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judge questions and tips for cooks
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elkski Offline
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Post: #1
judge questions and tips for cooks
Hi, I've been enjoying smoked meat for 38 years. I even asked for and got a little chief smoker for my 16 bday. Also lived in Texas for ten years and spent time in with country guys.
I want to ask a question about chicken.
I'm not a fan of muffin pan chicken and have been a judge long enough to have seen that trend come and go. Thank good Ness. My question is in regards to chicken thighs that might be square but so even and perfect they look fake to me and unappealing. I score them down. When I say down I should clarify most of you experienced guys get 9's from me on appearance. Here is a team I found that is an example of not to perfect chicken. All these boxes get a nine from me but the darker red color (ie no yellow ) of that last box via a nine plus. .
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=w...701jLxr4Wg



Just so you know there was an entry at the last contest that was so perfect it made these pics look like a newbie team.
I have a similar view on perfect over trimmed brisket. Leave the meat alone. Also watch the brush marks. I am ok with them but it does look obvious to us.
On the pork if course I have been around since only pulled was turned in. I enjoy the look of the new three cut boxes. But I think the pulled taste has suffered.

Another thing is watch the salt. And be careful with to much heat. Especially if there are quick trained judges. This is bland taste bud Utah. At least that is whatvi have heard from restaurant cooks and based on a few judges comments.

Team "Smoke-n-mirrors" its all in the beers.
Life is like the smell of smoking pork. stay in the downdraft and follow the sweet smell., enjoy each bite.
KCBS #9231
06-20-2014 04:09 PM
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Larry Jacobs Offline
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Post: #2
RE: judge questions and tips for cooks
Dear Mr. Elkski:
I find you to be a total waste. To put your own "personal" preferences as to if the chicken is square, round or shaped like a clown and then score up or down for that reason is against all KCBS judge training. We cooks strive for perfection and when rarely achieved, to score down is insane. As for your nines, those are not the stating point, they are for the best damm chicken in the world on all counts. I could give a flying crap that you lived in Texas either. I lived in Texas and I've never seen such bad advise that comes from there.
Do a favor for all the cooks in Utah.....stay home and quite screwing up the judging. You and the your kind is the reason I don't compete and won't until this stuff changes.
Larry Steven Jacobs - Smokey Jake's BBQ
Taylorsville, Utah

"Never Trust A Skinny Cook"
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06-20-2014 06:32 PM
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elkski Offline
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Post: #3
RE: judge questions and tips for cooks
It's not worth a reply but in an attempt to get this thread back on track. If you think chicken looks good when each piece is perfectly square and within a mm of each other that is your choice. It still may get an 8 from me but not a 9. If you have judged over the last 8 years you would be surprised at how many teams are Now turning 9's for appearance in all catagories. Of course I think appearance is the easiest area to improve on. I did phrase my post soliciting opinions. Perhaps you had a bad day sir? Perhaps you can post the line in the kcbs rules stating I have to score Mc chicken above the look I prefer.

Team "Smoke-n-mirrors" its all in the beers.
Life is like the smell of smoking pork. stay in the downdraft and follow the sweet smell., enjoy each bite.
KCBS #9231
06-20-2014 07:44 PM
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Larry Jacobs Offline
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Post: #4
RE: judge questions and tips for cooks
I see your 8 years and give you 14 of mine with 10 of those actually cooking in contests. I may not know all there is to making chicken you would like but it was good enough to take first place at Sam's Club contest against 29 other pro teams. The question remains: How do you justify marking down a team that turns in perfect appearing chicken (all the same shape, size and spaced just because you are "The Judge". Just maybe you should skip a judge's meal one time and stay up all night trying to tame steel and wood into submission then get knocked out of a call because you did to good of a job.

