• 50% of Australians think the smell of barbecue puts them in the mood for love
  • 72% believe cooking on a barbecue is calming and reduces stress
  • 62% of women say they’ve been discouraged from taking charge of the grill by a male
  • 33% of men said being able to show off their grill and barbecue is the most enjoyable aspect of entertaining outdoors.  

These are just some of the major findings from BeefEater Barbecue’s annual in-depth study exploring the what, when, where, why and how Australians cook outdoors.  Over 1,000 Australians participated in the objective, third party survey commissioned by BeefEater, Australia’s largest independent barbecue maker.     

Love on fire

Cooking on a barbecue arouses primitive instincts among both men and women and may be the perfect recipe for love, according to the findings.  

50% of Australians believe the smell of barbecue is an aphrodisiac.    A massive 82% say barbecuing outdoors is more romantic than cooking in a kitchen and 33% said a meal over an open fire makes them more amorous than a candlelight dinner at an expensive restaurant.   

Being outdoors was the most romantic aspect of cooking a barbecue (65%), followed by cooking over an open flame (25%) and ease of preparation and clean up.    

Female grillers

Barbecuing is becoming increasingly popular amongst Australian women with 80% saying they prefer cooking outdoors to indoors even though 71% believe grilling outdoors is a more masculine way of cooking than in the kitchen.  

33% of female respondents said they liked being in charge of the grill, however, only 11% said they operated the barbecue in their household.  97% of men said they handle the cooking outdoors.  

Despite an eagerness to spend more time behind the grill, 62% of females said they’ve received resistance from a male or been ushered away when trying to operate the barbecue.  

42% of women say their partner underestimates their barbecue knowledge and skill.    

Healthy grilling

When many Aussies think of traditional barbecue fare they think of high-calorie, fatty sausages and burgers, but barbecuing can be a great way to fire up a healthy lifestyle this summer.  

90% of Australians think barbecuing is a healthy way of eating and 74% plan to barbecue more this year as part of a healthy eating plan.  

87% of men said preparing vegetables on the barbie made them taste better and more likely to be eaten.  

72% believe barbecuing has relaxing, therapeutic benefits, 75% said grilling outdoors is less stressful than cooking inside and 86% cited ‘taste of the food’ as a major reason they enjoy cooking on a barbecue.                     

Summer prime time

Barbecues are central to many Australians’ holiday plans.  Summer holidays that will be celebrated with a barbecue include Australia Day (86%), Boxing Day (68%) and Christmas Day (56%).  

68% of Australians plan to fire up their barbie 1-3 times a week this summer and 19% say they’ll cook outdoors 4-6 times per week.  

85% of Australians prefer cooking outdoors on a barbecue over a kitchen indoors. Major reasons include bringing friends together (61%), easy to prepare (59%) and easy to clean-up (57%).    

Men v women

Men and women have very different views when it comes to who does most of the work when entertaining guests at home.  58% of women said they do more work at a barbecue than their partner. 

Only 14% of men said they work harder but 64% said the workload was shared equally.  

However results of the study reveal the only task clearly handled by the man was cooking the meat at a massive 97%. Women on the other hand have to multi-task, with 81% inviting the guests, 79% doing the shopping, 71% hosting the guests, 93% preparing salads & sides and 65% doing the cleaning up.  

Despite the apparent disparity in workload, 44% of female participants said their partner usually receives all the recognition for a great barbecue.    

BBQ envy

46% of Australians say they’ve been jealous of a neighbours or friends barbecue.  

33% of Aussie males said being able to show off their cooking skills is the most enjoyable aspect of entertaining outdoors. 35% said they invite others around to show off their own barbecue.  

15% of Aussies say impressing friends or neighbours was an influence when purchasing a BBQ.    

BBQ skills

Over half (53%) of all Australians rely on their instincts when it comes to cooking a barbecue.  26% said they learned the craft from dad and 8% from watching their mates.  

54% of respondents believe men are instinctively better at barbecuing than women.  

When asked to rate their barbecuing skills on a scale of 1 to 5, 38% of Australians gave themselves a “4 – Very Good”, 41% said “3 – Decent” whilst 11% of Aussie males proclaimed themselves to be “barbecue experts”.