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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 10-11-2006, 10:38 AM   #1
motley que
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Default box help

Doin my first comp the weekend of the 22nd and need help with my box, specifically the lettuce/parsely. any tips or suggestions would be needed as far as what type of lettuce used etc.

Also can the boxes be made ahead of time so that all i have to do is cut meat and box it?

cooking the following

Ribs
Pork
Chicken
Brisket
Open (reuben meatloaf)
Desert (JD Breadpuddin with JD Sauce)
Chili

The desert can be presented anyway I want, I was thinking rocks glasses would be good but difficult to eat from so I may switch to margarita glasses.
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Unread 10-11-2006, 10:42 AM   #2
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Some of these threads should help. Best of luck!

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/se...earchid=127246
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Unread 10-11-2006, 10:45 AM   #3
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I would go with the rocks glass... Don't mix your liquors! :) If I were judging, that would just seem better to me overall, I think, and the judges don't need large quantities.. they'll already be stuffed.
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Unread 10-11-2006, 10:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motley que
Doin my first comp the weekend of the 22nd and need help with my box, specifically the lettuce/parsely. any tips or suggestions would be needed as far as what type of lettuce used etc.

Also can the boxes be made ahead of time so that all i have to do is cut meat and box it?

cooking the following

Ribs
Pork
Chicken
Brisket
Open (reuben meatloaf)
Desert (JD Breadpuddin with JD Sauce)
Chili

The desert can be presented anyway I want, I was thinking rocks glasses would be good but difficult to eat from so I may switch to margarita glasses.
you can make boxes ahead of time but keep in mind you wont actually get handed the physical box until the cooks meeting..at least thats how most comps do it..
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Unread 10-11-2006, 08:19 PM   #5
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We make up our garnish ahead of time and roll it into damp paper towels, that way we just need to arrange it at the site and away we go the lettuce stays nice and fresh and doesn't get as limp as if it were really wet and cold
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Unread 10-11-2006, 08:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voodoobbqIL
We make up our garnish ahead of time and roll it into damp paper towels, that way we just need to arrange it at the site and away we go the lettuce stays nice and fresh and doesn't get as limp as if it were really wet and cold
That is the deal.
One step further--we go ahead and "rough out" the boxes prior to turn in.
Put them into the refrig to stay cold.
Then, just add the meat, fine tune salad if needed, and send it on its way.

With a 30 minute KCBS window, not enough time to start from scratch for each box.
Use that time to focus on the meat.

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Unread 10-11-2006, 09:13 PM   #7
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My wife starts our boxes around 8am (and doesn't finish four until around 9:30 or so). We chop up the lettuce and use a bed of that in the box as an anchor so to speak for the parsley stems. When she's done, the box looks like an even, crips bed of parley with no lettuce showing.
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Unread 10-12-2006, 07:39 AM   #8
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You asked for type of lettuce. Green leaf is the only type allowed if you are doing a KCBS event. If you look at the top of the comp page there should be a link or a file to the KCBS rules. Familarise your self with those.

We take some time during the morning on the day of turn in to wash lettuce and get rid of the crap. If cooler space is available, we will get them all made up and in the cooler well ahead of time. We have also just left the lettuce in a bus tub with water and ice to keep crisp and have a dedicated set of hands make boxes as needed.

Don't put too much thought into presentation. It really carries very little weight and with any luck, a trained judge will not even notice it. We end up with a nice ring of lettuce around the edge of the box with the box mostly full. We stopped using parsley this year. Basically we use garnish as a minor acccent and it also helps hold meat in place with out sliding around until it gets to the judges table.

Our competiton that is coming up I will try to remember to get some pics of the turn in as it gets built to demonstrate how we do it. I realise that this will be too late for you. Maybe some more of us can do this and get a nice thread going. Turn-in 101 mod for the new guys. Might help seeing the stages rather than just the finished product.
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Unread 10-12-2006, 08:30 AM   #9
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Greg, while you're correct on the presentation not counting as much as taste and tenderness, someone wise once told me "never give away points in appearance". That's the easiest thing to control and can make the difference between big money and less. See the difference in points between grand and reserve at the Royal invitational... 0.004 I believe that cost the reserve team between $3000 and $4000. Not saying that was due to presentations because I didn't see those but if it was... you'd be kicking yourself, huh?
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Unread 10-12-2006, 08:51 AM   #10
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Point well taken.
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Unread 10-12-2006, 09:04 AM   #11
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While I am sure some part of my brain takes in the green leaf and parsley when I judge, I do not feel it is the biggest thing I look at. Sure I make sure it is all legal and all, but I look to see what the meat looks like. Is it nice in color, cut nicely, placed in the box with some thought. Overall I think a box that has alot of meat in it looks nicer than the ones that barely have anything in there.
But judges are there to judge the MEAT not the greens. (Does this always happen???? Different thread for that conversation) Use the greens as suggested above as a be to make the box look more full. Work on the meat and how it looks. Does it make you want to dive right in and start eating or does it make you go "eh I can wait. This becomes more important around brisket turn in as judges have had three other meats and are begininng to realize they may still have an open and dessert to judge PLUS the brisket.
Make it look like the best tasiting thing you have ever seen and that should carry you through the judging.

