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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 10-09-2011, 01:42 PM   #1
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Default Ever been a BBQ judge

I had the pleasure of being a BBQ judge yesterday for The Dead Cow Cookoff in Wichita Falls, TX yesterday. Salsa, beans, chicken, ribs, and brisket were the catagories that were each judged at the top of each hour. I judged the ribs and beans. It was a light turnout this year do the rain yesterday but we still had 24 teams competing. On both the beans and the ribs some were really good and some were really bad. I guess I know what I really like and I guess that is why I cook them the way I do. But some of the ribs in my opinion, and others, were horrible. Some looked way undercooked, like they wrapped them the whole time and had no color to them at all, most of those all tasted the same. Some I guess were basted every 30 minutes and one maybe had a dry rub. I never thought I would ever have a bad rib, but I did. Don't get me wrong I loved being a judge and would do it again, tasting 24 ribs and beans was nice, but wow, some peoples choice of flavor are way different than my "cup of tea". I guess that is why we all like to cook the way we cook, because that is what we like.
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Unread 10-09-2011, 01:49 PM   #2
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I suggest try judging a few sanctioned cookoffs. Same fun but I think you'll find the quality of the average rib in the contest goes WAY up.
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Unread 10-09-2011, 02:51 PM   #3
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The only time I did not finish a rib on my plate was a rib from a turn in box!
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Unread 10-09-2011, 11:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake Dogs View Post
I suggest try judging a few sanctioned cookoffs. Same fun but I think you'll find the quality of the average rib in the contest goes WAY up.
Ditto!

Wait - did I just agree with Hance ?
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Unread 10-10-2011, 06:59 AM   #5
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Yes Dave, yes you did! <and yet the sun will probably rise today afterall>

Randy, We've judged a few comps along the way; both sanctioned and unsanctioned. What I've found is that the average team at unsanctioned competitions is still fairly new to "the game" and unsure as to what to do. This is especially true for first-time competitions where you're lucky if one of the entries is very good. However, in a sanctioned competition, the average team has competed 5 or 10 times, gotten the whole competition thing down, and produces a pretty darned good product. Also, the number of teams on that day that produce a really fantastic product goes up as well.

I hope you stick with it and enjoy it as much as I have over the years.
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Unread 10-10-2011, 07:12 AM   #6
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Interesting thread for Q-Talk. I've never judged and I don't compete, but...I imagine ifI were to judge a MIM/MBN comp I'd be very familiar and probably happy with most entries. Put me in a KCBS comp and I'd probably be at a total loss and would have to rearrange my thinking a bit.
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Unread 10-10-2011, 08:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deguerre View Post
Interesting thread for Q-Talk.
Not any more :)

I move it to Competition, where it belongs.
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Unread 10-10-2011, 10:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deguerre View Post
I've never judged and I don't compete, but...I imagine ifI were to judge a MIM/MBN comp I'd be very familiar and probably happy with most entries. Put me in a KCBS comp and I'd probably be at a total loss and would have to rearrange my thinking a bit.
What a comment! Please explain WHY you think this. I'm a CBJ with both KCBS and MBN and don't understand at all what you might mean by this statement!

PLEASE explain!!!
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Unread 10-10-2011, 11:06 AM   #9
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Tom, We've had discussions in the past regarding sliced or cut/cubed pork vs. pulled pork, whether it's appetizing or not, regionality of it, etc. If I had to guess, that's what he was referencing.
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Unread 10-10-2011, 11:25 AM   #10
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Thanks Hance! I thought he might have been referring to the quality of meat for the two sanctioning bodies.
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Unread 10-10-2011, 11:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbq.tom View Post
Thanks Hance! I thought he might have been referring to the quality of meat for the two sanctioning bodies.
Hance was exactly right. I would never ever, EVER ever disparage the quality of KCBS. I am totally unfamiliar with the style though (Save through pictures) as I've never been to a comp that wasn't MIM/MBN so I would have a whole new frame of reference to learn. My most humble apologies for not having made it more clear in my original post.
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Unread 10-10-2011, 12:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake Dogs View Post
I suggest try judging a few sanctioned cookoffs. Same fun but I think you'll find the quality of the average rib in the contest goes WAY up.
It sounds like the Lone Star BBQ Association contest this past weekend in Texas so this was sanctioned and run by a recognized BBQ sanctioning authority. Their contests are recognized by the Jack, Royal and Houston Livestock and Rodeo organizations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brew Crew View Post
On both the beans and the ribs some were really good and some were really bad.

Don't get me wrong I loved being a judge and would do it again, tasting 24 ribs and beans was nice, but wow, some peoples choice of flavor are way different than my "cup of tea". I guess that is why we all like to cook the way we cook, because that is what we like.
This is very true no matter where you are in the country. Judges have their preferences and what one thinks is ecxcellent, another may not like. Part of the game.

I very seldom judge as my time is spent cooking but I often get to sample other peoples ribs and I can tell you it's sure different at times.

Also bad weather can have an impact especially when teams are mainly cooking on stick burners and I know how easy it can be to get underdone. I started on a Klose mobile catering and it held temps pretty good but rain and especially wind did cause problems with getting stuff done sometimes.
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