Weber-Stephen Products

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Weber-Stephen Products LLC
FoundedMay 8, 1893
FounderGeorge A. Stephen
HeadquartersPalatine, Illinois
ProductsOutdoor grills

The Weber-Stephen Products LLC is a privately held American manufacturer of charcoal, gas and electric outdoor grills with related accessories. In 2004, Weber-Stephen acquired some assets of competitor Ducane at a bankruptcy sale.[1] It also owns restaurants and publishes cookbooks. The company was family owned until it sold a majority stake to BDT Capital Partners in 2010.[2]


Replica of the original 1951 Weber kettle grill

Weber-Stephen was originally incorporated on May 8, 1893 as Weber Bros. Metal Works.[3]

The original round charcoal kettle grill was built by George Stephen Sr., a then part-owner of the sheet metal shop in Chicago who sought to improve on the brazier he had been using to cook with at home.[4] The grill was produced using two sheet metal half-spheres normally used as parts of buoys built in his shop. George's neighbors called it ‘Sputnik‘.[5] Shortly thereafter he began selling the invention, which he called 'George's Barbecue Kettle', for which there was considerable demand.[6]

Because the grill became so successful after he began selling it in 1952, Stephen formed the barbecue division of the Weber Brothers factory. In the late 1950s, Stephen bought out the Weber Brothers factory and became the sole owner, devoting all his professional time to manufacturing and selling the Weber kettle. Soon thereafter, Stephen changed the company’s name to Weber-Stephen Products Co.[7]

The Weber-Stephen company manufactures and sells outdoor electric grills, charcoal grills, gas grills, and charcoal smokers.

Weber Grill Restaurants[edit]

Weber Grill Restaurant in Chicago, Illinois
Weber Grill Restaurant in Schaumburg, Illinois

In 1989, the company opened the first Weber Grill Restaurant in Wheeling, Illinois, but in spite of a remodeling in 2000, this location closed in 2010.[8] Five additional locations were built in Lombard, Illinois (1999), River North, Chicago (2002), Schaumburg, Illinois (2005), Indianapolis (2007), and St. Louis (2016), all of which are in operation as of 2017.[9]

While a majority share of Weber-Stephen Products LLC was sold to BDT Capital Partners in 2010, the acquisition did not include restaurant operations. While both the restaurants and outdoor cooking equipment maintain the Weber branding, two separate companies now exist. The restaurants remain solely owned by the Stephen family.

Ducane Products Co.[edit]

The Ducane Products Company started out as the Ducane Brothers Metal Fabricating in 1946. It moved three years later to Little Ferry, New Jersey, where they manufactured warm air furnaces. In 1968, the name was changed to The Ducane Company and moved the base of operations to Barnwell, SC. And in 1975, they started making Ducane Gas Grills.[10] However, Ducane filed for bankruptcy in 2003 and was partially acquired by Weber-Stephens at a bankruptcy sale in 2004 for $13.6 million.

Under Weber's leadership, Ducane marketed propane and natural gas grills through big box home improvement and specialty outdoor product stores. In an effort to revamp the Ducane brand, Weber introduced the "Ducane Stainless" (2006) exclusively through Home Depot, the "Ducane Affinity" (2007) and the "Ducane Meridian" (2007) through multiple channels.[11]


  • Weber's Art of the Grill: Recipes for Outdoor Living, Jamie Purviance and Tim Turner, ISBN 978-0-8118-2419-4, 1999.
  • Weber's Big Book of Grilling, Jamie Purviance, Sandra S. McRae, and Tim Turner, ISBN 978-0-8118-3197-0, 2001.
  • Weber's Art of the Grill Deck: Recipes for Outdoor Living (cards), Jamie Purviance and Tim Turner, ISBN 978-0-8118-3336-3, 2002
  • Weber's Real Grilling, Jamie Purviance, Mike Kempster, and Tim Turner, ISBN 978-0-376-02046-8, 2005.
  • Weber's Charcoal Grilling: The Art of Cooking With Live Fire, Jamie Purviance and Tim Turner, ISBN 978-0-376-02047-5, 2007.
  • Weber's Way to Grill: The Step-by-Step Guide to Expert Grilling, Jamie Purviance, ISBN 978-0-376-02059-8, 2009.
  • Weber's Complete Barbecue Book: Step-by-step Advice and Over 150 Delicious Barbecue Recipes, Jamie Purviance, ISBN 978-0600621119, 2010.
  • Weber's On the Grill: Chicken & Sides: Over 100 Fresh, Great Tasting Recipes, Jamie Purviance, ISBN 978-0376020352, 2010.
  • Weber's On the Grill: Steak & Sides: Over 100 Fresh, Great Tasting Recipes, Jamie Purviance, ISBN 978-0376020338, 2010.
  • Weber's Time to Grill: Get In. Get Out. Get Grilling., Jamie Purviance, ISBN 978-0376020604, 2011.
  • Weber's Smoke: A Guide to Smoke Cooking for Everyone and Any Grill, Jamie Purviance, ISBN 978-0376020673, 2012.
  • Weber's Barbecue Anytime: Over 190 Inspirational Recipes to Help You Get the Most Out of Your Barbecue, Jamie Purviance, ISBN 978-0600624134, 2012.
  • Weber's New Real Grilling: The ultimate cookbook for every backyard griller, Jamie Purviance, ISBN 978-0376027986, 2013.


  1. ^ "Weber-Stephen Products Co. Acquires Ducane(R) Gas Grills". Retrieved 2016-07-29.
  2. ^ "Acquisition (March 2004)". Retrieved 2016-07-29.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-03-14. Retrieved 2013-06-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Keepers of the Flame". Saveur (117): 68. 2009.
  5. ^ "Weber - A food love story". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-07-02.
  6. ^ "Weber Newsroom - Company History". Archived from the original on 2007-06-08. Retrieved 2007-07-02.
  7. ^ "George Stephen, Company Founder and Inventor of the Weber Kettle Grill". Archived from the original on 2007-06-23. Retrieved 2007-07-02.
  8. ^ Phyllis Benson (2000-06-08). "Weber Grill Restaurant, 920 Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling, has..." Retrieved 2016-07-29.
  9. ^ "Weber-Stephen Product Co. Corporate Fact Sheet". Archived from the original on 2007-11-07. Retrieved 2008-03-31.
  10. ^ "Ducane Gas Barbeque Grill Parts and BBQ Manufacturing History". Retrieved June 15, 2013.
  11. ^ "Weber-Stephen Products Co. Introduces Its New 2007 Ducane Gas Grill Line Up". Retrieved 2016-07-29.

External links[edit]