Last weekend the EUregio BBQ Festival 2015 was held in Waldfeucht-Haaren, Germany. This was the second edition, last year I competed there with my team the Sea Side Smokers. This year my team mates weren’t able to make it due to their work schedules. Since I always like to go to competitions one way or the other I signed up as a judge and was accepted.
Each time I judge I learn a lot.
Since I became a KCBS CBJ (Certified BBQ Judge) I haven’t done much judging. Looking at my sheet I do an average of one contest a year. I singed up for the first KCBS judging class held in Europe with the intention to just judge. Well things turned out different and most of the time I just compete. But when I judge I learn a lot each time. When you are cooking the food you have no reference to what you make. You are really focussed and have a small time frame to turn things in. Sure other teams give you samples but that is not the same meat that judges get and you don’t see how they make up their boxes.
The first contests that we cooked we were just happy to turn everything in on time. Now that we are more experienced I realize that we are thinking on a whole different level about it. And I wonder more about what the others are doing. So this was a nice chance to see if we are still on the right track compared to the other teams.
What happens in the judges tent stays in the judges tent.
Just like in Las Vegas what happens in the tent stays there. So I can’t go into detail about the meats I judged but I can tell you that I was really surprised. I’d expected a higher standard! Sure there were good turn ins in every category but the average was lower than I expected.
I also noticed that almost all the meats I got were cold, or just lukewarm if we were lucky, even though the teams were just around the corner.
If I compare the turn ins to those of my own team I’m pretty sure we are on the right track. And looking at our previous results I think the judges agree with us. Did I pick some things up that we can change? Yes, I did and I hope that brings our barbecue to an even higher level.
If you are cooking in a team and you are a certified judge I can highly recommend to go to a contest as a judge every once in a while. It gives a whole different perspective on the contest but also on what you are cooking!
Congratulations to Miss Piggy’s with their Grand Championship and to BBQ Wiesel with their Reserve Grand Championship! The results of the EUregio BBQ Festival 2015 can be found here.