Chili cooks have one thing in common: They all think their recipe is the best. We can sit around and debate the fundamentals (beans or no beans, hot or not, chicken or beef) forever, but there's really only one way to settle the score: an old-fashioned chili cook-off. By the end of the night, everyone will leave full and happy -- and someone will go home with bragging rights.
tips + how-tos
HOW TO KEEP SCORE
1. Assign each chili a letter -- this is a blind tasting!
2. Evaluate color and aroma on a scale of 1 to 4. Then rate the texture, flavor and heat.
3. Tally the scores and print your own scorecards!
Wind twine tightly around candleholders and vases to give them a Tex-Mex twist.
SET THE SCENE
Spice up your serving tray with jalapeño chiles.
Attach award ribbons to small, medium and large bottles of hot sauce (countrystore.tabasco.com) to make trophies.