PDA

View Full Version : Brisket Competetors and Judges--Opinion please


The_Kapn
11-07-2004, 09:59 PM
Guys and Gals,
Trying new things here in the South for the Southern Brethren.
I braved 43 degress temp to start fire today :twisted: , and wound up in "tropical wear" by 2 PM--we are suffering from the frigid cold here :lol: :lol:

Would really appreciate input on the pics of Brisket here for turn-in.
I tried something new--just wondering how it looks!

I think appearance preceeds and therefore influences taste in judging, but could be wrong. Tenderness is OK amd I know how to make it great! Flavor is fine and DF will make it wonderful!
I did not "rub". DF will add that layer of flavor and bark! This is just meat with AJ spray as a "starting point".

Pic was taken just on a napkin for testing, but you can see the thought.

Already plan to change dimensions to make them longer and thinner.
Want honest opinions- "attaboys" don't count for the cash and trophies :lol:
Thanks,
TIM

BrooklynQ
11-07-2004, 11:33 PM
That's a hell of a smoke ring. First thought was - what the hell is that? How big are they? How thick?
I don't know about the fla bbq assoc, but in KCBS all entries appearances are scored before tasting begins. Put them into a container and think about appearance. IMHO, i think the whole catagory, at least for KCBS, should be renamed presentation. (I'm gonna get it now :twisted: )

In my limited experience I found that once we were on to taste, i didn't think about appearance at all.

Neil
11-08-2004, 03:31 AM
beautiful smoke ring. How long did you have it on and how much did it weigh.

willkat98
11-08-2004, 08:30 AM
Great smoke ring. How is the "tug test"? Grab each end and gently pull. Slight resistance, then pull apart.

Had one in judge class that fell apart, one was a rubber band, the the third was perfect.

And somehow, 5 pieces disappeared between the two pictures, so you be the judge on taste :)

racer_81
11-08-2004, 11:24 AM
what dimensions of slices in pics?

they look kind of narrow......

BBQchef33
11-08-2004, 03:36 PM
dont think i ever had a smoke ring like that.!! wow! Looks like ya used Anna Nicholes Lipstick!

But i no gets what you mean on YOUR changing dimension? The only dimension you can control is the thickness of the slice and i slice on the thick side of pencil thin. If you plan on cutting your brisket before cooking it, I wouldn't. Leave it the natural shape of the meat. The judges here will comment, but iwhen i considered trimming the brisket to shape before cooking, a judge warned me that that can be considered 'sculpting'(sp), which is not allowed in KCBS. Also, the way these turds shrink when cooking you can wind up with a meatball for turn in.


Next time ya take a picture for us, but something in it so we can scale it.. a fork or something.... or even better, a turn in box.

jminion
11-08-2004, 04:08 PM
Phil
What you described is not sculpting.

chad
11-08-2004, 04:14 PM
We saw at least one entry at the state cookoff done this way -- we're experimenting! FBA has no garnish in the boxes so displaying brisket slices like this really pays off - assuming the taste and tenderness are there, too. We'll be playing KCBS rules week after next so all bets are off! :D

Nothing like bark all the way around with a good smoke ring - we discussed "sculpting" with a couple of very experienced judges and they all said this was in no way sculpting - no more than piling pulled pork in 9 seperate piles or using chunks from a shoulder to surround the pulled pork, etc.

jminion
11-08-2004, 04:40 PM
Pork butt you have to cook it as a whole so trimming that far would be a problem but there is no rule with brisket. I would say that it is different enough that could cost points with some judges (the ones that think it could be illegal) as an example.

BBQchef33
11-08-2004, 04:50 PM
By sculpting, i meant trimming and cutting the brisket to be symetrical before cooking. Thats what I thought you meant when you said your going to make the slices "longer". At one of the competitions, I wanted to cut the ends off all the slices of briskets to make them even and fit in the box better.... and i was warned that it can be construed as sculpting and opted against doing it.. Just passing on what was presented to me.

kcquer
11-08-2004, 04:59 PM
I have a question, any leftovers? That looks damn good Tim. Well done.

The_Kapn
11-08-2004, 07:04 PM
Let me see if I can answer some of the excellent questions.

My goal with this experiment was to produce a sample that would fit neatly in the box, be organized, and also show "care and effort" by the Southern Brethren to create an attractive display.

