U.S. Energy Information Administration – EIA

August 15, 2022

In 2020, 79% of U.S. households cooked at least one hot meal at home every day, according to our 2020 Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS). Households in the Pacific Census Division and New England Census Division were generally more likely to cook hot meals at home daily. For example, in Washington (in the Pacific census division), 88% of households prepared at least one hot meal each day, and in Maine (in the New England census division), the share was 86%. Households in the South, such as Alabama (69%) and Louisiana (68%), were less likely to cook hot meals daily.

map of households that use natural gas for cooking

The majority of US homes (89%) have a stove (a cooktop attached to an oven). In these households, the hob was used an average of eight times a week and the oven an average of three times a week. Throughout the country, electricity is the most common energy source used for cooking. About 38% of US households use natural gas for cooking. The states where households are most likely to use natural gas for cooking are California (70%) and New Jersey (69%). These estimates do not include fuel used for outdoor grilling.

In addition to stoves, cooktops and ovens, our survey asked respondents how they use a variety of other kitchen appliances, including microwaves, coffee makers, toasters, toaster ovens bread, slow cookers and electric pressure cookers. Almost every American household has at least one microwave. In 2020, 75% of US households used an electric coffee maker at least occasionally, and 56% of households used an electric coffee maker daily. Less than half of Utah households used an electric coffee maker, significantly lower than all other states.

use of food preparation appliances by region

RECS 2020 was the first RECS to ask questions about Instant Pots. In 2020, 16% of US households used Instant Pots at least once a week. Rice cookers were used by 13% of households, most often in Hawaii (74%), Louisiana (29%) and California (26%).

We collected RECS 2020 data on household energy use from 18,496 households, which is the largest sample of respondents in the program’s history. Respondents completed the survey using self-administered questionnaires online or by mail in late 2020 and early 2021. For the first time in the history of the RECS program, this data is available at state level for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Main contributor: Ross Beal

Key words: electricity, natural gas, RECS (Residential Energy Consumption Survey), Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, New Jersey, Washington, California, states, Utah, Alabama, map