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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 08-03-2010, 03:03 PM   #1
dgassaway
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Default Please critique Turn-in boxes

Please evaluate my turn in boxes. Let me know what you think should be done to improve.

Let me know if your a CBJ, cook or just a BBQ enthusiast.

Thanks in advance.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Turn-in Box PORK CDA.jpg (77.9 KB, 288 views)
File Type: jpg Turn-in Box BRISKET WHTFSH.jpg (58.8 KB, 285 views)
File Type: jpg Turn-in Box CHICKEN WHTFSH.jpg (64.3 KB, 284 views)
File Type: jpg Turn-in Box RIBS CDA.jpg (78.0 KB, 283 views)
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Unread 08-03-2010, 03:09 PM   #2
Sledneck
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pork 7. looks dry
brisket 8 could use a bit of shine
chicken 9
ribs 8. side meat looks dry.

To me when its looks dry its doesn't look appetizing therefore doesn't make me want to dive in the box and eat it.

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Unread 08-03-2010, 03:20 PM   #3
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Ok, I'm not a judge and only have a couple of contests behind me so please, take whatever I say with whatever grain of salt you wish, but here's my thoughts:

Pork:7
I like the color of your bark. That nice deep mahogany red is what I always strive for. The MM looks a little small and your pulled pieces seem haphazzard. I actually like a lettuce bed but your garnish is uneven and distracted me from the meat.

Brisket: 8+
The box is full, the slices are thick and consistant, the bark is a nice deep color and there's a nice glisten. The curly lettuce sets the meat off nicely and provides a very consistant, but "frilly" frame.

The only reason I backed off a 9 is that the meat itself looks a little too dry. The sheen looks like it was added post slice and the smoke ring is a little dim.

Chicken: 8
The pieces are HUGE and have a beautiful color. They are also pretty uniform in size and shape. I like the fact that the spices stand out - it makes the pieces look well seasoned which makes me want to eat 'em.

Not a 9 because again, they look a little dry and I anticipate the skin to be tough.

Ribs: 8
Love the color of your bark/glaze. The glaze is almost perfect. The sauce is on the outside without distracting from the color of the meat on the inside...which is my only concern.

The meat itself looks a little undercooked to my eyes. When I see that kind of texture, I anticipate a rubbery or slightly chewy piece of meat. Also, the whole display is a little off-center exposing more lettuce on one side than the other. This distracts from the ribs themselves.

Overall I'd be proud to turn in any of those. Nice job!
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Unread 08-03-2010, 04:12 PM   #4
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All 8's.

Get the meat up of the bottom of the box and make them look wetter (spritz or sauce) and your close to 9's!
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Unread 08-03-2010, 04:17 PM   #5
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CBJ here with probably 60 contests judged. IMHO, the appearance of whether
is or isn't dry really has little to do with the appearance score itself and has to do
with the tenderness, ergo. part of another portion of the scoring. So, with that
aside:

Pork: I completely agree with that Southern Boy said above, except of course
for the dry part. Solid 8. Dress up the the garnish a little and perhaps a little more
pork in the box gets a 9.

Brisket: Again agree with Southern Boy. This is an 8 or 9, and frankly depends on
what I've seen so far. If it's not as dressy as some, then 8, if it is, it gets a 9.
I'm frankly not a too-much-sheen fan, but that's just me. IMHO, when meat begins
to look like it has a fresh coat of car wax on it, it's less appetizing. I think you hit
it about right. I think some (judges, IMHO) forget we're judging MEAT.

Chicken: Like Southern Boy, I agree 8, but for completely different reasons. He hit
the strengths well. However, anticipation of skin being tough has no business being
in the appearance score. That's what tenderness is about. For me, IMHO, the
most appetizing chicken will err on the redder side of BBQ vs. orange or yellowish.
This is certainly personal preference. Otherwise, a lovely presentation.

Ribs: Appearance 9. Again, whether it's undercooked or overcooked or going to
be tough or mushy isn't part of appearance. I know, many CBJ's still cant separate
this, but we're supposed to do so. The presentation is crisp and clean, even cuts,
beautiful outside and a wonderful pink color inside. Frankly, VERY appetizing, and
a very good appearance. Me, I wouldn't change a thing.

Now, was the skin on the chicken tough or rubbery, probably so, but that'll show
up in tenderness and if it affects taste the taste score too. Same for ribs, if they're
undercooked it'll come through in the other scores.

