Nice Amazon Review;
I've had mine for about a month now, and have done 3 chickens, 2 tri-tip roasts and a DOUBLE rack of Baby-backs... and am gearing up to try baking/smoking a pile of shortribs soon.
So far, I have only used the roasting rack to cook with...wet mesquite chips wrapped in heavy alum. foil in the firebasket smoke the meat nicely, just perfect. Surprised compliments from everyone who've tasted the results. Chicken, in 1 1/2 to 2 hours, comes out so tender you'll wonder if it's really done (it is). The Babybacks smoked up wonderful and were as tender as you'd want.
I'm a tri-tip guy, and all my friends step back in respect when I approach a grill with a Tri-tip in hand. I'm good at it. This Cobb Grill makes the best I've ever had.
*Convenient for apartments, small patios, any lifestyle or condition when you want the BBQ to come out and go back to stashed away. It is small, compact, all the accoutrements fit comfortably into the carrying case, even the extra accessories you might buy. Speaking of which, search the internet for the cheapest roasting rack...some will sell this wire rack for $39...it's about an $6 item, but if you can find one for $15, get one. You'll use it for roasting and allows you to NOT need to turn over the ribs, chicken, etc. during the cooking process. It's probably the most convenient of all the accessories.
*Easy setup, easy stash. Minimal fuel (10-12 briquettes).
*A moat! You can add water, soda, beer,etc., in the built-in moat and you get results like doing a Beer-can chicken. Most moist and great taste for everything. Results are great.
*Easy to smoke meats. Add your wet chips to the firebowl when you put on the meat. I've been using about 2 tablespoons of chips for a nice amount of smoke flavor.
*Both portable and movable. Not only is this little thing really portable, it can be moved anytime during the grilling by just picking it up with your bare hands. Its sides are cool. It's halfway to 'Kid-Friendly' and is a pretty safe grill to have around kids. The dome is hot, but the sides are not. This is especially handy if you want to shuffle ribs or flip some meat halfway thru cooking...I just pick it up and carry it to the kitchen where I can flip things without making a mess...then I take it outside again. Very handy!
*Set it and Ferget it. The nice thing is that you don't have to bother with the grill while its cooking. Go party. Relax. All you need is a timer to figure out when its all done. Because you are using a moat and liquid (if you do) it's hard to over-cook anything.
I haven't tried doing a plain steak yet, or hamburgers, without the lid...that's next week's project.
Cons: Expensive. I bought mine on sale for $85 and was lucky to get it at that. The accessories are expensive. The wok, the frying pan are well designed and might be worth the loot, but the roasting rack is just a wire grid who's legs happen to fit into the ring-holes of the included grill plate. At the mfg. cost of the wire rack, they should be throwing this thing in for free. Once you get your unit home, you can look for workable racks in thrift shops.
You can still find the earlier models, with the black plastic sides, available at a steep discount, around $50. These would be worth getting to save money. The new models are the ones with the stainless mesh sides.
*Cleaning. If you throw some sliced lemons in the moat-water, cleanup will be easier. The thing should to be cleaned after each use, which could be problematic for RV'rs. The quality non-stick grill surfaces are no problem, but the wire racks and the main steel bowl can need lotsa water or some soaking. You can rough clean it with paper towels and finish it at home, if you're off camping. Dawn Direct Foam works really well.
*Slow cooking, lower heat. Because it uses lower heat for a longer time, figure that it's going to be 2 hours for a chicken or a tri-tip, 2 1/2 hours for ribs unless you want to refill the firebox and go for 4 hours. That includes the 1/2 hour for the coals to get right.
*Charcoal starter matches make things easier, so when you find them for sale, buy several boxes. The matches found on the Cobb site are overpriced. They run about $2.50 a box in grocery stores, and there are two kinds, the giant ones and the smaller ones. 8 to the box and 20 to the box, respectively. 2 big ones do it, or 4 small ones will light your charcoal just fine. DON'T leave the dome on while the charcoal is flaming/lighting, you'll start to melt the top handle (my stupid). Leave the dome off to speed the charcoal lighting.
All in all, I think this is an ideal charcoal grill that almost guarantees you'll wow yourself, your family and friends with the incredible results. It's slightly different cooking than the normal charcoal BBQ grill, so you'll learn to make your cooking adjustments...and you'll love the results. I would (and do) recommend this little baby to anyone who'll listen. My friends all recommend my using this as often as they can talk me into it.
7/17/2010..........And now I've had it for awhile...just got back in town after being on the road for a bit....the first thing I did when I 'unhitched' was to fire up the Cobb and slam a Tri Tip on it. I'm still using it, still loving it, it's still in great shape, and still does a great job. My favorite seasoning is still Santa Maria Tri Tip Seasoning by Righetti Specialties, and a healthy dose of Bacon Salt never hurts nothing! Love this grill.
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