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Long time competitor first time judge

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Joined: 21 Oct 2009
Posts: 768
Location: Champlin, MN

PostPosted: Mon Aug 11 14 12:18 pm    Post subject: Long time competitor first time judge Reply with quote

I just judged my first comp and found it interesting. I think it is a good way to see what you are up against. Pretty good value compared to taking classes. I am a certified judge, but the judging class really had nothing to do with the flavor profiles and presentations you will be up against. I have spent a lot of money between class fees and traveling over the past year to attend classes taught by some of the top folks in the last year. I saw what they say they are doing and how they cook with 3 of 4 Jambo's, but I have to take what they told me with a grain of salt and apply it to my equipment. I did catch a contradiction at one class with what brisket to use and what he was actually using. For the price I was paying he should have been smoking the SRF he uses in comps not the choice Angus we sampled. It was still good but just saying. I did learn a lot from the classes. They were all very similar and the repetition was actually helpful since you can't record and what you take away is based on your notes and your memory. Again for the price I was paying for the classes (6 to 7 hundred each) I think they should have provided a class outline so I could have spent my time observing. Also would have moved the classes along and left more time for stories and how they came up with their variations of pretty much the same thing. My version turned out pretty good I though and at my first comp I was in the middle of the pack. I decided to judge the next event rather than compete to get a better feel for what I was up against. The comp I judged barely had enough entries to be a qualifier. That meant that I got to try one thing from each of the top finishers in my region. As it turned out I saw 2 chicken, 1 rib, no pork and 3 brisket samples that I felt were as good as my turn ins are when we get everything how we want it. The guys winning have it down and just hit replay. Occasionally we all get a stray judge. I determined I needed to cut back on wood/smoke and use more coals. Otherwise I just need to work on consistency like the winners. I think I know what and how to do it and judging confirmed it. I just need to execute every time. I need to smoke more ribs so I have more options too. Judging also confirmed to me that day that about 75% of the folks competing against me didn't have the attention to detail the guys taking home the money did. Oh, I am tired of the Blues Hog profile too. It would be nice to see some great flavors outside that spectrum. It is possible!
The lessons are in the customer's criticism. They aren't always right. The rewards are their satisfaction.
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Joined: 01 Mar 2008
Posts: 1297
Location: Council Bluffs, IA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14 14 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If people were smart, they'd judge a contest or 2 before spending the time and money of entering a contest. You get to see a lot of containers that look good, bad and ugly lol..Man I've judged some bad lol
XL Baby Stumps
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