Chili Cook-off at work

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dj mishima

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Jun 8, 2011
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Canton, MI
I'm going to be in a chili cook-off at work on Thursday. I start work at 4am. The serving time is 11am. I have a break at 9am. The chili is going to be served in slow cookers.

I know that a slow cooker isn't a good method to reheat food. So, I'm having a hard time deciding how to get my chili ready to be served in a safe manner. I doubt that the other contestants are even considering this.

My options as I see it are to:
A. Reheat the prepared chili close to temp before I leave work in the slow cooker(and hope that it doesn't spill out in transit). Then use the keep warm setting for 7 hours.
B. Bring the chili in separate containers from the slow cooker. At break time, I microwave the containers to get them somewhat hot. Then, I add them to the slow cooker and heat at low or high for 2 hours.

Are there other options that I am not considering? I know that one contestant is going to keep his chili in a slow cooker in his car. Then get it out at break time and heat on low for 2 hours. I think the ambient temperature is going to be close to 40 degrees F or lower that day for the lowest temp of the day. So, it should be safe on that front? But, I don't think it would get hot enough to serve in that time frame.

FYI, I am planning to use beans in the chili. I am in the middle of cooking it now. I usually add them near the end so that they don't turn to mush. I fear that if I use option A, that might happen. I am considering using option B and then adding the beans at 9am.

Please help!
 
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buckpillar

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Oct 18, 2022
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I'm going to be in a chili cook-off at work on Thursday. I start work at 4am. The serving time is 11am. I have a break at 9am. The chili is going to be served in slow cookers.

I know that a slow cooker isn't a good method to reheat food. So, I'm having a hard time deciding how to get my chili ready to be served in a safe manner. I doubt that the other contestants are even considering this.

My options as I see it are to:
A. Reheat the prepared chili close to temp before I leave work in the slow cooker(and hope that it doesn't spill out in transit). Then use the keep warm setting for 7 hours.
B. Bring the chili in separate containers from the slow cooker. At break time, I microwave the containers to get them somewhat hot. Then, I add them to the slow cooker and heat at low or high for 2 hours.

Are there other options that I am not considering? I know that one contestant is going to keep his chili in a slow cooker in his car. Then get it out at break time and heat on low for 2 hours. I think the ambient temperature is going to be close to 40 degrees F or lower that day for the lowest temp of the day. So, it should be safe on that front? But, I don't think it would get hot enough to serve in that time frame.

FYI, I am planning to use beans in the chili. I am in the middle of cooking it now. I usually add them near the end so that they don't turn to mush. I fear that if I use option A, that might happen. I am considering using option B and then adding the beans at 9am.

Please help!
Heat the Chili on high when you get to work, turn it down to warm on your break or you can put it on low if you feel that it isn't hot enough. *** Good Luck *** I won the last Chili cook off that I entered. Here's a little twist... other than burger add some Chorizo. adds some spice and flavor.
 

dj mishima

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Original poster
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Jun 8, 2011
379
103
Canton, MI
Heat the Chili on high when you get to work, turn it down to warm on your break or you can put it on low if you feel that it isn't hot enough. *** Good Luck *** I won the last Chili cook off that I entered. Here's a little twist... other than burger add some Chorizo. adds some spice and flavor.
It has chorizo in it :)
 

gmc2003

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I'd heat it at home in the slow cooker. Then secure the lid with either duct tape or a bungee cord. Put it on the floor of your car passenger's side surrounded by towels or blankets so it doesn't move around. Also I'd keep the car's heater on full blast depending on how long a trip and how cold it is the day you're bringing it to work. I've done this bringing food to parties.

Chris
 

thirdeye

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Option B sounds like a good plan, as long as there won't be a bunch of people wanting to use the microwave at the same time.

As with all competitions, get the most out of the rules. And try and try to predict how the judges will vote, based on where you live, and the ratio of men to women. Most contests at work are a people's choice kind of thing where everyone gets a poker chip or something to vote with, is your contest any different? You don't need a huge batch because everyone will be sampling some of each. I like the contests where they use little styro cups for sampling.

Your goal is not to WOW all the judges, rather have a chili that won't offend any judges. Things like too spicy, too salty, too many onions or garlic, or flavors that are not balanced will offend some judges.

Do the rules allow accompaniments? Having some grated cheeses, Fritos, crackers, Mexi Crema etc. on the side can give you an edge.
 

dj mishima

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Original poster
Thread starter
Jun 8, 2011
379
103
Canton, MI
Option B sounds like a good plan, as long as there won't be a bunch of people wanting to use the microwave at the same time.

As with all competitions, get the most out of the rules. And try and try to predict how the judges will vote, based on where you live, and the ratio of men to women. Most contests at work are a people's choice kind of thing where everyone gets a poker chip or something to vote with, is your contest any different? You don't need a huge batch because everyone will be sampling some of each. I like the contests where they use little styro cups for sampling.

Your goal is not to WOW all the judges, rather have a chili that won't offend any judges. Things like too spicy, too salty, too many onions or garlic, or flavors that are not balanced will offend some judges.

Do the rules allow accompaniments? Having some grated cheeses, Fritos, crackers, Mexi Crema etc. on the side can give you an edge.
This will be people's choice. It's for charity. So, flights of samples will be $3. This comes with a ballot. This will be blind judging. The chili will be covered in boxes with large serving holes in the top. These will be numbered.
 

schlotz

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Also would tend to steer towards Option B, but what if the micro isn't available when you need it? IF not you'll need a backup plan. Chorizo is a great addition. Good luck! BTW: next time you might consider doing a smoked brisket chili.
 
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boykjo

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My work has a chili cook off every year. No prizes just bragging rights and a small trophy for 1st place. I think its who can make the worst chili in the world. IMO theyre all winners. I dont enter cause I'm not droppin $100 to feed other people..........

Good luck
 
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zwiller

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You got this. B and add beans at 9. Good luck and careful with the load in.

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