By Larry Levine –

 It’s barbecue season and I feel lonely.

According to the latest Weber GrillWatch Survey, 75% of Americans own an outdoor barbecue grill and about 33% of them own two or more. Gas continues to be the most popular type of outdoor grill – 67%. Half of all grill owners now have a charcoal grill and smoker ownership is up to 17% from the previous year’s 12%.

The survey was conducted by Greenfield Online. Respondents were balanced demographically and geographically to represent households across the U.S.

My loneliness stems from the fact that I own no device for outdoor cooking. I’ve never cleaned a grill in my life. There was a time when the family would gather at my sister’s house and I would prepare Santa Maria barbecue – chicken, ribs, pinquito beans and salsa. But my brother-in-law was in charge of cleanup.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy barbeque. I’ve created my own barbecue sauce recipes to accommodate my low sodium, post-coronary surgery diet. But my ribs are oven barbecued and my chicken is done stove top. I know I run the risk of being deported from Southern California for this heresy. But it is what it is. And whenever I drive the neighborhood and smell the aromas that emanate from others’ back yards I will admit to being tempted.

Now, back to the survey and more news on what’s happening in the real America.

While full-size, stationary cart model grills are used most often – 79% of respondents – 20% say they use their portable models most often.

The Fourth of July tops the list of barbecue celebrations, with 81% of grill owners saying they grill on that day. It’s followed by Labor Day and birthdays at 68%, Memorial Day at 60% and Father’s Day at 50%.

Hamburgers are the number one most frequently grilled food, with 64% of grill owners saying that’s what they do most. Steak is next at 46%; chicken pieces come in at 40%; hot dogs register 34%; next are ribs at 14% and bratwurst at 13%.

When asked to name their all-time favorite food to grill, however, 34% said steak, followed by poultry – 13%, hamburgers – 12%, ribs – 7%, and pork – 5%.

You can read more details about the survey by Googling weber grillwatch survey and clicking on the first item listed. Sorry, I can’t find a more direct link.

Recipes for Santa Maria style barbeque chicken, ribs, beans and salsa can be found by clicking on recipes on the home page of this cuisine magazine – Table Talk at

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