Charcoal grilling is #1 among Hispanics

Charcoal grilling is #1 among Hispanics

5th Annual Weber Hispanic GrillWatch(TM) Survey Reveals Grilling Habits; Why Charcoal Reins Supreme


PALATINE, IL, March 26, /PRNewswire/ — For the fifth consecutive year, charcoal dominates as the top choice among Hispanics when they are asked to select between gas vs. charcoal grilling. More than two-thirds, 69%, say they own a charcoal grill compared to 54% who own a gas grill; and over half of all Hispanic grill owners (53%) say they only use charcoal when grilling, according to Weber Hispanic GrillWatch(TM) Survey, the country’s most comprehensive study on Hispanics’ outdoor grilling habits. Overall, Hispanics are much more interested in charcoal grilling than Americans in general, with 54% using a charcoal grill most often compared to only 38% of U.S. in general.

The study also shows that 86% of Hispanics under age 25 own a charcoal grill. In addition, more than a quarter of all Hispanic grill owners have at least two grills, and among those who own both a charcoal and a gas grill, one-half (51%) use the charcoal grill more often while 17% use both equally as often.

Other key findings regarding the grilling habits of Hispanics associated with ownership and usage, foods, and entertaining are highlighted below.


It’s fun and relaxing to use, makes food taste and smell better, and requires more skills than gas grilling.

Hispanics believe charcoal grills are more fun to use than gas grills by more than a two-to-one margin (charcoal 50%; gas 21%); and more relaxing to use (40%) than gas grills (35%). They say charcoal grills make better food than gas grills by more than a two-to-one margin (51% compared to 20%); and overwhelming majority (71%) believe a charcoal grill smells better when food is cooking than a gas grill. About 52% of Hispanics think a gas grill is easier to use compared to 31% who say charcoal is easier.


Grilling is more of a family affair, family guests are considered “VIP,” parents are credited for teaching how to grill, and family and friends are the primary source for grilling recipes and information.

The main reason Hispanics grill is the flavor of the food (34%), yet while flavor is a big part of grilling, what is unique is that Hispanics also grill more for family reasons-12% to bring the whole family together and 4% as a way of contributing to the family (compared to 8% and 0% respectively for the U.S. in general). If they could invite anyone in the world over for a barbecue, two-thirds of Hispanics (67%) said they would invite family. Grill owners entertain family or friends at their home 15 times per year, with 12% entertaining more than 20 times per year, and use their grill nearly every time they entertain (14.5 times).

Although half of Hispanics (52%) proclaim themselves to be self-taught grillers, the credit is often given to Mom and Dad equally for teaching them how to grill (11%). Hispanics look to friends and family first for grilling recipes and information (44%) more than any other source.


A luxury gas grill, in color, with select features, at a reasonable cost, and dependable.

Hispanics overwhelmingly chose traditional black as their color of choice for their next grill (50%), followed by stainless steel (19%) and red/dark red (6%). The three most common features on their gas grills are a side burner (40%), thermometer (32%), and stainless steel grates (28%). Most (67%) say they would like to own a luxury grill someday. On average, they expect to pay approximately $400 for a good gas grill, and approximately $185 for a good charcoal grill. Overall, two-thirds don’t expect a grill to last more than five years — only 31% of charcoal users expect a grill to last more than five years compared to 48% of gas grill users. Remarkably, 43% of those under age 25 expect a grill to last only one year.


Meat and chicken are grilled most often, yet there is interest in trying new foods; Fish is considered the most challenging food to cook on the grill.

While half of all Hispanics (48%) prepare the main course on the grill, a third (35%) prepares the entire meal. About half (53%) say they are grilling the same foods now as they did last year, while one-quarter (27%) are always trying new foods. Hispanics are much more likely to have grilled meat (95%) in the last year than any other type of food.

Hispanics’ favorite foods to grill include meat overall (23%), followed by chicken (16%), fajitas (10%), and steak (7%). Twenty-one percent say they grill various vegetables most often, while 15% report it’s seafood. Fish (17%), chicken and steak (10% each) are considered the most challenging foods to cook on the grill, yet 28% of Hispanics believe that none of the foods listed are challenging to grill.


Forty percent of Hispanics like their barbecue sauce hot, including 22% who prefer it to be scorching hot. Women (25%) are more likely to want their barbecue sauce to be scorching hot than men (19%).


Men (57%) are three times as likely to have grilling responsibilities in the household as women (19%). However, one-quarter of Hispanic grill owners share the responsibility.


A quarter of Hispanics believe they are better grillers than most; only 10% think they are not as good as others. Men (30%) are more likely than women (19%) to think they are better grillers than most.


Nearly one-third (30%) of all grill owners use a portable grill most often when grilling; 70% use a full-size model most often.


About one-quarter of Hispanics grill year round. Summer grilling is the most popular (86%), followed by spring (45%), then fall and winter (each at 31%).


Nearly one-half of all Hispanics (49%) grill out at least once a week during summer grilling season. The majority (59%) hosted at least five barbecues last summer (only 21% of U.S. in general).


Birthdays are by far the most popular holidays for Hispanics to grill-twice as many grilling for birthdays (55%) than for the next most popular holiday, the Fourth of July (26%).


One in eight Hispanics (13%) has purchased an outdoor grill for someone as a gift. Birthdays (37%), Christmas (12%), and Father’s Day (8%) lead the list of occasions for giving a grill as a gift.

Weber’s Hispanic GrillWatch Survey Methodology

The objective, third-party study, conducted by Synovate to ensure accuracy, is the nation’s most comprehensive study on what, where, when, why, and how Hispanics 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 400 grill owners throughout the U.S. completed the telephone survey. To best represent the full scope of the U.S. Hispanic market, this year’s study was enhanced to include those who speak Spanish and English equally, in addition to those who only speak Spanish or predominately Spanish in the home. For comparison purposes, references were taken from the 2008 Weber GrillWatch(TM) Study, a similar nationally representative study conducted with grill owners of all backgrounds across the U.S.

About Weber

Weber-Stephen Products Co., headquartered in Palatine, Ill., is the world’s leading 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-LineSM (1-800-GRILL-OUT(R))* and a content-rich website with grilling tips, techniques, and original Weber recipes at

*The Weber Grill-Line and Weber Customer Service are closed on Christmas day.

Charcoal grilling is #1 among Hispanics