My Grateful Canadian Top 3 Kamado Predictions For 2013!

posted on December 2nd 2012 in Kamado-ology with 0 Comments

Greetings and good weekend to all you grillers across the globe!

With the end of another year right around the corner and the new exciting things coming down the pipe for the new year I thought to myself the other day while sifting through scribbled notes and blog titles that I still have to put words to that it would be kinda fun if I were to throw my cards on the table and roll the dice on pure gut instinct and predict who the players are really going to be in this kamado category at the manufacturing level next year, at least here in Canada.

Now as some of you know the clear leader and I’m talking by a long shot in this category is and has been The Big Green Egg for many, many years. After all they have had close to a fifteen year head start over their closest competitor since day 1. Not only that but if you were to ask anyone in the street today if they knew what a kamado cooker was or is rather I bet you 90% of them wouldn’t have a clue and if they did know they’d say, Oh YEAH! One those Egg thingies, isn’t it?

The kamado cooker as I have stated before, many times, is just now and in the past decade, moving closer to the spotlight as a number of companies start throwing their business hats into the ring and declaring themselves fit for competition with their own kamado creations.

Regardless of how competitive I might think this category is or could become the reality is that its an incredibly competitive marketplace out there and companies have to spend their marketing dollars wisely and partner accordingly with key influencers across the board in order to help garner more attention to their specific products and elevate their brand names. That coupled with the absolute must these days of having a different and unique beyond words approach to your game plan not only with your products but your message and your services or else business life might be a lot shorter than you once predicted.

I know that when I wake up every morning and my mind finds its focus on my business tasks at hand as it relates to my concept a number of words always start my day off in the right direction, most of the time that is. Passion, Unique, Different, Innovate, Weird, Impressionable, Trustworthy, Honest, Real, Committed. I’m sure there are a few I’ve missed but you get the point, right?

With that said my top three predictions which I intend to defend might not surprise anyone and perhaps may cause a few eye brows to raise but regardless, these are my picks and we shall simply have to see where things land or fall in good time. Without any further ado, I give you my grateful picks!

#1 Big Green Egg

Well that was a tough one eh? Sure they are the market leader now and will most certainly be the market leader next year and perhaps for many more years because they are the “kleenex” shall we say of the category. Heck, I’ve even over heard competitors in past years slip in their descriptions of their own products and call their own ceramic vessel an EGG! What a testimonial to the brand that started it all!

Truth is they’ve busted a lot of tail over the last three decades States side preaching the word about the magic behind ceramic and they deserve a round of applause for that. I will never forget my twenty minute encounter with the man himself, Mr. Ed Fisher back in 2009. He seemed like a great guy who was simply enjoying his moment in the sun, as he should. Despite the fact that Canadians have been getting fleeced for the product up here for a number of years the day will come I do believe that the cooker that inspired me so much comes down in price for new and motivated grilling Kanuks.

Solid quality and a tried and true durability coupled with the fact that the assortment of accessories and other goodies has increased ten fold over the past few years are all things to expect from the big green machine. Almost zero added value to comment on such as included side tables, nests or even so much as a grill gripper or ash tool but the vessel itself is solid as a rock and you can take that to the bank indeed! Grill on egg heads, grill on!

#2 Kamado Joe

I like to refer to this company as the attack from the back of the pack from time to time for a very good reason. All of a sudden, four years ago it was like SHAZAM!!!!!! All Canada ever knew was green egg this and green egg that and then as if out of no where Kamado Joe and crew were on the scene and I’m not talking in any small way. I was so intrigued I hopped a plane to Orlando to prove to myself that the kamado world had another real player and as I approached their booth at HPBA all I could feel was my grin starting to span both east and west on my face and I remember thinking to myself, game on!

These guys get my #2 prediction for a very good reason. First, they come to the table with a cooker that works and works very, very well. Secondly they bring added value plus, plus, plus! Sure they are over priced in Canada today as well but if they truly want to become a contender which I’m certain they do perhaps they’ll surprise us all in the coming year with a product and a story that no one can argue with that comes in under a G-note in our country!

