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warren.miller
11-03-2010, 10:41 AM
I am trying to hone my skills in brisket this winter.

What exactly are the judges looking for?


Do you get the burnt ends from the point? Or the left over flat?

Thanks

Divemaster
11-03-2010, 10:54 AM
I am trying to hone my skills in brisket this winter.

What exactly are the judges looking for?


Do you get the burnt ends from the point? Or the left over flat?

Thanks
First of all, we use the point for our burnt ends. It just has more fat to make the flavor really drive through.

As for what the judges are looking for, there are three things, Appearance, Taste, and Tenderness. It's kind of hard to describe in a simple post such as this, I would really look for a CBJ class to really get the low down.

Appearance:
You can look around here and find a number of boxes that others have asked to be reviewed... It's a start.

Taste:
This is really the tough one. You need to find a flavor profile that comes across quickly. Remember, they are only going to take one maybe (if you're lucky) two bites so it really has to be right there.

Tenderness:
You should be able to pull a 1/4" slice (about the width of a #2 pencil) with ease but on the other hand it shouldn't fall apart on you.

I hope this helps...

Jacked UP BBQ
11-03-2010, 11:49 AM
Here is a brisket box that got all 9's on appearance. It did very well overall. It tasted like beef and was very well balanced with other savory falvors. The back are the slices from the point and the front chunks are burnt ends from the point.

Scottie
11-03-2010, 12:53 PM
I think you meant to say the slices were from the flat...

that looks FABulous!!!

monty3777
11-03-2010, 03:32 PM
Barb Milroy let me film her doing her brisket box. This may give you some ideas.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eib9YXEp0jk

warren.miller
11-03-2010, 09:31 PM
I could be wrong. I probably am but, didn't look like Barb took the slices from the point. It looked like the point was upside and she was taking slices out of that???

Thank for the posts guys.

landarc
11-03-2010, 09:46 PM
It looks to me like she was cutting the part of the brisket flat that is located under the point. That was sure a fine looking brisket, all I could think of is that my brisket sure doesn't cut like that.

I like burnt ends/brisket chunks from the point more so than from the flat.

Bentley
11-04-2010, 12:13 AM
It tasted like beef and was very well balanced with other savory falvors.


As a judge that is exactly what I look for, how to achive it will only come with pratice...

CivilWarBBQ
11-04-2010, 12:48 AM
One tip I can offer: In my experience, KCBS judges will mark you down if you turn in true burnt ends, i.e dark and crispy. Cubed point is a more accurate description of what usually passes for BE at a judging table.

Of course my experience is limited to the SouthEast, so YMMV.

Jacked UP BBQ
11-04-2010, 08:17 AM
You are correct slices from the flat! The best part is, I thought I proof read that!!!!!! It was FABulous!


I think you meant to say the slices were from the flat...

that looks FABulous!!!

carlyle
11-04-2010, 09:59 AM
Good question with some good advice and answers already. Divemaster has a lot of good information in just a few sentences.
Taking CBJ class is a great idea. Jacked Up's pix of his turnin box is a good example of great appearance. Looks like 9's to me.
Cubed point added to sliced flat is a good idea. Judges are to take both and taste both.
I sure appreciate some of both.
The thing I would say about taste is that brisket is beef and it should taste like beef,
right up front. Juicy beefiness will go a long way in the taste department.
Tenderness- I have great admiration for cooks who can make brisket that pulls apart
easy without falling apart, and is juicy without being mushy.
Practice is important.
Not only becoming a CBJ, but actually doing some judging to experience a variety of
brisket made by others may give you some insight and inspiration of what to shoot for.
Good luck.

Southern Home Boy
11-04-2010, 10:33 AM
Personally, I think there's too much variance in opinions about what is a "9" in any category (taste, tenderness, appearance) even among CBJs to really answer this question.

For instance, this box scored straight 9s on appearance earlier this year:
http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac160/southernhomeboy/2010%20Competitions/2010CookoffKickoffBrisket.jpg

There's no way I'd have scored that a 9. The slices are ragged, the sauce is gloppy, and it's smeared on the box. I was appreciative and glad they did what they were supposed to and only judged the meat and not the messed up tangle of parsley that brackets it, but still, IMHO, this was NOT a 9 appearance box.:confused:

As for taste and tenderness, it was bland but juicy and slightly overcooked. All-in-all, not a great showing.:roll:

I just put it in here to point out that one man's ugly is another man's pretty. Same goes with flavor profiles. Even among CBJs.

warren.miller
11-04-2010, 09:15 PM
Great input,

Do you guys think just slices or burnt ends and slices? Do you do 1in cubes?
It looked like barb was cutting the fat off of the slices before turn in. Did you guys see this?

