Hosting a Chili Cook-Off in 5 Easy Steps with Printables

Hosting a Chili Cook Off in 5 Easy Steps with printables
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For the last six years I have helped organize a chili cook-off in my office.  It is always around Valentine's Day and the proceeds go to charity. 

Hosting a Chili Cook Off in 5 Easy Steps with printables

This is my pet project every year.  The first year that I suggested it we had no idea if it would work but eight people brought in chili and it has grown every year.

This event goes so smoothly every year that I wanted to share it and in five easy steps!  I even have some handy printables for you to use or use as inspiration.

Step 1

Set a date and send out invites

Evites or paper - just don't forget to tell them to bring their own crockpot!  For the office, I just put sign up sheets around the office and on our internal website.  You can let guests know that you will be providing cornbread and toppings but I just figure that is a given.

Step 2



Can be you, your family or from those who don't want to actually make the chili.

Step 3

Be prepared

  • Start with guidelines.  It will make your event go smoothly once everyone is on the same page.  Once your guest RSVPs that they are participating - give them the rules.
Chili Cook-off Guidelines
  • All chili is to be prepared in advance and ready to eat an hour before guest are due to arrive
  • Once judging starts late entries will not be permitted, judging will begin promptly at       .
  • The name of your chili and a list of ingredients must be posted with your chili as well as its hotness (i.e. mild, medium, hot, super hot). 
  • Please keep your chili and the name of your chili a secret until after all judging is completed.  Making your chili name known is an automatic disqualification.  Feel free to be creative with your name and chili ingredient sign as long as it does not give your identity away.
  • Judging will be by panel.  Panel judges will remain a secret until it is time for them to judge.  
  • For the party - make sure to have plenty of bowls, spoons and paper towels on hand. Beg, borrow or buy disposable if you have to but once you think you have enough, get ten more.

Step 4

Easy voting system

voting numbers for chili cook-off
voting printables

Step 5


 Chili cook-off certificate
Certificate printables

spoonPrizes or at least certificates are key.  People want something to take home, even if it is just bragging rights.  Besides, why bother if there is no prize?

I like Tabasco Pepper Sauce as a prize and a silver spoon for the grand prize. 

So easy!

Follow Mary Johnson's board Chili Cook-Off Awesomeness on Pinterest.

Coincidentally, February 27 is National Chili Day, but the whole hearts on fire theme has become a tradition in our office plus it is for charity.  We don't charge to enter but we do to taste. 

And if you were wondering... October is National Chili Month.