With a beach vacation in the near future and some possible weekend music festival excursions paired with getting older, wanting to be somewhat more comfortable and just tired of buying a cheap portable grill. I have been looking at portable cooking grills fueled by charcoal. Getting tired of hooking up individual camp stoves for each pot and wanting to cook a meal instead of a couple of dishes I searched through the catalogers and internet sites to finally arrive at what I believed would be the best bet according to what I like in outdoor cooking, the Cobb Grill.
The most important feature that I wanted was a charcoal as a heat source. Charcoal adds those flavors that you want when cook something outdoors. The other feature was portability and ease of setup and break down. Just these two criteria narrowed the field of competitors down to simply two. I choose the Cobb Grill, a system invented in South Africa to provide an economical means of cooking that conserved fuel.
The Cobb Grill works by design that creates an airflow from the bottom through the heat source, carrying the heat up to the cooking surface. There is a dome lid that has air holes to help with the airflow when the cover is on. You can cook with the cover on which creates an oven for baking and you can cook with the cover off for grilling, sauteing, etc. The Cobb cooker works with charcoal briquettes numbering from 6 to 10 depending on what you are cooking.
Operating the Cobb grill is pretty easy. You simply start some charcoal either in a charcoal chimney or in the cooker using fire starters that are sawdust mixed with paraffin. The prepared charcoal sits in a basket that is in the middle of the base of the unit. The heating area is surrounded by “the moat” which can contain water for moisture or some other vegetable such as potatoes. The cooking surface fits on top and the lid over that. You can make a lot more with the Cobb grill than just a conventional camp or portable stove. You can bake, roast, sear even bake bread or pizza.
An amazing product wouldn’t you say? Well it works real well but it does have some limitations. It does just about everything well except grill. The cooking surface is a round disc that will basically sear your steak when you are cooking on it. Steaks taste very good but will not have those fine grill marks we like to see. You have to get the grill very hot to sear a steak so there is some knowledge about cooking and skill involved. The amount of briquettes you use is going to determine how hot you get. So you will need 8 to 10 for steaks, 6 for delicate fish, 8 to 10 for whole chicken with veggies, etc. You need to know a little about other types of cooking other than burning meat on the grill. There is a challenge and a bit of a learning curve to it. Also you will need to keep it clean because you are hauling it around in a carrying case that comes with it. Cleaning with limited water may be an issue.
Personally I like the Cobb bbq grill mainly because of the many different types of cooking you can do on it. I like the challenge and I do know a little about different styles of cooking so can make good use of it’s design and functionality. The Cobb Grill is well made, portable, lite, conserves on fuel and works as advertised. I look forward to experimenting with the Cobb grill and some gourmet dishes while the banjo plays in the background.