"Never Trust A Skinny Cook"
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06-20-2014 11:29 PM
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Razcals Ribs Offline
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Post: #5
RE: judge questions and tips for cooks
Amen to that Larry

if it moves salute it,if it don't paint it, if it is dead BBQ itCool
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06-21-2014 12:41 PM
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Smokin Flyers Offline
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Post: #6
RE: judge questions and tips for cooks
I appreciate that judging is based on personal preference. However, when the same judge comments that your meat is melt in your mouth, and gives flavor a 5... The contradiction is a little hard to swallow. I know seasoned qualified judges are hard to find, but I also know that working our butts off overnight to turn in our hearts and souls should rate better than melt in your mouth....flavor 5. If we are not going to be cooking for people who can tell what they should be looking for, I feel that I am putting time, effort and hard earned cash into a losing battle. I may sound a little bit ass chapped, but having spoken with other teams, I am not the only one. This is supposed to be fun, motivational, and done in good spirits, I wish I could find any competitions lately that fulfilled one of those qualities. Sorry for the rant, but let's get BBQ back!

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06-22-2014 03:44 PM
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HDBBQ Offline
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Post: #7
RE: judge questions and tips for cooks
Or how bout your Flavor is to beefy? U,, Last I checked Brisket is beef? lol

James Parr
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06-22-2014 10:36 PM
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snikkidee Offline
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Post: #8
RE: judge questions and tips for cooks
Personal Preference is one thing - I hate cupcake chicken, and the chicken category in general. However, if a cook can get 6 perfectly even looking pieces in a box, regardless of shape, trimming or cooking technique - that is the perfect box. PERIOD. As competitors we bust our butts and bank accounts chasing a perfect cook. To have a Utah judge come out and say he'll never give it to us no matter how hard we try, is more than a bit discouraging. It reinforces my team's decision to compete elsewhere. Inconsistent and self-righteous judging (and comments!) is one of the worst plagues in Utah BBQ. Without an open discussion among all the members (not just the judges or "privileged" aka managing members) about how to change it, how to standardize judging, how to get more involvement, and where we want to go as a group - I fear this organization may have run it's course. Ignoring these issues, continuing back-biting, closed meetings, rogue judges, and having managing members that are more interested in their own comfort - than the health, openness, and continuing education of BBQ in Utah, while letting a the few that are willing work themselves to death - will be the end of us, and that's really a sad thing.
06-23-2014 08:04 AM
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Desert Magnolia Offline
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Post: #9
RE: judge questions and tips for cooks
I have been thinking about a nice way to say openly that the judging in Utah is off somehow aside from the conversations that I have had with people that can do something about it. So far I cannot. I started a love of comps as a judge. In 1992 I did my first comp in back yard and by 1994 I had already judged KCBS comps in GA, AL, TN, and the Royal Invitational, As well as MBN in GA,TN,AL, MS, AR, MO and once at Memphis in MAY. As a starving collage student it was a really good way to have road trips and eat really well with friends. Since then I have done comps in OR, WA, and CA. even one in BC. In 2002 I stopped judging, moved here to use SLC as a base camp for driving a truck over the road and dinned out on BBQ all over the country. When I stopped driving back in 08 I bought a cooker and started cooking pro. In the 8 years do you know how many 4's I ever gave ZERO and only gave one 5 and one 2 at the direction of a certified table caption, and in all that time I can only recall maybe 2 or 3 under 8 for appearance, and that's judging a comp almost every weekend for 5 months out of the year when I lived in the south, probably in the area of 400+ comps. (I never kept the book to keep track). Having said that I have no issue with going out of state or just doing the KCBS cooks, and sitting across the table from you.

Judges in Utah are lucky. If you feel like judging the next comp you can. In some areas you have to call and apply to be a judge at the comp. Because they have crap load choose from! Judges are a very important part of the contest, with out them cooks might as well get together in a field and have fun cooking what ever and enjoying a block party like no other.

After 5 comps in the last 5 weeks I'm looking forward to a brake. So I will see you all at the table in Huntsville.

@ 85 gallon trash cans drilled and ready for action!!
Rub Q Long Time BBQ Team
KCBS member
06-23-2014 09:05 AM
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heberhog Offline
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Post: #10
RE: judge questions and tips for cooks
I love judging competitions here in Utah and I feel that the teams that compete here are some of the best in the country. I'm honored to be able to be a part of this organization. If we need more instruction or advanced classes on judging sign me up! I for one take judging seriously and if there is an opportunity to better my skills then I am on board! thanks to all those teams out there that work so hard to perfect their turn in's and thank you for allowing me to judge them!
06-26-2014 10:24 AM
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