Hot Dog and Hamburger Consumption by State

Source: Stockdonkey / Getty Images

According to one recent survey, pizza is our favorite thing to eat, followed by steak. Be that as it may, the definitive American foods — those that virtually define our national cuisine, and that are indelibly associated with summer — are hot dogs and hamburgers. (Both, incidentally, are among the foods you probably didn’t know were named after places — at least if we give dogs their more formal name, frankfurters.)

How much do we like burgers and dogs? We eat an estimated 50 billion burgers and 20 billion dogs per year — about 156 and 70 per person, respectively.

Chicago likes to call itself the hot dog capital of the world, but in fact Los Angeles consumes more wieners than any other city — about 31 million pounds annually — beating out second and third place New York and Philadelphia. Chicago is number five on the list.

During peak hot dog season, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Americans eat a total of around 7 billion franks. According to the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council, on the Fourth of July alone, 150 million dogs get consumed — enough to stretch between L.A. and Washington D.C. more than five times.

No comparable organization seems to track burger stats for Independence Day, but if roughly 140 million burgers are eaten per day, based on per capita consumption, and we eat two-and-a-half times as many burgers as dogs overall, that could mean that the burger tally is around 375 million burgers that day.

With the Fourth of July rapidly approaching, it’s clearly time to fire up those grills. We’ve got a lot of eating to do — even if they are among the unhealthiest foods you can put in your body.