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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 04-02-2013, 07:01 AM   #1
McEvoy AZ
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Default What do you look for in you brisket that tells you that it could be 1st place

I know now when I have good chicken, pork, or ribs before turn in. Brisket on the other hand, besides moisture I am not sure I know. My question is, what is it that would make you think you'll get a great score in brisket? Do you know before you cook that you have a great piece of meat? I think I understand like I said before that it should be moist and tender, but crust or taste I am not so sure. Do you have to use finishing spice or rub? How about sauce. Not having burnt ends hurt you?
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Unread 04-02-2013, 07:14 AM   #2
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For me it starts with a nice well marbled brisket cooked the best I can. If it finishes with a nice bark and color and oozes juice when I cut into it, I like my chances. Flavor is subjective but so long as you can taste the beef and smoke over whatever rub you put on it - it's good at least in my eyes.

BTW, I do IBCA so sauce and burnt ends don't really apply.

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Unread 04-02-2013, 07:28 AM   #3
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Sometimes I can tell from the beginning that a brisket has potential, but most of the time I don't know until I slice it and taste it.
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Unread 04-02-2013, 09:02 AM   #4
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Now keep in mind our team is really new at competitions (only 2nd year) but we have developed a system that tells us 100% of the time what 1st place brisket looks like:

If it's in another team's box, it has a chance at 1st place!

Last edited by Pole D; 04-02-2013 at 09:37 AM..
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Unread 04-02-2013, 09:20 AM   #5
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Once upon a time, a few years back, we competed against Johnny and Trish Trigg and congratulated them on their recent 180 brisket. While the boys were chatting, I asked Miss Trish, "Now tell me, was that 180 brisket the very best brisket you've ever cooked?" She blurted out, "Oh hell no!" and we laughed.

And that's the way it goes. There will be some days when you're convinced you've got a world-beater brisket, you KNOW it's tender and moist and tasty, and the judges just don't agree. There will be some days when you know you'll need a LOT of help at the table, and you'll get it and then some.

I've had other people make the call after a post turn in taste, but it's been very, very seldom that I knew from the outset that any particular brisket was a winner that day.
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Unread 04-02-2013, 10:55 AM   #6
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LMAOROF, I know i have a winner when i dont really like it. Most everytime i think i have a winner the judges disagree
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Unread 04-02-2013, 11:10 AM   #7
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Well, just having a good looking box,even slices with a nice bark, and tender meat is a good start. passes a pull-test and tastes good? all the better, although we've yet to take a first in brisket
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Unread 04-02-2013, 11:55 AM   #8
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I was fortunate enough to hit the right table one day and got a Perfect Score in Brisket (at the time, the first ever) at an FBA contest and honestly, it was a good brisket but I didn't care for it flavor wise. In my opinion, I've cooked several that were better since then that didn't hit and several that were worse that did. Basically, everything everyone has said thus far is spot on and not to beat a dead horse but IMO you've got to have a really good cook and/or be half arse lucky...I prefer both
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Unread 04-02-2013, 12:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QTEX View Post
LMAOROF, I know i have a winner when i dont really like it. Most everytime i think i have a winner the judges disagree
I agree totally.The last contest I was in we thought it was the best Brisket we had ever cooked. As it turned out it was an 11th place brisket. We had already got calls on Chicken 4th, Ribs 3rd, and Pork 4th, and thought the brisket was the best chance for a call.
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Unread 04-02-2013, 12:55 PM   #10
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I has the chance to taste a brisket turned in by Harry Soo, in a comp that he did very well in overall, and to be honest, I whiffed on his brisket. It didn't seem to be all that great. Yet he scored very well with it. The flavor was very mild, almost subdued. The texture and moisture were great though.
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Unread 04-02-2013, 01:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
And that's the way it goes. There will be some days when you're convinced you've got a world-beater brisket, you KNOW it's tender and moist and tasty, and the judges just don't agree. There will be some days when you know you'll need a LOT of help at the table, and you'll get it and then some.
I'm still waiting for that day. No matter how good we think we cooked a brisket, the judges don't like it.
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Unread 04-02-2013, 01:14 PM   #12
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I think this is where setting time aside to judge comps comes into play. Learning what kind of flavors (or lack thereof) are scoring well is pretty valuable. I noticed here in TX that a lot of head judges who also compete seem to do consistently well.
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Unread 04-02-2013, 02:42 PM   #13
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I can usually tell when we have a top 10 brisket.. beyond that it moves more towards the luck of the table.
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Unread 04-02-2013, 03:04 PM   #14
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I can tell when I have a top 10 brisket when I put it in the cambro.
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Unread 04-02-2013, 03:38 PM   #15
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Rick - remember when we talked in Havasu and I told you my best meat was brisket and my ribs were OK? I ended up with 1st in ribs and I think around 20th in Brisket...

That's the way it goes - there are 6 people in there judging your meat, as long as you think it is good then it has a chance. If it is over/under done, dry, etc. then it probably will not do well on the table.
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