Memorial Day is widely regarded as the unofficial kickoff to backyard grilling season, yet surprisingly, Mother’s Day is the fifth most popular outdoor cooking day of the year.
But the calendar is becoming increasingly irrelevant as America’s love of all things grilled and smoked is more of a year round phenomenon than ever before, and even in the long lasting wintry weather, many lit a smoker for the first slow cooked outdoor ribs of the season as soon as the snow was clear.
Here are some interesting factoids about the current state of barbecuing from a recent poll:
- 75% of U.S. adults own a grill or smoker.
- The majority of grill owners (63%) use their grill or smoker year-round and 43% cook at least once a month through winter.
- Nearly a third of current owners plan to grill with greater frequency this year.
- Barbecuing isn’t just an evening activity: 11% of grill owners prepared breakfast in the past year.
- The five most popular days to barbecue, in order are: July Fourth; Labor Day & Memorial Day (tied); Father’s Day; Mother’s Day.
- The top three reasons for cooking outdoors, in order are: to improve flavor; for personal enjoyment; for entertaining family and friends.
Now for the really interesting stuff:
Gas grills are easily the most popular style, the choice of 62% of households that own a grill. The convenience factor is extremely high, and the purported flavor disadvantage of gas versus charcoal is not nearly as great as many pundits make it out to be. That being said, if you could have just one grill to do it all, there is little doubt that the best all-around choice is a pellet grill, closely followed by a kamado (ceramic egg) style grills. Yet the pellet grill remains one of the least well-known backyard cooking devices.
With both pellet and kamado you can truly do it all, including very high quality slow smoked Texas or Southern style barbecue, as well as grilling, roasting and all other forms of live fire cooking, with much better smoking results than you can improvise on a gas grill. Yet only two percent of barbecue households own a pellet grill. However, with growing recognition of the advantages and recent improvements in quality this is changing fast – an impressive 8% of those surveyed are considering buying a pellet grill this year.
One big advantage of charcoal/wood grills is that they are cheap, making it easy to have more than one fuel option, and this is often the case, as nearly two thirds of barbecue owning households have gas and more than half (53%) have charcoal, with many overlapping.
The grilling accessories scene is also changing fast, and the most popular new items owners plan to buy this year include pizza stones, broiling baskets and cooking planks.
Here’s the really important news – drumroll please – nearly half (45%) of U.S. adults surveyed plan to purchase a new grill or smoker in 2016. The timing could not be better, because the new selection of grills is better than ever.
If you are looking for a new grill, contact West Sport in Sudbury.