Chili Contest

Jump to: Rules for all contestants | Additional CASI Rules


Judging Criteria


  • Color: Reddish, reddish-brown or brown are OK. Excessive grease mars appearance and taste.
  • Aroma: Chili should not smell burnt or unpleasant.
  • Taste: A really good taste will stand out.
  • Consistency: Chili should be a GOOD MEAT AND GRAVY combination. Meat should be tender but not broken down.
  • Aftertaste: Residual taste should be PLEASANT and AFTER-BITE may also be present. The absence, presence or level of bite is a matter of personal preference.

Contest Rules

  1. Each contestant must prepare at least one gallon of chili for judging and tasting, plus prepare or bring one additional gallon of chili to have available for public tasting.
  2. All contestants are REQUIRED to bring their own ingredients, tables, cooking source, and supplies. Electricity will not be available.
  3. All judged chili must be cooked from scratch using raw meat the day of the cook-off. Chili will be prepared out in the open. All ingredients which need to be kept cool must arrive at the contest in coolers and be kept cool until needed.
  4. Cooks are to prepare and cook in as sanitary a manner as possible.
  5. Cooking conditions are subject to inspection by the judging committee and/or regional or area referee.
  6. All chili cooks may be required to eat a spoonful of their own chili before turning it in for judging.
  7. Failure to comply with officials on any matter is subject to disqualification of the individual cook for that cook-off. Anyone disqualified will be notified immediately. Decisions of the official(s) are final.
  8. Contestants are encouraged to decorate their area in a “theme” for the Best Theme Award.
  9. Contestants will give tablespoon-sized chili samples to curious onlookers. Tasters will then use the ballot included with their sampling dish to vote for the People’s Choice Award.

Additional CASI Rules

  1. Chilimania’s CASI contest is a “CHILI GRIND” only event (see description next paragraph). All chili to be judged for the CASI contest must meet chili grind specifications. “CHILI GRIND” is a special, coarse grind of meat, and is an excellent alternative to regular ground meat, but regular ground meat may also be used. Some recipes specifically call for chili grind. Most butchers will prepare chili grind for you, although you may have to place your order in advance or purchase a minimum quantity.
  2. CASI chili does not contain fillers, such as beans, macaroni, rice, hominy or other similar items. However, CASI cooks may add filler after the CASI contest to change or stretch their chili for the TRADITIONAL contest.
  3. Each head cook is responsible for cooking one pot of chili and turning in one judging cup from that pot. The head cook must prepare the chili that he or she intends to be judged and no more than one judging sample may be taken from any one pot per contest entered.

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