National Study Shows Americans Continue to Spend More Time Grilling Outdoors

Mar 09, 2011, 16:12 ET from Weber-Stephen Products LLC

PALATINE, Ill., March 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- An annual nationwide study reveals that 7 percent of Americans report spending more than 10 hours each week cooking outdoors during their "grilling season." With this, almost half (49 percent) of all study respondents cite that they grill or smoke-cook year-round, including 37 percent at or below freezing temperatures.

The 22nd annual Weber GrillWatch Survey™—the nation's first and foremost study on who, what, where and why Americans grill—also shows that US grill and smoker owners cook an average of five hours per week. Additionally, 22 percent 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 percent of US 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 percent 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 percent), followed by lunch (35 percent) and breakfast (3 percent). 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 percent)
  2. Steak (46 percent)
  3. Chicken pieces (42 percent)
  4. Hot dogs (39 percent)
  5. Ribs (17 percent)

2011 Weber GrillWatch Survey respondents cite these five foods as the "most challenging" to grill:

  1. Desserts (34 percent)
  2. Tie for second: Fish and pizza (both at 27 percent)
  3. Shellfish (25 percent)
  4. Fruits (22 percent)

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

Other Newsworthy Grilling Facts from the 2011 Weber GrillWatch Survey:

  • Currently, 71 percent of all Americans (21 and older) own an outdoor grill and or smoker:
    • The majority own a gas grill (67 percent). Of these, 7 percent 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 percent in 2010; 5 percent own three or more which is down from 6 percent.
  • Although fewer are grilling away from home compared to last year (53 compared to 65 percent), campgrounds are the second favorite venue (37 percent), with parks followed at 28 percent, beaches at 18 percent, and tailgates close behind at 17 percent.
  • US gas grill owners report these top features on their current grill: 52 percent have a side burner (down from 2010's 61 percent); 27 percent have a rotisserie (down from 2010's 32 percent); and 19 percent have a "Sear Zone" of some kind (up from 2010's 17 percent).

Other Newsworthy Grilling Facts from the 2011 Weber GrillWatch Survey, (continued):

  • An overall 8 percent of all US grill owners say there are outdoor barbecue restrictions where they live: 25 percent of these report that gas grills aren't allowed, another 28 percent report that charcoal grills aren't allowed, and the remaining 47 percent report that there are no grills of any type allowed where they live. The majority of these respondents (13 percent) live in urban areas vs. those who live in rural or suburban areas of the country (7 percent).
  • Nearly one out of every four Americans (24 percent) say they're using grilling accessories "more now than in the past," while one-third maintain same usage (33 percent).
  • Men are still the primary griller in most US households (61 percent) with 20 percent of households reporting that it's a shared responsibility among men and women.
  • Independence Day remains as the favorite grilling holiday at 81 percent, followed by birthdays at 67 percent, Labor Day at 66 percent, and Memorial Day (61 percent compared to last year's 71 percent). Father's Day is fifth this year at 48 percent.


Weber-Stephen Products LLC commissioned Toluna to field the 22nd Annual Weber GrillWatch Survey. A total of 1,000 grill owners throughout the United States completed the online survey. All respondents were age 21 or older and currently own a charcoal, gas or outdoor electric barbecue grill or smoker. The sample was divided between 50 percent males (n=500) and 50 percent females (n=500) and was balanced demographically to represent households across the US.  

About Weber Grills

Weber-Stephen Products LLC, headquartered in Palatine, Ill., is the world's premier manufacturer of charcoal, gas and electric grills, grilling accessories and other outdoor room products. In 1952, founder George Stephen sparked a backyard revolution with his invention of the Weber® kettle. Almost 60 years later, the privately-held company remains the industry leader with its Weber®, Weber® Q®, and Ducane® brands. As a leading exporter of grills, Weber brand products are sold worldwide at select home centers, hardware stores, department stores, patio stores, and other retail outlets. Weber has the strongest consumer outreach program in the industry with its Weber Grill-Line(SM) (1-800-GRILL-OUT®); Weber's On The Grill™ mobile application; and a content-rich website with grilling tips, techniques, and original Weber recipes at®. (The Weber Grill-Line and Weber Customer Service are closed on Christmas). Weber can also be followed on Facebook ( and Twitter (

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Sherry L. Bale

Director, Public and News Media Relations

Weber-Stephen Products LLC


SOURCE Weber-Stephen Products LLC