For millions of Americans, Memorial Day marks the beginning of a three-month homage to the grill.  According to a new “Grilling Across America” survey conducted by the National Pork Board, 64 percent of grillers are firing up the flames more than twice a week. 

Steven Raichlen, award-winning author and host of PBS show Barbecue University, isn’t surprised.  “Grilling is one of the simplest ways to prepare a meal, making it the perfect approach for carefree summer cooking,” he says.  “By choosing the right ingredients, like prepared marinades and a mix of pantry staples, grillers can serve up a flavorful dish in a matter of minutes.”

Raichlen shares that pork tenderloin is one of the grill’s best-kept secrets because of its versatility and leanness.  Requiring little preparation and a cooking time of less than 30 minutes, it’s the ideal cut anytime, especially easy weeknight meals.  It’s also pork’s leanest cut, with only 2.98 grams of fat per 3-ounce serving, making it as lean as a skinless chicken breast.

The survey also revealed regional passions for the grill.  From coast to coast, grillers in every region are different.  Grilling is serious business for Northeasterners and Southeasterners, but folks in the Midwest take a laid back approach. The Southeast grillers kick up the grill with flavor and spice – more so than any other area of the country. 

To uncover grilling secrets in all regions and the trick of doing it without a recipe, the National Pork Board invites backyard cooks to share their regionally inspired, quick and easy menu creations with the Grilling Grates From the 50 States “no recipe” contest.  From May 21 through July 12, visit to submit a five-ingredient-or-less pork tenderloin recipe that best shows off your region’s favorite flavor.

NPB will select five finalists based on:

  • regional creativity
  • best mouth-watering appeal
  • preparation ease

Recipes will be posted on beginning Aug. 1, when America will vote for its favorite recipe to be named the grand prize winner, which will receive a new Weber®  Q300™ grill and an all-expense-paid trip to Steven Raichlen’s Barbecue University. There, the winner will join other grilling aficionados to hone skills in barbecuing, smoking and grilling.  Four lucky runners-up also will receive a new Weber® Q300™ grill along with $300 in pork gift certificates.

For recipes from Steven Raichlen, the six regional chefs and complete rules and information on how to enter the Grilling Grates From the 50 States recipe contest, visit  While there, find more inspiration on summer grilled meals with pork, including tips on how to prepare the perfect pork tenderloin by downloading the step-by-step booklet “Pork Tenderloin: How to Cook Without Really Trying.” 

Source: National Pork Board