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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 03-09-2009, 08:46 PM   #16
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In KCBS scoring, every single point matters. So even if one of the six judges gives you an extra appearance point for a tight looking box, it could make a difference. We did a contest last Saturday where the top 4 rib scores were 169.1430, 169.1428, 169.1426, and 169.1426. Places 2-4 are probably kicking themselves for being 1 piece of parsley away from a win.
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Unread 03-09-2009, 09:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divemaster View Post
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?
This is the kind of thinking that drives me nuts. Why do you assume that they missed something when cooking their brisket? Don't insert you own set of rules when judging. It's not fair and it's not allowed.

I was judginig a couple of years ago at the BarbeQlossal in Des Moines. One of the judges at the table downrated a pork entry because the box only had pulled pork in it. She said if they wanted a higher score they had to put in sliced pork in her opinion. WTF?

Don't assume because the garnish is not up to your standards that there is something wrong with the meat. Just judge the meat on it's merit.
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Unread 03-09-2009, 09:57 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakeside Smoker View Post
Your assuming they cooked the brisket wrong because the parsley wasn't neat? That's a new one.


Maybe they mistook the parsley for brisket
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Unread 03-09-2009, 10:23 PM   #19
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Like I said, these threads are always interesting! I like to see what folk think to help me when I judge and think about what I turn in when I do competition. The more information from both sides helps with both.
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Unread 03-10-2009, 05:52 AM   #20
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I guess my point or need for clarification is this: are the suggestiosn offered for boxes the opinions of competitiors or judges and if those offering suggestions are judges and using the criteria examples given, parsley placement, brush strokes etc, how do they reconcile that with the fact that those are not the instructions, for the most part, by KCBS reps? The judges class was clear that we may judge on what we like or dont like as judges but there are clear guidelines that i fear judges may be slowly getting away and instituting there own criteria
Thoughts?
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Unread 03-10-2009, 06:39 AM   #21
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As much as the cooks want a perfect judging pool based on a standard set of rules it's impossible to happen. It's still a reliable system but ultimately based on subjectivity and a person's senses (sight, taste, touch etc). Judging is a hobby not a paid position. Especially if a contest has only 50-75% certified judges, you've got to think about pleasing the remaining 25-50% who have never seen a turn in box before and making your box standout.

Most of the suggestions seen here come from the competitors (some of whom are also judges) and a smaller % come from judges only. Coming from a the competitor, it makes perfect sense that their suggestions are focused on the details to try to gain an extra a point or two as mentioned above.. From a judge, it would only be valuable if that's what they know about how other judges think and not what they do themselves.
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Unread 03-10-2009, 08:41 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divemaster View Post
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?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakeside Smoker View Post
Your assuming they cooked the brisket wrong because the parsley wasn't neat? That's a new one.
What I was trying to get across is that a lack of attention to detail in one area often leads to a lack of attention to detail in another.

If a box looks like the meat an garnish were just tossed in, then yes, I'm not going to score it well on appearance, and I'm going to be more critical when it comes to taste and tenderness. Like it or not, we do "eat with our eyes".

I'm not saying that a single piece of parsley out of place is going to make me knock off points left and right... What I'm saying is that a well put together box is going to make me want to score it higher... Like it or not, that's the way it is...

Quote:
Originally Posted by watertowerbbq View Post
This is the kind of thinking that drives me nuts. Why do you assume that they missed something when cooking their brisket? Don't insert you own set of rules when judging. It's not fair and it's not allowed.
These are not "my rules"... This is what I was taught in my CBJ class... If it makes you want to jump in and grab a piece of meat, score it higher, if not, score it lower...

Quote:
Originally Posted by watertowerbbq View Post
I was judginig a couple of years ago at the BarbeQlossal in Des Moines. One of the judges at the table downrated a pork entry because the box only had pulled pork in it. She said if they wanted a higher score they had to put in sliced pork in her opinion. WTF?
She was wrong... Plain and simple... What does that have to do with garnish?

