June 21st, 2013
11:45 AM ET
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Fact: Americans are in a fiery, long-term love affair with their backyard grills, and the CNN Library has the stats to prove it.

62 – Percent of Americans who own a grill.

79.1 million – Americans who have grilled out in the past 12 months, according to the U.S. Census from 2010.

8.3 – Percentage who grill two or three times a month.

8.1 – Average number of cookout parties held at grillers' homes each year. We grillers like to party.

160 degrees – The safe internal temperature for ground beef or pork. It's 165 degrees for ground chicken or turkey. Buy a grilling thermometer, people!

165 degrees – The safe internal temperature for grilling poultry. One of the ways to tell if the meat is done is when it reaches this temperature. Some meats benefit from resting a few minutes after you remove them from the grill. It cooks a little bit longer after that, too, so factor that in.

86 – USA! USA! Percent of grill owners who plan to grill on the Fourth of July this summer.

84 – Percentage of grillers who cook burgers, the most popular food on a list that also includes steak, hot dogs, and chicken not far behind.

5,700 – Fires on residential grills in the U.S. were reported between 2006 and 2008, causing $37 million in property loss.

14,397,000 – The total number of grill and smoker units shipped in the U.S. in 2012, according to the Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association.

7 out of 10 – Home grillers surveyed in 2011 who considered themselves to be "better than average" at grilling.

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Filed under: Grilling • Grilling

soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Grill Master

    Is there really anything better than a perfect medium rare steak?

    November 9, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
  2. JG

    There's an award-winning meat store near me, and although the meat is often very good, to get the best taste, even with them, one has to be much, much more picky than 90% of customers want to be bothered with. Second, very good beef doesn't have to be cooked at all, as in steak tartar. So temperature cooking instructions are essentially for poor quality beef that hasn't been stored well. At the other extreme, charring meat, another grilling favorite, produces chemicals that are strongly linked to cancer. That's especially true for non-gas grilling (which, of course, as people here have pointed out is just like using your stove, but outside).

    Heavy use of condiments (catsup, mustard, BBQ sauce) is often popular at grills: Why? Chefs who under/over-cook not-so-great meat.

    So the bottom line, big surprise, is that outdoor grilling is largely an affectation for the ignorant and those with no taste. Welcome to America!

    June 25, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
  3. TomGI

    I have 4 excellent burger purveyors within 10 minutes of my house. Drive, take a good book, order, eat, pay, leave. At least as good as this guy's and probably better because I don't have to devote an hour+ to shopping, cooking & clean up for a 10 minute meal. The cooking experience is overrated if you have good diners, drive-ins and dives nearby.

    June 24, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
  4. Burgermeister

    Use a little Dale's marinade, and cut in some blackening seasonings into the meat as you are kneading it. Cook it medium, so it is still juicy. Serve on a buttered English muffin and enjoy. And whatever you do, avoid Kensington's ketchup like the plague.

    June 24, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
  5. Mayor of Burgertown

    70% of grillers also probably use frozen patties and walmart beef. No thanks. I stock up on grassfed when it goes on sale, the difference in quality is ridiculous, I dont know what species walmart uses for their meat but it sure isnt cow.

    June 24, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • bryanska

      Burgers used to be about socializing and inclusiveness. Please don't be an ingredient snob.

      June 24, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
      • Mayor of Burgertown

        Thats grilling, not burgers. Good food starts with the ingredients, not the company, I like most people eat burgers more often than just at parties. I'll eat a frozen patty and Ballpark hotdog on a cold bun at a party, I will not make them myself for dinner.

        June 24, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
        • bryanska

          Sure, but sentences "I dont know what species...but it sure isnt cow" is ingredient snobbery. Even if it's for your own consumption, making that kind of food opinion (certainly not fact) public is getting tiresome.

          June 24, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      Food snob.

      June 25, 2013 at 8:40 am |
    • just another stupid boy

      I raise grass-fed Scottish Highlanders. The difference between the beef you buy at Wal-mart or any other low cost retail store is staggering. My customers know the difference and that is what they want for several reasons, health, taste and quality. Try and and see for yourself.
      Secondly, gas grills are NOT grilling....that's just cooking with gas outside instead of in your kitchen.

