Weber just released its annual Grillwatch survey, polling Americans on their favorite foods, favorite times to grill and new this year -- on which foods they found most "challenging" to grill. You probably won't be too surprised by the top showing of "burgers" on the list, but you might be surprised by just how many people involve a gas or charcoal grill in their summer and holiday plans.
Between 2010 and 2011, not much changed when it comes to WHAT we like to grill. Burgers still top the list of items grilled most frequently, at 68% -- and by "burgers" most Americans mean beef; not as many are throwing turkey or veggie burgers on the grill. Steak is next, with 48% of survey respondents saying they routinely cook it al fresco. About 43% say they grill chicken pieces, 39% throw on some hot dogs and 17% like to cook ribs.
Too hard to grill some foods?
This year, top grillmaker Weber also asked what foods grillers found "most challenging" to grill -- interesting because it seems like every food magazine this year has some kind of article on non-traditional grilling.
Desserts topped the list of foods that people weren't keen on grilling (do 'smores count?); 34% said it was too hard. For more adventurous types, Better Homes and Gardens offers a collection of 17 grilled-dessert recipes. Many of these recipes incorporate another food survey respondents found intimidating: grilled fruit (22%).
Fish and pizza also proved challenging. This year in particular we've seen a ton of tutorials on grilling pizza. The Today Show recently demonstrated grilling pizza. Consumer Reports also has a piece on grilling a whole pie. Here's another from the Toronto Sun.
Shellfish intimidates 25% of those responding to the survey, but lots of grill aficionados say it's not hard. About.com's Guide to Grilling, Derrick Riches, has a whole section on grilling everything from lobster to shrimp to calamari. Fine Cooking also has an article on grilling shellfish, saying it's more about the prep work and that the actual grilling part is easy.
Best time to grill? Anytime!
If the survey is accurate, fewer than 20% of us will NOT be grilling on July 4th. Other top occasions? Birthdays: 67% and Labor Day: 66%. Additionally, 78% said that grilling was an important part of their entertaining plans, and that 25% confessed to throwing at least five grilling parties last year.
If you are concerned about putting the pounds on during the summer grilling season, we have some great tips for you! Join ConsumerSearch and co-hosts Calorie Count, About.com's Food Channel and All You Magazine for a Healthy Grilling Twitter Party on Tuesday, June 7th at 3PM EST. For one whole hour, these experts will chat about how you can still fire up the grill while being healthly. Follow the #healthygrilling hashtag and read our blog on Healthy Grilling for more information.