Thanks

Bentley
11-05-2010, 12:08 AM
Great input,

Do you guys think just slices or burnt ends and slices? Do you do 1in cubes?
It looked like barb was cutting the fat off of the slices before turn in. Did you guys see this?

Thanks


Do you like to eat fat? I always cut it off mine...See folks turn it in that way all the time and I am told to eat the meat as presented, so I take a bite with fat, room temperature brisket with a nice bit of fat, well lets just say none have ever gotten a 9 from me for taste...

warren.miller
11-05-2010, 09:03 AM
I do like to eat a little fat. (especially Brisket) But that is just me. I understand if other people don't.

I will definitely will cut the fat off before turn in.

Divemaster
11-05-2010, 09:47 AM
Do you like to eat fat? I always cut it off mine...See folks turn it in that way all the time and I am told to eat the meat as presented, so I take a bite with fat, room temperature brisket with a nice bit of fat, well lets just say none have ever gotten a 9 from me for taste...
I actually cook mine with the fat and then remove it just prior to saucing..

I do like to eat a little fat. (especially Brisket) But that is just me. I understand if other people don't.

I will definitely will cut the fat off before turn in.
Remember that the entry could be in the box for up to 20 minutes depending on the size of the comp. That fat is going to be room-temp at best, or even cold depending on the temp of your greens...

warren.miller
11-05-2010, 10:03 AM
Great point

QansasjayhawQ
11-05-2010, 01:56 PM
Personally, I think there's too much variance in opinions about what is a "9" in any category (taste, tenderness, appearance) even among CBJs to really answer this question.

For instance, this box scored straight 9s on appearance earlier this year:

There's no way I'd have scored that a 9. The slices are ragged, the sauce is gloppy, and it's smeared on the box. I was appreciative and glad they did what they were supposed to and only judged the meat and not the messed up tangle of parsley that brackets it, but still, IMHO, this was NOT a 9 appearance box.:confused:

As for taste and tenderness, it was bland but juicy and slightly overcooked. All-in-all, not a great showing.:roll:

I just put it in here to point out that one man's ugly is another man's pretty. Same goes with flavor profiles. Even among CBJs.
I can tell you that the judges are not sitting there peering at the greenery with their levels and protractors out to make sure that everything is perfectly aligned and trimmed. Judges also understand that a lot can and does happen to entries on their way to the table that is out of the control of the cooks, so most judges do not count down for a little smear of sauce on the box or the pieces being just slightly out of alignment.

What judges DO (or should) ask themselves is: How much does the appearance of this entry make me want to eat it? If the meat looks delicious, then it will score well.

On the other hand, if the overall appearance says that the cook didn't give a hoot about at least attempting to make a good presentation - just slopped the meat in there any way that it happened to land, etc. - now that definitely counts down an entry. Effort counts!

Or at least that has been my experience - your experience may be different.

I hope this helps -

sitnfat
11-05-2010, 05:49 PM
I turn in just slices I was doing slices and pulled at the first of the year, I was getting calls but not in the top 5 I went to slices only more than 6 if I can make them pretty. I only carve the hard fat off before cooking fat is flavor let it sit chilled all night with the rub on it smoke it,slice it and soak it in its own juices.. Beef should not be sauced in my opinion I dont put A-1 on my steak If its done properly my brisket dont need it either

Rookie'48
11-05-2010, 08:50 PM
Appearance: If that display makes me want to rip the box from the TC's hands & dig right in then you get a 9. I try my best not to pay attention to the garnish or the "smoke ring" ..... they're not supposed to count. But I do want to see the color of the meat, not just the bark, and please don't drowned it in sauce (makes me wonder what you're covering up).

Taste: I want it to be juicy and taste like brisket - not like a farkin' pot roast.

Tenderness: That's been covered pretty well above.

