So, back in April my brother and I decided to go get certified by the Kansas City Barbeque Society to be BBQ judges at events. We attended the one day class in Ghettysburgh Pennsylvania, and it was a blast. There’s quite a bit more to judging a competition then you’d imagine ahead of time. I can’t say it was hard work, but we accomplished the task at hand.
So cut to today, and I have now judged two competitions. I can safely say that getting certified is one of the best descisions I have ever made. You show up at the event at about 9:00 AM, to check-in as a judge. Spots go fairly quickly, so you need to be on time. Once you’re checked in, you go select a table to sit at. Each table will have 6 judges sitting at it, and one table captain. There must be one judge for each competitor per the KCBS rules. Sometimes the organizers will allow extra judges to participate since many have traveled a long distance to judge the competition. The table I was sitting at had one judge from Conneticuit, and one from West Virgina. At 10:00 AM they have the judges meeting in which they review the rules, and the schedule and generally let you know what to expect for the day. After that you’re free to relax and wander around, although you’re not supposed to socialize with the teams until after the judging is done. Each competition will be for four categories, Chicken, Ribs, Pork, and Brisket. At 12:00 the first of the four categories is served to the judges. The first category is always chicken. I can honestly say I have been blown away by the chicken at both events I have judged. I thought I made some pretty good chicken, but these events have shown me how far I need to go on my chicken.
Judging competition BBQ has given me a new appreciation for the craft, and shown me just how excellent the food can be when done properly. I was blown away by all four categories.