Annual chili cook off takes over Hanover

Even with some rain showers, Mother Nature couldn’t stop the fire for this year’s chili cook off in Hanover, York County on Sunday.

Hundreds turned out to sample dozens of varieties of chili and enjoy some family entertainment.

More than 50 connoisseurs took part in the State Cook Off at the Good Field Complex.

Burners were on, even under the pouring rain, as the recipes cooked for three hours — start to finish. The judges say the right spices are the key.

“A lot of people will put a lot of chunky vegetables, tomatoes and onions and a lot of what does really well in the competition is just meat, gravy and spices. So it’s not your homestyle chili you’re cooking at home, it’s really clean. Especially people who want to kill it with heat, it’s gotta be right across the board. You want a little bit of bite but you don’t want to hurt anybody either,” said Kim Eckley, chief score keeper for the International Chili Society.

Winners go home with a cash prize and trophy. They also move on to the next round — in the International Chili Society World Championship in Las Vegas. Proceeds from today’s cook off benefit local non-profit organizations.