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Personal Cooking System

by Jetboil

Reviews

I own the Flash Personal Cooking System from Jet Boil. I've…

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I own the Flash Personal Cooking System from Jet Boil. I've been using it for 5 years now. It's really designed to do one thing, boil water FAST while being lightweight and easy to add to your backpack. If you are wanting something to cook a regular meal with, you would do better to look at other options.

However, if you are like me and want to backpack with minimal lightweight gear with only short stops for quick meal preparation from dehydrated meal packets, then you want to get this. This is the ticket for you! I can tell you that while this thing is lightweight and compact (the complete system fits inside the pot) it is very durable. There have been quite a few times where I was far from gentle with it and it has never failed me.

One thing, I would pass on the optional accessories. As I said before, where it reins supreme is in its ability to boil water super fast, either to make safe for drinking or for using in dehydrated meal packets. As for the coffee french press accessory, you will end up with coffee full of grounds. Here is what I do to make coffee with it. I put coffee grounds inside a large paper coffee filter, draw up the sides to where the coffee is all in a ball and then tie it shut with string. I make a bunch of these before leaving on my trip and put them in a large Ziploc bag.

It is no secret that I love the Jetboil system. They…

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It is no secret that I love the Jetboil system. They came up with a great idea, a self-contained cooking system, and made it better. Then they mucked it all up by adding all these pots and other such accessories to eliminate the compactness of the system. And when you complain to Jetboil, they generally listen and fix the problem. The 1-liter pot was to large, Jetboil made the Solo! The 1-liter pot was too heavy, Jetboil made the Ti. the 1-liter pot was too small, Jetboil made the Sumo! AND, best of all, every jetboil pot fits every stove so when I needed a larger pot for my family, I only had to buy the Sumo and use it on my Flash pot!

So when you read the reviews, even here, the only real complaint is problems with the igniter. The Gen-1 igniter had problems. BUT, Jetboil would replace that igniter for free. I have the Gen-2 igniter and in all the years, it has failed exactly once.

People complain that the burner can only boil so the gen-3 burner actually has a simmer setting! Cooking in that tall-thin pot is still a problem but the mini-mo is shorter and wider to fix that and the Jetboil frypan works well.

If you have igniter problems, contact Jetboil and get the newer igniter, they are simple to replace with a small screwdriver and problem solved.

As a guy who thinks that 'add-water-&-eat' is the perfect camping system…

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As a guy who thinks that 'add-water-&-eat' is the perfect camping system, the Jetboil system is perfect. Some people can cook in the pot but I find that the Flash is too narrow to clean the food burned to the bottom. So I use the Flash to boil water for my meals and drinks. It is basically a one-trick pony but it does that one trick so well that at least two other companies have tried to imitate the Jetboil.

Later I bought the Sumo pot to boil enough water for a family.
Still later I bought the Frypan as no backpack pot has the size or shape to decently fry eggs.

Con: it does take longer for the Sumo to boil water. You need to get your meal ready before you start the Flash as it will probably boil the water before your meal is ready. You do need the tripod pot support under the fuel can. The thing is tall and narrow. Jetboil needs to make a cover for the Frypan so you can carry utensils inside.

Pro: It boils water well! the entire stove system fits into the pot and the Flash fits into the Sumo pot which makes hauling the set easy. Even the Sumo fits through any kayak hatch I have so packing is easy. The Frypan needs a larger hatch to fit but I manage. If you only boil water, clean-up is simple.

With all those add-water hiking meals out there and the numerous websites to give more add-water foods, the Jetboil is perfect!

I have the Jetboil Flash. This is a very efficient cooking system…

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I have the Jetboil Flash. This is a very efficient cooking system that has not failed me yet. It has a 1L capacity, but can't actually boil that much water. I wouldn't recommend it for high elevation or extremely cold weather camping, but is perfect for your summer time camping trips!

A nice concept that requires refinement. First, the igniter NEVER works…

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A nice concept that requires refinement. First, the igniter NEVER works, regardless of the weather. So bring a lighter along or you will be cursing yourself for not listening to the warnings. Second, this is a WATER BOILINg system. Forget about cooking a meal at medium or low heat. If you put anything in the water -as in soup, rice, pasta, etc- it will stick to the bottom of the pot and burn, even if you stir it like a mad man. Third, the plastic lid does not fit the pot, which will probably help make the water boil faster. Fourth, the valve is not a regulator and won't control the flow of fuel. It's more like an on-off deal. You slowly turn it to the close position, hoping that at some point the flame will go down smoothly, but it keeps on going until it turns off by itself, even when the fuel is still clearly flowing (as shown by the white mist that continues to come out of the burner). Do yourself a favor and make an alcohol stove from a can of soda... It's way more effective and a hundred bucks cheaper..

