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View Full Version : What is your lowest acceptable CBJ percentage?


Alexa RnQ
01-08-2010, 08:54 PM
I know a lot of you live in areas where 100% CBJ is the norm. For the rest of us, where do you start to feel uncomfortable with the percentage? When it hovers between 50-60%, do you give it the hairy eyeball? Where's your comfort zone for this?

And if you see a contest with a considerably lower percentage of CBJs than other contests in the area, do you wonder about the promoter's efforts to obtain a good judging pool?

CivilWarBBQ
01-08-2010, 09:10 PM
I don't worry about it much - after all, there is no way to know what that number is until after the fact.

We've gotten what we thought were crazy scores at plenty of shows with 100% CBJs. Events that allow large numbers of newly minted CBJs from a class the day before typically have very high percentages and also some wild variations in scoring at the same table.

I guess my philosophy is you pay your money and you take your chances, and hope over the course of the season it all evens out.

Bbq Bubba
01-08-2010, 09:29 PM
I don't worry about it much - after all, there is no way to know what that number is until after the fact.

We've gotten what we thought were crazy scores at plenty of shows with 100% CBJs. Events that allow large numbers of newly minted CBJs from a class the day before typically have very high percentages and also some wild variations in scoring at the same table.

I guess my philosophy is you pay your money and you take your chances, and hope over the course of the season it all evens out.

I agree with this statement.
We did a contest last year where It was only maybe 30% CBJ's?
You don't know till the day of most of the time. Another reason the GLBBQA is having a judging class next month, hopefully get the numbers up at our local contests.
Funny thing was that with those %'s, the cream still rose to the top at awards time. :wink:

Alexa RnQ
01-08-2010, 09:41 PM
True, you don't know for sure until the day. And we've won contests with NO CBJs -- but we knew that up front. Yes, we do factor in a recent CBJ class at the site!

But I see contests months out on KCBS's website with a stated CBJ percentage listed, and no, it's not 100% or even close. You don't consider that a factor in deciding whether to do a contest? You'll go anyway, with the "hope" that a fully staffed show down the road will even it out?

MilitantSquatter
01-08-2010, 09:44 PM
In the future bizarro world of competition bbq, organizers will not have lists of any kind, so no one will know who is certified.. it will just be assumed you are or aren't certified by your ability to score like everyone else. :biggrin:

just sayin :roll:

Bbq Bubba
01-08-2010, 09:53 PM
True, you don't know for sure until the day. And we've won contests with NO CBJs -- but we knew that up front. Yes, we do factor in a recent CBJ class at the site!

But I see contests months out on KCBS's website with a stated CBJ percentage listed, and no, it's not 100% or even close. You don't consider that a factor in deciding whether to do a contest? You'll go anyway, with the "hope" that a fully staffed show down the road will even it out?

I believe those numbers are from the previous years comps.

musicmanryann
01-08-2010, 10:02 PM
In the future bizarro world of competition bbq, organizers will not have lists of any kind, so no one will know who is certified.. it will just be assumed you are or aren't certified by your ability to score like everyone else. :biggrin:

just sayin :roll:

Now who's living to stir the pot?:lol:

I live in a place where there are high percentages of cbj's, but I still look at it as a variable in the decision-making process, but only one variable. At this point that variable might not be weighted as much as say distance or payout, but as the cbj system develops the weight will get heavier. In other words--all other variables being equal, I would choose the one with the higher cbj percentage.

Alexa RnQ
01-08-2010, 10:05 PM
Somebody get Vinny one of those shirts! :mrgreen:

ThomEmery
01-08-2010, 10:22 PM
Hopefully only one non cbj per table at most

Alexa RnQ
01-08-2010, 10:32 PM
Hopefully only one non cbj per table at most
So 83% is a minimum number to shoot for?

