In some parts of the USA, BBQ is not just food, it’s a religion. The fastest way to start a fight is not to talk politics, but to argue about the virtues of wood vs. charcoal vs. gas. Even the word itself is kind of controversial: is it barbecue, barbeque, bar-b-q, or BBQ? Just don’t bring it up with a purist (or the one cooking your burger!)
There’s no argument, however, about the popularity of BBQ. The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (yes, it’s a real organization – actually it is just one of many dedicated to barbecuing) did a study called “The State of Barbecue Industry Report”. The 2005 study[pdf] stated that 4 out of every 5 US households own a grill – in fact, 1 in 5 own more than one grill. And not surprisingly, “the primary griller (male) in the majority of households considers themselves to be average or above in terms of cooking skills”.