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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 03-02-2010, 05:37 PM   #1
pizzakngjr
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Default Judging and Competing

Ok Brethren here is a question that has come to mind after several days of scouring posts.....I have not been to a judge's class.

Alot of people suggest taking a judging class, and judging some contests before competing. I understand doing this is to gain a baseline of what judges are looking for. While I understand the theory behind it, something struck me...

Judging is strictly subjective. Ok, let me step back, Appearance should be objective criteria as you are all looking at the same thing. I would surmise if we sat 6 judges at the same table and presented one turn in box, I would theorize all judges would score differently. Also, if we presented two blind boxes of the same product, couldn't they elicit completely different scores on taste/texture.

My taste palate is different from someone elses, if I don't like spice, I could score it down because I don't like spice. My definition of too sweet may be just right for someone else. And what may be tender to me, may be mushy (or the other end of the spectrum...dry) to someone else.

Am I right or is this all assumptions since I am not a certified judge?

My Questions is, with so many variables involved, what is the benefit to taking the CBJ class before competing?

Valid question or am I way overthinking this?
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Unread 03-02-2010, 05:49 PM   #2
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Everyone who judges has taken a class and been taught what competition Q should be like and what to look for to see if it is cooked correctly. Yes a lot of what you say is true but if you don't know what they are looking for then how can you achieve it without just being lucky. It helped me to know what they are looking for as far as tenderness and what they want things to be as far a texture and tenderness. Plus I met some friend and got some other tips as well.
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Unread 03-02-2010, 05:50 PM   #3
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What are your goals?
Do you want to judge?
Do you want to compete?
The CBJ class is the road to judging and being an informed competitor.
You will gain insights from the other side of the fence.
It is well worth the time and effort.
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Unread 03-02-2010, 05:51 PM   #4
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Judging an actual comp helps more than taking the judging class. But, you can't judge the best comps without being a CBJ...

Judging is somewhat intangible, some people are better off not competing in BBQ...
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Unread 03-02-2010, 06:40 PM   #5
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Thanks, so far!

My goals, I definately want to compete, I want to judge also. I am trying to gain as much knowledge as possible before I begin competing. I just have been reading alot on here and realize how many variables there really are to competing.

I do want to take the CBJ class and possibly a cooking class.

I guess I am trying to understand how a turn in at one table could get you a GC or RGC, but a lower showing at another table of judges if they all go through the same training .... Am I making any sense?
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Unread 03-02-2010, 06:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pizzakngjr View Post
Thanks, so far!

My goals, I definately want to compete, I want to judge also. I am trying to gain as much knowledge as possible before I begin competing. I just have been reading alot on here and realize how many variables there really are to competing.

I do want to take the CBJ class and possibly a cooking class.

I guess I am trying to understand how a turn in at one table could get you a GC or RGC, but a lower showing at another table of judges if they all go through the same training .... Am I making any sense?
Don't overthink it.

While most of the judges take a class to get certified, it's focus is primarily to learn the rules as to how the judging process works. Judging is still very subjective to a large degree and they drop the lowest score to help level the playing field. What might be interesting to note is that at the classes they make mock boxes that may have certain things that would cause a DQ etc. Many times at a class you may sample six pieces of an entry and that chicken is all prepared the exact same way and yet many in the class will give each of them different scores for taste/texture.

Still, the best competition style BBQ usually wins out more often than not. That means consistency and knowing what judges like more often than not. The best backyard BBQ is not necessarily the best comp BBQ.. One is not better or worse than the other but just two very different animals in many respects.

Take the judges class so you know what the judges hear or allow you to judge, talk to some teams / possibly lend a hand at one of them to get experience, take a class if you feel you need that and learn a lot here on this forum.
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Unread 03-02-2010, 07:03 PM   #7
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I'm new here but my son and I have been 2 contests. We placed at one (Ribs) and got the laugh at another. My outlook on Judging is it is all subjective and the point is to have a good time with friends and hope for the walk Mary
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Unread 03-03-2010, 01:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pizzakngjr View Post
Ok Brethren here is a question that has come to mind after several days of scouring posts.....I have not been to a judge's class.

Alot of people suggest taking a judging class, and judging some contests before competing. I understand doing this is to gain a baseline of what judges are looking for. While I understand the theory behind it, something struck me...

Judging is strictly subjective. Ok, let me step back, Appearance should be objective criteria as you are all looking at the same thing. I would surmise if we sat 6 judges at the same table and presented one turn in box, I would theorize all judges would score differently. Also, if we presented two blind boxes of the same product, couldn't they elicit completely different scores on taste/texture.

My taste palate is different from someone elses, if I don't like spice, I could score it down because I don't like spice. My definition of too sweet may be just right for someone else. And what may be tender to me, may be mushy (or the other end of the spectrum...dry) to someone else.

Am I right or is this all assumptions since I am not a certified judge?

My Questions is, with so many variables involved, what is the benefit to taking the CBJ class before competing?

Valid question or am I way overthinking this?
Basically what happens at a class is they leave a lot open for personal interputation while at the same time ensuring when everyone leaves they are judging based off of the rules.

Also from my understanding you are supposed to take personal bias out of taste. If it is a sweet BBQ and you dont like sweet BBQ then you are supposed to judge it on the basis for Sweet BBQ is it a good tasting Sweet BBQ.
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Unread 03-03-2010, 09:34 PM   #9
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The KCBS reps at each contest I've judged have consistently said the same thing - "Judge each entry according to what the cook was trying to achieve. It may not be your preferred flavor, but if it is an excellent execution, it should be rewarded as such."

That being said, it's hard to eliminate all subjectivity, particularly in the taste category. For example, everyone has different tolerances for spices. What's too spicy for one might be just right for another, and that will result in differences in score.

I found that the class was best for learning how texture is judged. The rib standard is probably the closest to being objective. There are competition standards that your backyard friends won't know or care about. I've had friends rave over what I've served them, and the all the while I'm thinking, "I wouldn't give this a 7 at a contest." If you don't take the class, you don't learn this.
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Unread 03-04-2010, 07:39 AM   #10
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Look at it this way. If you JUST compete, then you'll always be guessing about what goes on in the tent, then you'll look at your scores and ask why?

Just judge, it's not that hard to take a class, judging is free at a contest and it's just another bag into your BBQ tricks.

It may raise a few questions, but it will answer others.

Besides, where else can you look at 6 Chicken, 6 rib, 6 pork and 6 brisket boxes and taste that much Q, compare it to your own stuff.
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Unread 03-04-2010, 07:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
I'm new here but my son and I have been 2 contests. We placed at one (Ribs) and got the laugh at another. My outlook on Judging is it is all subjective and the point is to have a good time with friends and hope for the walk Mary
This is true for many teams, and if this is your outlook ( and nothing wrong with it ) then going to a class probably won't benefit you. Others like me who want to do good I would suggest it. You could still take a class and give judging shot, I have had a good time doing so.
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Unread 03-04-2010, 10:10 AM   #12
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One of the things I noticed about that pitmasters show was that the judges actually thought they knew good bbq. If the CBJ classes were so effective and that was the case, everyone would give the same scores regardless. Then you hear the stories of teams getting a bad table. It is all subjective regardless of whether or not you take the class. I personally think in order to be a judge you should have to be a competitor too. Listening to those judges you would have thought they knew more about bbq than the cooks themselves. Perhaps it could be said that you should judge to be a cooker as well. I don't put too much stock into the judging process, either you cook good or you don't. If I go to a cookoff I am gonna cook, not judge. I have judged before and I prefer to cook......
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