This would not be sculpting as DF and I were trained. FBA instructor spoke at length about sculpting and this is not close according to his guidance. Also, on one of the KCBS sites is the text transcript of the training video or slideshow apparently used by KCBS. They seem to agree.
Plus, Jim Minion says it is OK :D :D :D

While judging FL State Championships, I was given 2 "horrible", 3 "quite good", and 1 that was awarded my only 10's of the meet- a perfect 10-10-10. It was prepped this way.
My 10 for appearance was not based on any preference. It was based on the effort and skill of the team in creating a balanced and beautiful display.
DF and I had talked about this technique before and I just wanted to try.

Sorry the scale isn't on the pics. They were produced for DF and I never thought to scale them out.
Smoke ring is above 3/8 and approaching 1/2 inch all around. Height about 3.5 inches, width about 5 inches.

The smoke ring surprised the tar out of me. I put my new basket in the StudeDera and did a 20% Oak chunk in charcoal burn. 1st time ever for "ole stick burner" me. Impressive smoke ring and 7.5 hours on "Cruise Control" for temps :lol:

Temps were 200-220, cook time in smoke was 6hrs + 15 min to 160 degrees, foil time was 1hr +15 min to 185, and cooler time was zero (see below) :oops:
These slices were produced from a chunk cut from the brisket- see the pic. These cuts were with the grain.
Then, I cut slices "full cross grain", but would probably use a "bias cut" next time (thanks KC).

Tenderness was "as expected" because I could not stand the suspense and sliced it with no coolering time :oops: I was weak :D
Just a tad tough, but would have coolered out wonderful, I am sure.
I pulled from heat, cooled a bit on the counter, sliced it up, took some pics, and then chowed down!!

Taste was my normal bland Brisket, but DF will kick that up just fine.

My comment about resizing was to reduce the height. Easy adjustment.

Did I miss any questions--OH Yeah, no leftovers, sorry :D

Thank's for the suggestions so far--any more would be appreciated.

TIM

jminion
11-08-2004, 08:51 PM
Phil the judge gave you wrong info, sculpting is how you put the box together, if you were to shape as a $ sign or #1 to make designs in this manor it would be sculpting.

I would suggest going even futher up the brisket for this cut, go towards the point end another 3".
You can make the cuts shorter by cutting the bottom of the slice at the fat line where the flat and the point section meet. If your using a 9" box you can also go a little wider in width, if you start with 9" before you cook they will shrink enough to fit right. You could also trim the edges with a slight taper to give it amore natural look.

Nice idea hope you don't mind if I use it.

The_Kapn
11-08-2004, 09:23 PM
Phil the judge gave you wrong info, sculpting is how you put the box together, if you were to shape as a $ sign or #1 to make designs in this manor it would be sculpting.

I would suggest going even futher up the brisket for this cut, go towards the point end another 3".
You can make the cuts shorter by cutting the bottom of the slice at the fat line where the flat and the point section meet. If your using a 9" box you can also go a little wider in width, if you start with 9" before you cook they will shrink enough to fit right. You could also trim the edges with a slight taper to give it amore natural look.

Nice idea hope you don't mind if I use it.
Jim,
Great Input--thanks!

Feel free us use it--I'll PM you my address for the royalty checks :lol: :lol:

It is gonna take another couple of tests to satisfy me and DF, but I am intrigued with the idea.

TIM

jminion
11-08-2004, 09:28 PM
Tim
The only Royalty I know of is my wife telling me to "Kiss her royal Greek Ass"

kcquer
11-09-2004, 06:10 AM
You could also trim the edges with a slight taper to give it amore natural look.

That's hitting the nail on the head.

CinCity25
11-09-2004, 07:30 AM
Being extremely briskey challenged we've never had a smoke ring like that! wow!! although our taste and texture are not exactly at competition level we have always done very well on presentation.....a nice bed of lettuce and either placed in the box the way you have them or we have also done a kind of fan effect which has always gone over really well.....we've never had a problem with trimming the slices up a bit to fit in the box but of course we try to make it look as natural as possible....i'll see if i can find some pictures when i get home cause we've done lots of different things with the brisket for presentation....jsut to make up for the lack of taste i think! LOL

tommykendall
11-09-2004, 10:14 AM
I think it needs a Kaiser roll, a little of your favorite sauce, and an ice cold beer. Nice job.

BigBelly
11-09-2004, 11:33 AM
No doubt, sadly enough I cannot contribute anything more to this excellent conversation other then saying that is one purdy looking brisket, Tim!

