Yachties love to meet up, usually on a beach somewhere and talk about where they’ve been, where they’re headed, the boat and what comforts it offers. It was on the beach at Lizard Island we met a lovely couple who’d lived aboard forever, and put us onto the Cobb Cooker. Normally we use a gas BBQ for outdoors cooking and the gas stove inside. The problem with this is we use up fuel (gas) and lugging gas bottles up the dock is not my favourite. They’re only 3.7kg so not big, but they also don’t last too long and there’s no good way of knowing how much you have left. They can run out right in the middle of dinner.
The Cobb Cooker is great because it runs on heat beads, not gas. It’s also portable, it’s base is cool to touch and it works as well as the BBQ, oven and gas stove combined. It’s not instant heat though, you need to be a bit organised as it takes about 30 mins to prepare. A small price to pay for the benefits.
What do we use it for?
It makes amazing roasts, fat renders into the moat that surrounds the heat beads keeping it healthy and if you put a bit of stock in there it adds a beautiful flavour to the meat as well as keeping it moist. We also add foil covered vegetables to the moat which cook beautifully at the same time. We bought the non stick fry pan accessory and have used this for cooking bacon and eggs or pancakes. There are other attachments you can buy like the griddle and wok. We have used the roasting trivet extensively so I highly recommend it. The pizza stone from our Webber fits perfectly and pizzas take about 15 minutes.
The thing I like about heat beads is they don’t take up a lot of space. A bag from the supermarket costs around $10 and lasts for ages. Plus, they burn away to nothing so there isn’t much rubbish to deal with. We use Redhead brand fire lighters to get them started and use about four at a time. They don’t smell great and the fire can rage high at first till they burn out so you’ll want to think about the best place to do this where you aren’t going to set fire to anything. I’ve had marina managers run up the dock to see if we have a fire and nearby boats yell out so we try to make our presence obvious so no one nearby freaks out. One day I’m going to run around screaming to see what happens, haha! Kidding.
So keep an eye out for a Cobb Cooker. They’re about $200 at BBQ shops and pack away quite small in their own little carry bag. Great for boating or camping! Stupidly, I get no commission from telling you about the Cobb, so now you know my intentions are honourable, lol!
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