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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 04-10-2009, 06:02 AM   #1
Rightstuff
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We are signing up for our first MBN competition. Can anyone give me insight as to have these comps are actually ran? We're familiar with KCBS and FBA but were told that MBN rules are slightly different.
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Unread 04-10-2009, 07:52 AM   #2
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MBN rules are very different from KCBS or FBA. In MBN you only cook pork; whole hog, whole shoulder, and/or ribs. You can enter one, two, or all three categories. You can still be grand champion by cooking only one category as the judging process looks for the best barbecue of the day no matter what it is. Usually the MBN rules are provided on the contest web site. You do turn in a blind box, but no garnish is allowed; meat only in the box. You can turn in up to two separate sauces in cups (provided with boxes). You will also be judged by three on-site judges in the preliminary round. They will spend 10 to 15 minutes at your site and you are judged on area and personal appearance, presentation, appearance of the meat on the cooker as well as taste and tenderness. Do a search and you can probably come up with more details. I think someone posted a link recently to a good site for info on the whole judging process for a MBN comp. Good luck!
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Unread 04-10-2009, 07:56 AM   #3
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Another important point; MBN judging is comparative. Judges are instructed to compare entries to each other to determine the best barbecue of the day. Each entry is not scored on its own merits as it is in KCBS and FBA contests.
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Unread 04-10-2009, 11:04 AM   #4
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Well, I used to judge MBN before I started cooking in KCBS so let me see if I can add a little something here.

Like QN said,
3 categories: Whole Hog, Ribs and Pork Shoulder
Note: MBN requires a whole shoulder.
FYI, in three years of judging MBN contests I can't remember ever seeing Spares....always loin backs. Could be a geographic thing as most of the contests I judged were in So. IL and TN

You are judged by both on-site and blind box.
The blind box has no garnish. You can turn in sauce in the provided cup.
Personally, I wouldn't do that, I would turn the meat in as you want the judge to eat it. If you want a light sauce on it...turn it in that way. You never know what the judge is going to do with that sauce if you give them an entire cup.

On-Site you are judged on area and personal appearance, presentation, appearance of the meat on the cooker as well as taste and tenderness.
I would like to add that the area and personal appearance is intended to evaluate if you and your area are clean. Basically, did I feel comfortable eating in your area. It has nothing to do with china and how much money you spent on your rig, tables and linens.

Yes it is comparative judging. The scale goes from 5-10. Someone will get the 10. The explain it to the judges like this: It may not be the best you ever ate...but it is the best you ate today. That person gets your 10

Also there is an overall impression score that gets down to the decimal.
So, you may have two entries that are identical in appearance, taste and tenderness. (As identical as you can get without justifying marking down for anything) But in the overall score, the judge must differentiate the winner. It may come down to a 10.0 and 9.9 in the overall.
Like I said...SOMEONE GETS A 10


If you're really curious just IM me and I'll dig out the judges handbook and give you the exact details.

-Aaron
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Unread 04-10-2009, 12:18 PM   #5
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QN and ammoore pretty much covered it all but I'd like to add one more thing.

Make sure you plan (both in the amount of meat and your timeline) for the final round of judging in case you make it. Like they said, you will be going head to head with the best of the other two categories. I don't know about now, but in the past this has consisted of 4 judges showing up at the same time and you may have already seen one of more of them.

The first time we made the finals we were doing ribs and got caught off guard. It was very embarassing having to piece together ribs for the smoker presentation and then trying to find something edible (they cooked for two extra hours) for them to eat. That was the first and last time that happened.

It's a fun experience but the rules and procedures are pretty different than a KCBS or FBA comp.

One other thing.......if you do ribs, I believe you have to do what is called a cadillac cut. Each piece has two bones in it. Mark/Aaron.....can one of you confirm this?
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Unread 04-10-2009, 12:49 PM   #6
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There is no specific requirement for either a cadillac cut or for two bone samples. This is all the rule says;
A pork rib entry is defined by Memphis Barbecue Network as the portion containing the ribs and further classified as a spare rib or loin rib portion. Country style ribs are not a valid entry.

