The UKCCA deems that "Chilli" is defined as any kind of meat or combination of meats, or vegetables, cooked with chilli peppers, spices and other ingredients. 

All Chilli’s must be cooked from scratch at the cook-off event. Marinating is not allowed, neither is pre-cooking. Commercial chilli powder is permissible, but complete commercial chilli con carne packets ("just add meat" mixes that contain pre-measured spices) are not permitted. Pre-processed meat products are allowed, EG Chorizo, sausages and bacon.  Beans are also permitted. Additional garnish added to the chilli will not sway the judges! 

Health and Safety when competing is our top priority. All cooking must be carried out in a sanitary manner. Latex gloves (supplied) must be worn at all times when handling food. Meat and vegetables must be prepared on separate chopping boards or the chopping board must be thoroughly cleaned to avoid cross contamination.  Conditions are subject to inspection by the Chief Judge/Organiser. Failure to comply with health and safety rules will result in disqualification for that team.

"Teams" can consist of any number of people. We recommend anywhere from 1-5 people.

Each team will provide all their own ingredients, utensils, and all accessories necessary to cook their Chilli. This includes gas cooking stoves or BBQs including fuel. Portable Campingaz stoves can be provided by request, however, charges will apply for gas canisters. Unless specified, all cooking takes place outdoors. It is recommended you bring a gazebo or suitable protection from the elements.

Each team will be responsible for cooking no less than one 1 UK gallon of Chilli (8 pints) and submitting 1 cup of chilli for judging. Judging containers will be supplied.
Teams will have 4 hours to prepare and cook their Chilli.

At the end of the cooking period, judging samples will be submitted by the head chef to the main judging table. The Chilli will be assigned a number which will be placed on the sealed lid. The head chef of each team will sign the master record to confirm that the number on the Chilli sample matches the team name on the master record.

After all judging samples have been collected, the nominated judges will score each Chilli. Judging is done anonymously. IE they will not know which team’s chilli they will be marking. This is to ensure judging integrity. 

Judges will score each Chilli out of 10 points using the following criteria:

  • Appearance - Chilli should look appetising. Reddish-brown is generally accepted as good. Garnish is permitted will not gain extra points.
  • Aroma - Chilli should smell good. There should be no overpowering smells, but a combination of the various ingredients.
  • Consistency - Chilli must have a good ratio between sauce and meat/vegetables. It should not be dry, watery, grainy, lumpy, or greasy.
  • Taste - Taste is obviously the most important factor. The taste should consist of the combination of the meat/vegetables, spices, etc. with no particular ingredient being dominant.
  • Aftertaste - The aftertaste or bite is the heat created by the various types of spices and/or peppers. The heat should work well with the flavours. Overbearing heat that spoils the tasting experience is not recommended.

Judges are allowed only one spoonful of each chilli so make sure your effort packs a punch in that one spoon!

The decisions of the Chief Judge are final.

In order for the Chilli Cook-off event to raise money for charity, we encourage all teams to distribute your Chilli in the sample pots provided, to the public as tasting samples as part of the People's Choice Award, but only after judging has commenced. A seperate prize will be awarded for the People's Choice Award.

Teams may enter as many official Chilli Cook-off heats during the year as they wish. Heat winners, can still compete in as many heats throughout the year, but will only qualify for the final once. Should the heat winner have already qualified, the 2nd and 3rd placed teams qualify for the final.


Best of luck!


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