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  • Tuesday on Jasmine


It's definitely winter time here in PA, with temps well below 30 lately. It's also football playoff season. So taking those two things into account, we planned our next gathering around a chili cook off. We have never done this before so we got super excited to bring our best recipe to the table!

A chili cook off set up on a large kitchen island. A banner above the island says "chili cook off" in red lettering. 4 crockpots full of chili are set up on the island with chalkboard signs in front of them with numbers for identifying the chili's during judging. In the middle there are 3 wooden spoons with engravings on them for the winners.

Of course we have all made a crock of chili and brought it over to someone's house, however, never have we had an actual competition. We always like to step it up a notch and this definitely fit the bill.

It is really quite simple. Below you will find items you need to gather for the party and directions on how the event will work.


  • Signage (for any menus you might need, we purchased ours at Dollar Tree)

  • Labels (to designate the chili by category)

  • Bowls

  • Spoons and Ladles for the chili

  • Tasting cups

  • Score Sheets (just typed this up quick in Microsoft word)

  • Toppings

  • Prizes (spoons were purchased on etsy here)

Wooden chalkboard signs used for the chili cookoff. A sign for toppings, sides, kids menu, directions for the cookoff and numbered signs for the 4 different chili's.


Select a date and time that work best for the event and gather up a few of your favorites to come to your chili cook off. Each guest will need to bring a crock pot full of chili. You as the host should provide all the toppings and any side dishes that may be complementary. (think cheese, chips, cornbread, etc.) We also provided a side table of some kid tested favorites, i.e., tator tots, hot dogs and veggies.

A set up for a chili cookoff with different toppings in tin containers. Buffalo check napkins are spread out in front of the different toppings with a wooden chalkboard sign saying "Chili cook off" in the middle of everything.

Tator tots and hot dogs are placed in glass serving dishes and  set out for the kids at the Chili Cook Off Party. A wooden chalkboard sign saying "Kids Menu and listing the different foods avalable is placed in the background with mustard and ketchup placed next to it

Once the guest arrives with their chili, set it out on table and make sure to have plenty of extension cords ready so the crock can stay warm during the event. Once all the chili contenders are there, you will want to label each crock, not by guest name but by Chili A, B, C or Chili 1, 2 or 3, etc.

(it is even funnier when 2 of the guests show up with the same recipe. Below Chili 1 and 2 ended up being the exact same, one had a topping and one didn't. This was quite comical and they actually ended up tasting a bit different!)

Next you will want to give each guest a score sheet and explain the rules. We chose to vote on Best Overall, Spiciest, and most creative.

A score card for the chili cook off with a small white sample size paper bowl filled with chili and ready to be judged

Each taste tester will first spoon a little bit of each chili into a tasting cup and try just a bite or two. You don't want to eat a whole bowl and then have to eat 4 more, etc. After tasting each chili, the guest will then submit their vote.

Our particular cook off resulted in 3 prizes! We chose these adorable chili cook off spoons from Etsy engraved with what they won for, i.e., Best Overall, Spiciest or Creativity! We decided to throw some dried beans in a mason jar, cover the tops with our cute themed napkins and tie the spoon onto the jar. Voila the cutest little prize for our winners!

The prizes for the winners of the chili cook off, wooden spoons with engravings of the winning titles, most creative, hottest and best. The wooden spoons are tied around a mason jar filled with dried beans and a red buffalo check napkin tied on top of the mason jar.

After trying all the chili and picking the winners, that is when everyone was able to go back for their favorite chili in a larger bowl, with all the toppings!

A bowl of chili in a white paper bowl with avocado and sour cream placed on top.

This was such a simple and fun get together. We highly recommend having a chili cook off, any time of year!

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