Tips for using a Cobb Oven

Submitted: Monday, Jul 19, 2004 at 12:57
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I'm getting a Cobb oven and was wondering from all those who use one what handy tips can you pass on. What are the best heatbeads to use? Although they claim it will do just about anything I find that with most things that claim to do everything there will be compromises so what should and shouldn't I try to do with it. What about cleaning? Any spectacular meals I should try?

Thanks, CJ
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Reply By: Rosscoe - Monday, Jul 19, 2004 at 14:55

Monday, Jul 19, 2004 at 14:55
Hello CJ,

I ran a similar post last week, after some less than great attempts with my Cobb. Consenus seem to be that you have to experiment but I get the feeling that my expectations are higher than the Cobb can deliver. I'm comparing it to my trusty webber at home and my mini weber on the road.

Check out the Cobb web site and phone for a cook book. There's a free call number.

Basic tips are:-
Use only quality heat beads, not the self igniting type.
Adjust the number to the type of dish you are cooking.
The Cobb cooks at 180 Deg celsius with about 8 beads and should take the same time as a conventional oven.
For grilling turn the fire basket upside down so that you can get the plate to a reasonably hot temperature. Useless if you don't.
For damper etc use a cake tin or cake rack otherwise it over cooks on the bottom.
When roasting turn the meat over a few times.
Have a supply of good red avaialable and be patient. If you're like me by the time the dam meal is cooked I'm not feeling any pain anyway.

So far I'm still working on it but if it doesn't get better it's not coming to the Cape with me next month!!!
Keep trying and if you find reasonable success, post your formula.


AnswerID: 68437

Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Monday, Jul 19, 2004 at 15:00

Monday, Jul 19, 2004 at 15:00
I saw one used on my recent trip up north by a fellow club member.

He said the secret is to allow time as its a slow cooker.
He stuck the spuds in with the meat at the same time as it was slow to cook the lot. About 2 to 2 1/2 hours for a roast.

I must say that the result was very nice, well worth the wait
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AnswerID: 68440

Reply By: Troopy Travellers (NSW) - Monday, Jul 19, 2004 at 18:14

Monday, Jul 19, 2004 at 18:14
CJ, I will be doing a leg of lamb baked dinner tomorrow and will update you with how it goes, yesterday I put in a thread about scones with some pictures. I put them straight on the grill and then as per the small book that comes with it turned them over about half way through. It gave a nice texture to the top and bottom and the inside was soft as it should be. I might do a damper after the bake to test out the claim that it can do a bake, hot dessert and damper all on the 9 beads. I bought the beads as suggested in the book, I am not at home so cant tell you the brands but its a NO NO to use the no frills brands apparently. I am sure if all of us gave hints to each other we would more quickly master it and there seem to be quite a few tips in the forum if you do a search on COBB. I feel at the price it should come with the larger book but thats life.....

AnswerID: 68469

Reply By: V8troopie - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2004 at 00:45

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2004 at 00:45
I use my Cobb on my sailboat while at anchor somewhere out there. First time i lighted the whit block firelighters I rushed for the extinguisher, those flames were much bigger than anticipated for ease of mind while sitting next to it in the cockpit.
These white lighters also stink, make black smoke and leave a messy residue in the ash tray.
I have since discovered there are firelighters and firelighters. Picked up some firelighter packages made by 'Bostik' ( I think) which looked like little squares of soft fibre board. They burned with much less flame, less smoke and less residue but lighted the beads just as well.

The heat beads I use are some old stock I found in the shed, possibly over 10 years old. They are smaller than the ones now available. They work well, the grid could fit near a dozen of them, and they burnt down to ash beads rather than a heap of ash dust.

Cleaning a cooker is always a problem on the boat due the tiny sink, I found that by lining the ash pan with alfoil ( pressed down to form a shallow cup - keep the holes clear!) makes the firelighter mess easier to clean.
The non stick roasting plate is easy to clean with hot dish washing water and so is the moat which might have some fat residue there.

Get some gardening gloves to pick up the cold bead grid as its full of black soot from the lighters. And take care of that dinky tool that lifts the plate, you'd have a hard if you loose it.

We had some wonderful roasts, a real treat on a boat. I tried sausages once, using the pizza dish to stop 'em rolling off :-) but I think a gas BBQ plate is better for that - same for steak, the plate does not get very hot with the lid off.

Once the heatbeads are lighted you can carry the cooker about while it's cooking but be careful as things might fall off when you lift the lid again if they had slid to the edge of the roasting plate. That's my biggest bugbear of this design, too easy to accidentally slide things off as you turn them. I actuallymade a large stainless ring, 25mm high, to use as a fence to avoid that.
AnswerID: 68547

Follow Up By: V8troopie - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2004 at 00:49

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2004 at 00:49
Sorry about the typo's, this computer does not like one finger typists :-)
FollowupID: 329119

Follow Up By: Troopy Travellers (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2004 at 07:42

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2004 at 07:42
Thanks Klaus some great info there.
FollowupID: 329123

Reply By: cj - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2004 at 08:44

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2004 at 08:44
This is excellent information. I had searched previous posts and some things had been mentioned but there is info here that I haven't seen elsewhere and it's great to have it all in one place for future reference. Thank you to everyone for their input and keep it coming if you have something else to add.
AnswerID: 68572

Reply By: cj - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2004 at 12:49

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2004 at 12:49
How do you think the Cobb would perform in the snow? Would it get hot enough or be too slow?
AnswerID: 68632

Reply By: Troopy Travellers (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2004 at 20:03

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2004 at 20:03
CJ, I am not the worlds greatest cook but I have never poisoned anyone with my experiments yet LOL. As promised here is tonights dinner cooked on the Cobb and I have learnt a few things.

It was a 2K leg of lamb - I misread the instructions and used 9 "Heat Beads" (thats the brand and 3 "Firelights". I followed the instructions on the recipe leaftlet you get with the Cobb and prepared the leg for cooking in an oven bag. Also the vegies were prepared for on top of the grill.

After being alight 20 minutes I put the leg on the grill but all the vegies wouldnt fit so I had to wrap and oil them and put them in the moat, also some water in the moat. After 40 minutes I turned the leg only to find it had stuck to the grill. I put the small (greens etc) vegies in foil in the moat area and more water there.

After 2 hours total it was all removed.

Next time:
I would use 7 beads only
I would cut the vegies smaller (say quarters) and put them all in the moat area.
I would make the overall cooking 2 1/2 hours as although it was deliciously tender it was a might rare in the centre for us.

While the leg was resting I quickly mixed the beer flour and salt and made the Beer Damper also in the booklet. I put that on for the 40 minutes recommended while we ate our baked dinner.

There was still some heat left and I thought that mulled wine someone a recipe in here for would go well to finish off.

Here are the pictures, I hope some of the other SWMBO's will put in some hints also. I will do a chicken in a few days time.


Tonights Dinner
AnswerID: 68710

Reply By: rlbrooks - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2004 at 21:48

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2004 at 21:48
Have used a cobb cooker for 2 years and have cooked roasts to scones, damper and pizza. All have turned out to be gereat meals. I use the Easylite headbeads (the one's in the yellow/black packet). they light straight away and give out good heat. I have never used more than 6 heatbeads to cook anything. Actually, just once I put 8 in and burnt the plastic inner case. Learnt my lesson.
As others have said, be patient and you will have a great meal.

AnswerID: 68732

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