Cobb Portable BBQ

It’s cold, it’s dark and it’s January…let’s talk BBQ!

The BBQ you never knew existed to make your life complete.

The BBQ you never knew existed to make your life complete.

For several years now I have been in hot pursuit of grilling perfection.  From Beer Can Chicken to BBQ Pizza to Hot Smoked Salmon, and just about everything in between I have tried gas, charcoal, stove top, electric on just about every kind of device out known to grill-kind.  Each had their strengths and weakness but none met my particular needs.

May I happily introduce you to the Cobb Kitchen in a Bag, all-singing and all-dancing best BBQ for yours truly!  Not only is this just ridiculously marvellous in a multitude of ways, it properly hits the ONE mark that not of my other options did in that it is fully portable!

All the bits to the 'Kitchen in a Bag'

All the bits to the ‘Kitchen in a Bag

It comes all packed together and has well-designed, durable options (some non-stick) for cooking that allows you to make steaks, stews, pancakes, stir frys, bread and even slow roasts all in the this one package!  And did I mention all of these babies can be popped into the dishwasher?! (The design of the bag might drive me to drink, but I am already hard at work on a bespoke replacement.)

One Grill to Rule Them All & to the Dump Consign Them!

One Grill to Rule Them All & to the Dump Consign Them!

So, after my usual OCD levels of research and testing, I can happily say that all of my previous outdoor cooking options are going to the wanted pages or the dump in my spring clean up – really, it is that good.

Gone are the singed arm hair explosions of the gas grill, gone is the routine grease and spider maintenance of the charcoal Weber, gone are the hours of dropping of hot ash from the wee kettle grill, and gone is the super smoky and likely toxic quick-lite packs for my camping BBQ that the moment the coals were grey, didn’t even stay hot enough to heat a hot dog all the way through.  Happy days!

The Wondrous Cobblestone

The Wondrous Cobblestone

Of the many aspects that makes this system so great is the fuel source.  This is called a cobblestone and it is a compressed disk made from recycled coconut husks, impregnated with quick burning paraffin-free lighter fluid, and comes complete with vent holes for even burning.  This bad boy can be easily lit in a windy outdoor setting, smoke for and be ready for use in just two brief minutes, AND stay hot for up to two hours. (Do I hear a round of applause people?)

The cobblestone in its handy basket

The cobblestone in its handy basket

 

It sits in its little basket that is then placed in the stay cool base (more on that later) allowing you to boil water, make chilli and cook burgers all without ever having to reload or shift your heat source.  In one fell swoop you have the speed and consistency of a gas grill with the real smoke-kissed taste of charcoal.  It is also very quick and easy to extinguish.

Basic plate for high heat searing

Basic plate for high heat searing

Another beyond fabby design component is the stay cool base.  The fuel source sits in a moulded insert that has a complete bottom  and a moat which can hold liquid for steaming, can catch the run off fats from cooking or can hold and cook root veggies.  There are vent holes that draw air in through the screen base and direct the flow to the cobblestone but keep the liquid and the ash separate from each other and contained in the base.

This means that if you find yourself on the beach cooking away and the tide comes in, simply pick up your Cobb and walk to to a new location.  You can also use this on a boat, dock or tabletop without fear of singeing whatever may be underneath, but the more likely scenario for me is dashing for cover from a sudden rain shower!

Configuration for stir fry, stews or pad thai

Configuration for stir fry, stews or pad thai

There is also an extender ring that simply lifts your cooking surface away from the heat source so you can simmer as opposed to scorch your stews.

The stacked configuration for pancakes & cookies

The stacked configuration for pancakes & cookies

This is how you would likely stack the bits if you wanted to make pancakes or cookies.  Once the dome lid is placed on top it becomes a groovy convection oven. I should have paid a bit more attention to this option on my maiden voyage of using my Cobb outdoors but hey, live and learn.

Muirs go to Skye

Muirs go to Skye

The Cobb arrived just in time for our October holidays, when every year we pack up the car and head to the Isle of Skye to enjoy the general awesome gorgeousness of the place.

sb 03 400

Aside from stunning landscapes, great food, culture and wildlife, the other main draw of Skye for my kooky bunch is its famed fossil-rich shores.  No, really.

So, as we head to the outskirts of Staffin (Google it, I dare ‘ya) down a long isolated road we reach our day’s destination.