I have gotten so much use out of my Jet Boil. It…

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I have gotten so much use out of my Jet Boil. It is compact, convenient and never let me down in any of my back country camping adventures and on the Gros Morne Long Range Traverse

Another addendum to my 2010 review: extra gear! I bought a plastic cup…

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Another addendum to my 2010 review: extra gear!
I bought a plastic cup froman old boy scout cook-kit,the one that is marked inside with amounts. Cut most of the handle off and it fits inside the Jetboil pot. I prefer this to using the burner cover. Plus the cup can hold my P-38 can-opener and some storm-matches plus my Optimus Crux as a back-up.

I cut the plastic lid from a gallon ice-cream bucket into a disc which wraps around my Jetboil. I use this under the fuel can as a) an extra stabilizer on bad ground, b) a cutting board, c) early warning as when this thing heats up, I know the fuel can is about to explode. I got an old cloth wine-bag which holds the entire system and a large fuel can easily plus the bag is a pot-holder.

So here it is, years later and i am still using the Jetboil with no complaints.
Maria is a paddle-buddy and liked how every night and morning we made hot-chocolate so easily... so she mentioned it to her father who bought her one for herself.

The only improvement that I can think of is to get the Sumo pot. And yes, I tested it out, the same stove will fit every Jetboil pot they sell. So you can buy the Solo for your own needs, the titanium pot for ultralight camping or the Sumo for a couple or small family.

Addendum: I reviewed the Jetboil some time ago and after using it for…

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Addendum:
I reviewed the Jetboil some time ago and after using it for some time, I wanted to add a few things.

First, you CAN cook in it. I toss chopped bits of beef jerkey and dehydrated peas and carrots to help them soften while the water boils.

YES, on a couple occasions the ignitor failed to light. But that was an isolated incident and I used a lighter with entended wand to light the burner. and the next meal, the ignitor worked fine. I have no ideas on this.

I did melt the plastic around the burner while trying to time it over Veterans-Day. I wanted to see how long it took to boil a set amount of water compared to my Optimus stove. I admit that what happened was a) a fluke and b) my fault. I put the jetboil on my porch out of the wind and I guess the heat reflected and concentrated and melted the plastic around the burner.

As a lark, I wrote an e-mail to jetboil and got a reply within minutes. They gave me a repair number, I packed the thing off the next day and about 3 weeks later got the repaired burner back. Too late for my 4-day/3-night on the Colorado but hey, that is why I own an Optimus.

I find that I CAN cook on it using my normal cooking pots BUT there are rules.
1) never set the pot ON the burner. Hold it above the flame and
2) keep moving the pot to keep the heat even. Yes, it takes some time this way and my arm did get tired but it worked.

So the bottom line is that if you are careful, the jetboil can do a lot.

I received as a gift the latest Jet-Boil system. So here…

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I received as a gift the latest Jet-Boil system. So here is what I found out over the weekend cleaning Lake Patagonia with the SAPC.

The Jet-Boil is a one-trick pony. BUT it does that trick very well. It boils water really fast! And since most of my camping and hiking foods are of the "add water and eat" variety, this is no problem for me at all. And left over boiling water goes into the wash-bucket for the dishes. BUT, for those of you who like to cook, it may cause some problems.

So JetBoil has invented a simmering pot and frying pan, which are great for car-camping but not so good for backpacking or kayak-camping where space counts. There is an option below.

Their website even gives a page on recipes you can make with your Jetboil. Believe it or not, while reading, one person actually posted Raman Noodles and another mac-&-cheese. But there are others listed. Shrimp, etc. They encourage you to experiment and post your own recipes. Good idea there.

The JetBoil consists of three parts: The pot to hold water, The stove, The fuel can. They all nest into the water pot to be easily carried and to protect the stove.

I did a survey on-line and found out the following things Jetboil will NOT tell you (possibly a liability issue, probably to sell you their own gear:

*FUEL- JetBoil sells you their own special IsoButane-Propane fuel in two sizes: the smaller can to fit inside the pot and a larger one that does not. The smaller fuel-can can heat the canister 10-12 times which means 3-4 days of meals.

BUT, asking around, I find that any fuel that can screw in, will work. It just won’t work as well. I used a Coleman Propane-Butane can and it worked for me. There are a number of fuel mixes that will work, but be prepared for the 10-12 meals to reduce to 8-10. But the non Jet-boil cans are cheaper. You do the math.

