Cobb Cooker - So Slow

Firstly I would like to say I have read previous threads on this, could not find the asnwer there. My problem is, last night I used my Cobb for the 1st time. I used 6 heat beads, got them going well, put on a 1.25 Kg beef roast. I turned it about a half hour later and added spuds, pumpkin etc (these were cut to the size no bigger then a golf ball) actually a golf ball would have been easier to eat. After 2 hours for the roast and 1.5 hours for the veggies, only the outside edges of the roast was done and veggies nearly raw. Thats far too slow, any ideas1

Thanks in advance

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Reply By: Member - mervyn p (VIC) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 09:41

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 09:41
Hi wato35 up the heat bead to at least 10 one way is to half boil the spuds, look at the book that comes with the cob, don,t panic takes some time to master heat bead cooking, you will get there, cheers uptotenyearsroundoz
AnswerID: 420864

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 10:01

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 10:01
We have found the oven performance variable, but I put it down to the prevailing conditions robbing heat - sitting in the sun on a hot day, 6 beads might do, but if cold and windy a lot of heat is lost ..... on a cold day I'd use 8 beads and make sure they are all going strong as I put the tucker in. We shelter the oven from any breezes too, and allow the meat to come up to ambient for an hour two as well. Strange but true, the vegies go in at the same time as the meat (or soon after) - we assumed that doing them later was the go but not so. We top up the water in the moat mid way through and also shovel a mix of herbs and spices into the moat as well.
AnswerID: 420867

Follow Up By: wato35 - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 10:12

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 10:12
Darain, this might sound silly but is the moat the plastic under the fire box or the area around the fire?

FollowupID: 691078

Follow Up By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 12:57

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 12:57
Yep - the moat is inside the stainless steel bowl, surrounding the fire recess - as per the handbook (presuming you have one) you MUST put water in the moat before you light up - keeps the heat stable - don't forget to top it up part way through also. We too use the quality (red bag) heat beads. Came across some so-called eco-friendly fire starters that look like compressed sawdust - they work very well. If our meat is not cooked right through when we are ready to eat, we carve from the outside and leave the last bit in the Cobb as the beads die down - have it cold the next day !
FollowupID: 691090

Reply By: Member - Alastair D (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 10:16

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 10:16
As said you probably need to up the number of beads. Be aware that all beads are not equal as you probably have read. I use 8 to 10 beads for a roast. Depending on the weather conditions and beads there can be a lot left when cooking is done. I have an old 'Milo' style tin can with lid and I tip them in and put the lid on. They go out quickly due to lack of oxygen. I put them on top of 6 fresh ones for the next cooking session.

Since this was your first try I assume the unit is new. I had a similar dissapointment for my first try. My unit has a stainless steel mesh outer casing and I found I was losing too much heat due to breeze etc. I put a layer of heavy aluminium foil around the inside as a form of 'bra' and all has been well since. I have only changed the foil a few times after quite a lot of use.

Once you get the hang of it they are very good.

AnswerID: 420869

Reply By: Mikee5 (Logan QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 10:32

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 10:32
Hi Wato,
On previous threads apparently you need good quality heat beads, the amount of heat given out by the cheapies is much lower. We use 7 redheads brand for a roast for 2, put the veggies in at the same time. Our Cobb has the black plastic base. You could also look at the Cobb brick which is a one piece fuel brick. We found these a bit hot unless you broke some off.
Keep trying, it is worth it.
AnswerID: 420871

Follow Up By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 12:01

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 12:01
I agree, the Cobble Stones are the way to go, just ignite them a bit of smoke first up then instant heat, plenty of heat for a Roast and Veg and maybe a Desert, if it starts to cool off just add a half Cobble Stone, as mentioned keep out of the wind, we use a Cobb Bra, also just relax with a Beer or Wine and enjoy.

FollowupID: 691082

Reply By: cusheze - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 10:43

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 10:43
Yep, your tale sounds familiar to our 1st experience with th Cobb. And I strongly agree with other replies. All heat beads are NOT created equal.

