Every two years, the Hearth, Patio, & Barbecue Association publishes the HPBA Barbecue Lifestyle, Usage, and Attitude Study (yeah, I know--sounds pretty formal for a report that is about how people are using their grills and smokers now!). The last study was done in July 2011 and was recently published. There are some interesting information.
Year Round Grillers
Most grill owners - 62% - use their grill year round, which was up 9% from 2009. If the majority of the grill owners were from warm states (Florida, California, Arizona, etc.), that would make sense. But the Outdoor Cooking Magic Survey that I run supports the same percentage. And I found out that many people who grill year round live in areas that are pretty cold in the winter. There are some pretty dedicated grillers out there. Good for you! I've not been as diligent, but have been know to cook in the snow from time to time as well!
Grills Get Lots of Use
Almost everyone that has a grill, uses it. In fact 99% of grill owners have used it in the last year. That seems pretty amazing as I have other things that I have bought and haven't used them in the last year. If you've bought a grill and want to do more with it, check out these possibilities:
- Secrets of Grilling Corn on the Cob
- How to Grill: The Complete Illustrated Book of Barbecue Techniques
- Grilled Tomatoes with Cheese
- Grilled Exotic Meats
- Grilled Pizza - You May Never Make Pizza Any Other Way Again
- Grilling the Perfect Steak
Gas Grills Are Most Popular, But Not Used as Much
For those that own a grill, 69% have a gas grill, 47% have charcoal grills, and 7% have electric grills. That seems about what I would expect. But if you have a gas grill you cook out on the average of 12 times a year, charcoal grills are used 13 times a year, and electric grills 14 times a year. This part makes no sense to me. We can do better than that! Remember, it always tastes better when it's cooked outdoors. Maybe we need to have a outdoor cooking challenge where we cook outdoors every day for a week or a month to encourage us to get outdoors and cook more!
Most people are grilling on the Fourth of July (77%), Memorial Day (62%), and Labor Day (60%). But more people are grilling for Thanksgiving (15% up from 9% in 2009)! In fact, in the survey that I run, 35% of you cook outdoors for Thankgiving! I think that is something to look into more. By the way, a surprising number of you, 24% even grill on Christmas, according to my survey!
Color is Important?
About a third of all grill owners (charcoal - 32% and gas - 27%) believe that color is a major factor in their decision about which grill to use. Not just a factor, but a MAJOR factor. Really? I'm curious if anyone has any thoughts on why that is. I would have thought brand reputation, cost, features, etc. would have been important, but color? That was surprising.
There's more in the HPBA report if you have interest. It seems to me that grilling is alive and well. But we can do more. Now it's time to get out there and grill.
P.S., Give me your thoughts about the information in this report in the comments below. Is the color of your grill important to you? What would you look for when you buy your next grill? What holidays do you grill on?
If you would like to participate in the Outdoor Cooking Magic Survey, I'll send you a copy of my Outdoor Cooking Magic Desserts ebook.