KCBS competitive experienced Teams, a question

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Master of the Pit
Original poster
OTBS Member
Aug 24, 2007
Western Colorado
Since getting placed in the lower one tenth of my third competition I have been looking at the KCBS website and looking at the placings of teams and the scores from the comps on my barbeque.

Since the TASTE SCORE is multiplied by 2.28 this score is the one I keyed on for this research which led to my questions.

The judges video does not mention a style or taste profile of barbeque.

However, the cluster of winning teams, no matter the region they travel too, combined with the weighting system giving a preference to the TASTE SCORE that mathmatically cannot be overcome using the other two categories does indicate that a specific style and taste is being keyed on for the higher scores?

So when you look at the weighted scores, it becomes obvious that mathmatically taste is all that counts to be competitive. (While the other scores do count they only come into play for those whom nailed the taste category. Nines in presentation and tenderness are wiped out by a 7 in taste.)


When analyzing the results of teams in placings the clustering of a normal distribution indicates (knowing that the tasting is blind) that "some how" a specific taste profile is being looked at as preferred, based on the cross region success by competitive teams?

Anyway looking at the judges scores it appears that average and above average scores are given out regularly, however to get to the 8 and 9 category it appears one style of barbeque is being keyed on for the taste category allowing for the clustering of consistant winning teams?

What say you?  

/ message sig

You are absolutely correct on your observation. Statictically speaking 1 for presentation, 2 for tenderness and 4 for taste.

Taste / presentation=20.52/5.13=4



Taste is 4X more important than presentation

Taste is 2X more important than tenderness

A  (3 in taste) ties with a (6 in tenderness) and beats a (9 in presentation). 

Now all you have to do is sample the rubs and sauces from a group of winners to determine what flavor profile they are using. Second, you have to determine which rubs and sauces win in each locale. Judges in different venues prefer different flavor profiles. Pick the correct flavor profile for the  venue you are attending and win every time. Also count the number of women vs men that are judging. Women prefer a sweeter flavor. Men prefer more of a vinegar flavor.

Now that that has been explained, you need to know who is going to judge your Q, what their taste preferences are and cook accordingly. 

Now that that has been made totally clear, I hope you just Q at those contests for the commradery. It all boils down to a S.W.A.G. Scientific Wild A** Guess.

Or so I have been told.

Best of luck and enjoy the commradery.
Now that that has been made totally clear, I hope you just Q at those contests for the commradery. It all boils down to a S.W.A.G. Scientific Wild A** Guess.

Or so I have been told.

Best of luck and enjoy the commradery.
Actually the commradery is why I am asking the question.

I orginally thought when I joined KCBS that Master Barbeque Judge meant they could judge all genre (Memphis, North Carolina, Kansas style, Texas, Southwest, deep south, etc.)  of barbeque and place it based on the standard for that genre.

However, after tasting winning Q at three events now it really seems Master Barbeque Judge really means, "Sauce Taster" as the icky sticky sweet with heat seems to be what wins.

That said, I am a Meat, Spice, Smoke guy.  Don't do sauce, was taught sauce is to cover up dry barbeque or burnt barbeque.

Because I enjoy meeting the people on the teams and the people that come to the events, with this new data breakthrough showing icky sticky sweet is all that can win........ basically you either change and figure out what sauce to put on the meat, or you change what you do at the event.

Since I am not a sauce person and really don't consider figuring out what icky sticky sweet sauce to use is worth the time if my barbeque genre is not going to be judged against its standard I figured I might as well find out from people who play the game if my conclusion is true.

If only the Kansas Style sauced stuff is set to win (and the winning clusters of teams placing across regional differences indicates that to be true) than I should concentrate more on the commeradry by entering only the special categories and the peoples choice and spend the entry money saved on my Q for the public?

Just seems a little odd to me that it all comes down to figuring out what sauce to either imulate or what sauces to mix together to hit the taste so you stand a chance?  With the two hundred twenty eight percent weight on taste... it really boils down to a sauce contest?
You hit the Nail on the head, all they want is Sauce. And that sucks. It hides the taste and flavor of the cut. 

The only contest that I have done well at were the ones where we were to hungover to cook right and killed everything.........Brisket so dry that it made dust when we cut it......sauced the he!! out of it and took 6th place.    Burn and dry out the ribs,,,,,, drowned um in sauce and took 10th out of 125 teams..... Go figure. 

You are 100% correct tho on the sweet with a kick. Around here anyways.

I have decided that I attend the comps to have a good time and visit with the teams I haven't seen for months. 

Invite a few floks to the party the night before and have a good time.

Make and display my plasma art (based around the bbq scene) Maybe sell one or two and that pays for the entry.

Hopefully someone taste my Q and looks me up down the road to cook for them. 

If I win, thats Great.

If I lose thats Great too.

So long as I have a good time. 

Some folks fish some race and some cook. I think cooking is the cheeper of the evils, just my 2 cents tho. 
Here in Texas it all depends on what part of the state you live in.  You better know your region before you enter the contest.  Lots of god QUE gets bad scores because the judges are looking for a totally different flavor profile.  IMHO competitions should be about having fun if your que is good you are going to win some and you are going to lose some.  Remember you are leaving the judging up to a human who has his or her own opinion on what BBQ should taste like.
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