I ran a survey a short time ago among my email subscribers and I thought you might be interested in the results. It told me a lot about what you do in the outdoor cooking world and who you are. A total of 211 people answered the survey.
61% of the survey respondents were male and 39% were female. The vast majority (71%) were between the ages of 40 and 60 with an additional 14% between the ages of 60 and 70.
67% considered themselves to be an intermediate level cook, 18% an expert, and 12% a beginner. Most people cooked for their family (60%) or friends and family (81%).
More than half (53%) cooked a main course and another dish when they cooked outside--only 9% of people said that cooked just a main dish. I was surprised at how many people (37%) cooked a whole meal when the cooked outside. We usually think about grilling just the steaks or hot dogs or hamburgers, so it was a bit of a surprise to find out how many cooked more than just the main course.
One of the most surprising things was that 80% cooked outside all year round, even during the winter! That surprised me. But I didn't think to catch where people lived, so perhaps a large number of people lived in the south where they would be more likely to cook in the winter--next time I'll capture that information too.
I asked about special days that people cooked outside and here is what they said:
- 87% - Fourth of July
- 79% - Memorial Day
- 77% - Labor Day
- 53% - Father's Day
- 25% - Thanksgiving
- 13% - Christmas
Other days that were mentioned (although only a few cooked outdoors on these days, but the answers were informative):
- Mother's Day
- Birthday (whenever that was)
- All Federal Holidays
A high percentage of people both owned a gas grill (83%) and did grilling (97%). 67% owned a charcoal grill. Most people (81%) grilled anywhere from a couple times a week to a few times a month.
94% said that they grilled because food on the grill tasted better. 63% said that it kept the kitchen cooler and 54% said that it made for less kitchen cleanup. Only 39% thought it was healthier.
The most popular items to grill were, in order:
- Hamburgers (94%)
- Hot Dogs
- Pizza (19%)
Most people had a Weber, Char-Broil, or Brinkmann grill. Only a few people owned any of the other grill brands.
Dutch Oven Cooking
A whopping 94% of people owned a Dutch oven--they are much more popular out here in the west, so I was surprised by that number. And 91% said that they cooked in it.
Dutch oven use was less frequent than grilling with only 39% using their Dutch oven as often as a couple times a week to a few times a month. About the same amount used their Dutch oven once a month or less.
Most people (65%) owned, but did not use a Dutch oven table. I would be curious to know why.
The most popular things to cook in the Dutch oven were:
- Desserts (78%)
- Stews or Soups
- Bread (41%)
67% owned a a charcoal grill but 67% said they did some BBQ or smoking, so I'm thinking that either they are confusing BBQ with grilling, or they are using another type of smoker.
For those that cooked in a smoker, the following were the most popular:
- Pork (35%)
- Vegetables (5%)
Other responses included brisket (duh! I forgot to include that in the choices), salmon and other fish, and turkey.
I asked what the biggest challenge in cooking outdoors was. The most popular answers were improving technique, needing more recipes, wanting to try different ways to cook outdoors, finding the time, and wanting more variety.
The last question asked what they wanted to see more of on Outdoor Cooking Magic. More tips, dutch oven recipes, grilling recipes, and recipes to use while camping were the most popular.
Thanks to all that participated. I'll be modifying this survey slightly and making it available to get more updated information from you. Be on the look out for that. I'll have some free giveaways to those that participate.
If you have any comments on the results of the survey, I would love to hear what you think in the comments below.