Looking out the window you might be forgiven for not thinking about barbecues right now, but summer is coming (honest) The BBQ Gods at Weber are getting all set with new products, now with the added ingredient of Jamie Oliver.

Jamie’s role is to be the front man, adding his cheeky chappy endorsement, as well as coming up with recipes encouraging people to move away from basic bangers and burgers and have more fun when it comes to outdoor cooking. It’s a good fit; after all if any famous chef seems genuinely at home with BBQ and cooking for friends, it’s our boy Jamie.

Weber really is the biggest and probably the oldest name in BBQs.  It was in 1951, that their original round charcoal kettle grill was built by George Stephen Sr., who part-owned Weber Bros. Metal Works a sheet metal shop in Chicago. All he was doing was trying to improve on the brazier he was using to cook outdoors at home.

The metal shop fabricated round buoys for shipping, so it was simple to take two of the sheet metal half-spheres, put a grill in one half and make the other the lid. A legend was born.

You can still buy the original style Weber Kettle Grill, as it was then called, and it’s still a very good BBQ, but Weber, now named the Weber-Stephen company, has a lot more to offer.

So what’s cooking this year? We went to the Jamie Oliver HQ in North London to see the new kit in action, plus eat some Jamie food.

Starting with the smallest, there’s the new Weber TRAVELER Compact Barbecue Grill

This looks at first rather like a fold up pram, but within seconds this mini version of the award-winning, Weber Traveler Portable Gas Barbecue is up and ready to go with an innovative, one-handed setup and assisted fold-down.

Its high-quality, porcelain-enamelled finish means it can take a lot of knocks and once folded down it’s easy to store in a small garden or to  overwinter indoors. Of course it’s also easy to take out with you on trips to the beach or countryside (where allowed).

It will be on sale soon in stores and at weber.com. We helped Weber’s team grill up some superb Jamie-style lamb chops coated in a pomegranate and olive marinade, which were done in no time. Seared on the outside, pink in the middle – perfect.

Gnawing on these, we next got to see the somewhat bigger all-new 2024 SUMMIT top-of-the-range smart gas barbecue. FS38X

This is, as Weber proudly states, the most technologically advanced, versatile, premium offering in the Company’s gas portfolio, a ‘high-performing culinary showstopper for outdoor space’.

Well you better have a good  bit of outdoor space because this is a big BBQ

A fancy new feature is its extra-large, colour, high-definition touch screen, or you can work the whole thing from your ‘phone or pad,

You can set and change the barbecue’s temperature, select the preferred cooking method – direct or indirect grilling – and based on the chosen setting, the SUMMIT barbecue will show you precisely where to place food on the cooking grates for perfect results.

You can also monitor quick start and preheating steps so you know when the barbecue is ready to use

And what’s more you can continuously follow the progress of a cook remotely but also, when needed, the SUMMIT barbecue will automatically self-adjust its heat levels to maintain an accurate temperature, or smoothly manage temperature changes with precision to ensure dishes are not over or undercooked,

I am not saying you should go to the pub and monitor dinner from there, although that would be a good idea, but at the very least you can sit down with guests and not have to constantly hop and down to go and check the BBQ.

Gas level is also  monitored so you know when it’s time to refuel, you get alerts when food is ready to be removed from the grill and you can shut down the barbecue remotely.

It has a top-down IR broiler to rapidly sear and caramelise dishes and  supersized FLAVORIZER bars, a cavernous cook space, r and the powerful PUREBLU burner system, it cooks as great as it looks.

Added features are extra-large prep and serve side tables, a side burner and NIGHTVISION motion-sensing lid-integrated LED lights that illuminate the entire grilling surface – from the side table to the grates.

All SUMMIT barbecues come in stainless steel or Weber porcelain enamel with a tuck-away rotisserie, soft-close cabinet doors, and a stainless-steel smoker box. Additionally, they come ready to use with the WEBER CRAFTED Outdoor Kitchen Collection of grillware, which includes a variety of accessories such as sear grate for the perfect sear marks on your steaks, pizza stone and many more options. 

From the classic One Touch we ate ‘beer can chicken’ using Weber’s special chicken roaster pan to make Barbecued Roasted Chicken with Salsa Verde. Delicious sharing food.

Summer IS coming, but even now cooking outside is possible, and pleasurable, with Weber’s range of time-tested and innovative BBQs. Turn up the heat!

All of these new products, including a massive new version of the ever-popular One Touch will be available in the shops and at Weber.com soon, well in time for a great British summer.