Wolf Appliance Survey Uncovers the Cooking Habits of American Adults

October 19, 2016

One quarter of Americans would rather watch a cooking show than cook a meal, according to the results of a new survey from Wolf Appliance, Inc. The company surveyed American adults about their cooking attitudes and behaviors as part of its “Reclaim the Kitchen” initiative.


A longtime believer in the richness of people coming together to prepare and enjoy meals, the initiative’s goal is to make the process easy and accessible, enabling anyone who wishes to experience the benefits of cooking together at home, through tips, tricks and techniques.

“More than one third of adults say they spend more time in the kitchen than they have in the past, but about 42 percent also say they would rather scroll through social media than cook,” said Brian Jones, director of marketing for Wolf Appliance, Inc. “This tells us that we have a gap to close. Americans are interested in home cooking, but there is a need for a basic, accessible means for them to get back into their kitchens. ‘Reclaim the Kitchen’ is meant to inspire people to shift from admiring food, to having the skills and understanding to cook the types of foods that appeal to them.”

The survey findings* also show that one in six adults will order takeout if a meal takes longer than 30 minutes to cook. Other cooking quirks include:

  • Adults are most comfortable using their microwaves and ovens, and nearly one in five adults use their oven only on occasion or during the holidays.
  • 43 percent of adults say they are too tired to cook, even when they have the time.
  • 50 percent of adults can’t name 10 items currently located in their pantry.
  • 39 percent of adults have set off the fire alarm when cooking.
  • Adults throw away $500 worth of food annually, and 56 percent are very concerned about food waste.

And while millennials strongly identify with food, they are more likely to avoid cooking:

  • Nearly 70 percent of millennials say learning to cook new dishes or cuisines is a personal accomplishment that is important to them
  • 58 percent of millennials said they occasionally eat snack or junk food for dinner
  • 21 percent of millennials have never boiled an egg
  • Less than half of millennials know how to dice, sauté, broil, mince, sear or braise food

Wolf is once again using ReclaimTheKitchen.com to share a collection of practical tips and lists to help aspiring home cooks to reclaim their kitchens. The site features easy to master technique videos from dicing to braising, food safety tips, a comprehensive list of basic items and tools recommended to stock the kitchen and a library of easy go-to recipes.

“Reclaim the Kitchen” was initially launched by Wolf in 2015 as a way to re-establish the kitchen as the central gathering place for families to come together and create memories over delicious food. A video spearheading the initiative on ReclaimTheKitchen.com visually expresses the sharp decline in family cooking at home and emboldens families to begin again.

* The survey was conducted online for Wolf by Russell Research between August 5, 2016 and August 8, 2016, among 1,059 adults ages 18 and older. The margin of error is +/ 3.1 percent.