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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 07-17-2013, 06:53 PM   #1
coondogbbq
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Default Help, I'm confused.

As I said in an earlier post, fixen to dive in and do the comp bbq thing. Right now I'm cooking ribs pretty much every day. Doin tweaks and keepin records. I don't believe I've ever eaten better ribs.
From the posts (from very knowledgable people I might add) I gather that the meat must be cooked to a very exact tenderness. From the sound of it, it's just about what I like. But it must be (to be a contender) over seasoned to the point that you wouldn't want to fill up on it. I have always wanted to cook bbq that a person will start grabbing napkins after one bite cause they are gona be there a while. When they are completely full and their stomach says, "no more", their taste buds says just one more. That's what my life goal is. I THINK that if I were a judge that's what I'd be looking for. Are judges trained to have a different mindset OR has the bbq culture cluttered their judgement OR is there a market out there for bbq that looks good but u can't eat much of? I feel that I can do most anything if I can understand it but I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around this approach to cooking. Not trying to be cute or stir the pot. Lookin to grow.
Seriously.
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Unread 07-17-2013, 07:06 PM   #2
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Again, different sanctioning bodies, different rules, different game, etc. I tend to contrast KCBS to MBN here because while they're each awesome in their own right, they're also very different. IMHO the KCBS will take a bite, perhaps 2. The MBN judge will take only 1 bite if he/she really hates your BBQ and it stands out that quickly. Many good MBN ribs are eaten in their entirety... KCBS is judged on its own merits, whereas in MBN your Q will be compared to the other Q at the table. When there are 2 that are close to the top, the judges will have to have many bites to make sure they choose correctly. It's tough... :-)

So, in summation, for KCBS make sure that one bite is the bite from heaven, it says everything in 1 or 2 bites. In MBN, it needs to tantilize <spelling> and keep them coming back for more.
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Unread 07-17-2013, 07:18 PM   #3
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Welcome to how I wake up every day. Lol
Naw, cook the stuff how your comfortable with at first and start tweaking after bout 3 comps. Tender will score better than though any day of the week. But yes, there is a pretty fine criteria to meet for the perfect meat to present to judges in a box. Especially the good ones that judge the garnish also
Sorry
Just make sure if you put salad in the box, it's nice and tight, not too thick. Like a putting green
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Unread 07-17-2013, 07:40 PM   #4
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it's not so much you don't WANT another bite, but more, after MANY bites, you might feel a bit off because it is so rich.

although, overall, and i'll probably get flamed for this but, ALOT of GOOD comp BBQ flavor is kinda vanilla. but to get that delicious vanilla is very, very, difficult.

you're not trying to wang em with over the top flavors, but a soft balance of all of them, thus not offending any one judge and appealing to all.


really, it's kinda hard to describe.

there's a post on here somewhere(i'll never be able to find it)that i 100% agree with. for your first comp use smoking guns hot and blues hog on ALL entries.

your taste scores will be good, but what you'll really see is how your tenderness fairs. or something along those lines.
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Unread 07-17-2013, 07:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boogiesnap View Post
it's not so much you don't WANT another bite, but more, after MANY bites, you might feel a bit off because it is so rich.

although, overall, and i'll probably get flamed for this but, ALOT of GOOD comp BBQ flavor is kinda vanilla. but to get that delicious vanilla is very, very, difficult.

you're not trying to wang em with over the top flavors, but a soft balance of all of them, thus not offending any one judge and appealing to all.
Very well said!
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Unread 07-18-2013, 07:01 AM   #6
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Couple weeks ago I made what I thought were terrible ribs, got 4th place.A week later I made what I thought were good ribs, got 23rd place. The only apparent difference was somehow the timing got mixed up and at the second comp the ribs got pulled off and cut up to early and they got a little chewy sitting that long.

