<![CDATA[BBQCRITIC - Ask the BBQ Judge]]>Tue, 08 Mar 2016 20:55:11 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[How do you score a box filled with different cuts of meat?]]>Wed, 16 Jul 2014 05:30:52 GMThttp://www.bbqcritic.com/ask-the-bbq-judge/how-do-you-score-a-box-filled-with-different-cuts-of-meatQUESTION

I am wondering how judges score a box with two different cuts of meats in the same box. Chicken Thighs and Breast in the same box. Pulled Pork and Money Muscle, Brisket Flats and Burnt ends. For example, if I put both thighs and chicken breast in one box. How do you score it if one is excellent and the other isn't? Do you use the lower score, average, etc? Thanks

Joe Loth
Linn Creek, MO]]>
<![CDATA[Should cooks turn in 6 samples required or fill the box with more meat?]]>Fri, 11 Jul 2014 19:59:24 GMThttp://www.bbqcritic.com/ask-the-bbq-judge/should-cooks-turn-in-6-samples-required-or-fill-the-box-with-more-meatQUESTION

For KCBS, is it better to fill the turn in box or to supply the minimum required, in this case enough for 6? I've heard some say the judges like to see a full box of meat while others not. Your thoughts?

David Van Way
Wayne, NJ
<![CDATA[What are your thoughts on using pulled chicken?]]>Fri, 20 Sep 2013 01:46:07 GMThttp://www.bbqcritic.com/ask-the-bbq-judge/what-are-your-thoughts-on-using-pulled-chickenTWO SIMILAR QUESTIONS

I want to try something a little different when it comes to my chicken. Most of the boxes I see are thighs or legs. How would a judge feel about seeing pulled chicken? I really enjoy my pulled chicken more than anything else but I'm not going to shoot myself in the foot because I like it. Stubbornness is not something I am willing to be just to prove a point. Thanks

Lance Mooney
Coeur d' Alene, ID

Is it OK to include pulled chicken along with bone-in thighs?

Chris Manson
Randolph NJ
<![CDATA[How does food temperature affect scoring?]]>Wed, 11 Sep 2013 04:58:21 GMThttp://www.bbqcritic.com/ask-the-bbq-judge/how-does-food-temperature-affect-scoringQUESTION

I have a question that I don't believe I've ever seen addressed: What about food temperature in judging? I realize that chicken is almost always good and hot, it comes from pit to box to judge. I've even burnt my mouth a little at times. But what about the other categories? I personally have no problem with ambient temperature meat. I think we all understand that most meats are held for a time and then spend time at the turn in table before making it to the table and range from nice and warm to just room temp. But what about the occasional entry that is actually cold and obviously has been in some sort of refrigeration? Do you detract points because it's cold? Do you deduct points only if it affects the taste and texture. Do you ignore the food temp and just carry on?

Ed Hartman
Montezuma IA

<![CDATA[What should the left-over policy be for judges at BBQ contests?]]>Wed, 19 Jun 2013 01:22:18 GMThttp://www.bbqcritic.com/ask-the-bbq-judge/what-should-the-left-over-policy-be-for-judges-at-bbq-contestsQUESTION

To all cooks,judges, and contest organizers: WE NEED YOUR IMPUT !!!

There has been a great deal of controversy over the "leftover policy" established at some contests. We would appreciate it if the organizers, cooks, and judges would share their thinking on the leftover policy at the contests they organize, cook and judge.

Many contest organizers allow leftovers to be taken by the judges and support staff. Some will not allow the leftovers to be taken by judges, but still allow it to be served to employees and support staff, which suggests a double standard.

As judges who were raised by our parents not to waste food, it troubles us to see huge amounts of food tossed into a trash barrel. We also feel that this is an insult to the cooks who have spent large amounts of money and many hours selecting and preparing expensive meat in the very best way they know how.

Arguments can be made both for and against this policy, but we do not feel sound reasoning can be made to justify wasting food. If we, as adult consumers, are allowed to take our leftovers home from a restaurant, then why not from a BBQ contest?

Some of the reasons we have heard for not allowing take home are listed below with our responses:

Reason #1: It has been suggested that the take home food many not be properly handled and could become dangerous to consume. Our response: If a person is capable of being responsible for their restaurant take home, isn’t it reasonable to assume that the contest food is due the same intelligent handling by the person accepting the food? If the objection to take home is of a legal nature, then those choosing to take their leftovers should sign a waiver of liability, thus holding the contest and cooks harmless. (In our humble opinion, since we live in such a litigious society, this should probably be done at all contests anyway.)

Reason #2: If the judges are allowed to take home their leftovers they may not properly sample the food, because they will want to take home as much as possible. Our response: Whoever would be of this thinking has probably never been seated as a judge. To sample six entries of chicken, six samples of ribs, six samples of pork, and six samples of brisket requires a judge to use some serious thought on how much of each entry to sample. In a typical contest, if a judge ate every bit of every sample provided to them, it is entirely possible for a judge to consume roughly 2 pounds of meat. There aren't many people who are capable of that feat without becoming physically ill from overeating.

