Metalworker George Stephen, Sr. is credited with revolutionizing the way we barbecue. Stephen, who worked for the Weber Brothers Metal Works
, was an avid backyard griller and was frequently frustrated by the uneven and uncontrollable flame of his open grill. So he cut one of his company’s metal buoys in half and created a dome-shaped grill with a rounded lid. The kettle shape afforded protection from the wind and allowed Stephen to control the flames, while the lid sealed in the smoky flavor. That was in 1952; the nation’s move to the suburbs soon followed, and Stephen's Weber Kettle became a fixture in every backyard. Grillers liked it because it was compact, transportable, easy to use, and almost foolproof, allowing novices to cook like pros.