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Submitted by: Stu Haynes
The modern Cobb cooker has been around for less than 10 years, though it is the end result of many years of design and re-design. The concept of Cobb cooking, though not by that name, has been around for many generations. Cobb America simply took an existing technology and improved it in a way that will forever, I think, be the benchmark by which many other things will be judged.
In any sort of cooking, including Cobb cooking, it’s useful if you know what the cooker is capable of. The modern Cobb cooker uses charcoal briquettes as the fuel of choice. Perhaps surprisingly the Cobb requires only 6-8. What is perhaps more surprising is that this minute amount of fuel will bounce the internal temperature of the cooker to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, almost 260 degrees centigrade and keep on cooking for about 3 hours.
The internal workings of the Cobb are really straightforward. There are no moving parts and pretty much everything is made from stainless steel. This means that there is nothing to break or rot, so it requires virtually no maintenance. The fuel well is in the middle of the stove surrounded by a ‘moat’ into which you add water or maybe wine or beer etc. A simple idea, at best, but what an idea! I have no idea whether the good people at Cobb America consciously made the connection between this small but perfectly formed cooker, and commercial cookers that can cost many thousands of dollars, but the effect is the very similar. The very expensive commercial cookers use steam to keep the meat plump and moist. In Cobb cooking the effect is exactly the same! In addition to introducing steam into the cooking heat the moat can be used to steam and boil vegetables. It’s only limited by your imagination.
The grill plate at the top of the unit is the glamorous end. This is where the main ingredients cook. The cooking plate will easily take a 3lb chicken, just under 1.4 kgs. There is also space here for potatoes or other vegetables.
The construction of the Cobb is such that even when the internal temperature rises to maximum, only the lid gets hot. This means that when you are Cobb cooking there is far less danger of burn injuries. The lid, incidentally, has an insulated lifting handle. Do not think of the Cobb as only a ‘use at home’ tool. Nothing could be further from the truth. I like to go camping and I also spend a lot of time on my boat. My own Cobb cooking goes on, home or away.
The diversity of Cobb cooking is legendary. It has been featured by TV chefs on numerous occasions where they have cooked menus from all over the world. As well as being an excellent oven the Cobb is a terrific BBQ. In addition the unit is designed to fry, boil, steam, Wok and it makes a brilliant smoker for meats and fish. There are few limits in Cobb cooking. Believe it or not you can even bake bread in it!
About the Author: Cobb cooking is something I really enjoy. Although thousands have been sold around the world many people have still not seen one, so Cobb cooking has a real ‘wow’ value when it’s seen for the first time. See videos and recipes on my site.