Jetboil's Flash Cooking System - Gear Review

Saturday, September 08, 2012

I love nothing more than cooking over a campfire, but there are often times when that is simply not an option.  So when, for whatever reason, campfire cooking is not in the cards, you might want to grab a Jetboil Flash Cooking System.

Jetboil Java Flash kit
Now, the concept of ultralight camp stoves are not new, but Jetboil has it down to a science.  They have made every effort to squeeze the most out of every ounce and square inch their equipment takes up in your pack.  Our base unit was the Flash Java Kit, which is basically a standard Flash cooking system with the addition of a French coffee press.  The magic of this system is in the simplicity and efficiency.  You don't need a degree in mechanical engineering to put the thing together, in fact, there is nothing to put together.  You simply screw on a fuel canister (sold separately BTW, so don't leave home without one), push the ignition button, and you're cookin'.

FluxRing technology
The efficiency of the system is rated at over 80%, with a traditional gas burner set-up running at 30-40% efficient.  This is thanks to the FluxRing technology Jetboil developed.  A pleated ring of metal, much like a radiator, traps the heat within the ring allowing the stove to heat water to a boil at the rate of 1 cup per minute.  The increased efficiency makes for both fast operation and nearly double the production from a single canister of fuel.

Now, if you are anything like me, eating nothing but dehydrated Beef Stroganoff for a week just ain't gonna cut it.  I want bacon and eggs or pancakes for breakfast.  To accommodate the back-country foodies out there, Jetboil added a Fry pan and a 3-liter Cooking Pot to the mix.  Also super efficient, these things get hot in seconds.  Whether making spaghetti for 6, or a pound of bacon all for yourself, these two additions to your camp kitchen will make life easy.  FluxRing integrated and they work seamlessly with the flash stove.
3-Liter Cooking Pot
Fry Pan (bottom view) with included folding spatula
When I say Jetboil has thought of everything, I mean everything.  What do you do with those spent fuel canisters?  In order to put a butane canister in the recycling bin, you need to punch a couple of holes in it so that any left over gas can escape and the recycling plant doesn't go BOOM.  The traditional method of hammer and screwdriver gets the job done, if you don't injure yourself in the process.  The CrunchIt tool is like a heavy duty can opener, tough enough to turn the Jetboil Jetpower canisters into Swiss cheese.
CrunchIt Tool - Makes used fuel canisters recycling bin ready
The Jetboil line-up is all around stellar.  Compared to the rest of the market, few even come close to the level of thought in product development.  It is obvious that the people making the gear are also people using the gear, and that makes all the difference.


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