One does not imagine a marine buoy manufacturer as far inland as Illinois (geographically challenged people like myself specifically). But that is where it all started. A Chicago guy with an idea. George Stephen Sr. was working at Weber Brothers Metal Works in Illinois. The lightbulb went off. In complete secrecy he filched a buoy from the scratch’n’dent pile, cut it in half, and made a barbecue grill out of it. The dynasty of American-made quality charcoal grills was born.
Webers last forever. They look good, year after year. And functional? George wrote the book on it. Still privately held, Weber is estimated to have 35% market share selling PREMIUM grills. Impressive!
Recently I upgraded from a 14″ Smoky Joe to an 18″ Jumbo Joe. Finally, I’ve begun to understand searing and indirect heat, versus previous plop’n’pray grilling techniques. Excellence and mastery has its price, as several inedible meals can attest. And George’s company? Their premium grills are tortured to durable perfection before they hit retailers. Weber can afford to offer a fantastic warranty because their grills are so good!
An excellent Weber article written by Joe Cahill for Crain’s Chicago Business is linked here.