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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 01-19-2010, 12:37 PM   #1
mattyp1214
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Default What judges look for in brisket/pork butt

Hey everyone! Fairly new to the forum and looking to start competing this summer in a few comps. Picking up my backwoods party this friday and plan on using that in combination with my bullet. Also I am taking the judging class in Parker, CO next week!

That being said,
I was looking for advice on what judges look for as far as a flavor profile for brisket. Do they like a sweet rub and sauce on it? A real beefy flavor? Any sauce at all? Spicy? Etc.

I plan to use the low and slow method and hope to give wagyu a test run once I get my recipe down.
Any help is greatly appreciated!
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Unread 01-19-2010, 01:02 PM   #2
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first things first, as far as i understand, you're supposed to taste the meat...ie briskets supposed to taste like beef, shoulder's supposed to taste like pork, if sauced it's supposed to be light enough to still let the flavor of the product shine thru.
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Unread 01-19-2010, 01:34 PM   #3
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I have always taken the position that a BBQ competitor would be best served by taking a judging class BEFORE trying to compete. The judging class will give you great insight as to the finer points of what to look for, how to determine quality, doneness, etc. Judging a few contests will also help you in the long run.
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Unread 01-19-2010, 01:40 PM   #4
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meat must still taste like meat, flavors to be balanced, and wagyu is not needed.
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Unread 01-19-2010, 01:58 PM   #5
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Keep it Simple, Simple Rub, Oak or Pecan Light Smoke, Thin Sauce. Also Practice keeping notes of each practice, a consistant method and receipe is what you want to end up with. Good Luck
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Unread 01-19-2010, 02:11 PM   #6
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Matty,

Contact me directly. I'm more than happy to help you out with a few pointers. PM me and I'll shoot you over my contact info. Oh, and I'll be at the Parker class as well.

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Unread 01-19-2010, 02:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattyp1214 View Post
I plan to use the low and slow method and hope to give wagyu a test run once I get my recipe down.
Any help is greatly appreciated!
Keep in mind that a Wagyu brisket is going to taste different then a Black Angus brisket - even with the same recipe. So keep that in mind as your prepare. I'm not sure if it would be worth a test run on Wagyu if you are still at the point of getting a competition recipe down - seems like an expense and effort that might be better served elsewhere. But hard for me to say not knowing your cooking experience - so just some food for thought.

At the same time, one could argue that it wouldn't hurt to try it in a practice cook. Guess it depends on how deep on feels to dig in their pocket.
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Unread 01-19-2010, 03:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC_Bobby View Post
Keep in mind that a Wagyu brisket is going to taste different then a Black Angus brisket - even with the same recipe. So keep that in mind as your prepare. I'm not sure if it would be worth a test run on Wagyu if you are still at the point of getting a competition recipe down - seems like an expense and effort that might be better served elsewhere. But hard for me to say not knowing your cooking experience - so just some food for thought.

At the same time, one could argue that it wouldn't hurt to try it in a practice cook. Guess it depends on how deep on feels to dig in their pocket.
I'd love to cook a Wagyu once for $h!ts and giggles, but I'm not going to buy a $120 piece of meat for a contest when $30 C.A.B.'s have gotten me plenty of top 5's. I think a lot of people need to realize it doesn't take that high-dollar meat to do well in a contest. It takes great quality meat, but no need to go to that expense.

That BBQ pitmasters has gotten everyone thinking muffin pans and Wagyu.. which is all fine by me !!
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Unread 01-19-2010, 09:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by early mornin' smokin' View Post
first things first, as far as i understand, you're supposed to taste the meat...ie briskets supposed to taste like beef, shoulder's supposed to taste like pork, if sauced it's supposed to be light enough to still let the flavor of the product shine thru.

If only everyone felt this way ......
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Unread 01-20-2010, 02:03 AM   #10
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I was looking for more of pointers as far as the actual presentation of how the judges like their brisket such as type of sauce if any, texture, taste,mop?, sweet or spicy, or even pointers on your cooking methods... I understand judges look for a "beef" flavor which leads me to believe that a simple rub and sauce but showcasing the flavor?
An injection of an intense beef/veal stock or demi-glace seems like it could be great if they look for flavor
As far as wagyu is concerned I just wanted try it out to find out myself if it is better or not. I will probably end up going with a local cab because of price.
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Unread 01-20-2010, 06:41 AM   #11
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MOIST beef with nice flavors.

Nobody likes dried out brisket.

If you can keep it moist and have it tear apart nicely, then you've got yourself a winning combination.
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Unread 01-20-2010, 07:21 AM   #12
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What TN BBQ says and on the pork, not mushy and not chewy. You may want to work on putting both pulled and sliced in your boxes. As most have said above, the rub and sauce are supposed to enhance the meat, not overpower the meat.
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Unread 01-20-2010, 07:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TN_BBQ View Post
MOIST beef with nice flavors.

Nobody likes dried out brisket.

If you can keep it moist and have it tear apart nicely, then you've got yourself a winning combination.
Agreed and stress on "tear apart" not fall apart (over cooked) or stretch and snap (under cook).

Another give away is the edges (Bark) not flakeing or rough looking which is caused by a dull knife.

Smoke ring width is also a plus for the experianced judges. (the wider the smoke ring the better).

Last but not least is Judges LOVE burnt ends, so a plus if both slices and burnt ends are included in the box.

Hope that helps.....
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Unread 01-20-2010, 08:08 AM   #14
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Above was the Beef Brisket feedback This is the Pulled pork feedback.

The judges are looking for a moist meat that they can still taste the pork meat taste. They look for the meat tenderness to be not mushy and stringy (over cooked) or tough (under cooked). They look for the bark (Rub) and sauces to enhance the pork taste and not over power the meat flavor. They enjoy larger pieces that they can pick up and have the entire spectrum (Bark, Sauce, Meat). They also like the Money muscle thick slices to be included in the box along with the pulled pork pieces.

Hope that helps ...
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Unread 01-20-2010, 08:22 AM   #15
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Welcome mattyp. Great post with great replies!
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