Americans love hot dogs on the grill

Memorial Day weekend kicks off summer of 7 billion hot dogs.

There are many ways to cook a hot dog, but new research commissioned by the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council (NHDSC) suggests that Americans prefer their dogs straight off the grill.

Of the 90% of Americans who say they prepare hot dogs, 63% say grilling is their favorite way to cook a hot dog, far outpacing other cooking methods such as steaming (12%), microwaving (9%) or pan frying (8%), according to the NHDSC announcement.

Plenty of people will take advantage of their grills this summer: NHDSC estimates that Americans will consume more than 7 billion hot dogs between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day.

“Hot dogs are the staple of an American summer,” NHDSC president Eric Mittenthal said.

The research, conducted online in May 2016 for NHDSC by Harris Poll, surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.

Although Americans are most likely to grill a hot dog, the research also found that 34% of people prefer to enjoy it inside their home, while 22% prefer eating hot dogs in their back yard, and 19% most enjoy their hot dogs while tailgating or inside a sporting event. Thirteen percent say hot dogs are best enjoyed at a picnic.

Established in 1994, NHDSC conducts scientific research to benefit hot dog and sausage manufacturers and also serves as an information resource to consumers and media on issues related to the quality, safety, nutrition and preparation of hot dogs.

The council has many resources for hot dog lovers, including a guide to regional hot dog styles, a list of hot dogs found at Major League ballparks and more. All the materials can be found at www.hot-dog.org.

Turkey, too

Memorial Day weekend also showcases America's love of turkey, with the smoky flavors of turkey burgers, turkey tenderloin and turkey drumsticks. An increasing number of consumers enjoy turkey for outdoor grilling, according to the National Turkey Federation (NTF).

Grilling is easy, convenient and perfect for a weekday meal solution, NTF said, adding that turkey — considered a healthy, lean protein — is a delicious and sometimes overlooked star of the grill.

NTF noted that the Turkey Grilling Tip sheet at ServeTurkey.org offers grilling techniques for many choice cuts of turkey, featuring quick tips on grilling, cooking and lean meat comparisons among turkey portions. It also offers grilling recipes with photos, as well as commentary from chefs and registered dietitians.

Turkey consumption has increased to an average of 16 lb. per person, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

NTF noted that the daily supply of turkey meat remains plentiful after the industry recovered from the loss of 3% of the turkey population due to avian influenza a year ago. USDA projects total production this year to be about 6% higher than 2015.

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