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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 08-02-2012, 09:37 PM   #1
ederan42
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Default 1st KCBS last weekend...looking for some feedback

So I entered my first KCBS last weekend in Morton, Illinois and had an incredible time. I am already looking into my next comps for this fall. Here are my boxes, I would love for people to critique my work. Any of your feedback would be welcome. Thanks, gentlemen!

On a separate note, I want to send out a big thank you to Special Ed's BBQ Team for mentoring me through my first event. Helping me make my first fatty, sharing a few drinks, and letting me borrow a couple sheets of aluminum foil. I can't say thank you enough.

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Unread 08-02-2012, 09:59 PM   #2
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First off, congrats on your first event! It's exhilarating and maddening all at once and as soon as it's over, you can't wait to do another!

Looking at your pics, you are off to a good start. I've only judged about 6 events over the last 2 years and competed in a dozen or so. I'm far from an expert, but I'll offer up what I see!

Even though judges aren't supposed to notice, the garnish is uneven in your trays. Kind of sticks out on out some sides and other places there are empty spaces. Garnish is a royal pain in the ass, so it just takes practice.

Sauce looks like it was kind of glopped on to the chicken. If using a store bought sauce, thin a little bit with water, juice or beer and then try dunking your chicken instead of pouring or brushing the sauce on the bird.

Could just be the surface of the ribs, but it looks like there are brush strokes on the ribs and they look a little dry. A shiny glaze is HUGE for appearance on chx and ribs. Again, just takes practice.

Pork looks solid. Personally, I prefer smaller pieces of bark. Think of it as kind of a salt and pepper look, pork to bark. It's kind of a crapshoot on how "pulled" it should be. I like it pulled rather fine, but other folks prefer something that's been minimally handled. I'm not a huge fan of the chunks of pork in the turn in. If they aren't perfect, don't bother. Judges are supposed to try one of everything in the tray. If your burnt ends blow, then it could bring down the score of solid pulled pork (and vice-versa).

Brisket is the cruelest mistress of competition bbq. Good brisket can be tough to do and great brisket can at times seem damn near impossible. If you are wrapping your brisket, save your drippings and then brush them on right before turn in. Will give you a nice sheen. Slices looked a little ragged. Make sure your knife is razor sharp for clean cuts.

Again, let me reiterate, this is a great start. Poke around on the boards a little and you will find a TON of turn ins from other teams. Keep practicing and above all, have fun!
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Unread 08-02-2012, 11:26 PM   #3
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I cant tell if the skin is pulled back and pucked or if it is just globs of sauce, either way you may want to work on that, color is very nice.

The ribs look dry and a leathery top, some judges like that others do not, they look a little over cooked to me, but again, maybe sauce and photo.

Pork bark looks overcooked, cant tell if that is a big hunk of fat in far upper right...love to take a big bite of that and score ya!

Outside of looking dry on slices and a few burnt ends acutally looking that way, not bad.

Hope this helps you some.
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Unread 08-03-2012, 05:03 AM   #4
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Thanks so much for this, guys. Yeah, I should thin my sauce out before the final application. Great suggestions, I'm taking notes on it all!
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Unread 08-03-2012, 07:37 AM   #5
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Scoring from pictures is not always fair, more time can be spent studying the box, and color and brightness is different than in person, but here are my thoughts.

Chicken: I like the color, and the diagonal placement is interesting to me. The sauce does look a little uneven, but it doesn't look like it is completely saturated with sauce (oversauced). Based on pic I score 8.

Ribs: The brush marks are distracting, but again the sauce isn't too thick. A little shine would make them pop a little more. It looks like the bones are very short, that they are cut almost as wide as long, just looks a little off. The upper right rib almost looks like the right side was torn off the rack, not cut. Looks ragged. Score 7.

Pork: Looks pretty good, nice amount in box. The slices look like they were not all oriented the same way, (cut end on some to front, some toward back). And that upper right slice does look like large fat along the edge, it may not do much to the appearance score, but if a judge doesnt like fat it will kill your taste and tenderness score. Score 8.

Brisket: Slices look very dry. They also look like the top edge had some knife cuts in it before cooking, very rough looking. It also looks like you turned some of the slices around (slice 3,4,5 look like they alternate direction). I think placing the slices exactly as they are cut off the flat gives more symmetry, and thus better appearance. Burnt ends look just ok, they don't wow me. I don't score down for the tiny pieces of bark that are on the face of the slices (left corner of first slice, 1 inch from right on 4th slice) but you will have some judges that do, so clean that up a bit. I can't decide on this score, from picture 6 or 7, at table could be 7 or 8.

I never even look at the garnish at the table but if you had the parsley tighter the meat would stand out more.

What were your scores at the contest if you don't mind sharing?
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Unread 08-03-2012, 08:42 AM   #6
ederan42
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Chicken was by far my best category. I finished 14th (out of 35) and one judge gave me 7/6/6 which killed my overall scores. The other five were in the 9 and 8 range in all three categories.

Ribs I finished 21st. Mostly 8's, a couple 9's (two in appearance and one in tenderness) but two judges gave me 7's all the way across.

Pork was my worst, I finished 30th, which is frustrating because it is my personal favorite and most people say I do it the best. Lots of 7's and a couple 6's. Looking back at the box now I can see how jagged and poorly the slices looked. Maybe I was completely exhausted, but in the moment I thought they looked good. I'm excited to improve on this area the most.

Brisket I finished 23rd. Mostly 8's and a handful of 7's. Again, one judge gave me 6's all the way across and that brought me down a lot.
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Unread 08-03-2012, 09:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ederan42 View Post
Chicken was by far my best category. I finished 14th (out of 35) and one judge gave me 7/6/6 which killed my overall scores. The other five were in the 9 and 8 range in all three categories.

Ribs I finished 21st. Mostly 8's, a couple 9's (two in appearance and one in tenderness) but two judges gave me 7's all the way across.

Pork was my worst, I finished 30th, which is frustrating because it is my personal favorite and most people say I do it the best. Lots of 7's and a couple 6's. Looking back at the box now I can see how jagged and poorly the slices looked. Maybe I was completely exhausted, but in the moment I thought they looked good. I'm excited to improve on this area the most.

Brisket I finished 23rd. Mostly 8's and a handful of 7's. Again, one judge gave me 6's all the way across and that brought me down a lot.

The lowest judges score would be dropped, so it would be the 7's that hurt you most. Don't get discouraged, you have a good start and this is a great place to get advice and support. Good luck in the future!
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Unread 08-03-2012, 01:02 PM   #8
ederan42
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Good to know that the lowest score is dropped. That seems fair to negate any outliers. Thanks for your feedback, I'm a work in progress!
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Unread 08-03-2012, 09:14 PM   #9
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ederan,

check out BBQcritic.com. there a tons of boxes to look at to give you ideas.
I would say that some of your meat looks dry. Sauce it up with super hot sauce. It will help with keeping the heat from the time of turn in to Judging.
Good Luck.
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