When the weather is chilly outside, there's only one true way to warm yourself up. By enjoying a great, big bowl of warm, home-cooked chili.

February may be cold in New Jersey, but it's also an exciting month, and for good reason. For one, football fans everywhere get to enjoy the final big game of the season.

For others, there's Valentine's Day. Not to mention the days are slowly getting longer, which is always welcomed news.

But let's get back to that chili, a tried and true way to warm yourself up on a cold February day. Fortunately for New Jersey, there are many chili competitions going on throughout the month in all corners of the state.

Whether you like to cook chili or just eat it, these events are perfect for you. Here's a look at many of the cook-offs and competitions going on throughout the Garden State.

(All chili cook-off events are listed by date order, starting with the most recent)

Homemade Beef Chili Con Carne

Williamstown, NJ

  • 2nd Annual Chili Cook-Off
  • Where: 13th Child Brewery
  • When: February 3 from 1-6 P.M. (first round)

A fantastic cook-off with multiple rounds. Taking place at 13th Child Brewery in Williamstown, participants will compete for the grand prize. Round 2 is on February 17, with the Championship round happening on March 2.

Click or tap here for more info on 13th Child Brewery's 2nd Annual Chili Cook-Off.

red dish with meaty beef chili and bell peppers

Middletown TWP, NJ

  • First Annual Chili Cook-Off
  • Where: Ross Brewing Co.
  • When: February 3 at 1 P.M.

A mouthwatering showdown awaits. Enjoy some great chili with prizes to be awarded, along with a celebrity panel of judges. Plus, you get to vote too with the People's Choice Award.

Click or tap here for more info on Ross Brewing's First Annual Chili Cook-Off.


Basking Ridge, NJ

  • 14th Annual Chili & Chowder Cook-Off for Charity
  • Where: Saint James Church
  • When: February 3 at 6:30 P.M.

Not just chili here. You'll also have a chance to taste some amazing chowder, along with live music, food, and beverages. Proceeds benefit local acts of kindness and service performed by the Men of Charity.

Click or tap here for more info on the 14th Annual Chili & Chowder Cook-off for charity at Saint James Church.

Gourmet chili beans with extra lean beef
Raul Taborda/ThinkStock

 Belmar, NJ

  • Inaugural Chili Cook-Off
  • Where: Beach Haus Brewery
  • When: February 4 from 1-6 P.M.

Come on down for the first-ever Beach Haus Brewery Chili Cook-Off. Try a variety of chilis homemade by everyday locals, along with live music and more.

Click or tap here for more info on Beach Hus Brewery's Inaugural Chili Cook Off.

Spadea's homemade chili
Spadea's homemade chili

Bloomsbury, NJ

  • 3rd Annual BHC Big Game Chili Cook-Off
  • Where: Bloomsbury Hose Co. Banquet Hall
  • When: February 11 at 5 P.M.

Chili and football, what a perfect combo. Enjoy the big game on the large projector screen while you sample all-you-can-eat chili for only $5. Plus a cash bar, cornhole, and more to enjoy your evening watching the game.

Click or tap here for more info on the 3rd Annual BHC Big Game Chile Cook-Off in Bloomsbury.

This award-winning chili from Hansel n' Griddle of New Brunswick is just one small sample of the goodies we're feature at our Big Jersey BBQ & Brewfest Saturday. (Photo by Ray Handel, Townsquare)
Ray Handel, Townsquare

East Rutherford, NJ

  • Meadowlands Winter Chili Cook-Off
  • Where: Meadowlands Trackside (Ground Floor)
  • When: February 17 from 5-9 P.M.

So you think you have the best chili? Put those skills to the test and win big prizes. Register to be part of the action, or come as a spectator and vote on the many chilis in the competition.

Click or tap here for more info on the Meadowlands Winter Chili Cook-Off in East Rutherford.


Penns Grove, NJ

  • Annual Chili Cook-Off
  • Where: Penns Grove Elks Lodge #1358
  • When: February 24 from 1-4 P.M.

Not only do you get to eat the chili, but you also get to judge the chili. Cook-off includes bread and crackers with proceeds benefiting Elks Charities.

Click or tap here for more info on the Penns Grove Elks Lodge #1358's Annual Chili Cook-Off.

Beef chili with kidney beans and cheese topping
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Gibbsboro, NJ

  • Camden County Bar's Young Lawyer Committee's 10th Annual Chili Cook-Off
  • Where: Gibbsboro American Legion Post 371
  • When: February 24 from 5-8 P.M.

Cooking (and enjoying) chili for a cause, supporting Veterans Haven South. Enjoy live music, beer, wine, raffles, and of course, great chili.

Click or tap here for more info on Camden County Bar's Young Lawyer Committee's 10th Annual Chili Cook-Off.


Highlands, NJ

  • 12th Annual Chili Cook-Off
  • Where: Proving Ground Waterfront Dining
  • When: February 25 from 3-7 P.M.

A perfect way to bid farewell to February and welcome in March. Enjoy bagpipe bands along with Daly's Irish Dancers while you sample and enjoy some delicious chili. Vote on your favorites while enjoying your favorite beers and more, with prizes to be awarded.

Click or tap here for more info on the Highlands 12th Annual Chili Cook-Off at the Proving Ground.

It's here! The complete 2024 NJ county fair summer schedule

A current list of county fairs happening across the Garden State for 2024. From rides, food, animals, and hot air balloons, each county fair has something unique to offer.

*Please note that only two of New Jersey's County Fairs have yet to announce their 2024 fair dates. Please check back for updates.

(Fairs are listed in geographical order from South NJ to North NJ)

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 Sunday morning host Mike Brant. Any opinions expressed are his own.

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