Looking for a compact and clean mini cooker that can be used on the beach or boat? Des Westmore dons his cooking apron to trial the non-gas Cobb Grill.
Much as I would like to claim credit for discovering the Cobb Grill, I can’t as I first saw it aboard a charter boat. I was on the lookout for a good non-gas grill or BBQ that was safe to use afloat, and I eventually found it in the shape of the Cobb. The Cobb resembles a cross between a wire waste paper basket and a kettle-style BBQ, and these rather unique looks lead to some equally unique features. For instance, this unit will cook a 3 ½lb chicken from raw in 90 minutes, yet can safely be used on an unprotected wooden surface… in fact, the base unit stays cool enough that it can even be picked up and moved while it is alight! Obviously only do this if you have to, but the point is made.
The Cobb Grill consists of a stainless steel base unit which houses the stainless steel Cobb bowl incorporating the fire basket for either charcoal fuel or the proprietary ‘Cobble Stone’ fuel alternative, and also the ‘moat’… more of that in a minute. The Xylan non-stick grill plate sits atop this assembly. At this point, there are a number of optional accessories that can be bought and fitted. In its standard configuration however the only remaining item to fit is the dome or cover, which is again stainless steel.
Grill and thrill
With the standard grill arrangement you cook directly on the grill plate, with the cover on or off depending on what you are cooking. The grill is convex and has holes in it so that any fat or juices from whatever is being cooked run down into the moat. As the moat is hot, these juices are then re-circulated as smoke and vapours, especially if the dome is used, thus adding to the flavour and keeping the food moist. If you want to experiment, the moat can be filled with wine or wood chippings to further enhance the cooking. The Cobb is of South African origin, and the fact that the fat drains away has it endorsed by the South African Heart Foundation.
This model is fuelled by normal charcoal briquettes, or by the ‘Cobble Stone’ solid fuel material mentioned earlier, which made from coconut shell and simplicity itself to use. Put a light to the Cobblestone and watch it smoke for two minutes. It is then ready for you to cook on and will burn for up to 2 ½ hours.
Optional accessories available include: frying pans, griddles, woks, smokers and thermometers. I used the optional roasting rack, which means you can cook a large piece of meat or poultry without the need to turn it.
To test the roasting rack I used a large chicken. Unfortunately it was too large to fit in the dome, so I split it spatchcock style. The Cobb cooked it to perfection from raw in just over an hour-and-a-half with the dome in place, with no interference from me at any point, and no pre-cooking whatsoever. Anglers will find it perfect for cooking freshly caught fish, or doing burgers, chops etc ashore or afloat. Truth to tell this nifty little grill can even do a whole roast dinner as the veg can be wrapped and cooked around the moat.
Light, compact and apiece of cake to use, the Cobb Grill comes in a carrying case rates as an impressive bit of kit with loads of possibilities. Indeed, its use goes far beyond just fishing, boating and camping. I have never come across anything like the Cobb before and would recommend it to anyone with a passion for the outdoors and good cooked fare.
The cost of the standard Cobb is £90.00 including delivery. The roasting rack costs an additional £8.25.
For more information go to www.cobb-bbq.co.uk