Gear Reviews, Outdoors

Jetboil Flash System and Fry Pan

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JetBoil Flash Cooking System ($100) and Fry Pan ($50) jetboil.com The Good: Good price for the cooking system, boils water quickly. The stove system has some really nifty features and the fry-pan is a nice add-on. The Bad: Definitely sacrificing weight with this set-up. Fry pan is a bit pricey. The Ugly: The sticky fry-pan during the first few uses.  Season/oil the pan or expect food to stick.

The backpacking world is continually seeking to be lighter, smaller, faster, and more efficient. As far as efficiency goes, JetBoil is no exception to this movement. They have created a series of cooking stove systems with exceptionally fast boiling times and efficient uses of each piece to the stove system. The JetBoil Flash is the flagship member of the JetBoil family and had the opportunity to be taken out with me and tested on the coast of Northern California. With a nice extra gift from Billy, the Fry-pan add-on, I was able to break out the chef in me on this post-grad trip.IMG_8166

I tested this stove on a 7 day trip, 3 days in the back country and 4 days car camping. Using the stove both for breakfast, dinner, and our nightly ‘hot drinks,’ the Jet Boil lasted on one 7¾ oz. fuel canister. I used the Flash system’s cooking cup for boiling water, drinking out of, eating out of, and the Fry Pan for sautéing and scrambling. I found this to all be a great option for one person and for cooking simple meals like cous cous or pasta. If your dinner is easily made in boiling water, you can eat it straight from the Jet Boil. The only problem with heating things other than water is that the stove is either off or hot. There’s no middle ground for just warming something, and most things will be burned if unattended. While using the fry pan, food needed to be constantly stirred and at times the pan needed to be lifted off the stove to keep food from burning.IMG_8159

All components to the stove fit nicely in the Jet Boil and while the plastic cover for the bottom of the stove doubles as a measuring cup (very handy might I add), the lid to the stove system is also a drinking lid. At 14 ounces, this setup is significantly heavier than the 3-ounce Pocket Rocket , but keep in mind, it also comes with an insulated cooking/eating receptacle. Another helpful feature is the push-button igniting system. You literally screw the canister onto the bottom of the stove and push the button: instant flame. And effective flame: I usually get water heating and get things done around camp while I wait for it to boil, but thanks to the system’s heat-efficient setup, the water boiled before I could get anything done. And for a cool bonus feature, the insulation has a heat-sensitive, color-changing label. It’s pretty straightforward; when the water gets hot, the label changes color. The only critique I have with this is that the color changes before it actually boils, so you know when the water is hot but not when it boils. One thing I noticed was that my hot drinks stayed hot for much longer compared to normal backpacking mugs. If you’re planning to use it for all of its functions (stove and cup/bowl), the Jet Boil is good for single person use, but it gets really inefficient if you’re trying to do multiple things with it at once for multiple people. For bigger groups, I’d take a look at Jetboil’s 1.8L Sumo Group cooking system.

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