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Anybody try an "Orion Cooker"?

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Joined: 30 Jun 2005
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Jun 30 2005    Post subject: Anybody try an "Orion Cooker"? Reply with quote

Just saw this in a catalogue and it looked kind of kewl.

It's called an "Orion Cooker". Here's their website


Be interested in anybody's comments.
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CHRIS 1237

Joined: 15 Jun 2005
Posts: 229
Location: PA

PostPosted: Jun 30 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

I want to know how you are able to cook a rack of baby back ribs in a hour and 15 min. Or a 20 lb turkey in 2 hr 15 min.
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BBQ All Star

Joined: 29 May 2005
Posts: 9330
Location: Wasaga beach, Ontario

PostPosted: Jun 30 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does kinda defeat the whole low and slow idea. Maybe it is for those who's lifestyle is so busy they doe have time to do it the "old way"...??? Confused
Chargriller Akorn
LIAR #100
Do not rely on a rabbits foot for luck, it did not work out too well for the rabbit...
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Joined: 30 Jun 2005
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Jun 30 2005    Post subject: How it works Reply with quote

It heats by creating a convection affect.

I've deep fried turkeys @ 3.5 minutes per pound. It's just that the whoe deep fry turkey thing is a pain in the neck--yukk!
Messy, expensine, big cleanup. messy--all for a bird that taste like a skunk's butt once its done. Let's see, Fresh turkey= $25, Peanut oil = $30, lp refill = $15, I'd rather go to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.

Now you can see why this product looks promising.
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BBQ Super Pro

Joined: 10 Mar 2005
Posts: 1366
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

PostPosted: Jun 30 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've deep fried many turkeys and they always come out great. Very very juicey.

The Saucy Lads BBQ Team
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BBQ All Star

Joined: 26 Apr 2005
Posts: 5051
Location: Oklahoma

PostPosted: Jul 01 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Bill, you wouldn't be associated with this cooker in any way would ya'?? I know Garry is always lookin' to sell ad space.

FWIW, I think Ruths Chris is a tad pricey for what ya' get...and not nearly as good as it used to be, in my opinion

Team Enoserv

Last edited by allsmokenofire on Jul 01 2005; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 30 Jun 2005
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Jul 01 2005    Post subject: Associated? Reply with quote

Heck, I like the product so much, I bought the company!!!

Just kidding. Not associated. simply saw the product in a sporting goods catalog and thought that it was novel.

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PostPosted: Jul 06 2005    Post subject: I bought one: here's my report Reply with quote

OK... Here’s the report.

The inaugural flight with the Orion Cooker was yesterday at 6:00 pm. Did 3 slabs of baby-back ribs.

First, I prepped them by removing the underside membrane. I then generously sprinkled them (I can't believe that I'm giving away one of my best secrets) in Worchester sauce. That's right, Worchester sauce; it adds a light favor, plus allows the rub to adhere to the meat (Forget it; I am not going to tell ya my secret rub recipe).

I did this all within 30 minutes of putting them in the cooler on because I’ve come to learn that rib rub contains a lot of salt. And salt turns pork into “ham” after a few hours (ever eat ribs that have the same look, texture and taste of ham? It's the salt. I used to put rib rub on and let the ribs sit overnight in the fridge, but no longer. I now put it on shortly before cooking.

I then cut a small slit in each rib, under the second rib and inserted the rib hanger. The ribs are then hung in the cooker lengthwise. (I had some fear that the ribs might separate while cooking and fall off the hanger/rack unto the drip pan. No such fear it turns out).

I did not put any fluid in the drip pan whatsoever, figuring the pork would supply its own moisture. I was 100% correct on this one. However, if you chose to place, say, some beer, water or juice in the drip pan, I'd advise you to use “less” than “more” because it really does retain moisture inside the chamber and you don’t want mushy ribs. I did however place a few alder chip shavings between the inside wall and the drip pan for smoke (there is not much room there so don’t even think about putting big chunks of anything in there).

Notice that I did not put on any bbq sauce. I was a little fearful that this could make things a little messy. Instead, I simply applied the (heated on the stove) bbq sauce after the ribs were removed. Many people do ribs this way to appease those who prefer "dry ribs". At the end of the day, it makes little difference (I can hear the traditional smoker folks now; "kill the heretic!"

Finally the moment of truth: The ribs, securely affixed to the racks are then hung in the pot. The top lid is placed on the cooker. You use a 15-pound bag of self-lighting charcoal. 12 briquettes are placed on the top chamber with the remainder placed equally around the outside bottom ring. I had some fear about this too because of the smell produced by self-lighting charcoal. No fear, the meat/contents are totally encased in the cooker and you are actually cooking while they fire up. Also, don't fret when the entire cooker is engulfed in flames from the charcoal. The meat is on the inside; the flames are on the outside

One of the keys to any great rib is not overcooking them so that they are too mushy or, undercooking them so you are chewing on jerky. The Orion Cooker website said cook the ribs for 1 our and 10 minutes. The owner’s manual said to cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Some of the testimonials on the website says to cook ribs for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Again, remember, any cooking time starts from the moment you light the coals. More than anything else, I think the reason for this is because the unit is simply too darn hot to be placing food in it once the coals are red. There is a chance one could be burned and/or the contents to catch on fire from the fat. Anyway, that's what they said and I (like you) always follow the directions.