Forget the cheapies from Woolies, get genuine 'Heat Beads' and stand back.
The 2nd attempt will be better, the 3rd even better still.
We put ours on and go out into the paddock for an hour or so, come back turn every thing over, come back in another hour or so, and one superb meal is ready!!

PS. My chief cook says put veg on at the same time as meat!!
AnswerID: 420872

Reply By: patsproule - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 12:19

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 12:19
Try a"Cobble Stone" instead of the heat beads, They light much faster and are a lot hotter.

AnswerID: 420880

Reply By: Member - evren1 (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 14:23

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 14:23

up the bead count, and make sure they are good quality.

Using ours camping in the SW it is cold and it definately effects cooking time. I bought a cob bra from infront camping, it goes around the base and prevents unwanted escape of heat and entry of cold. It made a noticable difference from the very first time we used it!

as others said, trial and error to begin with. your next effort will be better, the next even better. We love our COB !

Despite the cost of living, have you noticed how popular it remains!

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AnswerID: 420893

Reply By: brushmarx - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 14:40

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 14:40
If you increase the number of heat beads, and the cooking is completed before the beads expire, just remember to NOT put the lid back on, or you will possibly nuke the Cobb.
I'll get there someday, or die wanting to.

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AnswerID: 420895

Follow Up By: wato35 - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 15:10

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 15:10
What do you mean "Not to put the lid back on" I cooked the whole thing with the cover on,is that wrong. My instruction book doesn't say too much.
FollowupID: 691101

Reply By: HK - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 17:14

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 17:14
I agree use only genuine HEAT BEADS as others have said -also found if bag is old and been open for a while then they are not as good
AnswerID: 420920

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 18:48

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 18:48

There are two solutions to your problem.

Firstly, I assume you have the Cobb Premier which has a stainless steal mesh outer bowl. If this is the case, you need to block the wind passing through the mesh and thus cooling the inner cooking bowl.
There are several solutions previously posted on how folk do this, but the best solution is to purchase a CobBra from Claus at Infront Camping Gear

Scroll down the page for the CobBra. They are only $10.89.
Secondly, six beads is not quite enough for a roast. Try eight Heat Beads® brand briquettes and you should find all is good.

I would recommend against the well meaning advice mentioned above of using the Cobble Stones as a fuel as they burn far too hot. I was silly enough to try them and "burnt my Bra", fortunately not too badly.
If you wish to try them, use half a disk, but in all honesty Heat Beads® are the most consistent form of fuel for the Cobb.

This is the best advice I can offer for a consistent result.
Enjoy your cooking in the Cobb. It's a great device for roasts.


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AnswerID: 420937

Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 21:26

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 21:26
Best advice is Keep your powder dry.

Dont leave the beads where they can get damp.

The ones in the red and black bags from Woolies work for us and the

Cobblestones seem a bit hot initially.

Dont put the lid on if the cooker is lit and has no food in it is what the above are telling you

AnswerID: 420973

Reply By: Barra-2 - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 23:04

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 23:04
I mostly use the good heat beads and around 8 to 10 for a roast, or if we arrive at camp late we use 1 Cobble Stone to get things cooking quicker.

Now the best thing I found out a while back is to have a probe thermometer, and when the centre of the roast reaches 65 degrees, your roast is ready.

Just this weekend gone, we cooked 2 Marinated Pork's, one after the other, with 1 Cobble Stone, and water in the moat, for a shared dinner, and everyone said the Pork was moist and tasted great.

Good luck, remember 65 Degrees
AnswerID: 420994

Reply By: Robust - Friday, Jun 25, 2010 at 07:13

Friday, Jun 25, 2010 at 07:13
It may be worth trying BBQ briquettes made from coconut husk - our first attempt with the Cobb was using Greenfire BBQ fuel and was a total success - heat was full within a couple of minutes and chicken and veges cooked in same time as conventional oven - we were very impressed!
AnswerID: 422059

Reply By: Robust - Friday, Jun 25, 2010 at 07:17

Friday, Jun 25, 2010 at 07:17
Just remember that if using the Corn husk briquettes in the Cobb it is essential to use a roasting rack.
AnswerID: 422061

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