Barbecuing has long been a favorite summer tradition in the United States. What most Americans may not be aware of is just how many of their neighbors are also participating in the Great American Barbecue.

In a recent CARAVAN study, nearly three quarters (72%) of American adults said they prepare food on an outdoor barbecue grill one or more days per week during the summer. Almost half (45%) of Americans use their grills one to two days per week, 20% grill 3 to 4 days per week, 7% grill regularly at 5 to 7 days per week, and 27% say they do not grill at all.

Age seems to be a contributing factor when it comes to methods of food preparation. Young and middle-aged adults (18 to 54 years of age) are more likely to cook outdoors one or more days per week during the summer compared to adults ages 55 and above (79% vs. 54%). Young and middle-aged adults grill more, on average, than do older adults (1.9 vs. 1.2 days per week.)

Most people probably do not consider that region has an effect on cooking methods. Adults in the Northeastern United States are less likely to use the grill during the summer than those residing in the North-Central, Southern, and Western regions of the country (61% vs. 77%, 75%, 72%, respectively.)

As expected, households with children are more likely to turn to the grill as a convenient and fun method of cooking than those without children (83% vs. 66%.) Consequently, households with children are likely to grill more often (2.1 days per week) than their counterparts (1.5 days per week) in the summer.

CARAVAN®, ORC International's twice-weekly national telephone omnibus survey is now in its fourth decade, making CARAVAN the oldest continually running consumer omnibus survey in the nation. These results are from a CARAVAN survey conducted June 1-4, 2000 among a national sample of 1012 adults. The margin of error is +/- 3%.

ORC International, a global market services firm with offices throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America, has been a leading provider of research and analysis to major corporations for over 60 years.