Skottle Cooking Tips and Tricks
By: Beau Johnston
The TemboTusk team introduced the Skottle Grill (pronounced Skaw-Til) to the US market in January of 2015. The design is derived from South Africa where farmers would convert old harrow discs into cooking griddles for use in the field. We picked ours up at Overland Expo and since then have become big fans of the design's simplicity and ease of use. After a year of cooking with the TemboTusk Skottle, we have come up with the following tips and tricks.
The first thing new Skottle users should understand is the cooking disk is made from carbon steel and should be treated the same way you would treat your favorite cast iron skillet. We have two keys to cooking with the Skottle, preheat and cook in batches.
- Although it is great at retaining heat, carbon steel is miserable at conducting heat. As such, the first key to cooking with the Skottle is to properly preheat the cooking disk before food is cooked. Rushing the preheat this can result in the seasoning/oil directly above the burner burning off before the cooking surface is up to cooking temperature. To properly preheat the Skottle ignite the burner and adjust the output to low heat. Allow the heat to transfer through the steel for several minutes before you add food.
- Now that the Skottle has been preheated, it is time to start cooking. Our second key to cooking with the Skottle is to not overfill the cooking disk. Not only will your food pull heat from the steel disk (that is how it cooks) but having too much food will actually trap steam and make things soggy. Instead of piling a mountain of food onto the Skottle we will cook meals for large groups in batches. We have found that this not only results in a better finished product but we can usually cook everything in the same amount of time.
The great thing about cooking with the Skottle is you can treat it the same way you would cast iron. To maintain a well-seasoned non-stick surface, you should never use soap during cleanup. We always follow these steps when cleaning our Skottle:
- Heat a little water with the cooking disk after you have finished the cooking.
- Scrub the surface, using a Dobie Cleaning Pad, to remove any bits of food stuck to the surface.
- If the Dobie is not able to remove all of the stuck-on food we will then turn to a stainless steel chain mail scrubber to get everything nice and clean.
StorageNow that you are done cooking it is time to protect your investment for the next trip. We tried to carry our Skottle in a reusable grocery sack for a couple of trips but found it didn't do a good job of protecting the cooking surface from scratches and dust - duh... We have since invested in Jack Covers' Skottle Shell to store our Skottle while we travel and when we are at home. The Shell is made from the same heavy-duty material as their Hi-Lift jack covers and is designed to carry the Skottle disk, burner, propane canister, and legs.
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