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nthole 07-01-2007 08:28 AM

First Practice Run, Comments Please
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Another competition newby looking for some feedback. To start off with, generally when I q things go pretty smoothly, but this was the first time we tried to do everything, at the same time like the real deal. Chaotic. This really is tough! It doesn't help though when your watching an 11 month old the whole time as well!

So anyway, chicken thighs were way to large. Not getting them from Sam's anymore. So please just judge how they look, not on the fact that we could only get 5 in the box!

Ribs were over done. Too tender. And therefore a p.i.a. to cut. Would expect some dings there.

Brisket I thought looked really good, sliced really well, had a great smoke ring and flavor. I think a little longer wrapped and it would have been just right with the tenderness.

Pork Butt didn't get tender enough. After 11 hours we were just done however (wife pulling the plug mod). We should've started earlier in the day. So the pork was a little more chopped than pulled, tender enough chopped though. Had a great flavor. Looking at it this morning should have added more meat or some slices.

Honest feedback please.


CTSmokehouse 07-01-2007 09:05 AM

More meat, less garnish...You could have got 6 thighs in if you did 2 rows of 3 (or 3 rows of 2)...Looks good enough to eat...!

Good luck!

Yours in BBQ,


HeSmellsLikeSmoke 07-01-2007 11:27 AM

I am not an experieced judge, so take these comments with a grain of seasoned salt.

For the first real practice run I think things look very promising.

Chicken - Looks like you didn't pull back the skin and trim the thighs to match in size and shape? If not, that will help a lot. Also looks like you put the finising glaze on a bit early and the sugar in it got burned in places.

Ribs - No way to see anything but the top of the ribs so no idea how tender they look. You can build up under the ribs with lettuce to make them stand up more in the box so they don't look lost in the garnish. Looks like only five ribs?

Brisket - Your best looking box. I want to reach in and grab one of those slices.

Pork - I would put more pork in there. See comment above about putting a lettuce bed under the pork to make it stand up more in the box. The more pork, the hotter it will be when the judges finally get to sample it, plus it is overwhelmed by the garnish. I would also add six nice pieces with bark on them for the judges to sample in addition the bark you have mixed in.

General comment is to wait 15 or 20 minutes to see how your boxes look and taste -- about the time they will have to wait for the judges to sample them. A lot of the juice sheen will disappear and the pork and brisket will set up some which affects tenderness and texture. Most everything a judge tastes is at room temperature. You need to devise methods to deal with the time lapse.

Mooner 07-01-2007 12:11 PM


Originally Posted by CTSmokehouse (Post 420455)
More meat, less garnish...You could have got 6 thighs in if you did 2 rows of 3 (or 3 rows of 2)...Looks good enough to eat...!

Good luck!

Yours in BBQ,


I agree, all of your meat looks absolutely top notch!! I learned this a few weeks ago and it's excellent. Think of a putting green when you build your boxes. Use green leaf lettuce chopped up as the filler and curly parsley on top so all of your meat rests on the parsley. It will really accentuate your entries. Nice meat though, looks great.

Bentley 07-01-2007 07:21 PM

Try and make this short and sweet!

Ck, pieces obvoiusly need to be trimed to be uniform, if you think you are going to be able to just cook a bunch of theighs and then pick out six that match, I think you will be unpleasently surprised. Unlike some I think the color is good, it is tasty looking chicken. If you are going to use garnish I say go for it, can't have too much in my opinion! 8

Ribs do look buried in the garnish, so tight together hard for me to see in the picture if cut were jagged, I would have used more parsley, maybe just parsley in each cornor and a large amout of it, or none at all. 7

Same with the brisket, more parsley or lose it all together! Either KISS or go balls out! 7

Pork looks the best to me. I guess I am a minimalist! I like the amount in the box on this one. Simple green leaf and nothing else, bam! 8

lazyjacres 07-01-2007 08:33 PM

Other than the chicken, all the boxes look to not have enough meat in them to make it look proportionate. Show the meat not the garnish. Stack the brisket in there so that all the pieces line up and look even. For a KCBS contest you will have to present 6 pieces of everything. More is better if you can get it in there. Fill the box.
All in all the meat looks good. You might want to give the ribs a little sheen. Spray it with some apple juice before you close the box.

MilitantSquatter 07-01-2007 08:58 PM

In a case like this where the chicken is not presented like everyone else in prefect oval shapes, I really like it being unsymmetrical ( I know there are only 5).

Not that I would ever judge down for it, but the chicken thighs needs to look like chicken thighs, not potato croquettes...

For a thigh, I think you nailed it... I know many others may differ. This chicken looks well cooked, not dunked in sauce etc. I'm 8-9 here...

Meat Burner 07-01-2007 10:52 PM

:lol: Based on my comp don't want my advise.:lol:

cmcadams 07-02-2007 10:08 AM

Remember that you don't have to take the chicken as you get it... You can trim down the meat any way you want to do it, so big thighs can be made into smaller thighs.

More meat, for sure, plus the pork and brisket look dry... try using some sauce on them, or at least spritz with apple juice.

WalterSC 07-02-2007 10:28 AM

If ya dont use the green stuff you can put more in the boxes trust me on that one. The thighs could have used some trimming but all in all the turn ins looked fine to me. As a judge with the South Carolina BBQ Association we look for : Appearance of Entry, Aroma,Tenderness/Texture,Taste, and Overall Impression , when judging turn in boxes. Also we dont do garnish we judge BBQ as it is presented by the teams , the more meat the better.

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