Big Change(s) at Weber - From sizzle to fizzle


 

JKalchik

TVWBB Gold Member
I would like to think so, if a company were to challenge it / them. I did not know about gravity fed smokers until Masterbuilt, but then found the others through research. Some have fan addon's but most just a ball valve to control temps.
There's apparently prior art going back nearly 30 years. I actually discovered GF smokers here.

If you really want to pick nits...... is the whole concept of a gravity fed really non-obvious? It's big "secret" is that the charcoal column has to be completely sealed, and nothing more. I'm far from a fabricator, a design engineer, etc., I'm an IT nerd, and I'm able to follow it, and build one. It's not like a new sort of hydraulic motor, a novel method of chemical processing or some such.
 

Richard S

TVWBB Super Fan
The press release that started this thread blames all external forces but Weber doesn't list one thing they might need to address internally other than changes in leadership.
I would like them to come out and say that they have "lost their way" a bit with some of these newer products that are made overseas. That includes the Smokefire and certainly the Coleman copycat Traveler. Not that those grills aren't useful...it's just not what you think about when you see the "Weber" brand.
Competition, grills made in China, and drop in customer service is what has hurt Weber for awhile now...going public was just the next step. Once we stopped printing money during covid and inflation hit, all forces collided. Weber is not alone.
It's time for them to get back to basics and core competencies. They should focus on charcoal grills and create some new concepts and sizes that are affordable and creative (think Performer but add some twists). They should also bring back a cool and retro Genesis.
I think the Baby Q is a perfect example of how Weber has lost their way. The first Baby's were incredible. Heavy duty, well made, no flareups, and easy to use. After a few years they were light weight and cheap. Now we have the Traveler...ugh.
I continue to support Weber despite the issues as they are still as good as anything out there. I just hope they can get back to the standards they set for themselves.
 

Scott Smith

TVWBB Pro
The press release that started this thread blames all external forces but Weber doesn't list one thing they might need to address internally other than changes in leadership.
I would like them to come out and say that they have "lost their way" a bit with some of these newer products that are made overseas. That includes the Smokefire and certainly the Coleman copycat Traveler. Not that those grills aren't useful...it's just not what you think about when you see the "Weber" brand.
Competition, grills made in China, and drop in customer service is what has hurt Weber for awhile now...going public was just the next step. Once we stopped printing money during covid and inflation hit, all forces collided. Weber is not alone.
It's time for them to get back to basics and core competencies. They should focus on charcoal grills and create some new concepts and sizes that are affordable and creative (think Performer but add some twists). They should also bring back a cool and retro Genesis.
I think the Baby Q is a perfect example of how Weber has lost their way. The first Baby's were incredible. Heavy duty, well made, no flareups, and easy to use. After a few years they were light weight and cheap. Now we have the Traveler...ugh.
I continue to support Weber despite the issues as they are still as good as anything out there. I just hope they can get back to the standards they set for themselves.
Like the New Coke debacle. They need to role out "classic Weber". Its been done before.
 

Jim C in Denver

TVWBB All-Star
...... is the whole concept of a gravity fed really non-obvious? It's big "secret" is that the charcoal column has to be completely sealed, and nothing more.

That's really not how patents work in the real world.

No one (MB or anyone else) would have a broad patent claim on an obvious technology like a gravity feed charcoal cooker. Also, no one would have a broad patent claim on using a thermostatically controlled fan to regulate the temperature in a charcoal cooker.

What you'd actually be able to get a patent on is a very specific, narrow and novel claim. Something like "a device that uses A (an electric fan) and B (an electric thermostat) and C (an enclosed gravity feed charcoal chute) and D (a temperature probe) to E (smoke ribs at low temp) and also to F (grill burgers at high temp)." And then the question becomes whether someone else could come up with a competitive product without using the exact combination of ABCD.

If you can easily build a product that does EF while using ABCX, then the ABCD patent (while granted and existing) is pretty much worthless. Because it can very easily be worked around legally. But if you can't make a product work at all without using ABCD, then said patent will turn out to be very valuable. So the value of the patent, like most things, depends upon the details.

The analogy is that a granted patent is a fence. All fences do not protect against all incursions equally. A three foot high cyclone fence will keep a dog or a bunny from getting into your yard. But it won't keep out kids, burglars, bugs, light or water. So the actual protective value depends on how high the fence/patent is, how wide it is, and how solid it is. And who/what exactly you are trying to keep out.

