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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 04-19-2011, 01:21 PM   #31
Lake Dogs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boogiesnap View Post
agreed, but thats to US. to the JUDGES the overall experience is better with a thigh.

at least that is what i have gleaned from this thread.
Yep, and it's just what it is.

First, know the judges, the average judge. If you get in a sanctioned
competition with 100% CBJ's, the average judge is in his 50's, is a he,
and is stone cold sober. Averages being averages, he's a non-smoker. That's average. There are plenty of women judges; maybe 30%? Anyway, your 50th percentile is that guy. Too spicy, too sweet, too tough, too mushy, you're toast. It's what it is. When working recipes, make sure you haven't been smoking and haven't been drinking. Otherwise what tastes great to you then isn't nearly so appealing as when you aren't.

Many have judged MANY competitions over the years. Me, I'm over 80 somewhere; probably about 100. I've seen just about everything under the sun, but there's always a surprise.

I, personally, LOVE hot wings. BUT, the skin, if not fried, isn't appealing to me. If I'm going to a barbecue competition, I'm in the mood to eat barbecue; meaning meat. I liked your presentation of the wings; they were a little darker than usually whets my appetite. 8 on appearance. The problem is going to be, for the competitor, to get a tender wing that's not a bite of skin. Literally, compare that bite to a thigh, or a breast. Which is more tender? Which has a better barbecue chicken taste? You can do this.

Back to the hot wings. Lets say perhaps that you were able to fry that wing (get a crispy skin), there's a 2nd problem. Most all wings that I know of you're tasting 99% of the sauce. That sauce doesn't compliment the flavor of the chicken; it over-powers it. You could be eating a fried piece of cardboard and it would all pretty much taste the same. Trust me on this, 4 out of 6 judges will be able to discern this and even with a great sauce you're in 8's, 7's, or worse.

That's what we mean when we say it isn't a sauce contest; it's a meat contest. A great sauce that either over-powers or conflicts with the other flavors will not win, and in the example of whole hog I gave earlier, can take a winner down.
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Unread 04-19-2011, 01:55 PM   #32
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Don't blame the judges. I see it over and over again. The judges do this they don't do that. Why are they giving me this score. True some judges are better then others. The same can be stated about the competitors. On the whole everyone has an equal chance of doing well in a competition. Judges are regular people who have taken a class to become certified. Nothing more or nothing less. If wings are not going to give you a reliable score then go with the flow. Use thighs like the rest of the pack.
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Unread 04-19-2011, 02:58 PM   #33
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If you're refering to my comments, I didn't blame the judges. I simply stated that chicken is chicken and assumptions should not be made because someone turns in wings rather than thighs. As you stated they have taken a class to become certified to judge appearance, taste and tenderness. If they stick to that, it's all good! If everyone should use thighs then perhaps they just need to change the category to chicken thighs. My feeling is if everyone did the the status quo, the sport wouldn't evolve much. New methods, flavors, cookers, breeds innovation. Would get kind of boring if everyone used the same flavors and methods, over and over again, just because it won once. There would be no market for new rubs and sauces etc. Granted when I've done well, I don't go messing with the recipe much until it starts to tip the other way. I understand the reasoning for using thighs. I'm just sayin' if I make a wing or foot or whatever that tastes as good, looks as good and is as tender, it should stand the same chance as winning as a thigh.

Most people invest alot of time and $ into competing just looking to get judged fairly and not assumed I'm a rookie b/c I turned in wings. I was a rookie last year damn it! Now i'm all grown up to a sophomore. LOL

Last edited by Sweet Breathe BBQ; 04-19-2011 at 03:13 PM.. Reason: Forgot to add something
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Unread 04-19-2011, 03:22 PM   #34
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Sweet, you're right, and most judges do as you're asking. I would recommend to check the percentage of CBJ's at the competitions that you choose. The higher the percentage of CBJ's, the less likely you'll get willy-nilly stuff.
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Unread 04-19-2011, 03:33 PM   #35
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I hear ya, I know they do and I appreciate having judges at contests. This was an small incident that I thought was relevant to this discussion. Otherwise I wouldn't have brought it up
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Unread 04-22-2011, 10:20 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake Dogs View Post
Well, I over-stated the bite-through skin. You're right, and some of it can be *ok*. What if you get 5 or 6 judges who really dont care for skin; bite through or not? Think of it this way: A thigh has what, 5 to 1 meat to skin ratio, if not more? Wing has what: perhaps a 1 to 2 meat to skin ratio, or worse. Remember, it's a meat contest, not a skin contest. I'm one judge who happens to really hate skin. It's *ok* to me on a thigh if really REALLY thin and bite through, it's hardly noticed. But on a wing; its going to be extremely tough to mimic fried (and that was what I was trying to say earlier).

However, dont think there's a preference to thighs. It's not. Just most judges prefer to be judging meat; the more meat (vs. skin) the better, to a degree. The reason thighs tend to score better than breasts is because of tenderness, and to some degree taste because a breast can get bland and dry easily.

If you want to be judged consistently well, go with thighs. Hub is dead on!
Have you ever had a really great cooked breast? One that was flavorful and moist and tender? Believe it ornot, there are some skilled cooks that can do this. I think, since you have voiced your preferences and displayed a bias against skin, that you should be excused from judging chicken. I just don't see how you can be objective when you say skin is *ok* on a thigh if it is thin enough or are looking for a skin to meat ratio. How that can enter into your evaluation of the entry is just beyond me. What about legs?

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Unread 04-22-2011, 12:07 PM   #37
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I won't go back to wings.

I tried them (wingettes not the mini drum sticks) a couple of times in combination with thighs and got the impression that the judges didn't know what to do with them.

In fact I got one comment card that stated that "the wings didn't help". The score on the card was 9-9-8. My comment back was "I guess they didn't hurt either!"

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Unread 04-22-2011, 12:09 PM   #38
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The sauce on those wings and in that pan is certainly not the same sauce that's on that thigh. Were they cooked the same day? While the wings look tasty, the thigh is outstanding. If you had 6 or 9 of those ready to go, I think it's pretty clear you should have turned those in instead.
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Unread 04-22-2011, 12:37 PM   #39
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I'm just wondering what the claw hammer in the picture is used for? Looks a bit rusty....
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Unread 04-22-2011, 01:53 PM   #40
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EXACT same sauce. the wings were at the comp. the thigh was a practice cook testing side by side with wings.

the hammer is for splitting my smoke stix
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