While pellet grills revolutionized the industry by bringing smart tech to grilling, other fuel types have caught on. Middleby’s brands brought it to charcoal with the Masterbuilt Gravity Series and the recently released Kamado Joe Konnected Joe.
It’s been a slower ascent for gas grills though. Unlike charcoal and pellet fueled grills, gas grills are still operated like they have been for decades. Each burner has a manual valve connected to a knob used to open and close it. This adjusts gas flow and the amount flame used to produce heat.
We see evidence that is changing though. There have been multiple patents recently from Weber related to smart gas grills. They include ideas for control by wire (including on/off), as well as recipe advancement by a controller.
Char-Broil has been an early innovator in this space as well. They released the Cruise gas grill last year, that has a thermometer control, rather than a traditional know setup.
Smart gas valve technology isn’t limited to gas grills either. A smart valve can be used for other gas fueled products like pizza ovens and patio heaters.
We heard from a gas valve company in China called Kaitsu, that currently makes smart gas valves. They been in the valve industry since 2010, and have a production capacity of 10 million gas valves per year.
we developed smart valves to accomodate people who still like manual knobs. the valve not only has the touch panel, controllers, smart valves, and ignition system, but also has a knob. It means you can choose to use the touch panel or the knob to fit your preference.General Manager at Kaitsu – Quote Amended for Clarity
Kaitsu says that their gas valves work with WiFi and Bluetooth, in addition to a remote or attached controller. This opens up the possibility for a phone connected gas grilling experience.
The technology and patents are out there for a smart gas grilling experience. At this point we don’t think it’s a matter of if we’ll see it, but rather when, with our money being on the 2024 grilling season.