Survey Reveals How Americans Are Dealing With Recipe Boredom

The global pandemic has indelibly changed the relationship that many Americans have with their kitchens. With restaurants closed, ongoing food shortages, and an increased need to embrace the security of one's own home, reluctant cooks found themselves trying new recipes and foodies began upping their games. Even plain old boredom led to people baking more during the pandemic

No matter what sparked this new interest, homemade meals became the norm. Recipes were swapped, techniques were Googled, and new appliances were purchased. According to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, by May of 2021, 32% of people surveyed had purchased a "small kitchen appliance" during the pandemic. Panicked shoppers turned to canned and frozen goods (via Washington Post), nightly baked dessert became a thing, and sourdough starter seemingly caught on faster than the original sliced bread. 

Now that life is returning to normal, will these newfound habits stick? Or will they be eagerly discarded like three-layered masks, disinfecting your groceries (yes, it was a thing), and elbow-bumping? It turns out that the answer is yes and no. 

Experimenting with new ingredients and spices keeps Americans inspired

In a recent survey conducted by OnePoll and turkey brand Jennie-O, 47% of those polled said they prepare homecooked meals "three to four days" each week, with 48% saying those meals are made entirely from scratch (via Hormel Foods). A survey carried out by Morning Consult dug deeper, revealing that Gen Xers and baby boomers are most likely to cook at home, with 70% of baby boomers making dinners from scratch on an average weeknight as opposed to just 50% of millennials. PR Newswire cites the Hunter Food Study Special Report Wave Two, offering that 71% maintained a desire to continue cooking more post-pandemic. So what keeps America returning to their own kitchens night after night?

It seems that many home cooks have enjoyed the benefits of preparing their own meals. According to the Hunter Food Study, 67% found that home cooking made their dollar stretch further, 56% enjoyed a more health-conscious diet, and 50% had gained confidence in their cooking skills. And to keep things interesting, Hormel Foods reports that 50% of people have been turning to "unusual ingredients" and 42% have been experimenting with new spices, adding that people are also turning to friends, internet recipes, and YouTube videos for new ideas. 

Experimenting in the kitchen can be fun. Whether you're wanting to master Gordon Ramsay's Beef Wellington recipe or Julia Child's homemade Coq Au Vin, there's no time like the present. And with your newfound know-how, you may just make it happen.