Barbecue trends identified in new poll

by Bryan Salvage
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ARLINGTON, VA. – May is National Barbecue Month and approximately 90% of persons asked in a new poll conducted by the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association indicated they plan to cook outdoors during the warmer months.

According to H.P.B.A.'s 2010 National Barbecue Month poll:

• Sixty-five percent of Americans like to "dress up" barbecue meals with a sauce, marinade or seasoning, and 21% prefer to "strip it down" and enjoy grilled food au natural.

• Men more than women say they like to add spicy sauce or steak sauce on their grilled meats (42% vs. 31%).

• When it comes to grill-side manner, most adults said they are "all about the meat" (29%) or "all natural" (24%), followed by "spicy or saucy" (19%), adventurous (16%) and timid (6%).

For hamburgers and other grilled meat or vegetable sandwiches:

• Consumers use ketchup most often (66%), with mustard (62%) close behind.

• Two-thirds of Americans add cheese.

• Seventy-four percent of Americans add lettuce, onion and/or tomato. Women lean towards the veggies more than men (80% vs. 68%).

• Seventy percent of adults said they prefer a traditional bun to complete their grilled sandwiches.

Americans agree grilling provides an easy, cost-effective way to get out of the house and enjoy better-tasting food during the warmer months. Americans say the top pay-offs of grilling versus eating out or oven cooked meals include:

• More flavorful food (81%)

• Inexpensive compared to eating out (76%)

• Easier clean up (67%)

• Healthier (64%)

• Less cooking time (53%)

Most adults, the poll relays, plan to enjoy barbecuing outside of the home this summer: 74% plan to enjoy grilled food at a friend of relative's house, 42% while picnicking, 39% while camping and 20% while tailgating.

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