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Unread 09-10-2011, 06:29 PM   #1
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Default Judging question

Not to beat a dead (or on life support) horse, but, is it the opinion or official position of anyone on, or representing the board, that CBJ's are permitted to, or encouraged to offer specific cooking or preperation advice to cooks?

Example, a comment card that says "need to inject."

Thanks.
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Unread 09-11-2011, 09:17 AM   #2
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My suggestion would be to answer "why" does the cook need to inject. Was the meat dry or did it not have any flavor? How does a judge know if the cook did or did not inject? I recall a comment card telling me I needed to take the membrane off of my ribs when I had done so. I suggest a judge be specific regarding their observations.
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Unread 09-13-2011, 01:52 AM   #3
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I agree that comments from judges should be entirely empirical and free of the judge's guesses as to why a particular state was achieved. It is enough to simply relate what you experienced rather than attempt to blindly diagnose (or worse yet, propose a cure for) the negative attribute you detected in the sample.

Few things annoy a cook more than those "don't use lighter fluid" or "clean your grill" comments from judges. In most cases they are incorrect assumptions and not helpful.
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Unread 09-15-2011, 07:30 PM   #4
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Didn't KCBS Board members used to read this forum?
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Unread 09-19-2011, 06:43 AM   #5
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Anything from the BoD?
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Unread 09-25-2011, 05:31 PM   #6
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Complete silence from the Board? WTF?
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Unread 09-26-2011, 09:54 AM   #7
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What do you want the bod to say?

Judging is subjective. Never got a constructive comment card myself, so me, personally, I don't think much of them and I don't hold much account to them.

Obviously, you're expecting more from a comment card than I am.
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Unread 09-26-2011, 10:17 AM   #8
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I've seen some (posted) that could've been helpful, and I've seen some (personal experience and posted) that weren't worth the paper nor time. For a long time I've been a fan of check-box comments, because knowing some of this could/would be helpful (IMHO). I mean, as a cook, I'd like to know. Probably the easiest would be tenderness:
Mushy Tough Rubbery Crunchy Greasy Dry Fatty

Taste might be:
too salty too sweet bland petroleum too spicy/hot off-taste too smokey too saucy

Appearance, probably not. It's purely subjective as to what the individual finds appetizing. They either do, or dont.
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Unread 09-26-2011, 01:28 PM   #9
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My inital request was on the comment that I recieved and saw (seperate contests) that gave a directive on HOW to cook. I.e, "Inject your meat." This too me is a judge overstepping the bounds of the oath and what they are supposed to do. I have no problem with descriptive terminology (mushy, fatty, bland, etc) but for a judge to tell a cook HOW to cook is just offensive (IMHO).
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Unread 09-26-2011, 04:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmcmaster View Post
for a judge to tell a cook HOW to cook is just offensive (IMHO).
It would be like having a cook tell a CBJ how to judge!!! (IMHO)


Seriously, if comment cards are used correctly I think that they CAN be beneficial - as in stating the reason a particular score was given. But I definitely agree that a judge has NO business trying to tell a cook how to cook! When/if I give a 7 or below I think that the cook deserves to know WHY I gave that score! Without feedback from the judges on why the score was low how can a cook expect to "fix" a problem (if a problem exists). If 4-5 judges all gave the entry low scores I would hope (as a cook myself) to get at least ONE comment card to indicate WHY!
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Unread 09-26-2011, 05:32 PM   #11
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I am both a cook and a judge.

When the judges are instructed on what to provide on the feedback cards, they are requested to provide 'constructive comments' that will 'help a cook improve'.

I think that there isn't much of a leap between 'use a sharper knife' and understanding that the judge found the edges of my ribs to be ragged and there for less appealing.

Or 'use less salt' means that my entry was too salty. Etc.

Remember, any time a person is feeling offended, that should throw up a signal flag that there is an opportunity to learn something.

