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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Aluminum JetBoil Sol -- Cooking Report #1

I'm in the process of reviewing the new Sol cooking system from JetBoil.  I'm reviewing the aluminum version.  There is also a titanium version, but I will not be covering the titanium version at this time.

So, let's take a look.  Here, the Adventures In Stoving spokesmodel shows us what a JetBoil Sol looks like.
Spokesmodel Joyce shows us the aluminum version of the JetBoil Sol
That's fresh out of my backpack.  I had been using it the evening prior for what the JetBoil is famous for:  boiling water, a task for which it is exceptionally well suited.

However, today I'd like to try my hand at a little cooking.  Rumor has it that you can't get a decent low flame out of the thing.  Let's see.
A low to moderate flame on a JetBoil Sol
Now, let's turn it down a bit.
A yellow flame resulted when I really turned down a JetBoil Sol
When I really turned down the Sol, I got a yellow flame.  Not good.  BUT that flame is so low, it's not really a flame I'd cook with.  The real question is whether I can get a low flame that is practical for cooking.
A low flame on a Jetboil Sol
There!  Now thats a little better.  A flame that is low yet not absurdly so.  That's a practical cooking flame.  Note that there's no yellow in the flame.

So let's try some cooking.  One of the exceptionally wonderful things about the JetBoil is that it comes with an attachment that allows one to use any pot or pan that they might like.  So, you can either use the wonderfully efficient pot that comes with the burner that integrates so well, or you can use just about any other pot, pan, or kettle you might have on hand (within reason given the burner's size of course).
The JetBoil Sol comes with an adapter (shown here) that allows one to use any pot or pan.
The adapter has a neat feature.  Turn clockwise, and the adapter locks in place.  In other words, that adapter isn't just resting on top of the rim of the burner, just waiting to be knocked off.  That adapter has a good solid connection to the burner and isn't going to be easily knocked around.  Very nicely done, Jetboil.

For today's cooking, I'll be using my favorite backpacking type pan, my MSR Blacklite pan.  JetBoil does make a fry pan, but I've never used the JetBoil pan, so I won't cover the JetBoil pan in this cooking report.
An MSR Blacklite pan atop a JetBoil Sol
A little butter to grease the pan, and we're off!  Today's menu? A salami and cheese four egg omelet.

Why four eggs?  Well, I've got three mouths to feed, so four eggs is about right, and four eggs is a really great test for this size of pan.  If I can't control the flame properly, I'll get an omelet that's scorched on one side and raw on another.  A good omelet requires steady low heat.  Not ultra-low, but you don't want to crank the heat up or you'll be eating charcoal briquettes not an omelet.

So, how'd it go?
A nice, fluffy omelet cooked on a JetBoil Sol
 Pretty good in my opinion.  My daughter's comment was "more."  (My daughter is two).  I think that means she liked it.  :)

Evenly done, fluffy, cheese fully melted.  Yum!
Seriously though, it tasted great, and the eggs turned out nice and fluffy, just the way I like them.  The cheese was fully melted, and the salami was nice and hot.

There was some normal browning (from cooking with butter) on the bottom, but definitely no burnt spots.
Nice browning on the underside, but no burning.
And no sticking to the pan.
Absolutely no sticking on the pan.
I'd say that was a successful omelet.  :)

Now, lest I make it look all together too easy, let's realize that I was cooking indoors.  Cooking outdoors is another matter.  I feel like the stove has enough stability in the flame to cook outdoors, but I need to give that a test before I pronounce the matter settled.

Also, flame adjustment is tricky at low flame.  Sometimes, I'd turn the flame adjuster up, but the flame would get smaller??!?  Hunh?  I think this has to do with the regulator valve, but suffice it to say that flame adjustment is a little tricky in the lower range of the stove.  Still, I was able to get good, steady flame without any yellow, a flame that I think will work for me outdoors.  I'll be posting another report soon on just that very subject.

Thanks for joining me on another Adventure in Stoving,

HJ




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