Step aside Lexus, move over Rolls Royce, out of the way Mercedes -- there’s a new status symbol in town. Only one grilling season after their introduction, the hottest things on four wheels are Weber’s super-premium Platinum II Series and Summit Series gas barbeque grills.

Recent articles in publications as varied as USA Today and House and Garden have dubbed the new super grills the newest "must-have" item. The grills, which range in price from $1,100 to $3,350, have single-handedly established a new category of outdoor cooking luxury. They have also stimulated a flurry of activity in the industry as other companies rush to introduce grills which are similar in price, if not in quality.

"The Platinum Series II and Summit Series grills are fueling a real demand for professional-quality gas barbecue grills," says Mike Kempster, Sr. executive vice president for Weber-Stephen Products Co., the manufacturer of WeberŪ grills. "our dealers are telling us that when they sell one of these new grills, they expect to sell another one to a neighborhood who saw the first one in action."

The Outdoor Kitchen

According to Kempster, the popularity of theses "super grills" is a reflection of a continuing trend towards centering American home design around both indoor and outdoor kitchens.

"Twenty years ago, the living room and dining room were the focal points of a house, especially when it came to entertaining," explains Kempster. "Over the last two decades we’ve seen a move away from the formal "front" rooms and towards a combined kitchen/family room/dining area in the back of the house. Now the trend includes incorporating outdoor space into this area, with patios, decks and even fully-equipped outdoor kitchens."

Just as many people are equipping their indoor kitchens with professional-quality refrigerators, ranges and ovens, homeowners are also looking to invest in high quality grills for their outdoor kitchens. The WeberŪ super grills fit the bill, with 25-year limited warranties, gleaming stainless-steel construction and durable burner elements designed for high performance output.

Serious Appliances for Serious Cooks

While entertaining may have become more informal, American cooks have become more serious. Gone are the days of combining cans of soup and hamburger to produce a "gourmet" feast. Today’s cooks want to prepare meals with a maximum of flavor and freshness and a minimum of fat. And, they take an enormous amount of pride in their results.

"People want to cook with the best equipment possible." explains Kempster. "Consumers today want top-of-the-line cooking appliances. The Platinum Series II and Summit grills give them that quality in an outdoor cooking system." And while the grills may be exclusive, they aren’t hard to find. The WeberŪ Platinum Series II and Summit Series Gas barbecue grills are available at select home centers, hardware stores, department stores, patio stores and other retail outlets where WeberŪ products are sold.

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