Getting in Gear
The Jetboil Personal Cooking System
Every year one company or another introduces a new backcountry stove. But those "new" products generally represent a simple reconfiguration...
Northwest Travel Guides
Every year one company or another introduces a new backcountry stove. But those "new" products generally represent a simple reconfiguration of an existing product. The Jetboil Personal Cooking System breaks that mold. The Jetboil uses existing technology, but in a new way, with some significant advantages.
The innovative cooking system integrates stove, fuel canister and cooking pot into one lightweight package. The Jetboil PCS begins with a 32-ounce pot/cup. This pot, encased in a neoprene sleeve, features a lid with a sipping port so you can drink directly from it. On the base of the pot is a disk with what looks like a series of gills. The burner unit — which screws onto any standard butane or isobutane fuel canister — clips onto the pot's base. When the cooker is fired up, the flame spreads evenly through the gills, creating concentrated, highly efficient heating. I could boil 24 ounces of water in just two minutes, which means fast meals and great fuel savings. In my non-scientific tests, a standard small butane fuel canister lasted nearly twice as long using the Jetboil as when using the MSR PocketRocket or Snow Peak GigaPower stoves. That translates directly to less weight on your back.
The burner unit and fuel canister slip inside the pot when traveling. For added versatility, pick up the Jetboil French Press adapter. This mesh plunger allows you to make a pot of coffee in your cooker, and then use the pot as a large (in coffee-shop lingo, a "Vente") mug.
The one big downside of the Jetboil PCS: You are restricted to using the standard pot for all your cooking and it must be filled with liquid (or the neoprene cover melts). So if you need a small frying pan or you sauté or cook dry (fry bread, for instance), this system won't work. Still, it's a great innovation for backcountry cooking. Retails for $79 ($19 for French Press adapter). Weight: 14 ounces (without fuel). More information: www.jetboil.com
— Dan A. Nelson, special to The Seattle Times
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.
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