      June 25, 2013 at 11:24 am |
      • Animalsci89

        Honestly I doubt that you or any of your customers can taste the difference in the beef. I have been raising cattle for over 20 yrs now and we harvest our own animals. I have bought patties, ground beef, whatever and never has it been any different unless it wasn't 100% beef. Those taste different. I don't know if they even sale those anymore but maybe, probably they do. I haven't ate one in a long time though. But beef tastes like beef if cooked exactly the same way no matter where it came from.

        June 25, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
        • just another stupid boy

          I see.....so you think your non grass-fed beef is as lean as mine? You honestly can't taste any difference between feedlot beef and grass-fed beef?......WOW......I hope you keep doing things the way you're doing them because it just creates a higher market for me.

          June 25, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
  6. Thinking things through

    I don't recall the US Census asking me if I grilled or not back in 2010. I think I'd have remembered getting questions like that!

    Oh, and if I have to cook my beef to internal temperatures of 160, that's plain shoe leather. I buy good quality ground beef from a local farmer because, yes, the supermarket ground stuff is not to be trusted.

    June 24, 2013 at 10:37 am |
  7. bill

    Again...government sanctioned BS....165 is inedible, not safe. 140 is ok, pull it at 135 and let it rest a bit. Pork at 150, maybe if you like it a bit dry.

    June 23, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
  8. Jerry

    Casaday men come out of the womb knowing how to grill a T-bone or NY strip, so 70% of you are
    what I just like to call 'Wrong'.

    June 23, 2013 at 11:57 am |
  9. Joey G

    DO NOT, under any circumstances, cook red meat to 160 degrees... you will be eating rocks.

    June 23, 2013 at 9:32 am |
    • SixDegrees

      Although I generally agree, it's important to distinguish between "red meat" and ground meat. The latter has far more surface area potentially harboring bacteria. A steak will only have bacteria on the surface, so a rare interior shouldn't present any problems, but a hamburger...not so much.

      That said, I enjoy medium rare burgers anyway. But it's important to realize that you're taking more of a risk when you prepare them this way.

      June 25, 2013 at 8:43 am |
  10. GiGi Eats Celebrities

    I wish I owned a grill, I am obsessed with grilled food!! :) Sadly, I live in an apartment complex with a very sensitive ire alarm system, so any smoke – even from a candle – sets off the alarm! But when I visit friends or family, I make sure to heat up the charcoal!

    June 22, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
  11. J-Man

    American Cheese? Oh vomit. I can't imagine any burger would be better than mine with American Cheese which really isn't cheese anyway. It is a bunch of chemicals. How about some nice Tillamook Medium Cheddar? We have a local meat market called Eggers in Spokane Valley, WA. Their lean ground beef is amazingly flavorful. Add some Eggers thick backon, the aforementioned cheese and you are good to go!

    June 22, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • J-Man

      Or Kansas City Bacon. It is a thick sliced ham that tastes like bacon. It comes in big blocks similar to deli ham before it is sliced. Yum....

      June 22, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
  12. Richard

    To keep on grilling in the rain or hot sun check out the grillbrella. It keeps you covered at the grill !!! I saw it on you tube.

    June 22, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      Flame on!!!

      June 25, 2013 at 8:45 am |
  13. ryan

    Why is there catsup in that photo there? No one with any self respect or a taste bud that works would do that to a burger. Burgers demand mustard. This NYC Yankee crap food (apologies because the history of the burger is either from Texas or Connecticut, where they BOTH use mustard and NO catsup. Go to Louis' Lunch and see what they think of catsup, or to Athens, TX).
    I will simply not eat a burger with catsup on it. It is a vile and depraved thing.

    June 21, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • The Truth

      I agree and will go even further, catsup should not be put on any food. You should try ketchup, Heinz 57 to be exact. Now that is a manly sauce for a manly burger.

      June 22, 2013 at 11:20 am |
      • Jerry

        Heinz 57 mixed with A1 and/or Worcestershire sauce is great for searing a big ol burger on a flat grill.

        June 23, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Watsup

      You are in the minority Ryan – I hate to break it to you but most people love Ketchup on their burger. And why do you give a rats a$$ about what someone else puts on a freaking burger?? Enjoy your mustard and move on. Cripes.

      June 24, 2013 at 9:49 am |
      • mart

        and most people way over cook meat on the grill so they then drown it in ketchup so its some what edible

        June 24, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Mayor of Burgertown

      why are you spelling it catsup? are you from the 1920s?

