When George Stephen introduced his simple and elegant Charcoal Kettle Grill design, mankind took a step up in the evolutionary process. Meathead wrote an excellent article commemorating the Anniversary of the Weber Kettle for the Huffington Post where he observed, "the innovation that made grilling and cooking outdoors the great American pastime came in 1951 when George Stephen, Sr., frustrated by his inability to control the heat in his backyard grill, had the welders at the Weber Brothers Metal Works, where he worked, cut up a buoy that was to be used for Lake Michigan boating. The Weber Kettle was born and introduced in 1952. Among its innovations was a tight-fitting lid and adjustable air vents that allowed the cook to control temperature. Today's design is not far from the original and it is by far the most popular backyard grill in the world".
The Performer Series mounts a classic, 22.5" Weber Kettle on a cart instead of three legs. In 2015 Weber made some changes to their line of classic charcoal kettles. Weber's Gourmet Barbecue System, a hinged grate with removable center that accepts inserts like woks and pizza stones, became standard for all Performers.