With that being said, what I have seen most of in turn in boxes is two bone samples. They want you to be able to pull those bones apart in addition to taking a bite to judge tenderness. The cadillac cut is typically a single bone sample that has double meat on each side of the bone by cutting the ribs apart next to the next rib bone over from the one being turned in. This results in a meatier rib. For on site ribs, I have typically seen the team have a slab for each judge and the person doing the presentation cut or pulled them apart during the presentation right in front of the judge. Hope this helps.
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Unread 04-10-2009, 12:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rightstuff View Post
We are signing up for our first MBN competition. Can anyone give me insight as to have these comps are actually ran? We're familiar with KCBS and FBA but were told that MBN rules are slightly different.
What contest are you going to compete in?
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Unread 04-10-2009, 01:44 PM   #8
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Thanks guys. This is great info! This is a small contest that will help ease into the MBN process. Kinda nervous about the onsight stuff but we'll make it through I'm sure.
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Unread 04-10-2009, 01:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QN View Post
What contest are you going to compete in?
Simply Southern Jubilee
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Unread 04-10-2009, 01:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ammoore View Post
Well, I used to judge MBN before I started cooking in KCBS so let me see if I can add a little something here.

Like QN said,
3 categories: Whole Hog, Ribs and Pork Shoulder
Note: MBN requires a whole shoulder.
FYI, in three years of judging MBN contests I can't remember ever seeing Spares....always loin backs. Could be a geographic thing as most of the contests I judged were in So. IL and TN

You are judged by both on-site and blind box.
The blind box has no garnish. You can turn in sauce in the provided cup.
Personally, I wouldn't do that, I would turn the meat in as you want the judge to eat it. If you want a light sauce on it...turn it in that way. You never know what the judge is going to do with that sauce if you give them an entire cup.

On-Site you are judged on area and personal appearance, presentation, appearance of the meat on the cooker as well as taste and tenderness.
I would like to add that the area and personal appearance is intended to evaluate if you and your area are clean. Basically, did I feel comfortable eating in your area. It has nothing to do with china and how much money you spent on your rig, tables and linens.

Yes it is comparative judging. The scale goes from 5-10. Someone will get the 10. The explain it to the judges like this: It may not be the best you ever ate...but it is the best you ate today. That person gets your 10

Also there is an overall impression score that gets down to the decimal.
So, you may have two entries that are identical in appearance, taste and tenderness. (As identical as you can get without justifying marking down for anything) But in the overall score, the judge must differentiate the winner. It may come down to a 10.0 and 9.9 in the overall.
Like I said...SOMEONE GETS A 10


If you're really curious just IM me and I'll dig out the judges handbook and give you the exact details.

-Aaron

Thanks. Thats exactly the type of info I was hoping to get! You guys are great!
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Unread 04-10-2009, 01:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rightstuff View Post
Thanks guys. This is great info! This is a small contest that will help ease into the MBN process. Kinda nervous about the onsight stuff but we'll make it through I'm sure.
for the on site just have a clean cook-site and have on a clean T shirt or apron. Greet the judge and introduce them to the team members. Talk through your cooking process; tell the story of how that meat came from running around a feed lot to being on the cooker ready for the judge to sample. As previously stated, fine china and crystal is not needed. I have judged some great barbecue on a paper plate with water in the plastic bottle it came in. Nothing wrong with that at all. It is a meat contest.
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Unread 04-10-2009, 02:17 PM   #12
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Sounds like you want to run with the big dawgs! Good luck.

The format is "different", but since you can focus on one meat you will run into specialists in each category.

For example: Chris Lilly is a shoulder specialist and Myron Mixon is a whole hog specialist. Unfortunately that doesn't mean they won't pull out some killer ribs on any given day.

I've never done a MIM/MBN event since there are none in my area. I did do a whole hog at Douglas, GA one hear and that was a hoot!

Definately listen to Mark and don't get intimidated by some of the site setups!

Again, best of luck.
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Unread 04-11-2009, 09:18 PM   #13
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There has already been alot of good advice from some folks that understand the MBN process.

The question about the two-bone ribs: The majority of the teams to build their blind boxes with the two-bone/three-meat rib cuts. So the judges tend to expect them. I have also filled out the box with some cadillac (one-bone/two-meat) cuts to give the judges more to pick through.

If you send me an email address in a PM I'll send you a word file that summarizes the MIM/MBN judging and scoring process to help you understand what the judges will be looking at.
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Unread 04-12-2009, 07:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QN View Post
for the on site just have a clean cook-site and have on a clean T shirt or apron. Greet the judge and introduce them to the team members. Talk through your cooking process; tell the story of how that meat came from running around a feed lot to being on the cooker ready for the judge to sample. As previously stated, fine china and crystal is not needed. I have judged some great barbecue on a paper plate with water in the plastic bottle it came in. Nothing wrong with that at all. It is a meat contest.


Ah...yes the story....have a good one. Remember it doesn't have to be true. :) but give the important details that the judge will be looking for.
Time, Temp, Method, Wood....etc...etc...

I've been told some whopper of some stories during on site judging....I've never busted anyone on the BS. (although tempted) So, have fun with it. The judges know that you are probably only telling them 80% truth....10% embelishments and 10% straight up tall tales.
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