COBB Grill America Interview – Centuries Of Cooking Know-How Adds Up To Grilling Perfection

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If you’re into camping, grilling, or just cooking in general, COBB is a name you should familiarize yourself with ASAP.

There are lots of companies out there who specialize in grilling products, but COBB isn’t your typical grill manufacturer.

Their philosophy is basically simplicity itself, and their technology is based upon centuries-old African cooking techniques that lend to cooking large cuts of meat in a traditional old way that is the most flavourful and tender you’ll find anywhere.

That said, because it’s so simple, a COBB grill is also very versatile.  It can cook a great many things, which isn’t to say that it requires no technique to do so.  People who are into grilling know that it is the same as any artform.  Composing a symphony vs. cooking a steak?  Same thing, really.

It requires years of work to be a master griller, but we all probably can admit that some grilling pros have that culinary gene that works in their favour.

COBB has won numerous awards for their innovation with grilling products, including an award for one of the world’s best inventions by TIME Magazine, and a DISA South African Design Excellence Award in 2007.

At any rate, we have been fans of COBB for a while now, and finally we had a chance to sit down and directly ask them some questions about their grills and the philosophies behind them.

So, please enjoy our little interview / Q&A with COBB Grill America.

Is it true COBB was named after a unique cooking method used in Africa using dry corn cobs? 

The developers‘ idea was to encourage native Africans to use dry corn cobs as fuel for cooking, rather than wood or coal.

He devised a simple clay pot stove with a steel mesh grill that Africans could easily use and fuel with their abundant supply of corn cobs. Hence the name COBB!

The idea took hold and resulted in the development of the Eco COBB, an inexpensive, all metal stove that could be distributed in aid programs in third world countries globally.

For those who don’t know, when did COBB go into the business of cooking and grilling and what inspired it?

It all started in 1998. African traditions inspired the COBB design. The young cattle herdsmen would take a 40 gallon steel drum and make a double cooker from it with coals in the middle.

That was a safe way of cooking lunch without the fear of starting a brush fire while working in the field. The idea of safe cooking was very important in the development and design of the COBB.

The company’s commitment to a continual improvement program has resulted in the worldly acclaimed and innovative product we see today which is available in different models and with several accessories.

Where is COBB based out of, and how does that region affect the Cobb philosophy?

COBB headquarters is in Johannesburg, South Africa. The owner of COBB is a nature conservationist and philanthropist.

Even though the original COBB units are no longer made, new, more sophisticated units are still distributed to areas for relief work.

The company gives back locally on a regular basis as well as in several other countries.

The COBB BBQ grill seems to emphasize simplicity.  Was that originally the plan?

COBB is designed with no moving parts. That means that it is less likely to break. The original plan was to distribute simple cooking units to areas with no electricity.

That philosophy stayed as well as the quality of the products improved over the years. Today, COBB Grills are build to last. You will not easily find a COBB thrown away on the curb because of rust and deterioration.

Some of our customers had their COBB Grills for nearly 20 years. COBB grills are ideal for tailgating, camping, boating and backyard entertaining.

How many retailers currently carry COBB grills?

I really can’t tell you how many retailers we currently have.  We just added two new ones this week!

We are relatively new distributors – so our first goal was to have COBB products within reach of everyone in the US.

Our grills are available in catalogs, online platforms like Amazon and Wayfair – you name it, we are there!

Quite a few RV dealers and specialty stores carry our products.

What is the connection between COBB and coconut shells?

COBB makes a charcoal disc called a CobbleStone. It is made from coconut shells – the by-product of coconut oil production. It burns hot and long and clean and is super convenient.

The CobbleStone is ready to cook on within two to three minutes. (Regular charcoal briquettes can take 20 – 25 minutes.) We hope to see them for sale here in the US by Spring 2019.

The CobbleStone was developed as an convenience for campers, hunters, boaters, etc. We shouldn’t forget that the COBB was originally designed to use lump charcoal or briquettes.

We recommend good quality hardwood briquettes. If the charcoal is made from the super hard wood of the coconut shell – even better!

COBB seems to embody a fairly environmental philosophy, can you talk more about COBB’s connection to environmentally safe methods of cooking?

The COBB has a double base which allows for safe cooking with minimal risk of dangerous fires. It is perfect for preventing brush fires.

It has low CO2 submissions and uses 1/5 of the charcoal of what a competitive product would use to cook a meal.

What do you like to cook with a COBB personally?

I personally like to roast larger pieces of meat on my COBB. Whole chicken, beef roast, pork shoulder, ribs, etc. I’m spoiled for life and it is impossible to replicate the tenderness, juiciness and slightly smoky taste in my kitchen oven.

That said, it does not mean that I don’t grill hamburgers and chicken wings on occasion. One of the best things I’ve cooked on my COBB was hot-smoked, wild-caught salmon.

And my latest craze, smoked pizza! You have to try it.

Where can people find the best recipes specifically for the using with the COBB BBQ grill?

COBB published a beautiful recipe book. It is a collection of everyday (and a few unusual) recipes and how to cook them on the COBB Outdoor Cooking System.

Collaborated by 10 chefs who use the COBB on a regular basis when cooking at home.

The history of COBB as well as a general guide, the range of different models, accessories, FAQ’s and cooking tips are included.

The 104 page soft cover recipe book comes in high quality mat printing.

Click here to view on COBB’s website

I also think our Pinterest page is pretty inspirational. It has over a thousand recipes which can be made on the COBB grill. We believe that almost any recipe can be adapted for the COBB.

Anything one can cook on the stove or in the oven can also be done on the COBB – often times better!

Every new accessory offers more versatility. And grilling and smoking food outdoors is an added bonus of course.

Thanks for reading our Q&A with COBB and don’t forget to visit:

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