Like all grill types, the temperature range on a gas grill is naturally limited. The “low” setting on a gas grill is limited by the lowest flow rate that can prevent flashback. The “high” setting on the other hand is constrained by the burner’s ability to prevent flame lift or undesirable combustion outputs like carbon monoxide.
According to a patent filed by Weber, they’re working on a way around that with a dual-burner assembly setup. It would give their gas grills a lower “low” for smoking and simmering and a higher “high” for anywhere searing capabilities.
The turndown ratio of an individual burner is the maximum BTUs divided by the minimum BTUs. The example given in the patent is of the Weber Genesis II, which has an individual burner max of 13,500 BTUs and a minimum of 6,000 BTUs, yielding a turndown ratio of 2.25. Burners are designed to maximize the turndown ratio in most applications.
In Weber’s dual-burner design the two burners work together, but each have a different purpose. One burner has a lower minimum and maximum heat output than the other. Essentially, one provides low heat output, the other provides high and together on max they provide higher heat than what’s possible with a one burner setup.
For the two burners to work together, it’s referenced in the patent that the two burner tubes are no more than 0.750 inches apart. This spacing is likely to ensure that they can produce concentrated heat and fit under grease deflection bars. Like gas grill setups today, one knob adjusts the heat but there is a valve to regulate gas flow to both burners.
Heat Output Examples
Examples are given of the dual-burner assembly that assume one burner tube has a maximum output of 13,500 BTUs and the other of 3,500 BTUs.
As can be seen in the diagrams above, the low setting which just employs the low burner tube operates at 3,500 BTUs. On the high setting, both burner tubes are working together to produce 17,000 BTUs. That yields a turndown ratio of 4.86, which is much larger than a single burner configuration. To the consumer that means lower heat for smoking, higher heat for searing and quicker heat-up times.
The dual-burner setup in Weber’s patent is a great way to overcome natural limitations of a gas grill. Weber is dominant in the gas grill space, so it’s important for them to keep innovating to keep market share and give consumers a reason to upgrade. We hope that the dual-burner setup makes its way to market.