Thirty years ago Lucio Turner Jr.’s parents relocated from the Chicago area during the depression of the late 1970s. His parents, who were from the Rio Grande Valley moved home after trying to make it up North.
One thing the Turners would always do as a family was barbecue.
“As a youngster my Dad had always barbecued for one reason or another. Heck, he even built his own outdoor fireplace for grilling which I had the pleasure of helping build,” Turner said. “For me, I guess it’s a family tradition, plus I really enjoy chillin n grillin!”
Turner explains that grilling is more of a comfort and a people gathering experience.
“You are more relaxed when grilling and 99.99 percent of the time you’ll be having a cold one while you grill,” Turner said.
Turner also asks “How many times have you fired up the grill and someone will come around and ask, ‘Hey you grilling?’” He believes if the pit is on they will come.
“Before you know it you have people waiting for a taste,” he said.
The cost of a grill varies from griller to griller.
“If one is an occasional griller, then more than likely they won’t spend a lot on a grill,” Turner said. “Most of the time the grill has to be fit for the individual’s personal preference and pocket.”
For professionals who do grilling for competition and big prize funds grills can exceed thousands of dollars.
“Most of the times people will get into something that has to be custom made for their needs, thus the expense will increase,” Turner explained. “One would need to research what exactly they expect to cook on a grill. It could be used for just grilling or maybe they would like some burners attached etc.”
Now, Turner considers himself a semi-professional. The 50-year-old welder feels that there are some different variables to becoming a professional but for now he and his sons have been competing for about five years.
“My boys and I started competing year before last by being part of another team, too many downs, so we decided to start our own team,” Turner said. “We went on our own about a year and a half ago and since have been in about five competitions and we have placed in all.”
For Turner and his sons, all the competitions were great because they took home some trophies but the two that really felt good for them was Palmfest because along with a trophy came some cash and Smokin’ on the Rio because they placed out of 132 teams.