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Cyndi Allison - Grill Girl

Cobb Outdoor Cooker
Cook a Meal in a Small Space with Only 8 to 10 Chunks of Charcoal

Cobb outdoor cooker
Cobb Outdoor Cooker


charcoal in cobb cooker
Cobb Only Uses 8 to 10 Pieces of Charcoal


potatoes in cobb channel mote
Potatoes and Other Items Cook in the Moat


Meats or Other Foods Grill on Top


Chicken and Potatoes cooked on cobb outdoor cooker
Chicken and Potatoes off The Cobb Grill

The Cobb is a really unusual outdoor cooker. It’s about the size of a large, round watermelon. The fire and food all are contained in the small space. And, it only takes 8 to 10 pieces of charcoal to cook a full meal.

A Little Background on the Cobb

The Cobb was originally designed to be used in Africa in areas with no electricity. With just a few corncobs, villagers could make a good meal.

Now, you know where they got the name “cobb.” That’s from the corncobs initially used. The Cobb grills now are powered by charcoal, but they are slated to release a gas model this year (2009). I’ve been watching for that.

How to Use the Cobb Outdoor Cooker

When you look in the base of the Cobb, you see a little lift out wire basket. You take the basket out and add 8 to 10 charcoal briquettes, or you can order little round charcoal disks made to fit. Both work well. In either case, it’s simple to pack your fuel to go. No need to lug big bags of charcoal around.

Before putting the charcoal basket in, light some fire starter. These are sold at most big box stores with grills. They are about the size of the old fashioned chalkboard erasers and actually look a lot like them too. You peel off one or two and light the end. Those catch up and burn well. When the fire starter is going, put the charcoal basket right on top.

Let the grill and the top grate heat up for around 20 or 30 minutes. Grills need to heat up to cook well and also to help reduce sticking. You don’t put the lid on at this point, because that can snuff out the fire and can also melt the top knob with a full fire going.

There is a little channel or moat around the charcoal, and you can add water, beer, juice or so on to give more flavor. Or, you can put other foods in to cook like the potatoes that you see in my photos. Use the included lift tool that fits in the grill top holes to remove the grate to add those items if wanted. You don’t have to do that. Just an option.

Add the grill top and place food on top. For foods like chicken or roast, the wire accessory rack really comes in handy. It’s not included, and you can cook right on the metal topper, but I would recommend the metal grate that holds the food up a little bit. Makes it easier to clean the Cobb and also means you don’t have to turn foods.

Place the lid on and go do other stuff. A chicken takes around 2 hours from my experience. And, it’s best not to lift the lid as the heat drops when you do that. So, work in the yard, take a hike, or read a book. You don’t have to babysit the Cobb.

How Does the Food Taste?

Wow. Meats cooked on the Cobb are delicious and super moist. They are slow cooked and with charcoal flavor. Add just a few wood chips for even more smoke flavor and for different twists on the taste. We, for example, like to use Jack Daniels wood chips which are made from the retired Jack Daniels barrels.

The channel or moat, I’m still working on. The potatoes were good but a little dry when I did them in the moat. On top, they come out really soft and good. But, it’s hard to fit chicken and potatoes on top together as the size is small. There’s no lip or edge, and I rolled a few potatoes around on the porch when I put too much food in there once.

This can be used as an open grill too, but you need to add a couple more pieces of charcoal. For burgers or steak, open lid works better. But, you have to keep the heat up.  

Since the Cobb does have a moat and lid, it can also be used for boiling and for baking things like pizza. There are some accessories for that. We’ve not gotten that far yet.

Who Would Love This Grill (which is really an outdoor cooker)?

Really, everyone who sees the Cobb at my house thinks it’s really cool. If you get one, expect people to notice and ask questions.

We use it for a family of three to four which is fine. Any more than that, and you really need something larger.

The Cobb is ideal for travel. It takes up very little room, and the low amount of fuel means nice tight packing. Just put the charcoal disks or baggies with 8 or 10 chunks inside the Cobb and pack it. This makes it really nice for campers, RVers, fishermen, and tailgaters. It would be a bit large for backpacking but comes in a nice carry bag, so if someone wants to carry it like a suitcase, that would work.

If you live in a small apartment or have a little balcony, this does not take up a bunch of space. Don’t leave it out in the weather though. Wash it and put it in the closet so it doesn’t rust. It’s made of high quality metal, but it’s just not meant to sit out in the weather year round.

You really don’t see any smoke coming out of this cooker. It’s all contained. Hum. It would probably work even if you have a no fire clause. Not that I’d encourage anyone to break the rules or laws. But, it is cool to the touch. You can pick it up and move it around when it’s cooking. Now, the lid gets kind of hot. Don’t touch the lid. But, the base is cool as can be. If it starts to rain, and we’re in the yard with the Cobb, we just pick it up and move it to the porch.

Clean Up

With charcoal and meats, you are going to have a mess no matter how you look at it. The Cobb runs about average on clean up. The big plus is that the grill pieces can go in the dishwasher, but I don’t have a dishwasher or even sons who are very keen on doing that. So, I do some scrubbing especially on the flat metal topper piece.  

Bottom Line

The Cobb is a neat little outdoor cooker. It’s easy to use. The food turns out great. When you read the company claims, you may wonder. They are on target. The Cobb works like they say and does what they say.

I would like a little lip or edge on the sides of the grill topper – the metal piece on top.

Also, I find that the recipes take a bit longer here at my house. Maybe I just buy big meat. In any case, I add from 10 to 30 minutes most times. Then again, I almost always lift the lid at least once which does drop the temperature, so that may be why I have to cook longer.



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