Official Chili Rules
Chili rules will be based on the International Chili Society (ICS) competition rules. Our competition will be Traditional Red Chili.
Traditional Red Chili is defined as: Chili containing any kind of meat or combination of meats, cooked with red chili peppers, various spices and other ingredients, with the exception of BEANS** and PASTA which are strictly forbidden.
** Beans are forbidden in competition judging chili, but are required for people’s choice chili. Many people will simply separate the judging chili into a new pot before beans are added to the main pot of chili, and then let both cook side-by-side.
1. SCHEDULE: Cooking and competition schedule is as follows.
- 7:45 am – 8:30 am: Chili booth set up.
- 8:30 am: Cooks meeting (start prep after meeting).
- 9:00 am: Light stoves for chili cook off.
- 11:30 pm: Judges meeting.
- 12:00 pm: Cooks turn in competition chili to judge’s table.
- 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm: Serving of People Choice chili. Chili tasting open to the general public, and voting for the People’s Choice awards begin.
- 3:15 pm – Awards and chili judging results.
- No ingredient may be pre-cooked in any way prior to the commencement of the official cook off. The only exceptions are canned or bottled tomatoes, tomato sauce, peppers, pepper sauce, beverages, broth and grinding and/or mixing of spices.
- Meat may be treated, pre-cut or ground prior to event.
- MEAT MAY NOT BE PRE-COOKED in any manner.
- All other ingredients must be chopped or prepared at the event.
3. SUPPLIES AND COOKING AREA:
- Contestants are responsible for supplying all of their own cooking utensils, etc. and should be prepared to provide a fire extinguisher. A cooking area will be provided for each contestant. Approximate size of cooking and prepping area will be 10’ x 10’ for each contestant.
- Contestants also will be provided one (1) table for preparation & cooking.
- One portable wash station will be provided, and shared between two cooking areas.
4. GAS OR ELECTRIC?
- Chili can be cooked on a portable gas grill (provided by contestant), or on electric cooking plates (provided by contestant). Access to electricity will be provided, and use of one extension cord (provided by contestant) will be allowed. Electricity will be limited to cooking burner use, and one warmer plate only.
- All other warmers, lights, radios, etc. must be battery operated. Contestants have the option to use a cooking station indoors or outdoors. If cooking with propane, you will be assigned an outdoor cooking station.
5. You must be at least 18 years old to compete as a primary chili cook or team leader. Assistants under the age of 18 are acceptable.
6. The Chili Committee requires that good taste be used not only in your chili, but in your area as well. We want each team to have a good time & provide a family atmosphere for those who attend.
7. A chili team may have from one to four members. Teams are limited to four members maximum. This is for general safety and to avoid overcrowding the cooking areas. The Chief Cook will be responsible for the conduct of the team & other guests.
8. The cooking period will be a minimum of 2 hours and a maximum of 3 hours. Click here for competition schedule. Cooking during entire cooking period is at the sole discretion of the contestant.
9. All chili cooks shall attend a mandatory pre-cook meeting, at which time final instructions are to be given and questions answered, and this will take place 30 minutes prior to the official starting time of the event.
10. No vehicles or trailers will be permitted adjacent to cooking areas. You may load and unload equipment near the event, however, we ask that you keep the loading/unloading time down to 10 minutes or less due to minimal vehicle space adjacent to cooking areas. Official contestant parking area is approximately 150 feet from cooking areas.
11. Each contestant must cook a minimum of one cup (8oz) of competition chili prepared in one pot which will be submitted for judging. Sharing or splitting chili for judging with another contestant for the purpose of increasing the number of entries in the event will result in disqualification of both contestants.
12. PEOPLE’S CHOICE CHILI MUST CONTAIN BEANS. Please provide at least 2 gallons of chili for people’s choice tasting and judging.
13. Each contestant will be assigned a contestant’s number by the Chief Scorekeeper and given an official event judging cup. Each contestant should verify that the number on the bottom of their cup is the same as their assigned contestant number. Each contestant is responsible to deliver their cup, which must be filled to the bottom of the cup’s rim, to the judging area at the official time for judging.
Competition Chili Judging
Judges will be told that they should vote for the chili based on the following major considerations:
- TASTE: Taste, above all else is the most important factor. The taste should consist of the combination of the meat, peppers, spices, etc, with no particular ingredient being dominant, but rather a blend of the flavors.
- CONSISTENCY: Chili must have a good ratio between sauce and meat. It should not be dry, watery, grainy, lumpy, or greasy.
- AROMA: Chili should smell good. This also indicates what is in store when you taste it.
- COLOR: Chili should look appetizing. Reddish brown is generally accepted as good. Chili is not yellow or green.
- BITE: Bite or after taste is the heat created by the various type of chili peppers and chili spices.
Each judge will consider each of the above factors, and judge each by giving a rating of 1 (low) to 10 (high) on each factor.
We will have five judges. The total points from all judges on all factors will be added up for the cumulative score. The highest score an entry can receive is 250 points. The lowest is 25 points.
This cumulative score determines the champions.
People’s Choice Judging
The general public will have the opportunity to purchase tickets for chili tasting. One ticket will be used for one taste (no free refills). For each ticket, a sample of chili will be served by the Chili Cook who made each respective chili. The public will have the opportunity to vote for their favorites. The more votes a cook gets, the better their chance to win. Contestants will be required to provide minimum two gallons of chili in addition to the one quart of chili for judging.
You are allowed to provide additional chili beyond two gallons for People’s choice. The more chili you provide, the more votes you will get and the better chance you have to do well in popular voting (Hint, hint – if a Chili Team runs out of chili before the competition does, then the competition gets the votes!) . More chili also helps our cause!
For example: In previous events, some competitors ran out of chili before the end of the event. As a result, they received no more votes from the public. Those competitors who still had chili available were able to garner additional votes throughout the day.
Donations for Competition Entry and Requirements
Proceeds from this event will benefit the Arizona Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and the Groom Creek Firefighters Association. Both are 501c3 non-profit organizations.
Requirements to compete as a team or solo:
- Donation of $25 through 10/9/2012/
- Provide 1 cup (8oz) of chili for judging (no beans)
- Provide minimum 2 gallons for People’s Choice judging (with beans)
Team Information, Prizes & Awards