Homegrown Kanuk Kamado Will Be A Game Changer Indeed!
Greetings grillers of the kamado culture!
I do hope this post finds you all well and fed and continuing to work less and play more when it comes to smoke and fire and your passions for the kamado cooker! So last week I got the chance and good fortune to connect with a couple of great guys who represent a globally recognized Canadian brand, ( Go Canada Go!) called “Enviro” http://www.enviro.com/ in two different capacities. Martin Lutz is the recent and newly appointed Canadian National Sales Manager for Enviro and Dave Wilkins is a territory manager in the Province of Ontario, Canada and represents a company called The Foundry who distribute in Ontario for Enviro.
Sherwood Industries Ltd. based outside of Victoria, B.C, Canada is responsible for manufacturing the Enviro brand of heating products and has been around since 1989 and they specialize in the production of high quality gas, wood and pellet appliances for the home. All it takes is a once over their website of firsts and innovations and mile stones, ( clearly illustrated on their website) to truly understand what this company has achieved in a very short period of time to really grasp how serious they take their work and determination to truly innovate when it comes to their business and craft, truly impressive to say the very least!
I got a tip through a very good source that this company were about to launch a product that would have huge impact in good time on the kamado category as we know it and my ears perked up immediately for obvious reasons. Interesting I thought but how and what were my next two obvious questions to my source. And then I was introduced to the topic of pellet technology, something I claim to know absolutely nothing about but, no time like the present I thought, to dive in at the deep end and that’s just what I have been doing for the last three weeks.
I will admit that when I travelled to my first HPBA Show, ( Hearth, Patio, Bbq Association) back in 2009 I noticed three distinct trends on the rise as I walked the hall ways. First, there was the hype around portable grills that struck me as very interesting. Then there was the “green” buzz at a number of booths about pellet technology on the rise across North America and then of coarse the main reason I travelled to the show in the first place was for my excitement about the kamado cooker and official category that was gaining momentum like a brush fire about to go wild and when it comes to wild things my grilling friends, I WANT IN!!!!! LOL!
Re-enter Sherwood Industries back into the story line! Sherwood as it would happen have invented their own pellet fuelled kamado cooker under the name, “The Black Olive” and based on the fact that they have been refining the art of pellet stoves going back to the early 90′s as I’ve researched with the likes of the EF1, 2, and 3 I think its fair to say ( and I get this on solid authority) that these folks know a thing or three about this technology and after I saw the Black Olive in action I turned to Mike Pilon, owner of “Romantic Fireplaces and BBq” in Orleans, Ontario, Canada and said, “I thought I had seen it all”!
To date, and over the last three decades or so the kamado cooker has been produced to fire on a variety of natural lump charcoals ( free of additives and fillers) which are available at most specialty bbq retail locations and or hardware type stores. This lump charcoal is a bi-product of natural wood and fired for production in large kiln type vats under pressure and partially cooked to bring moisture out of the wood and the best producers of charcoal with my experience to date are “FSC” http://www.fsccanada.org/ ( forest stewardship council) certified ( such as Nature’s Own by Basques) http://www.basquescharcoal.com/ and their products are not felled for production but produced using root matter and such gathered from the ground. In the case of pellet fuel, its natural wood condensed under pressure in production and they resemble tiny pills that are sold in bags, by the pound and come in a variety of different flavors.
Pellet fuel is said to be that much cleaner than charcoal and the flavours of the wood species really do impart themselves (as I experienced a few short weeks ago) nicely into the food. Pellet’s can vary in price but good quality product can be purchased for approximately $10-$12 per bag on average.
At first I wasn’t all that taken with the Black Olive’s ceramic composition because like many kamado style cookers out there today, they all, in one way shape or form somewhat resemble the Big Green Egg physically. What really grabbed me by the throat however was the fact that the Sherwood team of engineers has taken the ceramic idea of the kamado which we all know ( or many of us anyways) works very well at retaining its heat and combining this pellet technology in the shape of a hopper that is offset and attached to a stand and diagonal cast steel tube that feeds these pellet’s into a cup. This cup is built into the bottom of the Olive and through combustion via an ignition switch the kamado is ignited in a matter of (wait for it) 1:39 seconds if my memory serves me correctly!!!!!!!!!
HOLY HANNAH FROM MONTANA, HOLD THE PHONES BROTHERS AND SISTERS!!!!!!!!!!!
Now, I’ll be the first one to admit as I’ve said before that speed when it comes to grilling has never really turned me on because after all, its the primal process of getting your kamado fire started that’s most of the fun other than the obvious cooking aspect. With that said however, The Black Olive has given me much to think about as it relates to the masses of people and soon to be fans of this invention who perhaps favour convenience and speed not to mention the cleanliness aspect, ( because lets face it, charcoal can be a tad messy) who are going to flock like mad to pick one of these babies up for their own deck at home, and why not? It’s truly innovative and intelligent technology that is going to turn this category upside down if for no other reason than its not “me too” in design and coming in at a retail price point of $1699, I say ladies and gentlemen, START YOUR PELLET ENGINES!
I have to admit that being a born and bred Canadian myself I feel a certain sense of pride that this “nouveau” kamado technology before us has been created right here in our own country! Bravo guys and I can promise you that this is one Grateful Griller who’s totally stoked that you are busting onto the bbq scene with something that is sure to be talked about for many years to come!
Until we meet again my friends, keep feeding the fires and desires to take all your grilling games higher!