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Born from a buoy back in 1952, the kettle has evolved over the years but always stayed true to its roots, to provide the most incredible cooking and flavour experience.
In Australia, there are hundreds of thousands of Weber kettles. Some new, some old, some which have been collected to simply be displayed or kept safe! Weber kettles are used for such a variety of purposes we couldn’t possibly list them all, but no matter how you use your kettle, the fact you have one makes you a part of the Weber family. In 1986 over 80,000 Weber Kettles were sold in Australia alone.
Some kettles however were not bought by their owners! They may be passed on from older generations, or bought as gifts so that others can share incredible flavour experiences with friends and family. Our question to you is, do you know how old your kettle actually is?
Every kettle barbecue since 1979 we’ve produced comes stamped with a unique identifier. In more recent times, since 2013, it’s a leading two letter designation followed by a series of numbers (your unique serial number).
Your code can be found on the lid damper on your Weber Kettle, see the image below for an example. Once you’ve found what letter/s your code starts with, reference it to the above table. There you have it, you have now identified how old your Weber kettle is!There are many kettles older than 1979, however as these weren’t stamped, it’s a little more complicated to identify. If you think yours is older and you’re curious as to just how old, please feel free to contact us and we’ll be more than happy to help you identify when your kettle was made.
Thanks to Weber kettle club Australia for allowing Heatworks to use some of the pictures and information on this post. The Weber kettle club Austrralia is a great source of information for Weber Kettles, check them out on Facebook.
If your grill is older than 1979, use the following information to determine the age of your vintage Weber grill.
1952 Original Weber Kettle
The Weber charcoal kettle was first available to the bbq buying public in 1952. However, the original grills, known then as “George’s BAR B Q KETTLE” were made from buoys cut in half and surviving examples are extremely rare. It wasn’t long before the original “buoy” kettle began it’s evolution.
1953-1955 Weber Kettle
In 1956, the Weber kettle was redesigned to its current shape. The 1956 through 1959 Weber Kettles had a solid metal triangular base (with thin metal red, later white wheels) and the handle on the lid and bowl handles were metal (no wood). These are known collectively as “MLH” kettles. For “metal lid handle” The steel legs are held into the sockets with thumbscrews.
1957-59 Weber Kettle
By 1959-1960, Weber began adding saucer shaped ash catcher pans and the solid triangular base utility shelf/triangle “ash tray” was phased out and replaced with the modern spoked triangle. This spoked triangle is still in use today.
1960-1961 Weber Kettle
1962-1968 wheel and hubcap style
By 1962, the wheels were changed from thin white wheels to a thicker black 6? metal wheels with painted whitewalls. It was also around this time that the legs were changed from steel to aluminum.
1962 Weber Kettle
1964-66 Weber Kettle
This kettle style (1964-1980) are refered to as “MBH” kettles. This stands for “Metal Bowl Handle”. The first wood handles were made from walnut. Vintage Weber Kettles from this era had metal thumbscrews that held the aluminum legs in their sockets. The wooden handles were held on with 2 small rivets.
In 1967,Weber also introduced the Seville – a grill mounted in a metal cart with wheels. This model continued for a few years [unknown]
Pictured: 1970-71 Imperial Sequoia
In 1968, Weber introduced the Imperial Sequoia. The sequoia is another grill mounted in a wheeled cart; however the sequoia carts were made from wood. The sequoia came in a couple different varieties. The black kettled version came in a red cart, while the red, avocado, and brown kettles came in a brown cart.
1969 to early 1970s Kettle lid vent
In 1968, Weber designed a new friction leg socket and filed a patent for it. Beginning with the 1969 model year, these new sockets were put into production. While Weber awaited their patent for these new sockets, they started stamping the top vent with “PAT PENDING”. These new leg sockets eliminated the need for metal thumbscrews. The patent was filed for on November 22, 1968, and it was granted (Patent # 3538906) on November 10th 1970. However, in spite of this the Weber catalogs and literature at the time continued to list the kettles as “PATENT PENDING” through the 1972 model year. The patent number is first listed in the 1973 catalog. There are quite a few examples of these “PAT PENDING” kettles out there. It’s safe to assume any grill with Patent Pending on the vent is a 1969 or 1970 grill however depending on wheel style they could be from as late as 1971-72.
Early 70s 26? Weber Kettle
Early 70s wheel style. Around 1971-72.
Beginning in 1970, the wheels began a transition from metal rims and rubber treads to all plastic by 1973.
Mid 1970s Kettle Lid Vent
The patent number, 3538906 was first listed in the Weber catalog beginning in 1973. Around this time the number began appearing on the kettle vents. The wheel style by this time was all plastic including the treads. In 1975 the bowl vents were changed from the single small tabs to the large dual tabs. This is the same vent style found today on the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker and basic kettle models available overseas.
1974 Weber Kettle
1959-1974 Small turn tab bowl vents.
1975-Present large turn tab kettle/WSM bowl vents.
Mid 70s wheels. 1973-1976
1977-present wheel style
The modern plastic 6? wheels with the word “WEBER” cut into the whitewall that is seen on basic Weber kettles today is in use by this time.
In 1979, Weber started using the letter stamp (their ‘serial number’) to date their kettles. However, the features and details continued to evolve.
For 1981 the metal bowl handles were replaced with wooden handles. During 1981-1982 the wooden handles also switched from the 2-rivet handle to a single screw.
1986 Weber One Touch Kettle
First generation Master Touch Kettle
In 1992 the first generation Master Touch kettles were introduced. This would serve as a premium model charcoal grill through the remainder of the 1990s.
In the year 2000, Weber switches from wooden handles to glass reinforced nylon (plastic) style handles. From 2000-2011 the handles were a pale white-grey in color before switching to the present day design of dark “charcoal grey”. In 2012 the bowl handles on One Touch Gold/Original Kettle Premium models were redesigned with integrated tool hooks.
The new, taller, 2015 Master Touch
The leg socket design was redesigned eliminating the friction based install instead the legs now have push buttons that snap into “button hole” in the new sockets. This is the first leg socket redesign since 1969. Also all kettles in the U.S. have switched over form welded on lid handles to bolt on with optional heat shield. The Kettles in the European market have already come with these heat shield bolt on handles for several years.
DISCLAIMER: This page is a constant work in progress. If you have information that disagrees with the information found here, please share it with us..