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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 06-27-2013, 07:38 PM   #1
DaSmokin'Chili
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Default **Judging**

Just got my CBJ this winter and I am going to judge my first comp., this weekend. Besides the appearance, taste, and tenderness; are there any other things I should look for too? From my research SWEET w/ a lil HEAT is the flavor profile that everyone uses, Are there any other popular flavor profiles?Any Other tips?
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Unread 06-27-2013, 07:55 PM   #2
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It's what flavor YOU like, compared to all bbq you have tasted. Don't compare dishes. If you get 4 great dishes in a row, give them all good scores. It's not comparative. Sometimes you get great dishes at the same table, and the last ones you taste lose out.

When I judge, I look for a balance of smoky, hot, and sweet that highlights the meat being judged.

Look for craftmanship. Does the box look good? Does the flavor profile enhance the meat and not hide it? Would you want to eat this again?

A 7 is considered a poor showing by most teams. If it's good, it's an 8. If it's great, it's a 9. 9 9 9 is great bbq, but doesn't mean "greatest bbq i have ever had in my whole life". Some judges don't give out 9 9 9 ever. Don't be one of those.

If you give a 5 or lower, complete a comment card and tell people why. Don't speculate on what they did wrong ("you overcooked it"), just tell them what you didn't like ("it was too dry").

Talk to other judges about what they liked and why (AFTER your scores are in..you aren't allowed to discuss before than), for every bad judge we complain about on here, there are 5 good ones and you can learn a lot.
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Unread 06-27-2013, 09:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBQ View Post
It's what flavor YOU like, compared to all bbq you have tasted. Don't compare dishes. If you get 4 great dishes in a row, give them all good scores. It's not comparative. Sometimes you get great dishes at the same table, and the last ones you taste lose out.

When I judge, I look for a balance of smoky, hot, and sweet that highlights the meat being judged.

Look for craftmanship. Does the box look good? Does the flavor profile enhance the meat and not hide it? Would you want to eat this again?

A 7 is considered a poor showing by most teams. If it's good, it's an 8. If it's great, it's a 9. 9 9 9 is great bbq, but doesn't mean "greatest bbq i have ever had in my whole life". Some judges don't give out 9 9 9 ever. Don't be one of those.

If you give a 5 or lower, complete a comment card and tell people why. Don't speculate on what they did wrong ("you overcooked it"), just tell them what you didn't like ("it was too dry").

Talk to other judges about what they liked and why (AFTER your scores are in..you aren't allowed to discuss before than), for every bad judge we complain about on here, there are 5 good ones and you can learn a lot.
Well said!
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Unread 06-27-2013, 09:12 PM   #4
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Appearance - I want o dive into tht is 9, looks great is 8, looks ok is 7. Anything below that is basically I don't want to eat that.

Taste - rocks my world is 10 but you can only give 9. Fantastic is 9. That's real good is 8. I like that is 7. See above for less.

Tenderness/texture - man that's just right is 9. Almost perfect is 8. Real good is 7. Less see above.

Judging is simple. It's great to say judge as presented but you don't know if the cook meant for it to be hot or sweet. You do know about sauce or no sauce o should not penalize. At the end of the day if you like an entry and gave less than 8 you probably are Wrong.

Off oapbox now.
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Unread 06-27-2013, 09:12 PM   #5
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I agree with MOST of what Chris wrote, but have to take exception to the "flavor" being what you like. It's NOT supposed to be about what you like, but about how the flavors blend and enhance the taste of the meat.

Also, while a 7 is a problem for a team looking for a call, it is the appropriate score for an entry that is only "above average". Don't be afraid to give a 9 if the entry is "excellent" (DOESN'T HAVE TO BE PERFECT!!!).

Most of all, have fun and do your best.
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Unread 06-27-2013, 09:16 PM   #6
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Comment cards aren't restricted to only the negatives. Feel free to let a team know that you thought that they did a great job.

The only arbiters of what is 'real' BBQ are the Reps. Judge the food on it's own merits. Whether or not you dislike vinegar sauces, mustard sauces, unsauced meat, etc. isn't relevant. Judge what you've been presented.

Judging isn't a race. Don't feel bad if you are still judging when others at your table are finished.

Don't be shy about asking questions. That's what the Reps and the Table Captains are there for.

Try to write legibly.

Eat enough of every turn-in to be able to fairly evaluate the meat.

If you see any teams that are flying the Brethren colors and are so inclined, offering a hand with cleaning or packing up after judging is completed would be a classy move.

Have a great time!


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Unread 06-28-2013, 12:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbq.tom View Post
I agree with MOST of what Chris wrote, but have to take exception to the "flavor" being what you like. It's NOT supposed to be about what you like, but about how the flavors blend and enhance the taste of the meat.
Well, at least in my CBJ class (a few years ago now), they said it was about what we liked for the taste score. At the end of the day, taste is subjective, and I can only compare it to my lifetime experience of BBQ. I don't know what sometime tastes like to you and it's difficult for you to explain it to me.

A lot of people in the class asked what the BBQ was supposed to taste like, and the answer was there wasn't a KCBS standard for taste - it's what we thought of the taste. (Unlike tenderness, which does have more objective standards to test.)