JMHO.

Good job frankly.
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Unread 08-03-2010, 04:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake Dogs View Post
CBJ here with probably 60 contests judged. IMHO, the appearance of whether
is or isn't dry really has little to do with the appearance score itself and has to do
with the tenderness, ergo. part of another portion of the scoring. So, with that
aside:

Pork: I completely agree with that Southern Boy said above, except of course
for the dry part. Solid 8. Dress up the the garnish a little and perhaps a little more
pork in the box gets a 9.

Brisket: Again agree with Southern Boy. This is an 8 or 9, and frankly depends on
what I've seen so far. If it's not as dressy as some, then 8, if it is, it gets a 9.
I'm frankly not a too-much-sheen fan, but that's just me. IMHO, when meat begins
to look like it has a fresh coat of car wax on it, it's less appetizing. I think you hit
it about right. I think some (judges, IMHO) forget we're judging MEAT.

Chicken: Like Southern Boy, I agree 8, but for completely different reasons. He hit
the strengths well. However, anticipation of skin being tough has no business being
in the appearance score. That's what tenderness is about. For me, IMHO, the
most appetizing chicken will err on the redder side of BBQ vs. orange or yellowish.
This is certainly personal preference. Otherwise, a lovely presentation.

Ribs: Appearance 9. Again, whether it's undercooked or overcooked or going to
be tough or mushy isn't part of appearance. I know, many CBJ's still cant separate
this, but we're supposed to do so. The presentation is crisp and clean, even cuts,
beautiful outside and a wonderful pink color inside. Frankly, VERY appetizing, and
a very good appearance. Me, I wouldn't change a thing.

Now, was the skin on the chicken tough or rubbery, probably so, but that'll show
up in tenderness and if it affects taste the taste score too. Same for ribs, if they're
undercooked it'll come through in the other scores.

JMHO.

Good job frankly.
a bit of a hijack but...IMHO, dryness would detrack from the appearance, if we are taught to score on how much we want to dive in and eat this meat based on what it looks like, but it looks dry, I would not want to dive in and eat it, I would score it down a tad...im not trying to start anything here, I do want to learn...

by the way, Nice job on all four...they look good!
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Unread 08-03-2010, 04:40 PM   #7
Lake Dogs
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JayAre-B-Q, you're absolutely right on that part. If it's truly less appetizing (keeps you
from wanting to dive in), then the appearance of possibly being dry could take away
from it, from your perspective, and that would be proper.

I come from a slightly different angle. For years I worked with packaging, color
separation, and product presentation for national brands. When taking pictures
of the food they use all types of spray shellac, etc. to give food a fake shine. I've
seen it to the point where frankly it makes me a bit sick when I see the fake shine.
Even Ice Cream. They're still using some of the original color separation and art work
that we did years ago for Breyers. And, much of that ice cream has been sprayed
with shellac. Yuck. Little Debbie's; same thing. My work still being used today,
and was sprayed for a nice sheen.
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Unread 08-03-2010, 09:33 PM   #8
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First impression, before reading other comments
Pork: probably 9, since my first thought was Yummm!
Brisket: 7-8, looks a little dry in the pic
Chicken: 8-9, color is lovely, not overly sauced
Ribs: 7, while they look nice, to me, they just don't say "snatch one up and eat it right now!"

I'm not concerned about how high the meat sits in the box, and I disagree with Lake Dogs that a judge should not care how over-cooked/under-cooked/mushy/tough an entry appears when judging appearance. What are we supposed to be looking for if not those things?
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Unread 08-04-2010, 03:40 AM   #9
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I see all 8's, I'm not judging the garnish.
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Unread 08-04-2010, 07:13 AM   #10
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At first glance the boxes look pretty good. Some suggestions to help follow.

Having the meat sit up higher in the box is a good idea. You need to be able to just close the lid with a little space there in case they stack the boxes. It is just a better angle for the judges to see the meat. It can be a point different and when thousands are decided by .0002 points it's sure worth taking the time.

I personally don't like the rib presentation but that's just me. I like to put in a continuous piece of 4 or 5 ribs with 1 or 2 offset. Lots do put in the 8 or 9 ribs like you do but most times they would be together.

