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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 07-06-2013, 11:24 PM   #1
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Default Your thoughts on my first comp turn-in boxes

So 2 weeks ago I entered my first comp, the Safeway BBQ Battle in DC. There were a lot of big names competing, so my version of realistic goals were,
1) get all my turn-ins done on time
2) not come DFL in any categories
3) come in the top 60%
4) get one top 10

Well, accomplished both of the first 2, just missed the 3rd coming in 28 out of 42(25th would have been top 60%) and my highest score was only 25th in pork shoulder.
I ended up:
28th overall 150ck, 158ri, 157pk,133br, total 600

29th in chicken 28, 32, 25.7, 33.7, 29.1 27.4, 150.28
27th in ribs 29.7, 25.7, 36, 36, 29.7, 27.4, 158.857
25th in pork 32, 27.4, 29.1, 31.4, 32.5714, 32.5714, 157.7142
32nd in brisket 26.85, 21.1428, 21.1428, 31.4, 23.4, 30.2858 = 133.1430

here are my boxes, except for pork, don't have a pic.
Chicken:




Chicken score
777 888 767 989 786 876


Ribs




Rib score
878 767 999 999 878 876

Brisket




brisket scores
776 755 755 987 765 787

I knew my brisket would be bad, it was the second one i ever cooked, and the first one i had cooked as a practice ended up in the garbage inedible! So I deserved to get bashed there.

Any thoughts on my scores, my boxes, would be a big help and appreciated. I don't really have the experience to analyze the numbers very well.

For anyone wondering, all my cooking done on 1 FEC120, which I got about 2 weeks before the comp with no previous pellet experience.
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Unread 07-07-2013, 12:07 AM   #2
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Not bad out of the gate.......congrats on a fine cook.

I'm no fan of geometric shapes in chicken so the globes don't do much for me but I would say the uneven color and size would be what you got dinged for on that box. Looks like you couldn't decide between a run at crispy skin or carmelized sauce. Nothing wrong with either but pick one and go with it.

Ribs are sharp...........color isn't perfect but honestly dude if those had good taste and were tender and juicy they look like your best effort. Well done.

Brisket looks dry, dull, and grey. No burnt ends means your slices better sparkle. Don't be afraid to take a brush to them right in the box to juice and shine them up for the walk to the judges.

Overall I would say your boxes look more like you just filled them with parsley as a loose bed instead of making a tight putting green for them to sit on. Either tighten up the parsley or go to green leafy lettuce and supplement with parsley. Either will look better.


Having said all that..........nice job dude. You are well on your way to a call in your near future with that solid foundation to work from.


No pork??
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Unread 07-07-2013, 12:19 AM   #3
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Looking closer at your scores you need to worry more about your taste and tenderness on that brisket..........they count WAY more than a pretty box.

The guy who gave you a 7 on those ribs is a tool. Two perfect scores tells me you should feel pretty good about that turn in.
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Unread 07-07-2013, 12:20 AM   #4
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Hey, that is not at all a bad finish, especially for a first time. As you can tell, the scores are a little variable. In general, I think a better and smoother garnish bed will help you. Shouldn't matter, but, it does. Parsley on top of meat is usually not good.

I do like the ribs appearance wise. The chicken is uneven in color and shine. The shapes don't do it for me, but, I would not mark down for them. Lumpy, and uneven sauce, light spots, that would get dinged. Overall, I think the brisket looks okay, 7's seem fair. A light hit with a au jus moistened brush would help a lot.
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Unread 07-07-2013, 12:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlasman View Post
Not bad out of the gate.......congrats on a fine cook.

I'm no fan of geometric shapes in chicken so the globes don't do much for me but I would say the uneven color and size would be what you got dinged for on that box. Looks like you couldn't decide between a run at crispy skin or carmelized sauce. Nothing wrong with either but pick one and go with it.

Ribs are sharp...........color isn't perfect but honestly dude if those bad good taste and were tender and juicy they look like your best effort. Well done.

Brisket looks dry, dull, and grey. No burnt ends means your slices better sparkle. Don't be afraid to take a brush to them right in the box to juice and shine them up for the walk to the judges.

Overall I would say your boxes look more like you just filled them with parsley as a loose bed instead of making a tight putting green for them to sit on. Either tighten up the parsley or go to green leafy lettuce and supplement with parsley. Either will look better.


Having said all that..........nice job dude. You are well on your way to a call in your near future with that solid foundation to work from.


No pork??
Thanks. Yeah, as far as the chicken, i think i just need to work on my trimming a bit more to get them a little smaller and more uniform.

The ribs I thought were great, the flavor was a little sweet but from what i read that is the way comp ribs should be. I did get 2 judges going 9s across the board, I am going to chalk that to the luck of the judges i drew.

Yeah, i pretty much didn't do a base of anything garnish wise, just put the meat in then parsley around it. It was my first time building a box, lol, talk about pressure.

The brisket, yeah, train wreck all around. As an example of how bad it went, i slice and choose the slices going into the box, i then pour the drippings from the brisket pan into the grease separator. I then tell one of my teammates to pour the juice from the separator and dunk the slices into the bowl of juice, then put into the box. After everything is done, i look at that bowl of juice, and it is just all liquid fat/grease. I flip out and ask WTF is this in the bowl. Teammate says he went and poured the drippings from the second brisket pan, then dispensed the juice, he never waited for it to settle, so he just ended up running the grease straight through the separator. I am sure that did NOT help at all!

