Author Topic: Jetboil: Possible to cook real meals?  (Read 3038 times)

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Offline BikeFreak

Jetboil: Possible to cook real meals?
« on: May 26, 2013, 03:14:43 am »
Hi,

I'm interested in the Jetboil stoves because their size really appeal to me. However I have no intentions to use the stove just for making tea and coffee. I need to be able to cook real meals. As a reference, when cooking pasta, I need at least 5 ounces of pasta (on a dry basis) and the water that goes along.  Can a Jetboil handle that? What about the Jetboil Sumo?

Lucas

Offline staehpj1

Re: Jetboil: Possible to cook real meals?
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2013, 08:55:53 am »
I have met lots of folks that love their JetBoil, but in my opinion the pot/stove are poorly suited to anything but boiling water.  Buy a wider regular pot maybe titanium and if you like canister stoves a simple basic stove like the Pocket Rocket it's lighter brother or something similar.  I find that for touring I like my pop can stove.  For backpacking I sometimes take the Pocket Rocket depending on trip length, trip location, and burning bans.

Offline yumtov

Re: Jetboil: Possible to cook real meals?
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2013, 11:12:06 pm »
Standard Jetboil Flash/Sol etc. "pot" won't do 5oz. of dry pasta - too small. You could get one of their 1.5l or 3l group pots (the Sumo is 1.8l) but if you're traveling solo it's getting into overkill ('tho of course YMMV). You can also adapt regular pots to the Jetboil's but will lose some efficiency in the process. Plus, if you do a fair amount of "real" cooking in the standard pot (I can't speak for the larger ones) you will at some point wind up with burned, crusted food inside; I know of no one - including myself - who hasn't run into this issue. I'd second Pete's recommendation of going with alcohol or a Pocket Rocket, Soto or other canister stove which will also simmer better than the Jetboil's. There are some pots available with a heat exchanger built into the bottom, similar to the Jetboil but usable on most stoves (check out Optimus & Olicamp).

Offline BikeFreak

Re: Jetboil: Possible to cook real meals?
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2013, 01:48:55 am »
Standard Jetboil Flash/Sol etc. "pot" won't do 5oz. of dry pasta - too small. You could get one of their 1.5l or 3l group pots (the Sumo is 1.8l) but if you're traveling solo it's getting into overkill ('tho of course YMMV).

What do you mean by overkill if you want to use the Sumo as a stove for solo tours?

Offline staehpj1

Re: Jetboil: Possible to cook real meals?
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2013, 06:40:07 am »
There are some pots available with a heat exchanger built into the bottom, similar to the Jetboil but usable on most stoves (check out Optimus & Olicamp).
Just a note on heat exchangers...
On a backpacking trip heat exchangers save weight by allowing you to use less fuel.  On bike tours fuel usage is less of an issue for me because I buy the same 12 ounce bottles either way and rather than carry more weight I just need to buy them more often if I use more fuel.  They might boil a bit faster, but to be honest that is pretty much a non issue to me since it is only a few minutes total and I am likely to either be doing other chores or enjoying the rest any way.

Offline yumtov

Re: Jetboil: Possible to cook real meals?
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2013, 12:20:13 pm »
Standard Jetboil Flash/Sol etc. "pot" won't do 5oz. of dry pasta - too small. You could get one of their 1.5l or 3l group pots (the Sumo is 1.8l) but if you're traveling solo it's getting into overkill ('tho of course YMMV).

What do you mean by overkill if you want to use the Sumo as a stove for solo tours?

It's the reason I included YMMV and just goes along with my method when going solo-yours may be totally different. While not a minimalist I try to cut weight/bulk when I can; my cooking needs fit compactly in a standard Jetboil cup, as does my Soto & fuel in a GSI 1L. I mentioned heat exchangers specifically if used with a canister on a trip where fuel access might be spotty (another reason for alcohol). The one suggestion I'd make is to get hold of a pot whose dimensions/size are similar to the Sol (tall/narrow 1.8l - or buy a Sol from EMS/REI so it can be returned if it doesn't work), do some cooking and see if it works for you - can you manage 5oz. of dry pasta in it? If so, fantastic, you've met one of your needs. If it doesn't you've eliminated potential disappointment once on the trip which happens often with folks who buy new gear and don't try it beforehand. What's important is having what works for you; I've met folks touring with cast iron pots - it worked for them, which is all that matters. Figure out what you need and enjoy the trip - that's what really matters.

