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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 10-21-2013, 12:56 PM   #1
Bigmista
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Default Burnt Ends question for judges

Should burnt ends have some crispness or bark on the outside or just be tender all over like cubed point?
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Unread 10-21-2013, 01:06 PM   #2
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Mista, I'm not a judge, but I have had a couple of top 5 finishes in brisket turning in nothing but burnt ends.

I would not even consider doing them without a little crispy bark. Bark is flavor.
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Unread 10-21-2013, 01:06 PM   #3
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As a judge and a cook, I would prefer just tender and no crispness. However, I'm sure you will hear plenty from both sides. I want bark for flavor, but nothing too much to bite through.
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Unread 10-21-2013, 01:08 PM   #4
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I personally prefer a bit of bark on them but would not lower my score if they are tender and have good flavor. I can tell you that seeing burnt ends in a box puts me in a better mood.
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Unread 10-21-2013, 01:59 PM   #5
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Burnt Ends without bark???

Definetly NOT crispy though.
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Unread 10-21-2013, 02:19 PM   #6
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As a judge we are to judge what is presented - some teams put in true burnt ends and some just put in cubed point. I'll judge each according on how well it is done for Appearance, Taste, & Tenderness. My personal preference (doesn't come into play when I'm judging) is for true burnt ends with a little crispyness to the bark and that awsome flavor, but all too often I just get cubed point. I often wonder if the team really knows what a true burnt end is! Just like many judges don't really know what a true burnt end is. We judge what we get.
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Unread 10-21-2013, 02:20 PM   #7
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Neil, I'm a master judge and a cook.

I can tell you that here in the Southeast, KCBS judges will kill you on tenderness if you turn in anything in a brisket box that could be described as "chewy" or "crispy". They equate it to "tough" and will likely hit you with a 5-7 score.

I understand it may be different in other regions, but down here these days KCBS judges define a "burnt end" as "soft cube of brisket, not necessarily from the point".
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Unread 10-21-2013, 02:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CivilWarBBQ View Post
Neil, I'm a master judge and a cook.

I can tell you that here in the Southeast, KCBS judges will kill you on tenderness if you turn in anything in a brisket box that could be described as "chewy" or "crispy". They equate it to "tough" and will likely hit you with a 5-7 score.

I understand it may be different in other regions, but down here these days KCBS judges define a "burnt end" as "soft cube of brisket, not necessarily from the point".
With or without bark?
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Unread 10-21-2013, 02:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CivilWarBBQ View Post
Neil, I'm a master judge and a cook.

I can tell you that here in the Southeast, KCBS judges will kill you on tenderness if you turn in anything in a brisket box that could be described as "chewy" or "crispy". They equate it to "tough" and will likely hit you with a 5-7 score.

I understand it may be different in other regions, but down here these days KCBS judges define a "burnt end" as "soft cube of brisket, not necessarily from the point".
Unfortunately, that statement is true, simply because many southeastern judges don't know what a true burnt end is. Brisket is just something that isn't found too much in the southeast and the judges from around here don't know what it is supposed to be like.
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Unread 10-21-2013, 03:56 PM   #10
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In Lancaster my table had a brisket entry with some very tender burnt ends included. They were lightly sauced, and possibly returned to the cooker for a very short amount of time to set things up. The table enjoyed the burnt ends, but agreed that they could have used additional time to render out the fat further. If that was done, there would have been more texture on the exterior, which could be described as crispness once the fat rendered even more
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Unread 10-21-2013, 03:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CivilWarBBQ View Post
Neil, I'm a master judge and a cook.

I can tell you that here in the Southeast, KCBS judges will kill you on tenderness if you turn in anything in a brisket box that could be described as "chewy" or "crispy". They equate it to "tough" and will likely hit you with a 5-7 score.

I understand it may be different in other regions, but down here these days KCBS judges define a "burnt end" as "soft cube of brisket, not necessarily from the point".
That explains some things as I've been turning in traditional burnt ends that were amazing in my opinon but the judges didn't. I'll remember that at Cummings.
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Unread 10-21-2013, 04:36 PM   #12
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Very tricky question. If you turn in cubed point and don't cook it long enough to render out the fat you will get scored down by judges that know what a "true" burnt end is. I've sat at a table where a judge expressed that opinion after having burnt ends that still had a lot of fat left in them. If you turn in true burnt ends and have judges that don't know what a "true" burnt end is you could get scored because they are crispy and/or chewy. If there are pieces with bark in the box I don't let them affect my tenderness score unless they are very, very crispy/chewy.
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Unread 10-21-2013, 04:46 PM   #13
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I think BBQ Tom said it right - I will judge what is presented.

Does not matter either way to me.

What matters is: does it enhance whatever else is in the box. Or does it detract.

It is all a matter of degrees - too much crispy = tough and dry.
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Unread 10-21-2013, 05:42 PM   #14
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I've judged boxes with true burnt ends (point pieces seasoned up real good with a great bark and juicy tender insides), cubed point, cubed flat, and variations of all of the above. If it looks appealing, tastes good, and is tender - it's scores well. If it's chewy, has big globs of unrendered fat, or is really dry - it scores poorly. I personally try to put six pieces of cubed point which are identical in my boxes. I cube them, season them and place them in a pan with au jus covered with foil until they are fall apart tender. Not truly burnt ends, just a presentation of brisket. I've done 8 comps this year with 5 top 10's in brisket, my way is getting decent results, still no 1st place.
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Unread 10-22-2013, 05:51 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbq.tom View Post
As a judge we are to judge what is presented - some teams put in true burnt ends and some just put in cubed point. I'll judge each according on how well it is done for Appearance, Taste, & Tenderness. My personal preference (doesn't come into play when I'm judging) is for true burnt ends with a little crispyness to the bark and that awsome flavor, but all too often I just get cubed point. I often wonder if the team really knows what a true burnt end is! Just like many judges don't really know what a true burnt end is. We judge what we get.
Couldn't have said it better myself. I prefer a more crispy burnt end but my lovely wife just likes hers cubed off the point. Which IMO really isn't a burnt end.
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