Originally Posted by AppalachianAmericanBBQ
I got a comment card on my chicken that said it tasted like lighter fluid. I didn't understand it because I dont use lighter fluid at all. So how can something taste like lighter fluid if youve never use it when you cook
I am going to clear this up for you. Hopefully when the next guy says the exact same thing you can clear it up for him.
You didnt manage your fire properly. That taste the judge ID'd as lighter fluid is dirty smoke on your meat.
You are going to say that you always have perfectly clear blue smoke rolling when you cook.
I am going to say, well keep doing what you are doing.
The problem that this highlights is not stupid judges or judges need to understand the labor of love that is competition bbq. What it shows is that the process works exactly as it should and that comment card while attempting to provide you with great feedback failed because of terminology.
The card should have read there was an off taste to the chicken. Taste scored down accordingly. Too often judges are trying to diagnose the issue on a comment card, rather than just highlight the comment card.
Comment cards should almost always be a description of a problem and not a diagnosis. This is something that could be handled with a simple reminder and explanation before each contest to the judges. No need for retraining, no need for mandatory, just explain when and how they should be using the comment cards. Let the reps pull any cards that dont conform and then the rep can remind that judges privately and individually about why and how they are to use comment cards.