No matter how much we change and develop as a society, cooking will always be an integrated part of who we are. It’s a fantastic way of showing someone you love them, developing your skills, and exploring your gastronomic creativity. If you’re looking to spice things up in the kitchen, take a look at these fun cooking statistics and facts for fresh ideas!
Top 10 Cooking Statistics and Facts
- 51.9% of men who finished college said they cooked in 2016, while only 37.9% did in 2003.
- 28% of Americans find inspiration for cooking in their family recipes.
- 90% of Americans say they haven’t used meal-kit delivery services in the last twelve months.
- Among couples with kids, 80% of women do the cooking and shopping.
- 63% of members of the Silent Generation cook every day, making them the generation that cooks the most.
- 59% of millennials enter the kitchen with their tablets or phones.
- 68% of millennial moms watch videos while cooking.
- A Roman cookbook called Apicius is considered one of the oldest collections of recipes in the world.
- Pepper wasn’t always used just for cooking—it was once so rare and valuable that people used it as currency.
- Between the years of 2012 and 2016, 48% of reported home fires were caused by cooking.
General Cooking Statistics
Diving into the world of cooking can be overwhelming, so let’s take it one step at a time. Here are some general stats as hors d’oeuvres before we move on to the main course and finish with a couple of fun facts for dessert.
1. 51.9% of men who finished college said they cooked in 2016, while only 37.9% did in 2003.
There was also an increase in the number of college-educated women who cook, though significantly smaller—from 64.7% to 68.7%. Interestingly enough, there were no increases or decreases in the percentage of men or women without a high school education within the same period (33.2% of men and 72.3% of women).
2. Cooking statistics in America: 31% of people say they cook because it’s cheaper, making this the number one reason for cooking.
Health is the second main reason for cooking, with 22% believing that cooking yourself is healthier. Another 18% said they cooked to have more control over the food they and their families were consuming. Another 13.7% stated cooking was simply their passion, while about 8% stated cooking was the best way to gather the family.
3. 28% of Americans find inspiration in their family recipes, as home cooking statistics reveal.
This number is somewhat higher with those aged 35 and above (32%). Moreover, 20% said they mostly used the ingredients they already had at home, and 17% said they drew inspiration from cooking blogs and sites. Millennials tend to rely more on technology for inspiration, with 32% of them turning to blogs and websites for recipes.
4. Roughly 65% of Americans would describe their cooking skills as intermediate.
Cooking stats tell us that 70% of intermediate-level cooks prepare food at home 3 to 6 days a week. Another 23% consider themselves experts, 28% of whom cook every day. Only 12% say they’re beginners, with 36% of them cooking once or twice a week.
5. A 2016 survey showed that 90% of Americans hadn’t used meal-kit delivery services in the twelve months preceding it.
Moreover, 80% of that group claimed they had no interest in them whatsoever. Out of the 10% who had used such services, 70% said they’d helped them improve their cooking skills. Stats on cooking also show that 15% of American millennials are fans of meal-kit deliveries.
Who Cooks More?
For much of our history, women were expected to stay home and cook, but we know that’s changing. However, change takes time, and we can see that the responsibility of cooking is still majorly on women. With younger generations eating out more and toxic masculinity declining, the stats might not look like this in a few years.
6. Among couples with kids, 80% of women do the cooking and shopping.
(Pew Research Center)
Women are more likely to do these chores even with no kids in the picture. More precisely, 75% of them usually do the cooking, and 68% shop for groceries.
7. Among couples with kids, men spend 23 minutes a day preparing meals on average.
(Pew Research Center)
Statistics on cooking indicate that women with children spend significantly more time preparing meals than their spouses—68 minutes. When it comes to couples without kids, men spend an average of 22 minutes a day preparing meals, while women spend 52 minutes.
8. 63% of members of the Silent Generation cook every day, making them the generation that cooks the most.
Baby boomers are right behind them, at 62%. Gen X isn’t too far back, either, with 58% of its members cooking daily. At 49%, millennials are the generation that cooks the least on a daily level. However, millennials are also the generation with the highest number of members who cook a few times a week (37%).
Millennials Cooking Statistics
Millennials might not cook as much as older generations, but that doesn’t mean they’re not trying. With the help of technology, they’re taking more of an interest in this skill and making the experience more enjoyable for everyone.
9. 59% of millennials enter the kitchen with their tablets or phones, according to home cooking statistics.
(Think with Google)
This may have something to do with not knowing what to cook. Instead of figuring it out on their own, millennials turn to Google. This is supported by the fact that 31% of millennials have stated choosing what to cook as the most unpleasant part of preparing a meal.
