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How to run a chili cook off

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by cheech, Aug 13, 2006.

  1. cheech

    cheech Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I was looking at Tommy C's chili recipe and thought I would love to cook up a batch.

    My mine went to wondering and thought that I should have a chili cook off.

    Has any one ever ran one? If so how do you go about running one?
  2. tommy c

    tommy c Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    First thing to do is find some sponsors in your area. See if there willing to supply $$$$ for prizes and advertising. If you advertise and offer $$$$ and prizes....they will come [​IMG] also, have an entry fee to cover costs and avoid "ghost entries" or no shows the day of the contest. It's a start.
  3. cheech

    cheech Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks Tommy C.

    My thoughts have gone to the possiblity of having the cook off at my church.

    This way I would have a location, the people. I am just not sure how you get the judges "qualified", are there a set of rules to go by etc
  4. tommy c

    tommy c Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    Hey Cheech,
    The competition I was in, the judges were area chefs. You need to have people with developed palates. Now thats just one source. Let the people at the cook-off be judges also, "peoples choice award" and ect.
  5. bob-bqn

    bob-bqn Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    In Texas judges are easy enough to find, at least for BBQ contests. They take anyone off the streets that wants to be a judge, no training necessary, and they usually get more than enough volunteers. The Head Judges that run the show are certified though and explain to the judges how the process works, what to look for, and how to grade.
  6. Dutch

    Dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member OTBS Admin SMF Premier Member

    Cheech, I have organized and ran Dutch Oven cook-offs and the advice that you have been given is right on.

    Find Sponsors that will donate prizes and/or cash-Promote their business with banners and/or signs.

    Tie you cook-off to a local event. Don't hold a cook-off to have a cook-off. My competitions were held in conjunction with the City's July 4th festival. Hold YOUR event where people will be gathered.

    People that KNOW food make the best judges. I've used Certified Executive Chefs, City Dignitaries, local radio personalities and even the City Queen and her Court.

    Provide plenty of ice cold water for the participants to drink. It's nice if a sponsor and provide that too.

    And a Cash fee at sign-up will weed out the "pretenders" I also required a copy of all recipes and a local printer combined them in to an Event Cookbook. The judges and the participants got a free copy and the rest were sold to the public and the monies generated went to support the City's Park and Recreation Scholarship program.

    This is something that needs to be well thought out. I always started lining up sponsors and promoting the event 9 months out from the event.
  7. tommy c

    tommy c Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    Great tips there Dutch :D Your right on when you say to have the comp. surrounding a larger event [​IMG]
  8. willkat98

    willkat98 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member


    The online Yellow Pages fro Grand Rapids chili places suck. (Chili's restaurant was the only hit)

    So I assume you have chili places, that don't have "chili" in the name.

    Check in with some of those places, get reps from those places as judges.

    Good to hook up with the church. Then all proceeds go to a good cause

    Hope you do well
  9. cajunsmoker

    cajunsmoker Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    How to run a chili cook off? Don't pay her :!: :mrgreen:

    I've been watching this roll over for 2 days and I 've been dying to say "Don't pay her".

    Surely I ain't the only old deviate out there :roll: .
  10. cheech

    cheech Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Too funny cajun. took this ole dog a moment but I got it.

    Willkat98, there really are not any "Real" chili places here in Grand Rapids. There was talk once about a "Skyline" chili but they not only did not move to town they pulled the only one with in 30 miles out.

    This is part of the reason I would love to have a cook off is I could really go for some good chili.

    I am interested in trying different types and this way I do not have to cook it all myself.
  11. meowey

    meowey Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    "Skyline" is a Cincinnati style chilli. I discovered that earlier this year when I was looking for chilli recipes. Here is a link that gives the history of Cincinnati chilli.


    I have downloaded about 2 dozen recipies and have come up with one I call my own. Recipe attached

    Best regards,

  12. willkat98

    willkat98 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Skyline is more of a slurry than a chili. You would never eat it without pasta (and cheese and beans 4-way. Keep the onions :) )

    That being said, I eat ALOT of Skyline. Spent alot of time in Cincinnati. Daughter was even born there.

    Check your grocer's canned chili aisle Cheech. They just might carry Skyline in the can. Thats how we eat it, unless we're in Indianapolis or Columbus.
  13. tommy c

    tommy c Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    EXCELLENT Dutch :lol: :lol: :lol:
  14. willkat98

    willkat98 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    And thanks for the Recipe meowey

    Looks like you got everything there (with the cocoa and cinnamon the key)

    I look forward to trying it
  15. cheech

    cheech Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks Willkat98, I will check the shelves and see if it awaits me. Just might give me a reason to have a great day.

    Thanks meowey I will have the try the recipe maybe there will be no reason to go to the store to buy the chili.

    I may be making a trip to Ohio over the holiday and if we do I know where this BBQer is going to eat lunch
  16. Dutch

    Dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member OTBS Admin SMF Premier Member

    Hey Tommy-cajunsmoker said that, not me!! But I was thinking the same thing, so I guess that makes me an old deviate too. :roll:
  17. tommy c

    tommy c Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    And then there were three :lol:
  18. cheech

    cheech Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    For those that are interested here is the final plan.

    All are invited to cook.

    They must supply enough chili to fill 50 small plastic cups. (50 because that is about how many people I would expect to come and try this)

    Each person who comes will get a ticket that they are to place in a bucket in front of the chili they like the best.

    So it becomes a people's choice award.
  19. shellbellc

    shellbellc Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    We run a "fun" type of chili cook off at our local VFW - we tie it in as a tailgate party before a 4 o'clock Eagles came. Actually all through football season there are plenty of people who volunteer to bring food in. I put a sign up stating "Think you make the best chili" sign up here to let everyone try. This year we're just going to do a cookoff, not just chili, so that we have a wider variety of food...It's more for the comraderie than anything, it's actually great when someone really messes something up because you have a conversation piece that'll last for months!