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  1. #1
    SmokyOkie Guest

    Default Bixby, Okla Blues and BBQ

    The Okette and I had the pleasure of judging our first KCBS event Saturday.

    There were 78 teams competing and if I remember correctly, 15 judging tables.

    I was really surprised to see what I saw and learned by virtue of judging and talking to all the other judges. No table had more than one non certified judge, so I suppose, this was as professional as it gets, save the American Royal.

    What I found out was that most judges were not experienced cooks, and while they were perhaps very knowledgeable about KCBS standards, for the most part they seemed to know very little about BBQ.

    It appeared to me as though I might (as a cook) be trying to please a crowd of Famous Dave's fans.

    It seemed that the less smoke, the better it scored. Also, ribs and chix seemed to need to have sticky sauce glazed all over. The woman that sat next to me even stated "I don't like spare ribs. I've never had a good spare rib and I'm sure I never will"

    While no one likes creosote soaked meat, I think we would all agree that a decent dose of smoke is the very essence of BBQ. Most of these folks seemed as if they'd be just as happy if the neat had been oven cooked but served outdoors.

    My perspective toward competition cooking has been changed dramatically. I had originally thought that one should cook to please BBQ experts. I think I have since learned that one needs to think in terms of pleasing the laymen instead.

    What say the rest of you? Anybody with a similar take on the subject?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South of Peculiar, MO
    Posts
    6,737

    Default

    Did you and the Okette get KCBS certified? If not, you should. Need to know both sides of the competition thing. Hard to play the game without knowing the rules.
    I'd say to some extent you are correct about the cooking thing. BUT, I think that varies a lot with the area of the country you are in.
    Judging in the KC area you would find a LOT of the judges are also smokers, like myself and Jane. Probably the same down in Texas, around Memphis, maybe areas out south east.
    Go to Minneapolis and you get Famous Dave's as the base for their que experience (or Rudolph's in downtown Minneapolis).
    You can't just generalize and cover the entire US.
    Bet Bud & Tonto have some good input on this.
    You oughta give them a call. Encourage their reply here.
    "If you can't smell smoke it ain't a barbeque joint" peculiarmike

    TQJ Plankowner

    "Life's tough.....It's even tougher if you're stupid."
    - John Wayne

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Tulsa
    Posts
    950

    Default

    My parents live just a bit from downtown Bixby and mentioned this to me. I did not know it was that big. That is huge.

    Wow, very interesting thoughts. I am surprised by the lack of cooking experience you came into contact with for sure. I cannot provide any insights, though.

  4. #4
    SmokyOkie Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by peculiarmike View Post
    Did you and the Okette get KCBS certified? If not, you should. Need to know both sides of the competition thing. Hard to play the game without knowing the rules.
    I'd say to some extent you are correct about the cooking thing. BUT, I think that varies a lot with the area of the country you are in.
    Judging in the KC area you would find a LOT of the judges are also smokers, like myself and Jane. Probably the same down in Texas, around Memphis, maybe areas out south east.
    Go to Minneapolis and you get Famous Dave's as the base for their que experience (or Rudolph's in downtown Minneapolis).
    You can't just generalize and cover the entire US.
    Bet Bud & Tonto have some good input on this.
    You oughta give them a call. Encourage their reply here.
    Why would Tejas be any different than Oklahoma in that regard? Are you suggesting that Oklahoma is any less of a BBQ area than KC, texas or Memphis?

    My experience in the S.E. is that they are all about Pig butt and whole hog and really don't know much about brisket or ribs, other than chain restaurants that is.

    My observation is that from what I've seen, other than a few cooks like myself that went to see the other side of the judges tent, most cooks go to a comp to cook as opposed to judging. There were a few very well known cooks that judged the Bixby comp. Paul Schatte of Head Country for one. I'm just talking about the majority of the judges, including the certified ones. Being a certified judge in and of itself can't really signify knowledge and appreciation of the art of BBQ when you have certified judges saying things like "I don't like spare ribs. I've never had one that I liked and I'm sure I never will." or "I really don't like that smoky taste very much."

    I believe that from the two comps I've attended (admittedly only 2) that folks like you and Jane are the rarity in the judging tent and that KCBS would be points ahead if they could fill a tent with only people like you. Its hard to cook and score well when you don't know what kind of table you're cooking for.



    Quote Originally Posted by flying illini View Post
    My parents live just a bit from downtown Bixby and mentioned this to me. I did not know it was that big. That is huge.

    Wow, very interesting thoughts. I am surprised by the lack of cooking experience you came into contact with for sure. I cannot provide any insights, though.
    Like I said above, I think most cooks go to cook.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South of Peculiar, MO
    Posts
    6,737

    Default

    Like I said, in this area (KC) you will find a lot of judges who are smokers, both backyard and comp. And a lot of comp. cookers who are judges.
    And I think the area you judge in has a LOT to do with what you get. I'm sure there are areas of OK where there are a lot of folks who smoke/cook and other areas of OK where those folks are few. And not just OK.
    There are a LOT of judges out there, dumb statements by a few do not represent all judges ("hasty generalization"). I think my reply to the spare rib and smoke flavor statements might have been, "Then why are you here?"
    The object of the game is not cooking for a "table of judges", it's cooking to KCBS standards. And the judges are supposed to be judging to those standards. And it is obvious some do not, and a LOT do. There is a vast difference between "the art of bbq" and KCBS standards. What I cook in my backyard is "the art of bbq" and is WHAT I LIKE. If I were to compete I would have to cook differently.
    There are a group of teams who consistently win, where ever they are competing. They don't take the same group of judges with them as they move around the country. And they DO move around. That says something.
    KCBS and Memphis In May are considering merging as we speak, with KCBS controlling, so judging practices could change if that happens, maybe drastically, since both are radically different.
    I still think you should call Bud & Tonto. They get around a bit and play with the big boys (and have not done too badly for their first year), have some insights. They learned a lot, I look for them to improve.
    And take that KCBS judge certification some Saturday, it doesn't hurt a bit.
    __________________
    "If you can't smell smoke it ain't a barbeque joint" peculiarmike

    TQJ Plankowner

    "Life's tough.....It's even tougher if you're stupid."
    - John Wayne

  6. #6
    SmokyOkie Guest

    Default

    I prolly would've done that by now if they had one closer by.

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