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    Year-round and During the Week, Americans Are Grilling More Than Ever Before

    Washington, DC (May 2008) – New research from the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) shows that grilling is not just for special occasions; and 25 percent of respondents stated that they are cooking on the grill more often than they were a few years ago.

    No longer restricted to summertime parties or holidays, more than half of respondents (54 percent) cook on their outdoor grill year round and 43 percent now regularly use their outdoor grill during the week. When asked why they cook on the grill during the week, 90 percent replied that grilled food tastes good.

    “Cooking outdoors on the grill has become as mainstream as cooking indoors on your stovetop,” said Steven Raichlen, host of Primal Grill on PBS and author of The Barbecue Bible. “If something tastes good baked, fried, or sauteed, it probably tastes even better grilled. You can cook a meal the whole family loves quickly and with little clean up, which is great for busy families during the week.”

    When it comes to cuisine, beef (like steak or hamburgers) tops the list of the most popular items to grill, both overall (93 percent) and during the week (56 percent). And propane is the barbecuing fuel of choice, according to over 700 respondents who participated in a recent online survey from About.com.

    “It’s great that so many Americans have incorporated grilling into their everyday lives, but we must not take grill safety for granted,” continued Raichlen. “It’s always a good idea for grillers to review basic safety tips from time to time.”

    In fact, PERC’s survey revealed that only 52 percent of respondents know a lot about safe grilling practices. PERC offers the following tips:

    • When lighting a grill, keep the top open until you are sure that it is lit.
    • Before connecting the cylinder to a propane gas grill burner for the first time, use a leak-detection solution (a 50/50 mixture of water and liquid soap) to check connections for tightness.
    • Do not use matches or lighters to check for leaks.
    • Never pour an accelerant such as lighter fluid or gasoline on the grill.
    • When finished grilling, turn off the burner controls and close the cylinder valve.
    • Always use or store propane cylinders outdoors in an upright (vertical) position. Never use or store propane cylinders indoors.

    The survey, which asked outdoor gas grill owners a variety of questions about their grilling habits as well as their attitudes towards grilling practices, was conducted for PERC using Opinion Research Corporation’s CARAVAN National Omnibus. Telephone interviews were conducted from March 13-16, 2008, with a nationally representative sample of 447 adults who currently own an outdoor gas grill. The margin of error is +/- 4.7 percent. The March 26, 2008 About.com online survey asked readers to choose their barbecue fuel of choice from propane (LP), natural gas, charcoal briquette, lump charcoal, hardwood, pellets, electricity, or something else specified.

    For additional information about safe grilling and propane grills, please visit http://www.usepropane.com/. For more information on Steven Raichlen, visit http://www.barbecuebible.com/.