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Cobb bbq owners - advice please!

(23 Posts)
FairiesandUnicorns Sat 23-Jul-16 17:11:46

I have been reading loads about the Cobb and love the idea of having something so versatile. I'm not so interested in it as a bbq but as an oven and For frying stuff/making stews. However if I bought one I wouldn't have any other means of cooking. Is this viable? Do you use the wok/frying pan thing and fry onions and make curries etc or is it not hot enough and I'll be standing around for hours? I had been interested in the cadac safari but the Cobb looks more useful and I'm also frightened of gas canisters blowing up! I am thinking of buying a Kelly kettle for boiling water. I have never actually been camping - first trip next weekend so am not sure what to do about cooking. I have a separate bbq/fire pit I will take too. Any help from Cobb users would be much appreciated - thank you!

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Sat 23-Jul-16 17:16:56

It would be a lot of faff and difficult to control the heat, so it would be an inefficient way to cook a stew. I have a Cobb but mostly use it as a bbq.
For general camping cooking you would be far better with a simple one ring gas burner. If you can't get over your fear of gas you could get a Trangia, which uses meths, but it doesn't have the power of a gas canister so if you're cooking for more than two or three it will be slow. Personally I use a Trangia, because they are beautifully designed, but with a gas adapter.

Mouthfulofquiz Sat 23-Jul-16 17:21:51

I've got a Cobb and I use it to BBQ, make bread, pizzas, cool things in the frying pan etc. You can get a kettle for it too if that takes your fancy. If you forward plan, you can use it very effectively, for example, use the initial very hot heat for BBQ and then use what's left over to make some bread or similar. I love mine.

Mouthfulofquiz Sat 23-Jul-16 17:25:48

I forgot to say that I also roast chicken on it - very useful, and you can bake potatoes in the moat at the same time if you wrap them in foil.

FairiesandUnicorns Sat 23-Jul-16 17:26:10

Thank you for replying so quickly! My fear of gas is not insurmountable and definitely not if people think that is the best way to cook. I was worried about the wind factor. Perhaps I should get a one ring burner and use that whilst I find my way around camping. I used a friends recently and the canister caught fire which didn't help my nerves!

FairiesandUnicorns Sat 23-Jul-16 17:28:27

Mouthfulofquiz - what do you make in the frying pan?

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Sat 23-Jul-16 17:33:49

I have done roast chicken in mine too, it's great for that. I have also done biscuits! It did take me a bit of practice to get used to the temperatures though, so I would probably not want to do anything ambitious if you're starting out.
The thing is, because you have to wait for it to heat up, it takes more organisation than just using something you can turn on and cook with immediately.

FairiesandUnicorns Sat 23-Jul-16 17:41:06

I thought the cobblestones made it really quick? Or is it just a bit quicker? In my imaginary world of Cobb cooking I would use a cobblestone and be cooking away in a matter of minutes!

As for biscuits - amazing!

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Sat 23-Jul-16 17:43:56

Faster than with briquettes but ime longer than they say!

Mouthfulofquiz Sat 23-Jul-16 17:46:01

I use coshell briquette and they are ready to go pretty quick, or you can get ultra quick Cobb thingies to put in which are ready to use in around a few minutes but don't last as long as briquettes. Have a look on the Cobb uk website - it's really helpful.
In the frying pan, I've done a fry-up (imaginative!) and also a stir fry (I had a packet of stir fry ready noodles so did the veg and then chucked them in.) also a paella of sorts! Once the heat had gone down a bit.

Mouthfulofquiz Sat 23-Jul-16 17:47:59 is the website I have bought things from before. I'm now eyeing up the BBQ attachment or the griddle pan. Can't decide which! The Cobb tin for baking bread in is a few quid well spent as well.

Mouthfulofquiz Sat 23-Jul-16 17:48:46

Here's some bread in mine waiting to get cooking right now - on my back step!

FairiesandUnicorns Sat 23-Jul-16 17:56:02

Mouthfulofquiz just when I think I've got it all wrong you show me pics of bread! That looks amazing. Did you find it hard to get used to using? I am taking my husband (and two small children 3 and 1) this week for our first trip. DH is totally anti camping so I'm trying to get him to think it's ok. I thought if I got the food right id be one step closer to getting him on side! That said if I don't and we sit around for hours starving that will be the end of that.

