Made in Chicago: The history behind Weber Grills - FOX 32 News Chicago

Made in Chicago: The history behind Weber Grills

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Memorial Day is the official start of the grilling season. All across the country, millions of charcoal and gas grills will be burning away and making delicious burgers and brats.

Friday morning, the Weber Grill Academy in Schaumburg offered FOX 32 News some grilling tips and information on the history of the grill.

The first Weber Grill was invented locally in 1952 by a father of 12 children who was seeking a way to cook outdoors, but not on the ground.

"He worked at Weber Brother Metal Works Company and they were spilling metal objects. One was a buoy and he thought, 'if I used this, would I have more control,'" Kim Lefko, Weber's EVP of marketing said.

Since then, Weber Grills have been produced primarily in Palatine and Huntley, Ill. Lefko said they are proud of their Chicago roots.

'This is the iconic kettle that is synonymous with the American Barbeque. We love it," Lefko went on to say.

Kevin Koleman, a grill master at Weber Grill, says all of the grill masters are trained at the Weber Grill Academy in Schaumburg. The academy sees students who are just getting started and other who want to hone their grilling skills. 

Koleman says it is important to clean your grill if it hasn't been used in a while- if you don't, the grill won't perform properly.

"If there is a lot of debris, get that stuff out. We want to use a stainless steel brush to get that off after it's been fired up for about 10 or 15 minutes. You can also use soapy water or a scouring pad," Koleman said.

He says the best thing for getting off the excess debris is to use heat and to work from the outside in.

Koleman says the number one mistake people make when grilling is pre-heating the grill.

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