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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 08-19-2012, 07:16 PM   #1
dosvans
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Default Burnt ends in the box or not?

This has been our first year competing and I was just analyzing my scores for the 12 contests we have done so far. One area that concerns me are the appearance scores for Brisket. We actually included Brisket burnt-ends in our boxes for every one of the first 6 contests. For the following 5 contests, we didn't include them. Even though our taste and tenderness scores improved when we just submitted slices, our appearance scores were definitely lower. It seems that the Judges are scoring down for the lack of Burnt ends in the box. Is everyone else experiencing this as well?
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Unread 08-19-2012, 07:45 PM   #2
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If that's the case, I would sacrifice appearance scores to protect the taste and tenderness. I seriously doubt the lack of ends is hurting your Appearance scores.

Do you add more brisket when going solo? Its hard to make a box look like an appetizing 9 9 9 9 9 9 when there is only 6 slices to cover and convince.

My problem with ends is if my brisket doesn't score well, was it the brisket or the ends? Of course I wouldn't use ends if they didn't cook out as good as the brisket.

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Unread 08-19-2012, 07:49 PM   #3
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People with more experience will chime in, but I have had good appearance scores without burnt ends. When you just put in slices do you fill up the box? That has seemed to help me. Still working on taste and tenderness myself
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Unread 08-19-2012, 07:59 PM   #4
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Judges are supposed to judge the box as presented, so if they are marking down for no burnt ends they the are not doing their job. That doesn't mean it doesn't happen, but it shouldn't.

Our 180 brisket and the three or four times that we got a 179+ (an appearance point away from a 180) were all with out burnt ends. If they are amazing I'll include them, but if not, they stay on my cutting board.
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Unread 08-19-2012, 08:01 PM   #5
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I think you need to make sure you fill the box. If I don't put BE ends in I make sure I put more slices in. If I only put six slices in my scores do hurt, but if I put 8 or 9 I don't see much difference.
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Unread 08-19-2012, 08:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djqualls View Post
Do you add more brisket when going solo? Its hard to make a box look like an appetizing 9 9 9 9 9 9 when there is only 6 slices to cover and convince.
When we stoped adding burnt ends, I did start adding more slices. I made sure the box looked full. In a few of the cases I would see scores like 999988 and 999997. When we put burnt ends in we barely saw anything below a 9 for appearance.
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Unread 08-19-2012, 11:07 PM   #7
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Ron L is right... if they are judging you for something that is not required the judges are not doing their jobs.

IMO, as a cbj, if a cook presents burnt ends, I factor them into the 3 scores. If there are no burnt ends, its a moot point. If a cook includes multiple styles of meats in a box (i.e. chopped, pulled, and sliced pork) the cook is taking a risk by telling the judges they are so skillful that they have multiple superb samples for us to enjoy. Judges pay attention to subtle clues like this.

I will tell you, every contest has at least one entry that a cook includes something in their box that hurts their scores. Chicken is a prime example, cooks include skin that is way underdone and rubbery. Eating a slimy rubber like skin slathered in sauce never scores high in my book.

If the burnt ends look/taste unappetizing or like they were an afterthought, judges will score down the box presented. If it adds quality to the box, I suspect your scores would reflect that. If you have good tasting fatty caramelized burnt ends that are not salty, it can only help your scores from me!

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Unread 08-20-2012, 04:53 AM   #8
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While judging in Bel Air, MD last weekI noticed that about half of our brisket entries had "Faux" burnt ends in the box. By this, I mean cubed piecess of either flat or point end that didn't appear to have been put back in the pit after the flat was done. It's like they think it they don't turn in something cubed with the slices, they fear being marked down. As a cook and a judge, I personally don't care if they only turn in slices or both as long as it's good.
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Unread 08-20-2012, 09:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dosvans View Post
Even though our taste and tenderness scores improved when we just submitted slices, our appearance scores were definitely lower.
from your statement above ... I would say you are being scored down for taste/tenderness of the burnt ends. ????
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Unread 08-20-2012, 09:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balls Casten View Post
from your statement above ... I would say you are being scored down for taste/tenderness of the burnt ends. ????
No, just referring to our appearance scores. In fact, we just had a competition this past weekend and decided to add the burnt ends in. As suspected, our appearance scores went back up.
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Unread 08-20-2012, 11:04 AM   #11
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Here's my KISS thoughts on burnt ends if there are GREAT PUT THEM IN THE BOX,
if not leave them out.
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Unread 08-20-2012, 11:17 AM   #12
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All burnt ends in a box... You bet... Especially if they tasted and looked great... We were thing out of the box and did surprisingly well at two contest this was tried...

I am not sure what the judges were thinking when they couldn't give a pull test on the brisket, but it worked... This was an experiment only when the flat didn't turn out like we wanted and thought "what the heck"... it worked well...
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Unread 08-20-2012, 12:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmaes47 View Post
All burnt ends in a box... You bet... Especially if they tasted and looked great... We were thing out of the box and did surprisingly well at two contest this was tried...

I am not sure what the judges were thinking when they couldn't give a pull test on the brisket, but it worked... This was an experiment only when the flat didn't turn out like we wanted and thought "what the heck"... it worked well...
I've tried this once also for the same reason. I didn't do great(believe it was mid pack), but did better than I would have with my slices.
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