12 Great Moments in Grill History

How backyard grills from Weber, TEC and others evolved from basic charcoal to gas to infrared to Wi-Fi voice control.

Did civilization invent grilling, or was it the other way around? Remnants of ancient campfires are among the earliest evidence we have of human groups: Grills—primitive ones by modern standards, with none o’ yer fancy sauce warmers—have been found throughout the ruins of antiquity. As long as we’ve been social, we’ve been congregating around the grill, asking the cook if he shouldn’t flip that chicken, because it sure looks done to us.

But like golf and boy bands, it took the New World to bring grilling to its full potential. In the 17th century, European explorers found Caribbean natives slow-cooking meat on greenwood lattices over a fire, and “barbecue” (from the Arawak word “barbacoa,” still in use at Chipotle) became the rage on both sides of the Atlantic. George Washington attended all-night barbecues, Andrew Jackson threw pig roasts at the White House, and LBJ’s first official state dinner was a barbecue at his ranch, with coffee reportedly “so strong it would float a .44” bullet.

Today, four out of five U.S. households own a grill, thanks to a century of loving innovation. Stand back…there may be spattering.

1910s | Sackett’s Broiler

1930s | Ford’s ‘Picnic Kit’

1942 | Coleman Pocket Stove

Mid 1940s | Brazier Grill

1952 | Weber Kettle Grill

1954 | Lazy-Man Model AP

1963 | Weber Flamenco

1974 | The Big Green Egg

1980 | TEC Infrared Underfired Grill

1994 | George Foreman Grill

2012 | Epicoa Rotisserie Grill

2015 | The Lynx Smart Grill

12 Great Moments in Grill History

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