An annual nationwide study reveals that 7% of Americans report spending more than 10 hours each week cooking outdoors during their “grilling season.” With this, almost half (49%) of all study respondents cite that they grill or smoke-cook year-round, including 37% at or below freezing temperatures.

The 22nd annual Weber GrillWatch Survey also shows that U.S. grill and smoker owners cook an average of five hours per week. Additionally, 22% overall say they are grilling “more” this year compared to last. All this indicates the increasing zeal for outdoor cooking.

IMPORTANCE OF ENTERTAINING OUTDOORS

Nearly 78% of U.S. grill and or smoker owners say that grilling is an “extremely important” or “pretty important” activity when entertaining guests at their home. Among those who grill primarily on charcoal (who also tend to be more passionate about grilling overall), an impressive 92% agree with either statement.

Nearly one-fourth of Weber GrillWatch Survey respondents hosted at least five barbecue parties during summer 2010.

MEALS AND FOODS GRILLED

Dinner remains as the primary meal grilled on a regular basis (89%), followed by lunch (35%) and breakfast (3%). Although eight out of 10 grillers respond that they have never grilled breakfast outdoors, more than half of them are interested in learning.

Here are the top five foods grilled most often during the last year:

  1. Hamburgers (69%)
  2. Steak (46%)
  3. Chicken pieces (42%)
  4. Hot dogs (39%)
  5. Ribs (17%)

While 96% of all Americans grill burgers outdoors, beef burgers are the country’s favorite at 93%, followed by turkey (14%) and vegetables (6%). Favorite burger toppings rank as onions (62%), tomatoes, (61%), lettuce and ketchup (both 59%), and then mustard (50%).

  • Currently, 71% of all Americans (21 and older) own an outdoor grill and or smoker:
    • The majority own a gas grill (67%). Of these, 7% use a natural gas line vs. a propane tank grill
    • Forty-six percent own a charcoal grill
    • Ten percent own a smoker
    • Four percent own an outdoor electric grill
  • Thirty percent of American grill owners own two or more outdoor grills or smokers, which is down 5 percentage points from 35% in 2010; 5% own three or more which is down from 6%.
  • Nearly one out of every four Americans (24%) say they’re using grilling accessories “more now than in the past,” while one-third maintain same usage (33%).
  • Men are still the primary griller in most U.S. households (61%) with 20% of households reporting that it’s a shared responsibility among men and women.
  • Independence Day remains as the favorite grilling holiday at 81%, followed by birthdays at 67%, Labor Day at 66%, and Memorial Day (61% compared to last year’s 71%). Father’s Day is fifth this year at 48%.
[Source:  “22nd Annual Weber GrillWatch Survey.”  9 Mar. 2011.  Web.  16 Mar. 2011.]