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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 10-04-2012, 02:49 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DivaHerself View Post
Oh my, oh my. We recently heard a great deal of similar talk in Texas, at an invitational rib contest. "Salad" was not allowed. We were told repeatedly that "if it needs sauce, give it a toss". Having never cooked in Texas before, we of course knew that Texas is the only *real* bbq, and that Texans *know* good BBQ.

Imagine our surprise when we won.
But how was the Tex Mex?
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Unread 10-04-2012, 03:09 PM   #47
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Tex Mex was awesome, of course, and I've spent this week reverse-engineering a wonderful green sauce we had. The boys have gone through a half-gallon so far!
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Unread 10-04-2012, 03:43 PM   #48
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Counselor, I think you are going to have a hard time being certified as a expert witness in the court of public opinion. The more you told us how good you are, the more difficult it became for me to swallow.

You participated in taking this conversation from garnish and smoke ring as it relates to scores, to lack of sponsorship for yourself and what others receive. Besides the fact that it's not relevant the argument borders on nonsense. Texana, aka Craig Sharry, aka Texas Pepper Jelly is paying his own expenses including the pits on the back of his trailer. He had the same choice you did, and chose to spend the money. I've got no clue what the deal is with Pitmaker, because it's not my place to ask George or Victor about their financial arrangements nor do I care. They've put themselves in the position to have the funds to do it, it wasn't given to them.

You received the most input, that was not supportive, from fellow Texans? As a Texan that has cooked both in Texas and KCBS I've formed a general opinion based on your posts in this thread and others....beginning with your desire for a showdown with Johnny Trigg. Opinion, stated as fact does not fly with many members of the jury. Until that changes I'm afraid that I'll perceive you as "J Let Me Tell You How Good I Am Money". Talk less, cook more, let your results speak for themselves and that experience will translate to credibility.
What does me having a desire to have a showdown with Johnny trigg have to do you? You said let the experience talk for itself. I just showed you my experience with all the trophies. I'm sorry if your experience was not as pleasant in the sanctioned events as mine, it happens that would be the only reason I would think you wouldn't be able to stomach it. I have judged in ctba, IBCA, lone star and they all have put emphasis directly/indirectly on the fact that a smoke ring is a natural occurring product of the cook, and not to gauge your score primarily on that. But yes, the does it look good and taste good and the overall enjoyment, but anyone no matter who they are for judging should mark down for what the consider enhanced smoke ring because you can't be absolutely certain.
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Unread 10-04-2012, 03:53 PM   #49
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Its the education systems fault.. you know we are required to take Texas History like 3 times....
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Unread 10-04-2012, 04:26 PM   #50
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Its the education systems fault.. you know we are required to take Texas History like 3 times....
I think it was the lead In the paint chips
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Unread 10-04-2012, 05:47 PM   #51
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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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KCBS table captains are NOT suppose to tell the judges how to or how not to score.... that is how I was taught anyway.....


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Originally Posted by landarc View Post

If I am going to judge a piece of meat, or a box, or a plate of food, I am going to take a look to see if it is appetizing, and if there is a smoke ring, or not, it all comes into play if the food looks good. For me, I don't need to see a smoke ring for a piece of meat to look good, but, there has to be something. I might well judge down for a piece of meat with a large smoke ring, not because of the ring, but, because overall, it just doesn't do it for me.

"I might judge down for a piece of meat with a large smoke ring"... So, you are not judging for what is presented to you, but to what you like or don't like? That is a no-no... judge what is presented to you ! ! !



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The reality is, you get so little time to really judge a boxes appearance, it walks by you, and sometimes rather quickly, maybe a few seconds to see the entire thing. If the meat really rocks, it hardly matters what the greenery looks like, as the judges (all meat eaters) will be looking at the meat. If the meat is blah, then their eyes will wander. But, sometimes, despite your best efforts, the meat does not really rock, that is when a few points, or fractions thereof, just might lift you up a spot or two.
When I table captain, I wait until I get the nod from the judge that he/she has had a good look at the presentation before them, and then go to the next. It might take a couple of extra seconds, but I know that they have had a chance to judge properly.
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Unread 10-04-2012, 06:16 PM   #52
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Back to the OP...
I'm a comp noob with no credentials to speak of. The garnish issue is totally hypocritical, IM lowly O. I'm of the understanding that the garnish, or lack thereof, shouldn't affect a cook's score. However, when you scan the criticisms on this site along with BBQcritic, almost all will mention the garnish. How can a judge comment on the garnish if they were supposed to ignore it? I see comments like too low, too sparse in an area, not an even "frame," etc. For something that shouldn't matter, it gets a lot of attention. It is obvious, to me anyway, that judges are looking extensively at the garnish. It takes effort for a judge to determine if your garnish "frame" is uneven, for example. If a judge is actively comparing the size of the top row garnish to the bottom, he/she is burning calories on criteria that shouldn't influence their opinion. I have a hard time believing that a judge who has evaluated the garnish to this level of detail is just going to discard his evaluation. It WILL influence his score.