Mike - CSBBBQ
01-08-2010, 10:43 PM
I was told it has been proven over and over that new judges tend to score higher than experienced judges. Only have been to one contest where most of the judges were first timers and would rather NEVER have it happen again...the scores were all over the place. Each table only had one or two experienced judges. However as mentioned earlier, the cream did rise to the top. Had the chance to look at a couple top teams score sheets afterwards and they also had scores all over the place. Guess the experienced judges are wanting that one taste they had sometime in the past...

Smokin Mike
01-08-2010, 11:16 PM
I totally forgot the name of the little town that we went to, but, I do remember this, it was 100% CBJ there, most(if not all) of the judges got the CBJ's the night before.

the cream STILL was at the top.

Just sayin'

Jeff_in_KC
01-09-2010, 02:43 AM
We live in an area where there are a lot of CBJs and yet there are contests with maybe 60% CBJs and up from there. At our contest in Pleasant Hill, we insist on 100% CBJs. It isn't easy, especially starting out when judges have no idea what to expect from the contest. We finally got to 100% CBJs each of our first two years. So far this year, we have 37 CBJs who have signed up to judge in April, far above the number we had this time last year. As a contest, your reputation spreads fast among teams AND judges. Organizers have to work hard to get the judges. You can't just put on an event and hope they'll come. And you have to take care of them while they're at your event. Those things come into play just as much as how many CBJs live in your area IMHO.

Mo-Dave
01-09-2010, 04:33 AM
I guess I am in the minority here but I am a cbj and a cook and I believe there should not be any cbj classes just get the guy/gal off the street and let them judge. After all you are cooking bbq and it should be able to please the general public not someone schooled on how it should be according to someone, somewhere preconceived conception on what bbq should be. But instead what Joe schmoes general public likes, in other words let the chips fall ware they may and the winner takes all. Having said that the cream almost always rises to the top no matter if its with a full house of cbjs or mix bag of off the street' and cbjs. the old taste buds will tell the truth unless confused with somebody else's educated opinion. Nuff said.
Dave

G$
01-09-2010, 09:49 AM
I guess I am in the minority here but I am a cbj and a cook and I believe there should not be any cbj classes just get the guy/gal off the street and let them judge. After all you are cooking bbq and it should be able to please the general public not someone schooled on how it should be according to someone, somewhere preconceived conception on what bbq should be. But instead what Joe schmoes general public likes, in other words let the chips fall ware they may and the winner takes all. Having said that the cream almost always rises to the top no matter if its with a full house of cbjs or mix bag of off the street' and cbjs. the old taste buds will tell the truth unless confused with somebody else's educated opinion. Nuff said.
Dave

I happen to agree with this.

Our style however, leans much closer to the "public's" tastes than the best competition teams, who are dialed very well in to targetting the tastes for competition cooking. I know this is our 'problem' and not complaining - just explaining.

By far, our worst showing (I believe) came at a (recent) contest that had a fairly high number of "Thursday Night Judges". We were not on our game that day, but I also wonder what the effect of the new judges was. I think I prefer 83% experienced judges and the rest uncertified over 60% experienced and 40% brand new judges just to meet a 100% metric.

All that being said ..... this topic doesn't even effect our decision to cook or not. We look at more important things like our beer inventory, whether we have been sleeping on the couch anyway, and whether the trailer has a flat tire or not.

BigJimsBBQ
01-09-2010, 10:07 AM
IMHO

I think there is so many varibles, that all sanctioned events try thier hardest to be fair as they realize the time and money invested into the meat they are judging. Lets remember the other 5 Teams entries on the table is also a factor. I know each piece of meat is to be scored seperately, but imagine being against 5 new Teams that is learning the boxing, local taste preferences and timing / holding for optimum turn-in product. Being against 5 Pauls on BBQ Pit Masters show, you would likely shine like a diamond and get very high scores.

This is a contest that is regulated on a Honor compliance basis by all involved and self regulated. If anyone is not Honorable, call thier ass out on it. If done with knowledge of the rules to go by (on purpose) then drop kick thier ass out the door.

