Super Bowl Sunday is one of the biggest days for grilling out
If you are livin' la vida low-carb, then you probably are among the tens of millions of Americans who proudly own a grill and is firing it up this Sunday just in time for the big game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears. Are you ready for some football and food?! Yeah, baby!
Although fans down in Miami at Dolphin Stadium won't be allowed to use a grill for tailgating this year since it's been outlawed (go figure on that one!), that won't stop some 62 percent of grill owners from putting some snacks and appetizers on the barbie, according to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association's (HPBA) State of the Barbecue Industry Report released this week.
"With millions of Americans cooking on the grill, this popular Sunday is the perfect occasion to cook up delicious grilled food," HPBA Communications Director Leslie Wheeler said. "We are seeing year-round grilling as a major trend among Americans. In 2006 alone, grill shipments reached an industry record high, supporting the fact that more than 60 percent of grillers are grilling year-round."
With a record-breaking 17 million grills sold in 2006 alone, representing a greater than 15 percent increase over 2005, it seems people are rediscovering the joy that comes from cooking sizzling steaks, vivacious veggies, and just about any other food to throw on the barbecue! I suppose you can partially credit the sustained popularity of the low-carb lifestyle for showing people meat is very healthy for you to eat and a grill makes that meat taste so much better than a skillet ever will.
The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association knows grilling
The Arlington, VA-based HPBA is an organization of 2,700 members who are tirelessly dedicated to providing information, education, and advocacy for anything and everything dealing with grilling and barbecue. They have certainly taken note that Super Bowl Sunday is hands down the most popular day for grilling during the winter months and one of the Top 10 days for grilling all year!
Another reason grilling on Super Bowl Sunday has become more popular in recent years is convenience, the HPBA has found. It's a fast way to get a delicious and nutritious meal for your entire family or for a house full of hungry football fans. Now, grilling is one of the most preferred methods for making dinner in the United States all year long.
"When you factor in the 70 percent of Americans who cite easy clean-up as a huge perk, grilling for the big game at home is a convenient, no-mess way to pull together a feast big enough for a football team or a pack of die-hard fans," Wheeler added.
The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association has these six tips and suggestions for making your grilling experience on Sunday afternoon a pleasurable one:
1. PRE-GAME PREPARATION
Plan ahead to ensure that you'll be watching the game instead of still preparing the food. Prepare the food ahead of time by marinating meats on Saturday. On game day simply remove from the refrigerator and throw on the grill.
2. EQUIPMENT CHECK
Eliminate a last minute run to the local store for charcoal or propane by checking levels on Saturday.
3. TRY SOMETHING NEW TO GRILL
Burgers, steaks, and chicken are the most popular foods for the grill, but try some other appetizing ideas to feed your friends like grilled pizza, grilled veggies and even grilled fruit (can you say honeydew and cantaloupe?!). Click here and here to find some amazing tailgate and grilling recipes from the HPBA.
4. GRILLING RECI-TIPS
- Using skewers? Soak bamboo skewers in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent veggies from sticking.
- Before grilling, trim the excess fat from meat to avoid flare-ups.
- Place vegetables and fruits at the outer edge of the grill to prevent burning.
- When grilling, use tongs or spatulas to move or turn meats instead of a fork to minimize the loss of juices.
5. FIRE UP THAT GRILL WISELY
Before lighting up the grill, apply non-stick spray on the grates. The protective spray cuts down the clean-up time afterwards.
6. CLEAN-UP IS A SNAP
For charcoal grills, line the bowl with aluminum foil. After grilling, and once the grill and coals are cool (as a rule of thumb, always allow coals to burn out completely and let ashes cool at least 48 hours before disposing), simply discard the foil with the coals and ash, then wash and reline with foil for the next time.
FIRE HAZARD NOTE: If you must dispose of coals and ashes before they are completely cooled, then place them in heavy duty aluminum foil and soak with water completely before disposing in a non-combustible container.
Get even more tips, recipes, and other advice for grilling out on Super Bowl Sunday and every other day you decide to cook out on the barbecue for your family and friends by visiting HPBA.org.