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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 10-02-2010, 07:45 PM   #1
watg?
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Default Does this pass the SMELL test?

Before I begin this long ramble I would like to make a statement. I am in no way criticizing the contest reps, organizers, committee members and or winners of this contest. Those that know me know I do not have a habit of complaining about contests results or judges and this post is in no way meant to be critical of the contest outcome or the folks that worked to put it on.

That being said, I am just back from the Keystone BBQ Classic in Harrisburg PA held at the Pennsylvania Farm Complex in conjunction with a huge livestock show. Due to the unusually heavy rainfall last Wendsday & Thursday here in the northeast, the location of the contest was moved from a grass site to an asphalt parking lot, all within the same complex. As saturated as the ground was, I am sure this was a good decision.

In moving the site for the teams, the judging area was also moved. Originally planned to be located in a large lobby of one of the complex buildings the judge’s area was moved to a large indoor active animal stall area. The building was huge, concrete floors, expansive ceilings, with several hundred large animal stalls, many containing horses.

As I am sure you could imagine the aromas associated with numerous horses being keep within the confines of any type of building are noticeable to say the least. The staff and horse-people where very diligent in the cleaning of the area but the fact remains, the area had a bit of a smell. Several times during the contest as I strolled to the very well maintained human rest rooms that were also located within this building, I had to walk to and fro in order to avoid stepping into large piles of fresh horse droppings, all of which added to the area potpourri.

My questions here are simple. Do you think that judging competition BBQ within the confines of a horse stable makes sense? Can it be done? Isn’t the sense of smell and taste very much connected and related? I mean, what is next, a contest with a judging area in a waste treatment plant, an active landfill, or maybe a chicken farm?

I know I am having fun here, but the bottom line question is this, can you eat, taste and score competition BBQ with your caboose parked in a closed building containing fresh animal droppings and all of the associated aromas? Or am I imagining things, it doesn't matter where you are dining, when your task is to judge que, your surroundings and area odors do not matter.
Whataya think?
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Unread 10-02-2010, 08:23 PM   #2
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Where was the judging supposed to be before the rain? In the Cameron Lobby? That would be quite a walk from the North parking lot. Unless they set up a tent in the North Parking lot near the competitors, I don't see how they can get an non odoriferous location for the judges.
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Unread 10-02-2010, 10:13 PM   #3
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As a judge, I don't like being near animal stalls, especially in a cramped space full of people in the hot summer weather. I've judged an event where that was the case and it isn't pleasant for anyone.

I will say that, such a location in relation to animal stalls, is not an ideal location for the judges. Every effort should be made to avoid it, IMO.
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Unread 10-02-2010, 10:31 PM   #4
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What was the line from The Bourne Ultimatum? Something like "Decisions made in real time are never perfect". Sounds like the organizers scrambled and came up with the best alternative they could in adverse conditions.

While I'd agree judging in a horse barn is not ideal, if the alternative was cooks hiking through mud for ten minutes to turn-in it may have been a good call. Bottom line is every team was subject to the same handicap, so there is no real grounds for complaint there. As far as the judges themselves... well, nobody promised them dinner at The Ritz!
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Unread 10-03-2010, 06:32 AM   #5
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I stopped at a local farm last week that also sells ice cream, they had a area to sit and enjoy your ice cream but after a minute my wife and I both decided it was not enjoyable with the smell. So I could imagine trying to judge Barbeque
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Unread 10-03-2010, 07:36 AM   #6
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No way will it pass the smell test, I'm sure it would affect my taste buds. And what about Flies?
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Unread 10-03-2010, 07:49 AM   #7
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I'm sure it affected the judges taste buds negatively - but, then again, it would affect their tasting on every competitor's entry.
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Unread 10-03-2010, 07:53 AM   #8
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George- I'm with slamdunkpro on the issue.........it really doesnt matter where the judges are placed in that building.........the smell is everywhere,even in the cameron street lobby. The only solution would be a tent outside.

I was taken back by the smell.......stronger than I'd had hoped
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Unread 10-03-2010, 09:53 AM   #9
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knowing the situation, what other solutions are there? any one?take the prize moey and rent a free standing frame tent? As a free volunteer I would be happy to take them with me.

congrats to those who walked...job well done.
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Unread 10-03-2010, 10:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokin' Gnome BBQ View Post
knowing the situation, what other solutions are there?
That's a good question. An even better one would be what the judges thought of their environment. If it didn't bother them, then it's a moot point.
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Unread 10-03-2010, 11:09 AM   #11
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I would like to reiterate my earlier point; I am not complaining or carping. I realize the organizers made the best decision working within the confines of the area. I also understand that the judges tasted everyone’s stuff under the same circumstances. I was interested in what both judges and competitors thought as to what effect, if any, the surroundings had or would have on the judging process. I myself am a judge, but I haven’t done much judging. Each time I walked into the building, it hit me like a brick. However, during the cooks meeting, after staying in there for a while, I could no longer notice the aroma. I was just curious as to what others thought.
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Unread 10-03-2010, 11:25 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by watg? View Post
I would like to reiterate my earlier point; I am not complaining or carping. I realize the organizers made the best decision working within the confines of the area. I also understand that the judges tasted everyone’s stuff under the same circumstances. I was interested in what both judges and competitors thought as to what effect, if any, the surroundings had or would have on the judging process. I myself am a judge, but I haven’t done much judging. Each time I walked into the building, it hit me like a brick. However, during the cooks meeting, after staying in there for a while, I could no longer notice the aroma. I was just curious as to what others thought.

I 100% agree with you George, and for the record I complained about the odor whcih prompted the opening of the doors and the use of the ventalation system. As a judge, I wouldnt want to be in there. I speak on the commitee as a voice of the competitors, I will be VERY vocal about this.

As far as your original question. It would be a challange to judge a bbq comp in "hostile" environment, wether its odor, cold.hot or even a wind tunnel (another popular comp). For the first ime if a judge walked up to me and said my food tasted like Sh*@, I probably couldnt argue.
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Unread 10-03-2010, 04:36 PM   #13
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For those of you who weren't there,to give you a proper perspective, we're talking about 172,000 square foot exhibition hall; if I had to guess, there were approximately 100 animals in there. The judging area was approximately 100' from the animals. There was a distinct odor walking in there, but after a few minutes I stopped noticing it. Then again, I grew up in Lancaster County, so I'm kinda used to the smells. :-)

I think the only solution would be to set up a tent outside, which creates its own issues.

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Unread 10-03-2010, 06:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slamdunkpro View Post
That's a good question. An even better one would be what the judges thought of their environment. If it didn't bother them, then it's a moot point.

the judges, each and every one will be asked that very thing..some that werw already polled said they liked clean the super bathrooms and the comfortable temps and no wind. I will follow up after the official questionaires start comming back..
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Unread 10-03-2010, 07:11 PM   #15
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I was there for the weekend even tho I didn't compete. The only possible solution I can see would be a free standing tent set up in the lot or maybe on the grass between the building and the lot.
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