Fourth of July Ranks as Most Popular Holiday to Cook Out

Declare Independence from the Kitchen this Fourth with Tips for the Ultimate Backyard Barbecue from the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association

Jun 30, 2011, 10:45 ET from Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA)

ARLINGTON, Va., June 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Seventy-one percent of Americans say they celebrate Fourth of July with a cookout, according to a recent survey from the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA). In fact, Fourth of July ranks as the most popular outdoor cooking holiday, above Memorial Day (57 percent), Labor Day (55 percent) and even Father's Day (47 percent).

Celebrating with family and friends can be as easy as lighting up the grill. To please an outdoor party crowd, Americans say first and foremost that they prefer hamburgers (33%) at their Fourth of July cookout, followed by steak (29%), poultry (14%), and hotdogs (7%), according to HPBA's 2011 National Barbecue Poll.

"Cooking out is a popular tradition on the Fourth of July, and at any time of the year, because it's an easy way to unite friends and family over delicious tasting food at an affordable price," said Leslie Wheeler, HPBA Communications Director.

HPBA offers these tips to get grill-ready for Independence Day celebrations (for more outdoor cooking tips and recipes, visit

  • Evaluate your cooking equipment and grill (consider replacing it if you have rusted or wobbly legs, or if the manufacturer's safety guidelines are not being met).
  • For charcoal grills, never use gasoline, kerosene or highly volatile fluids as a starter. Use an electric, solid, metal chimney or other starter specifically made for lighting charcoal briquettes or wood chunks.
  • Make sure you have enough propane, cooking wood, and/or charcoal for the cookout, so the heat will last through second helpings.
  • Before lighting the grill, apply non-stick spray on the grates. The protective spray cuts down the clean-up time afterwards.
  • For charcoal grills, line the bowl with aluminum foil. After grilling, and once the grill and coals are cool, simply discard the foil with the coals and ash.

For more outdoor cooking tips and tidbits, as well as recipes, visit or .

SOURCE Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA)