The Judginator, Part Deux



There are no pictures of meat in this post. You may be expecting it … but no.

Why meat? Well, as I sneakily alluded to in my last post, Peter and I judged our very first BBQ competition this past Sunday (congrats to LeQuan and Christina for guessing first! Nice job, ladies!) You may remember us taking this BBQ judging class last May. Ahh … we were so naive back then. We thought we were invincible. And, while Peter is fairly invincible when it comes to meat, I often fall prey to the limits of my stomach.

Let us push on!

While food figured prominently into this day, I have NO pictures of the actual judging part. Due to the strict judging guidelines for the Kansas City BBQ Society, no photography is allowed in the judging tent. A tip: check out my previous post about our BBQ judging class for a thorough description of the judging process, complete with pictures.

I do, however, have a “before” picture in front of the judging tent:

I’m not sure what I’m pointing at, but it ain’t the tent.

During a break in the judging, we strolled around to look at some of the competitors’ setups.

Peter was beyond thrilled when he saw this little BIG gem:

Yep, that’s a Big Green Egg, the sibling of his own BGE. I think he drooled so much over all the eggs-cessories (no, I’m not making that word up) that the Egg owner gave him a bumper sticker that said “Egghead” on it to get him to go away. You didn’t hear it from me, though.

Back to the judgment: I tried to be smart about the judging process. I knew we were tasting 24 (yes, 24!) samples of meat, so I allowed myself one taste of each. Smart in theory, but 24 bites of meat is still 24 pieces of meat. I felt like Bruce Bogtrotter struggling to shove down an enormous chocolate cake, only I wasn’t eating chocolate cake. MEAT. Also, I was surrounded by seasoned BBQ judges who gobbled down their samples with the gusto only true meat-lovers could have. I made it through the judging process, but, boy ….

After the judging, we rolled out of the tent and slowly made our way back to the car.

That would be the “after” picture.

Fortunately, you can see more before and after in this short, snazzy video documenting our judging adventure (without any meat, of course):

When we got home, we found Maddie had taken revenge on this poor gorilla:

I’m not sure what the gorilla ever did to her, but it must have been bad. She looks so innocent, doesn’t she?

That is the face of a toy killer, folks.

After the extremely large “lunch” of protein, my stomach said to me, “Jessie, give your stomach a bit of rest and revisit me in the morning.” I gulped glass after glass of water to aid the digestion process and went to bed early. A perfect example of my body telling me exactly what it wants – and it’s not 24 samples of meat.

And that, my friends, is the end of the story.

Q: Have you ever overdone it on a single food? How did you feel?


  1. Yes, Judge Jessie, that would definitely have been disgraceful LOL glad you trouped on!

    It’s always the innocent looking ones, always!! Who would have thought that was the face of a toy butcher?!?!

    Chocolate – chocolate is always my undoing! I will never learn, though it always makes me feel sorry to be alive, at that particular moment 😛

  2. Holy cow that’s a lot of meat! 24 pieces and TWO HOURS! Bleck, I think I would have done the same as you and just gone to bed.

    Corky is a toy killer too. In fact, today I just threw out an entire Wal*Mart bag of “guts” (the stuffing) from our living room floor and some random limbs and eyeballs. hehe

    You’re too cute in the video!

    1. We’re always throwing out guts in our home! (Wow, that sounds bad!) I guess some dogs just have that killer instinct 😉

  3. Hahaha, what a meaty story! 😀 24 pieces is A LOT even for me, who is (used to be) the biggest meat lover on this planet. You rock, Jessie!

    .. and poor gorilla! 😀

  4. I can’t believe you stomached all that meat! I mean, I love bbq but after 24 tastings I would never want to eat it again. More power to you Jessie!

  5. Meat is hard to digest??? I mean, I know it takes the most time and energy of any other food, but I always thought that animal protein is easier for the stomach to process because it can break the whole of it down (unlike some proteins in fruit and veg which are good for us of course, but cannot be broken down by our stomach). Do I have my facts wrong?

    Judging food sounds like something you can do very very well Jess! I hope most of those 24 meat pieces were tasty, for your palate’s sake!

    I don’t think I have ever liked a food so much that I end up feeling sick by eating too much of it. I think in my case it’s not eating that’s causing me problems. When I was a teenager I would go to bed with no dinner just because I was bored to eat or I was not hungry (and I am skinny). Thankfully my mum got wind of it and stayed up until my bedtime (which was considerably ater than hers) to make sure I had eaten something for dinner. Yeah not nice and eventually not healthy at all. I don’t recommend it to anyone, even when on a diet try to have something to munch on because an empty stomach will become ill.

    Maddy looks adoooorable in that pic!!! She’s the adorable killer!!

    1. I remember you talking about missing dinner because you were too bored to eat, about 5 years ago (wow)! It sounds like your mom helped you, at least a little bit 🙂

      About the protein: what I meant is that protein in general takes a while for your body to digest (unlike carbohydrates, which digest faster). Animal protein has a higher concentration of protein than vegetables, AND protein takes a while to digest, so when I ate 24 bites of meat (which is much more than I usually eat), I felt like there was a rock in my stomach because it was taking so long to digest. If I ate 24 bites of spinach, I wouldn’t feel as uncomfortable because there’s less protein in those 24 bites than in the meat 😉 Great question, Christa, as always!

  6. Maddie is too cute. She looks like she is saying, “I didn’t do that.” haha.
    I would probably have a hard time doing a judging. Like you said, even though it is small bites, it is a lot of small bites.
    Sounds like such a fun time!