Reason #3: The local health department will not allow food to be removed. Our response is a simple question: Does the health department allow food to be taken home from a restaurant, and if so, what is the difference?

If the organizers, cooks and judges would share their experiences and rationale, and also whether the take home policies affect their interest in contests, that insight may help alleviate issues in the future and help to promote understanding and empathy between us all. After all, we all share the same love: great BBQ!

Thank you for your time and opinions.

Richard & Debra Piper
Caledonia, IL

<![CDATA[Should garnish be considered in your KCBS appearance score?]]>Sun, 19 May 2013 12:16:14 GMThttp://www.bbqcritic.com/ask-the-bbq-judge/should-garnish-be-considered-in-your-kcbs-appearance-scoreQUESTION

I keep getting different opinions on how garnish is to be considered in KCBS scoring. Some say they include it somewhat, some say it has no place in scoring. What do all you judges say?

Ed Hartman
Montezuma IA

<![CDATA[What types of rubs do BBQ judges prefer?]]>Fri, 10 May 2013 01:39:32 GMThttp://www.bbqcritic.com/ask-the-bbq-judge/what-types-of-rubs-do-bbq-judges-preferQUESTION

Hey, first of all I would like to thank you for creating a website that truly does help the up and coming bbq cook that really wants a chance at breaking into the top 10 in contests...and maybe walking with a trophy. Trends are tough to "follow" not knowing if it was a one time table of judges or not....so wow is all I gotta say about having access and feedback from real enthusiasts and judges....with pics to back it up, My question is in regards to Rib Rub flavor profiles. I feel like I've come full circle in my outlook on rib rubs but just want your opinion....are judges preferring more complex with pushing the limit of heat? or are the simpler flavor profiles with the heavy sweetness still scoring high, or a combo. I know its kind of a loaded question and everything is subjective at the end of the day but hey its worth asking.. thanks a lot. Ive gone from 5 ingredient rubs to 16 ingredient rubs and kind of settled in the middle.

Eric Pratt

<![CDATA[Are KCBS judges more or less likely to be current or former cooks?]]>Thu, 25 Apr 2013 06:55:32 GMThttp://www.bbqcritic.com/ask-the-bbq-judge/are-kcbs-judges-more-or-less-likely-to-be-current-or-former-cooksQUESTION

Are KCBS judges more or less likely to be current/former cooks? On various forums I hear comments about "Judges nitpicking the look of the box" as far as scoring goes and it got me to wondering if this is because they are cooks themselves or does it happen because they have never lit a pit but are Certified Judges? I currently cook in other sanctioned c/o's but am looking to start KCBS next year and was looking for all the info I can get before I jump in!

Russell Wehmeyer
Meridian, TX]]>
<![CDATA[Does discussing scores and cooking with a team benefit the judge?]]>Mon, 22 Apr 2013 01:06:18 GMThttp://www.bbqcritic.com/ask-the-bbq-judge/would-this-be-good-for-your-bbq-associationQUESTION

I’ve been judging for nearly 4 years now in both KCBS and FBA. As KCBS has less than 5 contests within reasonable driving distance of my home, I tend to judge more on the FBA circuit. One of the best parts of FBA to me, is that you tend to get about 60% of the same folks at each event. Friendships build quickly. At one of the FBA events about a year ago, one of the more senior judges (qualified by having judged over 100 FBA events and tons from KCBS and other associations), after we completed scoring each meat we wanted to see how close we were judging to each other. I was very pleased to see that I was consistently within a half point of him either up or down (FBA rates from 5 to 10 by .5 increments). Each time we’ve been at the same table since, we have continued this ritual. This other person was on the Judges Committee and we discussed opening this process up to more judges to more quickly educate the new judges. In early demonstrations of this process, the new judges did in fact become better at their scoring quicker. We are still contemplating making this more widespread within each contest with newer judges. Another point we discussed was cooking with a cook team a second time, once they’ve become Master Judges. Within FBA, to become a Master Judge, one must judge at 25 contests, of which 5 must be as a table captain, and the judge must cook with a cook team. A lot of the judges seem to get the part of cooking with a team done within the first 10 contests they attend. The appreciation for what the cook teams go through is an extremely important part of a judge’s education. Becoming aware of what a team goes through, the amount of time and money they spend on their entries can greatly improve the skill and “fairness” of their scores. Would you, as judges or cook teams see these efforts as good or bad for your BBQ Association?

Tampa, FL
<![CDATA[How much emphasis should be placed on uniformity?]]>Tue, 09 Apr 2013 05:02:38 GMThttp://www.bbqcritic.com/ask-the-bbq-judge/how-much-emphasis-should-be-placed-on-uniformityQUESTION

Through watching some of the BBQ programs on TV, I've been beaten of the head with the term "uniform". "When the judge looks at a chicken box, they want to see 6 uniform pieces of chicken" Through the BBQ Critic site I've seen many examples of "uniformity". Ribs cut so perfectly and symmetrically, that they look more sterile than they do appetizing. How much emphasis should be placed on "uniformity"?

Jim Simnett
Attleboro, MA