There’s no denying that grilling food is almost an art form, with almost unlimited ways to use this method to make even standard recipes taste even more amazing. While we can guess that it’s popular, do you know the actual data on how grills are used in the United States today?
We compiled the numbers on everything from who owns grills to when people are most likely to fire one up. We also looked at trends to see what people were most likely to try, taste, and season during different times of the year. From the number of grills sold each year to the most popular meat to grill, check out these grilling statistics for 2022.
You may have assumed that many Americans own grills, and you would be right. How many they own, however, is a data set all its own.
In 2020 alone, approximately 20 million grills were sold in the United States. Compare that to other items that saw popularity in 2020, such as the Keurig coffee makers (which sold over 3 million units to new households that year.)
As of December 31, 2020, there were an estimated 100 million grills in homes in the United States. (Traeger S-1))
There were approximately 128.5 million households in the U.S. in 2020, with 60% of those households owning a grill (Traeger S-1). That adds up to 75 million households with a grill and a whole lot of places we would like to join for dinner.
Owning a single grill is one thing, but many households own two or more grills. In fact, we estimate that 1/3 of those households that own a grill likely own multiple – or approximately 25 million households own multiple grills. (Traeger - S1)
While 2020 was a big year for BBQ, where you live may have played a significant factor in how you grilled. Trends across the U.S. varied by region, with some states boasting incredible numbers for how much they grilled, what they grilled, and when they fired up the heat.
Would you guess that Hawaii was the big winner in terms of the average number of days spent grilling? 26% of those surveyed said they grilled at least three times or more in a typical week. This number was slightly higher than the next two states. In Montana, 24% of their population grilled at least three times or more, with 22% of Florida’s residents as eager to grill. (Traeger)
When looking at regions, the South and the Midwest were most likely to grill. Both areas of the country reported that 44% of their grill owners were likely to use their grills at least one day a week.
What you’re most likely to grill depends on the state you live in, with many states on our list (43) choosing hamburgers over anything else. Just four states (Tennessee, South Dakota, California, and Alaska) considered steak their top choice. Vermont and Florida were more likely to opt for chicken, while Pennsylvania and Nevada were eager to put hot dogs on the menu over anything else.
Here is the complete breakdown of favorite meat by each of the 50 states:
Of those that liked burgers, Montana was almost unanimous in its decision, with 99% of grillers surveyed picking the meat and bun combo as their go-to grilling meal. Nebraska, North Dakota, Michigan, and Mississippi were close behind; 98% of their residents picked hamburgers, as well.
It’s true that certain times of year are more popular for grilling, but would you guess which times they are? Here are some stats on when you would most likely see someone getting the grill ready.
Summer was the most likely time to fire up the grill, with 84% of those surveyed saying they grilled in the hot months at least one time a week. Spring was second in popularity; 62% were likely to grill then. Not surprisingly, fall was almost as ideal with 57%. A dedicated 27% of grillers took their meals to the fire during the coldest season: winter.
When it comes to the best day to grill each season, the results were split among those who considered themselves grillers and those who were particular to the wood pellet grill. Among the general grill population, the 4th of July was the most likely time to BBQ. (Statista - Popular Grilling Days)
For those with wood pellet grills, however, Thanksgiving was the day to beat. Given that turkeys are delicious over wood pellet grills, this is actually not surprising.
The three most likely days to catch someone BBQing are the 4th of July, Memorial Day, and Labor Day, as these are holidays during the summer season where food is often a centerpiece for socializing. (Statista - Popular Grilling Days)
Among wood pellet grill owners, Thanksgiving, Independence Day, and the Super Bowl are the most popular times to grill.
Since there are so many things you can cook inside a wood pellet grill, this tells us that people are doing much more than hamburgers inside them.
We already know that summer is the most likely time for people to grill. Of those people, hamburgers topped the list as the most popular meat. An incredible 94% were known to grill hamburgers when they BBQed.
Where you live determines what meats you are most likely to grill, but the top three meats were overwhelmingly hamburgers (94%), steaks (87%), and hot dogs (85%). These states had the most respondents favoring hamburgers over the others:
Another fascinating category of data surrounds what people spend to eat. With food making up a major budgetary category for the majority of Americans, you may be surprised to see the numbers from 2020. Here’s what we know about the economics of food.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, food bought to eat at home made up $1.1 trillion in sales in the U.S. during 2020. Eating at restaurants and food establishments totaled $698 billion that same year. Together, these categories made up $1.798 trillion in spending, making it the third-largest expenditure for consumers in a typical year.
How does that break down to individuals? U.S. households spent between $78 and $235 a week on groceries, or between 7% and 27% of their budget. They presumably used these groceries to cook at home, something that 33% of Americans do more than five times a week. Thirty-seven percent cook between three and fives times a week, and over 21% cook more than once a week at home. Just 8% said they don’t cook at home at least one time a week.
In 2020 alone, Americans spent $698 billion on food away from home. This was around 39% of the total spent on food that year.
Forty-two percent of Americans grill one day per week. Around 23% said they would grill two days a week, and just 13% were dedicated to BBQing three days out of every seven.
You can learn a lot about people's plans for grilling by seeing what they search for online. search trend data has identified some interesting patterns about what people do to prepare their food during grilling season. Here are some findings regarding food trends.
What are people most likely to flavor their food with? When it comes to grilling or otherwise, the top picks are apple, red pepper, and lime (although not necessarily together in one dish.) (Traeger - Google Trends)
Here are the taste profiles most likely to happen in any given month of the year:
Flavor profiles as just one feature to consider in a recipe. Spice can really bring your dish to life! The most popular spices for the year were star anise and pumpkin pie spice, two very signature flavors that were traditionally associated with fall holidays (Traeger - Google Trends). Now, they are being incorporated into year-round dishes.
Here are the top spices and the months they were most popular:
Prepping your dishes with a BBQ rub before grilling can add some kick and make your dishes more memorable. The trends for spice rubs varied by month, but the most popular for the year included K.C. Rib Rub, Beef Rub, and Turkey Rub. (Traeger - Google Trends)
Here is how each rub trended per month:
There’s nothing quite like a sticky sauce to add moisture and finish to an incredible dish. BBQers have their top sauce picks, and they can vary by occasion.
While apple is hands-down the clear winner for the year, here are the sauce trends we see for each month:
This item includes estimates regarding market and industry data that we previously prepared and publicly released in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission based on our management's knowledge and experience in the markets in which we operate, together with information obtained from various sources, including publicly available information, industry reports and publications, surveys, our customers, distributors, suppliers, trade and business organizations and other contacts in the markets in which we operate.
Management estimates were derived from publicly available information released by independent industry analysts and third-party sources, as well as data from our internal research, and were based on assumptions made by us upon reviewing such data and our knowledge of such industry and markets, which we believe to be reasonable.
This item and estimates referenced herein are not being stated as of today and are merely referencing prior estimates made as of the date(s) included herein. Any such data was and is subject to change and may have been limited by the availability of raw data, the voluntary nature of the data gathering process, and other limitations inherent in any statistical survey. In addition, customer preferences were and are subject to change. Accordingly, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such data.
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