It's a Good Day to Hug Your Grill

Categories: Eat This

They don't build them like they used to.
You can pretend you're still plugged in at the office, but we all know you're not. July 4th is just hours away, the weather is cool for this time of year and all of you are watching the clock while you lust for your grills. Tomorrow promises to be the biggest grilling day in the history of Dallas.

It's decent timing that Bloomberg Businessweek published an article on the history of the most ubiquitous American grill. The Weber kettle got its start 61 years ago when some guy named George Stephen turned a metal buoy into a hot box for hot dogs. Now there's a black kettle in nearly everyone's back yard.

They're not quite as sturdy as they used to be. Parts sourced in China stripped the company of of it's "Made in USA" label and the wheels seem like they could fall off any instant as of late. Of course, if you complain about things like that you'll be complaining a lot lately. The red Solo plastic cups you'll likely be swilling from are much thinner these days, too.

Last summer when I wrote about grills I didn't have one at all. This summer I've got a rickety secondhand Weber whose legs won't stay in place when I move it across the yard. It's a hobo grill that's starting to rust, with a cooking grate that's in serious need of replacement. And yet, every time I strike a match and hold it to the bottom of a charcoal chimney I'm filled with an anticipation that seems especially heightened by the process of cooking over a fire I've built myself. Hopefully your cookout will harness that same type of excitement, too.

Whatever you're cooking on, enjoy your holiday. City of Ate will be quiet tomorrow but we'll be back on Friday -- maybe with a bit less arm hair and eyebrows.

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TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

Yeah, cheap cheap cheap. What a shame that such a great product is dying.

I received a "Silver" edition Weber from my in-laws last year and I've also got a basic model that I purchased back in '95 or so. The newest one is by far the worst and won't outlast my mid 90's model. And even the one I purchased in the '90's couldn't compare to the 1970's vintage Weber kettle I inherited from my dad when he passed. (Which, incidentally still gets used pretty regularly - although it lost its legs loooong ago and now sits unused on a couple of old logs about 360 days a year.

I'm quite certain that old kettle of my dad's will still be grilling great burgers long after those Chinese imposters have rusted away to nothing. Based on this last product they pawned off on me, I won't be giving Weber any more of my money. The old time kettle made with heavy gauge steel was a far superior cooking device.

Anyone got a Big Green Egg they'd like to sell on the cheap?


Yo werez eyez fromz wez don’t eatz dat parts of uh da dogz.

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