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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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Old 05-15-2013, 12:17 PM   #1
cpw
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Default Question on KCBS "taste"

OK, So my team just competed in our first KCBS contest, using the exact same recipes we'd used in SCBA and FBA contests, with decent results. I won't say we did bad, we came in 8th out of 42 teams, with a 3rd place in brisket (which I thought was our worst meat, but what do I know?)

My question is on the taste score, and I'll use chicken (21st place) as an example: 7,9,8,9,8,7 on taste. I know the chicken didn't taste bad or off or anything like that, but when people say "1 bite" do they really mean 1 bite? Do I need to amp up the rub and sauce to the point where I couldn't/wouldn't want to eat more than 1 bite to get the taste score up? On chicken, I wasn't using any rubs or sauces that were out of the ordinary, everything was commercially bought.

thanks for any help

-Chad
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:23 PM   #2
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I always take a bite from each side of the thigh. With chicken the first bite is so important because the skin game comes into play. Bite through skin is the goal of course, but as a judge I will only grade down if the skin becomes a "chin slapper".
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:26 PM   #3
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Don't change it for another contest or two. If the judges that gave you 7's are chronic low scorers you should see better scores next time. If the judges that gave you 9's are chronic high scorers you will see lower scores next time. Your mix of scores for this contest is hard to know what was what. JMO. Keith
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:28 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by JP7794 View Post
I always take a bite from each side of the thigh. With chicken the first bite is so important because the skin game comes into play. Bite through skin is the goal of course, but as a judge I will only grade down if the skin becomes a "chin slapper".
Our tenderness scores were low on the chicken as well, but I do know that the skin was bite through. We had several pieces that didn't go in the box and I made sure to taste them 10 minutes after turn in.
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:29 PM   #5
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cpw, at any contest (regardless of sanctioning body), what works great at one table may not work nearly as great at the next table. Taste is extremely subjective. What is too sweet to one person is perfect to another. Same for salt. Same for smokieness. etc.

Also, check with the organizers and see about % of CBJ's. Less CBJ's tend to reward heavily sauced things better, where more seasoned CBJ's grade it down because "it's not a sauce contest"...
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Old 05-15-2013, 02:16 PM   #6
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Also, check with the organizers and see about % of CBJ's. Less CBJ's tend to reward heavily sauced things better, where more seasoned CBJ's grade it down because "it's not a sauce contest"...
I think I remember the KCBS rep saying it was 100% CBJ. I would say that there was a fair amount of sauce on there, but not too much.
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Old 05-15-2013, 02:40 PM   #7
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My guess is, looking at your chicken taste scores, it was too this or too that for a couple of the folks. Can't tell, it could've been too bland, but it could've been too spicy, or too sweet, or just too much sauce itself.

I wouldn't read too much into any 1 contest, or 2 for that matter... 3 contests, with similar results, time to try things differently...
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
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My guess is, looking at your chicken taste scores, it was too this or too that for a couple of the folks. Can't tell, it could've been too bland, but it could've been too spicy, or too sweet, or just too much sauce itself.

I wouldn't read too much into any 1 contest, or 2 for that matter... 3 contests, with similar results, time to try things differently...
I hear ya. Our next contest is a Sam's Club qualifier, so I'm trying to improve just enough to get to 6th overall. The contest we just competed in was really to find out where we stood on scores.
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:27 PM   #9
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I'm a 'two-bite' judge (NOT 2-bit) and usually use the first bite to test the skin and initial impression of taste. Second bite from the opposite side of the entry to help judge the texture/tenderness and finalize the taste score.

With your score spread it kind of looks to me like you have something slightly overpowering - either spice/sweet/smoke/bland/something. Some like it and some don't.

I'd get more input from another contest or three before changing much.
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Old 05-15-2013, 04:05 PM   #10
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Actually your taste numbers were not terrible. Your marks of 7,9,8,9,8,7 are not bad. You only had two marks that were not 8's or 9's. I would only tweek your chicken a little. You may not be that far off. Of course if you competed at another contest your marks could be totally different. There are too many variables to make a judgement from one set of scores from one contest. If it was easy everybody would win.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Our tenderness scores were low on the chicken as well, but I do know that the skin was bite through. We had several pieces that didn't go in the box and I made sure to taste them 10 minutes after turn in.
I know it is supposed to be two distinct scores, but taste and tenderness tend to get judged together. Tough, but perfectly seasoned brisket might deserve an x-9-5, but it is more likely to get an x-7-6. If your skin was a bit tough, it is very hard to get 9's on taste. I know this isn't how judges are trained, but its what I see happening. I think judges are reluctant to give really low scores, so they tend to do it this way.
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpw View Post
My question is on the taste score, and I'll use chicken (21st place) as an example: 7,9,8,9,8,7 on taste. ...but when people say "1 bite" do they really mean 1 bite? Do I need to amp up the rub and sauce to the point where I couldn't/wouldn't want to eat more than 1 bite to get the taste score up?
For me as a judge, it is simply getting full too fast if it is much more then one healthy bite. Now that more an more teams are putting in multipul pieces of pork and brisket with burnt ends...trying to manage the amount of food intake is the biggest reason I rarely take more then one bite...

And no, I have not taken BBQ home with me from judging since 2004.

Not sure how to give you any advice on the rest.
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Old 05-16-2013, 05:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP7794 View Post
I always take a bite from each side of the thigh. With chicken the first bite is so important because the skin game comes into play. Bite through skin is the goal of course, but as a judge I will only grade down if the skin becomes a "chin slapper".
Sounds like you only need to make a small adjustment, whether its more/less salt, sweet, spice, sauce etc...

When I took the judging class we were told not to judge the chicken based on the skin, and if the skin came off not to judge it down.
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:07 AM   #14
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Sounds like you only need to make a small adjustment, whether its more/less salt, sweet, spice, sauce etc...

When I took the judging class we were told not to judge the chicken based on the skin, and if the skin came off not to judge it down.
I also was told that you were NOT to score down on skin that comes off. I have read the discussions many times on here but it still doesn't seem that all judges follow the guide lines provided.
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:16 AM   #15
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i would hope judges arent scoring down JUST because the skin came off. however, i could agree that it would change the overall product being eaten and thus may affect score. maybe even for the better?
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