CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The start of summer is just around the corner, and as the weather warms up, more families will be firing up the grill for cookouts.

Just in time for National Cookout Month in May, researchers from CookOut News have looked at numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to see how much more it will cost to host a cookout this year.

For West Virginia and across the South, the data concluded residents could be paying 12.73% more in 2023 than they paid to host a cookout last summer. The country was sorted into four sections for the study – the Northeast, the South, the Midwest and the West.

Nationally, costs for a cookout have risen by approximately 12.3%.

The researchers looked at the data based on a cookout serving 10 people who each get one “plate” of food. The hypothetical “plate” in this study would consist of the following:

  • A 4 oz. cheeseburger with a bun, lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup and mustard
  • A hotdog with a bun
  • A 12 oz. can of soda
  • A serving of baked beans
  • A serving of potato salad
  • A serving of potato chips
  • A serving of cookies
  • A serving of strawberries
  • A serving of vanilla ice cream

CookOut News says this data can be perceived as the “minimum cost” of a cookout as factors such as alcoholic beverages, additional guests, other food options and guests getting a second plate of food were not included in the data.

So, what is the average total price tag for all of these cookout staples? Researchers calculated the data and found that for West Virginia and the southern states, the minimum cost for a cookout averages to about $83.70.

Researchers found residents in the West will have to shell out the most money to host even a bare minimum cookout, with costs averaging at about $93.29. For the Midwest, the total came to an average of $82.81, and the Northeast’s average total came in at about $85.49.

Map of costs for a cookout in the West, Midwest, South and Northeast (Photo Courtesy:

Cookout News’ researchers also found the following average prices of each cookout stable listed above from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ data:

  • Hamburger buns (two packages of eight) – $3.58
  • Hot dog buns (two packages of eight) – $3.58
  • 3 lbs. of ground beef (for at least ten 4 oz. burgers) – $15.57
  • 1 lb. of cookies – $5.23
  • Two packs of hotdogs – $6.58
  • 16 oz. bag of potato chips – $6.52
  • 32 oz. of baked beans – $3.50
  • 2 lbs. of potato salad – $8.98
  • 1 lb. of tomatoes – $1.93
  • 1 lb. of lettuce – $2.83
  • 1 lb. onion – $1.46
  • 1 lb. of American cheese – $4.77
  • Two pints of strawberries – $5.28
  • Half a gallon of vanilla ice cream – $5.92
  • Ketchup and mustard – $1.99
  • Two, 2-liter bottles of soda – $5.98