Cooking with the Cobb is like a great love-match it requires patience, technique and understanding.
A sense of humor is a huge advantage too. But like the perfect partner the more time put into the relationship the greater the rewards. Unlike love the unique Cobb Premieroven cooker, which looks like a shiny escapee robot from Star Wars, comes with instructions on how it works.
If only human relationships were so simple. The new $349.90 Cobb Supreme with carry bag is the latest addition to the Cobb range. This is the seriously sociable (up to 10 mouths)version of the Cobb concept. It is certainlyfamily-size. Two chooks and vegetables can be on the go at the same time firedby two Cobble Stones or between 12 and 20 charcoal briquettes.
The Cobble Stones are Cobbs easy to use $15 for fivefuel source and have their own built in ignition point in the middle.
The variation in thenumber of briquettes suggested depends on the size and weight of the food andpersonal cooking preferences.
The Cobb Supreme comes standard with a base, inner sleeve, fire basket, Teflon coated grill grid, lifter,dome cover with 100 percent silicone handle and a carrier bag. A roast rack is available as an optional accessory.
GoSee found the quality of the fuel -briquettes/charcoal used can affect estimated cooking time.
The Cobbs healthy, hot; moist cooking strips fat from roasts and grills and drops it into the Cobbs marine grade steel steamer moat for disposal when the Cobb is cleaned. It is a feature which has to be good for a healthier body.
The tastes and flavors it creates from its recipe book in its eco-oven process must be tried to be appreciated.
34 The Cobb fits Silvergull and looks good too
Talking of marine GoSeehasuseda Cobb Premium modified for boating.This arrangement will stimulate the digestive juices of hungry boaties in Australia and New Zealand.
Its adaptations allow the Cobb to cook while boats are anchored. It clamps to the safety rails. In our case that is at the back. This is referred to as the stern or pushpit among the rag and stick people who sail yachts.
GoSee introduced the Cobb to Silvergull. Shewas your correspondents personal talisman until her recent sale, a Catalina sloop loved and cherished through good and bad times for half a lifetime.
In a one night stand Silvergull and Cobb cooked a roast together and produced something sexy. Like great friendships it was sweet and good on the inside with a crisp inviting edge to the outside; and the vegetables had real flavor.
All it took was some time to read the Cobb instructions, patience, the right ingredients and the delicious results followed.
What is it with so many of my sex?
Among many men the reaction to the suggestion - read the instructions- is not a chance!
Maybe its some mad ego point of honor to make a fool of ourselves and others unhappy in the process?
Maybe thats why there are so many interesting sexy neglected women around.
How can they hope to find love when so many men know everything?
7 Heatbeads take 25 to 30min before you can cook.
With the Cobb if you dont put in the preparation time and handle its right it just wont fire. Now gentlemen - does this sound like your love life?
Raw roasts, half baked vegetables, flat damper and sad cakes take the romance out of meals, life and love big time.
We made and excellent start to our Cobb relationship with a successful onboard roast dinner. It was topped off with olives and semi-sun dried tomatoes laced damper fired by the same nine Heatbeads which did the roast.
Both treats are in the Cobb recipe book.
The damper went in when the roast was done and the hot-stuff Heatbeads we used were still warm after eight hours.
We even cooked through rain squalls driven by a gale aided by the Cobbs tapered wet-suit which pulls over the unit and allows management of the volume of air feeding the cooking process.
2 Use Heatbeads in the fire basket. They work.
The Cobb instructions suggest use Heatbeads. Thats the brand name and the Cobb finds them heart warming.
So wewowed the Cobb Premierwith a sunny yellow bouquet, 3kg bag of the big Heatbeads.After the initial 25min fire-up lean pork on the hot grill was done to fat-reduced perfection in 30min.
Fish, depending on the size and thickness of the fillet, cooks in about the same time. The pork was accompanied by vegetables, potatoes and carrots steamed to perfection wrapped in aluminum foil.