NOTE: USE the plastic tripod stabilizer they give you. When full and assembled, it is tippy so use the tripod. It’s a bit difficult to put on so I got an extra one in case I break the first one.

*USE- screw the pot onto the stove (remember to unfold the fuel valve first, I forgot) then set the can onto the tripod. Turn the valve until you hear fuel leak and hit the striker-switch a couple times. The fuel will ignite THEN you put the pot of water onto the stove and wait. My Coleman can heated a full canister of cold water to a rolling boil in 4 minutes. I realized it was boiling when drops of hot water started to land on the book I was reading. Boil-overs are a problem if you try to fudge the instructions. Less or warmer water takes much shorter times.

Some people complain about the noise, I barely heard it hiss while cooking. I guess those people have super-hearing so if you 'sleep' with a 'friend', do it well away from those people with sensitive hearing.

BUT, if you are going to cook in the pot, you MUST watch it. No, "set it up and walk to the tent for a drink" STAY there! Or you will bake the food to the pot before you know it.

NOTE: if I want to use my own camping pots, it was recommended to me that I buy a "Heat Diffuser" that goes on a stove ($5 at ACE). Or make one. Then put this over the stove (buy the Jet-boil Pot Support) and I am told you can use your camping pots safely. I made one but didn’t have the lifter-thing to keep the diffuser off the stove so never had a chance to test it. IF you buy that Pot-Support lifter and a diffuser, you can use your own pots to cook in.

One strange thing I found is that the pot has a neoprene sleeve around the pot and it NEVER melted! The lid is plastic and it NEVER melted either. There is some serious safety engineering going on there. And the sleeve and handle lets me pick the pot and pour boiling water safely! I still don’t know what the little sleeve on the neoprene sleeve is for. A spoon holder???

DOWNSIDE- I decided to leave my Coleman single-burner stove behind because I had all these half-empty fuel cans and didn’t know "is it almost full or almost empty?" And so I'd carry a new can and a bunch of used cans… which means I carry them ALL out again.
Thus I returned to my Optimus Hiker. I KNOW how much fuel is in my fuel tank and how much is in my small fuel bottle and exactly how long that will last.

NOW, with the Jet-boil, I am back to the fuel can problem. It will take a few trips before I get the timing down again. How many meals will a full can do? Will I forever take one new can and one used can for every weekend trip? How many used cans will I collect before I haul them ALL into the field to drain? That’s why I stopped carrying gallons of water and bought a couple katadyn water filters. To reduce load.

Also, the second series had some problems with the striker. That was fixed and the First-Gen and the current-generation are safe. If you have the Second-Gen Jet-Boil, they will send you the replacement parts to fix it for free.

HINT: If you don’t like the idea of carrying the pot (and gear and all those fuel cans) and all the other stuff, be a girl!

Ok, that wasn't an insult. Men are competitive. When Harry and Brian and I are cooking, Harry pulls out his MSR, I pull out my Optimus and Brian pulls out his Jetboil! Then we all sit there, cooking separate meals and bragging over what we did to make the stove better and stealing each others ideas. We can offer our stove to the other guys, but we all reply, "thanks, I’m using mine."

Women are socializers. When three girls cook, one pulls out the stove, another pulls out the pots, another pulls out the flatware & cutlery and they share the load and experience.

So if you are camping in a group, divide the gear. Do you really need three stoves? Three sets of pots-&-pans? If you like the JetBoil, one guy carries that, another the nesting cook-set, another the heat diffuser and spoons, etc.

Of course, being a guy, I’ll ignore that last suggestion.

My hope is that the previous reviewer was witnessing one of the…

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My hope is that the previous reviewer was witnessing one of the few Jet Boil stoves that was released with a "B" valve. I've used the Jet boil PCS for two years and the GCS for one year, probably cooked over 100 meals and 100 cups of hot water for tea and never had a malfunction.

The only complaint I have is that if you aren't careful when you nest everything for storage you will bend and eventually break the electrode. I've had to replace one so far, it's easy to replace and costs only $6-$7 but if you don't have a spare and you're way in the boondocks you'll have to use a match or cigarette lighter to light your stove. Because I use both stoves together I would light the one burner first then use it to light the second burner for about a week till I found a store that sold the replacement igniter set.

I definitely rate this a 10 for the total experience. And, if you're boiling oatmeal or soup you have to stir it often to keep it from sticking to the bottom.

OK, first a disclaimer: I don't own a JetBoil, but I saved…

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OK, first a disclaimer: I don't own a JetBoil, but I saved myself about a hundred bucks by watching one of my fellow campers trying to use hers on recent three-day river trip. She spent an inordinate amount of time trying to get the igniter to start a fire in the device (and, by the way, it was not a cold weather trip). On a couple of occasions, when the thing did ignite, flames shot out all around the burner and could have injured her had she not been very quick. Considering the high cost of the JetBoil system, its limited cooking applications, and the fact that one can only use special fuel canisters, I'm not buying one of these gadgets.