Depending on the details the ABCD patent claims could be the Hoover Dam. Or it could be tissue paper.
 
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Brett-EDH

TVWBB Platinum Member
My $0.02 worth. All these new grills with all this technology is exactly what I DIDN’T want when buying my E and now S6. I wanted no moving parts. No electricity required. No “assist” anything. And that’s what I bought.

The sheer pleasure of me, proteins, real charcoal over a natural fire, all for the best tasting food I could make.

Why all these grills with lights, beeps, boops, clicks, plugs and pretend smoke? I don’t get it and don’t care to either.

I had a post exchange on YouTube when Jeremy Yoder did a recent review of some $5,000 pellet smoker. The Traeger guy I was posting to said he has kids, homework, housework and other life commitments that he “couldn’t tend to a fire for 12 hours” to make food.

I don’t know what y’all are cooking and the frequency to eat a 12 hour cook, but for me, and maybe this is me, I grill 90% of the time and do a LAS the other 10%. And that 10% is on weekends and holidays when I can enjoy doing a LAS and the pleasure I derive from making PB or brisket.

And I do my LAS overnights so I can cook and sleep at the same time. I’m a man of efficiency.

I don’t and don’t think I will ever understand why people are so into these Betty Crocker Easy Bake brisket ovens. My no technology E/S6 does it all and my parts ain’t moving or breaking.

Carry on. No insults intended to anyone who likes all this new tech and pellet stuff. I love you all. And I’m not some 80 year old guy set in his ways. Lower mid fifties and I’ve seen a thing or two in my five decades cooking.

ADD ON: I also drive a manual transmission car. I guess I’m irrelevant to the rest of the world. And I’m okay with that.
 
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Josh-Chicyo

New member
I can't speak for the rest of the world, but here in the USA, I believe that Weber's biggest problem is the customers - sort of like Harley-Davidson but in a different way. They have traditionally catered to a population of middle-American White males that grew up grilling steak/hotdogs/hamburgers with their dads, and that demographic is changing. They better figure out how to sell to African-Americans, Latinos, Asians, Indians, and everybody else. The trick is doing that without offending the core demographic of white males that buy for their ideal of a traditional All-American cookout. It's a culture war more than an issue with the company or the grills.
This is totally true but it’s not a demographic issue- think about food trends- we’re ALL more global in our cuisine. Steak is great but we’re all that and more.
 

Joan

TVWBB Honor Circle
I agree, I just filed away a Korean Fried Chicken recipe that called for gochujang AND gochugaru. lol
 

Scott Smith

TVWBB Pro
This is totally true but it’s not a demographic issue- think about food trends- we’re ALL more global in our cuisine. Steak is great but we’re all that and more.
So what you're saying is that if all you eat is steak, it is easier to justify a $$$$ brand name gas grill and a $$$$ brand name pellet grill, etc. If you eat lots of diverse foods and only grill steak once a month, it gets harder to justify that kind of expense.

So Weber is in a bad spot. Their product is designed for a lifestyle that appears to be fading away.
 

TonyUK

TVWBB Guru
The sheer pleasure of me, proteins, real charcoal over a natural fire, all for the best tasting food I could make.

Why all these grills with lights, beeps, boops, clicks, plugs and pretend smoke? I don’t get it and don’t care to either.
^^
This! I want nothing to do with software updates, bluetooth, charts and graphs, apps etc. I want to sit outside, open a beer, a little music and enjoy the day. Edit: Maybe tweak a vent now and agin.
I consider using a Mav-732 hi-tec. :geek:
 

Brett-EDH

TVWBB Platinum Member
^^
This! I want nothing to do with software updates, bluetooth, charts and graphs, apps etc. I want to sit outside, open a beer, a little music and enjoy the day.
I consider using a Mav-732 hi-tec. :geek:
You’re invited over anytime you’re in NorCal. Just let me know.
 

BFletcher

TVWBB Emerald Member
The Traeger guy I was posting to said he has kids, homework, housework and other life commitments that he “couldn’t tend to a fire for 12 hours” to make food.

I don’t know what y’all are cooking and the frequency to eat a 12 hour cook, but for me, and maybe this is me, I grill 90% of the time and do a LAS the other 10%. And that 10% is on weekends and holidays when I can enjoy doing a LAS and the pleasure I derive from making PB or brisket.
Well now you're just giving away trade secrets to our spouses :p

You shared your opinion well and without offense. I'm your approximate age and I enjoy both methods... tending to fire at times and automation at others. I wouldn't want to be without either.
 

