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Judging first contest

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  • MoCollards
    Club Member
    • Apr 2018
    • 15
    • Hampton, Virginia
    • Rec Tec 700
      WSM 14"
      Weber Smokey Joe
      Weber Spirit gas grill

      ThermoPop

      Current favorite beer: anything cold and crisp
      Current favorite white wine: Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2017
      Current favorite red wine: Emmolo Merlot 2013
      Current favorite bourbon: Henry McKenna bottle-in-bond 10 yr

    Judging first contest

    I completed my CBJ training a few weeks back. I am judging my first contest next week: 2nd annual Smithfield BBQ Classic. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to it and I am interested to see this side of the BBQ world.
  • RonB
    Club Member
    • Apr 2016
    • 12341
    • Near Richmond VA
    • Weber Performer Deluxe
      SNS
      Pizza insert
      Rotisserie
      Smokenator 1000
      Cookshack Smokette Elite
      2 Thermapens
      Chefalarm
      Dot
      lots of probes.
      CyberQ

    #2
    Good luck , and thanx for the reminder. I may swing by just to look around.

    Comment

    • HawkerXP
      Club Member
      • Jul 2016
      • 5162
      • Northern Virginia
      • 3 Weber kettles, and a PBC
        Thermopop
        Dot w two probes
        Slo n Sear
        Cold beer

      #3
      We'll expect a full report!

      Comment


      • MoCollards
        MoCollards commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes indeed!
    • CandySueQ
      KCBS President, and Moderator
      • Jul 2014
      • 1536
      • Pellet Fired Jambo, T1000 Woodmaster, FEC100, MAK 2 star, Yoder 640, Backwoods Pellet Chef, 14" & 22" WSM, 22" Weber Kettle, Stoven, Hot Box Grill, Hasty Bake Portable

      #4
      I predict you'll get some fine pork to sample and evaluate!

      Comment

      • Mudkat
        Club Member
        • Feb 2017
        • 2135
        • At a river near me, MD
        • Weber Smokey Mountain 14.5"
          Weber 22" Kettel
          Weber Smokey Joe (2)
          One Grill 45" Rotisserie
          Lodge 5 qt. Dutch Oven
          Lodge 10.5" Double Loop Skillet
          Cast Iron 9" Skillet
          Cast Iron 12" Skillet
          Weber 22 Grill Grates
          Home Built 55 Gallon Ugly Drum Smoker - "MUDS"

        #5
        Sounds like fun!

        Comment

        • ColonialDawg
          Club Member
          • Oct 2017
          • 475
          • Coastal VA

          #6
          I’m jealous. I was going to go to training a couple of weeks ago but couldn’t make it work. Enjoy some good Q!

          Comment


          • MoCollards
            MoCollards commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks! Yes, I'm interested, in part, for the good nibbles.
        • Thom Emery
          Former Member
          • Sep 2014
          • 452
          • Indio Ca

          #7
          Originally posted by MoCollards View Post
          I completed my CBJ training a few weeks back. I am judging my first contest next week: 2nd annual Smithfield BBQ Classic. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to it and I am interested to see this side of the BBQ world.
          Judging is fun
          just remember comp q is very different from
          restaurant and backyard
          enjoy the day

          Comment

          • Donw
            Club Member
            • Jul 2017
            • 2815

            #8
            Good luck. But hearing of all the tricks competitors use to get the results they want, I personally might want a spit bucket like wine tasters have. Taste and then ... 😊

            Comment

            • randy56
              Club Member
              • Aug 2017
              • 420
              • Newburgh In

              #9
              I have judged one, some tip's - take some zip lock bags and put a few left overs to take home. #2 put a damp wash cloth in a zip lock, to wipe your hands, #3 remember do not lick your fingers, so hard to do. #4 one bite each, or you will to full for brisket. #5 wait a little while before writing down your score, let the flavors roam around in your mouth. #6 put a cooler with beer in your car, after judging you can walk around looking at pit's and talk to cooks. #7 have fun.

              Comment


              • mrteddyprincess
                mrteddyprincess commented
                Editing a comment
                Good points--all of them! I suggest start with smaller bites until you can tell whether what you're eating is a salt bomb. Sometimes competitors get carried away with the salt profile, IMHO.

              • MoCollards
                MoCollards commented
                Editing a comment
                All of these are good points. Especially the beer
            • Spinaker
              Moderator
              • Nov 2014
              • 10467
              • Land of Tonka
              • John "J R"
                Instagram: JRBowlsby
                Smokin' Hound Que
                Minnesota/ United States of America

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                Weber Spirit Gasser
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              #10
              I would like to try this sometime. If nothing else, it would be cool to geek out with a bunch of other BBQ nerds.

