Canadian grilling survey fires up Olympic spirit with gold medal results

TORONTO, Jan. 19 /CNW/ - As the clock ticks down to Vancouver, Olympic fever has hit the nation and it's time to celebrate. In true competitive spirit, the annual Weber Canadian Grill Watch Survey(TM) asks Canadian outdoor cooks to rate their grilling greatness in terms of performance and technical expertise in the hope of establishing the Canadian Gold standard for barbecuing.

Let the Games Begin

If a Grillympics Competition were held, survey participants were asked how they would rate their grilling expertise. Twelve percent of male respondents felt they would attain the Gold compared to (7%) of female respondents. Regionally, Western Canadians and Ontarians are the most confident in their grilling abilities. However, although it is well-known that Canadians love to barbecue (91% of us own a gas grill), 60% reported they probably wouldn't qualify for the finals.

On Your Mark

Participants were asked which grilling competition they would likely enter: appetizer, main course or dessert. Eighty-four percent stepped up to the mark in the main course category; men especially (86%) felt they would be winners in this field, while women (81%) also showed confidence in this category. Only 13% felt skilled enough to compete on appetizers, although this proved to be a popular choice with Western Canadians (19%). Although many desserts can be easily made on the grill, very few respondents (4%) wanted to compete in the dessert category.

Here Comes the Judge

Who should judge the Grillympics Competition? Canadians prefer an international panel of judges according to the survey. Topping the list is Canada's Ricardo Larrivée, the host of Food Network Canada's Ricardo and Friends. Second place was awarded to British-born Jamie Oliver, aka "The Naked Chef", while American Bobby Flay, host of Boy Meets Grill on the Food Network, placed third.

Canada's Gold Medal Meal

Steak was the all-time favourite selection for a Grillympics champion's victory meal. Of the 30% who chose this traditional Canadian BBQ item, men (39%) and Canadians aged 55+ (39%) were the two groups most likely to take this option. At the podium, burgers would have been awarded silver (13%) and ribs (10%) would have received a bronze.

Let's Party

Although it seems that tailgate parties aren't all that popular with the majority of Canadians (40% said they would not hold such a party), for those who would (34%), hamburgers would make up the main course (30%). Other choices include steak (18%), chicken (13%), and salmon (12%). Perhaps conscious that our heritage will be on display on the world stage during these Olympic Winter Games, 11% said they would serve local Canadian game like deer or elk.

Who's Invited?

If you're going to have a Grillympics party, you need to invite some cool Canadian athletes, eh? Topping the list of Olympic invitees are Quebec natives Jessica Dubé (figure skating), Caroline Ouellette (hockey), and Dominique Maltais (snowboarding), followed by British Columbia's Justin Lamoureaux and Michael Lambert (snowboarding).

Methodology: Weber-Stephen Products Co. commissioned Leger Marketing Inc. to field the 21st annual Canadian GrillWatch Survey. A total of 1,009 grill owners throughout Canada completed the online survey. All respondents were age 19+ and currently owned a charcoal, gas or outdoor electric barbecue grill or smoker. Interviews were conducted in both French and English and sampled across the country in proportion to the Canadian regional population.

Weber-Stephen Products Co., headquartered in Palatine, Ill., is the world's leading manufacturer of charcoal and gas grills, grilling accessories and other outdoor room products. In 1952, founder George Stephen sparked a backyard revolution with his invention of the Weber(R) kettle. More than 55 years later, the family-owned company remains the industry leader with its Weber(R), Weber(R) Q(TM) and Ducane(R) brands. As a leading exporter of grills, Weber brand products are sold worldwide at selected home centres, hardware stores, department stores, patio stores, and other retail outlets. Weber has the strongest consumer outreach program in the industry with its Weber Grill-Line(SM) (1-800-474-5568)*, Weber Customer Service in the U.S.A. (1-800-446-1071)*, through its Canadian distributor Onward Manufacturing (1-800-265-2150), and a content-rich website with grilling tips, techniques, and original Weber recipes at

* The Weber Grill-Line and Weber Customer Service are closed on Christmas.


For further information: For further information: Theresa Stahl, (905) 336-5700,; Beth Merrick, (416) 654-9881,

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