Cobb cooker help needed

Submitted: Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 14:52
ThreadID: 70006 Views:3058 Replies:15 FollowUps:3
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Can anyone help. I read time and time again that people us eight beads and get great roast chicken, using the Cobb. I have followed the instructions to the letter, with correct beads 8, letting the warm properly so the coals turn grey/white. Letting it cook for 21/2 hours. Every time the chicken is raw though out. Can any one help.

Thank you in advance

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Reply By: Gone Bush (WA) - Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 15:02

Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 15:02
Tom, we haven't cooked a chook on ours but a large leg of lamb comes out really well cooked.

I can't see there being much difference.

Some possibilities:

allow air to come thru under the Cobb, don't block off that airflow.

DO block off the airflow thru the sides. Cobb now make a sock that can fit around the mesh part.

Silly question: is the chook defrosted?

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AnswerID: 371033

Reply By: Cruiser .- Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 15:03

Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 15:03

I gave up on the heat beads and now use the Cobblestone Fuel from Cobb.

They are self lighting and are ready to cook in less than 5 minutes. They say they last for 2.5hrs but I have had them last just over 3hrs.

They also seem to burn a bit hotter than the heat beads and therefore cook a #22 chicken about 15 minutes quicker.

I get mine at BCF and they are $13.90 for pack of 6.


AnswerID: 371034

Reply By: George_M - Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 15:20

Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 15:20
Not sure what's going on there, Tom. I've only ever used seven heat beads, and two hours in the Cobb invariably gives us a well cooked chicken. We pre-steam vegetables, and add them half way through. Our Cobb has the old black plastic base. Friends who have the newer perforated stainless steel base say that it takes longer to cook, especially if there is a breeze. They've now bought a cover for it. Finally, are you sure that you've completely thawed out your chook before you start cooking?

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AnswerID: 371036

Reply By: Member - Cram (Newcastle NSW) - Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 15:27

Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 15:27
Yeah that is a bit of puzzler because chicken actually cooks on lower heat and a little quicker then most cuts of meat. Not sure whats doing there.

The only problem I have had, and I am fairly new to Cobb Cooking is getting my roast veges cooked properly.
AnswerID: 371037

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 15:29

Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 15:29
Yep - if the chook is roughly at room temp when it goes in you should be ok - we do a small leg of lamb with vegies in about 3 hours, using 7 beads. Weather would make an appreciable difference in my view - Cobb cooking in the sun on a hot day is quite different to cooking on a cold day - I try to fully shelter it on cold and / or breezy days - if I need to add a couple of beads to extend the cooking time, I get them going first on a gas ring - once all white, I move them to the Cobb - just adding beads straight out of the pack on top of half burnt beads does not seem to get them going properly. We have the SS mesh model.
AnswerID: 371039

Follow Up By: Member - colin J (VIC) - Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 15:42

Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 15:42
Hi all,
When we first used our Cobb we also had undercooked chicken/roasts etc. We found that the nominated no's of heat beads did not do the job, but we found that the ones we were using were smaller than others. We now use a few more (basically covering the bottom tray) and the meals are just absolutely sensational.
Regards from Big Col
FollowupID: 638351

Reply By: Member - Fred B (NT) - Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 15:47

Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 15:47
My Cobb Premier arrived a couple of hours ago. I read all the reviews of uses and didn't hear any dramas, so I hope we don't have any with ours. It will be 2 to 3 weeks before I get to use ours for the first time as we are about to fly to a very, very, cold Melbourne. Don't think Adelaide will be much warmer when we arrive there as well.
Fred B
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AnswerID: 371040

Reply By: tazbaz - Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 15:59

Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 15:59
I've had no difficulties with roast lamb, but I remember the salesman being quite emphatic that it is necessary to use the heat beads from Coles ie the brand that is included in the Cobb handbook. So that may be your problem, Tom
AnswerID: 371043

Reply By: Member - Alex B - Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 16:34

Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 16:34
I have had this problem form time to time. I sopke to the bloke on the Cobb stand about it at the Melb Caravan Show and he told me that Heat Beads can absord alot of moisture, particularly if the bag is sitting on a concrete floor, and in turn their heat output can vary deepending on age, how they are stored etc.

I now use the Cobb blocks and all is good again.

Enjoy everyday, make your own luck & help a few along the way.

