Recently, my parents gave Kat and I a Cobb BBQ cooker. We had my brothers and one of their girlfriend over to try it out. I figure the best way to test out a new grilling tool was to see how it would do with cooking a batch of my Burgers with Legs.
The Cobb is a bbq whose prinicpal selling points are its efficiency of size, fuel consumption and ease of transport. The small size is perfect for our use in a downtown backyard that lacks a deck or other convenient grilling area. I set the cooker up on a standard issue patio table and can quickly move it around as weather dictates.
Results were very promising. The burgers took slightly longer to cook than normal on a grill but boasted an unusually well-seared crust. Most of all I like the design of the grill grate–small holes cut into a non-stick surface much like some pizza pans–because there is more metal-to-meat contact and therefore more tasty browned bits of food. I suppose that the best charcoal bbq’s aim for smaller grill bars so that food is exposed to directly to the high heat that they managed to crank out. I find though that both inferior charcoal and almost all gas grills don’t managed high enough heats to properly sear quickly-cooked foods like steaks and burgers–except where the more conductive, but under-sized metal bars touch the meat.
The Cobb uses about ten briquettes and the instructions are pretty clear that these should be pressed, artificial charcoal. I plan to try out a test-run with the natural stuff some time this summer but for now I’m happy to burn through the bag of briquettes I bought because I couldn’t detect any chemical taste in the food or much aroma in the air (after the first few minutes of food-free preheating).
The circular shape of this grill really is perfect for burgers but I can also see chicken (whole or in parts), sausages, and fish working well. Intriguingly, the Cobb’s instructions also suggest that it is well-suited for baking bread.
I also made use of my Hamburger Rolls with Legs recipe, this time with the same ingredient quantities split over six buns instead of four. This change definitely makes for a noticeable improvement by allowing the focus to rest firmly on the meat part of the meal.
Update: My post Bacon on the Cobb details how the Cobb bbq can be used to smoke home-cured bacon.