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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 06-05-2012, 12:26 PM   #1
nmayeux
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Default Contest Judging

Ok... I finally judged my first contest this weekend at the Sam's Club contest in Marietta, GA. I knew that I was going to learn from the experience, but I had no idea how much fun it was going to be, or the wealth of knowledge that was at hand. Thanks to Dave of Uncle Bud's BBQ for mentoring, and thanks to all the experienced judges that spent time with me.

A couple of lessons learned:

1. Mistakes are really apparent, especially in presentation.
2. You can really taste bitter smoke. I was surprised as to the difference in flavors.
3. Judges are a whole different breed. Most of the judges that I met had never cooked in competition, and had a completely different view of the entries compared to my views.
4. Judging will help any cook, and cooking will help any judge. I am now a firm believer, and happy with the proposed cook requirements for Master Judges.
5. I am now comfortable that judges are as concerned as competitors about accurate judging. It is heartwarming to know the level of accountablility that the judges I met assume. They weren't just there to eat.

I enjoyed going to a contest and not having the stress of being a cook, but I did have the nagging feeling that I should have been competing... Anyway, I am looking forward to my next contest, be it judging or competing.
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Unread 06-05-2012, 12:41 PM   #2
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It certainly sounds like you enjoyed it. I keep saying that I have to give it a try on of these days.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
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Unread 06-05-2012, 01:51 PM   #3
kenthanson
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I'm going to compete for the first time this year, so last year I judged all the local contests to get a insight of what they were looking for. I know some cooks show up and cook their best but it's not what the judging criteria calls for so I wanted that "inside" information before I started cooking and I know it has helped me.
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Unread 06-05-2012, 02:09 PM   #4
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Congrats Noah .

I'm a firm believer that judges should cook more and that cooks should judge more - just to see what happens on thee other side of the turn-in table. Everyone has their preconceived ideas on how the "other side" does things. Most of the time those ideas aren't even close to what really happens.

Thanx for finding out on your own and a double thanx for posting your experiences.
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Unread 06-05-2012, 02:15 PM   #5
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I am judging my first contest later this month.

I hope to be able to get 1/2 as much out of it is you did.
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Unread 06-05-2012, 02:19 PM   #6
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note to new judges if you give an entry a 5 on taste, please fill out a comment card. If the table captain and rep asks you to fill out a card because of your scores, please do so, those cook teams that slept in a parking lot will certainly appreciate the effort.
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Unread 06-05-2012, 02:25 PM   #7
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You got sleep?
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Unread 06-05-2012, 02:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawgPhan View Post
note to new judges if you give an entry a 5 on taste, please fill out a comment card. If the table captain and rep asks you to fill out a card because of your scores, please do so, those cook teams that slept in a parking lot will certainly appreciate the effort.

I'm a FIRM believer that EVERY judge giving a "6" and below should be required to fill out a comment card with USEFULL information! I filled out a comment card last Saturday for an "8" as the brisket slice was clearly a "9", but the BE they included was horrible (tough and bitter)! The cooks DESERVE to know when something like that happens! IMHO!
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Unread 06-05-2012, 03:17 PM   #9
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I was always a believer in comment cards, as I appreciate any insight into my turn-ins. I would give a card for a 6 though...
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Unread 06-05-2012, 03:22 PM   #10
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Noah,
So wonderful to read this thread - your great experience and clear straight forward explanations.

Keep on cookin', keep on judgin' and please keep posting about your experiences.
Thanks.
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Unread 06-05-2012, 03:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmayeux View Post
I was always a believer in comment cards, as I appreciate any insight into my turn-ins. I would give a card for a 6 though...
Sat. I filled out cards for 2 "5"'s and a "6". Each score was for tenderness. The entries looked great and tasted awesome but tough as hell. I have a feeling the cooks would have known that their meat was not tender...but just in case...they got the card.
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Unread 06-05-2012, 03:32 PM   #12
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Comment cards should be mandatory for scores below a certain threshold. I've read the argument that if that was the case, judges would just avoid giving those scores altogether to avoid the "hassle" of a comment card. If this is true then those are judges that KCBS (or any sanctioning body) really should avoid.

Bottom line...don't put down a score that you aren't willing to justify or explain with a comment card if requested by the Rep.
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Unread 06-05-2012, 03:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdkeach View Post
Comment cards should be mandatory for scores below a certain threshold. I've read the argument that if that was the case, judges would just avoid giving those scores altogether to avoid the "hassle" of a comment card. If this is true then those are judges that KCBS (or any sanctioning body) really should avoid.

Bottom line...don't put down a score that you aren't willing to justify or explain with a comment card if requested by the Rep.
I agree but here's the weird thing.....I have judged 8 of the last 10 or so weekends with 4 different sets of contest reps.

Most of them strongly suggest the use of cards for 6 or lower but I had one who was emphasizing that cards are totally optional and a judge didn't have to give one no matter what the score was!

I think we need to get the contest reps on the same page!!!

Dave
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Unread 06-05-2012, 04:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Buds BBQ View Post
I agree but here's the weird thing.....I have judged 8 of the last 10 or so weekends with 4 different sets of contest reps.

Most of them strongly suggest the use of cards for 6 or lower but I had one who was emphasizing that cards are totally optional and a judge didn't have to give one no matter what the score was!

I think we need to get the contest reps on the same page!!!

Dave

the rep emphasizing that you didnt have to do it wasn't this past weekend, was it?
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Unread 06-05-2012, 04:26 PM   #15
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The rep at Marietta this weekend told me he had a judge give a 4 in tenderness for ribs. He asked the judge to fill out a comment card and the judge said they didn't want to.

It appears there were a number of 5's & 6's given out at Marietta. I wonder how many comment cards were filled out.
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