BrooklynQ
11-09-2004, 12:37 PM
What's the take on the smoke ring in FLA contests? In KCBS judging school we were told not to look for a smoke ring because they can be chemcially induced. So no points were to be added or subtracted based on the ring.

racer_81
11-09-2004, 02:16 PM
Tim
The only Royalty I know of is my wife telling me to "Kiss her royal Greek Ass"

Man....that sounds familiar.....

The_Kapn
11-09-2004, 05:25 PM
What's the take on the smoke ring in FLA contests? In KCBS judging school we were told not to look for a smoke ring because they can be chemcially induced. So no points were to be added or subtracted based on the ring.
Rob,
I have heard and read that somewhere also and actually believe it should be true. You should not add or subtract points for smoke ring!

But, we are humans.
In FBA training, it was discussed in a similar fashion, but not made a "big deal" of. Then, while discussing Brisket appearance, the instructor stated (to the best of my memory which DF will confirm or correct)--"Look for a smoke ring all around" or words to that effect.

Here is my take on appearance overall and then I will come back to smoke ring.
I think appearance is the first step in triggering taste. For example, an expensive meal prepared by a real chef costs "mega bucks" compared to "Bubba's Dinner".
Karen and I spent $100 (with tip) for FARKING LUNCH at Emeril's in Orlando. And "cheapo me who is a retired old fart on a fixed income", paid it with a smile :lol:
Why?? Good eats, perfectly and differently prepared. and then presented in a perfectly "delicious looking" manner! When my fish main course was served, my tastes buds were ready for quality taste and I was not disappointed in the least. Perfection.
I know a lot more goes into pricing at that level. But, the exact same food served at a "Bubba's Dinner" in the normal "Bubba's Dinner" style would not have gotten that kind of $$$ from me--no way!

Back to Judging.
I know presentation scores are recorded, can not be changed, and normally hidden by turning the card over (FBA). But, I then pick up my sample and "there it is"--good, bad, indifferent, or wonderful! If it is beautiful, I expect good taste and tenderness to back it up. If it is ugly, my expectation is lowered.
If I gave a 10 to a sample for presentation, and then found it to be "shoe leather", it "tubes" texture and taste scores--"Sorry Emeril".
The majority of the samples I saw in middle score ranges pretty well agreed across the 3 scores.
Now, if I had an "ugly" sample which was properly tender and tasty, I am human. It now becomes "Sorry Bubba" and I would be thinking real hard about awarding the very top scores here.
It is simply human nature and judging is done by humans.

Smoke Ring is a traditional expectation in real BBQ.
If DF and I can create a visually appealing display with a good smoke ring showing, we have done all we can do for that appearance score. A good appearance score may (hopefully) support the higher scores for tenderness and taste we need.

OH YEAH--my smoke ring is from my Primo Oak- not chemicals.
The pics were taken with no coolering. If properly coolered, the bright smoke ring blends more and becomes more "brown", but it is still well defined.

Fantastic discussion-
Thanks Guys and Gals!
TIM

I am a "Bubba", so I apologize to myself and any others--if needed :lol: :lol:

jminion
11-09-2004, 07:26 PM
Tim
KCBS does tell judges to disregaurd smokering but you are right judges will give it a higher score than a piece without generally, it is human mature. I like the way you guys are going at this.

drbbq
11-09-2004, 07:40 PM
The cut is a pretty interesting idea. I agree with Jim to move it up to that fat line. That's the part I'm usually looking for anyway. You've just pre trimmed it.
I don't like that much smoke ring. In most cases that would tell me that the meat is gonna be way smokey or it's from tenderquick. Just my opinion. Maybe resting would help some.
I'd eat it, that's for sure.

The_Kapn
11-09-2004, 09:17 PM
Thanks to Jim and The Doc for the latest input!

I hate to "drone on", but I will for a bit :lol:

The Judges that I met at FBA championships were great people.
I think (no I know) that they almost all tried hard to be objective and follow the guidance and rules.
Fine folks trying hard to do a fair evaluation for all competerors.

But, no one at my table had ever fired up a smoker to my knowledge.
Some grilling time, but no competetive Que time.
I can not speculate about the rest of the room--just my 5.

I am starting to sense that KCBS Judges may be more knowledgeable about the "hands-on" part of real BBQ :lol:

If I had said "TenderQuick". I would have probalby drawn stares :D

Maybe this discussion deserves a seperate thread?

