People’s love affair with outdoor cooking is heating up as the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) kicks-off May as National Barbecue
Month and the beginning of outdoor cooking season. This month, and all summer long, the
appeal of having fun with family and friends coupled with the desire to be outside set the mood
for Americans to cook outdoors, according to the 2009 HPBA National Barbecue Month
Consumer Poll.

“Food serves as the cornerstone of any gathering of friends and family,” said Derrick Riches, Guide to Barbecues & Grilling. “Add in the relaxed atmosphere of the backyard to
any barbecue or cook-out and you can see what attracts so many people to this popular pastime.
There’s no better way to spend a summer evening than cooking outdoors with family and

Key Ingredients
When deciding to attend a cook-out, consumers say the guest list is important. Almost all poll
respondents – 94 percent – say the burning reason to go to a barbecue or cook-out is to spend
time with friends and family. Others rank a casual atmosphere and the opportunity to meet new
people as incentives to attend. And, one in five consumers love an invitation from a host who is a
barbecue enthusiast.

While today’s outdoor chef is dishing up grilled hors d’oeuvres, fruits and desserts, the poll
revealed that beef is the number one choice for an outdoor cooking menu (38 percent), followed
by chicken (23 percent), then seafood, including salmon, shrimp or lobster (19 percent). On the
flip side, some consumers have a penchant for going meatless and prefer grilled veggies (five


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