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Unread 09-20-2011, 11:37 AM   #1
JS-TX
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Question IBCA brisket question

So I'm doing my first comp. (IBCA) this weekend and have a question about brisket slices. I need to turn in 7 full slices of brisket about 1/4" to 3/8" in thickness. Do all slices need to be the same size in length? I planned on only doing 1 12lb brisket, but I'm a little worried it may be difficult to get 7 slices of the same full length cutting across the grain. I helped judge a comp. last yr, but really can't remember the turn in boxes to get a mental picture. All the pics I've seen, the slices are roughly about the same size. Thanks!
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Unread 09-20-2011, 11:52 AM   #2
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If you want your slices the same length, you must trim prior to cooking. Once the brisket is cooked, you cannot trim your slices. If they are to wide to fit in the box, you just curl them around. There is no box appearance score like KCBS.
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Unread 09-20-2011, 12:04 PM   #3
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^^^^^^What he said, if you want them to look pretty in the box, trim the brisket so that you have a nice uniform width that fits in the box nicely. Take the slices from the same part of the flat so that they are relatively uniform height and try to place them in the box in the order they were cut.
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Unread 09-20-2011, 12:14 PM   #4
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I understand you can't trim them post cook and have no problems curling them in the box if needed. But horizontal/sideways wise, as in |==========| do they need to be the same size?
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Unread 09-20-2011, 12:20 PM   #5
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IBCA doesn't score the box appearance. That being said, it's a pretty good idea to have uniform height, width and thickness. Even if the appearance isn't scored, a beautiful box of juicy brisket can influence the rest of the scoring. The orientation in the box is a matter of personal taste, but you can fit the most meat in by going side-to-side... like this:

From bbqcritic.com


Of course, you should strain you meat juices before brushing or pouring it over the meat, this eliminates the unsightly globs of whatever like on the left end of the first piece.
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Unread 09-20-2011, 12:27 PM   #6
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Hmm.. I do know people judge with their eyes first. Perhaps I'll grab another brisket before the comp. I also know smoke ring shouldn't matter, but I've heard a judge mention it before presenting the boxes.
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Unread 09-20-2011, 12:39 PM   #7
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Yeah, smoke rings are appealing, but can be created artificially using Morton's Tender Quick. Technically not supposed to judge it, but as you say... you eat with your eyes first.
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Unread 09-20-2011, 05:44 PM   #8
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I believe you will find that the orientation of the product must be parallel to the hinge of the box.
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Unread 09-20-2011, 08:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoke'n Ice View Post
I believe you will find that the orientation of the product must be parallel to the hinge of the box.
In IBCA? I just looked through the rules again and didn't see that requirement. Is there an additional set of rules specific to judging?
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Unread 09-20-2011, 08:20 PM   #10
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Not only parallel to the hinge but ONLY 7 slices in the box, no more, no less. Of course, at the cook's meeting, things can change as the rules are worded somewhat loosely.
Another plus for a new cook is, the box will be checked at turn-in. If anything needs correction, the cook will have the chance to make the corrections. Just make sure you have time. Good luck you you and enjoy.

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Unread 09-20-2011, 09:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoke'n Ice View Post
I believe you will find that the orientation of the product must be parallel to the hinge of the box.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Funtimebbq View Post
Not only parallel to the hinge but ONLY 7 slices in the box, no more, no less. Of course, at the cook's meeting, things can change as the rules are worded somewhat loosely.
Another plus for a new cook is, the box will be checked at turn-in. If anything needs correction, the cook will have the chance to make the corrections. Just make sure you have time. Good luck you you and enjoy.

Benny
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I've done well with flats and packers. Slices always come off a single brisket.
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Unread 09-20-2011, 09:24 PM   #12
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Here is an example. Hinge across the top. This one was 3rd out of 35 or so.
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Unread 09-20-2011, 10:12 PM   #13
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The only exception to the 7 pieces rule is in the case of contests over 50 teams. We have been to a large IBCA contest where we were asked to put 9 pieces in the box.
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Unread 09-21-2011, 07:54 AM   #14
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Don't worry overly about the length of the brisket - it's good if all the slices are the same length and I'd think that would be the most appealing, but in general the width of the slices is more important. You want those to be all about the same.

Just be sure you attend the cooks' meeting - and read the flyer from the promoter, if you already haven't. The items you see in the rules on the IBCA site are RECOMMENDED amounts and things *may* change slightly - you'll hear about that at the cooks' meeting. And when it says *7* pieces, it means *7*, not 8, not 6. If you have questions, don't be afraid to ask the Head Judge!

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