              Comment


              • MoCollards
                MoCollards commented
                Editing a comment
                Geekin' out and learning more about the competitive world of BBQ is my main motivation. Many moons ago I worked in kitchens and was a sous chef for a spell, so I'm interested in this alternate perspective on judging food.
            • jgreen
              Charter Member
              • Oct 2014
              • 2690
              • Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
              • Cookers:
                Broil King XL
                Broil King Smoke
                Weber Kettle 26
                Grilla Pellet smoker
                Capital 40 natural gas
                Napoleon Pro 22 kettle

                Thermometer:
                Maverick 733
                Thermapen (ok..4 thermapens)
                Thermo works DOT (or two)
                Fireboard (probably my favourite)
                Thermworks Smoke (or two)

                Accessories:
                SnS (original, plus and XL)
                DnG pans, 6 or 7 of these
                Vortex
                Grillgrates
                and, maybe some other toys as well

              #11
              Does sound like fun, but pretty different cooking tricks will make it tough to score.

              Comment


              • MoCollards
                MoCollards commented
                Editing a comment
                Agreed. With this being my first time judging, I'm just going to do my best to follow the KCBS rules and try to have a little fun -- and hopefully get some tasty meat.
            • MoCollards
              Club Member
              • Apr 2018
              • 15
              • Hampton, Virginia
              • Rec Tec 700
                WSM 14"
                Weber Smokey Joe
                Weber Spirit gas grill

                ThermoPop

                Current favorite beer: anything cold and crisp
                Current favorite white wine: Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2017
                Current favorite red wine: Emmolo Merlot 2013
                Current favorite bourbon: Henry McKenna bottle-in-bond 10 yr

              #12
              Well, it's been a minute or two for my follow up post to my first few competitions as a judge. I was signing up for a few more competitions in upcoming months and thought I'd reflect on my experience thus far.

              The biggest take-home message I can impart is I do not know if the judge training is adequate. For example, I wish at the judge training someone would have mentioned that it is considered a serious issue if you grade something below a 7 (on a 9 point scale). At the class, it seemed like the entire continuum of scores was fair game, which makes sense, with a 1 or 2 being something that is totally inedible (or disqualified), 3 and 4 edible but not tasty, etc. For one the samples, I used a 6 for tenderness (it didn't seem really tender to me). Anything below a 7 in one of the categories (appearance, taste, tenderness) and you are informed by the table captain to write a comment. I was also pulled aside and was told I was scoring too low. Again, I came in approaching this from an objective point of view and also as a person who teaches statistics to uninterested psychology majors (and thus I have a background in test and measures). Long story short, the trainers need to make this clear because I ruined someone's day (which is understandable if a 7 is a kiss of death -- I would have been upset, too, if I were on the other side). It was unintentional and due to ignorance, and I felt pretty bad about it.

              Despite my first major judging faux pas, I had a great time and ate some great BBQ.

              At my second competition judging, my scores were on target with the table average. In the brisket and pork categories, I was a nudge higher than average, but within one standard deviation. So in short, I was able to calibrate my scoring the second time around, understanding a 7 will basically eliminate a team from the competition. I don't know if I still entirely get the scoring exactly, but I at least felt like I performed in a way a typical judge would.

              At both competitions I ate amazing chicken! I couldn't believe a few of the pieces I came across -- just juicy, delicious, and skin that takes a bite perfectly. The other categories varied a lot for me, but shoot! You know when you have eaten something good when you think about it months later. O that delicious chicken...

              I am judging a few more competitions this year as I have some free time over the next few months. I'm trying to learn as much as I can about judging and the organization of the competition. Maybe one day I'll be on the other side, will get the crappy score, and can maybe laugh it off knowing it is karma's wheel spinning full force at me.

              Until then, smokin' on. Cheers!

              Comment


              • Mark V
                Mark V commented
                Editing a comment
                As another judge, 29 events, I can say you will evolve in your opinions.You will experience some things that will make you wonder, and others that are wonderful.
            • TripleB
              Club Member
              • May 2017
              • 572
              • La Crescenta
              • Jambo Backyard Smoker
                Weber Smokey Mountain (22" & 18.5")
                Portable Kitchen 360
                Portable Kitchen Grill
                Pit Barrel Cooker
                Weber "Brownie" Circa 1978 22"
                Weber Gas Grill, Silver A
                BBQ Guru ATC
                Favorite Beer: Peroni
                Favorite Sports Teams: Rams, Dodgers, Kings, UCLA Bruins

              #13
              Judging is a lot of fun. As said above, pace yourself during the comp or you will be stuffed when you get to brisket, bring a small cooler (what can fit under your chair - they’re starting to crack down on the cooler size) with plastic bags for your take home and I always bring a small, moist soft towel to wipe my hands and face on. Don’t like tearing up and moistening paper towels. And listen to the master judges at your table. They have a lot of experience and usually want to help out and encourage the newer judges.

              Enjoy!

              Comment


              • MoCollards
                MoCollards commented
                Editing a comment
                Good advice, TripleB. I had the opportunity to sit with seasoned judges at both events and they were very helpful. I am judging another event in a few weeks and I am looking forward to tasting some good BBQ and learning a few new things.

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