Staffin beach famous for Magladon fossils

Staffin beach famous for Megalodon fossils

A magnificent rocky coast line that has produced some of the best Megalodon fossils in Britain (haud me back)! Perhaps now you can begin to appreciate my obsession with having a cup of tea and a hot meal that I can whip in literally any location or weather.

Cobb goes to Staffin

Cobb goes to Staffin

Anyway, as always the landscape was breath-taking in the clear October sunshine and while the erstwhile fossil hunters and rock pool inspectors set about their business, I could get cracking.

The basic set up with non-stick surface.

The basic set up with non-stick surface.

I wasn’t 100% sure my BBQ would arrive before we left for our trip, so I just went to the market and picked up some ready-made burgers and chicken breast.  Everything was easy to transport, the fuel lit quickly and only smoked for a minute or so as advertised, and I could get cooking with the basic grill plate straight away.  This plate is the one that comes with all the models and has grooves to drain the fat away and to stop flare ups from bit dripping on the coals.

Having swithered about this model or a larger option I was also pleasantly surprised at how much cooking area there actually was on this thing.  I could have easily made 6-8 decent sized burgers at once.

£3 Ikea tools from the kids department

£3 Ikea tools from the kids department

There was an option to buy a set of non-stick mini BBQ utensils from the Cobb website for £35 but as I frequent Ikea way too often I was aware of a complete set of perfectly workable child-sized bundle of tongs, spatula, ladle, whisk and pasta spoon for £3.  I bought these instead which worked fabulously and I can keep in the grill when not in use.

Spare racks come in handy

Spare racks come in handy

Another rookie choice was to bring the entire Kitchen in Bag with me instead of thinking what I just needed, but in the end several of the other racks and plates came in handy anyway.

Fossil hunter's picnic perfection.

Fossil hunter’s picnic perfection.

We were all very happy with the ease, speed and most importantly the flavour of how the Cobb performed on its trial run.  So, I decided to push my luck and maybe show off a bit.

The secret finale

The secret finale

Having read all about the versatility of the BBQ I had secretly packed a chocolate chip cook mix. Seriously, how many fossil hunters have had hot chocolate chip cookies made for them? But hey, that’s just how we roll.

70s Poncho-mama insta-mixing with love.

70s Poncho-mama insta-mixing with love.

I was trying to give the kids a chance to help in the home-made (open a packet and just add water) project, and I was so pleased with my Mama planning skills.  With just a water bottle and a plastic spoon and a spritz of spray oil to the non-stick plate we loaded the cookies up, replaced the lid and waited just 4-6 minutes to flip.

Did I mention how hot it gets?

Did I mention how hot it gets?

Which is when we discovered that they had burnt to a crisp!  It had been easily over an hour since I had lit the coal and it was still hot enough to do this in 5 minutes.  Well, that and the fact I should have put a few stacker plates in between…next time.

Spatchcock chicken to go

Spatchcock chicken to go

A night or two later we had great luck again as we made a spatchcock chicken with roast potatoes (in the moat beneath) and grilled asparagus.

Spooky camp fire stories

Spooky camp fire stories

And the best part was that after we finished our meal we could gather sticks from the beach for wee camp fire for s’mores and spooky stories.

Guess the Prezzie...

Guess the Prezzie…

I was so pleased that I added lots of extra bits to my Christmas list to even further my outdoor cooking enjoyment. Can you guess what one of my favourite gifts pictured here might be?

Santa's Gourmet Prepper :)

Santa’s Gourmet Prepper 🙂

Why, a collapsible silicon kettle of course, to go with the ultimate camping pot complete with clamping lid!

Well, that is just about everything you could ever want to know about my new BBQ.  But when you live in a country with beautiful landscape, a family with a thirst for outdoor adventure and changeable (often pretty chilly) weather, I hope you can share in what a momentous discovery this has been for me.

Maybe a post with sledding, hot cocoa and beef stew might even be arriving soon?

Stay warm!

Comments (2)

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  1. jess says:

    love this!! i’m gettin me one, and the collapsable kettle? come. on.

    • Kakte Sheehan of United States (New Hampshire) says:

      Loved your review and experiences with your Cobb Charcoal Grill. At one time I owned three (old plastic bottom, new metal mesh bottom, and Kitchen-in-a-box). I sold the plastic one. I need to go on more adventures like yours.

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