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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Unread 10-01-2012, 11:10 AM   #1
Pig Pimp 21
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Default Judging Rings and Garnish

(Excuse this first post, as I am sure it has been discussed ad nauseum before, but I couldn't make the forum search work for me - something about restrictions on newbs I think.)

In looking at judges' comments at places like BBQ critic, I notice again and again that there are comments on garnish and smoke rings. We all know those things shouldn't be considered in scoring, but let's face it, some judges consider them. And some who know better probably do subconsciously.

Is it a disservice to those new to competition (like me) to suggest that those aesthetic "non-factors" are really irrelevant? When one point can make the difference shouldn't we just come out and say it - garnish and smoke rings matter to judges.

Also, do judges get feedback to know if their scores are anomalous? (This is really a different topic, but I don't want to overdo the new threads right off).
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Unread 10-01-2012, 11:27 AM   #2
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From my perspective it is common knowledge that these factors are important. Now at the CBJ class they teach the jugdes not to score based on these factors, but if they weren't relevant cooks wouldn't make artificial smoke rings and putting greens to begin with.

The point is attention to detail is paramount to success in this game, even if they are details that judges are taught to not may pay attention to. If it makes your meat look good, do it!

As far a judges knowing if they are scoring different than the rest of the table, it is at the reps' discretion to discuss with the judge and let them know. I know some reps are better than others at this. Do I wish more could be done so judges could get statistical feedback of their scoring patterns? You bet.
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Unread 10-01-2012, 11:36 AM   #3
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The search restrictions will go away if you purchase a subscription. (Hint hint...)
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Unread 10-01-2012, 02:44 PM   #4
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Subscription, eh? Guess I've been lurking in the wrong places and missed that option. I think I should hold off on the subscription until I can assess how well folks around here tolerate me.
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Unread 10-01-2012, 02:50 PM   #5
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Look at the very bottom of the page for a Google Search bar keyed to this site.
Not the most elegant, but does work.

Don't worry about "tolerate"....

Welcome aboard.

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Unread 10-01-2012, 03:10 PM   #6
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Down here in tx, of you put salad in your box or cover it with BBQ sauce, your chit is gettin thrown in the trash and automatic dq! And I like it that way and I have no desire to compete outside of that realm. Heck even in our non sanctioned events, if it's not a vinegar based mop and it looks glazed, trash can! I love it, let the BBQ speak for itself, sauce is for the people that need to cover up their BBQ. I do admit to using TQ for a unspecified amount of time in both cookoffs, but we do well, so gonna keep doin it.


It's not near that big at cookoffs. Left that one on for 30 min
People get all wrapped up in stuff that don't matter. It should taste good and be tender
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Unread 10-01-2012, 03:11 PM   #7
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I think that it doesn't take very long to figure out that garnish, presentation and smoke ring will matter in the end. But, I would say that most folks will realize that long before they nail all the other factors needed to get a good cook produced.
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Unread 10-01-2012, 07:08 PM   #8
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O L D debate on garnish; KCBS will not rid itself. Going back to the founders, they felt strongly that it separated KCBS from other sanctioning bodies, and so it shall stay. They dont care about debate about it IS judged, consciously or unconsciously, it's part of the history that isn't to go away.

I can tell you that a few of the best looking pork, brisket, and rib boxes I've ever seen had no garnish. Use it, or dont.

As to the smoke ring, that's a very toughie. For many people, the smoke ring and the very nature of it is what IS part of what IS appetizing in BBQ. Not all are appetizing, but some without it can be overly un-appetizing... It's not so much that they're judging it, perse, but that it contributes to the appealing nature of the Q. Luckily appearance score is weighted low.
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Unread 10-03-2012, 09:06 AM   #9
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Garnish is optional, but nonetheless gets used to enhance appearance via the contrast it introduces. It is hard to ignore a well garnished entry, but most judges can get past it. Garnishing is so established that I've seen only one non-garnished box in the last five years.

Currently, the only feedback to judges is via the Table Captain who, in some circumstances, inform new judges if their scores are high or low compared to the rest of the table. New software will allow for judge tracking in the future.

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Unread 10-03-2012, 09:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hub View Post
Garnish is optional, but nonetheless gets used to enhance appearance via the contrast it introduces. It is hard to ignore a well garnished entry, but most judges can get past it. Garnishing is so established that I've seen only one non-garnished box in the last five years.


Hub
And how did you judge or IMO which alot of judges do "grudge"
I have heard coments like : not full enough, not enough sauce, etc etc
I have even heard of comments like : didn't appear to be cut from the same rib
I will stick with my good ol tx BBQ associations where they judge nothing but the BBQ
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Unread 10-03-2012, 10:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmoney7269 View Post
Left that one on for 30 min
People get all wrapped up in stuff that don't matter. It should taste good and be tender
Jmoney, I know you said you do fine w/TQ but I will tell you that judges that cook BBQ/brisket will recognize it. I know I do, the smoke ring on the sides give it away for me. Unless the flavor is really good, I'd probably score it down a point or 2. You probably already know this, just FYI.
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Unread 10-03-2012, 11:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JS-TX View Post
Jmoney, I know you said you do fine w/TQ but I will tell you that judges that cook BBQ/brisket will recognize it. I know I do, the smoke ring on the sides give it away for me. Unless the flavor is really good, I'd probably score it down a point or 2. You probably already know this, just FYI.
And that's why you shouldn't be a judge! Just FYI. What gives you the right to presume the use of TQ and score down on a brisket? If I were a team which does trim the flat to fit the box before cooking, and there is meat exposed with No rub, the ring will be larger or to a non knowing judge to be enhanced. You are not supposed to make appearance scores based on a smoke ring which is actually a natural process of cooking. Woods contain nitrates as they burn the affect the meat. Pretty soon, any appearance of a smoke ring will be bad, and none will be allowed at all. Gimme a break. As a practicing lawyer, we tend to know these thing. Assumption is not perceived as truth or even law. As I disagree with you in this aspect, now you have no presumptive right.
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Unread 10-03-2012, 06:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmoney7269 View Post
And that's why you shouldn't be a judge! Just FYI. What gives you the right to presume the use of TQ and score down on a brisket? If I were a team which does trim the flat to fit the box before cooking, and there is meat exposed with No rub, the ring will be larger or to a non knowing judge to be enhanced. You are not supposed to make appearance scores based on a smoke ring which is actually a natural process of cooking. Woods contain nitrates as they burn the affect the meat. Pretty soon, any appearance of a smoke ring will be bad, and none will be allowed at all. Gimme a break. As a practicing lawyer, we tend to know these thing. Assumption is not perceived as truth or even law. As I disagree with you in this aspect, now you have no presumptive right.
Just looks unnatural and overdone to me bro. Much rather see a natural ring when I open that box. Personally I see no reason to enhance it when it occurs naturally.
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Unread 10-03-2012, 07:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmoney7269 View Post
I will stick with my good ol tx BBQ associations where they judge nothing but the BBQ
Gotta laugh at these Texans sometimes.

And I will stick with the good ole KCBS.
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Unread 10-03-2012, 07:03 PM   #15
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Justin...

If they are judging nothing but the Q down here in Texas, why use Tender Quick?

And there is sauce used in every competition around here, to say that it gets thrown in the trash is inaccurate.

The OP was obviously directing his comments toward a KCBS type cook, no need to hijack the thread.
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