Barbecue options reflect a change in American living

If there is such a thing as a "barbecue guru," then Don Turner is it. The Issaquah local has been selling barbecues on the Eastside for a number of years, enjoying phenomenal success as a salesman and fast developing a reputation as the guy you go to when you want to know anything about grilling and cooking outdoors.

More than just somewhere to cook a steak

More than just somewhere to cook a steak

If there is such a thing as a “barbecue guru,” then Don Turner is it. The Issaquah local has been selling barbecues on the Eastside for a number of years, enjoying phenomenal success as a salesman and fast developing a reputation as the guy you go to when you want to know anything about grilling and cooking outdoors.

He has even been asked by a number of cities to host barbecuing demonstrations.

Turner works at Cascade Spa, Stove and Sauna on Front Street in Issaquah. And with summer fast approaching, he has been busy talking with folks about the best barbecue options for their backyard and their lifestyle.

Like any industry, Turner has seen a number of trends develop over the past few years in the barbecue business.

“People are starting to move away from the more disposable, low-end grills that you might pay $50 for and then get rid of a year or two later,” he said. “We are seeing more people opt for the higher-end setups, the more solid units that are designed to last, to become a feature in your home or yard.”

Along those lines, Turner said that barbecue islands were a very popular option. More than just somewhere to cook a steak, barbecue islands, centered around a gas grill, come equipped with a mini-fridge, utensils storage, stereo outlets, even a facility to hook up a keg.

Turner said that the barbecue islands speak to a development in what Americans feel is important in their recreation time.

“The new living space in America is the outdoor room,” Turner said. “We have filled up our homes with so many things, that the natural progression is to head outside, to make a comfortable space to hang out with friends, to cook and eat and have fun. And we have seen with the tough economy that people are adjusting their priorities – they want to spend more time with their families. And what better way to do it than by gathering around the barbecue out in the yard?”

Similarly, Turner said more people were understanding the value of barbecues that actually add something to the appearance of a home.

“Rather than just having something that sits out on the deck and gets rusty, people are opting for something with a nicer finish, something that is a permanent addition to a home,” he said.

Fitting this bill is the Primo, a lump charcoal fueled grill which takes the revolutionary cooking technique of the Green Egg and adds a larger cooking space and a sleek finish.

Like the Egg, the Primo adopts the concepts of the ancient Japanese “Kamado” cookers to seal in heat and moisture. Due to the cyclonic effect of the design, only a minimal amount of lump charcoal is needed to circulate heat through the food.

“It’s about the flavor,” Turner said. “The taste is phenomenal. With the lump charcoal, you get those natural, woody flavors.”

Because they seal in heat and moisture, the Primo is particularly good for slow-cooking, and can handle anything from salmon to pizza and ribs.

Likewise, the Traeger grill uses compacted wooden pellets and a sealed design to enable food-lovers to finely control temperature.

Like the Primo, the Traeger is famous for the natural flavors it brings out, thanks to the all-natural pellets. Better yet, the “smoke” mode delivers an even smoke to your food while you are off tending to more important things, like the party!

Looking forward to the unmistakable taste of well-cooked barbecue this summer? Whatever your budget, lifestyle, yard or deck space, there are plenty of options at Cascade Spa, Stove and Sauna.


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