GoSee wrapped them sausage-shaped in foil to fit in the steaming water of the Cobbs round moat which circles the lift-out firebox.
The foil keeps fat from the grill dropping onthe vegetablestoo.
Vegetables can also be baked on the grill. Put on some whole tomatoes and onions in their jackets. Fry eggs, bake a damper or cake just read the recipe book for the many options.
Mixed herbs, garlic, chopped onions, wine, beer and bay leaves add zest to the Cobb oven process when added to the water of the steaming moat.
The moat water will need topping up during the cooking process. Just pour from a bottle, cup or jug through the holes on the edge of the grill plate.
9 Foil wrapped potatoes and carrots in the Cobb moat.
The Cobb is no fast-food speed cooker. Long and steady is the way it goes. Check after about 45min and then turn a roast.
It is about four hours to dinner time for about 1.7kg of beef or lamb. Pork and lamb chops cook quicker, steak is slower so learn from experience. As a general rule the longer the better for full flavors.
GoSee thinks the Cobb is made for prime downtime relaxed roasting, baking or smoking fish and meats at favorite campsites and safe anchorages. It is not an instant cooking option for short stops while on route.
But it is safe to use almost anywhere outdoors that is wellventilated.
Burning coals give off carbon monoxide which hasno odour and can kill.
The Cobb is an oven, a barbecue, a smoker and a stove it is so safe it can be held in the hands while its cooking. It will cook on any flat surface.
Smoking with selected savory woods from the nearest barbecue store is another Cobb attribute. Soak the savory wood chips overnight. They must be wet right through.
Ignore instructions promising faster results. Take the plunge. Not wet enough. Not good enough. Just like love this is an all or nothing experience.
1 Three Firelighters in place in triangular formation
Once hot the Cobb does not smoke and it sends of friendly warmth which makes it useful when the world is cold outdoors. Never run it with the oven lid on without water in the moat and something cooking.
When the cooking is done leave the oven lid off and warmth radiates through the grill plate until the Heatbeads finally turn to cold white ash.
Nine Heatbeads can still be warm after eight hours. So take care where and how you dispose of them. Bushfires are not a good look.
Never start-up the Cobb near flammables; or in confined spaces. This particularly applies to caravans, campers,motorhomes, tents and boats.
Boats are particularly potentially lethal as they usually have fuel and explosive chemicals on board. With a boat always check all fuel cocks, sniff about and if there are bilge blower fans fitteduse them every time.
With leisure vehicles check the gas is turned off at all cocks inside and outside the caravan, motorhome, 5th wheeler or campervan.
6 Allow for firelighter flare.
The Redheads firelighters which stoke the Heatbeads really have flare and more of a hot time than planned is certainly possible.
On yachts under way Cobb cooking is not an easy option for GoSee.
As a test we tried it bolted to the custom pushpit mounting, but when Silvergull took up her usual 10 degrees of heel sailing angle the Cobb moat water did too. Not good.
The sailing motion drowned the experiment.
To cook under way we moved the Cobb to a tied down position under the saloon table with the main hatch open for essential ventilation. This is the lowest point in the centre of the yacht where there is least motion.
GoSee also tried the Cobb on Silvergulls gimbaled stove which is designed for life on the ocean wave and swings to keep cooking level as the yacht heels.
It was happy there but GoSee thinks it is better to use the gimbaled metho stove when cooking under way and the Cobb outside in the cockpitfor serious roasting and baking while at anchor.
On the subject of being under sail with the Cobb - we almost lost it.
27 Grill plate in place and lid retained by the strop and rubber
In the marine Cobb version the oven lid is held safe with a stretch-on rubber ring over the oven lid handle on a stainless steel retaining wire.This is an excellent idea. It also has a tapered sock wet-suit for bad weather cooking and to help keep the lid on.