Offline bogiesan

Re: Jetboil: Possible to cook real meals?
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2013, 11:07:10 pm »
I found tons of realworld reviews of the JetBoil systems with  a quick search. Cooking does not seem to be a function designed into the JetBoil. Rather, depending on your hunger, patience, culinary skills and collection of third party pots'n'pans, it is possible.
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline BruceF

Re: Jetboil: Possible to cook real meals?
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2013, 09:22:22 pm »
I've found the Jetboil to suffice only for boiling small amounts of water at lower altitudes in favorable temperatures and wind conditions.  I found it to be a true "fair weather friend" (and only at lower altitudes).

Not that I'm "old school" or anything, but...   My first portable camp stove was a Svea 123.  I finally broke down and "went Y2K" by buying a MSR Whisperlite and a Jetboil.  I found each of them to be
under-performers, generally inadequate and failure-prone in higher elevation, colder weather &/or windy situations.  The higher the elevation and the colder/windier the weather, the worse the stove(s)
performance(s) got.  I apologize for being so unforgiving in my descriptions but when I need my stove to work and it fails me, I do get humorless.

At this point, I'm solidly set in my ways with my present MSR XGK.  It's a blowtorch that defies altitude, cold and wind and even laughs at all of them put together.  It's costly, but it's never let me down
and I doubt I'll ever use any other stove.

If your needs will be confined to light use in hospitable weather at lower elevations, you might be able to make do with a Jetboil (?).

Offline newfydog

Re: Jetboil: Possible to cook real meals?
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2013, 11:32:09 am »
I steamed/poached some trout in mine.  Not the best trout I ever cooked.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Jetboil: Possible to cook real meals?
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2013, 12:34:42 pm »
I am a foodie--I eat real food, well made. 

When you say that you want to cook, I will have to admit that I really do not know what that means.  But let me respond anyways.

For most cooking, you need a pan that will integrate the heat in order to reduce hot spots that will burn your food.  If all want to do is boil pasta, titanium might let you do that.  Aluminum is better, and stainless steel is even better.  That might seem counter intuitive to what gourmet cookware will do.  Titanium is not the best conductor of heat but the camping cookware is usually so thin that it does not matter.  Aluminum is a good conductor of heat, but when it is paper thin you will not get much integration of the heat.  Stainless steel cookware is not a great conductor of heat, but there is enough metal there that it does integrate the heat.  I have an MSR Alpine pot set, and I can make delicate cream sauces in it.  If you buy the MSR stainless steel plate, it can be used as a griddle pretty effectively.  I can make dishes in my Alpine cook set that I could never make in my Evernew Ti pot.

If all you want to do is boil pasta, then almost any stove will let you do that.  I have an MSR Whisperlite International, with two setting: off and incinerate, and it will boil pasta just fine.  If you want to do something else, then the stove is difficult to use.  A constantly moving spoon is not a good substitution for simmer settings.  I have migrated to an alcohol stove as I find the lower BTU output (compared to white gas) more appropriate for gourmet cooking.  I currently use a Trangia stove, in an aftermarket frame.  Yes you can make a penny stove which is lighter than a Trangia, but the Trangia will take a lot of abuse and still be lighter than a white gas stove.

So any stove and pot setup should let you do coffee, oatmeal, and freeze dried slop.  I do not choose to eat macaroni sans sauce.  I like my pasta with marinara or alfredo sauce, and I like my rice served as paella.  I also like to explore middle eastern grains.  I have made polenta (pan fried), but I don't see myself making bread or cakes in camp.  I am told that eggs will keep a couple of days without refrigeration, but I have not tried that out yet.  Foil wrapped chicken is fabulous, and I personally found canned mussels wretched.

Happy eating. :)
« Last Edit: June 24, 2013, 12:38:35 pm by paddleboy17 »
Danno