Double Skillet! An Oven When You Have No Oven

Roast chicken. Roast potatoes. Jacket spuds. Pizza. **Salivate**! All of these puppies are on the menu in our motorhome from now onwards!

Our previous motorhome Dave had many fabulous qualities, but an oven wasn’t one of ’em. He sported a 3 ring gas hob, and we cooked on it for the best part of two years. Spending much of our time loafing around motorhome aires and car parks, we were mostly off-grid, so an electric oven of any kind was off the menu, and we didn’t want to fit a gas oven. Nah, if we were cooking, we were cooking on a gas hob. Zagan’s the same – 3 ring gas hob only.

We had a few hob-related revelations on our earlier wanderings:

1. Ju worked out we could make toast by laying the bread flat in a dry heated frying pan, and flipping it over from time to time. Worked really well that one.

2. The hotplate and domed top of a Safari Chef BBQ could be popped onto the hob and heated to make an oven. A couple of pizzas were crafted in this way (from fresh dough we got in an Italian supermarket and couldn’t get flat for the life of us). Until we noticed the assembly over-hung the edge of the hub and was burning the worktop, curtailing that line of culinary investigation.

3. Meeting Chris and Tina at the cracking aire in San Sebastian, they demonstrated how a double skillet they had could be used as an oven, knocking up lunches of delicious roast chicken and potatoes/cracking tapas, and knocking our socks off. The double skillet is basically a couple of deep frying pans, one of which has a lip so the other can be sat on it either upright (so you can cook with two pans on one ring) or upside down (making a neat oven).

The Double Skillet
The Double Skillet

This far-off introduction to the double skillet was 3 or 4 years ago, and Ju and I have hankered after one in all of that time. It seemed fitting we were about to have our first play with the one we’ve now got at a field in Derbyshire back again with Chris, Tina and their daughter Libby parked in their motorhome Christina next to us. The first time we’d been in motorhomes again together since Essaouira on the Moroccan coast. Memories and feelings flooded back. The sensation of being close to hitting the road again had me buzzing.

Zagan and Christina Hymer Motorhomes
Zagan and Christina Hymer Motorhomes July 2015
Me and Chris Gutting Fish in Morocco, Feb 2012
Me and Chris Gutting Fish in Morocco, February 2012

In waiting to buy the skillet though, we almost missed out, as they’ve stopped being made in the past year or two… The story goes that two ladies developed the concept and marketed it, selling the skillets at the motorhome shows and online. They were a success, but unfortunately one of the ladies passed away and production stopped. Ju bought ours second hand from eBay for £72 (the cheapest she found – others were going for over £90).

UPDATE: A new company has started up selling the skillet at www.thedoubleskilletpancompany.com, currently for £49.95. No idea whether the quality is as good as the original, although the photos on the website look like it’s the same product.

Motorhome Double Skillet
Ju about to knock up some patented OurTour roast spuds in Zagan

On an initial test this weekend, Ju read out the instructions to me as I started cooking with it:

  • You don’t need to use oil, or maybe just a bit (as I dropped in a fat spoonful of marg, oops)
  • Use a low heat (I was on maxi-gas, the flames roaring away)
  • Put the skillet with the lip on the bottom (I’d got it on top)
  • Don’t turn it over unless you’re only dry-cooking food (I was in the middle of turning it to get the lipped part at the bottom, when melted marg drippped all over the hob, **sigh**)

Yep, I spent 6 years working as a technical author, but still never read the manual. Despite this series of cock-ups, I did manage to roast a couple of chicken breasts and make a decent effort at some roast spuds. We hooted with delight as the grub was consumed, so many more eating options just opened up to us! The idea of using a heat diffuser also came up, as a way to get a more even spread of heat and a better oven effect.

We used a campsite for the weekend (of sorts, just a field for £6 a night at Carsington Water and a fab little spot) as we needed to get the safari room up and photographed to go on eBay (it’s here if you know anyone who’s after one!). It’s a lovely room, but not for us. Our plans have us staying on aires and car parks most of the time, where you can’t normally roll out an awning, never mind put up a safari room, so it has to go. We’ll put the cash towards the GasIT LPG system, so we can more easily grab the fuel needed to keep that beloved double skillet in action!

