Cobb Cooker - Review
I have seen people do the convection/grilling cooking in the Big Green Eggs, or the Bubba Kegs, but me not having the storage space, I had my eye and doing research on the Cobb Cooker. It originally got the name, "Cobb", because it was developed in Africa for back country people or tribes who didn't have modern cooking equipment. What they had for fuel was plenty of corn cobs, and the original cooker was designed to use corn cobs as fuel. Later it evolved into using charcoal.
This is the 5th generation of this cooker.
Anyway, I thought this would provide the same quality roasting/grilling, yet very portable, easily stored, and really efficient on coal usage. Could also be optimum for the bug out crowd.
Company website, and link to Pro Model Cooker...they've marked them down temporarily since the holidays. Don't know how long it will stay this price :
Remember, the roasting rack is an added accessory, or find a cheaper one locally. It comes with a nice canvas carry bag too :
Cobb Portable Grill Store - The Cobb Premier Deluxe
Cobb Portable Grill Store - The Cobb fenced roasting rack
You can choose the Ultimate Package, with all of the accessories :
Cobb Portable Grill Store - The Cobb Premier Ultimate Kitchen-In-A-Box
Cobb Cooker Animation :
YouTube - Cobb Grill Animation - how the bbq works - www.cobbq.com
YouTube - Cobb Portable Grill from www.portable-grill-store.com
I saw this as another convection grilling option, but much more portable and easier to store...what I needed :
Finally bought one several days back and tried it for the first time last night. I sent it on its maiden voyage with a 2-lb piece of beef brisket.
Here, I'm doing the marinading phase...injecting the brisket and then pouring remaining marinade into the Zip-Lok bag with the brisket. Normally, I would have marinaded it overnight, but this one was 6 hours. I injected the Stubs Beef Marinade...the Jim Beam mustard was later added to the remaining that was added to the bag :
After it marinaded for 6 hours, I then removed it from the bag and dry rubbed it liberally with Chef Leo's "Game & Meat Rub", which I bought at the gun show.
The thing about the Cobb Cooker, is it is very efficient and takes very few brickets to cook...I only had 3 pieces of hardwood charcoal (2 large, 1 smaller) in the fire basket.
So, I poured 1-cup of water and 1/2 cup of beef broth into the "moat" that surrounds the fire basket. Once your coals are white, you put the lid on and wait 10 minutes for it to heat up.
Then I added some wet hickory chips to the top of the coals for smoking. PLaced the brisket into a foil "bowl", with some chopped onions and bell pepper and about 3/4 cup of water/beef broth mixture. Put that on the grill, covered it, and soon had some hickory smoke venting out :
After 1-hour / 10 minutes, I added 1 small coal to the fire...1-hour / 10 minutes later (Two hours / 20 minutes total time), opened her up and here's how the brisket shaped up :
I wish you could have smelled and tasted how incredible the gravy was that developed from this brisket. It definitley picked up some of the smokiness flavor from the hickory :
I cooked this 2-lb brisket for 2 hours/ 20 minutes, with 3 hardwood coals, later adding 1 coal and the meat thermometer read 168 degrees. I pulled it, wrapped it in foil and let it sit in a warm oven for 10 minutes prior to slicing it. For my first brisket and first time using the Cobb Cooker, I was very pleased. I probably could have gotten by with 3 coals and cooked it closer to 3 hours...might have been a bit more tender, but still was very good...the gravy was awe inspiring.
Ready for slicing :
Coupled the brisket with some cornbread dressing, all drizzled with that fantastic brown gravy...I judged it a success for the first outing with the Cobb Cooker !
Next project...cornish hens.
MMMM, looks tasty.
So how does that thing work, draws air in from the sides then up through the center past the fuel source? Sorry didn't check out the links yet.
Looks like a good design.
Yes, that's it...check out the link in the OP, under "Cobb Cooker Animation".
Originally Posted by Coils
This Sunday I'm going to do the cornish hens, and will post the results.
Got time to check out the links and a few other videos.
I like that, very portable, and well thought out.
It would be nice if they offered a couple sizes, that one for cooking for 1 or 2 and a larger one as a family style.
Do you have to use the firestarter in the video, or can simple charcoal lighter fluid be used? I'd hate being locked in to some specialized starter system. Other than that, it looks like a decent (though for the price, it better be!) system.
They offer an add-on accessory, a Dome Extension, that provides enough height to do the upright beer can chicken roasting. I might get that later, but for now can roast horizontal chickens...I'm sure it tastes just as good :)
Originally Posted by Coils
Cobb Portable Grill Store - The Cobb Dome Extension rack
But as far as diameter, that's the only size. You could put a good sized shoulder roast, pork butt, chicken, duck, leg of lamb...it's definitely big enough for that.
You don't have to use that exact fire starter they show, but they do recommend using a solid fire starter, rather than pouring starter fluid into it. You could use the wax impregnated saw dust sticks commonly found.
Originally Posted by sjohnson
If you wanted to use starter fluid, you would need to soak your coals in a separate container and then transfer them to the Cobb Cooker for lighting.
Myself, I use a chimney starter no matter how I'm grilling. I start my coals in the chimney and transfer them to the Cooker. I prefer that to lighter fluid any day.
I know some people might find it a bit pricey. True, it's not "cheap", but it also is not cheaply constructed. The dome lid and the moat/fire pit and racks are all stainless. If you get the Premium model, the base is stainless too. The gauge thickness of the components is very suitable and the components are strong...not flimsy. Heck, depending on how much you grill or roast outdoors, you will eventually save much of your money back in charcoal you did not have to buy.
WOW those pictures are making me hungry. Very nice write up on the BBQ. What is the size limit for the meat? I tend to BBQ large trip tips or roasts. Just wondering how much can fit on the grill.
Well, so far I have only done that 2-lb cut of beef brisket, and a couple of nights ago I did two cornish hens on it. They turned out GREAT !! And again, the gravy that develops is so goood.
Originally Posted by Gunco
I would say you could do an average size pork shoulder or pork butt. Also good sized chicken, duck, leg of lamb, stack of ribs, etc. A full sized brisket would be too long and better done on a larger pit/smoker.
As I noted above, you could also get the extension ring to gain additional cooker height and do a stand-up beer can chicken. I plan to later get that accessory and the griddle plate.
I love the quality of roasting/grilling I am getting from this cooker and the portability of it makes it fantastic for the bug-out crowd, short hikes, picnics, a day at the beach, or people living in condos or apartments without conventional pit storage space
Below, my second outing with the Cobb Cooker resulted in another great experience. Below are the results on the cornish hens. These were cooked with 6 hardwood coals worth of "fuel" for the cooker.
I rubbed the birds with lemon juice, then butter, then coated with "Paul Prudhomme's Poultry Magic" seasoning. Then stuffed the birds with two good lemon wedges and a sprig of fresh basil. In the "moat" of the cooker, I added 1-1/2 cups of water with 1-tablespoon of chicken bulion dissolved in it and dropped two sprigs of fresh basil in that fluid.
I cooked the hens for the first 50 minutes with the foil open so the flavors and moisture from the moat could permeate the meat...then I closed up the foil pouches and cooked the hens for another 30 minutes to let them steam good. In the photo below I'm about to close up the foil :
Again, some fantastic gravy develops during the cooking process. I could grab the leg bone, twist it, and it pulled right out of the meat - perfect ! :
...and it was as good as it looks :