Good morning grillers!
So, over the last few months I have had the pleasure of a front row seat of sorts from the “gto” deck as I have bared witness to a very reputable Canadian company ( Sherwood Industries, based in Victoria, B.C.) step into the kamado ring and announce their arrival onto the category scene. What’s intrigued me from the start after learning about this new kamado that I do firmly believe many, many people will be talking about in good time is the fact that they just kind of appeared without pomp or pageantry, no twenty-one gun salute or cheer leaders waving pom-poms at the sidelines. No, The Black Olive has kinda swooped in like Batman, silent and stealth in style and quietly taken their position as the FIRST pellet fuelled kamado to have ever been created to date.
I recall the day this past summer I got tipped off from one of my very reliable industry sources about this new kamado cooker that was certainly creating a stir in the industry. It was just around HPBA Show time and like a hot game of telephone the more I heard the more my curiosity grew about the new contender’s legitimacy and product. Well, it only took a matter of about a week or two to confirm all I was hearing was in fact true and some. Not only that but after a few brief phone conversations with company principles at Sherwood who found out about my concept I knew full well their determination to really impact the category was and is very real.
What’s so ironic to me about The Black Olive hitting the scene however isn’t the fact that they too have created their own kamado cooker and story but done so with a very reliable, energy efficient and clean fuel source being that of pellet technology which was first brought to my attention back in 2009 when I attended my first HPBA Show in Orlando, FL. I remember walking the halls taking in the scene and atmosphere and being truly impressed with three very real up and coming trends that I felt at that time were going to impact the industry positively going forward. First, there was a real theme of grill portability, lighter, compact and easy to pack and go.
Then there was the fever around the various kamado cooker manufactures that were popping up all over and a main reason I went down to the show in the first place. It was at this time that I got my first video production opportunity with Kamado Joe, another brand that’s been making huge waves around the world since 2009 with their own story and products.
Finally, the pellet buzz! I remember it appealed to me for a number of reasons, (mostly economical and environmental) but the moment I was introduced to it I recall asking myself the question, could a company and is there a company who could adapt this kind of technology to a kamado styled cooker? Well, the answer now my grilling friends is obvious. Not only can it be adapted but it has been done and done by a company right here in Canada who from what I hear through very good sources thrive with this kind of technology and have done for many years!
The Black Olive has not only produced a kamado cooker but they will be able to celebrate ( in my humble opinion) for many years to come the fact that they have changed the game and truly refined and innovated within the category and not a lot of companies can say this and that’s truly special. I have had the good fortune over the last month to get up close and personal with this Black Olive and I can report thus far that although its still early days for this pellet grilling rookie to make bold and brash statements of grandeur, the early days food results have been superb!
I have spent the last thirteen years devoted to the kamado cooker and natural lump charcoal cooking and spent countless hours honing the skill set I have as it relates to tending a natural fire and working with that fire to ensure all the foods I create for my family, friends and clients alike taste delectable. I have obsessed and immersed myself out of true passion for this category and still get chills up and down my spine when given the chance to take the stage and share my passion in front of anyone who is intrigued and motivated to grasp this particular grilling lifestyle.
The first thing that cold cocked me head on with this Black Olive was how little I needed to do to attain great results almost instantly without even really knowing how to operate this kamado. The “set it and forget it” adage in fact is TRUE!!! Post ignition with a slight turn of a knob to the right on this cooker the grilling pilot in charge can time the vessel again and again and without fail you are off the runway and fired up in two minutes or less, and that’s no bs! Following official start up the Black Olive ascends at 100 degrees per minute to searing temps within seven minutes or less! Even more impressive and another first in category is its ability to descend back to 250 degrees in less than eight minutes to perhaps bake that cobbler for dessert while you and your family devour dinner.
If you are remotely curious about pricing in comparison to other cookers in category The Black Olive sells for a very reasonable $1799.00 Canadian funds for their current model and comes complete with side steel shelving units, built in cart and all components to get you off and running! There are also a variety of grilling accessories available to indirectly cook, bake, smoke or sear your way to the heavens!
I was very curious as to the actual tastes of a variety of my favourite foods with this kamado and so far all I can report is that I have been equally as impressed with the taste that pellet produces in comparison to that of its nearest competitor, natural lump charcoal. Where pellet wins out is the clean factor and zero wastage with your fuel source. I have asked myself countless times throughout the years what can be done to solve wastage issues with that last 5% at the bottom of the charcoal bag although it makes great compost for the garden.
I have to admit it has taken me a bit of time to simply relax, kick back and just let the Black Olive do its thing when its operating. I found myself border line fidgety looking for something to do besides inhaling the intoxicating sweet smell of wood smoke while sipping a cold drink but that’s part of this vessel’s allure, let it do the hard work while you become a grilling hero to your family and take the credit as well! Sounds like a good deal to me!
Whatever the case, these fellow Kanucks at Sherwood Industries have planned this launch and product extremely well and have obviously been tirelessly researching ways and means to raise the bar on and in a category that is just starting to gain momentum before truly exploding in popularity!
So there you have it my grilling friends, another one for the grateful grilling vault! One things for sure, wether its Randy Bachman and the boys from BTO that woke me up this morning or The Black Olive belting out new cutting edge kamado technology both evidently know how to take care of business and although one is already in the hall of fame I’m almost certain it won’t be long until the other follows suit as well!
Until next time, feed your fires!