The Weber Grill was invented in 1951 by George Stephen who worked at Weber Brothers Metal Works, outside of Chicago welding metal spheres together to create buoys. While making buoys he came up with the idea for a better grill. George was frustrated with the uneven and uncontrollable flame of open brazier grilling. George cut a buoy in half, added some air vents and legs and invented the original Weber Kettle Grill. His innovation: a dome-shaped grill with a lid to protect food from the elements, while sealing in that only from the grill barbecue flavor. His goal was simply to cook a better steak. George’s post World War II invention was the beginning of the American Backyard Barbecue as we know it today. The Weber Kettle grill is an American Icon.
In 1985, Weber introduced a revolutionary line of gas grills—known as the Genesis®. This line of gas grills transformed the market, offering consumers precise heat control and virtually flare-up free cooking. With its patented cooking system, it was possible to cook anything you could do in your oven on your grill.
Most serious grillers that I know have a strong emotional connection with the Weber Brand and would never consider buying another brand even if they could save a few dollars. I own both a Weber Gas Grill and a Weber Kettle grill and switch between them depending on time and the food to be cooked. I live in the Northeast and grill year round even in the coldest weather. This weekend both of my Weber Grills will be used extensively even if the weather does not cooperate. I must admit that I have a strong emotional connection with my Weber Grills. For me it represents family, friends, great meals, memories and the opportunity to experiment and try cooking new things like a turkey for Thanksgiving.
In 2013, the brand published its tenth grilling cookbook. Several of their cookbooks have won awards. The brand created Weber Nation.com to support its growing, loyal and passionate fan base. It is a unique interactive web experience that provides content and tips for everything from selecting the right cuts of meat, to cooking instructions, real user stories, mouth-watering recipes and more all designed to enhance the grilling experience. Weber understands that its role is to sell more than grills but to provide tools and ideas to enhance the grilling experience. That realization has helped build a great brand.
Weber conducts and publishes an annual survey called the Weber Grillwatch Survey. Some interesting grilling trends have emerged:
- Sixty-two percent of Americans own an outdoor barbecue grill. The majority of grill owners own a gas model (63 Percent); 51 percent own a charcoal grill.
- Nearly one-half of grill owners fire up their grill year-round, Thirty three percent use their grill when it’s below freezing.
- 61 percent of grillers report that they are grilling healthier food.
- The Fourth of July is the most popular holiday of the year for grilling, with 86 percent of grill owners firing up the grill followed by Labor Day (75 percent) and Memorial Day (68 percent).
What is your favorite grilling story?