Ford
01-09-2010, 11:34 AM
It doesn't matter in most parts of the country where there are a couple of local contests available. Now in the KC area maybe it matters some. So I don't consider last years CBJ % when it comes to picking a contest. But it may have a slight impact on how I cook.

Now what does matter is show me the money.

HoDeDo
01-09-2010, 02:26 PM
I agree with this statement.
We did a contest last year where It was only maybe 30% CBJ's?
You don't know till the day of most of the time. Another reason the GLBBQA is having a judging class next month, hopefully get the numbers up at our local contests.
Funny thing was that with those %'s, the cream still rose to the top at awards time. :wink:
We see that all the time.... regardless of the judges.. good cooks tend to win. :-D
In the future bizarro world of competition bbq, organizers will not have lists of any kind, so no one will know who is certified.. it will just be assumed you are or aren't certified by your ability to score like everyone else. :biggrin:

just sayin :roll:

777 . just sayin.

KC_Bobby
01-09-2010, 06:09 PM
I guess I am in the minority here but I am a cbj and a cook and I believe there should not be any cbj classes just get the guy/gal off the street and let them judge. After all you are cooking bbq and it should be able to please the general public not someone schooled on how it should be according to someone, somewhere preconceived conception on what bbq should be.

Since each entry only hits a small number of judges, it's nice to have an idea what the judges are looking for. If all the judges sampled each teams entry, then it it wouldn't be as important.

Buster Dog BBQ
01-09-2010, 08:17 PM
I like to look at KCBS and see what the last couple years show. I don't agree with bringing in people off the street. Typical people seem to look for meat falling off the bone on ribs, lots of sauce, not able to know if a brisket is cooked correctly, etc.

Candy Sue
01-09-2010, 08:53 PM
Y'all should try cooking in Texas! No such thing as a CBJ. Cooking this way (and learning to do well at it) give a cook an advantage in KCBS...your food HAS to taste good cold. By the time it hits the final table (if you're lucky), it's stone cold. Lots of really good KCBS started off with TX rules. It doesn't go the other way too much.

As long as I know what the percentage is of CBJ judges and that the rep will spread the uncertified judges out among the tables, I'm good with it. Who the rep is is major important with high numbers of uncertifieds.

Contracted Cookers
01-09-2010, 09:26 PM
G it was your worst showing but you agree with MODAVE . WITHOUT KCBS and our judges every contest would be peoples choice not much money there

JD McGee
01-09-2010, 09:35 PM
I would like to see at least 50/50...and hopefully the non's are given a crash course then partnered with CBJ's before the judging begins. :biggrin:

Podge
01-10-2010, 10:12 AM
If i'm going to pay a sh!t pot of money, take time off from work, quite a few hours of prep time even before I leave home, you bet I want CBJ's !! I ain't going to do all this effort just to have a bunch of lolly-gaggers come by for a free meal and not know how to score what's in front of them. I want people with dedication who will at least pay the dues, and take the judging class. I know there's some sub-par CBJ's out there, and a lot of great ones, but I'll take a bad CBJ over a street person any day just out of shear principal of dedication !

We can turn this question around.. "hey judges, would you rather eat food from people who regularly compete and your chance of getting good/great BBQ is pretty good, or would you rather drive 300 miles, spend a couple of nights in a hotel, knowing that a majority of BBQ you would get is from people who don't know how in the world to cook it very well ?"

Mo-Dave
01-10-2010, 01:41 PM
I guess I am in the minority here but I am a cbj and a cook and I believe there should not be any cbj classes just get the guy/gal off the street and let them judge. After all you are cooking bbq and it should be able to please the general public not someone schooled on how it should be according to someone, somewhere preconceived conception on what bbq should be. But instead what Joe schmoes general public likes, in other words let the chips fall ware they may and the winner takes all. Having said that the cream almost always rises to the top no matter if its with a full house of cbjs or mix bag of off the street' and cbjs. the old taste buds will tell the truth unless confused with somebody else's educated opinion. Nuff said.
Dave

Ok after reading my post I feel I should give my reasons. So many times as a judge I have had people sitting next to me or overheard conversations from other tables from MCBJs, CBJs old and new as well as off the street people, ranging from I can't stand chicken and no one can make me eat it or I hate/like sweet sauce or I like mine falling off the bone or I can't eat anything spicy or I like my brisket fall apart tender yada, yada, yada.

