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How to Host a Chili Cook-off

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Everyone thinks they have the best chili recipe, so why not put it to the ultimate test? Invite your friends over for a chili cook-off and settle it once and for all. Aside from competitive contestants, you'll need the right tools and supplies, the freshest ingredients and some unbiased judges to be available for the event. You and your guests are sure to have a great time and enjoy some tasty food all at once. Follow this guide to hosting the best chili cook-off, and you'll likely want to make it an annual tradition.

"Chili can get messy."

Prepare Your Kitchen
Chili can get messy. After all, it's a big soupy mix of all of the spiciest, boldest ingredients. You'll need the right tools to ensure that everything is contained and clean-up is easy. The Crock-Pot® 6-Quart Programmable Cook & Carry™ Slow Cooker was basically made for recipes like these, as all you need to do is mix in all of the ingredients, set the temperature, and let it do all of the work for you. Then just carry it along with you wherever you need to go.

It's the perfect device for a dish like chili, where it's all about slowly cooking everything so the flavors beautifully mix together. For the easiest cleanup possible, use a liner. When you're finished, all you need to do is remove it and wipe down the stoneware.

Pick up fresh produce for the best chili.Pick up fresh produce for the best chili.

Get the Necessary Supplies 
The key to a great chili cook-off is having the right supplies. For starters, you'll need the freshest ingredients. A few days before you get to cooking, take a trip to the grocery store or - even better, the local farmer's market - for fresh produce. It will make all the difference in the end product, and you'll be that closer to killing the competition. While you're at the store, you should pick up some mix-ins like shredded cheese, lettuce and rolls that people can use when judging all of the different chilis.

You'll also need a ballot box and slips of paper for everyone to cast their vote. Depending on the number of contestants, you might want to include a variety of awards, like "Spiciest dish," "Best beef chili" and "Most Creative." 

Create a Guest List
The contestants are important, but you'll also need to include some unbiased judges on the guest list. Be sure to invite some people who are just there for taste testing. It's highly unlikely that anyone would actually turn down that kind of invite. 



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