History of the Weber Kettle

The Weber Kettle was the first outdoor BBQ grilling system invented by George Stephen in 1952. It has been a staple in the Weber range ever since. He took home a half shaped piece of metal from the factory job he had and invented the first Weber Kettle.

The outdoor grilling hero has come a long way since then but still keeps the same shape because the premise of the cooking method is still the same. The proof is in the eating. There are compact kettles and portable kettles as well as full size models in the range.

 

Deconstruction of the Weber Kettle

So what makes a Weber Kettle so special. Lets pull one apart and have a look.

Firstly, any full size Weber Kettle has five major components that frame the building blocks for the cooker. We like to call it the original grilling system.

Component 1

Bowl and lid
The first design created by George Stephen still holds strong today. This is because there was a specific reason for his design. It all had to do with the constant circulation and even heat distribution inside the grill. Both are still manufactured with high quality steel and coated with porcelain enamel, this is very important. These quality materials go a long way to sealing the heat inside the unit. These materials are also easier to clean. The enamel is baked on at a searing 815 degrees. This allows the Weber barbeque to withstand the high cooking heat it will be performing at and alleviate any rust or burn-through issues.

 

Component 2

Damper
When Weber was first introduced it was a phenomenon. It turned barbequing on its head because it required the lid to be closed during the cooking process. The damper is key to this method as it is built into the lid of the Kettle and allows you to control the heat inside the grill without having to open it. The more often you open the Damper the hotter the cooker will get. Conversely, closing the Damper has the opposite effect.

 

 

Component 3

Cooking grate

This is also a design feature. Most models come with a heavy duty plated steel insert. Others can come with a steel grate or hinged grate. This makes it easier for the user to move when adding more charcoal.

 

Component 4

Charcoal grate

Weber charcoal grates are manufactured to withstand the heat which radiates from burning coal. For this purpose they are made from heavy duty plated steel. They are sizeable enough for the user to arrange the charcoal in different formations, depending on which cooking method being used, direct or indirect grilling.

Direct grilling Indirect grilling
The most commonly used method for grilling. Get your grill to a high temperature and simply put the place the meat on the hotplate. This method has a searing effect on meat. The meat is then placed on a non-so-heat-intensive part of the grill and continues to cook through at a slower rate. This method calls for the cooker to reach 225 degrees before cooking. This method requires  the meat to be situated away from the direct heat source. It also requires the lid to be closed. This allows the meat to be cooked low and slow as the low temperature air cooks in an around the meat. The process takes longer but it is worth it. Indirect cooking allows the juices of the meat to be released back as it slowly breaks down all the molecules in the food. This technique calls for the temperature to reach and maintain a level of 150 degrees. You do not need premium cuts of meat to achieve premium results.

 

Component 5

One touch cleaning system

This simple and easy addition serves two purposes. It triggers the release of the ashes left over from the charcoal and also doubles as the ventilation system. Closing the vent stops the oxygen firing the coals. This allows them to burn cooler and eventually go out. Conversely, opening them has the opposite effect of giving the coals more heat.

It’s nice to know the favourites don’t always have to go through major change to keep up with trends or technology. The Kettle design has stood the test of time and that’s a fact Weber are proud of.

The modern day Weber Kettle BBQ range includes

Compact Kettle

Original Kettle
Original Premium Kettle
Original Premium Kettle with Gourmet BBQ
Performer Kettle
Performer Premium Kettle
Ranch
Summit Charcoal
Summit Charcoal Grilling Centre
Full Weber Charcoal range
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