For practice try putting half a head of green leaf in the box lying flat and then put brisket slices on it. Sit at a table and have somebody present the box to you and see how it looks vs your current presentation. Or if you want to spend the time make a parsley box. Once you do a parsley box you won't go back. Having the meat sit above the garnish and box looks way better IMHO.

Chicken - been awhile since I used thighs that big. Seen 9 pieces in some boxes and 8 or 7 in a lot. and it probably would look better with a glaze baked on.

I assume you took the pics when the boxes were made and they were then run to the table. At home practice boxes and then let them sit for 10-15 minutes and then open them and judge for appearance. That's when you really see what the judges see. Some meats will dry in the box so you need to work to stop that by different presentations.

I am a cook with some wins and 1st place calls. If it's not top 2 overall or a blue ribbon it's just BBQ not winning BBQ. Also a CBJ although I seldom judge. And I vend for a living so I do cook a lot of BBQ.
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Unread 08-04-2010, 07:58 AM   #11
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Pork an 8. Looks a little dry and haphazard but color is good.

Chicken an 8. Uniformity is off a little and I think a little glaze would help appearance.

P.S. Those are some monster thighs

Brisket. 8 maybe a 7. Again dry appearance and I think it could benefit from fanning the slices out a little rather than the tight stack you have

Ribs 8 but some 7's from fellow judges would not surprise me I think that it is safer to present your ribs with more of a top of the rib presentation and less of the side meat. The appearance of your side meat looks like it is going to be a little tough. So it will get scored as looks tough. Once we taste it we will know if that is true or not and score accordingly for texture but the appearance score is there to stay. keith

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Unread 08-04-2010, 08:58 AM   #12
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your knife work is absolutely superb on the ribs and brisket.
i don't like the lettuce bed. it "cups" the meat and is distracting.
pork looks well cooked and seasoned. nice bark. could use a little sheen, maybe.
as far as arrangement, it looks unbalanced due to the small MM. maybe if you you get another MM that small put it in the middle with 2 rows of pulled above and below it, making it the "centerpeice". or if you get a larger one next time, try it on top. i think that presents better than bottom.
chicken, looks well cooked and seasoned. arrangement is clean and tidy. could use a little sheen maybe. don't think i'd change much, personally.
ribs, excellent color, nice and meaty. looks like it has good tooth. definately keep them bones together tightly, will look much neater and more appealing.
brisket, nice color and bark. looks well cooked. the first slice does appear dry, but the 2nd looks moist. spritz a little bit to get that all over juicy look. slices, while very well executed, looka little thick to my eye, and fan them out enough so you can see the ring of each one, will give you a better presentation. OR stack em tith like you have with a couple fanned WAY out for presentation.
overall good work!
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Unread 08-04-2010, 10:02 AM   #13
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Thanks Guys! Several have said some of the meat looks dry. We do spritz with water just before turn-in.

What can I do to make the meat appear more moist?


Thanks again for your help and comments, it is greatly appreciated.
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Unread 08-04-2010, 10:31 AM   #14
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I'm a CBJ, and I judge meat. I would go 8's on the pork and brisket, 9's on the chicken and ribs.

That being said, here are some suggestions. Even though I don't judge garnish, there are some judges who are partial to the parsley putting green. I'll admit that it does look better. Consider it a frame for the artwork of your meat. Also, the pork looked a bit crowded, with the pulled squeezing the MM. Go with a little less of the pulled so we can see the MM better. With the brisket, try to show a little more of the slices behind the top slice, sort of like fanning them out. Otherwise, the judges are more or less left to judge one slice. In this case, it was a little off kilter (I know, that can shift durning turn-in), but that affects perception.

In terms of shine, have you tried apple juice instead of water. Honey in the sauce seems to give more glaze, too.
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Unread 08-05-2010, 07:29 AM   #15
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Southern Home Boy's comments would almost match mine other than:

Pork-8 I like the abundance of bark in the pulled, and I like the simple framing of the lettuce. At first glance the money muscle slices looked like sausage, they are a little small.

Brisket-9 The only thing I would say to "maybe improve" has been mentioned already, get the meat to stand higher than the garnish, it looks like this has sunk into the green. I think excellent, consistent slices here. As far as comments about looking dry---pictures do not always look the same as what you see eyeball to box.

Chicken & Ribs-I'm with Southern Home Boy.

Everything looks good, I would enjoy tasting any of those boxes at my table. Great job!
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