Ken Hall is the brains behind the Cobb oven, the small, portable barbeque that lets you fire up the coals anywhere, any time. An industrial designer in a previous life he spent much of his time working on building sites.
After facing the reality of South Africa’s devastating informal settlement fires, largely caused by the primitive paraffin stove, he set about working on a safe alternative.
As a South African, familiar with conditions in these settlements, he came up with a stove that used charcoal briquettes instead of electricity for energy, that didn’t pose a fire risk and is cool to touch.
His initial prototype used dry corncobs as fuel source, hence the brand name. Since then the Cobb has enjoyed several design improvements.
Today the Cobb grill is a small and lightweight, eco-friendly, portable braai that can be safely used indoors or out. The brand enjoys great popularity among outdoors enthusiasts, and received rave reviews from camping, caravanning and even sailing publications in the US and UK.
In 2001, the Cobb was named one of only 34 best inventions of the year in Time magazine; it’s won several awards including two Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association VESTA Awards.
Aside from its safety and portability features, the Cobb promotes healthier cooking. Designed to allow fat and grease to drain away from sizzling meat, the grill enjoys the approval of the South African Heart Foundation. The Cobb is patented worldwide.