Originally Posted by Jorge
The Open is a crapshoot, and most people recognize it. That being said, the judges do an amazing job when you sit down and look at the results most of the time. In some cases they err to benefit the cook as they did my ribs last year. They were good ribs, with the exception of the membrane left on the rack that had the flavor and tenderness. That was a "good" table. You win some and you lose some.
I've judged another large contest, that isn't KCBS sanctioned. I did NOT compare entries, but some entries probably did impact others. Some of the brisket I got was so bad that I could not get the creosote taste out of my mouth several hours later. I ate a LOT of crackers, and drank plenty of water. It did impact my sense of taste. The first good box to come my way may have benefited from that, or the lingering creosote flavor may have overpowered some subtle magic I couldn't pick up.
As a cook it's easy for me to point the finger of blame at the judges, but the fact is that they tend to get it right more often than not. There is too much consistency in a process that lends itself to inconsistency for me to argue otherwise.
As much as it bothers me, I have to agree with Jorgeís statement.
We did the Chicken Wing Challenge at our local Samís Club event. Later, we ran into one of our friends who we found out had judged the event.
When we described our wings, he said that he was at that table and immediately apologized. It ends up that the first entry was so hot that nothing tasted good after it.
Iím sure that the same thing can and has happened with the other categories. I know itís happened to me when I've judged.