In 1952, George Stephen had an invention and a vision—two half-spheres cut from a sheet metal buoy that would bring barbecue grilling to the everyday household.
When I started at Weber, I loved hearing the story that our Weber Kettle was born from a buoy. George was a family man, with twelve children at home he was continuously working to control the flame of his outdoor BBQ in pursuit of the “perfect steak.”
While he worked at Weber Brothers Metal Works, he studied the shape of the buoy and felt by cutting this in half he would be able to control the airflow. From “George’s Barbecue Kettle” grew the barbecue division of Weber and an American icon was born.
Though George sadly passed away in 1993, his commitment to quality and goal of perfecting the grilling experience remain ever-present at Weber-Stephen Products LLC.
In celebration of the man who launched a thousand backyard barbecues and revolutionized the America grilling industry, we were thrilled that George Stephen was selected and inducted into the American Royal Associations Barbecue Hall of Fame. He was formally inducted in October 2013.
All of us at Weber are extremely proud of his relentless pursuit of the perfect steak and curiosity that led to the first “covered” BBQ. And to think this all started with a Buoy floating in lake Michigan? Ingenious.
We encourage all of our Backyard BBQ Heros to raise a glass and toast our founder, George Stephen. Cheers to a great man.