View Full Version : Judges needed

Jeff S.
05-15-2010, 11:04 PM
Judges, give me some input on these two boxes?

I am asking for some honest input. If you are a current judge or have taking the judging class, let me know what you think of these.

I saw a few problems, but had no way of fixing them at the event.

It was a small Rib cook off, and everyone that tried my ribs thought they were almost perfect in taste and texture. Didnt get in the top 5, but thats OK. We had fun and turned in some fantastic ribs.


05-16-2010, 01:03 AM
Did you get your scores back? I'm guessing you got nailed on appearance.

For the first box, the ribs don't really look like ribs. It could be the lighting, but they just look like rectangular blocks of charred meat. It's hard to see anything but the top of the rib. Also, while judges aren't supposed to pay attention to garnish, yours doesn't enhance the appearance, so that could have hurt you with one or more judges. I'd probably score it a 5.

The second box is better, because you can see the meat, but everything still looks cramped. Again, not part of the criteria, but impressions will hurt you with some judges. You might be better off with smaller ribs all arranged in the same plane. Some judges do like the double meat appearance, but I think that's mainly because they get to eat more. I'd go narrower so that they could be arranged more like a rack. I'd give it a 6.

05-16-2010, 08:24 AM
I would have to agree with Chenernator. It could be the picture, but not a lot of WOW factor there. You are on the right track though. The second box is better. The meat is sitting higher up in the box and you can see the meat. The color of the ribs are also better in box #2, but the size of the ribs seem to be cut straighter and more even in box #1. Just spend some time and practice. Good Luck on your next cook off.

Jeff S.
05-16-2010, 09:40 AM
Since this was a small comp. I dont think i'll get scores back. Probably just the overall results.

I am guessing that I got nailed on apperance because the meat we turned in was almost perfect.

The spares did come out a touch darker than I would like, but darker ribs finished higher.

I do thank you for your opinions, and I agree with both of you. The garnish was terrible. I had the wife pick it up for me and honestly never saw it till I pulled it out to build my boxes. MAJOR MISTAKE.

At any rate, It was a fun time, met some very nice people and am looking forward to my next competition

Alexa RnQ
05-16-2010, 10:23 AM
(Not a judge, just a competitor who has pleased a couple of judges)

Was appearance scored that heavily?
Yes, the garnish cold have been tighter to give the meat prominence.
The finish on the ribs is a bit dark and dull, so that could change -- unless that's just the photo. We've also found that some of our high-placing ribs looked like hell in the photos.
I'm leery of exposing the cut sides of the ribs, just because air exposure doesn't help the meat any.

Now -- you and your tasters thought the meat was perfect, but were you trying it right away, or after quite some time of box-shuffling and mat-sitting? There's quite a difference between what you are tasting, and the actual product that a judge samples.

Also, you and your tasters might like your flavor profile, but unless it places high consistently you may not be ringing bells for some judges.

This is the reason I love, love, love knowing the KCBS scoring system and receiving our raw scores -- feedback is essential to the guesswork on how to improve next time.

05-16-2010, 10:32 AM
I don't think the appearence was bad at all. But, these aren't really high res pictures, either.
The look a little under-done in that picture? But, again, could be the small picture playing tricks on my old eyes...

Overall, on both of them, I wouldn't go any lower than a 7, there wasn't anything glaringly offensive or 'ugly' about the boxes, and I always judge a little higher on appearence anyway, since it IS a meat competition... Taste and texture rule the day.

05-16-2010, 10:42 AM
The pics are kinda smallish, making it kinda hard to see. I don't pay attention to the garnish at all except making sure it is a legal garnish and that it is not covering up the meat. After that it's just the meat.

The top box shows mostly all bark but as presented it looks pretty decent. Assuming it looks darker in the pic than real life I would give it an 8, but if they really did look like that then probably a 7.

The bottom box shows the meat and the bark which is nice. The back two ribs in the center look out of whack, like one is going one way and the next the other way. So it looks like not the most attention went into laying them out in the box. I would have given that a 7.

Jeff S.
05-16-2010, 02:37 PM
All good stuff. Yes, the pictures are small, taking with my phone, and they are way darker than when taken.

They were slightly over cooked, most of the judges at this event havent been judging long, we were told that they would be local buisness persons, and you know they are looking for "backyard" Q.

The one rib is backwards, I missed that, until I saw the photo.

I do take a great deal of care and time with my boxes. But I will be taking alot more time with them in the future. I am going to designate a cooler just for storing the boxes after completing them, and donate 10 more minutes per box on arranging the meat.

I try the ribs, and all the Q right off the grill, but I always let a few cool down and try again to see how they hold.

Thanks again everyone for your honest input!