Back to all articles

The History of Weber Grills

In the 1950s, brick fireplace barbecues were extremely popular. George Stephen decided to build one for himself, but when he invited his friends over for a party, the steaks he made in it got burned to a crisp. He knew there must be a better way. George worked at Weber Brothers Metal Works where he regularly welded half spheres together to make buoys. He realized he could use one to design a better grill, so he took a half-sphere, put legs on it, added holes on the bottom for air flow, and added a lid for the top, creating 1952’s iconic Weber Kettle Grill. From there, Weber grills took off in popularity and over the years, they continued to evolve. The Smokey Joe debuted in 1962 and the Gas Barbecue Kettle was released in 1971. The Hot Shot tabletop gas grill (later known as the Gas Go-Anywhere) was released in the early 1980s. Around 1985, Weber joined the trend toward square-shaped, stand-up gas grills with the Genesis line; these grills featured redwood work surfaces, porcelain-enameled grates, Weber’s patented Flavorizer bars, and push ignition buttons. The line was updated again in the 1990s, which also saw the introduction of the Spirit series. In 2000, a special Genesis series was released, and in 2003, Weber Q grills were released. Highly portable, the series made grilling at tailgating events, picnics, and other get-togethers much easier. Around 2011, Weber debuted Summit Grill Centers, which were aimed at customers who wanted to create an outdoor grilling kitchen. The Genesis line was also redesigned again around the same time. In 2021, Weber added Smart Grills to their lineup. Today, Weber grills remain extremely popular and these USA-made grills are often considered one of the most trusted brand names in the modern grill market.

Share this article

card showing the history of rocking chairs

Your go-to guide for weird history facts

Subscribe to the FREE daily email that makes learning about history fun.