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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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Old 07-16-2018, 09:59 AM   #16
nbicoy
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Harry Soo's class is in Diamond Bar. Looks like there are a couple happening before Sept. 15th if you're trying to get ready for America's Finest @ Crown Point.

http://www.slapyodaddybbq.com/classes-2/
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Old 07-16-2018, 10:00 AM   #17
midwest_kc
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For us, improving our scores really came down to 3 things:

A) Show up to compete - not to party. We still will have a good time on Friday nights, but no longer are we up until 2 or 3, and just getting crazy.

B) Take a class. I've taken a class each of the last 2 years, from at total of 3 teams who finished top 10 in KCBS last year, and are currently in the NBBQL. The first was fantastic at showing us what we were really looking for. The second cook on the same cookers we do, and showed us how to really maximize the cookers we use.

C) Cook more. One of those same teams we took a class from have become really good BBQ Friends of ours. At a comp last fall we were hanging out on Friday night, and we were talking about how our scores had improved, but we were still trying to get over the hump. He broke it down for us, and just told us: If you want to continue to be OK, then do what you're doing. Your food is good. You'll get some calls. However, if you want to do better, you have to be cooking all the time. We're still not over that hump. We have a consistency problem that we're trying to iron out (We literally have 2 calls at every comp this year, and the meats are spread out pretty evenly (2 Chicken, 4 Rib, 4 pork 4 brisket). Once we put a comp together, we're going to be fighting it out for GC. Not saying we'll win, but we'll be up there.

This winter we practiced more, we started our year earlier, and we're going to cook more comps than we ever have. And we're having our best year to date.

Truthfully, to do more (and we'd love to do around 20-25) we're going to need to partner with some companies that can help us cover some costs. I have started reaching out to some, and making it known, we're willing to put in the effort and work to make it worthwhile to everyone. Just got to find some takers.
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Old 07-16-2018, 11:02 AM   #18
samappleton
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https://mydigitalpublication.com/publication/?i=508150#{"issue_id":508150,"page":14}
Look at page 15, current KCBS listed cooking classes
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Old 07-16-2018, 12:00 PM   #19
ewatts2003
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What are your scores? Are there certain areas that are strong? Try changing one thing at a time. Practice chicken all of the time until you get it down to where you want, then move onto one of the other entries. It's hard to try and change everything at once and can get overwhelming. I'm just starting out myself but this is some advice I have already gotten.
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Old 07-16-2018, 12:20 PM   #20
airedale
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ModelMaker View Post
... take the judges class and judge 5 or 10 contests. All your answers are right in front of you.
What it should look like, what taste and tenderness is a winner.
...
From the perspective of a relatively new judge and only cooking on my deck at home, I agree with Ed. At every comp I get to see a half-dozen samples of each meat and, after judging, get to talk to the more experienced folks about what we've seen. This is very educational and I'm absolutely certain that if you tell the judges (after score cards turned in) that you'd like suggestions for your own cooking they will bury you.

The other thing is that your scores are on-line and for each meat you also get the table average, so you can see whether you are rewarding the things that the other judges are. This has been a big help to me as a newbie, but I think it would help you as a cook as well. The report looks like this:

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Old 07-16-2018, 03:50 PM   #21
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There's nothing like sitting down and judging. You get to see what good teams are doing as far as tenderness, appearance, overall flavors etc.. You also get to talk to fellow judges afterwards and see what they were looking for. Most often an overall balanced entry is going to score well. You'll find details matter and get to see where you can improve to get those walks.
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Old 07-16-2018, 03:55 PM   #22
Jorge
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Take a class. More important than picking up recipes, and timelines, is the insight into why a consistently successful cook is doing what they do. Practice, compete when you can, and learn to put out the most consistent and well cooked product you can.
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Old 07-17-2018, 07:41 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airedale View Post
From the perspective of a relatively new judge and only cooking on my deck at home, I agree with Ed. At every comp I get to see a half-dozen samples of each meat and, after judging, get to talk to the more experienced folks about what we've seen. This is very educational and I'm absolutely certain that if you tell the judges (after score cards turned in) that you'd like suggestions for your own cooking they will bury you.

The other thing is that your scores are on-line and for each meat you also get the table average, so you can see whether you are rewarding the things that the other judges are. This has been a big help to me as a newbie, but I think it would help you as a cook as well. The report looks like this:



Wow, you seem to be deep into "new judgeitus". I have never, including several trips to the Royal had any meat category (especially brisket) score anywhere near that high.

