TemboTusk Gear Reviews
We recently stopped by @tembotusk to take delivery of our new Skottle. If you’ve never heard of a Skottle, you are missing out! It is one of our absolutely favorite ways to cook on the trail. With heritage that dates back to South African farmers, the Skottle might be the most versatile cooking equipment you could carry in your rig. It simply consists of a made in the USA pre-seasoned steel disc, a 10,000 BTU single burner, and legs. Leave all the pots and pans at home, the Skottle will do it all. From pasta and steak to breakfast burritos and dessert, like we said “versatile”. It also packs down compactly and doesn’t take up much space in your rig. Looking forward to doing an in-depth story on the Skottle and sharing more info with you.
Drive the Globe
We all take a bunch of gear when long term overlanding or even camping for the weekend. Michael Ladden discusses his three favorite things that are must haves when adventuring in his vehicle.
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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.
When we first arrived at camp, my friend Austin immediately called out my “hipster wok.” After goading me, he began to set up his griddle, which he insisted was far superior to my hyped up disc. “Besides he said, how are you going to cook in something that’s curved anyway?” Meanwhile I set up the Skottle in half the time it took him, and had it cleaned and was enjoying the fire while he was still trying to pull his grease trap out. Two meals later he was asking me how much my Skottle cost… From that point forward, the Skottle made every meal. Whether it was scrambles for breakfast, orange chicken for dinner, or even spaghetti and meatballs, the Skottle cooked it all. In typical cast iron fashion, it only tastes better the more you cook on it. I’ve yet to have a better chorizo and egg scramble than the one that came off this Skottle!
You can laugh at the hype, but after using this Skottle on multiple trips, there’s a reason they’ve gotten so popular. It is seriously practical. Our Skottle takes up a fraction of the space that other options do, which matters when you’re fitting everything into your car or even motorcycle. To cook the same meals on a stove set up would mean bringing the stove, pots, pans and something to keep them in. A griddle is a great option, but only works for things that can’t run off a flat surface. A stove with pots and pans or a griddle also takes a lot more work to clean after each use. With the Skottle, simply boil some water after each meal and scrub off the residue with a spatula. It’s that easy. Just like any other cast iron pan however, you don’t want to use soap.
Thanks to the included carrying bag, storage is easy. Even sitting in the back of my truck on trips, the Skottle stays clean and ready. The rugged design also means I don’t have to worry about damaging it off road. You’d be hard pressed to break something with zero moving parts!
Two things we wish we’d added to our kit and plan to add in the future is a lid and a wind guard. Both are sold on the Tembo Tusk site and aid in the cooking process. The wind guard is really only necessary in strong winds, like those found in the desert. When you need it, you need it. Aside from that, we have ZERO complaints about the Skottle. It doesn’t use any more propane than your average stove or griddle either.
The Wolf’s Last Word
If you are a doubter of the Skottle, it’s about time your mind is changed. There are few camp cooking options as simple, easy to use and effective as this. While the design may seem odd at first, it adds the kind of cooking flexibility needed when camping so you can pack lighter. Tembo Tusk even has a free cook book chalked full of great ideas and recipes. If you’re like us, one time using the Skottle will be enough to convince you to never use anything else. It ain’t cheap, but you know you’ll never be buying another one again.
We liked this kit so much, we asked Tembo Tusk for a discount for all of you.
If you want to get your own, use the code “wolfpack” for 5% off anything on the site.
Sometimes it's just fun to tear things apart!
At Blueridge Overland Gear, we expect you to put our gear to the test. Even on your toughest adventures, we want you to come out on the other side with a sturdy, durable piece of product that'll last for years.
We've engineered some more unscientific destructive testing to show you that our gear is the real deal. It's tougher than tough and we can prove it! Watch the following video to see us bring hell to some unsuspecting Skottle bags. The squeamish should look away.
We bring you the pull and drag tests!
The Tembo Tusk Skottle is a wok-style skillet that can be used for a wide-range of cooking. Even though I usually bring a grill camping, the Skottle has quickly become my favorite camping essential and I use it for most meals that require cooking.
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Tembo Tusk Skottle Review
How It Works
The Skottle comes pre-seasoned so you can begin cooking immediately. It is held up by three detachable legs and uses a Coleman-style burner as its heat source. The burner is sold separately unless you buy the complete Skottle Grill Kit. The Skottle uses disposable 16 oz. propane tanks but can be adapted to use a larger tank.
Due to the shape and heating source, the center of the Skottle is where most of the actual cooking takes place. The outside area is perfect for keeping food warm while cooking in the middle. I usually cook veggies or bacon and then leave them on the outside to stay warm while I cook the main course.
Setting up the Skottle takes less than 10 minutes. After I set it up the first time I usually leave it until we pack up to leave.
Tembo Tusk Skottle Details
Dimensions: 28 x 7 x 18 in.
Weight: 22 lb
Fuel: 16 oz propane gas tank
What I Like About the Skottle
The number one thing I like about the Skottle is how versatile it is. You can cook pancakes and bacon for breakfast, and tacos or stir fry for dinner. There aren’t too many things I haven’t been able to cook on the Skottle that require a pan or grill. One of my favorite things to whip up is a breakfast hash.
When I am camping, I don’t like to spend a lot of time setting up, breaking down, and cleaning. With the Skottle, I am able to fire it up and start cooking within minutes and clean up is super quick with the non-stick surface.
