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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 06-12-2011, 09:23 PM   #1
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Default I gotta complain just a bit here......

I've been competing for 2 1/2 years. This year we have completed 4 events and done fairly well. I completed the KCBS judges class and judged one event recently. I have always been puzzled at the scores. For example, my chicken scores from an event where I finished 17th out of 85 in chicken: J1 988, J2 966, J3 999, J4 787, J5 999, J6 988. Score order is appearance, taste, tenderness. My first puzzling issue is how can all judges think the appearance is a 9 except for one prick judge that throws a 7. The second puzzling issue is how can the taste and tenderness go 8's and 9's and one throws 6's??

Well, the short of my recent judging experience is this (and maybe this was just an anomoly): In speaking with other judges, I was SHOCKED at how many do not compete and have never competed. This explains the one prick in each category that scores so much lower than the others. That prick has no idea what goes into those boxes. You would think that something has got to be wrong with you if your opinions are that far from the others.

I think it should be a requirement that all certified judges (any sanctioning body) should be required to cook at least one event in entirety in order to judge so that when he gives a 7 in appearance where the others gave 9's, then maybe, just maybe he'll think twice and score it at least an 8. Same goes for the prick that gave me 6's in t&t where the others were 8's & 9's. Thank goodness for KCBS dropping the lowest score.

Sorry for the rant, but if your a certified judge, and your one of these guys..do the rest of us cook teams a favor and go cook an event.
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Old 06-12-2011, 09:32 PM   #2
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If you made that requirement you would, effectively, eliminate enough judges so you wouldn't have competitions.

You don't need to have judges who have cooked an event. You don't need to have cooked a competition to follow the guidelines.

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Old 06-13-2011, 12:48 AM   #3
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Andy, I'm in total agreement on having judges cook with a team before they can judge their 5th, 10th, (pick a number) whatever contest. I really think that the judges who have never cooked a comp have very little, if any, idea of what comp cooking is.
However, the CBJ program is a major source of income for the sanctioning body, so .....

Originally Posted by BBQ Grail View Post
If you made that requirement you would, effectively, eliminate enough judges so you wouldn't have competitions
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:29 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by BBQ Grail View Post
If you made that requirement you would, effectively, eliminate enough judges so you wouldn't have competitions.

Would be pretty sad if that was true.. That would say that some judges wouldnt be willing to cook a contest with a team and instead would just drop out of the judging pool. Regarding those that do drop out, I would draw the conclusion that they weren't serious enough about it and was just there for free food. I would think(ok, hope).. that is NOT the majority.
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:32 AM   #5
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I fully support the requirement that judges participate with a team at least once to learn what it is like (I also cook) BUT:

Your assumption that the lower scores came from a judge who has never or not recently participated with a team is not necessarily correct. In general, I find that judges who are also cooks tend to be more critical and harder to please than non-cook judges. Last weekend I sat next to a master judge who was a long time cook, too. He was a nice guy and we talked a lot and compred notes about our findings following the categories. We tended to think a lot alike, but his scores were significantly lower than mine on some entries that I thought were quite good. That's his opinion and he's not "wrong". Just tough.

Judging will always have a large subjective component to it -- if it was "cut and dried" then a computer could do it

I understand and appreciate your thoughts, but those lower scores might have come from a judge who also cooks.
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:46 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by abangs View Post
That prick has no idea what goes into those boxes.
Sorry, but what does that matter? We're all out in a wet field cooking overnight and it's a lot of work. I agree with that. But every competitor has the same conditions so why judge me on how hard this hobby is? Just judge the food.

Everyone has different tastes, it's human nature. I don't think calling a judge a prick will change that.


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Old 06-13-2011, 07:57 AM   #7
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Starting at the six number is probably where your problems arise.Old classes tought starting higher and couting down. Now start a six and move.What might be thrown into this thought is, there are alot of good cooks out there now compared to several years ago. As a long time cook and CMJ, I am probably tougher on little things and more critical than someone that hasn't even been to to a cooksite, let alone cooked. I am a firm believer in a better continuing education program. Our current KCBS board hasn't grasped this idea with enough passion in my opinion. Steve.
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:58 AM   #8
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That prick may have bit into a piece of cartiledge that you missed when you were trimming the chicken. A chewy piece of cartiledge would impact my tenderness scores if I were judging.
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:04 AM   #9
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is judging bbq without every having cooked "competition bbq" similar to judging a beer without having ever brewed a beer or critiquing an album without ever haven't written a piece of music?
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:26 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by BBQ Grail View Post
If you made that requirement you would, effectively, eliminate enough judges so you wouldn't have competitions.
I doubt it. CBJs are nice, but not necessary to have a contest.
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:40 AM   #11
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Take a look at the many "rate my ...." threads here.

The Brothers are all well meaning, but the scores are all over the place.
No different than at a contest, sadly.
If you read the critiques carefully, many of the reviews seem to be more in the line of "what I would do to make the box better".
Also, a lot of speculation about tenderness and taste based on appearance.

As to cooking experience, I do not need a judge giving me what I call "pity points' due to the effort or money I have invested.
I want the judges to just judge my meat as it is.

I have seen the most critical judges to be the Master and other experienced judges and those who cook a lot also.
The seem to have developed very specific criteria that they are looking for, and if you don't hit it, you pay on the score sheet.

Until we judges are held accountable for our scoring that is way out of line, nothing will change.

Just my thoughts, FWIW.

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Old 06-13-2011, 08:48 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by abangs View Post
The second puzzling issue is how can the taste and tenderness go 8's and 9's and one throws 6's??
IMO taste & tenderness can easily be all over the board on chicken. Assuming you did thighs and put 6 in the box, it is most likely from 6 different chickens, 3 different ones for sure. Very possible that they did not cook up the same when you have different animals in the mix. Last comp I did, my wife tried a thigh that was spot on..........I tried a thigh that was kind of rubbery. They were all handled the same way, similar size, etc, but the one I had would not have scored well.

Harder to explain/understand if looking at ribs that came all from one rack, slices from all from one brisket, etc. But chicken, seems really easy to have that all over the board IMO.

Now big variations in appearance always make me go .

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Old 06-13-2011, 11:06 AM   #13
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Being a CBJ means you paid the KCBS money. Not much else to it. I have many good friends that are CBJ's and they'd be good judges with or without the class. Most of them are at least backyard cooks.

Having said this much I really don't care if judges are CBJ's or off the street. I've seen both and had good and bad scores. My biggest worry is hearing that they taught a CBJ class the week before and all those folks get to judge. They scare me. In Texas they don't have certified judges and it seems to work pretty darn good.

And I really don't think the word "prick" should be applied to a person or group of people just because you don't agree with them.
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:55 PM   #14
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I completely agree with Ford on this one. The brand new CBJ and the overly critical CBJ/CMJ scare me the most. I would rather cook for someone off the street than either of these guys.

A varience from 9 to a 7 is not that much IMO. A 9 to 6 is a little harder to understand but with taste and tenderness its all about personal tastes much of the time. I judged a couple of weeks ago and tasted one pork entry that I thought was outstanding (999) afterwards I mentioned it to another judge (someone who has judged almost 30 contests) and he thought it was mushy! - same entry from the same muscle. Not sure what he gave it for a score but if he thought is was mushy I'm sure it was not more than a 7 - and probably a 6.

I also am not sure about the need for your adjectives.
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:08 PM   #15
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I agree with the Kapn 100% on this issue and I'm 100% against on site training with judges cooking with teams, as I don't see the need for it. Simply letting the table cap't point out the discrepancies should help IMHO.

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