I do not like a contest that has first time cbjs and think there should be some kind of mentor system with those scores not counting, until they have had a couple contest under there belt, I know that would be difficult at best.

I try to find out what percentage of cbjs there are and cook according to that although it has not greatly improved my scores. I also know first hand you can't trust all promoters to tell you the truth about the percentages and even if they are truthful there are always last minute changes in cbjs that don't show up so those figures usually are out the window up to the last minute. It mite be an eyeopener if KCBS would show on the contest results exactly how many cbj/mcbj did judge and compare that to the advertised percentage. I know that not all contest run like this but I would be willing to say it happens more often than not.

In a perfect world all judges would be MCBJs and I would win grand every contest, unfortunately ant gona happen. So I say just use off the street and take your chances because if you can please them I feel you are way ahead of the game then say using a few that think they know how to judge.

I know my view is controversial that can and will be shot full of holes and thats ok cause is just my opinion and I am willing to share it with anyone that cares to read it, just hope you all know I am not aiming to offend anyone or their belief, just giving an alternate view.
Dave

Mo-Dave
01-10-2010, 01:58 PM
I would like to see at least 50/50...and hopefully the non's are given a crash course then partnered with CBJ's before the judging begins. :biggrin:

Except for the 50/50 mix this is what happens. Everyone cbjs and street people listen to a recording of KCBSs guide for judging and questions are answered. The seating is arranged so there are an even number of both at each table but that can't always happen due to the percentages of judges to street people. Friends and family members should be seperated to different tables if again the percentages allow it. I must say I have seen all the reps do their level best to perform this task and give them kudos for there efforts. Many times they really have to scramble to fill the tables at the last minute, sometimes even going out and recruiting team members to fill in. I am ok with that because I do believe the contest do present a true blind judging that would be hard to prove otherwise, more kudos to the reps.
Dave

The_Kapn
01-10-2010, 05:09 PM
I am definitely in the minority here, but I really do not care about the mix, if any.

When I used to Judge, I saw folks with every view I could imagine about the entries.
The variation did not seem to matter a lot about their training or experience level, the best I could tell.
To generalize, it seemed that SOME of the "experienced" (Masters) had clear lines about what they expected and if the entry did not match it....
The had seen so much "great BBQ", their standards were hard to meet.

By the same token, SOME of the brand new or "Celebrity" Judges were all over the place on scoring and had the same type of prejudices.
Just the way it is, it seems.

I guess they are all "Human" with or without extensive training or experience.

Yesterday, I finished an unsanctioned comp in Tallahassee.
My first ever!!!!!
I did it because they had a nice purse ($5000) and I expected a small field (turned out to be 15 teams) to help the odds a bit.
100% Celebrity Judges.

I picked up 1st in Ribs and 1st in Brisket. RGC overall.
A nice $1600 payday for us.

I made ZERO changes for the judging pool.
Turned in my normal stuff.
The results pretty well matched my results for 2009 in catagory and overall.

So.....
I really do not care who the judges are.

But, that is just me!

TIM

G$
01-11-2010, 09:50 AM
G it was your worst showing but you agree with MODAVE . WITHOUT KCBS and our judges every contest would be peoples choice not much money there

I believe the judges were 100% CBJ there. So my point stands, "immediate and complete" certification is not the goal, and may not be a good thing. Minting judges simply to achieve 100% the evening before a contest is not needed.

I am not anti KCBS (I'm a member).
I am not anti CBJ (The ideal contest is probably 100%).

I just want to make sure we get to that point the right way, and for ME it is not a big priority in terms of competition selection criteria. Just my opinions.

Divemaster
01-11-2010, 11:10 AM
First of all, Congrats on the fine finish Tim! I wish we had some comps up here just to get me out of the house (even if it was 10- with wind chill yesterday)!!!

