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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 10-18-2005, 09:22 PM   #1
BrooklynQ
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Default Comp Brisket - Chopped? Pulled? Sliced?

Guys,

At the Long Island judging class back in August, the Mullane's said that chopped brisket was a sign of being over cooked.

At the class in October, according to smokin cracker, "Dr. Death emphasized the fact that chopped or pulled brisket indicated potentially overcooked meat"

When I brought it upback in August, Jim Minon, KC Pellethead and others responded that this was not what that judges should be taught because chopped, pulled or sliced brisket is allowed by KCBS rules and that many winning teams submit chopped brisket.

So what's the deal? If the master judges are teaching the new judges that anything but sliced brisket is sub-par; isn't sliced brisket now the defacto standard for comp brisket?
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Unread 10-18-2005, 09:44 PM   #2
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So what's the deal? If the master judges are teaching the new judges that anything but sliced brisket is sub-par; isn't sliced brisket now the defacto standard for comp brisket?

In my limited experience--here is what I think.
All of this may be right or wrong, but...?

For Brisket in particular, the "Holy Grail" has traditionally been sliced, and "done to perfection".
As we all know, that is a high bar and hard to achieve for most of us "mere mortals".
I personally slice/chop/shred/pull to my hearts content at home.
In competetion, I want sliced to be the goal and "star" and that is what we turn in.
It may be supported or filled in with chopped/shredded for other reasons.
But, properly prepared sliced is the best I can do--(not that we are there yet)!

So, it becomes a matter of expectations and "how do we show off" for the Judges!

Under the rules, sure. All are allowed.
I am there to win, if possible.

And, there needs to be something to seperate the "others" from the championship level cooks who can cook and present at that level.

One of the many valuable lessons I learned from Ray Lampe at Arthur is "let others experiment with turn-ins". He wants to stand out with "this looks so good, I just cant wait to eat it!", or words to that effect.

So, until chopped/shredded becomes "mainstream"--everyone should do what they feel is right! Maybe the "standard" will change.

JMHO

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Unread 10-18-2005, 10:08 PM   #3
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Wink Brisket Brownies

At the Lake City FBA contest I used a unfamiliar smoker to cook my brisket and it spiked for about 2 hrs...
Way over done ( brisket soup ).
Anyway we had no slices so we cut 8ea 3" by 3" brisket brownies.
We sauced them to look real nice and no crap they looked like brownies!!!
The taste was great and the presentation was good.
We pulled off 8th place in Brisket. Who would have thunk it.
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Unread 10-18-2005, 10:15 PM   #4
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I think that to teach a judge that if something is presented in a certain manor it means is overstating the facts. I as an example turn in slices but I like to add chunks of the point which is by it's nature not good product for slicing but is very flavorful. A judge can make the call if it is over cooked by trying it not because someone has told that must be the case.
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Unread 10-19-2005, 03:14 AM   #5
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This is my opinion right or wrong. I thought that an entry was to be judged on appearance, taste and texture. If an entry has a pleasant and appetizing appearance, tastes wonderful and has proper texture why the hell would it not score well, wether it is pulled, chopped or served as slices? I think any speculation on the judges part as to why a competitor decided to display his entry in any fashion is not in the spirit of fair judging. If the judge sticks to measuring the entry by the criteria set in the rules, there is no reason for it to score well, providing it satisfies each of the criteria. Speculation should never enter the equation on the judges part and should be frowned apon. I was talking to guy in my judging class as we were leaving and we briefly discussed how we judged some of the submissions during the class. He mentioned that he scored chicken low because he was got a drumstick (he was last and thats all that was left) and he didn't like drumsticks. I am sorry guys but people like this have no business as a judge. If you can't be objective and judge to the criteria set forth, don't judge.
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Unread 10-19-2005, 07:05 AM   #6
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IMHO we are supposed to judge what we are presented, as it is presented. If brisket is presented as chopped (or chunked, burnt-ends), then I think it should be judged as chopped brisket (but I will carefully evaluate mouth feel for the mushy signs of over-cooking). To assume that it is overcooked is wrong, but if it SEEMS to be overcooked, then it IS overcooked.

Until the rules are changed to require sliced brisket, the judges cannot require that the brisket be sliced.

OMG - is this an example of the Judicial Activism that Harriet Meyers is being asked about??
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Unread 10-19-2005, 07:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawdustguy
This is my opinion right or wrong. I thought that an entry was to be judged on appearance, taste and texture. If an entry has a pleasant and appetizing appearance, tastes wonderful and has proper texture why the hell would it not score well, wether it is pulled, chopped or served as slices?
I think you've hit the nail on the head, so to speak... What is the proper texture for brisket? Sliced, chopped or pulled, the texture (and tenderness) is different. All are allowable turn-ins, and each has its own perfect texture, so I think each should be judged as it is tunred in. If a judge gets chopped brisket, judging the texture and tenderness as if it were slices isn't appropriate to me.

