The entire crew at GrateTV is dedicated in some form or fashion to competition BBQ. Bill West, Jack Waiboer and their families are all cooks and judges. Even the kids are involved. We don’t delve into the competition world too much on the Grate. With a non specific video post this week it’s a good time to pay our respects to the vocation to which we allocate so much time and so many resources.
More on Sensational BBQ after this from GrateTV!
Judges are a dedicated bunch. They take pride in getting involved on Saturday mornings with the business of evaluating competition barbecue. The most asked question a judge gets is: What are you looking for? The answer might be: judges are looking for “sensational” barbecue.
There are different terms and catch phrases for the old timers and the new. Many times judges answer the question with a canned kind of tone: “We want the best barbecue you can give us”. To win a contest in today’s highly competitive environment, cookers and judges have to be better than the best. They have to be “Sensational”.
The word sensational by definition means: “of or relating to sensation”. We don’t get to “Outstanding; spectacular” until the third line!
How does this relate to what judges should be evaluating and cooks preparing? To do well in a contest, cooks have to be willing to give a judge a total flavor and textural experience. A judge has to be willing to decide whether his experience with a sample had more than just good flavor. Championship barbecue can’t just taste good anymore. Taste is only one criterion on the judge’s score sheet. Appearance and tenderness are included and are sensations. You can’t taste an appearance, nor can you taste tenderness. You observe (see) appearance, feel (touch) tenderness. If you are wondering where heat gets included, that’s in another article.
Taste away judges and cook well Pit Masters. Don’t forget to take a ride on the sensation roller coaster. The cooks are preparing their best representation of a traditional icon. It should be a sensational experience.