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If you’ve ever wondered what goes into developing an offset smoker, I interviewed Aaron Franklin on the creation of the Franklin Barbecue Pit. It was great to nerd out with him on fluid dynamics and manufacturing. Stuff I’ve long forgotten about since leaving a career in mechanical engineering.
The biggest news item of the week was definitely that Weber announced they’ll be private once again. It’ll be effective sometime in the first half of 2023.
In the meantime, they’re borrowing cash to burn. They announced that they had a net loss of $330 million for the year. To fund operations going forward they’re borrowing $350 million at 15%, which is on top of the $60 million they borrowed back in November.
If you want to hear more about what got Weber to this point, I discussed it with Greg Rempe on The BBQ Central Show. Greg does a great job with his show, so make sure to subscribe.
If patents and trademarks are any indication, the future of outdoor cooking is electric. A patent came out this week from Char-Broil for dual zone heating. While that’s helpful for grilling, there’s also indication in the patent that they could use the second zone for a smoker box.
Finally, Royal Oak announced that they’re closing their Branson, MO charcoal plant in early 2023. It impacts 50 employees, but Royal Oak says they’re trying to relocate them to other Missouri plants.