GoSee first trialed the Cobb on its custom mounting clamped to the yachts pushpit (stern safety rails). We were confronted by one of those ego-maniacs who churn too fast up tight channels in big powerboats. GoSee sees a lot of them on flat calm days.
GoSee holds them in wary contempt. Their posturing damages property and the environment.
In a worst situation people get hurt.
Seeing the tidal wave of a wake coming at us was unavoidable we adopted our usual attack is the best defense approach and motored straight at the swelling, short, steep wall of powerboat wake water.
Silvergull is a fine sea boat and her buoyant bow carves through such stupid nuisance value stuff.
But GoSee reckoned without the effect of gravity on the poor Cobb back at the extreme end of the yacht.
Silvergulls bow went sharply up and then suddenly down as she shrugged the big wake aside. The leverage at the stern was immense. The Cobb became the stone in a slingshot. The oven lid flew off to the extent of the retaining wire and the grill crashed into the cockpit along with the fire basket.
Only the Cobbs oven lid retaining wire saved it from flying overboard.
25 Ready for marine use Lock-pin in Cobb coupling
Amazingly the long steel retaining pin which holds the Cobb to the custom fitting gooseneck mounting dropped out too, but somehow the cooker base stayed put.
There is no doubt about the strength of the Cobbs materials nothing was marked or damaged. GoSee did not have the Cobbs heavy weather sock wet-suit over the lid and this might have made all the difference.
But we changed to sailing with the Cobb held by sail-ties to the cabin saloon table leg or in a locker.
Cleaning the Cobb requires thoughtful disposal on theash and the residue water and flavoring from the moat. It is essential that ashes are completelyout before they are discarded. Decent burial works.
After cooking remove the dome and grill grid to allow Cobble Stones, briquettes and charcoal to completely burn out.
Wash the Cobb in the same way saucepans are cleaned. The marine grade stainless steel which makes up most of the Cobb can handle heavy scrubbing.
But the grill requires gentle cleaning with a soft sponge or cloth. A stiff nylon brush is good too and works in most rub-a-dub situations.
35 The Cobb packs away neatly
In camping in GSA1 our Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD diesel the Cobb rides happily in the back packed neatly in its handy bag held down by an industrial strength Rola safety cargo net.
Like the Jeep it is nowa valued part of the GoSee touring partnership. The Cobb is a versatile, portable oven which your correspondent has learned to love byfollowing the instructions.
Sorry, cant help with instructions for happy people partnerships. Wait maybe the Whitlams have a message.
Its in their album Eternal Nightcap in the lyrics of Up Against the Wall -
To think I was scared to open the box.
New love on the doorstep isnt funny theres nothing on how it works.
Go on have a look inside.
You wont know what you did without it.
GoSee is now evaluating the new Cobb Supreme and we will report back to GoSeers as we get to know each otherafter a GSA team camping trip with various new equipment scheduled forearly November.
GoSee has trialed the A$219.90 Cobb Premier extensively.It is now available in three colours: Black, Red and White.
The Cobb Premier is an all stainless steel model and is recommended for boating and fishing enthusiasts where the Omni Marine Kit is to be used.
The A$192.90 Cobb Pro is in stainless steel. The Pro was introduced to provide a lower cost model of the Cobb. The base of the Pro is made of mild steel and is powder coated.
Apart from the Pros base, it is identical to the Premier and because it is made from mild steel, it is available in a range of colours black, white and red. The Cobb carry bag is included with the Pro.
20 Cobb ready to assemble with instructions and recipes
For boating Cobb now has the OMNI Marine Kit, which consists of:
Rail mounted arm with male coupling and locking pin.
Pop rivets to the base of the Cobb.
Lid tether with rubber 0 ring. Attaches to base of Cobb.
Fiddle. Clips onto the grill of the Cobb.
Sock. (wet-suit). For foul weather use. It also helps to secure the lid.
Editor's Note. We include pictures from our experiences with the Cobb Premieron land and sea.