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    #16
    You should be required to cook yourself to be a judge, period. What tastes good to a rookie judge may not be what SHOULD taste good. If you're raised on big name chain restaurant bake 'n grill ribs, and then you think competition wood-cooked ribs are too smokey...then there's an experience issue. Judges should know what they're tasting. They give you actual samples at the CBJ class, but I was never impressed by what I ate, I didn't give anything over a 7. Most things got a 6 since it was "meh". The instructor didn't like my ratings. Sorry but it wasn't excellent I told him, it tastes average to me. I'd like to see award winners cook for judge class attendees, and judges cook themselves to prove they know what's going on.

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    • Meathead
      Meathead commented
      Editing a comment
      Problem is they are scrounging for judges. Not enough to go around!

    • CandySueQ
      CandySueQ commented
      Editing a comment
      Food at CBJ classes generally sucks. That's because one cook is preparing every entry on the table in every category. It ain't contest food. I could argue that samples (particularly bad samples) aren't necessary to train a judge...

    • Huskee
      Huskee commented
      Editing a comment
      The instructor at my class said he'd rate everything he tasted there (and we tasted) as a 9. I specifically remember looking around thinking "this guy's a nut case" and others in the class were nodding in agreement with him. It was sad. Either my standards of what stellar BBQ is is way too high, or there's a vast need of improvement in how these classes are conducted and judges are trained.

    #17
    Aaron,
    I agree completely.

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      #18
      I'm new to this whole BBQ competition idea. But the idea of segmenting your scores seems like it elevates the picky ahead of the total package.

      NASCAR figured out that having the guy who hardly ever wins a race, buy consistently finishes decent, win the Cup is boring. So, they changed and gave more emphasis on winning races than they used to. Fans like that more!

      If your taste is great, but your skin didn't pull perfect (like it does on the cupcake pan chicken, barely cooked over flame at the end), and you loose, then that's silly.

      #TasteTasteTaste

      Comment


      • Meathead
        Meathead commented
        Editing a comment
        You make sense

      • Huskee
        Huskee commented
        Editing a comment
        Some people don't turn in the skin. That's what my instructor said. "Don't judge what isn't there!" he said when I asked what if an entry has no skin? To me, this means the better odds are to 'turn in meat with no skin', so it's not there as a potential nail in the coffin.

      #19
      Apparently, sous-vide is not an acceptable tecnique in KCBS events. From the official rules: Parboiling, Sous-vide, and/or deep-frying competition meat is not allowed.

      http://www.kcbs.us/pdf/2014_rules.pdf

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      • Jon Solberg
        Jon Solberg commented
        Editing a comment
        That seems to make sense right?

      • Meathead
        Meathead commented
        Editing a comment
        Makes sense to me.

      #20
      Finding dedicated level headed people who will drive great distances to judge BBQ for no compensation. Isn't easy. KCBS and it's certified BBQ judges is the best way to accomplish that

      Comment


        #21
        I think they all should use a stick burner. No charcoal, no pellets, just old fashion natural wood logs. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

        Comment


          #22
          Originally posted by DWCowles View Post
          I think they all should use a stick burner. No charcoal, no pellets, just old fashion natural wood logs. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.
          You are a hard man DWC but, I agree with you. To many new fangled pieces of equipment. No electronics and nothing but wood for fuel.

          Comment


          • boftx
            boftx commented
            Editing a comment
            Whole-heartedly agree! I might allow lump charcoal since that is what our sticks turn into in the course of the cook, but that would be it. None of those new-fangled briquette things. And how the devil do you get smoke from gas or electricity?!? If you gotta put wood chips on it you might as well use wood to begin with and do it right.

          #23
          There is no doubt that KCBS judges are taught that all cue should taste the same. To compete there, you must understand and produce the desired 'cue. In contrast, non-sanctioned contests where the judges include the reigning Dairy Princess, a city councilman, the Elks lodge president and three of the promoter's in-laws will really leave you scratching your head.

          Comment


            #24
            I only get to do one KCBS event a year. There's not too many of those in East Texas. I do cook thighs, because that's what I've seen winning while I was studying the KCBS style of cooking. Mostly we do IBCA and TGCBCA. Half chickens, fully jointed, are a real test of your patience. It takes a while to learn how to get the dark meat done, without drying the breast out. At comps I cook on an offset, a UDS (with a Guru), and a 22.5 OTG.

            Comment


              #25
              Originally posted by 7pigfeathers7 View Post
              There is no doubt that KCBS judges are taught that all cue should taste the same. To compete there, you must understand and produce the desired 'cue. In contrast, non-sanctioned contests where the judges include the reigning Dairy Princess, a city councilman, the Elks lodge president and three of the promoter's in-laws will really leave you scratching your head.
              I believe I'll call false on that statement! In fact, I'd say that a KCBS CBJ class does NOT mandate a specific taste at all. I was at a contest this past weekend and I tasted brisket from 5 different teams. You would not have believed the variety of flavors! I was surprised that the sweetest brisket scored as high as it did (candy sauce). But my brisket with no sweetness other than the sweetness of beef came in a respectable 11th.

              Also, in the 11 years I've been competing, it's been my experience that judges' tastes change. But a balanced flavor profile with perfectly cooked texture always gives a cook an advantage.

              Comment


              • SwampDonkeyzBBQ
                SwampDonkeyzBBQ commented
                Editing a comment
                I agree. At last years Shotgun Fred Cook Off (KCBS Sanctioned), one of the top IBCA cookers took fifth, overall, and didn't change his profile one bit. Also, he didn't even use garnish in his boxes.

              #26
              Okay, this started out as a competition "Chicken" post, so I'll bring it back around to that instead of starting a new thread. I'm new to competition this year - and sifting through hordes of data. Question I have is:

              Everyone seems to poach in margarine instead of butter because of what they are calling the "smoke point" (which I think isn't really a traditional smoke point for the oil, but where the milk solids burn). What if one were to use clarified butter (Ghee) instead? I haven't tried it (I will this weekend) but has anyone else? I just can't bring myself to poach in margarine.

              Comment


                #27
                I don't poach at all! I smoke my chicken. Used to use butter years ago and I like the taste. Big Problem -- sauce kinda slides off and doesn't cover real well! So, I smoke my chicken without using any kind of oily product. Sauce looks much prettier.

                Comment


                • CandySueQ
                  CandySueQ commented
                  Editing a comment
                  And I did pretty good in chicken last year! Finished up at #89 KCBS Team of the Year chicken.

                • scorched_porch
                  scorched_porch commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks, looking for some trusted info from the trenches. I'm gathering data from everywhere and I find A LOT of it all over the place in terms of method, style and preference.

                #28
                Started competing last year. Our scores have increased, but we are still around the middle of the pack. At the last competiton our ribs were spot on in taste and tenderness. However the bones were not at all straight and there were some knuckles on the top. (the trimmer and skinner may have had a few too many libations whilst prepping friday night) Any ways I knew presentation was going to be a liability. Out of 6 judges I think 4 gave us 9s in both taste and tenderness. and 7s in presentation. Another judge gave us 8s for for taste and tenderness. The last judge gave us a 9 in appearance but 7 in taste and a 6 in tenderness. What am I getting at? Judging can be such a crapshoot.

                Comment

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