New cooker…but not for the kitchen

Here ’tis:

cobb-cookerIt’s a Cobb Oven.

It’s a sort of mini barbecue cum camp cooker and has to be used outdoors.

I read about it at Around the Mulberry Tree blog and it caught my interest, because I’m looking to save on bottled gas.

The Cobb website is here.

I checked out the website and found that Ray’s Outdoors sell them. We have a store locally so I went and had a look. I liked what I saw but decided I’d go home and think about it a bit more.

Then a friend rang and said Ray’s were having a sale and the Cobb was available with $60 discount. That decided it. I went and bought one. I also got a couple of accessories—the griddle and the frying dish—they were on special, too.

When I got it home, I discovered that the mini pizza stone (diameter 26 cm), I’d bought some time ago and hadn’t used, fitted it exactly. Another bonus. I can cook pizza on it.

The only disappointment is that I can’t use wood to fuel it; it will only use BBQ heat beads in the heating grate, but they’re cheap enough and I will still make a rocket stove at some time in the future.

I’ll use it out on the deck. I’m waiting for a day without rain and freezing winds to try it out.

It’s all about resilience really. Permaculture design says that each function in a permaculture system should be provided by more than one element. So for cooking (a major function), I’ll have electricity, gas, the Cobb and a rocket stove. When electricity and gas fail, as fossil fuels start to run out, I’ll still have the other two. And when I can’t buy BBQ fuel any longer, the rocket stove and the fuel I can source from the property, will come into it’s own.



10 Responses to “New cooker…but not for the kitchen”

  1. narf77 Says:

    You might not be able to use “wood” per-se but what about those wood pellets that they make from sawdust? Might be able to use them?


    • foodnstuff Says:

      I’ve no experience with BBQ fuel, but it seems to be that it has to burn slowly and without a flame. Worth looking into though. Cobb make a fuel block called a ‘cobblestone’ from bamboo or something, which burns slowly, but they’re more expensive than BBQ heat beads.


      • narf77 Says:

        I thought that those pellets were slow burn as well? Might be worth looking into but congrats on your new stove anyway, whatever it burns 🙂


  2. bananabenda Says:

    I have coveted a Cobb oven for a long time, but so far haven’t been able to justify the outlay.

    Have you ever tried thermal cooking/haybox cooking? It can save a lot of gas, specially if you are cooking something which has to simmer for a few hours, like corned beef, soup or stew. I have a thermal cooker and it is worth its weight in gold. When I was visiting my cousin in the UK some years ago, we were going out for the day sightseeing and she & her husband started the evening meal, a casserole, in the morning, then wrapped the cast iron pot first in a few layers of newspaper, then in a big doona/quilt and left it on the kitchen counter and when we came home late in the day, she just did some veggies and tea was cooked. It was the first time I had seen it done but I was so impressed that I bought a thermal cooker when I came home. I have also seen it done with a cast iron camp oven and a sleeping bag, inside an esky, on a camping trip.


    • foodnstuff Says:

      No, I haven’t tried it, but have heard about it. There’s also solar cookers, too. When you think of it, there are lots of ways we can cook without fossil fuels. The future is going to be interesting and very different. 😉
      Thanks for the comment.


    • rabidlittlehippy Says:

      In the BBC series “wartime Farm” they showed that this was a preferred and advertised method of cooking during WWII as it meant more fuel could be saved and sent to the war effort. Quick boil everything then wrap it in a hay stuffed box, wool blankets, anything possible to retain the heat. I’ve been meaning to try it so thanks for reminding me. 🙂


  3. fergie51 Says:

    You may find this of interest too! I find the ‘Cobb’ is a little more limited in versatility and as you say does depend on coal based fuel. I’m interested in building a rocket stove, love to see how you go when it’s done.


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Interesting-looking thing! Thanks for the link. Don’t hold your breath about me building a rocket stove, though 😉


  4. Frogdancer Says:

    I’m hoping the solar panels will
    still fuel the thermomix when the zombie apocalypse comes.


    • foodnstuff Says:

      They won’t, unless you’re off-grid. When the grid goes down, you’ll go down and all the rest of us. Better sell a few more Thermomixes and go off-grid.


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