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RISMEDIA, March 15, 2011—An annual nationwide study reveals that 7% of Americans report spending more than 10 hours each week cooking outdoors during their “grilling season.” With this, almost half (49%) of all study respondents cite that they grill or smoke-cook year-round, including 37% at or below freezing temperatures.

The 22nd annual Weber GrillWatch Survey also shows that U.S. grill and smoker owners cook an average of five hours per week. Additionally, 22% 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% of U.S. 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% 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 the primary meal grilled on a regular basis (89%), followed by lunch (35%) and breakfast (3%). Although eight out of 10 grillers respond that they have never grilled breakfast outdoors, more than half of them are interested in learning.

Top 5 foods grilled most often during 2010:
-Hamburgers (69%)
-Steak (46%)
-Chicken pieces (42%)
-Hot dogs (39%)
-Ribs (17%)

Top 5 foods that are the most challenging to grill:
-Desserts (34%)
-Fish and pizza – tied for second (both at 27%)
-Shellfish (25%)
-Fruits (22%)

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

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

For more information, visit www.weber.com.

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