Grilling Preferences Among Hispanics

Grilling Preferences Among Hispanics

Weber Hispanic Grillwatch(TM) survey shows similarities and differences between Hispanics and U.S. overall


Palatine, IL–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–May 22, 2007–Use a charcoal or gas grill? Prefer a full-size or portable grill? Serve chicken or hamburger? Who is more confident mastering the grill? The answers to these and other questions surprisingly varied between Hispanics and Americans overall, according to this year’s Weber Hispanic GrillWatch(TM) Survey, the country’s most comprehensive study on Hispanics’ grilling habits associated with ownership, usage, foods, and entertaining.

The study’s key findings include the following grilling preferences among Hispanics:

— Hispanics continue to host a lot of barbecues—59% say they hosted five or more barbecues this past summer (compared to 58% last year).

— Charcoal continues to reign supreme with Hispanics believing charcoal is more fun to use than gas (53% vs. 22%), it makes better food (51% vs. 17%), smells better when cooking (77% vs. 7%), is more social (36% vs. 33%), and is more fun to entertain with at barbecues (48% vs. 27%).

— While charcoal grills continue to be the most popular choice among Hispanics at 76%, ownership of gas grills is on the rise up to 65% from 37% in 2004.

— One-quarter of Hispanic grill owners (24%) now own multiple grills.

— Full-size grills are growing in popularity with 70% of Hispanics saying they use a full-size grill now compared to only 55% in 2004; while 29% say they mostly use a portable grill.

— When it comes to the top five individual foods grilled most frequently, chicken ranks number one (45%), followed by meat (34%), sausage (16%), fish (12%), and fajitas (12%).

In addition to these specific findings, the study also provides the following insight into the grilling similarities and differences between Hispanics and Americans overall.

Charcoal vs. Gas

Hispanic grill model preferences are quite different from U.S. overall—the majority of Hispanics say they own a charcoal grill (76%), while a gas grill is considered the most popular type of outdoor grill owned by Americans in general (67%).

More than half of Hispanics say they only use charcoal (59%) most often compared to 22% of U.S. overall; and while one-quarter of Hispanics report they prefer the taste of charcoal but like the convenience of gas grilling, almost half of Americans in general (47%) say the same thing.

When it comes to which type of grill makes better food, the majority of both groups (51% of Hispanics and 56% U.S. overall) believe that charcoal reigns supreme over gas.

Hispanics strongly believe that grilling over charcoal is more fun than grilling over gas—53% percent of Hispanic grill owners say a charcoal grill is more fun to use than a gas grill, compared to 37% of U.S. overall.

Both Hispanics (42%) and Americans in general (57%) state that using a gas grill is more relaxing than a charcoal grill. Yet, the percentage of Hispanics who believe charcoal is more relaxing (35%) is nearly twice the percentage of Americans overall (18%).

The majority of both groups agree that gas grills are easier to use than charcoal grills (57% Hispanics and 73% U.S. overall).

So Many Grills

Almost one-quarter (24%) of all Hispanic grill owners own multiple grills. This is only slightly less than the 29% of U.S. overall who own multiple grills.

Choice of Color

If they could choose any color for their next grill, Hispanics overwhelmingly would choose traditional black (60%). Another 15% say the would prefer a color, such as red, blue, bronze or green, while 10% say they would choose stainless steel. In contrast, U.S. overall seem less conservative—37% would choose a color, 33% would choose stainless steel and 33% would prefer black for their next grill.

Size Matters

Both Hispanics (70%) and Americans overall (79%) say they prefer to use full-size grills, while 29% of Hispanics and 20% of U.S. grill owners overall stated that they prefer a portable grill.

Grilling Expert

Hispanics are more confident in their grilling abilities than Americans overall—27% of Hispanics say they are better grillers than most, compared to 18% of U.S. overall.

Learning to Grill

When asked who taught them how to grill, about one-half of Hispanics say they are self-taught (49%) grillers. The majority of Americans overall (61%) also say they are self-taught, but 28% mentioned that Dad taught them how to use the grill, while only 10% of Hispanics mentioned Dad as their teacher.

Grilling Season

About one in five Hispanics (19%) say their grilling season is year-round—much lower than Americans overall (52%). The most popular season for grilling is summer followed by spring.

Firing-up the Grill

During the grilling season, 41% of Hispanics report they fire up their grill at least once a week, including 16% who grill out at least a few times per week. Overall, this is lower than American grill owners overall, of whom 69% use their grill at least once per week.

