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Posted by qball on July 22, 2011 at 19:14:07:

I voted no on this. I am a CBJ as well as PNWBA certified. IMHO, a good judging class should be sufficient. Does it look good. Does it jump right out at you? That takes care of the appearance. Is it tender? Somewhat subjective; does the meat pull cleanly from the bone on the ribs? Does the brisket pass the pull test? Is it sliced very thin?(usually undercooked)Is it Sliced thick? (Usually overcooked) Is it dry, moist? On chicken, the bite thru test. Is the skin crispy or rubbery? (really don't know about the skin, BBQ sauce will make the skin soft and chewy. Lastly and most importantly, how does it taste? Taste is the most subjective criteria for judges. WE all know how good food tastes, and conversely, how bad food tastes. The in between is the tough part. To my pallet, this might be the best BBQ I have ever eaten, and it will get scored that way. To you, it might be the worst, and also scored that way.
I'm not new to judging, I have been doing it for over ten years, and am considered one of the toughest, but fairest judge at the contests I attend. If you know BBQ, a good judging class will be an asset when you first start out. Why do cooks take judging classes an become judges them selves? Easy, they want to know what the judges are looking for. They also listen very carefully to comments the judges make.

How does it taste?

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