Lots of work to do before the Battle of the Brethren!

Thanks for taking a minute to look it over, much appreciated!
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Unread 07-07-2013, 12:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlasman View Post
Looking closer at your scores you need to worry more about your taste and tenderness on that brisket..........they count WAY more than a pretty box.

The guy who gave you a 7 on those ribs is a tool. Two perfect scores tells me you should feel pretty good about that turn in.
Yeah, i am stumped on the ribs. I don't know how common it is to get 2 judges going 9's across the board and STILL end up 27th. I am leaving the recipe and preparation alone and tightening up my presentation and see how it does for another 2 comps to get a better barometer.
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Unread 07-07-2013, 12:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
Hey, that is not at all a bad finish, especially for a first time. As you can tell, the scores are a little variable. In general, I think a better and smoother garnish bed will help you. Shouldn't matter, but, it does. Parsley on top of meat is usually not good.

I do like the ribs appearance wise. The chicken is uneven in color and shine. The shapes don't do it for me, but, I would not mark down for them. Lumpy, and uneven sauce, light spots, that would get dinged. Overall, I think the brisket looks okay, 7's seem fair. A light hit with a au jus moistened brush would help a lot.
Thanks Landarc.
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Unread 07-07-2013, 12:27 AM   #8
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A trick on building boxes, and there are many ways and videos etc...but, you can build the box while you are cooking. Do it early in the cook, sit down and lay the parsley, or lettuce, whatever you are using, into the box. Then spray it with a fine mist of cold water and put it in a cooler. It will hold fine for several/many hours this way, and when crunch time comes, you are not fussing with parsley.
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Unread 07-07-2013, 12:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
A trick on building boxes, and there are many ways and videos etc...but, you can build the box while you are cooking. Do it early in the cook, sit down and lay the parsley, or lettuce, whatever you are using, into the box. Then spray it with a fine mist of cold water and put it in a cooler. It will hold fine for several/many hours this way, and when crunch time comes, you are not fussing with parsley.
Gonna try that with my next practice cook. Thanks.
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Unread 07-07-2013, 01:52 AM   #10
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JMHO,
Never was a fan of the muffin tin chicken, and I'm under the impression from BBQ critic that judges aren't either. The ribs look good except for those nasty black crustys when that marrow remders out of the bones, gotta wipe them off as the ribs cook, learned that trick years ago. Brisket looks real roasty. Judgees want brisket, not pot roast. It appears that you dipped it in some type of jus, re reading reveals that now. gotta separate that fat. put it in a sealable glass container, chunk it in a ice bath for 10 min, pop off the fat puck, reheat the juices and adjust taste from there. I helped a guy over the past few weeks on a pitmaker that was getting close to the back of the field to 2nd place brisket in his first ever IBCA. If your interested, just PM me and we'll talk. Good luck, keep practicing, you'll get it!
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Unread 07-07-2013, 02:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmoney7269 View Post
JMHO,
Never was a fan of the muffin tin chicken, and I'm under the impression from BBQ critic that judges aren't either. The ribs look good except for those nasty black crustys when that marrow remders out of the bones, gotta wipe them off as the ribs cook, learned that trick years ago. Brisket looks real roasty. Judgees want brisket, not pot roast. It appears that you dipped it in some type of jus, re reading reveals that now. gotta separate that fat. put it in a sealable glass container, chunk it in a ice bath for 10 min, pop off the fat puck, reheat the juices and adjust taste from there. I helped a guy over the past few weeks on a pitmaker that was getting close to the back of the field to 2nd place brisket in his first ever IBCA. If your interested, just PM me and we'll talk. Good luck, keep practicing, you'll get it!
Yeah, brisket was a disaster, i was dumbfounded at the way my teammate didn't use the grease separator, but my fault for not making sure he knew what he was doing. Never really thought about the rib bone tips, something I will look at in my next few practice cooks.

Thanks for taking the time to look over my post.
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Unread 07-07-2013, 06:13 AM   #12
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Look pretty good to me. Sauce looks uneven on chicken. Sorry If I'm repeating as I didn't read all the comments. The ribs look a little lost in your garnish. Overall I'd say not to shabby at all.
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Unread 07-07-2013, 06:50 AM   #13
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I'd stick with what you are doing for the next few comps (except for the known mistakes ). Some of your scores I would chalk up to luck of the judge draw. I agree that you could improve your garnish but the appearance did'nt really hurt you. Good first time out..........no DAL! :-)
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Unread 07-07-2013, 12:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Look pretty good to me. Sauce looks uneven on chicken. Sorry If I'm repeating as I didn't read all the comments. The ribs look a little lost in your garnish. Overall I'd say not to shabby at all.
Agree on both points. Ya know, looking back at pics a few days later opens your eyes to things i just didn't see at the comp. Helps having another pair of eyes looking too, thanks K-Train.
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Unread 07-07-2013, 12:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I'd stick with what you are doing for the next few comps (except for the known mistakes ). Some of your scores I would chalk up to luck of the judge draw. I agree that you could improve your garnish but the appearance did'nt really hurt you. Good first time out..........no DAL! :-)
Yeah, it is tough to not go back to the drawing board and change it all up, but that would be like trying to hit a moving target all the time. Thanks for taking a moment to look it over and drop some comments accuseal
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