Richard S

TVWBB Super Fan
My $0.02 worth. All these new grills with all this technology is exactly what I DIDN’T want when buying my E and now S6. I wanted no moving parts. No electricity required. No “assist” anything. And that’s what I bought.

The sheer pleasure of me, proteins, real charcoal over a natural fire, all for the best tasting food I could make.

Why all these grills with lights, beeps, boops, clicks, plugs and pretend smoke? I don’t get it and don’t care to either.

I had a post exchange on YouTube when Jeremy Yoder did a recent review of some $5,000 pellet smoker. The Traeger guy I was posting to said he has kids, homework, housework and other life commitments that he “couldn’t tend to a fire for 12 hours” to make food.

I don’t know what y’all are cooking and the frequency to eat a 12 hour cook, but for me, and maybe this is me, I grill 90% of the time and do a LAS the other 10%. And that 10% is on weekends and holidays when I can enjoy doing a LAS and the pleasure I derive from making PB or brisket.

And I do my LAS overnights so I can cook and sleep at the same time. I’m a man of efficiency.

I don’t and don’t think I will ever understand why people are so into these Betty Crocker Easy Bake brisket ovens. My no technology E/S6 does it all and my parts ain’t moving or breaking.

Carry on. No insults intended to anyone who likes all this new tech and pellet stuff. I love you all. And I’m not some 80 year old guy set in his ways. Lower mid fifties and I’ve seen a thing or two in my five decades cooking.

ADD ON: I also drive a manual transmission car. I guess I’m irrelevant to the rest of the world. And I’m okay with that.
Ha…I initially thought the 10% LAS stood for “lazy as ****e” 💩 cooks. 🤣. Not that there’s anything wrong with that!
 

Brett-EDH

TVWBB Platinum Member
Well now you're just giving away trade secrets to our spouses :p

You shared your opinion well and without offense. I'm your approximate age and I enjoy both methods... tending to fire at times and automation at others. I wouldn't want to be without either.
My manual transmission probably convinces all I’m a Luddite. But it’s a special car. And gives me a sheet happy grin every time I drive her. Life is good.
 

John_NJ

TVWBB Pro
I have been reading about legislation aimed at phasing out gasoline powered lawn maintenance equipment- lawn mowers, leaf blower’s etc for environmental reasons.

Anyone seeing anything relating to outdoor grills? Gas, charcoal or other fuels?

I know many smart corporations (not an oxymoron) try to forecast out many years ahead.

What’s the future of barbecue grills?

Just a question.
 

Brett-EDH

TVWBB Platinum Member
I have been reading about legislation aimed at phasing out gasoline powered lawn maintenance equipment- lawn mowers, leaf blower’s etc for environmental reasons.

Anyone seeing anything relating to outdoor grills? Gas, charcoal or other fuels?

I know many smart corporations (not an oxymoron) try to forecast out many years ahead.

What’s the future of barbecue grills?

Just a question.
We own a Makita electric weed whacker for a few years now and love it! No fuels to store. It doesn’t stink. It’s super quiet. And it’s more powerful than the old gas trimmer we sold.
 

TonyUK

TVWBB Guru
Anyone seeing anything relating to outdoor grills? Gas, charcoal or other fuels?
They'll have to pry the briqs and lump out of my cold, dead hands first.
Where I live there are still many, many properties that still burn coal to heat their homes. I have a working coal fire in my living room, although I have central heating. With the cost of natural gas going through the roof me and the Mrs have decided to fire it up this winter.
 

John_NJ

TVWBB Pro
People on the forum are obviously grilling enthusiasts, so whether or not anyone here is going to give up grilling is not the point.
 

Brian B Atlanta

TVWBB Guru
Now we have the Traveler...ugh.
I actually think this was one of their better ideas, there are a few members here who have them and are happy with them. They were out of stock for awhile so my guess is they are selling and actually not my local HD but one I can easily drive to has them in stock so I could actually go down and see one bring it on home if I wanted.

Do they really need all those Q models with by the way a 3200 with the cart costing over $500? I don't know maybe the product line needs to actually be slimmed down why selling Kettles with ash pans just get rid of that line never seemed safe to me to have ashes dropping into a pan and blowing everywhere with any kind of wind.
 

 

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