I am here to learn as much as I can about cooking and competing in BBQ - everyone has something to offer, no matter who they are or what they have to say or how they say it.
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Unread 09-26-2011, 07:58 PM   #12
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I hear ya, but often they're not saying "use less salt", they're saying "cooked too long" when it was actually "mushy" or worse it was actually "tough" and they thought it was cooked too long, when in either of those cases the cook chose the wrong piece of meat that was mushy (otherwise cooked to perfection) or it was tough because it was under-cooked. More often than not what they're recommending doesn't tell you what was wrong. In the example given at the start, what was wrong with the meat. Honestly, as a competition cook, I have no idea. "Need to inject"? Why? Was it too dry? Was it bland? Was the judge a moron? We're left to guess. I'm choosing option 3. My guess is that he/she has no idea what injecting has to do with it. For that matter, what if they DID inject? What was the value of that response? Some of injecting is WHAT you inject with, so as to assist in breaking down fats, or NOT to assist. It was a very bizarre recommendation.

I'd rather, as a cook, them say point blank what the problem is. As a cook, with any luck, I can figure out how to fix it. More often than not I've cooked 1,000 more butts than they have (seriously). I LOVE feedback, positive and negative. Give it, but dont critique the cooking method if you have no clue as to what I've done. A rookie or new team, if they dont understand how/what to change to fix the problem; they've always got bbq-brethren, right?


JMHO.
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Unread 09-27-2011, 06:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake Dogs View Post
I hear ya, but often they're not saying "use less salt", they're saying "cooked too long" when it was actually "mushy" or worse it was actually "tough" and they thought it was cooked too long, when in either of those cases the cook chose the wrong piece of meat that was mushy (otherwise cooked to perfection) or it was tough because it was under-cooked. More often than not what they're recommending doesn't tell you what was wrong. In the example given at the start, what was wrong with the meat. Honestly, as a competition cook, I have no idea. "Need to inject"? Why? Was it too dry? Was it bland? Was the judge a moron? We're left to guess. I'm choosing option 3. My guess is that he/she has no idea what injecting has to do with it. For that matter, what if they DID inject? What was the value of that response? Some of injecting is WHAT you inject with, so as to assist in breaking down fats, or NOT to assist. It was a very bizarre recommendation.

I'd rather, as a cook, them say point blank what the problem is. As a cook, with any luck, I can figure out how to fix it. More often than not I've cooked 1,000 more butts than they have (seriously). I LOVE feedback, positive and negative. Give it, but dont critique the cooking method if you have no clue as to what I've done. A rookie or new team, if they dont understand how/what to change to fix the problem; they've always got bbq-brethren, right?


JMHO.
And this is the very crux of my question. Not as much a complaint, but a question, as to what can be done to help the judges who wish to provide an actual positive criticism the correct manner in which to do so.

As a cook and judge, I try to see both sides of the coin, and have NEVER thought to question HOW a meat was cooked, only the results. Are judges not speciically instructed to judge the meat AS PRESENTED; not, preperation methodology?
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Unread 09-27-2011, 08:10 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Candy Sue View Post
What do you want the bod to say?

Judging is subjective. Never got a constructive comment card myself, so me, personally, I don't think much of them and I don't hold much account to them.

Obviously, you're expecting more from a comment card than I am.
For the sake of cooks everywhere that are looking to improve their recipes and techniques, when it comes to the discussions on comment cards at the upcoming meetings I really hope the rest of the BoD's feelings are more positive than yours. There's no denying that the current system has room for improvement, so please consider some of the suggestions thrown out here such as changing the format of the card to a check box style as opposed to doing away with them completely.

Thanks.
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Unread 09-27-2011, 08:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmcmaster View Post
Are judges not speciically instructed to judge the meat AS PRESENTED; not, preperation methodology?
Actually I hear these words A LOT more when receiving "judging instructions" for MBN than KCBS; HOWEVER, it is stated in both. I think that it is more emphasized in MBN as you actually get a brief on "how" the meat is cooked at the grill during "on-site" judging.
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