Mouthfulofquiz Sat 23-Jul-16 18:05:25

It can be a bit of trial and error but it is fun, and a massive bonus is that the base doesn't get hot, and it's very stable so it can be a bit less risky with kids running around. You can also put it directly onto grass and it doesn't scorch it at all.
If I was cooking on it while camping, I'd get it going a little in advance, and plan ahead what you are going to cook and use the heat accordingly - so do your burgers and stuff first once the plate is really hot. Then you can always swap and put the frying pan on to cook something else.
Also, bear in mind that a chicken will take as long to roast as it would in an oven so it's not a quick thing. (Neither is a big BBQ either though is it?)
You could always buy a roasted chicken from the supermarket, and do other bits on the Cobb.
I'm going to try and cook a big piece of ham tomorrow - I'll let you know how I get on!

FairiesandUnicorns Sat 23-Jul-16 20:41:00

that would be great.

it seems a little to me that the Cobb is a fab piece of kit that is fun to use. however, something that can cook things quickly and with control is perhaps the way to go to start off with and certainly with small children. perhaps my idealised image of sitting there waiting for baked potatoes and chillis to cook is a few years down the line when i don't have small children who might scream the campsite down if we get back to the tent a bit late. I am always needing to realign my expectations with children! thank you for your help both of you. much appreciated...

FairiesandUnicorns Sat 23-Jul-16 21:33:03

Out of interest, if you camp with your cobb, do you have a compact one or normal one?

(sorry...keep thinking i've made up my mind and then change it again...)

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Sat 23-Jul-16 21:33:13

They are great. I think keeping the food as simple as possible for the first trip is probably best. Think about how you're going to make your cup of tea in the morning, etc. But while I wouldn't plan to do all my cooking on one, you can start off by doing some pretty damn good barbecues even the first time you use it, so I wouldn't be put off getting one if you can afford that and a gas burner.
I agree totally about the safety aspect compared to other bbqs. The other thing I really like is that you can put the lid on so it's very much less smoky than others - sometimes we take ours to the beach or the river and I like to be a bit socially responsible and not pollute the air for everyone around us.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Sat 23-Jul-16 21:34:19

Normal size I think.

FairiesandUnicorns Sat 23-Jul-16 22:43:09

I thought i'd made my mind up and would have to go gas but every time i look at them i just feel put off! i think you're right, Countess - keep it simple and I could still go Cobb. I am thinking of taking a Kelly kettle for boiling water as that doesn't use gas but boils really quickly (I don't really drink tea but i definitely like a hot water bottle!). I have not thought of a trangia at all. Will have to have a look at those too.

PopGoesTheWeaz Sat 23-Jul-16 22:47:05

i have one and I do really like it but I think for starters get a cheap single burner with a gas canister. You need to plan to use a cob. And i would never dream of using one for boiling water.

But great for roasts, grilling, paella etc

FairiesandUnicorns Sat 23-Jul-16 22:59:41

When you say plan, do you mean make sure you have two hours cooking time type planning or plan as in plan your menus?

PopGoesTheWeaz Mon 25-Jul-16 22:18:18

a bit of both. It cooks certain things really well, but youo need 20-30 minutes for it to get up to heat. You can't just open a tin of beans and whack em on the heat.

Blu Tue 26-Jul-16 07:06:28

I would love a Cobb , it is one of the few bits of camp cooking bits that I haven't tried. We generally cook over the campfire, one way or another.

However, if you have never been camping before, I am not sure I would launch straight into using kit you are not familiar with, and both Cobb ovens and Kelly Kettles are very expensive kit.

You may not have as much time as you imagine, getting back from a day out, taking the kids to the shower block, cooking outside your tent takes a bit of getting used to.

If you go for a Cobb I would also take a one ring gas stove, and some quick tasty food to cook in it.

Have a look at my thread which is a safety notice about one ring stoves. Many of us didn't know that you are not supposed to use a big pan on them, or put two next to each other. This is what can cause the canisters to ignite.

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