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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 11-16-2011, 10:20 AM   #1
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I am new this competition bbq. Is apperance that big of a aspect of the judging? Because all I hear is appearence, apperence, apperence.
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Unread 11-16-2011, 10:30 AM   #2
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Appearance is no more than its scoring: it's worth half as much as tenderness, and tenderness is worth half as much as taste.

A good quality meat product, with great taste and tenderness, is always first and foremost. The prettiest food won't win if it's tough and tasteless.

That being said, people discuss appearance a lot on the Internet because it's the one thing that can be conveyed through a photo. Nobody here can accurately assess taste or tenderness, but we can all look at and comment on layout, shine, garnish etc.

Appearance points are absolutely valuable, you can't leave points on the table because of sloppy presentation that detracts from the meat -- but when it's all said and done, the larger emphasis in scoring is on the meat's attributes, not the appearance. Doesn't keep us from posting pictures, though
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Unread 11-16-2011, 10:32 AM   #3
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Each sanctioning body regards it differently. However, most use a score weighting system where appearance will be weighted to only a fraction of the weighting for tenderness and taste.

You'll see a lot here on appearance, but that's because we can show appearance via. pictures. It's tough to show taste. :-)
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Unread 11-16-2011, 10:32 AM   #4
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The first time you are knocked out of first place by .0001 points and you had an 8 in appearance you know how important it is

But, if your taste and tenderness scores are low, appearance doesn't matter. Work on consistently scoring well in those, and then fine tune the appearance.
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Unread 11-16-2011, 02:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
The first time you are knocked out of first place by .0001 points and you had an 8 in appearance you know how important it is
I had 3rd place ribs at a comp this year. 2nd place contender and I both were 0.0002 pts behind first place. Appearance can and does matter.
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Unread 11-16-2011, 03:05 PM   #6
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Appearance is the 5th catagory. I've watched judging before, and I could automatically tell who the pro was and who were the fellows that didn't know how the game was played. Therefore, I had a pre-conceived notion on which ones would taste better than the others.. good thing i don't judge.. we all eat with our eyes first. I've lost 2 gc's by a fraction of a point. Every little damn detail must be accounted for.
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Unread 11-16-2011, 03:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NRA4Life View Post
I had 3rd place ribs at a comp this year. 2nd place contender and I both were 0.0002 pts behind first place. Appearance can and does matter.
Yep. A couple of years ago there was a three way tie for first place in Pork. We lost the first tie breaker but won the next, so we ended up with 2nd. One additional appearance point would have meant first place. It happens at almost every comp.

But, again, you can get straight 9's in appearance but if your taste and tenderness suck you won't do well.
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Unread 11-16-2011, 04:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
Yep. A couple of years ago there was a three way tie for first place in Pork. We lost the first tie breaker but won the next, so we ended up with 2nd. One additional appearance point would have meant first place. It happens at almost every comp.

But, again, you can get straight 9's in appearance but if your taste and tenderness suck you'll do well.
I think this is a typo, huh, Ron? If taste and tenderness sucking means "you'll do well" - I'd have G.C.ed at the last comp!!!
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Unread 11-16-2011, 04:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chambersuac View Post
I think this is a typo, huh, Ron? If taste and tenderness sucking means "you'll do well" - I'd have G.C.ed at the last comp!!!
Me too :) I'll fix it.
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Unread 11-16-2011, 04:28 PM   #10
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Give me a call sometime and we can chat. heck I'm just 30 minutes up the road from you.
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Unread 11-17-2011, 11:32 AM   #11
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My feeling is that appearence sets the table for taste and tenderness scores. Its the first impression the judges get. If it looks bad, they may give you an 8 rather than a 9 on taste, for example. Not on purpose, just because the appearence has started a whole series of unconscious judgements that affect how they score the rest. Pretty can't overcome poor taste, but ugly can get in the way of good taste. That's why I spend so much time on appearence anyway.

That said, never put an inferior piece of meat in the box just because it looks better.

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Unread 11-17-2011, 04:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DivaHerself View Post
Appearance is no more than its scoring: it's worth half as much as tenderness, and tenderness is worth half as much as taste.

A good quality meat product, with great taste and tenderness, is always first and foremost. The prettiest food won't win if it's tough and tasteless.

That being said, people discuss appearance a lot on the Internet because it's the one thing that can be conveyed through a photo. Nobody here can accurately assess taste or tenderness, but we can all look at and comment on layout, shine, garnish etc.

Appearance points are absolutely valuable, you can't leave points on the table because of sloppy presentation that detracts from the meat -- but when it's all said and done, the larger emphasis in scoring is on the meat's attributes, not the appearance. Doesn't keep us from posting pictures, though
please, do post some pictures.
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Unread 11-18-2011, 06:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
The first time you are knocked out of first place by .0001 points and you had an 8 in appearance you know how important it is

But, if your taste and tenderness scores are low, appearance doesn't matter. Work on consistently scoring well in those, and then fine tune the appearance.
Perfectly said. Appearance gets the lowest score weighting (KCBS) but you can ignore it at your own peril. To get a walk you've got to excell at all 3 criteria.
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