I also agree that I like to look at the % but it isn't critical to me. I cook what I cook, and let the chips fall where they may... Now if we could get all 4 categories right at the same time, that would be something!

smoke showin'
01-11-2010, 02:41 PM
If I give 100% I would like to scored by someone who has done more than eat from a class the night before. But sometimes that helps us get better scores . But one KCBS contest we did recently had thursday night judges and they were all over the place there were top ranked teams there who didn't even get a call . I think the organizer should make sure they have enough CBJ's on the roster to cover all the tables .

Lake Dogs
01-11-2010, 03:02 PM
The percentage of CBJ's doesnt bother me nearly as much as the percentage of
"celebrity" judges. I've seen these folks (the local Mayor, his/her spouse, Senator,
etc.) sit in and judge both chili and BBQ events. The comments coming out of their
mouths never ceases to amaze me. Normally I'm thinking to myself "why in the hell
are you judging?" Had one lady, the mayor of the small town, sit down judging a
chili contest, and 1/2 through said (out loud) "I dont like spicy food". Ummmmm....
This is CHILI! It's beef, perhaps a vegetable or two, and SPICES.... There she sat,
gave more 1's and 2's than I'd seen ever... Seen the celeb judges do the same
in BBQ, wanting to have to gnaw the meat off the bone (literally), didnt want it moist
and wanted sauce burned. Seriously. Everything got trashed on that table...
CBJ's, new or old, and other non-C'd judges are usually there because they enjoy
eating this style of food and have some clue. With the instructions provided early
in the judging, I think it all evens out.

smoke showin'
01-11-2010, 03:11 PM
Celebs are fine for charity events not sanctioned

Lake Dogs
01-11-2010, 03:14 PM
Exactly. Unf I've seen them (sat across table from them) in certified events. I'm
thinking "judge the darned friday night events"... Sad.

I understand event coordinators well, and unfortunatley celebs are probably a
necessary evil (IMHO). However, they can really foul a good table.

smoke showin'
01-11-2010, 03:18 PM
or let them judge just don't use their card

CajunSmoker
01-11-2010, 04:24 PM
I cook some IBCA and some KCBS. IBCA judges are all just pulled off the street, or sometimes celebrities or occasionally cooks. It still doesn't seem to matter, the best cook always seems to win:-D

we did it bbq
01-11-2010, 07:48 PM
We did a kcbs contest last year at a lodge, found out on friday nite it was going to be judged by the lodge members. that was just not right in my opinion , but who am I?

2Fat
01-11-2010, 07:54 PM
I like to look at KCBS and see what the last couple years show. I don't agree with bringing in people off the street. Typical people seem to look for meat falling off the bone on ribs, lots of sauce, not able to know if a brisket is cooked correctly, etc.
now there is a table I'd like to have my grub land on for sure!!

SmokinOkie
01-12-2010, 09:47 AM
For me, I don't chase %. What's your choice, NOT competing if the percentage is too low. I'm not sure I even like 100% CBJ since we don't do any tracking of judges scoring/refresher training, etc. CBJ doesn't mean they (and I am one) KNOW how to judge. It means they took a class. Most of them do a great job, a few don't.

The challenge on "celebrity" judges is from a Sponsor perspective. Many contests have large donors and one "perk" for donors is that they get a few seats to put people.

Podge
01-12-2010, 09:54 AM
ok.. so it sounds like to me, we have 3 different species of people... street, CBJ, and celebrity. They are all human, they all will have their preferences.... good is good... etc.. etc... But a CBJ 'should' have a better idea than street or celebrity judges on how to score.. and they were at least dedicated enough to take the class. that matters a lot to me !

JayAre
01-13-2010, 09:54 AM
....and they were at least dedicated enough to take the class. that matters a lot to me !

agreed...dont most organizers "train" the off the street and celebs? it may be a crash course but at least its something.

Bottom line, you get what you get.
:icon_cool