Monday, July 02, 2012

Weber Grill Design Timeline for Barbecue Nostalgists

It's summer and our new hobby is grilling. When we first moved to suburbia I had absolutely no interest in joining the legions of outdoor cooks around here. What the hell is so great about cooking outdoors, I wondered. There's fire, smoke, propane, charcoal, wind, bird droppings, screaming children next door and so on. Plus I'm married to a vegetarian who only eats five vegetables. And my son is so disinterested in food that sometimes I think he may have been fathered in the middle of the night by a visiting alien bearing an in-vitro probe.

I don't know what happened to me this year. I think I've been indoctrinated into some kind of Smokey-Joe cult. Maybe it's just one more gadget to get my son interested in dinner (that works for him for short periods of time). Whatever happened, I'm fascinated by the whole process of grilled cuisine. And Jackson ate an entire turkey burger the other night, I think solely based on the beautiful grill marks I managed to cook up. This is a kind of triumph around here.

We picked up Weber's 2012 catalog at the hardware store yesterday and the Weber Grill Timeline is one of my favorite public-relations layouts ever. I wish it was poster-sized to hang over my mantel. I isolated the standouts for nostalgic bbq reminiscing. Back in the 70s, we had the standard black kettle with the wheels on the stand. I had no idea the Weber Grill had such funky design specs over the years.

This is the grill that started it all. Designed by George Stephen of Weber Brothers Metal Works outside of Chicago. Still a thing of beauty.

The Westerner—don't you want a throw a steer on here? I know I do.

The Flamenco has some backyard patio attitude, I think you'll agree. Cocktail wieners anyone?

The Wishing Well is wishing it was a lawn ornament—a lawn ornament that can cook up some tasty pork loin that is.

Madame, your rib-eye steak is cooked to perfection on the Seville. So very fancy!

Hey, it's the 70s and I'm getting back to basics. I found this barrel by the side of the road—what should I do with it? 

Some might not think of the 80s as the pinnacle of industrial design, but I think this red-top Genesis gas grill is spiffy looking. Plus it's named Genesis so turn it on, turn it on again.

What do I dream of when I dream of my dream barbecue grill? The One-Touch® Platinum with it's little side tables, charcoal fuel holders and high-capacity ash catcher, of course. *salivate*

Elizabeth Karmel's big barbecue bible Taming the Flame is helping me not be such an ignoramous around the grill. And this book has encouraged me to not only try grilling vegetables (which are divine), but fruit as well. Grilled fruit is the sweetest thing you will ever taste. You'll get a sugar rush, I promise.

You can get the same results on a tiny Smokey Joe, which is what we've been using (a gift from our neighbors), or on one of the big hulking gas grills that are so popular now. Barbecue is pretty much in most people's grasp, so don't be like me. Don't shut yourself off from primitive-based smoky cooking experiences. You'll have to deal with ash aftermath, but it's worth it.

This adorable Weber logo brought to you by the year 1954

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