The Ultimate Chili Challenge

Created December 8, 2016
hot and spicy chorizo chili
How to host a game day cook-off at home and spark a little friendly competition. MORE+ LESS-

Why should the players on the field or court have all the fun? Go head-to-head with your family and friends by hosting a chili cook-off right at home. 

Need some inspiration to get started? Check out some of's top chili recipes. Let the Ultimate Chili Challenge begin!

Pre-Game Warm-Up

  • Invite guests and ask them to bring their best chili in a slow cooker, hot and ready to serve. Remind everyone that anything goes – meatless, white chili, with or without beans – so you get a good variety to vote on.
  • Borrow bowls and spoons from neighbors or friends. Helpful hint: Make sure you have extra. People may want to use different bowls for different chilies.
  • Download our chili name tags to identify each chili and to rate for heat level. And print off ballots, so each guest can taste the chilies and vote on them.

Take the Field

  • Just before guests arrive, set up a chili toppings bar for "go-withs" that your guests can use with their chili. Include toppings like shredded cheese, chopped onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, sliced jalapenos and sour cream, as well as soda crackers, corn bread, tortillas and corn chips. Save time by getting these ready the day before. Just cover and refrigerate until you need them.
  • Avoid blowing a fuse by spreading out the slow cookers among several outlets. Be sure to keep them in areas where they won't get knocked over or pulled down because the cords are in the way.
  • Keep beverages on hand and make a big green salad to round out the meal.
  • Set out a bowl of breath mints! Your guests will thank you.

Rules of the Game

  • Keep the cook of each chili secret!
  • Remind guests to taste a spoonful of each chili and fill out a ballot for their favorite before eating it as a meal – and stacking the deck with comments!
  • Have guests rate each chili on the ballot. The chili with the most points wins!
  • Announce the maker of each chili and then announce the winner.
  • If you want to, award a prize to the winner. Make it something simple like a wooden spoon with the words “Chili Cook-Off 2014” written on the handle.