Great learning process--Thanks!
TIM

drbbq
11-10-2004, 09:05 AM
I wouldn't overestimate KCBS judges. Frankly, in Florida it's many of the same folks. The KCBS pool is much bigger so you could get some with more actual cooking experience but I wouldn't count on it.

But here's the problem. They talk to each other and some become what we call "Super Judges". You can usually identify them by a bunch of pins on some goofy hat or a vest and some other regalia that makes them stand out.
No need to actually buy a cooker and win an award or two, just hang around and eat and you become an expert.
So now here comes some new judges and they get to talking with a super judge and he tells them about fake smoke rings and how a piece of brisket should stretch 3/8" and sure enough, these new folks believe it and start judging that way.
So the new judge looks at your box and he's never seen anything look like that so he figures it must be the legendary fake smoke ring. Bam, you get a 6 and then he brags about it to his buddys.
I assure you this scenario is real.

BrooklynQ
11-10-2004, 09:42 AM
Tim,
When I judged in CT, a KCBS sanctioned contest, at my table 3 out of 6 had competed. Two never even cooked Q and one was going to start competing (me). From disscussions with other judges, before the judging started, I got the impression that the majority of them had not competed, but were "professional" judges - meaning that they traveled the circuit judging, at least the NorthEast portion.

It seems to me that the judges have their own world and just like to judge. There were plenty of conversations about judging at past contests, but few about competing. The judges who competed were there to hone their skills and get better in touch with what the judges were looking for at contests.

IMHO, I enjoyed the judging, but at the end of the day I was worn out by it. At the end of competing in NJ, I was still pumped -- even with no sleep for 2 days. Competing is much more fun. More work, but much more fun.

Robert

chad
11-10-2004, 11:34 AM
Thanks for the input - especially Ray and Jim. Rob - I've cooked with you so I know where you're coming from - some of the judges I talked to looked at me like I had horns when I told them I'd much rather be cooking than judging :mrgreen:. Phil, Greg, et al - thanks for responding.

It is facinating that so many judges have no idea what goes into getting that meat ready. Our FBA trainer kept stressing that to the class - Ricky has competed in the past and I'll give him the benefit of having been there. :D

Tim and I are working at being competitive and our goal is to make a run at the FBA Team of the Year - part of that is finding the techniques and flavors that give us any legal edge. If we can get optimum sized slices of brisket with tasty bark and the tenderness and flavor we want then we're ahead of the game.

I want an invite to the AR and the Jack and MiM!! :D I might go and get handed my head on a platter but at least I'll have made a run at it! I'm sure Tim and I will report what happens at Plant City in two weekend after next - that is going to be one long day and a half.

kcquer
11-10-2004, 01:02 PM
I want an invite to the AR

DF, come up to the AR next year and visit.

Any other requests?

chad
11-10-2004, 02:39 PM
Only if there's a cooker and meat involved. Visiting a cookoff is like visiting relatives! :D

I want, nay - I need a reason to haul a rig 2600 miles round-trip to get my ass whipped!! :twisted:

Solidkick
11-10-2004, 03:17 PM
I want an invite to the AR and the Jack and MiM!! I might go and get handed my head on a platter but at least I'll have made a run at it!


To me, you've won the battle to get the invite.........I think there was like 80+ teams in the AR invitational, but there can only be one grand champion. If you get the invite, enjoy the competition, you've already proven yourself somewhere along the line, no need to worry about having your head handed to you on a platter.

Like I've said before, I'll eat your cookin' any old time.

BBQchef33
11-10-2004, 09:22 PM
Only if there's a cooker and meat involved. Visiting a cookoff is like visiting relatives! :D

I want, nay - I need a reason to haul a rig 2600 miles round-trip to get my ass whipped!! :twisted:


Yo Dave.. your way off.. Visiting the jack was a blast.... and if ya know peopl eon the circuit.. ya got lots of places to hang your hat.. I had a great time for 2 days without the stress of cooking... i'd do it again in a minute..

but i wont visit relatives cept weddings and funerals. :)

chad
11-11-2004, 07:08 AM
Yo Dave.. your way off.. Visiting the jack was a blast.... and if ya know peopl eon the circuit.. ya got lots of places to hang your hat..


