It’s no secret that spending the better part of the last year at home pushed many Americans to get more comfortable in their kitchens. Our spring study that focused on home entertaining revealed that while many Americans may have missed restaurant dining due to the pandemic, less than a quarter of respondents—20 percent—expect to gather with friends and family over a meal at a restaurant once the pandemic ends.
Those findings led us to dig further into the confidence people have in the kitchen, times of the year they find themselves most confident, and which areas remain sources of stress when it comes to the kitchen.
Our new Kitchen Confidence Report found that nearly half of Americans (47 percent) are very confident in the kitchen and less than a quarter of Americans (20 percent) have little to no confidence in the kitchen.
Surprisingly, the report found that Americans with children are 40 percent more confident in the kitchen. Practice, patience, and time are the key contributors of confidence for half of the respondents (49 percent), while many noted that learning from and watching family members cook helped them gain confidence over time.
Three-quarters of respondents (74 percent) believe their confidence is boosted in the kitchen because of how they source their food. When it comes to purchases, the Kitchen Confidence Report found that Americans feel most confident with their produce selections, their pantry staples, and then their meat and seafood items.
While the stove may be the appliance that more than a third of Americans (37 percent) feel the most comfortable with, a quarter of respondents (26 percent) want to focus on improving their skills with newer appliances like air fryers, instant cookers, and smokers.
“Having spent more time at home over the last year, it comes as no surprise that folks are confident in their overall cooking and kitchen skills,” said Mike Salguero, founder of ButcherBox. “Time tends to always be the barrier to preparing a meal or improving cooking skills and so the time people have gotten back in their day or week as a result of COVID is clearly impacting their kitchen confidence.”
As Americans prepare to heat up their grills for the Fourth of July weekend, their confidence levels are rising too. According to the report, nearly two-thirds of respondents (63 percent) felt very confident in their kitchen skills for summer holidays, like the Fourth of July or Labor Day. And while men are three times more likely than women to rate grills as their most confident cooking appliance, it may be the women who are stepping up to flip the burgers this holiday weekend. The report found that close to one-third of women (30 percent) are keen to improve their grill skills this summer.
“With summer in full swing, it’s great to see confidence levels are high when it comes to grilling, but even more exciting to see that women are eager to step up their grill game,” added Salguero. “Grilling is probably one of the easiest cooking techniques compared to other appliances or tools out there, but confidence is certainly the key when it comes to success on the grill. Summer cooking is all about feeling relaxed and at ease, so when you look at the types of food prepared during the summer, like burgers and hot dogs, it’s not surprising that people are more confident during this time of the year.”
If you’re looking to improve your grilling skills this weekend, or through the rest of the summer, check out some of our grilling content like 7 Grilling Recipes That Take Outdoor Dining to the Next Level, 7 Ways to Upgrade Your Grilling Skills, or 7 Handy Essentials for Outdoor Grilling.
Additional Insights from the Kitchen Confidence Report
Holidays and other special occasions have an impact on kitchen confidence.
- More than half of respondents (58 percent) noted that their confidence levels change at certain times of the year. Nearly half of Americans (47 percent) who noted a change in confidence level based on time of year noted that winter holidays, like Christmas and Hanukkah, are where they feel little to no confidence in the kitchen.
Women want more inspiration, while men are looking for more basic skill development.
- When it comes to continuing to increase confidence in the kitchen, nearly a third of women (30 percent) are simply looking for more inspiration for what to cook, whereas more than a third of men (35 percent) are looking for more guidance on basic kitchen skills, such as knife skills like slicing and chopping.
The Northeast region of the U.S. has the most confident home chefs.
- More than half of respondents (54 percent) who feel confident in the kitchen reside in the Northeast. When it comes to the least confident region, roughly one in ten Midwesterners lack confidence in the kitchen.
Men say they are more often adventurous in the kitchen.
- A third of men (35 percent) say they are adventurous in the kitchen more than once a week, whereas 20 percent of women are adventurous in the kitchen more than once a week. Experimenting with new recipes was how nearly three-quarters of respondents (69 percent) found adventure in the kitchen.