All in all I want to see that you built that box with care and pride. I want to taste the product that you prepared with care and pride. If you don't put the care into it, if you don't have any real pride in your entry, then that will come through in the looks and taste of the brisket.

As always - IMHO / YMMV
;>)

landarc
11-05-2010, 10:21 PM
sitnfat, you have never gotten the comment that you should have a little shine or glaze to your meat from a judge? Honestly this is an appearance comment, but, we do eat with our eyes.

sitnfat
11-06-2010, 08:34 AM
nope I soak my cuts in au jois last contest I got a 180 :-D

landarc
11-06-2010, 03:00 PM
Okay, so you are putting something on them, just not sauce. Nice, a 180 would be nice.

Hub
11-08-2010, 04:32 PM
BALANCE! When I judge a brisket entry I'm looking for the meat to be an interesting compilation of the meat flavor itself, pleasant spicing from rub and/or injection, and sauce too, if used. The texture needs to have a little "chew factor" and the pull test is an excellent way to determine if it is undercooked (the slice will act like a spring and/or cannot easily be pulled apart) or overcooked (flakes or falls apart). Good brisket is moist, meaty, and tantalizing to the taste buds. It takes lots of practice and great skill to do it well so I always appreciate it when a team works hard and makes a good attempt. Hint: Injections are a must, but keep them mild so they don't overpower and become the dominant flavor -- brisket has good natural flavor so the injection needs to enhance and compliment it.

Capn Kev
11-08-2010, 07:04 PM
I agree with your statement up until the point where you say that brisket has good natural flavor. If you cook a brisket with no injection or internal seasoning, the flavor is bland...yes, bland. I agree, an injection of some sort is a must, as is a really good rub. applied early in the process.

Smokedelic
11-08-2010, 07:14 PM
Why are injections a must for brisket?

warren.miller
11-08-2010, 10:27 PM
What injections do you guys use?

Bentley
11-09-2010, 05:35 PM
Why are injections a must for brisket?

Well, for a hack like me, who cant enhance a briskets flavor enough with a rub, or keep a brisket moist without it, it is a must.

I uses Butchers injection and Dr the heck out of it!

landarc
11-09-2010, 05:40 PM
Briskets are bland? Then why do we all eat them? I don't find them bland at all, I find that they taste like beef, much like all briskets do taste like beef. Unless they taste like cheese in which case, change butchers. I don't think you need to inject to compete, but, your brisket runs the risk of tasting like, well, beef, like every other brisket that is not injected. I bet there are people winning GC in comps that do not inject, but, it is not really expensive and has the potential to make your brisket taste a little different, and maybe better, enough to get a call more often. Remember that the game in a competition is all about an edge. I have tasted competition cooking and can tell you that the differences are pretty small in the top 10 places.

Cast Iron Chef
11-09-2010, 06:11 PM
Briskets are bland? Then why do we all eat them? I don't find them bland at all, I find that they taste like beef, much like all briskets do taste like beef.

That's a question I have had all along. I have never had a brisket from a BBQ joint so I have no reference point. Ive made like 2 briskets and a couple of chuckies on the smoker. They were good but not overly great. I get the texture and moistness, from what I've seen here but, it does just taste like beef. Pork shoulder takes on a whole new flavor profile with low and slow. I guess I'm expecting the same from a brisket. Am I not hitting the flavor profile yet or am I expecting too much. Hard to do a lot of experimenting with a $35.00 piece of meat.

landarc
11-09-2010, 06:34 PM
I might not be the guy to talk to, I have loved smoked brisket from the first time I had a good one. It was not injected, it was smokey and came from a questionable looking smoker, but, it was good and tasted of beef. I think there is a lot to be said for personal taste here, as the brisket it not the most taste filled part of the meat, it is from a tougher part of the animal, like the chuck, and if you do not want just a good strong beef taste, it may not be for you.

That being said, pulled pork is often served sauce, or when just pulled, it is often finished with a sauce or fluid concoction that adds flavor. One of the reasons for injecting is to get flavor deeper into the meat, I would suggest you find a way to try some competition or injected brisket and see how that goes. It is a great pallet for laying flavor onto. I think your observation is also one of the reasons that burnt ends and brisket chunks are so popular in turn-ins and general eating, as they do offer additional flavor profiles to the brisket.

JD McGee
11-09-2010, 07:07 PM
I am trying to hone my skills in brisket this winter.