Phil;


I can't go to these things to visit, or checkout, or maybe taste somebody elses food! And, I can't afford to travel with a prime rib under my arm :mrgreen:

For me, it's compete or don't go!

chad
11-11-2004, 03:01 PM
Only if there's a cooker and meat involved. Visiting a cookoff is like visiting relatives! :D

I want, nay - I need a reason to haul a rig 2600 miles round-trip to get my ass whipped!! :twisted:


Yo Dave.. your way off.. Visiting the jack was a blast.... and if ya know peopl eon the circuit.. ya got lots of places to hang your hat.. I had a great time for 2 days without the stress of cooking... i'd do it again in a minute..

but i wont visit relatives cept weddings and funerals. :)

Another forum member PMd me about my "smack" of Phil:

Obviously some think I was slamming Phil - I didn't mean to. I respect him immensely and am so appreciative of the times I've visited in his home and the opportunity he have me to help at Asbury Park.

I apologize if I gave the impression that I'm slamming Phil. I just can't go and hang at these events - I wish I could. So, I repeat, I'll go when I can compete - and I wish I could afford prime rib in the suitcase! :D

willkat98
11-11-2004, 03:17 PM
Chad
No need to apologize.

We live in the real world. Phil lives in Philville.

No normal sane person walks around in a blue fuzzy hat with horns, and a prime rib under his arm.

But it was a good slam

brdbbq
11-11-2004, 03:40 PM
If anybody knows a Chad slam, I do.

BBQchef33
11-11-2004, 05:31 PM
Relax DF.... i didnt see no slam....

I live in Philville though?? Thats a slam, but i'll ignore that one.

and I'm proud to have a prime rib under my arm.. some people bring six packs.. or bottles of wine... I bring Prime Rib! Sh*t walked into midwest bash with a prime rib, a tray of shrimp and a crave case of white castles... Didn't hear anyone complaining there. :) except those who ate the white castles a few hours later.

CinCity25
11-11-2004, 05:38 PM
Didn't hear anyone complaining there. except those who ate the white castles a few hours later.


...they really should have a warning sign up in that place not to stop for lunch there when on a 13 hour drive in a van with your whole team!

BBQchef33
11-11-2004, 05:52 PM
Didn't hear anyone complaining there. except those who ate the white castles a few hours later.


...they really should have a warning sign up in that place not to stop for lunch there when on a 13 hour drive in a van with your whole team!

this sounds like a voice of experience.


Open Window Mod.

The_Kapn
11-11-2004, 07:03 PM
Slowly "dragging this back on topic" MOD :lol: :lol:

So the new judge looks at your box and he's never seen anything look like that so he figures it must be the legendary fake smoke ring. Bam, you get a 6 and then he brags about it to his buddys.
I assure you this scenario is real.

DOC,
I had some great "t'ween meat" conversations and I can see that happening, for sure. I was lucky and did not have to listen to BS, just good info on "soaking wood properly" by some of the the judges. :lol:

There were plenty of conversations about judging at past contests, but few about competing. The judges who competed were there to hone their skills and get better in touch with what the judges were looking for at contests.

Rob,
This was our goal and we think we profited greatly!
Thanks all,
TIM

drbbq
11-11-2004, 09:33 PM
Oh, please share the great info on "soaking wood properly".
Yes, I think you got my point.

parrothead
11-11-2004, 09:37 PM
Oh, please share the great info on "soaking wood properly".
Yes, I think you got my point.

LMAO

The_Kapn
11-11-2004, 09:46 PM
Oh, please share the great info on "soaking wood properly".
Yes, I think you got my point.
Yes Sir--saw it for myself.
Fun, Fun, Fun--and a great learning experience!
I had anouther newby Judge "hanging on my every word" just because I had the KEWL Brethren hat on and had actually competed--once :lol:
I had to be real careful what I said.
"Blind leading the blind" sometimes :oops:
Real "old timers" could definately lead "one astray", or "down the right path" as the case may be!
TIM

The_Kapn
11-11-2004, 10:12 PM
Tim,

It seems to me that the judges have their own world and just like to judge. There were plenty of conversations about judging at past contests, but few about competing. The judges who competed were there to hone their skills and get better in touch with what the judges were looking for at contests.

Robert

Rob,
That is exactly why DF and I spent the $ and time to go to training and then actually judge a meet!
That is also why I started this thread!
I believe in "collective wisdom", training, and then experience to pull it all together.
We have seen the some of the extremes of taste, opinion, and attitude.
We have a better understanding of the way meat should be prepared for turn-in.
We have learned (or decided) that we can not worry about the judges who are outside of the guidlines or who let personal preferences drive their scores.
We can simply cook within the rules to the best of our ability and see what happens.

We have a better plan now and will see how it goes!

Thanks to all for the great input and contributions to the "collective wisdom"!
TIM