The History of Weber Barbecue

As you heat up your Weber barbecue grill, do you ever wonder where these rotisseries got their beginning? Who ever thought of such an idea as a round grill with a dome lid?

Well, wonder no more. Here’s the history on Weber Barbecue grills.

About 50 years ago George Stephan, an employee of Weber Brothers Metal Works, went to work everyday welding metal buoys for the coastguard. However, when he went home he loved to light up his open flat cooking grate and cook for his family. As he roasted, he would think that there must be a better way to roast than on the flat, open surface of his barbecue framework. Then, he had an idea that would forever change the process of broiling food. George Stephan welded his passion for roasting food with his buoy welding career.

He used the bottom half of the buoy for a cooking base and the top half for a lid and created the Weber barbecue grill. He added a tripod to its bottom so that it would stand all on its own. Later, after having difficulty keeping the fire lit, he added three holes on its top. Finally, after he was satisfied with this set-up, he began selling it in hardware stores. At that time it was called George’s Barbecue Kettle. In 1952, George created the barbecue division within the Weber Brothers factory. In the late 1950’s, he purchased the Weber Brothers factory, becoming the sole owner of the place and changed the name to Weber-Stephen Products Co.

The cost of the Weber barbecue grill in its first days was $36 more than the open, flat design framework. Despite the price difference, he successfully sold off his cooking product. The sales of this product continued to grow over the next several years. By the 1970’s, around 800,000 were sold each year.

Then, in 1985 Weber-Stephan introduced gas grills. In 1989 the first Weber Grill Restaurant opened in Wheeling, Illinois, serving food from Weber barbecue grills. Then, in 1999, he opened his restaurant in Lombard, Illinois, followed by another one opening in Schaumburg Illinois in 2005 and in Indianapolis in 2007, all serving food from this roasting framework.

It has now been about 50 years since the creation of this amazing rotisserie. Many improvements and changes have been made to this, but the basic outdoor set-up basically looks the same. People in 30 different countries are enjoying food grilled on this broiling framework. Also, many other restaurants, besides their own, have purchased and started using Weber barbecue grills to cook for their customers.

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