That would rock but time will tell and if you want to invest with these guys count on great customer service, a pre-assembled product thats ready to cook in less than 45 minutes once out of the  box and side tables, cart, ash tool, grill gripper and the list goes on!

Sure there biggest challenge will be the naysayers who simply right them off as a big green egg knock off brand in a different colour but mark my words my friends when I go on record for saying this cooker does as good a job as the big green egg and some on your chicken and it goes far beyond this as well and here’s why.

Kamado Joe in my view are doing their very best to think and act out of the box in terms of what they bring to end consumers. Case and point, the idea to introduce a combo gas unit to accompany your kamado cooker regardless of wether it happens to be a KJ! Brilliant!

Two colour options being red and black are a nice touch as well and if more size matters to you gents and your Mrs.( because we all know it does, lol!) then step into the world of Big Joe, coming to a town near you real soon! Still not good enough for you and you consider yourself as wealthy as a Gaylord, then perhaps Pro Joe suits your style and I need not mention price because that would simply be in bad taste. With the asthetics of a Bugatti this bad ass is sure to turn on your dinner guests!

Curious about accessories to take the grilling game even higher? KJ’s got you covered for that as well and you can bet that the creative wheels are turning 24/7 to come up with additional innovative and perhaps even break through firsts in the industry.

Finally, if this were a contest on marketing ( because it does count for a lot) I don’t think anyone would be able to debate or dispute the fact that these guys have done so much in so little time and done it well, very well in fact! Polished, professional and friendly as friendly can be when it comes to your kamado experience, that my friends is Kamado Joe!

#3 The Black Olive

OMG! The griller’s third pick is actually a pellet kamado cooker that plugs in!!!!!!!!!!!!! Indeed, it is and I shall also go on record for taking the mud slinging by the end of next year if in fact this cooker doesn’t live up to what I believe its going to accomplish in the Bbq industry and beyond in coming years.

Why I like this product so much is the following. Here’s a company, Sherwood Industries from Victoria, B.C., that have taken a stand, a REAL stand and declared themselves fit for the kamado ring with the first and oh so freaking innovative pellet fuelled kamado cooker on the market, EVER, like Taylor Swift EVER!!

How many times can a company declare a first in life, its awesome! This is also a first for me in chiming in without actually putting the unit I own through its paces for a full year but that’s how confident I am in this new and latest technology but its even more than this as well.

The Black Olive is the apitimy of no hassle cruise control cooking as these kamado cookers go. No hassle, no fuss, no dirty hands, no adjustments to make, no worries and ignition time of less than two minutes not to mention you are ready to cook in five minutes every time you ignite and turn the control knob. Yeah I know, I wasn’t so excited about the plug in for instant fire feature myself at first but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I have really become intrigued at not only the way this cooker operates but just how simple it really is.

There’s also the huge debate about and between the charcoal crowd and the pellet crowd for which I’m going to play Switzerland here and declare loving them both! I consider myself a rookie with pellet technology and a seasoned vet of sorts with charcoal but these guys have certainly opened up my eyes even wider to the possibilities that have landed at our feet as end consumers.

I’ve ploughed through my first 200lbs of pellets and what I love is the taste results that are  sweet, juicy, mild but oh so there! The fuel source is a renewable resource as well and so clean to handle and although I believe a tad more expensive to cook with than charcoal its still worth it, big time and if your wallet can absorb the $1799 retail tag then I say go for it!

I firmly believe there are many people out there who love a no worries cooking experience and that demand quality and technology to assist with their culinary activities even if it means paying more for it. The Black Olive already have a devoted fan base across North America and they’re just getting started!

Partially pre-assembled and stacked with all the features and benefits one would expect to pay for a cooker like this (and some) these guys are in it and in it big time from the looks of things and I can’t help but constantly ask myself where they are going to go from here. I can only assume its up, up and AWAY!!!!

Ok grillers, as Bugs Bunny always signed off with, that, that, that, that’s all folks and until we meet again feed those Sunday fires!