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AnswerID: 371049

Reply By: Member -Dodger - Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 16:47

Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 16:47
Sold ours and went back tocamp oven. Best deal I ever made.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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AnswerID: 371050

Follow Up By: Member - cuffs (SA) - Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 18:18

Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 18:18
obviously don't now how to cook, these dam new inventions lol!
FollowupID: 638360

Reply By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 18:10

Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 18:10
G/Day Roger
We use the Cobb Cobblestone blocks and no problems at all, some heat beads are suspect now and again, keep on trying you will get the hang of it.
AnswerID: 371061

Reply By: Ozboc - Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 18:12

Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 18:12
i had this issue once - it turns out it was the actual fuel i was using - i cant remember the brand name of hand = but the coals basically burnt faster with less heat

when you looed at the heat beads after about 60 min they looked complete and white but when you poked them they turned to dust

we cook chooks all the time and thats for 6 of us - so its a large one - we also found that you need to keep turning it over every 20 - 30 min for best results

good quality heat beads are the way to go - dont skimp on them

AnswerID: 371062

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 19:13

Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 19:13
There are two important criteria to obtain consistent results.
The quality of fuel and sufficient protection from the wind.

Firstly, I only ever use the Heat Beads® brand of briquettes and get great heat for the time it takes to roast a leg of lamb, pork, or beef.

Secondly, ever since "upgrading" my original black plastic base Cobb to the stainless steel mesh base, I purchased a Cobb Bra from In Front Camping. I placed this inside the base and it has remained there ever since.
With the canvas bra in place, I get the same great results from the

mesh base (Premier) that I used to get from the solid plastic base (Mark II)

The one thing I cannot achieve from the Cobb is crackling. To achieve this you need a camp oven where you can direct the heat source from the top.

Nevertheless, we have just returned from a six day camping trip on the banks of the Darling in north west NSW and both the Cobb and the Hillbilly camp oven got a great workout.

I may be a little provocative with this statement, but anyone who can't cook with a Cobb either doesn't know how to use them successfully, or are just too impatient to give the cooking process sufficient time.

P.S. I don't "do" chook because I love real meat, but there is no reason whatsoever that a chook wouldn't be cooked as sucessfully as a roast leg or roll.



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AnswerID: 371071

Follow Up By: Member - cuffs (SA) - Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 20:48

Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 20:48
I was going to post Sand Man will set you straight but he beat me to it
FollowupID: 638378

Reply By: Tom Price - Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 23:18

Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 23:18
Thank you to all who have given advice. Some good ideas, that I will give a go. We head off up north to Karrijini NP in a few weeks, so hopefully I will be sorted by then.

AnswerID: 371101

Reply By: daisygirl - Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 12:13

Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 12:13
We have had the cobb cooker for several years. Also did the upgrade from black plastic bottom to stainless steel mesh and had to buy the canvas cover but all works perfectly now.

We only ever use 8 bricks for a roast lamb so would assume chook would be the same.

The Cobb people have told us only to use proper "heat bead" brand bricks and we also leave the full bag at home and only take a huge tupperware container full away.

Once we forgot to stock up and ran out and used a friends and didnt realise he was having all sorts of problems with his camp oven due to the beads were not OK, probably damp.

I would buy a new bag of beads and see if you are still having the same problems.
AnswerID: 371153

Reply By: Member - Syd R (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 19:20

Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 19:20
Yep Tom! I too have had the 'Oh Bloody Hell, the chicken's not cooked' dramas more than once! I have put it down to the type of 'fuel' I was using. On one occasion I opened a new bag of Black & Gold fuel, did the required preparation of beads, adding the chook when they were nicely grey. An hour later I realised there was no sizzling or aromas. Sure enough, the fuel was dead. No probelms, I had time and another new bag of fuel, can't remember the brand, repeated the prep process and put the chook on again. Within 30 mins I knew this bag of fuel was also a dud despite them turning grey. Two consequences: We didn't have roast chook that night and I never, ever use anything but the recommended HeatBeads. This has happened several times and it was always with the cheaper fuel.

When roasting anything, I usually add an extra bead or two more than the recommended, you can always remove them if there's too much heat, and have had excellent results with chicken, lamb and beef. I tend not to add extra beads during the cooking process as they sometimes are smelly and can taint the food if it's not in a camp oven or dish. Over time using the Heatbeads, I find I can estimate the temperature of the fuel depending on the number of beads.
Persevere Tom as the Cobb is excellent for roasts, casseroles and cakes -I do a mean little Fruit loaf in the Cobb which tends to impress!

Good luck from Mazza -the Cobb loving partner to Syd!
AnswerID: 371215

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