Cobb Cooker - I burnt my bra!!!

Tried a new (for me) fuel source for the Cobb Cooker last weekend and burnt my bra.

No, I'm not a cross dresser and I wasn't wearing one.

I'm talking about the Cobb Bra I have been using successfully for a couple of years.
I decided to try the Cobb brand Cobble Stone when baking a loaf of bread.

Read the instructions on the packaging and proceeded (with a bit of difficulty) to ignite the fuel source by applying a naked flame to the centre of the "stone" as per the directions and after a couple minutes of perseverance the thing took off like a kiddie's sparkler and within another couple of minutes the stone was well alight and glowing red. So far so good.

Placed the prepared dough (contained in a Willow brand silicon bread "tin") onto the top grill plate and placed the lid on.
Some 15 minutes later I noticed a quantity of smoke emanating from the cooker and lifted the lid to check. All looked good and replaced the lid and proceeded with some social intercourse with my friends.

Another few minutes and black smoke was now evident and after lifting the lid and tapping the top of the loaf I decided that the bread was "ready".

Lifted the bread and container off of the grill plate and immediately noticed all was not well with the silicon container. It had a hole in the bottom.

Bugger. Removed the loaf of bread from the remains of the silicon container and after inspecting same, considered the bread fit for human consumption with a little modification. I cut the blackened bottom of the bread off, disposed of the immortal remains of the silicon container and proceeded with some more conviviality until dinner time. The bread loaf still tasted OK.

The next morning, I disassembled the Cobb to clean it and after removing the internal bowl from the external container, noticed the Cobb Bra was somewhat "deteriorated".

On closer inspection, the extreme heat generated by a full Cobble Stone was a little too much for the Bra. The canvas was not affected but the trim around the top and bottom edge was heat warped in parts. I don't think the Bra is a throw away item at present and I will continue to leave it in place until I determine otherwise. I have always placed the bra to the inside wall of the external mesh bowl and this has worked successfully for the time I have had the Bra.
The reason for using the Bra was due to a loss of heat in "normal" outside conditions, causing a prolonged and uneven cooking time.

The lesson I learnt for this exercise?

1. The Cobble Stone is too bloody hot to use in the Cobb cooker as a complete fuel source.

2. Maybe I should chuck the rest of the Cobble Stones into a camp fire as a fuel source sometime down the track and revert to my normal 7 heat bead fuel source which I have been successful with for aeons. (but they cost me big $.)

3. Perhaps a half of one stone may be more suitable at any one time.

I doubt I would bother with buying another lot of Cobble Stones for the shortened period of ignition time required before cooking. I haven't really had a problem waiting 20 minutes for the heat beats to be fully burning prior to cooking.

I certainly would not consider disposing of the Bra which I regard as "mandatory" for a successful cooking session with the mesh type Cobb Cooker.

I think I will experiment one more time with half a Cobble Stone and see how the cooking goes, but if this doesn't work I will revert to the previously successful Heat bead solution.

Interestingly, the only reason I used a full stone was because the instructions stated a "burn" time of 2 1/2 hours, against a time of 2 hours or so for 7 heat beads. I thought if I halved the disk I may not have sufficient heat/cooking time before I needed to replenish the fuel source.

Apart from this lesson in cooking life I have pretty well determined that the Hillbilly Camp oven is superior for baking bread than the Cobb Cooker anyway, but time and further experimentation will tell.
I would also state that the Heatbead brand of fuel source is more that adequate for the Cobb Cooker and no alternative is really worth trying.

Anyway, the remains of the bread went down very well toasted the next morning with a runny egg plopped on top:-)


Bill.




Bill


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Reply By: George_M - Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 18:21

Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 18:21
G'day Bill.

Sorry to hear about your adventures with the Cobb Cobble Stones.

I've been using this type of fuel for a while because of the reduced ignition time and the greater convenience (for me, at least) of storing and carrying the stuff. I use a butane lighter to ignite the Cobble Stone. It's a bit of a struggle for a "normal" lighter. You can get these things for about $5 from the non-politically correct cigarette shops.

I also use one of those metal cake stand thingys to place the silicon baking tray on. You can get these from Kmart for about $3, and use a pair of pliers to crimp the three little legs so that they fit into the holes in the Cobb grill plate.

Haven't had any experience with Cobble Stones and Cobras - I still use one of the old style plastic base models.

Keep smiling!!

George_M

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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 20:25

Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 20:25
George,

My original Cobb was the Mark II model which was the black plastic base.
Worked very well for quite some time until I shut the camper lid on the top of the Cobb and broke the support legs that secure the external bowl to the base.