      June 24, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • bryanska

      Ugh, this attitude is exactly why I gave up on grilling. I like what I like. Take your taste to your mouth, and keep it there. the "grilling community" is a bunch of blowhards who LOVE to tell everyone else they are wrong. The whole finger-in-the-chest aggressiveness of "grill enthusiasts" is getting old. I would love to dump a gallon of water on the next guy's grill who tells me I can't eat well-done beef.

      June 24, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
  14. RichardHead

    I Grill NAKED.......What percent is that?

    June 21, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      OUCH percent. Did you not read about my cleavage burn? http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2010/08/09/collateral-damage-nicks-cuts-burns-and-scars/

      June 21, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
  15. Burger

    Burgers are best on the grill along with all meat types you can think of. Smokey, juicy, and oh yea that just came of the flame feeling. Grilling veggies in a macadamia nut oil with garlic is awesome in flavor. Mmmmmm Mmmmmmmmmmmm

    June 21, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
  16. Juan Veldez

    80% say they have a better toilet than you and with bells on.

    June 21, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
  17. Ellow

    The slobs that wrote this article need to look at the updated safe internal temperature for grilling pork. It is now 145°F

    June 21, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Nathan

      That applies to pork chops or whole cuts of meat, but not to GROUND PORK as the article states. The same rule is applied to beef (steaks can be cooked rarer than burgers).

      June 21, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • Ellow - Really?

      Why can't you just make your comment and leave the name calling out of it?

      June 24, 2013 at 9:51 am |
  18. Grill Man

    I grill in the rain and snow and at all times of the day and night.

    June 21, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • Tree town 5000

      I grill when I'm grilling.

      June 21, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

      I was grilling at 6:45 am on Father's day. Breakfast of Man-pions.

      June 22, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
  19. Ray

    Really looking forward to grilling some burgers, especially now that I have some good tomatoes off of my plants to use on them.

    June 21, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Valerie

      I'm jealous!!!!!! : ))

      June 21, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
  20. Arthur in the Garden!

    I prefer veggies!

    June 21, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      You can grill those, too.

      June 25, 2013 at 8:46 am |
      • Arthur in the Garden!

        Yes! During the Summer I rather grill than cook inside and heat the house up!

        June 25, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
  21. Jeff S

    Steak on a grill? No thanks. I'll sear mine on the stove and finish it in the oven. But its awesome for grilling chicken, and veggies like broccoli, squash, and onions.

    June 21, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • 'merica

      You communist Jeff? Steak on a grill (as long as the cook isn't inept) is one of the best things in this world.
      Each their own I guess... still... I heard Stalin liked oven cooked steak too... pinkie :>

      June 21, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Randy

      I don't finish mine in the oven because I like my steaks very rare. But I agree with the stovetop. Seasoned right and seared in an iron skillet is tough to beat.

      June 21, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Scott

      While I will occasionally grill a steak if there is a get-together, I, too, usually cook my steak restaurant style seared on the stove and put in the oven.

      June 21, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Lars

      @ JeffS.I do the same thing on my Weber charcoal grill. Move the coals to one side after cleaning and oiling the cooking surface. Once the meat is seared, move the meat to the other side, away from the coals, put the lid on and bake until done. Better than the oven since there is some smoke flavoring.

      June 21, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • Steak

      Steak is best on a grill, slowly grilled, juicy, smokey, dripping with fatty juices. Oh yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

      June 21, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
  22. DarqueSide

    Hamburgers on the grill? Not a chance at my house! Lamb-burgers, prime rib, pork roast, cedar planked salmon, chipotle-maple glazed country ribs, Lebanese shish tawook chicken... THAT's how you use a grill! Want a burger? Go to McDonalds.

    June 21, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Juan Entaie

      You're an idiot.

      June 21, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
      • Juan big jerk

        You're a jacka$$.

        June 24, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • Jerry

      Hamburgers on a grill is one of the best ways to cook them.

      June 21, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • The Truth

      It's sad you grill never had the privilege of cooking a hamburger. It's like a child who never learned how to ride a bike.

      June 22, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Thinking things through

      My beef burgers are so much better than McDonald burgers (I adapt my mother's recipe, which predates uniform tasteless industrial patties), so no point in going there for a burger fix.

      But in any case there are so many things grill-worthy in addition to beef burgers.

      June 24, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • Mayor of Burgertown

      Making a lamb burger was the worst idea I ever had

      June 24, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • bryanska

      Wow, eating with you must be a lot of fun. "have my food my way and get what you want somewhere else"

      June 24, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
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