It's not a refection on you, just the process. Being a new judge is an exciting, distracting, full on assault on your senses. It all appears fantastic, it smells great, it looks delicious, and most of it tastes yummy.

Problem is you scored a LOT of excellents. Excellent should be reserved for enties that you don't want to wait to sample it, just grab it out of the box NOW! Excellent is a piece of meat that is flavorful without being overpowered by one flavor or spice, or heat. Excellent is a bite of meat that you don't have to tear off with your teeth or is dry or worse mushy.

Using the verbiage associated with each number score ( 9/excellent, 7/above average, etc.) is my mental helper in picking a appropriate score for each. Don't become the dreaded 7,8,9 judge. There are plenty of 5, 6, and 7's out there. But never be afraid to give that 9, just make sure it deserves it.

As your judging travels continue you will have a larger base of experience to draw from and your numbers should fall more in line with a well experienced CBJ.
Good luck on your judging adventures.
Ed
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Old 07-17-2018, 08:52 AM   #24
airedale
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Thanks Ed. I appreciate the comments. I expected some feedback when I posted those scores, so no surprise there. But I did want to show the OP what he will get.

Re high scores, I was above the table average on four out of six, but that makes my point (and yours) that seeing the scores is useful.

Re high scores again, the KCBS rep at that comp mentioned two or three times that given the teams that were cooking, we were going to see some of the best barbeque overall that we might ever see. I have no way to separately evaluate that, but that's what he said.

Re my 9/9/9/9 brisket, that was interesting. I am a brisket guy and always trying to optimize my own cooks. That box had an unusual presentation with the meat arranged to emphasize the bark. I really did want to grab it and forget about the other five! And, since we first eat with our eyes, that presentation may have affected the other three scores. I was surprised to see that the table average did not agree with me. But I have learned from the threads here that the unusual goes unrewarded, so maybe that presentation that I liked so much did not score well with the others.
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:29 AM   #25
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If you have not joined the CBBQA please do, you can gain some insight on the forum on what is working here. Yes, the West Coast Offense works but learning tenderness is critical.

Also a class or two is important to learn the mindset behind a successful cook and not just his/her recipes.
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Old 07-17-2018, 12:28 PM   #26
luckysob
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Agreed with what everyone has said here... take a class, judge, and cook more.

Judging - this can be a challenge is socal as we have a lot of judges and not a lot of classes to get certified.

Classes - I have done harry's class and it offers a good base for BBQ'ing but it isn't a competition specific class. You will definitely learn alot but its different from a pure comp class. I have also done the Clark Crew class and the Shake N Bake/Getting Basted class, and both we awesome and amazing but I had to travel to take these. Loot and Booty is in AZ and does classes, CBBQA also does classes from full comp to backyarders with some of the local top teams. If you are going to break down and take a class try to find one from a team that uses the same smoker type as you. I learned alot from the Clark Crew class but had to adapt because he uses a jambo and I am on a WSM.

Cook More - don't ask your friends, see if you can find some local judges you can cook for. Make minor tweaks and document and retry until you get what you are looking for. Chicken is easy to start with because its cheap and fast to cook, brisket on the other hand is expensive and a longer cook. Try selling to some of your friends to offset your cost.

I will be at DelMar next month and Americas Finest in September, if you want to talk more.
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Old 07-17-2018, 03:53 PM   #27
midwest_kc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airedale View Post
Thanks Ed. I appreciate the comments. I expected some feedback when I posted those scores, so no surprise there. But I did want to show the OP what he will get.

Re high scores, I was above the table average on four out of six, but that makes my point (and yours) that seeing the scores is useful.

Re high scores again, the KCBS rep at that comp mentioned two or three times that given the teams that were cooking, we were going to see some of the best barbeque overall that we might ever see. I have no way to separately evaluate that, but that's what he said.

Re my 9/9/9/9 brisket, that was interesting. I am a brisket guy and always trying to optimize my own cooks. That box had an unusual presentation with the meat arranged to emphasize the bark. I really did want to grab it and forget about the other five! And, since we first eat with our eyes, that presentation may have affected the other three scores. I was surprised to see that the table average did not agree with me. But I have learned from the threads here that the unusual goes unrewarded, so maybe that presentation that I liked so much did not score well with the others.
There's nothing out of line foryou with that 999 brisket. You were less than one taste point off of the average, and it's not crazy to think that you may just like something a touch more than others. It also was the table winner, so again, there's nothing off there.
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