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Unread 05-10-2013, 11:24 AM   #1
f308gt4
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Default Scaling up a chili recipe for a cookoff?

I was volunteered to help out at a chili cookoff. My kids school is participating and will have a booth. There will be 3 of us cooking our own recipes, and we are being asked to make 10 gallons of chili each. We are not competing for ICS or anything, and really just going for a peoples choice award.

I have a pretty good chili recipe that I use. However, it is not an exact recipe, and am wondering if anyone has tips for scaling it up to 10 gallons?

Normally, when I make a batch of chili, I make somewhere between 0.5-1 gallon, I would guess. Is it as simple as cooking up 10x the ingredients?

I typically use dried chilli peppers, and boil in water then puree in a blender to make my chili "sauce".

For the meat, I will typically use about 1-2 lbs of meat, which I grill up, then cube. I then brown up veggies (onions, garlic, peppers) in bacon fat, and mix together the meat, veggies and chili sauce. Add spices to taste.

Also, I sometimes add Corn, which makes for a unique chili. Not sure if I should do this for the competition or not.

For the chili sauce, I am thinking about making it up ahead of time and freezing in gallon size zip lock bags. I don't think this should be an issue, and may make cook day a little easier. The actual chili will be cooked up in the school kitchen a day before the event, then refrigerated. On the day of the event, the pots will be heated on a gas stove/grill.

I have participated in this event in previous years, but this will be my first year cooking, so I am a little nervous.

I'd appreciate any tips/suggestions, etc.

Thanks!
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Unread 05-10-2013, 11:47 AM   #2
Bludawg
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Sounds like a solid attack plan to me Good Luck!
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Unread 05-10-2013, 12:12 PM   #3
Pyrotech
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after the first time doubling the recipie, for each increase try adding 1/4th the peppers and chili powder. this way you can add more heat if needed and not make it to hot unexpectly.
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Unread 05-10-2013, 12:42 PM   #4
Teltum
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Agree with pyrotech.

Having worked in a soup room in a factory.

Some ingredients scale well and others don't. Red/Green peppers scaled generally 1:1 it was not uncommon to add 5#'s of powdered spices to 20 or so gallons. Chilies are an odd bird start with about 25% of scaled values and have the rest ready. Celery is generally safe to go 1:1, onions can go 1:1 early in cooking. Garlic early add 1:1, late add start small it adds a lot more flavor when added at the end of a cook. Tomatos 1:1 but watch acidity. Dried spices are a big one you have to watch, same with any beers or liquors as they rehydrate hot get hotter quickly or dilute in unexpedted ways. Wait 2 mins of good stiring before tasting again from a change as the spice will partially rehydrate.

Stir often and SCRAPE the bottom to make sure you are not burning the soup at the bottom this is both very easy and very common on huge batch cooks.

Any specific questions you can ask via PM but I haven't worked in the soup factory in 11 years and I only made it a year before I got promoted to componet and raw rooms.

You could make 10 small batches of little pots but the problem comes in when it ages. That is why you will want to stir and ladle a cup and see how it reconstitues and adjust from there for last min tweaks and taste thoughout the day to make sure that it still has fluids. (Line Cook at a restaraunt)
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