Hey Two Porks - I have the same debate going on in my head. As a CBJ I personally have no problem with grill marks as long as they are uniform and when done properly the light caramelization adds a flavor boost similar to what you get with good bark and burnt ends. However, it does seem other judges mark down on appearance for grill marks either on chicken or ribs. Our ribs are our most consistent category so I have yet to turn-in comp ribs that I've done a quick finish on the grill. I think my taste scores would get a boost but I fear I would take a hit on appearance. That would still be a potential net gain since taste far outweighs appearance in scoring. A lot of "ifs" so I'm thinking I'll give it a go at a smaller comp next year - probably do them both ways and if the flavor pop is drastic enough to warrant a possible hit in appearance then I'll go with it and see what the scores say. Good luck this weekend. Say hi to Thin Blue Smoke for me. We have gotten to know them over a couple comps this year - great group of guys!
Matt Schneider - "The Smokesman" - Velvet Smoke BBQ & Catering
KCBS Certified BBQ Judge #54767
Weber Smokey Mountain 22 & Superior Smoker SS1
[B][COLOR="Red"]"To BBQ is human, for swine is divine!"[/COLOR][/B]