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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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

OR...

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.


Regards,

Swampbilly
 

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That's a beautiful looking meal. very nice presentation. So does it steam the meat or does it work more like a mini bbq, or a smoker? What ever the reults look fine. S.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
mt101 said:
That's a beautiful looking meal. very nice presentation. So does it steam the meat or does it work more like a mini bbq, or a smoker? What ever the reults look fine. S.
By putting fluid in the "moat" that surrounds the fire basket, yes, it will enhance the moisture of the cooked meat resulting in some of the juciest roasts and chickens you ever had. It also helps with the cleanup of dripping later.

As far as the method of cooking, I would say it's convection/roasting...I would compare it to a Big Green Egg, or Big Steel Keg (used to be Bubba Keg), as far as the quality of meal cooked...but much more portable. By using add-on accessories you can also pan fry and cook on the griddle plate, or bake pizzas.

I would have liked to have had a Bubba Keg, as some time back they were selling for half the cost of a Big Green Egg, but I did not have the storage space for one. Discovering the Cobb Cooker, I thought it would be a great alternative and began doing the research. Most everything I read from owners was extremely positive, so finally decided to get one.

Been really happy so far.


Regards,

Swampbilly
 

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Thanks for the review. I have a big green egg and would never go back. Steaks on the green egg are better than any resturant except Ruths Chris' to which they are equal. I just hope it never breaks becouse it cost so much.
I use a Smokey Joe mini Weber when RV camping with my wife and kids but after owning the egg I'm just not happy with the Weber.
I like the concept and portability of the Cobb but the reviews on Amazon indicate that it is a ''slow'' cooker taking 90 or more minutes for a meal. When we pull into a campsite late on a Friday night my kids are hungery and want to eat NOW. How long does it take to make to make burgers or a steak?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
gonzo said:
Thanks for the review. I have a big green egg and would never go back. Steaks on the green egg are better than any resturant except Ruths Chris' to which they are equal. I just hope it never breaks becouse it cost so much.
I use a Smokey Joe mini Weber when RV camping with my wife and kids but after owning the egg I'm just not happy with the Weber.
I like the concept and portability of the Cobb but the reviews on Amazon indicate that it is a ''slow'' cooker taking 90 or more minutes for a meal. When we pull into a campsite late on a Friday night my kids are hungery and want to eat NOW. How long does it take to make to make burgers or a steak?
Of course with this brisket, I cooked it a lower temps and for longer time...you have to to break down the collagen in the meat so brisket is more tender.

I don't know what people would say about the Cobb Cooker being a "slow cooker". It's true that most roasts and chickens will require 45 minutes to 2-hours for cooking anyway.

I read some of the reviews on Amazon.com and will say some of the people could benefit most from some common sense...or having a tough time adjusting to a slightly different theory of cooking. But you must note that on Amazon, the large majority of reviews are extremely positive.

I have not done it yet, but for burgers or hot dogs you would remove the roasting rack and cook directly on the black, non-stick surface or if you had the griddle plate accessory you would use that. The hot dogs need to be arranged like "spokes" on a wheel, as the non-stick surface has a slight crown to it for grease drainage. I would think you would be ready to cook as soon as the coals had that surface hot, which should not be too long. But you are grilling on a hot surface either way. If you prefer your burgers grilled on a rack, directly over the coals, then I would stick with the Smokey Joe.

For roasting, like this brisket, I first prepared the coals in a chimney starter, which I always do regardless. Once transferring the coals to the cooker, I covered it and waited 10 minutes for it to heat up, then put on the meat. I would evaluate that the qualirty of roasting/grilling you will get from the Cobb will definitely compare to the Green Egg...don't know if it equals, but most certainly similar. I'm not saying the Green Egg doesn't have merit...it's a fantastic cooker, but I could not store it or some might find the approx. $700 price tag steep.

With the Cobb Cooker, use REAL hardwood coals..you will get better results and a hotter fire. Also, clean it very soon after use...I rub the interior dome and the moat with a layer of coconut oil prior to cooking. Makes the cleanup much better afterwards, especialy inside the dome lid. Any carbon staining left on the moat, or dome interior, can easily be wiped away with a quick spray and immediate wipe of Easy-Off oven cleaner.


For temperatures, you do not have a temperature gauge on the cooker...some people drop a remote read thermometer into it and get the inner ambient temperature. Myself, I referenced a Cobb Cooker forum and a guy had done some extensive testing and temperature readings and published a chart for number of coals vs the temps and cooking time. So, I went with that.

Test conditions are: Oven Thermometer mounted on rack ~1 1/4" from the grill surface, temp. measurements taken every 15 mins.