Quote:
Originally Posted by watertowerbbq View Post
Don't assume because the garnish is not up to your standards that there is something wrong with the meat. Just judge the meat on it's merit.
If it looks good to you and not to me, who is right? Who's "Standards" should be imposed?

Again, I didn't say that there was any thing wrong with the meat... Again, it's the attention to detail...

If a box looks good, well put together, scoring it up is easier... There's an anticipation to trying the meat and because of that I'll be more open to the flavors put before me.

If a box looks like crap, it's going to take more for me to score it up and to be honest, in the back of my mind I'm going to be thinking, "They didn't care about presentation, what else didn't they care about?"

If presentation didn't matter, why do we score on appearance?
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Unread 03-10-2009, 04:41 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divemaster View Post
What I was trying to get across is that a lack of attention to detail in one area often leads to a lack of attention to detail in another.

If a box looks like the meat an garnish were just tossed in, then yes, I'm not going to score it well on appearance, and I'm going to be more critical when it comes to taste and tenderness. Like it or not, we do "eat with our eyes".

I'm not saying that a single piece of parsley out of place is going to make me knock off points left and right... What I'm saying is that a well put together box is going to make me want to score it higher... Like it or not, that's the way it is...


These are not "my rules"... This is what I was taught in my CBJ class... If it makes you want to jump in and grab a piece of meat, score it higher, if not, score it lower...



She was wrong... Plain and simple... What does that have to do with garnish?


If it looks good to you and not to me, who is right? Who's "Standards" should be imposed?

Again, I didn't say that there was any thing wrong with the meat... Again, it's the attention to detail...

If a box looks good, well put together, scoring it up is easier... There's an anticipation to trying the meat and because of that I'll be more open to the flavors put before me.

If a box looks like crap, it's going to take more for me to score it up and to be honest, in the back of my mind I'm going to be thinking, "They didn't care about presentation, what else didn't they care about?"

If presentation didn't matter, why do we score on appearance?
Let me clarify what I was trying to say. It is human nature to look at a poorly put together box and think that maybe it won't taste good. It's also human nature to look at a good box and assume that it will taste good. I get that. However, a judge should make every effort to taste the meat and judge taste and tenderness it on that alone and try to remove the appearance from the taste and tenderness. I've judged entries that looked great and tasted like crap and vice versa. I'm sure you have too.

The point I was making about the other judge was in response to the comment about "They didn't care about presentation, what else didn't they care about?" In that instance, she was injecting her own personal beliefs into the scorinig. I think assuming that the cook did something else poorly because the garnish looks bad is injecting your own rules into the system. Deduct from the appearance score if it is warranted, but try to start with a fresh mind on taste and tenderness.

Presentation does matter and sometimes the garnish doesn't look as good as it could. I'd also say what looks good to you as garnish, may not be to my liking. Maybe I think all garnish should look like putting greens and maybe you think differently. To some, big leafy lettuce might be appealing. To others, that may look sloppy.

I'm a cook first and sometimes when I'm judging, it's hard to look past the garnish and focus on the meat. However, I've gotten to the point where I remind myself every time before the box is opened to focus on the meat. I think it's helped me be more consistent with the appearance scores I write down.

Think of it this way, you should get the same or very nearly the same score for an entry as far as taste and tenderness are concerned whether you were blind folded or not.
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Unread 03-10-2009, 08:08 PM   #24
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if your judging meat why is there green stuff in the box???????
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Unread 03-10-2009, 08:36 PM   #25
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Jeff and Matt, you both have good insight. Both are trying to be fair and more opinions are always good: however, I do believe that the appearance does influence, to some degree, the other scores. Not saying that's right or wrong but I think it is just the way it is.
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Unread 03-11-2009, 08:39 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by watertowerbbq View Post
Let me clarify what I was trying to say. It is human nature to look at a poorly put together box and think that maybe it won't taste good. It's also human nature to look at a good box and assume that it will taste good. I get that. However, a judge should make every effort to taste the meat and judge taste and tenderness it on that alone and try to remove the appearance from the taste and tenderness. I've judged entries that looked great and tasted like crap and vice versa. I'm sure you have too.