Hosting a Barbecue Party

Over one-half of Hispanic grill owners say they hosted five or more barbecues this past summer (59%), more than three times the percentage of U.S. overall that held at least five barbecues (18%).

Reasons for Grilling

An increasing percentage of Hispanics say their number one reason for grilling is the flavor of the food (40%), and majority of Americans overall (54%) agree that the flavor is the most important. The next two reasons for grilling among Hispanics are because it’s a healthy way to cook (13%), and it’s fun (9%); while for U.S. overall, the other top two reasons are it’s fun (11%) and being outdoors (10%).


Tailgating as an activity is gaining in popularity among Hispanics, with 8% now saying they have tailgated in the past year compared to 4% in 2005. This still lags behind the total percentage of Americans overall who tailgate (14%). Of those Hispanics who have tailgated, 20% say they have tailgated at a Major League Soccer game, compared to only 2% of Americans overall.

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of Hispanics say they have made their own barbecue sauce as compared to nearly one-half (48%) of Americans overall.

Hispanic grillers are very divided on how hot they like their barbecue sauce—56% of Hispanics say they like their sauce to be either mild or medium, compared to 81% of Americans overall. Yet, Hispanics are much more likely to say they like their barbecue sauce to be either hot or scorching hot (42%), compared to U.S. overall (18%). In addition, 22% of Hispanics say they like their barbecue sauce scorching hot compared to only 3% of Americans overall.

Grilled Foods

Virtually all in both groups grill meat (88% for Hispanics, 97% for U.S. overall), and are about equal when grilling poultry (71% for Hispanics, 84% for U.S. overall). However, while Hispanics have traditionally grilled more fruits/vegetables and seafood than Americans overall, that has changed this year with 58% of Hispanics grilling fruits/vegetables compared to 66% for U.S. overall; and 44% of Hispanics grilling seafood compared to 52% for Americans overall.

The top five foods grilled most often among Hispanics is chicken (45%), followed by meat (34%), sausage (16%), seafood (12%), and fajitas (12%); while U.S. overall ranked hamburgers first (64%), followed by steak (46%), chicken pieces (40%), hot dogs (34%) and ribs (14%).

Holiday Grilling

Hispanics are less likely than U.S. overall to say they are grilling on holidays. While over one-half of U.S. overall say they are grilling for just about every holiday, including the Fourth of July (81%), Labor Day (68%), birthdays (68%), Memorial Day (60%) and Father’s Day (50%), the top grilling holidays among Hispanics are birthdays (49%) and the Fourth of July (23%), with other holidays like Christmas (9%), Mother’s Day (8%), Father’s Day (6%), Thanksgiving (6%), and Labor Day (5%) also mentioned.

The Gift of Grilling

Fewer Hispanics (12%) say they have purchased a grill as a gift for someone, compared to Americans overall (22%). Of those Hispanics who purchased a grill as a gift, the top three occasions cited were birthdays (34%), Christmas (12%) and Father’s Day (10%). For U.S. overall, birthdays were also the top occasion cited (38%), followed by Father’s Day (21%) and then Christmas (18%).

Weber’s Hispanic GrillWatch Survey Methodology

The objective, third-party study, conducted by Synovate’s Diversity Group in Miami to ensure accuracy, is the nation’s most comprehensive study on what, where, when, why, and how Hispanic Americans cook outdoors. All survey respondents were at least 21 years of age and owned a gas, charcoal or electric barbecue grill or smoker. The sample was evenly split between males and females. A total of 500 grill owners throughout the U.S. completed the survey, and all respondents were unacculturated Hispanics who speak Spanish as their primary language in the household (although some English could be spoken). For comparison purposes, references were taken from the 2007 Weber GrillWatch(TM) Study, a similar nationally representative study conducted with grill owners of all backgrounds across the U.S., and the 2005 Weber Tailgating Study, a nationally representative study conducted with Americans who had tailgated during the previous year.

About Weber

Weber-Stephen Products Co., headquartered in Palatine, Ill., is the premier manufacturer of charcoal and gas grills, grilling accessories and other outdoor room products. In 1952, founder George Stephen sparked a backyard revolution with his invention of the Weber(R) kettle. More than 50 years later, the family-owned company remains the industry leader with its Weber(R), Weber(R) Q(TM), and Ducane(R) brands. As a leading exporter of grills, Weber brand products are sold worldwide at select home centers, hardware stores, department stores, patio stores, and other retail outlets. Weber has the strongest consumer outreach program in the industry with its Weber Grill-Line (SM) (1-800-GRILL-OUT(R))* and a content-rich website with grilling tips, techniques, and original Weber recipes at

Grilling Preferences Among Hispanics