After four years of intermittent use, I have finally got to grips with this amazing barbecue/oven/grill. Firstly, may I say, it does not take four years to learn how to operate a Cobb BBQ. It was just my sheer hopelessness at barbecuing that caused this alfresco incompetence.
My shiny new Cobb bbq arrived in a swish shiny box. I eagerly unpacked it to see what it could do. Let’s face it, I had built an outdoor wood oven and produced some pretty reasonable meals so how hard could this barbecuing lark be?
Cobblestones, Charcoal and Lighting the Cobb
My initial research had revealed that the Cobb has its own neat and tidy fuel bricks which are called Cobble Stones. These are circular disks made of coconut shell and charcoal and fit snugly into the Cobb’s fire basket. They are smokeless (after 2 mins), easy to light and produce more heat than conventional charcoal.
Let me be perfectly honest here and as the saying goes “A bad workman always blames his tools”. These cobble stones were the reason for my poor success with the Cobb. Initially, I found the Cobble Stones were not easy to light and, in my limited experience, they most definitely did not produce more heat than conventional charcoal. The manufacturers claim that you can start to cook on the Cobb BBQ seven minutes after lighting the cobble Stone. For me it actually took seven minutes to light the stone. More practice and research has shown that lighting the cobble stones with a firelighter broken into four gets the stone lit and hot a lot quicker. In my opinion, these cobblestones are expensive. All that said they are clean and easy to use and quite handy if you are heading out on a jaunt and need two hours cooking time then CLICK HERE to order Cobb Cobble Stones.
So What Changed?
After three years of failed meals I had just about given up. I had read a few posts about using charcoal briquettes and thought I would give them a go. This changed my outdoor cooking for good!
Here is what I found
Arrange 8 to 10 standard charcoal briquettes in the fire basket. Use a single Firelighter broken into four pieces and lay these evenly in the area below the fire basket, light each one as you put them in as the area is quite small. Pop the fire basket on top. It will smoke for 2 minutes until the firelighters burn off. This is when the near perfect design of the Cobb comes into it’s own. The draft from underneath gets the briquettes burning in no time. Place the supplied non-stick cooking plate in position and within twenty minutes you will have a hot surface to cook on. After about 30 minutes, with the lid on, the temperature reaches at least 350°c then slowly drops over the next 2 hours. This is perfect for roasting a chicken or slow roasting lamb or a beef joint. Believe me you won’t get a juicier joint from a convention oven.
Sausages, burgers and kebabs
Arrange 12-15 Standard briquettes in the fire basket using the same method. This really does produce some heat! It is ideal for getting some colour on the meat. Once this has been achieved, you can pop the lid on to create the oven effect. This keeps the moisture in ensuring no more dry burgers or over cooked sausages.
The moat around the fire basket catches the fat as it drips through the cooking plate so you will have no big flare ups from fat dripping on the hot coals. The moat can also be used to cook vegetables – wrap these in foil to stop them burning.
One of the great advantages of the cobb is that all the main parts are stainless steel so they don’t mark easily. Here is the best part… they can all go in the dishwasher! Cobb also produce a disposable moat liner which you can discard after cooking. The ash from the burnt fuel stays contained beneath the fire basket. When the cobb has completely cooled down, you can pack the whole thing up, put it in the bag and carry it home to clean.
Now here is the best bit
The stylish stainless steel mesh around the base means that the outside is perfectly safe and completely cool to touch. This means the unit can be picked up and moved (even at it’s hottest), placed on a table whilst cooking and even used safely on a boat deck!
They are one of the safest barbecues on the market.
Cobb Options and Accessories
There are five main Cobb units available and there are varying bundled kits to pick from. The bundle kits can include carry cases and accessories. The carry case is a must if out and about.
The accessories make great presents and although seem expensive, they are of excellent quality and will stand the test of time.
D 33cm x H 28cm
A compact cobb with the same cooking surface area as the standard Cobb. However, this is a shorter model, but great if space is tight.
Priced From £109.50
D 33cm x H 33cm
The most popular of the Cobb range. A good all rounder. Our pick of the bunch for price, features and functionality.
Priced From £109.99
L 50cm x W 36.5cm x H 38cm
The largest of the Cobbs, it is in fact, 80% bigger than the Premier. This unit can cook three whole roast chickens simultaneously with accompanying vegetables and is still portable!
Priced From £190.50
L 42cm W 33cm H 43cm
For the cleanest and quickest BBQ this great gas powered Cobb will have your meal ready in no time. It is the same cooking area as the Premier. It takes a standard gas screw in cartridge.
Priced From £173.00
Cobb are producing more and more accessories which fit all the Cobb units available,with exception of the Supreme, which due to its oval shape has to have its own cooking plates.
I highly recommend the Roasting Rack and the versitile Sauter Pan.
Click the item for more Info and up-to-date Prices.