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Cobb Grill Modifications

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Post Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:42 pm
Donald1800 rare
rare

Posts: 27
Location: Fontana, CA
I tried posting this in the 'FAQ & How-To' forum, but I could not find a "New Topic" button. If it should be there, feel free to move it.

Many years ago when I had 4 kids, I owned a 'Smoky Joe' Weber grill, which I consider a very practical and relatively inexpensive beginner's grill. It served me well while my family was large. Now that I am 75 and the kids are long gone and we've moved several times, the Weber is no more. However, family members remembered our weekly BBQs and gave us a relatively expensive S.S. mini-grill (the Cobb Grill) which I have played with for awhile. It has some very nice features which make it practical for cooking for 1-2 people on its tiny 10 1/2" cooking surface - centralized briquette basket with efficient 10-11 briquette capacity, a primarily indirect surface which does double duty as a high-temp. grilling surface for steak searing, a separate food grate that sits ~1" above the heat radiating surface for indirect grilling, and a liquid seasoning/drippings moat that eliminates any possibility of flare-ups and keeps food moist. There are accessories such as a griddle, fry pan, wok, and extender for Beer-Can Chicken which all together fit into a handy, compact carry bag for 'Tail-Gating', Camping/Hunting/Fishing trips, etc.

However, (here come the negatives from my perspective) there are some shortcomings.

1. The small capacity ash collector is welded into the assembly - it is NOT removable. You have to wait until you are finished cooking before you can dump the ash.

2. Being of small capacity, you are limited to a 1 hr. cooking period - only 1 briquette/wood chip refill before the ash collector is full. This is no good for 3-4 hr. low/slow smoking periods.

3. The briquette basket is constructed of widely spaced S.S. wire allowing small coals and wood chips to fall into the moat ruining any potential use of the drippings.

4. The lid does not have a thermometer to help guide when briquette refills are needed.

Modifying the Ash Collector
I contacted the factory in S. Africa and special ordered an insert assembly with the ash collector/briquette basket holder un-welded.

The insert assembly includes a heat deflector plate and the ash collector/briquette grate/basket holder. The heat deflector must be removed to allow a removable, deeper S.S. bowl, by carefully grinding away the four weld spots. The loss of this heat shield only increases the bottom temperature from ambient to warm. After placing the ash collector/briquette grate/basket holder in the insert, mark with a marker pen around the base of the ash collector where it meets with the insert. This will be your cutting line. Add three 'Tabs' about 1/4" square 120* apart to this cut line. After cutting, these tabs will be folded over to retain the briquette grate/basket holder to the insert. The S.S. bowl replacement is a perfect fit and came from a 6 bowl S.S. bowl set I purchased from Target.
Ash Bowl Mod..JPG
Ash Bowl Mod..JPG (118.17 KiB) Viewed 2086 times

Ash Bowl Removed.JPG
Ash Bowl Removed.JPG (120.39 KiB) Viewed 2086 times

Grate Removed.JPG
Grate Removed.JPG (119.09 KiB) Viewed 2086 times


See next post for continuation of modifications.
Last edited by Donald1800 on Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:09 am, edited 2 times in total.

Post Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:08 pm
Donald1800 rare
rare

Posts: 27
Location: Fontana, CA
The briquette basket was modified with expanded metal to reduce the chances of coal and wood chip fallout into the moat.
Inside Grill.JPG
Inside Grill.JPG (121.03 KiB) Viewed 2085 times


Modifying the Lid
To add the Cooper Oven Thermometer to the lid, I removed the knob, carefully drilled some holes with the outside diameter of the ring of holes a tiny bit larger than the O.D. of the thermometer body. These holes were placed so that they just touched, and when the touching sides were cut all around, they formed sharp teeth, which when bent down gripped the thermometer body during insertion, and prevented it from falling out when inverted. I sealed the underside around the lid/thermometer junction with clear Silicone Sealant.
Temp. Gage Mod.JPG
Temp. Gage Mod.JPG (116.18 KiB) Viewed 2085 times


Since the knob is no more, I drilled two pair of holes spaced to fit the grill/heat dispersal plate removal hand tool. I can now easily and safely remove the lid from either side.

As an aside, the tiny S.S. Chimney was located at a boat supply store (try on-line) and holds the Cobb maximum of 10-11 briquettes. Its only shortcoming was it came without a grate, so I drilled 3 holes in the side, screwed in 3 sheet-metal screws and added an expanded metal grate. It only takes one sawdust/paraffin starter to fire up the chimney.
Chimney Mod.JPG
Chimney Mod.JPG (122.35 KiB) Viewed 2085 times


That completes my mods. to the Cobb Grill. I hope someone finds this usefull.

Donald1800

Post Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:06 pm
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7572
Location: Stoughton, WI
Good stuff, Donald! You might be the only one here with a Cobb but that's some great creativity on your part.

Post Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:19 am
Cactus1 well done
well done

Posts: 762
Location: Indian Head Park, IL.
Nice job Donald. I've modified my WSM's with handles on the barrels, double charcoal grates, and holes and rivets for my probes at grate heights. My 18 1'2 also has 2 extra sets of L brackets for cooking grate adjustability. My 22 1/2 is on casters to make it easier to move around. I'm a grill guy and might look into one of these Cobb's. Have plans to build a schwenken, like in Planet Barbecue - metal working ex-brother-in-law will help me. I've thought from time to time about adding a Ranch Kettle to complete my Weber collection. Saw a nice Cowboy Grill at Bass Pro last night - just might add this instead.
* IHP Cactus Farm & Sauce Shack *
18 1/2 & 22 1/2" WSM
22 1/2" OTS
26 3/4" OTG


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