The size, shape, and weight make it awkward for travel and storage. I would recommend getting the carrying case to help with those issues. It’s definitely not something hikers or light packers would or could use.
The Skottle’s legs could also be improved. They are not adjustable which makes even surfaces a little difficult to work with.
Tembo Tusk’s Skottle is an overall awesome and versatile device for all types of outdoor cooking. The size of its cooking surface is big enough to make food for groups of all sizes and its non-stick surface makes cooking all types of food fun and easy. There is definitely room for improvement regarding the size and legs but Tembo recently began manufacturing a smaller and more compact sized Skottle to help with lighter packers.
The Rogue Overland Crew takes you through a review of the Tembo Tusk table with Step 22 Gear carrying bag. This table is constructed of metal and bamboo, making it robust yet small enough to conveniently pack in your overland rig. PROUDLY MADE IN THE USA
Gear Review by Crankshaft Culture's Mercedes Lilienthal
When you think of camp cooking setups, what do envision? Do you think of the two-burner Coleman stove you inherited from your grandpa, or the heavy cast iron pots and pans you lug along to make your camp meal? Maybe scratched-up bargain basement Teflon pans? Perhaps just freeze-dried backpacking meals you pop into a bowl so you avoid the whole cooking thing altogether? Well, there are new ways of camp cooking. We introduce to you Tembo Tusk and its Adventure Skottle.
Spring of 2016, as we started watching more and more Overlanding videos, we began researching gear and products that we could use on our trips. All Jeremy kept talking about was a Skottle that he saw on an episode of Mountain State Overland on YouTube and how that was a must have in our gear. To be honest, all I thought was “What is he talking about?" and "What the heck is a Skottle?” As the days went on, he kept telling me all about the Skottle and kept going back to the fish taco episode from MSO. Clearly he was excited about it! So I decided to start searching for this Skottle thing he wanted and thought it might make a great Father’s Day present. Not realizing however, that it would ultimately change our camp kitchen and what we cooked at camp and at home!
With my internet browser in hand, I did a quick search. Low and behold I found his crazy Skottle thing he wanted from TemboTusk in California!
Family_Adventures_Overlanding Blog and website
Per Tembo Tusk:
The history of the Skottle comes from the South African farmer and finding a secondary use for old harrow discs by turning them into an outdoor cooking utensil they could use while out in the fields. The Skottle caught on with the public in the 1940s and 50s and is now synonymous with grilling in South Africa.
Per our own research, our Mexican neighbors to the South have also rigged up this ingenious cooking device from recycled farm equipment however they refer to it as a “Discada” and have a dish which bears the same name. It doesn’t really matter which country came up with it first, but it does matter that it is the best cooking device you can buy. Let’s explore why.
First of all, it is all-inclusive and self-contained. The device is stored in two vinyl-coated polyester bags with mil-spec webbing reinforcement (sold separately). One bag houses the tripod legs and the other stores the skottle disc, the propane burner, multiple camp propane bottles, and room to spare for certain accessories (like the skottle table top or cooking lid). The bags are very well made and are constructed by our friends at Blue Ridge Overland Gear. The skottle is all-inclusive in that no other devices are needed – no pots, no pans, no extra clean up!
Secondly, the device is extremely rugged and extremely simple. Modern camping stoves are notoriously cheap and have a tendency to fall apart. The skottle itself has nothing on it that could fail. Three steel tripod legs attach to the bottom using eye bolts. The skottle itself is a simple disc with a bracket to hang a single propane burner. That’s it! Theoretically the burner could fail, but that would be attributable to the stove manufacturer and not Tembo Tusk. In such an unlikely scenario, the skottle could be placed over a flame to cook in an emergency. In that regard, it is fail-proof. One device, self-contained, that will not let you down.
Further, the skottle is versatile. With a traditional camping stove, you are typically limited to simple dishes and you have to cram them into the tiny titanium pans that end up charred to the point that Kingsford could put them in a bag and sell them. With the Tembo Tusk skottle, you can feed groups big or small and you will eat better food. The cooking surface comes pre-seasoned and gets better over time as the juices from your meals soak into the metal (similar to a dutch oven or cast iron frying pan). The skottle also measures in at 18 inches across – that is a surface area of almost 255 in²! Tasty food, gourmet dishes, room to feed big groups. What else could you ask for?
Accessories…you could ask for accessories. Sure, it cooks well, it is simple, it is rugged, but can I add to it to make it even better? Of course you can, and Tembo Tusk has you covered. Want to steam veggies on it? You can do that with the help of the steam tray. Want to use it as a camp table when you aren’t cooking on it? Opt for the logo emblazoned table top. Need a cover to help melt that cheese or add flavor to your burger buns? Pick up the extreme duty skottle lid. Want to cook in raging winds? You can do that, too, just snag a wind shield.
Tembo Tusk doesn’t want to sell you good products; they want to sell you the best products. Products you trust. Products you won’t leave home without. Believe me – the skottle is one of those products. Get yours today, and see what the hype is about. I promise you will not be disappointed.
For transparency, we would like to note that Tembo Tusk is a sponsor of ours however our skottles themselves were purchased at full retail price. Our review is 100% unbiased and we will not put our name on something or stand for it if we don’t believe in it. We hope you enjoy your skottle as much as we enjoy ours!
Head over to OffroadNC and read more of the review here