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Competition BBQ

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Host's note: this topic was split from the Franklin BBQ...Jan 2015 topic.

What is a certified bbq judge? By who? How can you certify an opinion?

Sounds like more marketing stuff.


Edited by Smithy (log)

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I have several friends who are KCBS judges. They will tell you that you have to cook to please the judges and the judges taste is often quite different from the BBQ cooks in the competition. I hear a lot of judges like sweet

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I have several friends who are KCBS judges. They will tell you that you have to cook to please the judges and the judges taste is often quite different from the BBQ cooks in the competition. I hear a lot of judges like sweet

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m a student of BBQ

 

I do from time to time watch :

 

http://www.destinationamerica.com/tv-shows/bbq-pitmasters

 

Ive learned a lot about the Rigs.  I covet the Big Time Pellet Rig

 

but Ive also learned a lot about time for this and time for that.

 

this is a multi-million dollar industry.  a tasty one.  more tasty than the Billiondollar industry w UnderInglatedBalls.

 

that being said, the judges here do say what they are looking for

 

and they refer to the "box" which is the plate.

 

Frankin has been on many of these shows.

 

still ..............  sausage and ribs for me

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I was wondering about the effect of "certified" judges on the shaping taste of BBQ. And you've sort of confirmed it.

Knowing well the corrupting influence of grants/funding I have to wonder of the commercial sponsors of KCBS, whoever they might be, influence the official taste of "good" BBQ by in some way supporting the judges/organization and swaying their taste buds. Pure speculation of course.

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I've never been able to understand competition BBQ.

Why would one need someone else to confirm that one's BBQ is good.

Folks who may have VERY different preferences.

Personal preference is personal preference. What's perfect for one is crap for another.

What's even more difficult to understand is arguing personal preference.

 

Or is it just all about the luck of finding judges who have similar tastes and "winning" over other competitors who's BBQ just didn't happen to appeal to the judges at hand?

 

Or is it just a way to pass time?

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For money. Community. Laughs with friends. Something to do.


Edited by Dave W (log)

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Right you're cooking to an arbitrary standard, not what you think is best to eat. That's probably the hardest part.

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Right you're cooking to an arbitrary standard, not what you think is best to eat. That's probably the hardest part.

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Well there are different sanctioning bodies and judges are necessarily fairly local to each competition so in theory the arbitrary standard has regional variations, if that helps assuage your concerns.

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Well there are different sanctioning bodies and judges are necessarily fairly local to each competition so in theory the arbitrary standard has regional variations, if that helps assuage your concerns.

 

Nope. I see conspiracy around every corner. Kansas City (or Texas)  is trying to achieve bbq supremacy by illicit means.

 

I say put mustard and vinegar in every sauce and ban ketchup.

 

No sugar.

 

Let the evil powers deal with that !

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and they refer to the "box" which is the plate.

Um, no. The "box" is just that - an actual box.  The cookers put whatever is to be judged into a Styrofoam box, which is then taken to the judging tent where the folks in charge give it a number, so that the actual tasting and judging is done blind, with no one knowing which team cooked it.  Each numbered box is then taken to a judging table and passed around that table and each of the six judges at that table sample it and score it.

This is what the (opened) boxes look like:  http://www.bbqcritic.com/judgemybox  (naturally, when they first arrive at the table, they're closed).

 

Here's a quick bit of judging info for y'all, speaking of ribs.  If the judge picks up a barbecue rib and the meat "falls off of the bone" (like so many people seem to think is so wonderful), it's disqualified.  The meat on the rib is supposed to have the texture of meat - not mush. And I don't get why anybody thinks meat falling off the bone is great.  I mean, really, how hard is it to overcook meat?  You want it to "fall off of the bone"?  Easy.  Just cook it to mush.

 

Oh, and PS - 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' did a bit on the best Austin barbecue joints a few months back.  I've never been to any of them because they all opened after I moved away from Austin.

 

Pretty annoying.  I lived in Austin for years, but there wasn't really any good barbecue in the city limits.  Had to drive to Lockhart (Smitty's, Black's, Kreuz), Luling (City Market), Taylor (Louie Mueller's, Taylor Café), Lexington (Snow's), Llano (Cooper's), Giddings (City Market), etc.

 

Now, however, Austin is a true barbecue town.

 

I'm envious.

 

Jimmy & Guillermo taste Austin's best barbecue:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zh2fl5463BE


Edited by Jaymes (log)
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I meant to indicate that the "box' was judged as one might judge plating.

 

look up some BBQ Pitmasters

 

maybe Y-Tube ?

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Technically garnish isn't supposed to affect your score wink wink

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Well, appearance (as in presentation and  'plating') does matter. In fact, that's the first score you give: appearance of the meat.