So the message that garnish is immaterial is not resonating with the judges. I think that this falls on KCBS training.

Knowing this, a cook can whine/bitch/complain (sorta like I did above) and lose, or adapt and pretend that you are being scored on presentation and not appearance. Because you are.
My take for what it's worth Kwas....

When you go to an art museum, all the paintings, or at least most, are in frames, correct? Now, not too many folks will pay much attention, if any, to the frames, but usually, the frame is picked so that the art it's framing "pops"

So, if I'm looking at a painting, and the frame does it's job and makes the art look better than if it weren't there, it's done it's job. But I'm not going to critique by saying they should have used knotty pine instead of cedar

On the other hand, I don't think I'd lose sleep if KCBS did away with garnish, but I don't see that happening

As to the whole smoke ring thing, I always cook comp briskets hot and fast, and always have at least a 1/4" smoke ring on them, without any chemicals other than what naturally occurs in the meat, and coals. I've tasted a number of briskets that were exposed to TQ (cook told me it was in the rub) and it tasted crappy. But technically, using TQ isn't against any rule. But other than adding color, what's the point. Brisket doesn't need curing unless you're making corned beef (edie: or sausage!)
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Unread 10-05-2012, 07:32 AM   #53
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It leaves a hammy taste if left on too long from the curing process. I can see why it would be horrible if left on the whole cook
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Unread 10-05-2012, 09:17 AM   #54
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It leaves a hammy taste if left on too long from the curing process. I can see why it would be horrible if left on the whole cook
But if all you're using it for is an artificially enhanced smoke ring, what's the point?

TQ is for making cured meat. Other than corned beef or sausage, it really has no legitimate place in a brisket preparation
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Unread 10-05-2012, 10:00 AM   #55
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S&S, I agree. Good garnish does make the meat look better.

I think the analogy doesn't work completely because there are a disproportionate amount of comments on garnish vs. a painting's frame. When I've gone to the museum I have never commented on a frame. I would think that the majority of people are looking at the painting or "meat" in this analogy. My guess is that if you went to a painting critic website, they would talk about colors, brush strokes, lighting, shadows, etc. I highly doubt the frame would get as much press as garnish does in BBQ critiques. One could argue that the frames in museums are done well and therefore aren't commented on. But BBQ critics will even compliment good garnish.

I'm not saying it is necessarily wrong, but it is hypocritical. For something that is supposed to be ignored, it gets way too much attention. Something that is getting that much attention has to be affecting scores. So just call it what it is - presentation - and be done with it.
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Unread 10-05-2012, 10:17 AM   #56
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I also wanted to make the point that "appearance" is the easiest judging category to nail down. In my first comp, my appearance scores averaged a point over my taste and tenderness scores. That's because I knew what was expected because I was able to get very valuable feedback on my practice rounds. Not knowing that a sloppily garnished box is going to score poorly just indicates the cook didn't do his homework.
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Unread 10-05-2012, 10:23 AM   #57
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I would think that the majority of poor appearance scores are due to unappetizing appearance of the meat.
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Unread 10-05-2012, 10:24 AM   #58
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No doubt, but, as others have pointed out, at least in KCBS, it's unlikely garnish will be going away. I know what you mean though, all the tutorials for perfect putting greens, etc. Sometimes it seems like the meat becomes an afterthought.

But I think, right or wrong, one of the things that separates the elite teams, who win week in and week out, from the rest of us, is their attention to every little detail, and, for better or worse, garnish IS a detail, and likely an important one, at least in KCBS
We can debate fairness or judge re-education all winter long (but lets don't!) it won't change.

As to the smoke ring, that's one that, in my opinion, should be open to some instruction from a rep where appropriate. KCBS rules say it is not to be considered, and using that criterion, if a judge is heard saying he judged down because it "looked fake", or up because it "had such a beautiful smoke ring" , should receive an onsite rule refresher. If I were a table captain, I would certainly at least mention such a comment to a rep.
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Unread 10-05-2012, 10:57 AM   #59
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S&S...Right on. Why would you want to lose a point from a judge or two if a good looking green would get it for you? It is all the details and that is why my wife prepares and mows the greens. I am not a decorator, she is. I actually think she takes a lot of pride in them. She always wants me to take a picture of it before I place the meat on it. Maybe that's so she can say...hey what was wrong with the appearance of the meat you cooked if we get a low appearance score?
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