Tembo Tusk Skottle
Words & Photos by Chili Dog
As long as there have been humans, there has been cooking outdoors. But thanks to hashtags and the sharing of “Instagram worthy moments,” the age-old necessity of eating in the woods has become a glamorized affair. The Skottle is a poster child of the overland movement, earning it equal parts disdain and reverence. We were curious to see if the hype was real so we took it to the desert for a week of riding with four hungry mountain bikers. Let’s see how it did.
Originating in South Africa, the Skottle was born out of necessity and convenience. Farmers would convert old harrow discs into cooking surfaces. The concave design, while cumbersome at first glance, is what makes the cooking surface so versatile. The center is the hottest part where the cooking happens, while the edges can be used for warming. Typically the center sits around 350 degrees, while the outside edges hover around 160 degrees.
The concave form also means that meats cook in their own juices, yielding more flavor and better results. If you’re really clever, you can even do things like boil pasta in the center while cooking chicken and veggies on the side. The possibilities are endless. It’s like having pots, pans and a griddle all in one.
Tembo Tusk is a small Southern California company founded by owner Jerry L’Ecuyer. He ran with the Skottle design and adopted it to the camping world. He takes pride in creating an entirely American made product right in his own facility. From seasoning to welding, it all happens in house at Tembo Tusk. Along with their line of camping accessories, like fridge slides, Tembo Tusk offers the Skottle in two sizes: a 12” compact Adventure Skottle, and the 18” Skottle Grille kit, which is what we reviewed here.
Included in the kit is the pre-seasoned Carbon Steel Skottle, four legs and wing nuts, a Coleman style 10,000 BTU burner and well made carrying cases for the legs and Skottle. It also comes with a neat little plastic stand that attaches to your propane bottle so you can forgo the legs for ultra compact traveling. If you ditch the legs, everything you need fits in the single Skottle carrying bag. It even has room for multiple propane bottles. To assemble, simply slide the legs into the holes under the Skottle, secure them with the provided wing nuts, and slide the burner into place. It’s all done in about 60 seconds.