Football tailgating is helping to boost the amount of time consumers spend grilling outdoors, according to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, which estimates 80 percent of Americans own a grill.
According to the association, events like tailgating parties, both at the stadium and at home, are part of the reason more consumers are extending the grilling season beyond summer.
For kitchenware and gift retailers that means the appeal of barbecue accessories is also stretching beyond the warmer months.
The HPBA says that 97 percent of those who own grills used them in the past year, and while the most popular grilling occasions are Fourth of July, Memorial Day and Labor Day, an increasing number of grillers (60 percent) report using their grills year round.
Americans aren’t just grilling at home any more: in a recent HPBA survey, 41 percent of consumers reported hauling their grills to a tailgate picnic—whether at a football game or a NASCAR race—in the past two years.
The most popular foods for cooking on the grill in order are: burgers, steak, hot dogs and chicken. Side dishes most commonly prepared on the grill are corn and potatoes. The most popular flavor of barbecue sauce is hickory, followed by mesquite, honey and spicy-hot sauce.
And, according to the survey, the most popular barbecue utensils are long-handled tongs (77 percent) followed by forks (64 percent), long-handled spatulas (59 percent) and then grill-cleaning brushes (63 percent).