JetBoil Flash Personal Cooking System
If your a camper, hiker or a person who is always prepared it’s a safe bet that you have some kind of way to cook food. From the full blown BBQ in the backyard to the grill screen over the open fire, we all have a way to prepare food outside of the kitchen. It’s just a fact that food prepared in the great outdoors tastes better. With that said, if I’m taking a hike or doing some camping I am not going to lug around a full on BBQ. I also can’t always make a fire ring and perfectly sear a nice piece of steak. So, inside of that spectrum I’m left to carrying a “backpacking” stove. A pack stove is usually small, light and features a single burner with a fuel source. The fuel is either white gas, pump gas or some kind of compressed gas in a canister. A vessel to actually prepare the food in is also essential (pot, pan, etc). Now there are more models of pack stoves out there than you can shake a stick at. I am not going to try and write a stove buying guide for you here, but I will share with you the choice that I made for my personal cooking system.
Enter the JetBoil Flash Personal Cooking System. The kit consists of a burner, a cooking vessel, fuel canister, lid, cup, pot stand and ground stabilizer. Let me briefly describe all the parts and I’ll tell you why I was sold on this little unit. The fuel can is a standard screw on propane/isobutane compressed gas unit that can be found in any camp store around the world. It comes in a few different sizes depending on your needs and is, again, easy to find anywhere. Next is the burner itself. It’s a single burner configuration with an electric igniter. The fuel can simply screws into the bottom of the burner. Now for the cooking vessel. It holds about 4 cups of water and is wrapped in neoprene so that you can handle the thing without getting burned. The lid fits on top and the ground stabilizer attaches to the fuel can so you have a little bit more stability for the entire unit. Included is a pot stabilizer that can be used for other pots and pans. More on that in a minute.
So, why did I choose this stove. Two reasons. All of the parts of the stove, including the fuel can, fit inside of the cooking pot. When packed, the JetBoil is really compacted and with all of the parts in one container nothing is going to get lost. The real selling point for me was the pot itself. Firstly, it attaches to the burner directly. Most of the burners out there will only allow you to place a pot or pan on top of the burner. This makes for two moving parts. I’m sure we have all had those times when the darn pot slides off the burner just when the food is nice and hot. So now I don’t have to worry about that. Also, if I find that I need to move the stove mid-burn I can just pick the unit up and walk away with it while it is still burning. No worries.
Here is the really cool part about this stove. The bottom of the pot has these cool little fins that act like a heat exchanger. The burner heats up the pot and the fins act to distribute and focus the heat to the entire bottom of the pot, not just the center where the flame is directed. This means that you have faster boil times which means that you use less fuel. This, in turn, means that you don’t have to carry as many fuel cans on your trip. JetBoil calls it a “flux ring”.
Let me tell you, this is no gimmick. The Flash will boil two cups of water in under three minutes. Some claims go as low as 90 seconds. Boil times are going to vary greatly for any system depending on ambient air temp, water temp and altitude. However, in my experience with camp stoves the boil time for this unit is extremely fast and the fuel consumption is very low. Remember I mentioned earlier that the JetBoil came with a pot stand? The pot stand was another selling point for me. Your not locked into using just the included JetBoil cooking pot. You can remove the pot and install the pot stand and you are ready to cook with any standard pot or pan. A really versatile package. Overall fit and finish is also five star. When I handle the system it doesn’t feel flimsy. It really has a solid feel to it and I don’t need to worry about it banging around my pack.
Here is the downside: the price. I paid $110.00 for mine. This is kinda spendy up front but remember you are getting a burner and a cooking pot. The price is coming down for the Flash as JetBoil has introduced the Sumo cooking system. If you look around you can score a Flash for about $75.00. That’s a pretty good deal. Also, the unit is a little on the heavy side compared to some of the other pack stoves out there but we’re talking ounces. If your an ultra light hiker this might not be the one for you, but have a good look at it and how efficient it is. You might be able to trade of the weight of the JetBoil Flash by not needing to carry as much fuel. Everything is a trade off.
I’m totally jazzed with it and it does everything I need. I can take it camping, hiking and the Flash is just a great addition to my pack. Another cool thing about the JetBoil line is that they sell a lot of accessories that compliment the stove. They have larger pots, pans, french press coffee kits, spare standard pots and even a kit to hang the Flash inside of a tent. The JetBoil website also has a page for recipes that real users have submitted. There are a lot of really clever cooks out there making some serious dishes with this thing. If that’s not your thing, no worries, you can boil water and get your coffee and dehydrated meals going in no time. Have a look at the pics and let us know if you have questions about the JetBoil. Additionally, have a look at JetBoil’s website. They have a lot of cool stuff going on there.
See you outside!!!~ Adam, Modern Bushman >