  7. My oh my! I imagine you sampled quite a bit of meat! I don’t know if my veggie eating stomach could have handled it…but it would have loved to try. I do over do it on certain food times…mostly bread. I could eat an entire loaf if I let myself. But I know that about ten minutes after doing that, I would be a very grumpy and bloated soul! Thanks for sharing love!

  8. holy moley Jessie! 24 different meats? you go girl! sometimes i can’t even finish my piece of steak cause thta over-meaty taste starts to kick in. i’m curious as to what kinds of meat you got to try though. um, rattle snake woulda had me runniing in the other direction. although ostrich would be something i wouldn’t mind trying. anyways, bravo to you for getting through this. if hubby ever signed me up for something like this, i sooo would’ve bailed on him cause i’m not much of a meat eater at all. two thumbs up to you my friend. i think you just earned yourself a favor in return? sorry Peter, gotta stick up for my girl ;-).

    oh Maddie, such an innocent face, but killer instincts lol. like i always say, it’s the strong silent types you gotta watch out for :-D. i think it’s time to get one of those “beware of dog” signs, or just “no gorillas beyond this point” sign…teehee. looks like you had quite the adventurous weekend. hope you have a great rest of the week Jessie! hugs hugs!!!

    1. Hi LeQuan! I didn’t go into detail about the meat in this post because I described it in the last post about the BBQ class, but a quick summary: there were four categories of meat: chicken, ribs, pork shoulder, and beef brisket. We tried 6 samples of each – ugh. When we were talking abut rattlesnake and ostrich in the video, we were discussing what they might have for the “wild card” category after the main judging. We ended up not staying for it because we were FULL. I think it ended up being chili, though, which is lame 😛

      Oh, and I’ve totally earned myself a favor! HEAR THAT, PETER?


  9. That’s just too funny.

    As for the coffee at night, I have never really been effected by coffee and can fall asleep while drinking it, so I have no trouble, and Ryan does not really have too much trouble if it is not too much at the end of the night. But here they do espresso as an after dinner drink. But, they have usually had a bunch of wine too so I am guessing that helps counteract the coffee (although technically they both should keep up, based on actual science and what not). I drink like a latte, but most locals will do the espresso.

    1. Thanks for your great answer, Melinda! I think I’ll still avoid the coffee at night, even if it’s just a latte 🙂 Even so, after-dinner coffees are tempting at restaurants!

  10. My tummy can’t handle much meat either. I’ve definitely overdone it before… chocolate is something that has happened more than once. I always feel soooooooo sick and nauseous afterwards, blech!! You’d think I’d learn my lesson!!!!! 😉

  11. My stomach can’t handle too much of anything – be it rice, veggies, meat (which I don’t eat anymore) so I know where you are coming from. I used to eat 6-8 brownie bites and evening and then one day I was so disgusted with myself that I stopped and never looked back!!

    Hope the stomach has fully recovered!

  12. What an interesting experience! Judging a food contest sounds like fun (but also like a lot of food…). Cute video! 🙂

    I can easily overdo it with cheese. I love cheese, but my body can only handle very little of it at a time…

  13. i LOVE barbeque!!! don’t eat meat, but the smell is still AMAZING (haha…is that weird?)

    i overdo it on chocolate on a daily basis. you’d think i’d be sick of it by now, but no, it never gets old 🙂

  14. I had to laugh at Maddie’s pic! She’s so adorable and in that pic she totally looks like she’s grinning from ear to ear! Love the reference to Matilda, probably my favorite Roald Dahl ever. Judging a food competition sounds like a lot of fun, but you’re right that is a LOT of meat! 🙂

  15. Wow! Sounds like an intense day! I’m glad you were able to hold strong and make it through all the judging. 🙂 And I love that you do stuff like this. I don’t think I know of anyone else who is an official BBQ judge!

    The tasting part definitely sounds intense, but what about choosing the winner? (was there a winner?) Did you guys have to rate them and was that tough?

    Maddie’s face is priceless! I’d say she looks pretty pleased with herself.

    1. We didn’t actually stay to see who the winners were (I think we were ready to roll home!), but the judging was blind anyway, so I’m not sure if I tasted any of the winning BBQ or not. Rating was actually not that hard – and it seemed fairly arbitrary, to tell you the truth. Most samples scored very well, so winners and losers are separated by fractions of a point anyway. Strange, I know.

      I hope you’re feeling better, Lauren!

  16. What a fun contest to judge!!! Yum!! Thank you so much for your kind comment on my post at Lazaro’s blog, Jessie. 🙂 I’m so glad you liked the tart! 🙂

  17. I just did my first culinary judging this past weekend, so I can relate. It was really very hard work – but fun. It is truly a shame you can’t taste and spit, don’t you think? Was that against the rules. I was very discreet, but definitely did not swallow all of my bites. They may have been delicious, but I just could not keep up. Did you have any rattlesnake?

    1. Hi Valerie!

      We didn’t end up having rattlesnake, to my disappointment (and relief!). Oh well, there’s always next year, right? 😉

  18. Oh how fun!! And yes, I can imagine the bloat you must have felt afterwards…

    I have always wanted to judge some type of food contest, but I had brownies and cupcakes in mind 🙂 Although BBQ wouldn’t be half bad either. I’m sure it’s a lot more difficult than it sounds, too! They take these things seriously! Especially in the land of BBQ.

    Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

  19. That’s so fun that you got to do that! And I didn’t know you could take a class to be a judge, I guess that’s a good thing so you know what to do.

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