What began life as two metal sticks has developed into a system that offers outdoor cooking at its best – it’s all about the food!

Rhett Thompson spent all of his life hunting and fishing in the Australian outdoors.

He also spent time in the Australian Army as part of the 5th Independent Rifle Company in the Pilbara Region of northern Western Australia, and was an active member of the Country Fire Authority in Victoria for over 30 years. The outdoors and fire control were his great loves and a high source of his knowledge.

More than eight years ago, he wanted to create a system to make outdoor cooking easy and effective. And, above all, that system had to be versatile and to be capable of producing food that tasted to its best ability.  A further challenge was the concept of being able to cook the largest range of product using the least amount of equipment. From this and using his career in engineering, he developed the Ausspit.

The Ausspit started out as two sticks of metal with a carrier assembly. Over ten years, it has undergone more than twelve transformations and modifications to become the outdoor cooking system it is today.

After many beers and bourbons around the campfire during that time, the Ausspit line-up now includes Fire-dishes, Firetrays, Spitmates and multiple spike combinations for different foods all fitting into a small carry case giving the ability to cook in almost any location or condition. 

While “spit roasting” generally conjures visions of meats in large sections, the Ausspit can cater for just one person or up to 20 people. With the aid of suitable hydration fluids and a campfire, the Ausspit team has tried nearly every type of food in just about every form except soup! It can cook large pieces of different meats or kebab style bite size pieces, with entrees ranging from roasted cherry tomatoes to garlic prawns.

The Spitmate is the product that really expands the system and caters to the imagination.  A stainless steel barrel that gently tumbles, this accessory can cook vegetables to golden perfection, roast nuts or coffee beans, cook chicken wings and finish off slices of marinated Greek lamb that would have Con the Fruiterer phoning home to his mother.

It will also work with combinations of meat and vegetables. Using potatoes that have been three-quarters cooked through, finish them off by adding in some chopped bacon and onions.

Bread and bread roll preparation cooking is another area where the Spitmate shines. The dough can be proved in the unit near the fire, and then swung in over heat to cook through. You can watch the dough change colour from white to golden brown as it rotates for the 15 to 20 minutes.

With today’s portable refrigeration, the challenge of cooking outdoors can be a true delight, with the bonus of being able to cook meals that wouldn’t be out of place in the finest restaurants of the world.

A great meal might only need a few simple herbs and gentle wood smoke infusion to complete the delicate flavour. Different kinds of wood can add unusual and exotic flavours to foods. With more than 2300 species of eucalypt in Australia alone, the scope for smoke flavouring is huge.

For Rhett the excitement and challenge of taking Ausspit from its original design and being able to ultimately expand to the global market was true enjoyment. The simplicity of sitting around a campfire at the end of the day with good food, good friends and good conversation far surpasses and possibly solves any daily problems, monetary loss or gain, or global financial crisis.

The humble campfire began with cavemen needing warmth and has evolved as a tool for cooking food. Even with today’s modern technology, and with the range of cooking products available, the campfire would still have to rate Number One worldwide with its alluring warmth and mesmerising glow. It’s one of the original and best televisions ever made, without the adverts.