The WindTamer is a little tent for your outdoor cooking device. It keeps wind and rain from killing the flames and offers good heat distribution.
You’re out camping. You’ve pitched your tent, you’ve set up kitchen and you’re ready to cook.
There’s a tender rump steak you can’t wait to sink your teeth into.
…a little too breezy.
The wind’s pumping like a turbo-charged bellows and your gas cooker can’t keep up! A cash register rings in your head as your gas evaporates one canister after another.
You decide to use wood. There seems to be enough around.
Or so you thought…
You manage to get the fire going but your coals turn to ash in no time. You pile on more wood, and more wood, and more, but it burns up and wafts away.
Will you be tasting that juicy steak tonight? Doesn’t look like it. You should have brought a few tins of food…
But there’s a better way to take control of your camp cooking, even in terrible conditions…
A Southern Californian campground owner has designed something you might want.
It’s a simple, yet brilliant, concept. It’s a little tent for your cooking appliance.
It’s called the WindTamer.
- place your WindTamer on a table
- Place your cooking device inside the WindTamer
- Enjoy cooking without the hassle of wind, or with less hassle from wind and no hassle from rain
The mechanics of the WindTamer is more complex. Don’t worry about that. What’s important to know? The WindTamer regulates incoming air and distributes heat better.
The WindTamer is a straightforward contraption. Manufacturing, start to finish, happens in-house.
They cut and assemble the outer shell from Nomex, a fire resistant material. They secure all vents, open or closed, with hook and loop.
They wrap the shell around a manganese phosphate coated tube frame. The coating offers corrosion resistance.
This all fits on top of a galvanized sheet metal base.
Store your condiments in the pouches sewn into the sides of the WindTamer.
- Width – 30in (762mm)
- Depth – 18in (457.2mm)
- Height – 24in (609.6mm)
- Width – 30in (762mm)
- Depth – 18in (457.2mm)
- Height – 2.5in (63.5mm)
What fits into the bag?
This depends on the size of your camp stove.
If you pack a small enough stove you’ll have enough room for gas canisters as well as other items, such as cooking utensils and cutlery.
Camp stoves that fit
Any cooker with a size below that of the interior of the WindTamer fits inside the WindTamer, obviously.
One thing though: remember to keep the heat below 699,8 Fahrenheit (371 degrees Celsius).
The WindTamer weighs in at 11.99lbs (5.44kgs). This includes the standard tote bag.
The WindTamer is made from aramid fiber based Nomex, a fire resistant material used for making fire fighting apparel.
It withstands heat of up to 371.1 degrees Celsius.
The WindTamer is only available in a golden color at present.
The company might add another color if there’s demand. However, maker of the product, Mitchell Schliebs, told me in an email that there are concerns about the product staining.
The WindTamer is made for outdoors use. It’s not a snazzy piece of furniture used to dolly up a room somewhere. It’s made to work. With that in mind, you should understand that the WindTamer will get dirty. This means that any color that does not blend with “camp crud”, as Mitchell calls it, might cause the WindTamer to stand out like a sore toe.
What can it cook or boil?
The Luna Cafe has an excellent temperature guide for cooking that explains what happens to different foods at varying temperatures.
What would you pack for a camp? Here’s what I’d take (in no specific order):
- Boiled. Requires boiling water – 100 degrees Celsius.
- Melts between 30 to 32 degrees Celsius.
- According to a Daily Mail article, the best temperature for toast is 154 degrees Celsius.
- Well done – 170 degrees Celsius.
- Medium rare – 145 degrees Celsius.
- Lamb chops.
- Well done – 165 degrees Celsius.
- Water (for coffee).
- Boiling point – 100 degrees Celsius.
The WindTamer has a max temperature well above any of the required temperatures of my camp food list.
Mitchell was kind enough to share a bread recipe with me, so I’m posting it here, should you be interested. He says he’s been making it inside the WindTamer on a stove top for many years.
Tools you’ll need for making bread inside the WindTamer:
- Two cast iron skillets (one 88.9 mm deep, the other 50.8 mm deep)
- One mini loaf bread pan (or any pan that’ll fit; Mitchell says he sometimes uses a non-stick skillet with a severed handle)
Pre-warm your skillets on a low flame while preparing the following ingredients:
- Flour – four cups
- Sugar – three table spoons
- Salt – two table spoons
- Olive oil – two table spoons
- Seasoning – to liking
Pre-mix the flour, sugar, salt (and seasoning) then add two table spoons of olive oil.
Mix until flour is granular.
Dissolve dry yeast in one and a half cup of warm water and add to the flour mixture.
Add more warm water as needed. The mixture shouldn’t be too sticky nor too dry.
Knead the dough mixture.
Put the dough into the baking pan in the oven inside the WindTamer.
Leave it to rise for about 30 minutes.
Crank up the flame to baking temperature. Mitchell says he judges the heat by the height of the flame and that it takes practice to get right. That’s OK, campers have plenty of time on their hands. 🙂
Keep an eye on the oven. Mixing to slicing should take about one hour 15 minutes.
Mitchell ends the recipe by saying that cleaning up the mess should take longer than preparing the dough. That’s how you know you’ve done it right. 😉
Run out of gas? Make a fire
If you forgot your gas or you run out while camping, start a fire inside the WindTamer, as long as you keep the temperature below 371 degrees Celsius.
Of course, it’s best if you use a container inside the WindTamer into which you can place the wood for the fire. It’ll be easier to clean out after you’re done barbecuing.
Mitchell explains in his email that one needs to be cautious of what types of fire wood to use in the WindTamer. An instruction booklet comes with the device, showing you clearly what can be used, and what should be avoided.
How does it stay fixed to the table?
The WindTamer has four grommets, one at each corner, to which shock cord or rope can be tied to and secured to your table.
The WindTamer is quite heavy though, weighing in at more than 5,4 kg. This should be sufficient to keep it from going anywhere.
How to wash
To wash the WindTamer’s shell, simply remove it from the metal frame and base and place inside a washing machine.
The WindTamer comes with a one year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.
The WindTamer is constructed in-house, which means that there’s far better control over the end product than with outsourced products. I think you’ll be hard pressed to find a faulty WindTamer.
Replacement parts will be available directly from WindTamer. For more details on where to get replacement parts (if you’re concerned about this before investing), make contact with them directly.
Optional case and extras
You can purchase a carry case that fits the WindTamer, as well as your stove. It’s made from woven and coated polyester and contains a zipper.
The company’s working on an XL sizes carry case, as well as other camp kitchen necessities.
Mitchell told me that they’re working on a warming rack that suspends from the WindTamer’s frame and holds biscuits, tortillas, waffles and bread for large gatherings.
Sounds like a great addition.
Price for early birds
The WindTamer is expected to retail for $110, with the XL carry case.
Kickstarter ambassadors can expect to pay $87 for the entry level WindTamer package, which’ll give you one WindTamer and a basic tote bag.
The WindTamer ships worldwide, but the company can only estimate base shipping costs. All import duties and other taxes you’ll have to calculate yourself.
The WindTamer looks like a great product. Not only does it allow you to save on heat energy when you’re cooking outdoors, it also keeps out the rain.
Just be careful of what you cook with. The WindTamer’s melting point is 371 degrees Celsius. You don’t want to use it as a furnace.
For camping enthusiasts who love to cook outdoors, the WindTamer seems like a good choice.