Despite the best efforts of Hank Hill, American grillers still prefer charcoal grills over gas grills by almost a 3-to-2 margin.
Hill, the fictional propane and propane accessory salesman from the long-running FOX sitcom “King of the Hill,” wouldn’t have even had a job if it wasn’t for William G. Wepfer and Melton Lancaster of the Arkansas Louisiana Gas Company, who are credited with inventing the propane-powered grill back in the 1960s.
Since then, it’s – ahem – rare to meet a backyard barbecuer who doesn’t have a strong opinion one way or another.
So CivicScience fired up a few questions, grilled a few people, and the following Fast Five look at Americans and their barbecue habits is a well-done piece of work.
LOVE / HATE: Fans of Cabela’s, the outdoor recreation arm of Bass Pro Shops, are big-time charcoal grillers. People who aren’t fans of Cabela’s are even more into charcoal. People who don’t have a feeling one way or another about Cabela’s? Overwhelmingly gas.
NO REST FOR THE WEARY: People who keep up their exercise routines while on vacation use gas grills at a 14% higher rate than people who hang up their running shoes when taking time off.
HONEY, WE’RE OUT OF PROPANE: Married people are gas grillers at a 44% higher rate than non-married people. It has nothing to do with gender, either; women are only 5% more likely to prefer gas to charcoal.
BECAUSE BOBBY FLAY SAYS SO: Americans who watch cooking, travel, or home shows prefer charcoal at a 17% higher rate than people who don’t watch those types of shows.
INVITE OVER SOME “FRIENDS”: Does Jennifer Aniston have a future career as the official propane spokesperson? It’s hers for the taking, as fans of Aniston prefer gas grills at a 73% higher rate than people who don’t care for the former “Friends” star.
Of course, gas or charcoal is a personal preference, and it doesn’t appear one form or the other will be taking over America anytime soon. In short: Hank Hill’s job is secure.