What exactly are the judges looking for?

There in lies the rub...if we all knew that we'd be set...:becky: The judges are looking for an entry that is pleasing to the eye...properly cooked...and a balanced taste. At least that's what I would be looking for if I were a judge. :-P


Do you get the burnt ends from the point? Or the left over flat?

I take my "burn't ends" from the point...(don't get Donnie started on this...:twisted:).

Thanks

A properly cooked brisket does not need to be injected. The only time I inject a brisket is for comps...:cool: Gotta keep up with the Jonses...:twisted:

sdbbq1234
11-09-2010, 07:19 PM
Brisket has a HUGE flavor of it's own IMHO. A marinade and rub enhances it.

wallace

Hub
11-10-2010, 07:00 AM
I use Butcher's -- "thin" it down, though (use twice as much water) or it'll dominate.

Hub
11-10-2010, 07:06 AM
Another thought: About 75% of the brisket in a KCBS competition will be pretty average stuff or worse. About 25% will be really interesting (have BALANCE) but won't be tender. About 5% will be killer, delicious good (a 9). A perfectly done brisket is the hardest thing to achieve in competition.

Babyboomerboy
11-10-2010, 08:49 AM
Another thought: About 75% of the brisket in a KCBS competition will be pretty average stuff or worse. About 25% will be really interesting (have BALANCE) but won't be tender. About 5% will be killer, delicious good (a 9). A perfectly done brisket is the hardest thing to achieve in competition.


You take the first 100% of the brisket and let me have the other 5%:cool:

Divemaster
11-10-2010, 09:17 AM
I too don’t inject; never have, and I would like to believe that I never well (but I can’t promises that).

The one thing that I do is that I split my packer to the two muscles prior to seasoning and cooking. By doing this, I’ve got more surface area to season. If I do it right, my slices are always moist and full of not only the natural flavor of beef but also the spices in the rub.

Smokedelic
11-10-2010, 10:04 AM
You take the first 100% of the brisket and let me have the other 5%:cool:
60% of the time it works, every time.
- Brian Fantana

Jacked UP BBQ
11-10-2010, 10:09 AM
I did a brisket this weekend in NC and it was the most flavorless thing ever. I used my normal rub but changed the injection on accident. I used low sodium broth which tasted like bad soup. I mixed that with FAB and the interior of flavor of the meat was not normal. Note to self - make sure you pay attention when grabbing your broth.

PorkQPine
11-10-2010, 10:36 AM
I have judged a lot of KCBS contests and I can tell you that it is rare that my table gets a truly good brisket, most of them are horrible. Sloppy with sauce, overcooked or undercooked, flavorless, etc. Do your practice cooks and work on your flavor profile and you will shine above the rest. I love brisket and have had some super brisket but not often.

Hawg Father of Seoul
11-10-2010, 12:05 PM
I have judged a lot of KCBS contests and I can tell you that it is rare that my table gets a truly good brisket, most of them are horrible. Sloppy with sauce, overcooked or undercooked, flavorless, etc. Do your practice cooks and work on your flavor profile and you will shine above the rest. I love brisket and have had some super brisket but not often.

I find this odd. At our one comp we produced an 85% brisket (85% as good as we are capable of doing) and two teams who had won GC this year tasted it and stated it was better than theirs on that day. I tasted theirs and agreed and the judges agreed based on the three scores. It was only good enough for 20th place.

One team had gone to Lottabull's class, so I assume he knows what good brisket is.

All three briskets were good, but not awe inspiring. I am interested to see what our 100% brisket does. Either this was an atypical contest, I have no idea what good brisket is, or there is more good product out there than people are willing to give credit to.

warren.miller
11-10-2010, 12:20 PM
I am cooking one tomorrow. Any pointers?

Hawg Father of Seoul
11-10-2010, 12:32 PM
Like I said I may not know anything, but..... defat the jus and adjust seasoning of the jus before any reapplication to the meat. You worked hard for that stuff, there is no need to miss a great meal because of salt, ect.

Candy Sue
11-10-2010, 02:59 PM
I've been on the needle and off the needle! Last weekend, I did not inject, but I did season as early as possible so the flavors would sink in. Did allright with 6th place. If I'd cooked it about an hour longer it would have been as tender as it is supposed to be in IBCA. But I've enjoyed the leftovers!