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.

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Business

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
How financial planners address plan uncertainty | Guest column

One of the key challenges we face as financial planners is dealing… Continue reading

The results are in!
Best of Issaquah 2021 results

We had almost 1,100 voters and 12,000 submissions. Most popular categories: Best Coffee Shop, Customer Service, Hamburgers, Non-Profit, Fine Dining, Park, Mexican Cuisine, Pizza, Family Restaurant and Lunch.

Mixologist and general manager of Civility & Unrest, Joe Dietrich (photo by Cameron Sheppard)
If you want a regular cocktail, go somewhere else

Master mixologist Joe Dietrich is elevating cocktail culture at Bellevue’s Civility & Unrest.

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
Is cryptocurrency really an investment? | Guest column

Undoubtedly you have heard about the new form of money known as… Continue reading

Front bar at Bellevue’s Civility & Unrest (courtesy of Civility & Unrest)
Two of James Beard Award-winning chef Jason Wilson’s restaurants to reopen in October

The Lakehouse plans to reopen Oct. 12 and Civility & Unrest reopens Oct. 14.

Stock photo
Grocery store workers have right to wear Black Lives Matter buttons

National Labor Relations Board ruling against ban by Kroger-owned QFC, Fred Meyer

Big Island Poke in Renton (courtesy of The Intentionalist Facebook page)
Small-business advocacy group wants you to try minority-owned businesses and put it on their tab

The Intentionalist is opening up $400 tabs for folks to use this weekend at select businesses.

Eastside King County restaurant owners discuss challenges with U.S. Rep Suzan DelBene at Pomegranate Bistro in Redmond. (Photo credit: Cameron Sheppard/Sound Publishing)
Restaurant owners discuss labor difficulties with U.S Rep. Suzan DelBene

Experienced service and kitchen staff are reportedly hard to hire as food service reopens.

Dave and Buster's restaurant and entertainment venue looks to hire 130 people to staff its Bellevue venue, set to open in August. Photo courtesy Dave and Busters.
Dave and Buster’s hiring 130 for August opening in Bellevue

Dave and Buster’s restaurant and entertainment venue opens in downtown Bellevue on… Continue reading

Images of dishes from Issaquah’s Umi Cafe posted on the SMORS page. (Photo courtesy of Kristen Ho)
Facebook page promotes minority-owned restaurants across Puget Sound region

Miya Nazzaro used to be a member of Facebook pages that were… Continue reading

The Moe Vegan food truck serves meals at the city of Kent’s annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Nov. 21, 2020. Sound Publishing file photo
King County fire marshals offer regulatory relief to food trucks

39 fire authorities have reportedly agreed to standardize fire codes and inspections.

Cash Cards Unlimited partners, left: Nick Nugwynne, right: Cassius Marsh (photo credit: Cash Cards Unlimited)
Former Seahawks player Cassius Marsh cashes in on trading cards

Marsh and his friend open physical and online trading card store as collectibles boom amid pandemic.