Got 8s and 9s in taste and appearance but got the lowest scores Ive ever had in tenderness, even had some comment cards that just said tough ribs

Taste is only 1/3 of your score and can be very subjective as each judge is going to be different in what theyre looking for in that department.If your box looks like hell or the meats overcooked or undercooked however your going to get low scores from all the judges in those categories, theres not much room for error there and your scores going to be low across the board.You can actually turn in just ok tasting ribs that dont really wow anyone and still score good as long as you nail the other two categories if that makes sense.That shouldnt be your goal but it happense every weekend across the country.
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Unread 07-18-2013, 07:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokinrack View Post
Taste is only 1/3 of your score and can be very subjective as each judge is going to be different in what theyre looking for in that department.
Well, because of the weighting factor in KCBS, taste is more than 1/3. Here is the new weighting factors after the KCBScore system was deployed (last weekend)...

Appearance - .5600,
Taste – 2.2972,
Tenderness - 1.1428.

So taste is weighted to be twice as important ad tenderness.

Coondog, why not see if there is a KCBS judging class in your area? that will give you an idea of what the judges are being told. then judge a couple of comps to see what is being turned in. Also, see if you can find a local Brethren team who will let you hang out and help them with a cook?
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Unread 07-18-2013, 07:17 AM   #8
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Thanks Ron, wasnt aware that had changed, I mostly do unsanctioned comps as thats whats available around here so I dont keep up much on KCBS rules, hoping to expand more next year and get into some sanctioned competitions a little further from home.
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Unread 07-18-2013, 07:21 AM   #9
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> Got 8s and 9s in taste and appearance but got the lowest scores Ive ever had in tenderness, even had some comment cards that just said tough ribs

The difference in the top 10% at any competition and the rest of the pack is: tenderness.
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Unread 07-18-2013, 08:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
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> Got 8s and 9s in taste and appearance but got the lowest scores Ive ever had in tenderness, even had some comment cards that just said tough ribs

The difference in the top 10% at any competition and the rest of the pack is: tenderness.
this is a point i think may be lost on alot of competitors. if it ain't tender it aint gonna taste good or score well.

get your tenderness right, THEN fine tune taste. even though the scoring weight is opposite.
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Unread 07-18-2013, 09:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boogiesnap View Post
this is a point i think may be lost on alot of competitors. if it ain't tender it aint gonna taste good or score well.

get your tenderness right, THEN fine tune taste. even though the scoring weight is opposite.
I cant tell you how many tables (hundreds and hundreds) I've judged where the best tasting BBQ was the 2nd or 3rd best scorer on the table, because it missed the tenderness mark, usually slightly tough. Literally, I'd say perhaps 50% of the BBQ coming across most tables tastes great but misses the tenderness mark.
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Unread 07-18-2013, 09:39 AM   #12
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a different discussion, i think, but i always felt tenderness should be weighted higher than taste.

it's harder to cook the food tender within a deadline consistently than it is to make it taste good. IMHO.
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Unread 07-18-2013, 10:38 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boogiesnap View Post
a different discussion, i think, but i always felt tenderness should be weighted higher than taste.

it's harder to cook the food tender within a deadline consistently than it is to make it taste good. IMHO.
That is a good point. Keith
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Unread 07-18-2013, 01:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
Well, because of the weighting factor in KCBS, taste is more than 1/3. Here is the new weighting factors after the KCBScore system was deployed (last weekend)...

Appearance - .5600,
Taste – 2.2972,
Tenderness - 1.1428.

So taste is weighted to be twice as important ad tenderness.

Coondog, why not see if there is a KCBS judging class in your area? that will give you an idea of what the judges are being told. then judge a couple of comps to see what is being turned in. Also, see if you can find a local Brethren team who will let you hang out and help them with a cook?
I think taking the class and becoming a judge would probably give a lot of insight. I think I'm gona do it. Great advise.

Along the same line, I would like to thank all of y'all who took time to share with the kid (ha ha) this information. I think a lot of you fellas and appreciate your talents.
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Unread 07-18-2013, 01:35 PM   #15
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You're not trying to impress/wow the judges...you're trying not to offend any of them. If you over season to the point where they don't want to take another bite...you're in for a disappointing day.
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