Take a big bite:  beef industry statistics in celebration of National Hamburger Day.

May 28th is National Hamburger Day, and it’s apt that it’s the Sunday right before Memorial Day. While Memorial Day is set aside in observance of those who died while serving in the armed forces, it is also the unofficial start to summer. Many hold Memorial Day picnics during the weekend, and—thanks to the beef industry—hamburgers take center stage. Below, find beef industry statistics to regale your fellow picnic-goers with, plus a few of the top burgers on the grill recipes to kick the festivities up a notch.

Beef Industry Statistics About Hamburgers

While the exact origin of the hamburger is impossible to pin down, it is believed the concept was cooked up in the late 1800s, likely by German immigrants. A TIME.com article sums it up as “Germans gave the hamburger its name and disseminated the idea of a patty, Americans made it a sandwich.”

America’s love affair with beef and hamburgers has continued throughout the years. A beef industry survey conducted by The Beef Checkoff in 2012 showed Memorial Day was the second most popular holiday for grilling beef. Another similar survey from 2013 revealed that 47% of all American grillers prefer hamburgers as their go-to meat for grilling.

Hamburgers aren’t just for backyard barbecues, either. Statistics compiled from The Beef Checkoff from 2011 showed that Americans consume more than 13 million hamburgers a year, and nearly half of the nation’s consumers eat hamburgers at least once a week. In terms of leading toppings, Americans preferred ketchup, lettuce, and America’s namesake cheese.

Drool-Worthy Burgers on the Grill Recipes

Hamburgers on the grill are a must for Memorial Day cook-outs, and no one knows beef like the cattlemen and cattlewomen of America. Try these recipes from The Beef Checkoff, the marketing arm of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association at your Memorial Day cookout or the next time hamburgers are “what’s for dinner:”

  • Classic Beef Cheeseburger. You can’t go wrong with this tried-and-true classic. Offer guests their choice of cheese and an array of condiments and toppings.
  • Ranch Burgers. These burgers get a helping hand from creamy ranch dressing.
  • Olympian Burgers. Fit for a Greek God, these burgers feature feta cheese, spinach, and Greek yogurt.
  • Zesty Barbecue Cheeseburgers. These burgers prove that hamburgers and barbecue go hand-in-hand. Pair with smoky and zesty cheeses like smoked Gouda, Pepper Jack, and more.
  • Beef and Mushroom Burgers. The savory flavors of mushrooms and Manchego cheese makes this a crowd pleaser.

We believe it’s fitting to honor the sacrifices of those in the Armed Forces with a day in the company of family, friends, and good food. It’s the little things in life, like a backyard barbecue, that define us, and it’s that way of life that the men and women honored by Memorial Day were defending.