The point I was making about the other judge was in response to the comment about "They didn't care about presentation, what else didn't they care about?" In that instance, she was injecting her own personal beliefs into the scorinig. I think assuming that the cook did something else poorly because the garnish looks bad is injecting your own rules into the system. Deduct from the appearance score if it is warranted, but try to start with a fresh mind on taste and tenderness.

Presentation does matter and sometimes the garnish doesn't look as good as it could. I'd also say what looks good to you as garnish, may not be to my liking. Maybe I think all garnish should look like putting greens and maybe you think differently. To some, big leafy lettuce might be appealing. To others, that may look sloppy.

I'm a cook first and sometimes when I'm judging, it's hard to look past the garnish and focus on the meat. However, I've gotten to the point where I remind myself every time before the box is opened to focus on the meat. I think it's helped me be more consistent with the appearance scores I write down.

Think of it this way, you should get the same or very nearly the same score for an entry as far as taste and tenderness are concerned whether you were blind folded or not.
See, I knew you would see it my way and agree with me... lol... Just kidding.... Ducking for cover....

In actually, I think we are both very close on this subject. Both of us can see where if a judge is not careful, the appearance can affect the other two scores. The simple fact that both you and I have had to remind ourselves that appearance should have no bearing on taste or tenderness proves this out.

It is for that reason that we all have posted photos of test boxes to see where things can be improved not only for the appearance, but also for the carryover with less careful judges.

(Oh, and for my money, the putting green looks much better.)
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Unread 03-11-2009, 10:57 AM   #27
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In these hard economic times, the KCBS could sell us green washable food grade putting green looking things that fit perfect in the box. We wouldnt have to keep buying parsley/lettuce, and ice to keep that stuff cold saving our team about $20 a contest total.
Saves us all money and makes all garnishes equal.

hahaha
I kinda like it!
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Unread 03-11-2009, 11:40 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meat Burner View Post
Jeff and Matt, you both have good insight. Both are trying to be fair and more opinions are always good: however, I do believe that the appearance does influence, to some degree, the other scores. Not saying that's right or wrong but I think it is just the way it is.
I totally agree, appearance does influence a score. It does in anything else we do in life. It would seem to follow then that if the garnish was removed, the resulting scores would be more standard or more consistently indicate the quality of the MEAT.

You don't suppose there are parsely farmers sending PAC money to the KCBS do you................
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Unread 03-11-2009, 01:12 PM   #29
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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.
Considering I made a statement like this on Diva Q's Brisket Turn-in post, maybe I need to clarify a little more. There was nothing wrong with that box that would make me give it anything less than a 9 in the 4-5 seconds that I first looked at it. It was very appealing to me and if it was actually presented to me at a comp, I would look forward to tasting it. And yes, when people ask me to judge their box, I do click on it and give it a once over the first time, make a judgment and then go back and look at it in detail. A little strange but it's the only way to judge it just like I would at a comp. I didn't notice the symmetry of the burnt ends the first time but when I studied the pic later, I saw it.

Now when I made that comment, I prefaced it with "If I HAD to find something wrong...." It was not meant as anything other than constructive criticism. While I didn't catch it the first time around (even if I had, I seriously doubt it would have affected my scoring), someone else may have caught it on that initial glance. And even if the overall appearance made them want to go to town on the box, if they were a stickler for details, it may have made them have to debate between a 9 or an 8. This is why a lot of folks here go back and really critique turn in boxes posted here to help catch little glitches like that. This way things are addressed so that the judge who is a stickler for details doesn't have to debate.
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Unread 03-11-2009, 06:07 PM   #30
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Richie, that's a good post. Good honest approach.
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