 

The prohibition against 'garnish' is primarily so you can't say to your judge friend, "Look for the box with two green onions and a carved radish that looks like me."


Edited by Jaymes (log)
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No you can use "garnish" for most BBQ societies, what you can't do is submit a marked box.

 

So, your meticulous putting green of curly parsley on romaine struts will score better for appearance (and subconsciously maybe taste and texture) than the competitor who haphazardly tosses two sprigs of parsley in the box.

 

Sorry for launching and fueling the competition derail

 

But back to the topic at hand, let's talk about cooking brisket. If we're talking about texas BBQ it's gotta be mesquite, right?

 

Beef can take a lot of smoke. So for example in a WSM smoker you could get away with a log  or two of smoke wood, or 6-10 smoke wood chunks dispersed throughout your fuel. Or if you take the time to let it burn down to embers, you could use a solely hardwood fire

 

SpaghettiWestern, is the level of smoke that you're looking for in Texas brisket like what you'd get on a hardwood open pit?

 

What flavors besides beef, salt, and smoke do you look for?


Edited by Dave W (log)

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I've never cared for mesquite. For brisket I use pecan and cherry. Course salt and pepper only for a rub.

 

I occasionally use the Texas crutch. but not always. 

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No you can use "garnish" for most BBQ societies, what you can't do is submit a marked box.

 

 

 

Re the wood - mesquite is actually not particularly popular with competition cookers.

 

Re "garnish."  Like most things, exactly what constitutes garnish is relative.  I did say "no garnish," which, technically is not correct.

 

But the rules for the KCBS are pretty strict (in fact, one of the first things you're supposed to learn at the KCBS Judging Certification Class is how to spot kale in somebody's box):

 

12) Garnish is optional. If used, it is limited to chopped,

sliced, shredded or whole leaves of fresh green lettuce, curly

parsley, flat leaf parsley and/or cilantro. Kale, endive, red

tipped lettuce, lettuce cores and other vegetation are

prohibited. Improper garnish shall receive a score of one (1)

on Appearance.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

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""   texas BBQ it's gotta be mesquite,  ""

 

Franklin uses ' Oak posts '

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""   texas BBQ it's gotta be mesquite,  ""

 

Franklin uses ' Oak posts '

 

Yeah. I'm really not an expert on the types of wood.  Never done any real cooking/smoking myself.  Just eating.

 

But I have been around barbecue all my life and what I hear the pitmasters say is that there's something in mesquite that can impart a very unpleasant flavor.  Maybe creosote?  Don't know.

 

It's been my experience that even people that say their brisket is "mesquite smoked" are putting in a few mesquite chips, rather than using just mesquite from scratch.

 

Even most backyard barbecuers in Texas seem to do the same thing.

 

That's what my son-in-law uses in his offset smoker.  As does my son, who used to work in a barbecue joint up in Austin.

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Oak is my favorite too and I just happen to have a giant white one in my back yard.

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Mesquite is fairly harsh.  Ive tried it and did not like it.

 

'local' BBQ probably uses local hardwood, its a lot cheaper than importing a few cords from France

 

:huh:

 

I like 'fruit-wood' ie hard wood from fruit trees  In my area I save all the cherry I get w my woodstove wood.

 

the rest is oak, some ash.

 

Myron Mixon  uses Peach Wood I think.  he might be from Georgia  

 

although times change.  on many of the 'competition' BBQ shows Ive seen people are using

 

very large pellet smokers, which they hitch to their Trucks to take from Comp. to Comp.

 

then they blend the pellets " Secretly "

 

:laugh:


Edited by rotuts (log)

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 then they blend the pellets " Secretly "

 

Yes. I've always blended my pellets "Secretly" as well.

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No you can use "garnish" for most BBQ societies, what you can't do is submit a marked box.

 

So, your meticulous putting green of curly parsley on romaine struts will score better for appearance (and subconsciously maybe taste and texture) than the competitor who haphazardly tosses two sprigs of parsley in the box.

 

Sorry for launching and fueling the competition derail

 

But back to the topic at hand, let's talk about cooking brisket. If we're talking about texas BBQ it's gotta be mesquite, right?

 

Beef can take a lot of smoke. So for example in a WSM smoker you could get away with a log  or two of smoke wood, or 6-10 smoke wood chunks dispersed throughout your fuel. Or if you take the time to let it burn down to embers, you could use a solely hardwood fire

 

SpaghettiWestern, is the level of smoke that you're looking for in Texas brisket like what you'd get on a hardwood open pit?

 

What flavors besides beef, salt, and smoke do you look for?

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