How To: Use An Orion Cooker

The Orion cooker has become a staple in our household. It uses convection, steam and smoke (if desired) to cook and flavor our favorite dishes. You might already have a grill or smoker (so do we), but the Orion has since become our right hand man outdoor cooking apparatus. It cooks bbq staples in record time and turns briskets into a a 60 minute process, instead of dedicating 8 hours of your weekend tending coals and temperatures. Your neighbors will be ridiculously jealous...

We could write out a step by step explanation about the Orion cooker, but the folks over at Orion have done a pretty bang up job depicting how simple the cooking process is.

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The best part is you don't have to even use a charcoal chimney to get the party started. All you need is some Matchlight Charcoal around the bottom and up on top, light it and you're set. Normally we'd be up in arms about using charcoal that's already had a dousing of lighter fluid, the taste is horrible and not great for you, but in this process, the meat is 100% encased inside the cooker, keeping all smells and unwanted tastes away.

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Cooking times are short and the Orion Cooker has become a staple for Thanksgiving turkeys, tailgating, and family fun when you actually want to *gasp* spend time with the family. You can watch a 6 minute video on their website showing you exactly how much stuff really fits inside! It makes excellent use of the space inside and can hold food for 12 without blinking. Although it sounds like we're writing a love letter to this outdoor oven, we literally can't contain our excitement for it.

We've been using it consistently for 2 years solid, in the summer as well as dead of winter with perfect results. The combination of 100% indirect heat and the close quarter convection cooking delivers every time. The only downfall this bad boy has, is the need for a non-flammable resting place. It gets hot. Super hot and concrete, asphalt or stone is a must. We've seen people use it on a double layer of concrete blocks before, but not having tried this method, we can't promise the safety of your decking or porch! We've used it on loading docks, streets, sidewalks and driveways without any problem.

Have you tried the Orion cooker? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below!

Related: Outside Cooking: Build A Smoker

(Images: Flickr Member Hendricks Ny licensed for use under Creative Commons & Orion)