Oris Skottle vs Tembo Tusk
The Oris Skottle and Tembo Tusk are two innovative outdoor griddles that have broken out of South Africa to offer the world an innovative new way to cook. Skottles are the brainchild of South African farmers who repurposed old harrow discs to create an outdoor cooking device that could prepare meals out in the field. They are a hybrid between a griddle and a wok.
What Is an Oris Skottle?
The Oris Skottle has a circular cast iron griddle disk with a flat profile and was designed to be robust while also being portable. It is increasingly popular with campers who prioritize a camp stove that can cook all three meals.
What is a Tembo Tusk?
The Tembo Tusk is another popular type of skottle that has a slightly concave cooking surface, made from carbon steel, and was also designed to be lightweight and portable. Tembo also offers a range of accessories including steam trays, inserts, and lower profile removable legs.
Oris Skottle Features
The Oris Skottle has a 17-inch diameter cast iron griddle disk that can be easily removed to also let you do things like boil water, use a traditional wok, or cook directly over the fire.
The cast iron of the griddle disk might take a little while longer to preheat, but it conducts heat energy to create a great sear, as well as holding heat longer.
It comes straight from the manufacturer with a seasoning layer applied to it, so it is ready to cook right out of the box. The disk is perfectly flat which makes it easy to do things like make pancakes or fry bacon without having to worry about the grease pooling.
It also has a 15-inch diameter domed lid to hold in the heat and do things like steam hard vegetables, or quickly melt a slice of cheese over a hamburger patty. The domed lid also helps you make the most out of the 10,000 BTU propane burner element.
Straight out of the box the Oris Skottle’s burner element is designed to run on a typical 1-pound propane cylinder. This will let you run the 10,000 BTU burner for roughly an hour and a half. If you want to use it more than that, Oris offers an accessory hose that will let you directly connect the burner element to a larger liquid propane tank.
Tembo Tusk Features
The Tembo Tusk has an 18-inch diameter carbon steel griddle disk that is slightly concave, with a 13-inch diameter domed lid.
The 10,000 BTU propane burner heats up the griddle disk rapidly, though the thinner steel also cools faster.
The legs on the Tembo Tusk are 1-inch in diameter and they detach to make it easily portable. When fully assembled this skottle stands 28-inches high. Though Tembo Tusk offers accessory legs that can get it as low as 20-inches for people who prefer to cook while seated.
The griddle disk is permanently affixed and can’t be removed to let you use the direct flame of the burner element. This also means that the Tembo Tusk will only run on a 1-pound propane cylinder.
Oris Skottle vs Tembo Tusk Differences
The Oris Skottle uses a cast iron griddle disk, and the Tembo Tusk uses carbon steel for the disk, which affects many of the other differences between these two models.
Cast iron is heavy, which means that all the rest of the material components in the Oris need to be robust, which also pushed up the overall weight of this skottle to nearly 35-pounds.
This translates into 1.25-inch diameter legs, and heavy-duty fasteners. It also means that it takes a little longer for the Oris’ griddle disk to heat up. Though once preheated, it will do a great job of searing meat, and will also hold heat for longer. Especially if you use the tight-fitting domed lid.
The way the cast iron griddle disk is made means it is nearly perfectly flat. This can be great when you want to make pancakes, bacon, and other foods that do better when fried flat.
Though you are certainly going to have more than one time where a hot dog takes a tumble over the edge, or your stir fry spills sideways.
One other notable difference with the Oris griddle is that it can be easily detached. This lets you use the direct flame of the 10,000 BTU propane burner for doing things like percolating your coffee, simmering a pot of water, or making stir fry in a traditional wok.
The Tembo Tusk has a carbon steel griddle disk, which heats up quickly, but also loses heat quickly. In some applications, it can also make the Tembo Tusk more likely to burn food.
Carbon steel is shaped rather than cast, which means the Tembo Tusk’s griddle disk is concave. While this makes it easier to do things like stir fry with confidence and keep round hot dogs safely contained, it can also be challenging to make flat foods like pancakes.
The carbon steel griddle disk of the Tembo Tusk also doesn’t detach like the Oris does. This prevents you from using the direct burner flame to do things like boil water. Even simmering coffee in a percolator can take a frustratingly long time.
It’s also worth noting that the Tembo Tusk is much lighter than the Oris, weighing in at just under 9 pounds. This makes it easier to use as a portable griddle for things like trips to the beach or tailgating.
Oris Skottle vs Tembo Tusk Dimensions
The Oris Skottle has a 17-inch diameter griddle disk with a 15-inch domed lid, whereas the Tembo Tusk has an 18-inch diameter griddle disk and a 13-inch diameter domed lid. These basic differences in dimension and the build materials affect other dimensions in both skottles.
The legs of both models are easily detachable. Though the Oris legs are 1.25-inches in diameter and need more robust fasteners to support the significant weight of the thick cast iron griddle disk. The 3/16th of an inch carbon steel of the Tembo Tusks griddle is much lighter and only needs 1-inch diameter legs to support it.
Oris Skottle vs Tembo Tusk Height
The Oris Skottle is 32-inches high, which is closer to a traditional outdoor grill, compared to the lower 28-inches of the Tembo Tusk. This can be a factor depending on how you like to cook.
If you prefer to cook standing up, then the Oris Skottle is going to be the better option, as the Tembo Tusk is destined to give you a backache.
If you prefer to sit down while cooking, then you might like the lower profile of the Tembo Tusk. They also offer replacement legs that let you lower it down to 20-inches, which will be comfortable for cooking at the edge of a picnic table or camp chair.
Oris Skottle vs Tembo Tusk Quality
The Oris Skottle has slightly better material build quality between the two, though the Tembo Tusk is still a quality camp griddle.
Both need to have their seasoning layer properly maintained to prevent corrosion issues, and both have a 10,000 BTU propane burner. Though it’s the Oris’ cast iron, robust materials, and versatility that make it the higher quality Skottle.
Whether the Oris Skottle or the Tembo Tusk is best for you will depend on how you’ll most often use it.
The Oris Skottle has a cast iron griddle disk, which makes it heavier and taller, which makes it better suited as a camp grill for drive-up campsites or RV camping. The fact that it has a flat cast iron griddle top makes it easy to cook a lot of foods like pancakes and searing steaks.
Though not ideal for things like perfectly round hot dogs and scrambled eggs.
The Tembo Tusk is significantly lighter, and lower. This can be an advantage if you want to use it as a camp grill on a pack-in hike, a trip to the beach, or tailgating in a stadium parking lot. If you prefer to cook while sitting down, you might want to opt for one of their shorter models, which can get as low as 20-inches. The concave carbon steel griddle top is better suited to stir fry and foods that need to be contained while cooking.