Just my two cents.
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Unread 10-12-2006, 09:58 AM   #12
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I see this thread going in two directions... presentation being one and to garnish or not to garnish being the other. As you all know, presentation entails a LOT more than just garnish. We make our garnish look as nice as possible because I think that regardless of the rules, like Roo-B-Q'n states, some part of a judge's brain WILL take in the appearance of the garnish as a whole, even if it's a subconscious thing. It's like looking at a famous painting. You wouldn't put the Mona Lisa in a plain ol' black frame. Why would you put your work of art in a crappy looking frame of garnish?

As far as actual presentation of the meat goes, there are a LOT of ways to place it in the box and I firmly believe that some significant attention to detail here can and does make a difference between scoring well and scoring poorly. Remember, a couple of judges giving you even as high as 7's can kill your changes of winning a contest. Just as chefs at 5 star restaurants take great care in how their food looks on a plate, so should we as competition cooks take care of how our product looks in the box, maybe even more so. In those restaurants, diners have already decided on what looks good from the menu. At comps, we have to convince judges with our product when they first see it. To get 8's and 9's on appearance, you have to get the judges thinking "Wow, I can't wait to taste that!" We've discussed that before. So this is where it doesn't hurt to get creative. Look at your box from a judge's perspective. Be objective and think about whether that's something you yourself couldn't wait to taste. If not, re-do it!

And the best advice I can give on boxes is the easiest to follow. FILL THE BOX WITH MEAT! Not to the point of looking crammed in but just to the point of where you couldn't fit any more in without making it look bad. This means longer slices of brisket, not short ones that leave a couple of inches of green showing on each side. It means as many pieces of chicken as will fit, as many ribs and lots of pork. Try to find something unique in how you place it in the box. We're guilty of not doing this with chicken and brisket but ribs and pork we do experiment with. We've had great success with pork. Not so much with ribs.

Sometimes you can't control something that causes your brisket to dry out or your chicken skin to not tear cleanly. But you CAN control how your product looks in the box and make up a point or two that you figure you might be losing in other areas. Take control of it. Be an artist. Strive for 9's in appearance.

Cheerleader mod off! LOL
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Unread 10-12-2006, 12:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_in_KC
Greg, while you're correct on the presentation not counting as much as taste and tenderness, someone wise once told me "never give away points in appearance". That's the easiest thing to control and can make the difference between big money and less. See the difference in points between grand and reserve at the Royal invitational... 0.004 I believe that cost the reserve team between $3000 and $4000. Not saying that was due to presentations because I didn't see those but if it was... you'd be kicking yourself, huh?
.0004 is the difference between a 9 and a 7 in appearance from one judge in one category.

We missed a Grand in a contest one year by .0002

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Unread 10-12-2006, 02:37 PM   #14
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y'all are FREAKIN this rookie out...nah. I will buy some nice green lettuce place it nicely in the box and fill with my meat.

The next ? is what to do in the open

Smoked Salmon which is very tasty but i would think it could be somewhat common, or my reuben meatloaf which i have had a hard time getting done in a timely manner due to its size, i may make 6 smaller ones
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Unread 10-12-2006, 02:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motley que
y'all are FREAKIN this rookie out...nah. I will buy some nice green lettuce place it nicely in the box and fill with my meat.

The next ? is what to do in the open

Smoked Salmon which is very tasty but i would think it could be somewhat common, or my reuben meatloaf which i have had a hard time getting done in a timely manner due to its size, i may make 6 smaller ones
Make the six smaller ones if you do meatloaf. I'm guessing the nice color will be more evident that way. Keep in mind that if the open is after the four meat categories, you can bet any entry that is either chocolate or cheesecake or a combination of both will win or at least score high. Judges are sick of protein and have a raging sweet took by that point.
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