# Briq....Time/Temp..........Remaining Usable time/Temp.
3.........1 hr. 325-260*F....0
4.........1 hr. 360-325*F....45 min. 300-275*F
5.........1 hr. 380-345*F....45 min. 320-280*F
6.........1 hr. 415-375*F....1 hr. 15 min. 350-275*F

...additional coals would result in even higher temperatures, but not tested at this time



A while back they were running a sale on the Bubba Kegs, which I would compare equally to a Green Egg...they were selling at $300. I really would have liked one then, but again, could not store it.

The Cobb Cooker I believe provides a very similar quality cooking at a fair price, very efficient on coals usage, and highly portable.


I hear what you say about Ruth Chris Steaks...I used to live in New Orleans and have eaten at the original Ruth Chris Restaurant. The only way you will duplicate those steaks is to invest in an 1800 degree steak grill. :)


Regards,

Swampbilly
 

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Thanks Bro, let us know when you make some burgers and dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What follows is my 3rd and final review of the Cobb Cooker. At this point, I can say I am overwhelmingly happy with this unit and it's lived up to every cooking challenge I've undertaken so far.

For this 3rd outing I did a boneless leg of lamb...this one was 4-lbs.

I started by peeling back, best I could, the netting from each end and trimming the thicker fat layers, leaving a thin sheet of fat layer on top. I then cut 7 Kalamada olives (black olives) into slivers and froze them. Then cut 6 cloves of garlic into slivers, and took two sprigs of fresh Rosemary and broke those into short sections with stem and a few attached leaves.

Next, take a slender knife blade and stab holes a couple of inches deep, 1" apart, spaced evenly around the lamb roast. Into each hole you stuff a couple of slivers of each flavor. Meaning two slivers of garlic in one hole, two slivers of Kalamada olive in the next hole (freezing them helps this), and a sprig of Rosemary in the next hole, alternating...each hole getting a different flavor.




Next, you brush the outside of the lamb roast with a coating of extra virgin olive oil, and then sprinkle evenly with a liberal coat of "Herbs de Province"...an herb mixture you can find in the grocer, or I will later add a blend recipe you can do yourself. Pat this herb layer in well with your hand :




Now, off to the Cobb Cooker, that I had prior prepared with [8 coals of real hardwood coals]. I had to estimate somewhat this time, as I had three coal chunks that were average bricket size or larger, but the rest were smaller pieces...so I might use 3 or 4 smaller pieces as one coal. I started these in a chimney starter, and basically when I dumped it into the Cobb fire basket it almost had filled the basket evenly across the top. Then I placed the basket into the cooker (the supplied Cobb Cooker handle is used). I also had soaked a good handful of hickory chips in water and had a smoker pack in foil with many punched holes I placed on top of the coals.

Ready to go !

In the moat of the Cobb, I had poured in 1-1/4 cups of water and 3/4 cup of red wine, along with 3 sprigs of Rosemary (each 3" long) and 4 or 5 slivers of garlic I had left over from stuffing the lamb roast.

Fashion yourself, with 4 or 5 sprigs of fresh Rosemary (rubberband the stems together at the end), a basting brush, and while cooking, every 40 minutes you baste the lamb roast with extra virgin olive oil. You want to do this procees as quickly as possible to get the lid back onto the Cobb, as not to lose too much heat.

Here is how the roast was shaping up after about 1 hour of cooking...sorry for the blurred photo. You will notice something I added to the Cobb...I took a pie tin and cut it down around the edges fashioning a "catch pan" to make sure to catch draining juices. Great thing was it fit nicely between the grill surface and the roasting rack and did not obstruct any of the air flow holes around the edges - perfect size !
Notice through the air flow holes you can see the coals glowing down below :




During the entire cooking time, I did not add any additional coals to the Cobb, just let the original 8 coals cook throughout. After approx. 2-1/2 hours, here is the roast, along with the pan drippings, ready for slicing and gravy preparation. More important than time, I was shooting for an internal temperature of the roast of 145 degrees, which put it slightly above the medium rare range :




Slicing...looking good. You can see some of the flavors stuffed internally earlier :




Finished product, with my favorite, grilled peppers and mac-and-cheese. I grilled the vegetables on my stove top in a Lodge cast iron grill pan. Added a glass of red wine, and almost hurt myself enjoying a fine meal:




Bon Appetite !!!
 

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My wife already calls me a grill addict and you had to post this! ;D I looked at one of these a long time ago...might have to buy one now.
 

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luv my cobb best feature i think is that you can pic it up and move it around..................... ;D

greenshoots
 
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