Review – Tembo Tusk Skottle

It is not often that I find a piece of camping gear that actually changes the way I camp, but the Skottle from Tembo Tusk has done just that.

img_20160423_194708.jpg
Ribeye Steak with onions, potatoes carrots and peppers High in the San Bernardino National Forest

 

The Skottle (Pronunciation: Skō Til or Skaw-Til) originated from the farms of South Africa, where harrow discs were put to use as cooking tools in the fields.  These are the discs that are pulled behind a tractor or mule to till the ground and prepare it for planting.

Before the skottle we traveled with a 3 burner Coleman white gas stove, along with a cast iron skillet, cast iron griddle, and an assortment of pots and pans, and don’t forget the jug of white gas.  All of that adds up pretty quickly both in weight and in the amount of real estate it takes up in the truck. In an effort to simplify our load out, we picked up a Skottle last year, and it has easily replaced all of that.

Tembo Tusk has taken the shallow wok like bowl of the harrow disc and made it more versatile than what was used in the farms by adding legs and a burner supported by simple framework. This allows it to be used anywhere, using a standard single burner propane stove and it does this while still quickly breaking down for easy storage.

Tembo Tusk, along with Blue Ridge Overland Gear, has created a storage bag for the Skottle, made from the same type of vinyl that bounce houses are made of. It feels virtually indestructible, and even though we have used and abused it for over a year, it shows no signs of wear at all. We feel it was an excellent investment, and fits the Skottle itself, plus room for any extra components that we might use in cooking a meal.  In the photo below the bag is holding the Skottle (with burner and windscreen attached), the lid, the table top, cherry wood spatula, and two 1 pound canisters of propane.

Skottle-3
Packed up in the bags from Blue Ridge Overland Gear.

The legs attach quickly to the bottom of the skottle with a just a few thumbscrews (one in each leg).  Pretty much any of the single burner propane stoves will work, but I prefer the Century brand as it has the piezo ignitor so there’s no need for matches or lighters, and the burner goes in just as easy, with just a couple turns of the thumb screws.  There is also no need to take the burner back off, you can leave it attached and just unscrew the propane when you are done and it will be ready for next time.I do recommend the optional windscreen as well, but it is certainly not necessary.

Skottle-2
Couple of quick turns of the thumbscrews and the legs are secure
Skottle-1
The thumbscrews make a great spot for hanging the lid and cooking utensils and keeps them in easy reach.

So now that you know what a Skottle is, what exactly can you cook with it?  The answer is simple, just about anything you would cook on your stove top at home.  Breakfast dishes, no problem.  Start frying some bacon, once you get a little grease in the bottom, slide the bacon to the outside to finish slow and stay hot while you put some hash browns in the middle to start cooking in the grease.  Slide the has browns to the side to stay hot, and crack a couple eggs on the side of the disc and drop them in the middle.  Easy as that you have Bacon Eggs and Hashbrowns all in one “pan” and everything has stayed hot while you are cooking the rest of the meal.

20150605_1004032-01.jpeg.jpg
Bacon Eggs and Tortillas on the Skottle in the Eastern Sierras of California

For lunch you can grill up some chicken and bell peppers, warm tortillas on the side with some cheese so it starts to melt.  When the chicken is done scoop it onto the tortilla and you have quesadillas.  Pre dinner appetisers, how about some pot stickers?

20151229_162312-01.jpeg
Jerry L’Ecuyer making potstickers on the Skottle at Homestake Dry Camp in Death Valley

One of my favorite things to make for dinner on the Skottle is Ribeye with Potatoes and Carrots.  You will have to wait for the recipe this one, but don’t worry it is coming along soon.  If you want a simple quick dinner, I carry the frozen Skillet Meals in the truck fridge.  Rip the bag open, dump it in and dinner is served.  How about some popcorn for a snack while you sit around the campfire in the evening?  Yep, the skottle will do that, a bit of oil, popcorn kernels  and a lid is all it takes.

Skottle Popcorn
Skottle Popcorn – Photo courtesy of Jerry L’Ecuyer

The skottle is even good at the simple things like warming up banana bread when you just don’t want to wake up enough to cook.

20160102_074345-01.jpeg
Banana Bread on the river

 

As if it was not versatile enough as a cooking device with the addition of the lightweight table top it makes a great spot to make a cup of coffee

20160103_073356.jpg
Aeropress and Jetboil in the California desert

or just somewhere to set your cup  while you watch the sun rise.

20160102_072549-01.jpeg
Sunrise over the Colorado River

Now for the best part, the clean up.  That’s right, the clean up is the best part of the Skottle, and that is because it is caveman simple.  There are two methods I use.  The first is if the trip is not over and I will be doing more cooking on it.  With the skottle still hot, pour some water in it, when it stops steaming, wipe it out with a paper towel, that’s it. Just remember, it is hot.  The second method is what I use when the trip is over and the skottle will be stored, every few days of a long trip, or on the rare occasion that something sticks.  Put a couple of cap fulls of olive oil (or whatever cooking oil you have) in the skottle and warm it up, you want it hot but not deep frying hot, add a small handful of coarse ground salt and use a paper towel to “scrub” everything clean and oil the skottle at the same time.  When it is clean (should only take about 20 sec) take a clean paper towel and brush off the salt and soak up any extra oil.  The skottle is left clean, oiled, and ready for next time.

20150604_1329192-01.jpeg.jpg
Skottle in camp running off of bulk propane tank on the trailer

 

I have gotten so hooked on the Skottle in the year that we have had it that I no longer carry other cooking gear on trips.  Infact the night we bought a new stove for the house, I made chicken Fajitas on the Skottle in the back yard.

img_20150717_191339.jpg
New stove, who cares, I have a Skottle

 

Now every review has to have the bad side, and this review has two.  The first, I waited way too long before purchasing one.  The second, somehow the Tembo Tusk logo on my carry bag ended up upside down.  Tembo Tusk did offer to replace the bag as soon as they saw it, but I kind of like it, it makes it easy to tell which bag is mine.

If you decide to pick up a Skottle of your own, let them know I sent you

Do you have a Skottle and want to share some recipes or tips, let us know in the comments.

 

Disclaimer:  The product was purchased at regular pricing and was not supplied for review.

 

 

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Review – Tembo Tusk Skottle

  1. I’m interested! Is there anyway to boil water in a pot on this thing? Otherwise I’ll still need to bring the regular stove …

    Like

  2. I’ve had mine for about a year now. Find more ways to use it every day. Like the reviewer said it has replaced all my other camp grilling equipment saving me lots of space. Have a tabletop grill I used to use gathering dust on my patio. My skottle sits on my patio ready for use between camping trips. Used it last night to fix a zuchini “pasta” dish.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s