Americans Say Their ‘Best Memories’ Come from Family Barbecues, Report Says

by Matthew Memrick

A recent study connects the best American family memories with barbecues. 

South West News Service reported that 72 percent of Americans said family reunions and grilling conjured the best memories. The Bush’s Baked Beans/OnePoll study asked 2,006 Americans and found that 51 percent said outdoor barbecues ideal for social gatherings this summer.  

“This summer has been a time for families and friends to come back together,” Bush’s Brand Manager Penny Caudill told the British news agency. 

The news service said the poll discounted restaurants (38 percent) and dining room tables (34 percent).

Summer Barbecue Season Wrapping Up?

There may be a few more times for the cookout this year with Labor Day on the horizon.

The Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association’s “2020 State of the Barbecue Industry Report” reported that 56 percent of people planned to hold cookouts on Memorial Day, with 68 percent holding them on July 4. The other big grilling days are Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. 

However, grilling can be significant year-round. The Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association say 75 percent of grill owners light up the grill in the winter. Other days are Super Bowl Sunday (23 percent), Thanksgiving (13 percent), and New Year’s Day (9 percent).

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compiled a running list of “safer” pandemic activities with barbecues and outdoor gatherings in the list. Social distancing can be easy while enjoying a hot dog or coleslaw at these events.

The poll also mentioned that 42% of Bush’s survey respondents said they planned “to attend more barbecues this summer than they usually would.”

Also, 47 percent agreed that grill gatherings are “the non-work equivalent” to office water coolers.

“And the grill remains a place where we can all get together and enjoy our favorite foods that make summer beautiful, from burgers to hot dogs to baked beans,” Caudill said.

When it came to spicing things up, the poll said 79 percent liked spicy barbecue foods.

This Year’s Top Barbecue Dishes

Can’t quite figure out what to make at the barbecue?

A June poll asked folks what they put on their plates. The top choice: Burgers at 65 percent. Almost half (49 percent and 48 percent) said a hot dog and ribs would work as well. Sausage (37 percent), chicken wings (32 percent), and pulled pork (29 percent) are also in the running.

The side breakdown has potato salad (62 percent) as the top plate item. Corn on the cob (55 percent) and baked beans (52 percent) come next. Watermelon (48 percent), chips (42 percent), and mac and cheese/coleslaw (41) are also are winners.