Review: Jetboil Zip

I’ve done some other reviews, one for an emotional Spanish language film about Columbian drug mules called Maria full of grace (don’t swallow grapes kids) and one for the new Robocop (which I enjoyed far too much). But I didn’t post them and they got deleted to leave space on my sister’s phone to take photos of rainforests. Oooooooh, so lush and green.

The rain that must come along with the forest has confined me to my tent for the second day. I took a funny picture of me in said tent but have nobody to show it to.

But to the JETBOIL. JETBOIL. I’ve tried to use my shmexy little black camp-stove in the tent before and though I slept well I suspect the fumes to be detrimental to my health. So due to the rains it was cold beans for breakfast and two tins of cold rice pudding for dinner with not much to do betwixt them, aside from penning this review for my jetboil. But first; who is this fabled ser Jet of Boil I speak of?

technical specifications

It’s like a stove… But more like a little kettle, that runs on butane… No that’s not it.
He boils the water. He is my little water boiler. The “jet” prefix relates to the time it takes to heat up your cuppa, the speed being: pretty nifty. Like a jet. Imagine a jet engine; fire, turbines, hot chocolate, exactly. Maybe one minute, if that. But now we musk ask ourselves, is the mythical sub-minute boil… Too short?

To explain. With a kettle you know you have a good two three minutes to think about Dolly Parton and tree snakes and who makes trains and what blind people fear before the water’s a bubblin. You start to drift away with the jetboil however and dark in incestuous warlock magic that powers the fire means that the mug is boiling over already, spurting boiling hot chocolate over your fingers as you attempt to kill the beast, scalding your delicate crotch as pink and purple gas flares singe your eyebrows (true story). So after that you watch it like hawk, and if there’s one saying that has a semblance of truth in this crazy world it’s that a watched kettle takes fucking years to boil.

But what does it look like?

It resembles a small black mug with a plastic lid. Take off the lid and inside the tripod, burner, pan stand, matches and butane tank are stored. Take em all out, put em back together and you have a little camp stove. Lego fun for the child in you, the ability to cook noodles for the big strong manly man. Fill the mug with water or beans or stew or don’t use the mug and fry some bacon or cheese or whatever the hell is on the turn at the supermarket. I’ve turned it from a hard boiled Easter egg machine, cracking one out every two minutes to a coca cola burner to try and carbonise some opal; it’s uses are many and varied. MANIFOLD. It boils things, quickly. The little lid has tiny holes in it so after your pasta is ready you can simply tip the whole thing upside down which will either drain out the water OR make the lid fly off and vomit all your penne and sauce into a steaming basil scented mud-puddle around your trembling sorry feet. STILL GOOD!

But what does it really look like?

Sexual. If the batmobile was a gas cooker full of steaming rolled oats. It’s the closest thing to Michelle Pfeiffer that most of my generation have ever seen. LEATHER. It’s all black and metallic and assembling it kinda feels like you’re putting together the pieces of something manly, like a gun, to murder someone with.

But will it get me girls?

I’m not saying the all powerful jetboil zip has seduced a girl into to sleeping with me… But that is essentially what I am saying. That did actually happen.
This is maybe more to do with a four day power cut meaning me and my mighty jetboil were the envy and providence of a starving, sallow faced hostel populace, unable to function without wifi or microwaves. But I believe that the dangerously arrogant yet playful aesthetics of the unrivalled jetboil zip had a hand in the union, as did, apparently, the way I peel a hard boiled egg… But no accounting for taste eh?

But what to cook Joe?

Recipe #1

Honeycomb off tree. Rum. Rolled oats. Boil.

Recipe #2

Blackberries from side of busy road. Rainwater. Rolled oats. Boil.

Recipe #3


Recipe #4

Saltwater from the sea. Cous cous. Boil.

Recipe #5

Rolled oats. Boil then lightly burn for varied consistency.

So… With all ‘o’ dem recipes the limit is your imaginations!!! The proof really is in the porridge. Just don’t try to cook anything that burns easily. Kim Jung-boil only really has two temperature settings: jetboil and off…. Cooking meat with the jetboil is possible, if you like your steak either jetboiled or raw…. But better than public BBQs that everyone pisses on eh?

Intersting. Do you have any sad jetboil stories Joe?

Well as it happens… I first saw a jetboil summer (sth hemis) 2014, on the tent strewn shores of Lake St Claire in the great Tasmanian Wilderness (great start, story goes downhill from here). It was being wielded by a young, hippyish chemist grad from Melbourne, cycling round Tasmania with his long red hair, red beard and jetboil in tow. That night he cooked me some pasta in this strange apparatus and then we had oats with rum. He instructed me on the basics of making liquor (something I’ve always wanted to explore since the cider worked so well. Apparently the key is with tomato paste)… Well the next night we ate something different, I’d run out of my own food 3 days previous in the mountains, but this time he let me attempt to tame the Jetboil myself, it overboiled of course, this was in my green days, before I learnt to master the gentle caress of the controls that really set apart the jetboil men from the boys. But I’ll always remember him saying “this instant mash is so good with cheese, I’ll tell my mum” but more importantly, when I apologised for over jetting the jetboil he said “don’t worry… You can’t hurt it”, with a sorrowful glint in his eye. That very same night, whilst being pestered by a possum, I realised that I couldn’t hurt it, we all need camping appliances that can hurt us more than we can hurt them, this is the jetboil. But I saw beyond that too, for all the jetboil’s hardness and tough hide, if it were but more human and loveable, less distant and utilitarian: it would be the greatest friend you’d ever know. This was the reason for the cycling chemist’s sorrow.
The cyclist gave me a book of the most hauntingly beautiful and prescient short stories by… Someone de la… Not sure, shit. He wrote his name in the cover and told me if I ever stayed in Melbourne to live in his beachfront house in St Kilda so I could learn the finer points of moonshine. I gave him the man who was Tuesday… Or Thursday. My memory lapses. Either way he cycled off into the middle distance, I didn’t have any tent pegs so he had weighted the corners of my tent down with rocks and left me a cigarette, I never had a chance to thank him.
Months passed and I eventually found myself in Melbourne and so looked for the young man’s name: to no avail. I had lent the book to some also forgotten girl in Hobart along with the name inside. So it lies to the jetboil I purchased on the cheap, to carry on in perpetuity the memory of Aiden… Something or other.
True story.

yeah… Great. What do you give it out of ten though?




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