Chili Contest

Home of the CASI State Championship

For more than two decades, Chilimania has the honor of being an official Chili Appreciation Society International (CASI) event, while simultaneously hosting a CASI-sanctioned chili grind cook-off and a traditional (open) chili cook-off.

Passionate chili cookers throughout the Midwest, and as from far as Texas, make the journey to Edgerton to cook up their secret recipes and compete for top prizes in both categories.

All divisions of the Chilimania Cook-Off are open to all, from beginners to the pros!

Cooks may enter either contest, or both, for one $30 entry fee. The Chilimania grounds open to cooks at 7 a.m., with a cook’s meeting at 10 a.m. At least one cook from each booth must attend the cook’s meeting.

A salsa contest is held from noon to 1 p.m. Registered cooks are welcome to bring their homemade salsa and chips for judging by a select panel of judges and Chilimania attendees.

Register for the 2017 Chilimania Cook-Off


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.

Register for the 2017 Chilimania Cook-Off


Chili Contest Rules

  1. Booth size is 10-feet by 10-feet. There is a maximum of six (6) cooks per booth.
  2. Each contestant must prepare at least two gallons of chili.
  3. All contestants are REQUIRED to bring their own ingredients, tables, cooking source and supplies. Electricity will not be available.
  4. All ingredients must come to the contest unprepared. Use of home canned meats will not be allowed. Chili must be cooked from scratch (starting with raw meat).
  5. Any ingredients needing to be kept cool must arrive at the contest in coolers and be kept cool until used.
  6. Cooking conditions are subject to inspection by the judging committee and/or regional or area referee.
  7. One chili per cook.
  8. You may have to taste your own chili.  All chili cooks may be required, at the discretion of the Referee or Head judge, to remove the lid from the chili cup and eat a spoonful of their own chili before turning it in for judging.  If the contestant refuses, the chili will be automatically disqualified.
  9. Contestants are encouraged to decorate their area in a “theme”, but are not required to do so.
  10. 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.
  11. Per our liquor license with the City of Edgerton, Chilimania cooks are not allowed to serve alcoholic beverages to the general public. Also please keep in mind that Chilimania is a family event. We want you to have fun, but obvious public intoxication will be frowned upon.

Register for the 2017 Chilimania Cook-Off


Additional CASI Rules

  1. This year’s CASI judging will be a ‘CHILI GRIND’, allowing for ground meat only. Commercial chili powder is permissible, but complete commercial chili mixes that contain several pre-measured spices, are NOT permitted.
  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.


Register for the 2017 Chilimania Cook-Off



  1. Each contestant must submit at least one (1) pint of salsa for judging.
  2. All salsa must be homemade; it may be canned or fresh.
  3. Safe food handling processes must be followed.
  4. One entry per registered chili cook.
  5. Salsa will be judged based on appearance, color, aroma, taste, and aftertaste.
  6. Although not required, you are encouraged to provide salsa and chips for the public.


Register for the 2017 Chilimania Cook-Off

2017 Sponsors

Carolina Reaper Level ($5,000+)

Reitz DentalBud Light

Ghost Pepper Level ($2,000 - $4,999)

2 Brothers Downtown Pub & GrillNew Composite Partners

Habanero Level ($1,000-$1,999)

David Luellwitz, D.O.WJVL 99.9FMWhy The Fuss? Technical Solutions