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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 01-12-2013, 01:47 PM   #1
txschutte
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Default CBJ Classes

In an effort to get a bit more educated in what to turn in, the wife and I are taking CBJ classes to improve our overall knowledge.

A few questions I have are:

1) Did CBJ classes dramatically help your game when cooking, even if you didn't actually judge?

2) Did your team member/spouse/partner come away with differing ideas as to help your cooking?

Contests out here are few, so actually judging would be tough to do if we want to compete. Traveling to judge would be better for us, cost wise, vs. traveling to compete and judging close to home.

Your answers are appreciated.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 02:01 PM   #2
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For us "no".

My cook partner at the time and I took the class in 2009. What we learned was the process.

Last season I cooked only 4 times but judged 22 times! Now I know what triple 9's are for each meat.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 03:03 PM   #3
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I took the class before becoming a cook. Having knowledge of what happens in the judging tent helped me prepare in regards to my competition timeline. It also helped because I knew what the judges were expecting for turn ins.

I try to judge one or two comps a year just to see what kind of flavor profiles are being turned in.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 03:28 PM   #4
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I took the class in 2011 (my first bbq season) after about 5 competitions and I really just learned the process of judging and what KCBS guidelines are for how the foods should/could appear and what to look for in taste and tenderness.

It didn't really add anything to my cooking knowledge since they really aren't telling you how to cook. They are telling you how to judge. These 2 things do hold hands a little, but I learned the most from talking with teams that were willing to help and offered advise. And I also learned a ton on this forum .

Now a caveat to this is if someone didn't have any experience at all then I think it would be a great place to start. Of course in general getting your CBJ is a nice thing to have for whenever you want to judge . I wish I could judge more, but I always want to cook.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 04:06 PM   #5
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There are two things a cook can glean from taking the judging class:

1) An understanding of the judging process and what judges are taught to look for (esp. in tenderness)

2) Insight into the mindset of typical judges by interacting with the newborn CBJs who will be scoring your entries down the road

That's it. Absolutely no useful information about cooking technique will be learned, but you will get a better idea about the tenderness mark you are aiming for.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 05:14 PM   #6
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As a cook, the class just gets you certified, and tells you what garnish not to put in the box. Actually judging comps will give you samples of what actually gets turned in, and a better idea of judges pov.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 08:28 PM   #7
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Happy to see this thread.

Always said, cooks should take judges class for exactly the reasons said above.

On the flip side, judges should cook with a team to gain knowledge and appreciation for what happens outside the judging tent.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 08:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlyle View Post
Happy to see this thread.

Always said, cooks should take judges class for exactly the reasons said above.

On the flip side, judges should cook with a team to gain knowledge and appreciation for what happens outside the judging tent.
From a judges perspective, I agree with both your points.

There were several cooks in my CBJ class, which led to some very interesting questions (and a few snappy responses from Ed Roith)... and I've had CBJ/Cooks at my judging table 3 or 4 times. Generally the information exchanged is beneficial to everyone. On only one occasion a CBJ/Cook was a complete know-it-all, but for the most part all of our scores were pretty much in line. Likewise I've seen know-it-all judges too.... Another time a CBJ/Cook was pretty arrogant through the chicken turn in, and then got a real education during the ribs and shoulder judging. I mean to the point that this particular person borrowed some zipper bags from the grazing table to take certain samples so their spouse/team member could taste them, after the brisket judging there was a nice apology delivered to the table..... the truth was, this team had no idea of the caliber of the turn-ins they were competing against.

On the flip side, I've enjoyed interaction with teams and have attended a competition cooking class which was outstanding. 70% of the folks were cooks, 30% judges and everyone learned a thing or three.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 11:49 PM   #9
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In a perfect world all cooks would judge at least once a year and all judges would cook at least once a year. I'd like to see every judge cook with a team waaaay before their 30th contest - like maybe around their 5th or 10th .

When a cook judges he's not really learning anything except what other teams are turning in - - - and he's finding out what the other judges think about each of those entries.

When a judge cooks with a team he sees, smells and tastes each entry that the team turns in. Naturally he also mentally scores each box. It's a real eye-opener to be standing there when the judge gets to read the score sheet after the awards and to hear him say "What the fark!"
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Unread 01-13-2013, 05:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rookie'48 View Post
In a perfect world all cooks would judge at least once a year and all judges would cook at least once a year. I'd like to see every judge cook with a team waaaay before their 30th contest - like maybe around their 5th or 10th .

When a cook judges he's not really learning anything except what other teams are turning in - - - and he's finding out what the other judges think about each of those entries.

When a judge cooks with a team he sees, smells and tastes each entry that the team turns in. Naturally he also mentally scores each box. It's a real eye-opener to be standing there when the judge gets to read the score sheet after the awards and to hear him say "What the fark!"
Well, I hope the cook that is judging learns a few other things,... like how sometimes 4 of those ribs or thighs turned in might be all but perfect, and the other two might actually be over or under cooked, and scored accordingly... Or that in the 15 minutes of handling time, those brisket slices dried out more than the team ever thought they would when they went into the box. Or maybe the cook that is judging will notice that some judges really appreciate the amount of time, skill, money and effort that went into those boxes, and that a good judge will spend more than 20 seconds for a bite and drink of water before scoring and moving on. And finally,... a cook that is judging might get to witness the magic that happens when a table scores all 9's....(Now, thats only happened to me once, and I'll bet you that all 6 of us judges were as proud to give that score that day as the team was when they got the news..)
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Unread 01-13-2013, 07:41 AM   #11
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For me, one of the benefits of CBJ class was calibration of how my product compared to others. We tend to cook flavor profiles that we personally like rather than what the judging population likes. Too sweet for your palate may be Nirvana for the judges.

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Unread 01-14-2013, 07:04 AM   #12
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As CBJ's with 26 contest each behind us, my wife and I agree that the class helped school us in what we needed to prepare for the judges as cooks. The class gave us the basics just like any other class you might take. It's the "on the job training" that I feel will benefit a cook by seeing alot of different turn-in styles in the four catagories, and also hearing what the other judges think about the product they had on their table after the score cards are turned in.

As a cook team now, I think that time spent in the judges tent was priceless. As we had a great first year and hope to keep it going by judging a few this season and cooking several.
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