Of course your suggestion that flavors blend and enhance the taste of the meat certainly is a good guideline.
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Unread 06-28-2013, 12:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motoeric View Post
Whether or not you dislike vinegar sauces, mustard sauces, unsauced meat, etc. isn't relevant. Judge what you've been presented.
I do agree with this. I think it is, at the end of the day, your impressions that matter, but those impressions should be based on what is presented. Maybe you like sauced ribs, but if you get unsauced ribs how do they stand up to other unsauced ribs you have tasted before? Don't ding the cook for their style, but evaluate how well they executed the style.

One of the things I liked about the late movie critic Roger Ebert is that he reviewed movies in the context of their genre. If a film was in a genre he didn't care for, he would still evaluate the film on it's own terms. If the film was a goofy comedy, how did it stand up to other goofy comedies? He didn't ding it for not being Shakespeare, it just had to be good at what it was. BBQ should be treated the same way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by motoeric View Post
If you see any teams that are flying the Brethren colors and are so inclined, offering a hand with cleaning or packing up after judging is completed would be a classy move.
That has never happened to me! We do, however, like to talk to judges after the judging is done about their impressions - what they liked and disliked and why. Of course we have no way of knowing if they tasted our dishes or not, but just hearing what they thought is valuable.
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Unread 06-28-2013, 07:03 AM   #9
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The most important thing you can do during your entire judging career is leave your personal likes, dislikes, and preconcived ideas in your car before going into the judges tent. Your only job is to judge each cooks effort, each and every box all by itself and on its own merit.
JUDGE ONLY WHAT IS PRESENTED! Not lack of burnt ends or "I don't like chicken legs"

My personal dislike is chicken ornament balls, but I have trained my thought process that if they show up in the box, I judge them as the are presented. If they are excellent in appearence, taste and tenderness then they most certainly will receive 9's from this judge.

Good luck on your journey and never stop learning to be better.
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Unread 06-28-2013, 07:07 AM   #10
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Judge the meat as it is presented to you. Taking your tastes flavors out of the equation. You want to judge the meat in front of you as the cook presented to you. Did that team have a nice presentation? Did that team have a great texture or tenderness. Did that team put a good flavor on their product..(salt, peppery, heat, spicy)?? There is no negetive flavor, just one that might compliment the others.
Good luck and have fun.
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Unread 06-28-2013, 08:28 AM   #11
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You are not going to have a good grasp of how to judge things until you have several contest under your belt. Every contest you judge will give you the opportunity to become a better judge. Keep in mind you are learning and while you are learning give the cooks the benefit of the doubt when you can. Keith
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Unread 06-28-2013, 11:35 AM   #12
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My advice to a new judge is not to go into the contest with preconceived ideas of what you are looking for.

As others have already said: judge what you are presented.

And clean your palate between entries - I like a sprig of parsley, a little bit will do

and you won't have lingering taste from the previous entry influencing what you are

currently judging.

From your location, I am guessing that this is a KSBS contest, right?

If that is so, listen carefully to the CD before judging, and talk with your table mates after each category.

Treat this whole process as a learning experience.

You are on the threshold of culinary wonderfulness. Have fun and enjoy.
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Unread 06-28-2013, 12:34 PM   #13
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#1 - Judge how you were taught
#2 - I hope you had a good teacher.
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Unread 06-28-2013, 12:47 PM   #14
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My simple advice, if it's good, score it well, if not, give it a 5 or 6, but let the cook know what you didn't like about it.

Person pet pieve of mine...if you go around afterward and a team asks, "Hey, eat any good food today"? Don't tell them "it was ok" or "not really", or "a little disappointing". That's last thing you want to hear after being up all night and busting your behind to put good entries in a box. Just lie if you have to! Otherwise, go buy a smoker, a pop tent and some meat and do it yourself!

Funny how these are the guys (or gals) with a full cooler of meat from their table to take home!

Ok, off the soapbox now, enjoy your experience, it will be fun and rewarding. The part above about helping to clean up would be a classy move...just be careful if you're ever by my tent, I just might take you up on it!
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Unread 06-28-2013, 01:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walrus79 View Post
My simple advice, if it's good, score it well, if not, give it a 5 or 6, but let the cook know what you didn't like about it.

Person pet pieve of mine...if you go around afterward and a team asks, "Hey, eat any good food today"? Don't tell them "it was ok" or "not really", or "a little disappointing". That's last thing you want to hear after being up all night and busting your behind to put good entries in a box. Just lie if you have to! Otherwise, go buy a smoker, a pop tent and some meat and do it yourself!

Funny how these are the guys (or gals) with a full cooler of meat from their table to take home!

Ok, off the soapbox now, enjoy your experience, it will be fun and rewarding. The part above about helping to clean up would be a classy move...just be careful if you're ever by my tent, I just might take you up on it!
Maybe the judges could word it a little differently I guess, but I like it when they are honest . I follow up by picking their brains on why it wasn't good or why something they had was awesome. Brutal honesty helps. Just because they didn't like something or the food wasn't that spectacular overall doesn't mean they didn't appreciate the experience . I'd have judges over to my house every free weekend I have if i could, to give me their brutal honesty on why my food sucks or is good .
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