Weber, Chicago, Shakespeare discussed on On the Road with Dane Neal
The Chicago Tribune. Yes. Twenty WGN on the road live here the AllState skyline studio it's hard to think. Right. We are just a. A handful of short shopping days from that holiday time from Christmas. And so people are making their choices here. And I know that a lot of people are thinking of themselves when it comes to great grilling gifts for that special someone what are you gonna get? Right. You could head into now. And in almost any store people have it you don't necessarily have to have to find a specific barbecue. So of course, we recommend the backyard barbecue star where you've got everything plus the expertise to go along with it. We have one of the experts in studio with us the one and only max good from amazing ribs dot com. I think on the product side, here's what it is. That you guys do at had knows this in a big shout out to him as he's he's heading off to the theater, right? Correct. Me does not define him. Right. Grilling barbecue expert, and he's gonna take in some Shakespeare today. You know, I think Shakespeare. When he was done doing all the theater stuff. It would it would grill a little bit, right? He would barbecue somewhat. Well, all around the world, there's different traditions of cooking outdoor over live fire, and I'm certain Shakespeare took advantage of it in his day with are there any now, I have no have all my Shakespeare place in front of me. But are there any scenes where there is maybe a conversation over let's say a grill. I I love Shakespeare, and I have memorized a few passages. But I don't recall anything specifically along those lines. Okay. Well, maybe we'll look into it. The the the lesser known was maybe we'll emerge at some point. So think about this you guys when it comes to the list. It's basically the Shakespeare of information when it comes to greet products on the grill side, and you do the grills the smokers, and that kind of end of things and people think, oh, well, jeez. How many can there possibly be max? Right. There's so many out there now. It's incredible. Well, you know, the the desire to cook out. Adores is escalating worldwide American style barbecue is catching on all over the place, particularly in Europe, Australia, some other areas. But yeah, I mean, I I try very hard. But I can't keep up with all the products that are out there. They're coming at me, a mild mannered Dane well in. You think about the popularity of it, and you talked a little bit about so sort of that global reach. I was just down the Jack, and they have international competition. There were people that were doing some really amazing stuff. I mean, so that learning curve and our good friend, mutual friend. Really happy Dr barbecues over there at grill stock all the time. And he said initially when they first started there. It was crazy. They didn't necessarily like understand the whole concept of American barbecue. And what to do and how to do it? There are certainly creative. Right. And there's some great minds, and they had some decent equipment. But now, I mean, it's only taken a handful of years, I think because of the internet because places like amazing ribs dot com. Right. We're all information is out there. And I think the the playing field is getting kind of level where people are are. Are you a more people are grilling and enjoying grilling all around the world. And it is a good business. I think it is one of those businesses. I mean, I don't know if you've studied the trends or whatever, but as far as being able to make something and do it at a very high level in your own home. I mean, grilling is one of those things. Absolutely. I think cooking in general. You know, you have the all the food shows on TV and on the internet. People like to cook. Just a wonderful thing. You know, you really get a reward every night after you've cooked something, hopefully, you get a reward. If. Awarded shows true. That's true. But you know, I it's it's it can be a social activity particularly with barbecue. I mean, what RBQ is social at you? You wanna be outside? You want to have a beverage in your hand, you want to be gabbing away with your friends and family. We we're going to be pushing. I think it's going to be forty fifty degrees today maybe tomorrow too. And so you don't have to brave the elements in order to do it. But Chicago is one of those places as I have talked to grilling enthusiasts. It's one of those places where we don't let the weather stand in the way of what it is that we want to do whereas in other places in the country. It is more seasonal, right? You know, it's it's in the summer in the backyard, kind of thing, certainly we do all of that. But but here I think in Chicago and give me your thoughts as far as maybe some of the feedback because amazing ribs dot com, you have fans subscribers people that come to the site from all over the place. But but Chicago, I mean, do we grill more than maybe other places in the country? I don't have statistics on it. But I would say that there is a trend as people. Become more and more interested in cooking and more interested now door cooking. There are leading weather stop them. Whether it's rain or snow, or whatever, you know. And we hear from a lot of folks that say they, you know, I don't care if it's snowing. They send us pictures of them shoveling their grill off they're out there grilling away. It's the whole grilling and meet and we've talked about famous Dave always says that there's something you know, as Steven Reich. Glenn always talks about it as well. Right. As something sort of almost from the caveman times that we're like it's in our DNA as humans to be able to to have meat and cook it over a fire and all those kind