So, in go the ribs. On goes the lid. I light the top chamber. I light the bottom ring and mark the clock; it's 6:00 p.m. straight up.

To be safe, I decided to go with a cooking time of 1 hour and 25 minutes before I lifted the lid for the first time. Gotta tell you, this product defies every traditional bbq instinct in the human body. The company jingle is "it ain't cook'n if you're look'n" which means literally: "Don't open the thing until it's done". It took every fiber of restraint and self-discipline that I could muster in my human body NOT to lift that lid at least one time so that I could take a peek inside. If you are weak and fall to temptation, you are probably adding 15 minutes to the overall cooking time, plus altering the designed cooking cycle that could affect the outcome of your meal. Today, I was strong; the lid stayed on (it's amazing how much discipline one can have with the help of a few longnecks of Budweiser).

It's now 7:15 pm. The ribs have been in the cooker of an hour and 15 minutes. A little voice inside of me is yelling at me saying "take them out, you're going to wreck the meal". While another voice says" "stay the course, only 10 more minutes to go". Only the birth of my child took what seemed that long during those final 10 minutes (I'm sure every bbq affectionado appreciates what I am speaking about right now). I figured, what the heck, if I wreck them, we can always order Chinese, right? So, the lid stays closed, not even a peek (there has got to be an award or something for this type of an achievement--perhaps the Nobel Prize of No-Peeking. Yeah, that's it!).

Now, the moment of truth (part II); lifting the lid. Imagine my apprehension, not only from what the contents will reveal, but now, about 5 of my male neighbors have come over to see this new contraption (which at first glance, looks like a still--which explains why they came over in the first place), and then laugh hysterically when I fail miserably after spending a considerable sum of money on this grand experiment (somebody has to be the first, right?).

The crowd gathers real close around the cooker. You could touch the anxiety in the yard (actually my driveway). I grab the handles on the lid. Just like in the manual, they are not hot whatsoever.
OK, ready? 10, 9, 7 err...8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, OPA!!!


Total-- utter---silence.

Each person then came up to the cooker in a single file and looked inside just like giving final respects at one's funeral. This time however, there were smiles. The ribs were sizzling hot (notice I did not say "steaming"). They looked exactly like they had been inside a $2500 smoker for 6 full hours. The color was perfect, not burnt. Very, very hot. The drip pan had done its job too: catching all the juices that fell off making for an easy cleanup.

Now, for the moment of truth (part III): the "food" part. I put on oven mittens and lifted the rack holding the ribs unto a serving dish. And, like I said, the ribs did not fall off the rack while cooking. My neighbors, being courteous as they are, hung around, looking like a lost a puppy. "Well, do we get some?" With that, rack #1 became the neighborhood food test. That left 2 racks for my family of four. Oh well, got to be a good neighbor, I thought. Plus, if the ribs taste horrible or worse yet, I'd rather that it be in somebody else’s mouth rather than my own.

So, on brushes the sauce (Bone Suck'n Sauce, regular) and I anxiously await the reactions.......

To say that it was overwhelmingly favorable would be an understatement.

How about "gaaaaaaawdalllllmighty, are these goooooood!"

Or, " holy &%$#”, these are some fiiiiine ribs there bro."

With that, the neighbors departed (begrudgingly) and I finally sat down at table with my family for our own meal. In a word, FANTASTIC!! These ribs were as good, if not better, than any I had ever prepared at home before. They were hot (I hate lukewarm ribs): the texture was perfectamd absolutely no hammy look or taste. The meat fell away from the bones as if they had been cooking for at least, an additional 3 hours or more. There was absolutely no sacrifice in look, smell and/or flavor using this product. I would even put them on par with some of the better rib houses that I have visited around the country. And, I have visited many while traveling on business.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give it a 9. (A “9”, because I have yet to taste the perfect "10" rib)

Would I recommend this product to others? The answer is a solid "yes".

Does this replace slow cooking methods? No, but it is a viable alternative to that when time, space, and/or budget dictates otherwise; all without sacrificing quality and taste. For around $150, its a very good investment that will pay you dividends for a long, long time.

ps. I do not work for, nor have any affiliation with this company. At the moment, I'm feeling some ill effects from last night's activities and typing helps time go by more quickly while I wait for the Excedrin to take affect. I do coincidentally, happen to live in Lake "Orion", MI (btw everybody on this planet...the "correct" pronounciation ia Lake "Or-EEE-un", not" "or-rye-yun". Thank you.)

pss.. Don’t ask to borrow my Orion (OrEEun) Cooker. Go buy your own.
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BBQ Super All Star

Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Posts: 15475
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Jul 13 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting, thanks for the info! Not a bad price for a stainless steel cooker that will fit in a small area. Very Happy
"I Turned A Hobby Into A Business".
Providing "IMHO" Since 2005.
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