just had to ask


Dan H.

Hey Mike! Just great having you stop by for a Q&A, greatly appreciate it (both you and Chris A.)
Before my question I'de like to say my 18" WSM has been by far more used then my 4 year old kitchen oven. I've had the WSM for about 2 years. Just so were on the same page this isn't a "dig" even in the least, but I was wandering if you could describe (as far as on your end, and what part you played) the process of testing, or doing a trial run (if there is one)after a shiny new 22" WSM comes off the conveyor belt (or whatever).
I don't actually own one yet (want one pretty bad) but have read a lot of a vent problem snagging somehow appearantly on the charcoal grate. No big deal, but I couldn't help wandering what that conversation was like if it was noticed during the production. I imagine theres much to be kept track of during these times and its amazing to me anything gets done w/ so many folks signing up to buy one. I can't imagine the stress levels.
. I guess i'm kind of hoping for a funny story from you is the truth of it. I just keep visualizing like you and 4 other folks standing around that just noticed and what was said (maybe "uhhh...crap!" and as you turn around theres about 1000 units already made!
!!). I cant imagine the pressure the job must have put on you at times, huh? I'm aware its easily fixed as well, and absolutely love the design, don't get me wrong
. Thanks so much, and just a great job at what you do and appreciate your time. great work!! cant wait to get one!
I was involved in all aspects from the blank sheet to testing to the first few rolling off the line. I don't have any hugely funny stories.. or none that would make sense.

That vent snagging problem is new to me. I haven't seen it and I don't own a 22 1/2" either. But those types of things aren't uncommon in new product introductions.

Weber wasn't the most stressful job, in terms of product development, I've had. Grills/smokers are far cry from the complexity of things I've designed in the past or currently. I have had the good fortune of working at a lot of places that made cool stuff though.

Ok.. so here's a funny story. There were several prototypes made up and we had them on the shop floor. One day we were just doing a little "head count" of what we had. And i was like, hey.. i thought we had X number of center rings? so we mentally think -this one is out back, this one is over there, so and so has this one. What the??

A day or two later I was walking across the lot and see a garage door propped open with a 22 1/2" ring.. whelp? Mystery solved.


I enjoy BBQ but I think at least one Fender/Squier Tele model should come stock with a Bigbsy.
I received my new 22.5 last week. Cooked on it Saturday first time. Love it but I did experience the vent tang interferance problem. I fixed it by fabricating three angle brackets that bolt to the lower leg bolt (same nut and same bolt) with the upper leg of the bracket extending out 1" into the lower bowl and being about 1/2" above the bolt thus clearing the vent tangs nicely.
Interesting. It is starting to sound like the grate is the wrong diameter. i had not seen this when i was at Weber.

I don't have one of my own, but if I see one at the store this weekend, I'll have a look. It should rest on the scerws just like the 18 and it should clear.

It does rest on the screws, but it also runs across the bottom of each of the three vents and can touch those little bent tabs that prevent the damper from rotating 360*. When it touches the tab, you may not be able to close that damper completely. You can see the potential problem in this photo:

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I had trouble with the photo link (may be an "at work" issue).

But I understand what the issue is.

I imagine the tabbed feature was a carry over from the 18 1/2" in keeping with the look and feel: The 2 lobed, 4 hole vent goes with the 2 lobed, 3 hole vent.

I'd still be interested about the diameter of the grate.

I noticed the same problem with the tabs on the grate when I was assembling my 22. A quick fix that worked for me was simply snapping off the bottom 2 tabs with a pair of pliers. The top 2 tabs are still in place to serve their intended purpose, but now I can open and close the bottom vents freely without interference from the bottom grate.