My wife gave me the PCS for Christmas, what a great stove…

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My wife gave me the PCS for Christmas, what a great stove for boiling water! I’ve used it winter camping numerous times and have had no trouble provided I follow some simple instructions. A friend told me to keep the canister out of the snow while cooking, and keep the fuel canister in an interior coat pocket. At 5500’, and temperatures in the teens it has worked very well to boil water and melt snow. If I need to quickly warm a fuel canister I throw a hand warmer in my pocket as well. Enjoy, this thing is amazing!

I've owned this unit for about a year now and would still…

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I've owned this unit for about a year now and would still highly recommend it for it's intended use, boiling water and heating wet foods. Flame adjust works very well, set up is fast and clean, and the fuel and burner nest inside the cup for storage. Very compact unit to pack. Because it's not suitable for frying foods I gave a 9, but using as it was designed I rate it a 10!

I purchased a Jetboil system with stabilizer and pot support before my…

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I purchased a Jetboil system with stabilizer and pot support before my last river trip. It worked great for me and my cooking style. Hot coffee in a few minutes while still in my sleeping bag. Sausage and rice for breakfast. Hot soup for a shore lunch instead of sardines and crackers. Chicken and Noodles for supper. All from the same, compact efficient unit. If your into fried food, this ain't the stove for you. For hot drinks and "wet" foods, it's great. It's small, sets up quick and is self contained. I'm keeping mine!

The JetBoil stove has worked great for me. I am in…

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The JetBoil stove has worked great for me. I am in a truck traveling most days and enjoy a cup of good hot tea or coffee. Set up to drinking is 5-7 min. It works great on the tailgate. When I took it camping, it worked in 25 deg wet conditions near sea level. It boiled 2 cups of water in under 5 min. The simmer worked well enough to cook noodles. I’ve not had any problem with the igniter. I use the MSR canister in the truck (more stable) and the JetBoil canister when camping (lighter and more compact). The JetBoil has been great for my needs.

If you are in to winter camping, this is NoT the stove…

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If you are in to winter camping, this is NoT the stove for you. When the tempature falls below 0 it will not lite.Make sure you bring a lighter the electric one built in the the Jet Boil will not light in the cold. The jet boil said on the box it was wind proof. I found this to be untrue. The winds of wyoming were too much for the Jet boil. My avalanche shovle worked well for a win block. If you are a summer camper this is a great stove,easy to use. Just don't go out into the cold, not a good back country ski stove, get a Wisper lite.

WOW! This is an order...buy one now! Oh yeah, get…

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WOW! This is an order...buy one now! Oh yeah, get the Java Press too. This stove is very quick to boil anything. Keep a close eye on it though, it will shock you when boiling water erupts sooner than you expect. Still on my first fuel cartridge after 11 meals!

I have one and have used it several times. I have…

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I have one and have used it several times. I have the pot support add on, which makes it useable with my old scout cook kit…lol. Very reliable and compact. I would highly recommend to anyone, camper, paddler or backpacker. Have not used it in windy environment, so I can only say that in normal conditions out performs anything I have used before.

I used the JB on 8 trips so far this year. Handy…

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I used the JB on 8 trips so far this year. Handy for a rehydrate chef like myself. Fast boil, easy to use, fuel efficient. Super easy clean, store, stow. I also got the Pot Support & Stabilizer. Stablizer is handy backwoodsing. They both pack right in the cup. I have never cooked with it, boiled water only.

Just got back from a kayak camping trip with my new Jetboil…

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Just got back from a kayak camping trip with my new Jetboil cooker. Fabulous!! My friend had a stove, too, but we only used it once. The Jetboil is so fast and easy we were not inclined to mess around with the other one. And I love the way the components [including the fuel canister] fit neatly inside the cup. The most compact all-in-one system I've ever seen. Self-igniting and windproof. No negatives I can identify at this time. Everyone else wants one now!

I initially saw this stove system reviewed in a magazine, then saw…

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I initially saw this stove system reviewed in a magazine, then saw it at a local outfitter's store and knew I had to have one. Very compact, light in weight and at my altitude boils two cups of water in two minutes. This is a perfect system for kayak camping, or even carrying along on day trips for that lunchtime cup of mud or tea. There are only two downsides that I can see: First, the components sometimes wedge together and are difficult to disassemble, and second, don't even think of drinking directly from the aluminum cooking pot.