Thule Omnistor Safari Room
Safari Room – Stacks of outside space, but not for us as we’ll be holed up on aires and car parks to save money
Thule Omnistor Safari Room
Thule Omnistor Safari Room

Cheers, Jay

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29 Comments

    • Hi Jenny. I think the same thought has gone through many people’s minds. I don’t know the story other than a rumour one of the ladies passed away. Clearly a lot of love and passion went into the product. It has been very well thought through from the reviews we read and comments on forums. The recipe book also gives the impression they had invested an awful lot of energy in the product. Hopefully it gets back off the ground. Not sure if it is patented or not though… Cheers, Jay

  1. Hi We have used a double skillet for 3 years now – love it. We use a diffuser it make the heat more controllable. We have even made Yorkshire pudding it look brilliant and tasted fantastic but tended to collapse one you take it out of the pan Enjoy

  2. Wow, my skillet has made it on to the interweb! I see the spare lid has come in useful already, it’s certainly lighter than the original lid. I am now waiting for those tasty treats you promised to send me.

    Seriously though I’m glad you like it and have already put it to good use.
    Happy travels
    Rob

    • Hey Rob – it is a LOT lighter than the other lid! We’re also able to drop off all of our other pans except a single ‘milk pan’ so have simplified the cupboard contents, with an associated reduction in sanity loss each time we need to get something in/out of a cupboard. :-) I would be amazed if a single tasty treat gets past the gauntlet of my mouth though, and then past Charlie’s ever-watchful eyes… Cheers fella, Jay

  3. Hi again,

    This post of yours just answered the question I asked in your last post about the awning. We just have the sun canopy part, not the whole room. I should have read to the end before jumping in.

    I asked for a double skillet in our local kitchenware shop and, although they did not have one they claimed to know more than one supplier from whom they could order one! I will pursue it.
    Best,
    Robina

      • Hi, disappointing follow up on the double skillet I’m afraid. Returning from five weeks away I asked again at the local kitchenware shop. This time I spoke to the woman who REALLY knows the stock and stockists and she did not know of such a thing. I think it must have been an over-enthusiastic Saturday assistant who raised my hopes:-( Sorry! Robina

        • Good try though Robina and thanks for the update.
          We’ve only used ours a few times but it has been fab. It’s being treated like a family heirloom as we know how hard it will be to replace.
          Ju x

  4. I tend to use the skillet a lot more than anything else. I have an oven in the van, but don’t use it! Try warming up your croissants or bread buns which are a little hard – delicious, just like fresh bread. It would be a shame if this isn’t resurrected – there have been a lot of motorhomers trying to buy them. I slipped up, as I would have liked a small one as well, but when I got round to buying one they were no longer for sale.

    • Hmmm, sounds fab Jenny. Pain au chocolat too? :-) Someone will get it going again; it’s too good an idea to stay asleep for long. Cheers, Jay

  5. Will be very interested to find a replacement have used one for at least 10 years.looked in Parkland they have something very similar, but the handles do not come off

  6. Hello everyone
    love reading about your travels.
    Myself and the other half have been keen campers for well over 30 years and we still are. We use the double skillet pan on a regular basis that we have had since new and wouldn’t do without it, however,as the original suppliers are no longer in business we have an opportunity to have these manufactured to the same spec if not better than the originals.

    So, I’m doing a bit of market research in asking you good people whether there would be any interest.

    Thank you for your input

    • I know a couple of people who would be interested in replacing their old skillets. Might be worth an ask on some of the motorhome forums on Facebook, as this post is now quiet old so I am not sure how many people will read it.
      Please keep us posted on how you get on.
      Ju x

  7. Very interested in a new double skillet. We have used one sailing for over 10 years and found it brilliant but getting worn out. Is there a new source?

    • Hi Tiki. Unfortunately not that we know of. They come up on eBay from time to time, not cheap but the only way to get them that we know of. Cheers! Jay

  8. Hi – We have a double skillet bought from the two ladies (D & F Promotions). Tried to buy another one but same result as everyone else. Sad that so much hard work appears to leave nothing (except a lot of delighted / frustrated users). The two lovely ladies must have had someone manufacturing the pans for them, is it not possible to trace this company & investigate the possibility of re starting production?. The interest in the Leisure industry is obviously there. Never yet found anyone with a bad word to say about the D & F Double Skillet.

  9. I bought one many years ago from the two ladies at the Southampton boat show as we sail, and we have used it all the time; gutted that they are no longer available ad I wanted to buy another one.

  10. Hi I have a friend that has a double 8inch skillet brand new in its box from D & F Promotions that needs a new home. They were planning on putting up for sale so anyone interested on making an offer and willing to pick up from Devon let me know.

  11. My wife is so keen to get one of these 8 inch skillets. Do you know where we can get one. We have been looking for some time.

  12. I am interested in a double skillet the last one I bought was at a motorhomes show have you a large double skillet please

    • We bought ours off ebay and I think it is the large one (dinner plate sized), but then I haven’t seen any other sized ones to compare it to. Sadly we don’t sell them, but I believe that someone is making them again.

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