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Weber Grill Review
Patents in support of the Weber Genesis

US Patent 4,627,408 Vaporizing element for portable grill, Dec 9, 1986; Erich J Schlosser
This is a very exciting patent as it lays out the basic concept that would lead to the tremendous success of
the Weber Genesis; Flavorizer bars.  

This patent actually concerns the Weber Go Anywhere gas grill which was initially sold as a grill that needed
lava rock as a heat distribution media.  This patent discusses why lava rock is a poor heat distribution media
for gas grills.  Lava rock traps grease which leads to flare ups, it heats unevenly, and is just plain ugly.  The
proposed replacement for lava rock is an inverted V-shaped member constructed of a good heat conductive
material.  This member provides more uniform heat distribution than lava rock and allows grease to
evaporate and subsequently “flavorize” the food being grilled.  In addition to adding flavor, “the device is
designed such that most of the grease drippings are evaporated, without any possibility of flare-ups during
the cooking process.”

US Patent 4,677,964 Portable gas grill, July 7, 1987; Charles Lohmeyer, Erich Schlosser, James Tucker, James
Stephen, Andrzej Leja, John Beecher
This is the base Weber Genesis patent which covers the basic design of the Genesis 1, 2 and 3.   This patent
combined a first set of Flavorizer bars to eliminate flare-ups, a second set of Flavorizer bars to aid in heat
distribution and a large, sloped rectangular housing at the bottom of the cooking chamber.  This unit had a
small hole at the bottom and was fitted with a grease pan to safely catch any non-vaporized fat far away
from the burner tubes.  To quote from US 4,677,964, “As can be appreciated from the above description, the
gas grill disclosed herein operates on an entirely new principal. The combination of tubular burners covered
by inverted V-shaped sear bars and a deep removable grease collector unit with a small removable grease
catcher pan at the lower end substantially eliminates the possibility of the grease in the collector unit from
igniting.”

This patent also covers the propane tank level gauge, locking side tables and optional side burners found on
the Genesis 1-3 grills.  The patent was written to cover grills with two or three burners so this is also
technically the patent for the Weber Genesis Jr.

US Patent 4,727,853 Sear grid for a portable grill, March 1, 1988; James Stephen, Charles Lohmeyer, Erich
Schlosser
This is the companion patent to US 4,677,964 and is specific in its coverage of the Flavorizer bars for the
Genesis grills.  This patent discusses the preferred physical arrangement of the sear bars for optimum
performance.  Ideally the sear bars are V shaped with a width of 2.18 inches, a height of 1.38 inches and an
angle of 75 degrees.  The base of the bars is located two inches over the burner tube resulting in a distance
between the burner tube and the apex of the sear bar of 3.5 inches.  It is further disclosed that only three
Flavorizer bars (those directly over the burner tubes) are required to prevent flare ups.  The remaining sear
bars are present to improve heat distribution.

US Patent 4,829,978 Gas grill with insect deterrent, May 16, 1989; Erich Schlosser
This patent deals with an unglamorous but important aspect of gas grilling; keeping the burner tubes
operational.  Apparently insects and spiders in particular, believe that the inside of a burner tube is a great
place to build a nest.  The insects enter the burner tube at the air inlet and the resulting nests prevent the
proper flow of gas and mixing with air.  This blockage results in weak flames or the displacement of fuel
outside the burner tube.  Fuel displacement is a worst case scenario as this can result in an uncontrolled fire
at the burner control knobs.  

The solution to this problem was to cover the air inlet of the burner tube with a fine mesh that was large
enough to not restrict air flow but fine enough to exclude insects.  This innovation was trademarked as a
“Spider Stopper” and was first introduced on the Weber Genesis Jr.

US Patent 4,860,724 Gas burner assembly, Aug 29, 1989; Erich Schlosser, Andrzej Leja
This patent is a minor improvement upon the Genesis grill patent, US 4,677,964. The innovation introduced is
a burner assembly that can be quickly and easily put together without the use of any tools.  This patent was
filed in 1988, three years after the Genesis application, and appears to be a slight improvement for the side
burner.  It is possible that this patent reflects the side burner module that allowed you to convert your
Genesis 2 into a Genesis 3.

US Patent 4,941,817 Igniter housing for barbecue grill, July 17, 1990; Erich Schlosser
This patent openly talks about some of the problems people encountered with the initial Genesis grills and
how Weber responded.  One of the issues faced by Genesis owners was when they cleaned their grills they
would often bump the electrodes on the igniter.  This would move the electrodes away from the burner and
make lighting the grill difficult.  The electrodes were also prone to getting coated with grease from grilled
food.  The dirty electrodes also resulted in difficulty lighting the grill.  This patent essentially places the
electrodes in a protective housing so they would stay clean and in the optimum position to light the burner
tube.  

US Patent 5,070,776 Portable gas grill enhancements, Dec 10, 1991; Erich Schlosser, Ronald Simpkins,
Andrzej Leja, Michael Alden
The initial Genesis patent (US 4,677,964) covered the Genesis 1-3 grills.  This follow up patent was filed in
June of 1990 and covers the upgrades offered on the Genesis 4 and 5.  Specifically this patent covers the
warming basket and the smoker box accessories.  

US Patent 5,167,183 Smoker attachment for a portable gas grill, Dec 1, 1992; Erich Schlosser, James Stephen,
Robert Stephen.
This patent was filed before US 5,070,776 but took a year longer to work its way to being granted as a final
patent.  This patent is the detailed description of a smoker box for a gas grill, the use of which is covered in
patent US 5,070,776.

US Patent 5,245,917 Skewer assembly incorporating a counterbalance device, Sept 21, 1993; Erich Schlosser,
Michael Alden
This is the patent covering the Weber rotisserie for gas grills.  While the rotisserie was not a standard
feature for the Genesis grills I included it in this list due to its filing date.  This patent was filed on August 10,
1989, the same day Weber filed the patent for the smoker box.  The three patents, US 5,070,776, US
5,167,183 and US 5,245,917 are all designed to take a regular Genesis grill and add extra functionality.