I was only after I bought a replacement external bowl which was the stainless steel mesh construction (only one available) that I experienced problems with wind affecting the cooking time and temperature.

The Cobb Bra was the solution and has worked well, until I buggered around with the Cobble Stone fuel source.

Bill.
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Reply By: Mick O - Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 19:04

Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 19:04
Bill, did y0ou have the bra on the outside of the mesh or wrapped around the inside as some do?

Mick
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 20:18

Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 20:18
Hi Mick,

Around the inside.
I have had it this way ever since I bought the bra and have not had a problem with the heat bead fuel source.
Bill


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Reply By: Member - Bentaxle - Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 20:03

Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 20:03
Bill
I use the Cobb Bra made from wetsuit material with Cobble stones and have had no problems, but then this style of bra will only fit on the outside of the mesh base and covers about lower 1/3 of the lid.
Mike
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Reply By: Wilko - Sunday, May 02, 2010 at 08:11

Sunday, May 02, 2010 at 08:11
Hi Bill,

I use mine with the complete greenfire brick and it works well. When I cook a roast I need the wire grill to lift it off the plate. It get too hot and burns it.

I actually prefer using heat beads IMHO, they give an even lower temp and cook better.

But the Greenfire is a lot more easy to use.

I used a greenfire brick one night to start a fire. The wood was damp and was never gonna catch. I thought why not and it worked well. Dried out the wood and had it roaring within half an hour.

Cheers Wilko
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Follow Up By: Member - Peter R (QLD) - Sunday, May 02, 2010 at 08:55

Sunday, May 02, 2010 at 08:55
I break the cobblestone in half and use 4 heat beads as well.

The Cobb people told me not to use a Cobbra because it could cause problem Bill ran into.

Pedro
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, May 03, 2010 at 07:07

Monday, May 03, 2010 at 07:07
Pedro,

Interestingly though, I have never had a problem with the Bra when using 7 heat beads.
I've pretty well decided to stick with what has been successful and use the Cobble Stones for starting the camp fire.

Bill.
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Reply By: Member - cuffs (SA) - Sunday, May 02, 2010 at 10:01

Sunday, May 02, 2010 at 10:01
I put in a strip of cardboard form a beer slab, inside the mesh & I do find the Cobbstone too hot
AnswerID: 415082

Reply By: Member - RockyOne - Sunday, May 02, 2010 at 10:05

Sunday, May 02, 2010 at 10:05
Great article SandMan. I closed my eyes to read it and it came through like one of those cooking shows on TV. Maybe you will be the new Jamie. Thanks for the tips anyway. As about the only decent thing I can cook so far (apart from scrambled eggs & steak/chops) is a roast in my s/s mesh Cobb. They always come out great. I never use it in the house. always on the tail gate of the pick up. However, I do need to have a go at making a decent gravy or do I fall back onto the pre-packed type and hide the can;-)
AnswerID: 415083

Reply By: Member - Garth J (NSW) - Sunday, May 02, 2010 at 11:26

Sunday, May 02, 2010 at 11:26
Bill,

May I suggest you wear your bra on the outside!!

Easily removed if you wish to control the amount of windage!

also a small piece of a fire starter under the brick will get it going and not require prolonged flame application by yourself.

Cheers
Garth



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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, May 03, 2010 at 07:16

Monday, May 03, 2010 at 07:16
Some good replies folk.

When baking bread, the problem with placing the bread container on a wire stand is it lifts the bread too high and it will rise against the underside of the lid.

I generally use the Hillbilly camp oven for baking bread but as we had a brief camping trip I decided to use the Cobb.

I have decided to stick with what I have been successful with and revert to the Heatbeads. Only costs me an additional glass of red waiting for them to burn properly.

Hell, I'd hate to stuff up a slab of beef or leg of lamb by having too high a heat source.


Bill.

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Reply By: Member - Alastair D (NSW) - Monday, May 03, 2010 at 08:15

Monday, May 03, 2010 at 08:15
I use heavy duty aluminium foil as a 'substitute bra'. Works fine an can be discarded if damaged/dirty.
alastair
AnswerID: 415175

Reply By: Pete Jackman (SA) - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 13:49

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 13:49
I chuck the firebasket with the heatbeads in it onto the Coleman dual fuel stove to get them going. They are ready to cook in about 5 minutes then shift the whole thing into the Cobb with the trusty multigrips.

Cheers

Pete
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