Of course, I've never been through a judging class, so my opinion may not be of value...
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Unread 10-19-2005, 07:20 AM   #8
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Very well said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawdustguy
This is my opinion right or wrong. I thought that an entry was to be judged on appearance, taste and texture. If an entry has a pleasant and appetizing appearance, tastes wonderful and has proper texture why the hell would it not score well, wether it is pulled, chopped or served as slices? I think any speculation on the judges part as to why a competitor decided to display his entry in any fashion is not in the spirit of fair judging. If the judge sticks to measuring the entry by the criteria set in the rules, there is no reason for it to score well, providing it satisfies each of the criteria. Speculation should never enter the equation on the judges part and should be frowned apon. I was talking to guy in my judging class as we were leaving and we briefly discussed how we judged some of the submissions during the class. He mentioned that he scored chicken low because he was got a drumstick (he was last and thats all that was left) and he didn't like drumsticks. I am sorry guys but people like this have no business as a judge. If you can't be objective and judge to the criteria set forth, don't judge.
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Unread 10-19-2005, 07:20 AM   #9
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Lets roll with it.

I agree with the Pollock but I think the point that we all need to realize is that this method to determine overcooked or under cooked meat is being thought at judging school. Death was very specific in the fact that thinly sliced meat would indicate undercooked meat and thicker sliced, pulled or chopped could indicate overcooked meat. Now that we all understand that and we all know how to burn a brisket lets know that we better put some good slices in the box that have good texture and fail the rubber band test. As a competition cook I took the KCBS judging class to learn a few things for myself and share them with fellow cooks/brothers so we can all turn-in a better product and have more fun. Right or wrong it obvious from these forum discussions that this method of judging brisket has been thought at other KCBS judging class as well. So we better turn in some slices with our burnt ends if we want our best chance at Grand Champion.

Cracker out!
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Unread 10-19-2005, 12:05 PM   #10
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All these insights are interesting but the fact remains that the expectation of the judges for the Brisket category is that the brisket will be sliced. The rules ALLOW chopped, shredded, etc. but the expectation is sliced. Same as when you go to a restaurant the the menu says Texas Style brisket - chopped, chunked, shredded is not the expectation - I know that if I get chopped or shredded or a fall apart chunk of meat that it'll probably be good, but it's not what I expected when I ordered.

Competitors KNOW that they CAN put other forms of brisket in the box but the KNOW if they don't have decent slices they don't have a prayer of scoring high. Like Jim and many others we use chopped or shredded brisket and burnt ends to enhance the box and give the judges more to taste and "love".

If KCBS changes to "beef" as the definition like they do for "pork" then the EXPECTATION of the judge changes.

Right now sliced brisket is the expectation and standard for the BRISKET category. As a judge and competitor I know and understand that. This will not change as far as I can see.

The training is adequate - someone in another "judge training" thread asked if the instructors give tips -- well, the pull test is a tip for checking the brisket - not hard and fast since everyone has a different idea of what he pull should be. Same with the tip that "usually" if the team doesn't put slices in the box it's because they missed. Common sense says that if you want slices in the box and it's overdone then you'll cut thicker slices - you have too if you want slices. Same with tough brisket - slice it thinner so that you have some hope of helping it be "tender" enough to score something.

The judges are hammered all throughout the class that personal likes/dislikes are to be set aside. You indeed judge based on what you're presented - don't blame the judges for the cook missing the target for the brisket!
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Unread 10-19-2005, 12:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chad
All these insights are interesting but the fact remains that the expectation of the judges for the Brisket category is that the brisket will be sliced.
If this is true, then i would have to disagree with those judges. And KCBS classes needs to drill that home. The catagory is Brisket. Not Sliced brisket. Pork does not mean Pulled Pork, and Chicken does not mean thighs. It means in ANY FORM. As a judge, thats what I will expect and judge, and judge as presented. Pulled is judged as pulled and sliced as sliced. When judging, any predispositions of what I cook in my pit and put in my boxes will be left under my tent and NOT brought into the judges tent with me. <---- That is from a judges perspective.

Now, that being said, from the cooks perspective, I would be to chicken sh*t to turn in anything but sliced.
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Unread 10-19-2005, 12:42 PM   #12
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Yeh like he said
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Unread 10-19-2005, 12:51 PM   #13
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OK, I give up.

Opinions are like *******s - and each of us has one (some full body) but the reality is that if you don't turnin sliced brisket you are cutting your throat.

You can blame the rules, blame the judges, blame KCBS but the fact remains that sliced brisket is what's expected in a turnin box. If you like tilting at windmills then go ahead and turn in chopped/pulled/chunked brisket. I just want to be in the same contest - I'm guaranteed a higher placing.

We've all had less than perfect brisket and turned in what we could. But bottom line is if you didn't cook a sliceable brisket you farked up.

And that's my *******, I mean opinion!
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Unread 10-19-2005, 03:15 PM   #14
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It's almost like turning in cornish hen in the chicken category. I would have a hard time coming to grips with doing that.

We always send up sliced.

If it works for you-----just do it!!

Not a gambler like some.
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Unread 10-19-2005, 05:53 PM   #15
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If you turn in brisket that isn't sliced, I'll rate it as I feel that it deserves, but since Death says it is not properly cooked, many other judges will rate it down.

DON'T take the risk!
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