of things, but the equipment has changed. You think it's been around forever? And obviously it has with the the whole caveman thing, but the, but the grilling side of it is when was the one was the first grill made was was it like a Weber kettle grill. I mean, and I don't want to go all the way back to you know, what we're in the ruins of Pompeii kind of finding something that could be, but but as far as like the modern girl as we know it well. However was one of the first that really made a splash, and they're right here in the Chicago area, by the way, as you probably know from but there were other girls banging around at the same time portable kitchen PK. They came out the very same years Weber introduced their famous cattle nine hundred fifty two. People were I'm sure there was stuff floating around out there. But I mean, Henry Ford famously tried to promote barbecue with the model t he had these wacky little kits. Because the idea was I got to get people to buy these cars. So I have to give them a reason to buy them. Well, you can go drive countryside grill. Get a car, I think he hit me with it in a bag of charcoal. And here's a funny story, people don't know this. He actually started the Kingsford charcoal company. Really? Yes. He was may he had all these wouldn't parts from making the model t's they were a little odds and ends. And he said what can I do with them? I I don't wanna waste them. So that he made charcoal out of them and one of his daughters. I believe married a guy whose last name was Kingsford. And he ended up taking it over. I did not know that. So one of our kind of a conic adventures was also there is one of the founding fathers of the charcoal briquettes. Absolutely true. Yes. Wow. Okay. So all right. So let's talk a little bit about what what we have here today. So now you've got Weber. It is one of those as simple as it may have been in the fifties. It is it's basically unchanged. But it's still, you know, it's not broke don't fix it. Right. It's the same one. Now. I know they've done some adjustments and certainly some bells and whistles, but they're still making the same basic thing. If you go to their facility in Palatine, Illinois, right outside of Chicago. They have a small museum that has the older and they have one of the original kettles. Here's something else that you probably knew this. We're looking out of the beautiful. Lakeside here from your from your studio. Weber was actually a company that made booties that were used out on the lake and on bodies water, and that round bottom George Stevens was working for Weber as I recall and making these bullies. And he just chopped the top of one off and put a lid on it. And that's how the kettle started. He put dampers in events and on put it on legs. So he got the name somehow. I guess I don't know all the details on that. But Webber grill was actually the bottom of a buoy. And if you if you see the original ones you go. Yeah. But it's funny. I've grilled on them for so long to open at litter. This whole thing it looks like it came from Pompeii, and he opened up the lead. You look at the bottom, and it looks almost exactly like they look. Wow. You got think? Right. It's it's a very simple concept, and this kind of thing that's been sort of copied in different ways. But Weber is the one that has really kind of staked told that that market share right in and you look back yards here in the Chicago area. Anyway, around the country, you know, you're gonna see a Webber grill back there. And so are they still as guy who's used consistently testing things out there is it the mousetrap thing? I mean is it still for what it is you to put some charcoal in and and light it up and make some make some things right? Whether it's hot dogs hamburgers, or even maybe some more complicated. So is the Webber grill. Still the way to go from a product perspective a full-size Weber kettle you can make anything on it. You can make pizza. You can make cakes. You know, you can make ribs you can make steak you name it. You can cook out on a as long as you know, what you're doing. And if all you want to do is, burgers and hotdogs, you can do that too. You know? Yeah. For the money. You can't go wrong. You know, if that's severe on the desert island scenario. What are you going to bring with you? Charcoal on your island might as well go with a kennel, and for those people out there that are considering thanks and we've got a text from the six three zero. Do you have to get you know, there's other markets that make or other places where you can get basically a kettle kettle type grill. It may not be the brand name of Weber because Weber's is kind of. I think it's maybe at a premium, right? It's it's a little bit of expensive for what it is. Are they all the same? Or is there something magical about is it the metal or the way that they're doing it? Or is it just better as far as quality of construction? There are some other good brands that make charcoal grows and are not all kettles either. But yeah, there's a lot of knockoffs out there. Weber does a lot of things right though. Some of it's on the marketing and sales side, but also customer service. They have the best customer service in the business. I don't want to sound like I'm doing a commercial here. But they do I've been at their factory, and they're very proud of their processes, and they have a reason to the they're consistent. They're good. They're not very generally a little more expensive, particularly when you get into the gas grill. You. But once you have elaborate a lot of people don't switch. They just depend on the kind of thing, and that's part of the sales. Of course, you've got to make sure that we mentioned we're talking with max. Good from amazing ribs.