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Weber Grill: Why the Manufacturer Organized Probably the Best Event at CES

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It cannot be said that the long-established US company Weber Grill is probably the first thing you would think of at CES. Nevertheless, or perhaps precisely because of this, the well-known manufacturer hosted the best event of the year.

All of us agreed unanimously on the matter: not only the German tech journalists who attended the event far away from the glittering Las Vegas Strip, outside the city gates on a huge ranch, everyone was united in saying what a great event Weber hosted. Yet every visitor probably asked themselves the same question beforehand: does it really make sense to visit a manufacturer of barbecue products at a tech trade fair? This is especially when you consider that the location was a good 20 miles away from everything else that could be described as CES-worthy.

However, the invitation that Weber sent out to a number of media professionals in the run-up to CES sounded far too tempting. To counteract the obstacle of having to travel long distances, Uber had to be on hand. Not only would there be great new barbecue innovations, some of which would also be "smart", no, Weber would have great chefs who could also give us a practical demonstration of what the new products could do.

You guessed it: from a purely rational and professional point of view, it wouldn't have made sense for a tech journalist to drop by. Of course, I realized that there are probably a lot of barbecue fans among the 2.5 million readers we have here at nextpit every month. However, we're certainly not famous for our reviews of the latest BBQ trends.

A location away from anything that might have to do with CES

However, the invitation that Weber extended to us and a few other German tech colleagues was not only exceptionally well-written, but also sounded extremely tasty and exciting: "We [invite] you to an exclusive pre-event [...] that will revolutionize the world of barbecuing". The problem of being "20 miles away from anything remotely related to CES" was solved by a generous Uber voucher that could be used to travel to and from the location. Weber had me at 'Hello'.

I was disappointed at all. Most Americans are said to have a very different understanding of friendliness compared to us Europeans. Hence, it was not really surprising that we guests were immediately greeted in a friendly manner and with a hearty laugh when we arrived. What else is not self-evident at first? All staff on site were so authentic and did not put on airs, whizzing around and performing their job with great pleasure.

We guests were also provided with everything we needed to make our stay outdoors as pleasant as possible. What you shouldn't underestimate at this time of year in the desert is how cold it can get in the evening. It was a frosty 1 degree Celsius when we were there, mind you. The woolen gloves and especially hand warmers were much welcomed. As were the delicious drinks that were served to us immediately, while we were shown around from station to station to view the new products.

The absolute highlight: the new Weber Summit, a barbecue that leaves nothing to be desired

Okay, but apart from the great drinks and location, there were also a few things to see that will make any barbecue fan's heart beat faster. I would love to take this opportunity to tell you all about the new products Weber had on show. Above all, what the chefs conjured up on the grills. However, we are an online magazine that focuses on tech and unfortunately, not one for barbecues or gourmets.

The Weber Summit FS38 was pretty much Best of Show.
The Weber Summit FS38 left almost nothing to be desired. / © nextpit

The newly introduced Weber Summit FS38 is a barbecue that combines both culinary possibilities with smart technology. Anyone familiar with the Summit series from Weber knows that this is the absolute flagship series.

In fact, it has everything a barbecue master's heart desires. The grill continuously monitors whether all the desired burners are active and restarts them automatically if necessary. In addition, all functions can be controlled either via a multicolored 8-inch display or via the Weber Connect app.

This is one grill that does it all.
The so-called salamander of the Weber Summit FS38. / © nextpit

The best thing about this grill? It was the so-called salamander: an infrared grill that provides heat above 800 degrees from above. This allows dishes to be caramelized or grilled, roasted, or gilded.

Why the Weber event was my CES highlight

Although the context of the event didn't "quite" match our thematic focus here at nextpit and the location was far away from the glitzy Las Vegas strip and the many CES events nearby, the Weber event remains seared in my memory for a long time.

The warmth of the staff, the attention to detail in the organization, and the authenticity are something I miss more and more at press events these days.

We met the Weber CEO there as well.
The Weber CEO Alan Matula. He has a cool surname (all German crime fans will know what I mean) and is a very charismatic guy. / © nextpit

Incidentally, the Weber CEO was also there and asked the group how as guests, would we describe the event? "The aim was to give the Weber brand a face," Alan Matula answered the question.

The Weber team has truly succeeded in this. With a great mind, great products, not so much electronics, but with a lot of effort and even more heart, Weber-Grill was the real highlight for me.

By the way: for me, the Summit FS38 was the thing I really wanted and will save up for in any case. If I ever have $4,000 to spare, I will remember the first time I saw this barbecue every time I cook a meal.

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