10. Millennials also love YouTube cooking tutorials—the keyword “best recipes” is up by 48% year-over-year.
(Think with Google)
Some other top searches include ‘the best chocolate chip cookie recipe’, ‘the best banana bread recipe’, and ‘the best meatloaf recipe’. Millennials have also frequently searched for the best pancake, lasagna, mac and cheese, burger, chili, margarita, and pork chop recipes.
11. Millennials see cooking as more of a bonding experience than a chore.
(Think with Google)
The cooking at home statistics focusing on younger generations’ tendencies show that 27% of respondents don’t cook alone. Instead, they’re far more likely to cook with their children, friends, or romantic partners.
12. 68% of millennial moms watch videos while cooking.
(Think with Google)
Using phones and tablets in the kitchen doesn’t stop once it’s decided what needs to be cooked. People still ask for guidance and follow the how-to video recipes. In fact, 23% of adults said that they even use voice search when their hands are too busy to type.
Fun Facts About Cooking
What’s the point of talking about cooking if we don’t sprinkle some fun facts over it? Let’s see what exciting discoveries await in the world of culinary arts.
13. A Roman cookbook called Apicius is considered one of the oldest collections of recipes in the world.
This cookbook is believed to have been compiled in the 4th or early 5th century AD. It’s a collection of Roman recipes, organized into ten books. Each book deals with preparing different foods, including legumes, meats, vegetables, seafood, and fowl.
14. The sandwich was named after the 4th Earl of Sandwich, in 1762.
(Earl of Sandwich USA)
Some cooking facts are more believable than others, but the Earl of Sandwich, John Montagu, was a real person. While playing cards one day, he started feeling peckish but didn’t want to leave the table. He asked to be served roast beef between two slices of bread. That way, he could continue playing but eat with his hands.
15. Pepper wasn’t always used just for cooking—it was once so rare and valuable that people used it as currency.
One of the most interesting cooking facts about pepper comes from Kerala (South India). From there, it was spread to other countries over the centuries.
In Ancient Greece, it was used to pay taxes and ransom, but also to honor the Gods. Later in history, in the Middle Ages, pepper was expensive to ship and rare in the Mediterranean, which allowed Italian traders to set high prices. That’s how it became a luxurious spice.
16. Between the years of 2012 and 2016, 48% of reported home fires were caused by cooking.
One of the lesser-known cooking safety facts is that 45% of fire injuries at home were also inflicted by cooking. Unfortunately, cooking was also the second top cause of home fire deaths (21%).
17. Pufferfish is the most challenging fish to prepare safely.
(National Geographic) (Notes of Nomads)
Only experts should handle blowfish, as their organs contain tetrodotoxin—a toxin considered to be as much as twelve hundred times stronger than cyanide. In fact, it’s so poisonous that Japanese chefs need a special license to prepare this meal. The Japanese emperor is even forbidden from consuming it!
Is cooking at home healthier?
Yes. According to data from 2014, people who cook more at home consume fewer calories than those who don’t. The same study shows that those who prefer cooking at home almost every day also consume fewer calories when eating out.
It goes beyond calories, though. Those who cook at home also tend to include core food groups into their diets. In other words, they eat more fish, vegetables, and fruit.
Is it really cheaper to eat at home?
Based on the price per serving of 86 different dishes, research has concluded that it really is cheaper to prepare food at home. An average serving of a home-cooked meal cost $4.31 to produce, while an average serving of a meal delivered from a restaurant cost $20.37 on average.
How do I start cooking more at home?
Though we now know cooking at home is healthier and cheaper, it doesn’t mean starting is easy. To motivate yourself, make sure you have the time and the necessary ingredients. Shop weekly for groceries, schedule your cooking time, cook enough to have leftovers, and make sure you buy all the kitchen items you need in advance.
How often do people eat out?
It was reported that more than 56% of people in America eat out two or three times a week. This includes ordering food-to-go and dining out.
How much time do Americans spend in the kitchen?
Data from 2014 shows that Americans over 18 years of age spend 37 minutes preparing food and cleaning up on an average day. It’s also been noted that men spend an average of 22 minutes cleaning up, serving food, and preparing it, whereas women spend 51 minutes on the same tasks.
Hopefully, these cooking statistics and facts have given you some inspiration to cook and shown you how people feel about it in general. Those who prefer cooking at home know that this skill can be excellent for your budget, enrich your nutrition, help you get rid of the unwanted calories and fat, but also feed the soul. So, in case you already haven’t started, arm yourself with a bit of creativity and patience, and reap the benefits of cooking your own meals.