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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 03-07-2009, 10:39 PM   #1
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Hi All
After taking the KCBS judging class in MD in 2008 and being instructed to judge appearance of the box on the meat and not the garnish and...
After reviewing some of the threads in the competition section I was wondering?:
1: there seem to be a lot of comments regarding judging turn in boxes regarding garnish, specifically, not symmetrical, 1 leaf overhanging the box, not enough parsely on one side etc etc

Q: Are these comments and suggestions based on how you judge if you are a KCBS judge OR just what you want your box to look like when you turn it in?

The class I took they were emphatic about judging the MEAT appearacne and not the asthetics of the garnish and artistic presentation of the box?

thanks for your help
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Unread 03-07-2009, 10:52 PM   #2
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No matter what the rules say.. it's part of the game.

Top notch garnish arrangement will make the meat standout.. Attention to detail w/garnish can also positively affect the taste score before it is even sampled (as wrong as that may be). A judge may be more apt to have pre-conceived idea that it will taste good and will have a harder time scoring it down if it looks like it should taste good.

As much as most might say they don't judge the garnish, it has to have some subliminal effect for some judges.. and that's all that might be needed to get a better score/placing.

Also remember - not every contest has 100% CBJ's..
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Unread 03-08-2009, 12:59 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilitantSquatter View Post

Also remember - not every contest has 100% CBJ's..
Amen!

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Unread 03-08-2009, 07:31 PM   #4
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Along the lines of what Vinny said... Even if you arent judging the garnish per se, Sloppy garnish can make the meat seem sloppy too. Pale or yellowed leaves, can also give the appearance of subpar meat. If you are putting garnish in the box, it is to enhance how your meat looks, and make it look more appitizing. That is why we are generally anal about garnish in the boxes, and how it looks. :)
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Unread 03-08-2009, 07:39 PM   #5
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Gotta remember that the boxes are passed by each judge pretty quickly so first impressions are very important. All other things being equal, a well garnished box - one that presents the meat to the best advantage, makes a better first impression.
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Unread 03-09-2009, 08:32 AM   #6
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I was judging a contest and do everything in my power to avoid looking at the garnish. I was doing prettty darn well until I had a question on the cut of meat turned in and aske dth table captain to ask a rep about it. The rep cam over and DQ's the entery because they had red tip in the box and then started talking down a few judges asking how stupid were they they couldn't tell red tip from a leagal garnish. Wouldn't let up and kept degrading them, until I asked if the meat was legal. Broke his chain of thought and he looked at me with disgust and walked away.

Learned two things that day, 1. you have to look at the garnish for legality reasons and 2. that rep was huge d#$k that I have lost all repsect for.
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Unread 03-09-2009, 08:41 AM   #7
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Both Vinny and Andy are right... It's not so much that you are trying to get a score on the garnish, but that the garnish is at the very least not taking away any points from the meat.

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Unread 03-09-2009, 08:48 AM   #8
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also, along those lines, from the mental standpoint, if the garnish is neat, it shows that care went into the box/meat/presentation....and, if I can get a judge thinking positive based on what is put in front of them, then, so be it....besides, working on the boxes gives me some relaxation...yeah, I know, I am sick like that, but, it is a good break from stress, to just sit down, have the music going, and play with some greens......
But, that being said, please, everyone, dont take time to work boxes.....it is the best advice I can give.....
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Unread 03-09-2009, 09:39 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the input so far. I totally get the first impression thing, the care that went into the box thing etc.
I guess different judging class instructors will focus on slightly different things, but I remember our instructor saying that the appearance should make you want to dive in that box and go to town on it. The more delcious the meat looks the higher the score. if you look at the box and your thinking that you dont want to taste it it should score low.
With that being said, some threads in the competiton section that ask for people to judge their turn box have gotten suggestions like, " the burnt ends arent facing in all the same direction", etc
Based on the criteria stated above, I am not so sure that if the burnt ends are all facing the same way, it makes the judge want to "dive into the box and go to town" on the meat.
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Unread 03-09-2009, 09:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by U2CANQUE View Post
besides, working on the boxes gives me some relaxation...it is a good break from stress, to just sit down, have the music going, and play with some greens......
I agree. It's pretty mindless work if you prep garnish boxes ahead of crunch time. You can zone out, or hang out and talk with members of your team or friends from another team.

Bottom line on garnish - it enhances the meat.

For added fun, have a bunch of black bears run through camp while you're doing this at night. Now THAT is relaxation!
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Unread 03-09-2009, 10:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trohrs123 View Post
With that being said, some threads in the competiton section that ask for people to judge their turn box have gotten suggestions like, " the burnt ends arent facing in all the same direction", etc

Based on the criteria stated above, I am not so sure that if the burnt ends are all facing the same way, it makes the judge want to "dive into the box and go to town" on the meat.
While I would tend to agree with you, I can also see getting a quick glance at a box and thinking that it was put together quickly and without the attention to detail... What other details did they miss when cooking the brisket?
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Unread 03-09-2009, 10:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
For added fun, have a bunch of black bears run through camp while you're doing this at night. Now THAT is relaxation!
No, remember, SOMEONE said that it was just someone putting things in their trash.....me, Montana life says, hmmmmm, bear in woods, food all around, not a good combo.....but, then again, no picture, didnt happen....
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Unread 03-09-2009, 03:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
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... What other details did they miss when cooking the brisket?
Your assuming they cooked the brisket wrong because the parsley wasn't neat? That's a new one.
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Unread 03-09-2009, 07:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trohrs123 View Post
Thanks for all the input so far. I totally get the first impression thing, the care that went into the box thing etc.
I guess different judging class instructors will focus on slightly different things, but I remember our instructor saying that the appearance should make you want to dive in that box and go to town on it. The more delcious the meat looks the higher the score. if you look at the box and your thinking that you dont want to taste it it should score low.
With that being said, some threads in the competiton section that ask for people to judge their turn box have gotten suggestions like, " the burnt ends arent facing in all the same direction", etc
Based on the criteria stated above, I am not so sure that if the burnt ends are all facing the same way, it makes the judge want to "dive into the box and go to town" on the meat.
I think the suggestions you will typically see mentioned on this forum as opposed to a judging class are the very minute details. Some may be meaningful and others less so.. but every little bit helps even if a team only remembers a few of them as a final "check list"
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Unread 03-09-2009, 07:41 PM   #15
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Tim, the garnish threads are always interesting. I do understand why you posted the question. This part of the judging is on presentation only. Since KCBS allows garnish, most competitors use it even thought it is not a requirement. Any food presentation can be better with appropriate garnish as long as the garnish only makes the meat look better, which I think is why KCBS limits what garnish can be used. It will be obvious is the garnish is overpowering and doesn't accent the meat, and should be marked down on presentation. A proper garnish really does draw your attention to the meat and not the garnish. Hope that makes sence.
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