Do Heat Beads Go Off with age?

Submitted: Monday, May 07, 2012 at 12:07
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The last time I used my Cobb cooker, it seemed not to get as hot as on previous occasions. It could have been the colder conditions or it could have been the heat beads which were probably two years old.
Does anyone know the answer to this.

If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
Regards Rob

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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, May 07, 2012 at 12:43

Monday, May 07, 2012 at 12:43
Rob,

I don't think the heatbeads lose out on heat with age.
What I have found is that they become a little softer with age (probably absorbing a little moisture) and are harder to get started.

I assume you have the Cobb Premier with the open mesh outer cover?
This is known to cause problems with the inner bowl temperature in any kind of wind.

The solution I employed was the use of a Cobb Bra from In Front Canvas Goods.

Claus is an advertiser on this site and the Bra solved my problem with wind.

Note: Do not use the Bra with the Cobb Disks if you can still get them.
They burn too hot and scorched part of my Cobb Bra.
Stick to the genuine Heatbeads and you will get consistency.

Bill


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Follow Up By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Monday, May 07, 2012 at 13:06

Monday, May 07, 2012 at 13:06
Hi Bill,

Thank you for that.
When I first bought the Cobb, I cooked a few excellent roasts with the Heat Beads.

Being someone who has used up all the patience I was born with, I tried the Disks as they started very quickly. This in turn caused my next roast to burn on the bottom as the disk burned at too high a temperature.

To solve this problem I bought a trivet to raise the roast off the top of the Cobb cooking surface. I used this trivet for the next roast when I reverted to heat beads, this was when it took ages for the roast to cook.

I do have the Cobb Premier with the open mesh and there was a slight breeze blowing at the time. I have since purchased a Cobb Bra, but have not tried the combination.

I did not want to embark on a 3 to 4 hour roast activity if the Heat Beads were the problem to start with, hence the question.

If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
Regards Rob

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Reply By: Mick O - Monday, May 07, 2012 at 12:58

Monday, May 07, 2012 at 12:58
Rob, I was a bit concerned about that myself when at Easter just gone, I pulled out the Cobb for the first time in ages. The beads were a good three+ years old but had been stored well in the shed. They worked fine and I nailed a good sized lamb roast down by the Rocklands Reservoir.

As Sandy has indicated, wind can be a killer, particularly on the Cobb Premier with the mesh surrounds. The CobbBra from Klaus works well. I also had Klaus make me a padded canvas cover for the lid which further assists in retaining heat. It has elastic around the bottom so fits snugly around the body below the lid. It is open around the vent holes at the top of the lid. I’m not sure if he offers them on the Infront website but if you contact him, I’d reckon he’d whip one up. I can always drop mine back to him as a template if need be.


Cheers Mick
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trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Follow Up By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Monday, May 07, 2012 at 13:21

Monday, May 07, 2012 at 13:21
Hi Mick,

Thank you for your reply. The Cobb beanie seems like a good idea and well worth considering.

It is very frustrating having to wait for an extra two hours for something to cook especially when you are starving hungry.
If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
Regards Rob

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Follow Up By: Mick O - Monday, May 07, 2012 at 22:16

Monday, May 07, 2012 at 22:16
Cheers Rob. Yes he does have them. I went and had a look at the site. The photos are actually taken on my kitchen bench and floor lol. (That blue one was the prototype). They do a great job.

Cobb Thermal cover


Mick
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Reply By: Member - Alastair D (NSW) - Monday, May 07, 2012 at 17:19

Monday, May 07, 2012 at 17:19
Rob,
As others have said I don't think the beads go off other than harder to start if they have taken up moisture. Do not start cooking unless the beads are all burning/glowing well. You can get unpleasant flavours from the beads during the starting phase. For the same reason I now avoid the self lighting beads as they give off a nasty pong when starting. I pour metho onto the beads slowly and let it soak in. Once they start looking wet I stop and light them. I find this method gets them going easily and cleanly.

Re the Cobb bra. I have the premier and found the 'ventilation' a problem. The idea of canvas so close to the heat did not appeal nor did the cost. I wrapped a layer of Al foil around the inside and over the top edge to hold it in place. It worked perfectly and has the advantage of being replaceable when dirty. Mine has been in place for 2 years so far with about 8 uses.

I nearly bought some of the Cobb disks and a bloke walking by told me not to as he had tried them and they were too hot as others had said.

cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Monday, May 07, 2012 at 17:36

Monday, May 07, 2012 at 17:36
Hi Alistair,

Thank you for your suggestions. The Alfoil solution is a good suggestion, I think it would reflect the heat back as well as stop the cooling effect of the wind.

Good thinking.

If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
Regards Rob

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Reply By: Member - Rowdy6032 (WA) - Tuesday, May 08, 2012 at 19:01

Tuesday, May 08, 2012 at 19:01
Hi Rob

Our experience has been that the heat beads do go off with age. Particularly once the bag has been opened.

For smaller meals including pizza we use the heat beads.

For roasts, lamb, chicken or beef we use the Greenfire cobblestones made from coconut fibre that are individually wrapped, six in a box and have found them to produce excellent results. We use the roasting rack and an oven bag which reduces the mess and makes for an easier clean up.

We have used the cobb bra once while using the Greenfire on a particularly windy day without a problem.

We have been doing this for a number of years each trip with no problems.
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Follow Up By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Wednesday, May 09, 2012 at 12:57

Wednesday, May 09, 2012 at 12:57
Hi Rowdy,

Thank you for your reply.

I bought some of the original Cobblestone disks, and finished burning a good piece of meat.

The Greenfire cobblestones are different and according to the Kulkyne website have been discontinued by Cobb.

The Cobb website advertise the original Cobblestone with the following warning:
"They’re hot! One piece of CobbleStone fuel equals twelve BBQ briquettes, so be sure to use a Cobb Roasting Rack for roasts. It’s otherwise too hot."

I bought the roasting rack and then used it with heat beads and that is when it took way too long to cook.

I think I might stick to the Heat Beads and use my little butane stove to start the Heat Beads in the fire basket to speed things up.

I will use the Cobb Bra and may purchase the Cobb beanie as suggested by Mick O. I thought the above suggestion to use Alfoil was a good idea also.



If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
Regards Rob

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