Words: Seiji Ishii   Photos: Simon Cudby  

Words: Seiji Ishii   Photos: Simon Cudby  

Most outdoor adventurers choose propane or isobutane canister type stoves over liquid fuel stoves for several reasons: easy starting (no pumping, priming), safety (no spilled fuel that can ignite or flare ups), and clean operation (no soot). The bane of lightweight canister stoves has been the relative lack of flame control. Full bore water boiling was no problem, but trying to simmer was frustrating at best.  

This is where the JetBoil-MiniMo cooking system was designed to shine. JetBoil has long been known for providing their namesake performance in boiling with its jet like output for remarkable boiling time from a super light and compact system. The MiniMo expands the temperature control while still maintaining the high output required for quick boiling. An advanced valve and “JetBoil Regulator Technology” allow for fine tuningand maintaining heat outputregardless of the fuel level in the canister. The graduated, hard anodized aluminum 1L pot comes with an insulating cozy and metal insulated handles that are surprisingly robust. The pot also has a lower and wider stature, making it less likely to tip over, and thespoon angle allows for easier eating directly from the pot. A drink through/strainer lid and canister-stabilizing legs are also included in the system. The MiniMo retains all the other features that made JetBoil a staple for voyagers worldwide: locking of pot to stove for secure cooking, a “Flux Ring” heat exchanger on the pot to block wind and direct heat (increasing fuel efficiency), an included heat exchanger protective cap/measuring cup/bowl, and the ability to nestle everything inside the pot, including a 4oz fuel canister. I have used the JetBoil-MiniMo in every conceivable condition extensively since it was introduced in 2014. The promise of fine temperature control has proven true. The stove cansimmer or warm at a very low output consistently, without sputtering. When wide open, the stove can still boil water faster than I can find my spoon.

It can also boil two cups of water in two minutes or less in informal testing. Although the Flux Ring does focus heat directly to the pot, it doesn’t provide good wind protection. In high winds, I protect the stove flame with other items. The stove comes with a built-in piezo igniter, but it broke almost immediately; this is not uncommon and it is prudent to always have another ignition source regardless. The lid also comes off easily when packed and it requires care if you are using it as a strainer. The JetBoil-MiniMo isn’t really field serviceable. This is not normally a concern with canister stoves, but notable for those wandering on extended trips. Also notable is in true winter settings, leaving the fuel canister in the sleeping bag overnight improves that first boil immensely. The issue with partially spent fuel canisters exists with this stove, just like every other stove in this category. 

The JetBoil-MiniMo fires up easily, and boils amazingly quickly and extends temperature control for expanding the menu beyond freeze dried meals. It is lightweight, compact and the brand has proven the choice of countless outdoor enthusiasts since 2001. It remains my go to stove for the majority of my journeys and has definitely broadened my culinary options while adventuring. Verified weight, full system: burner, storage sack, pot, lid, stabilizing base, heat exchanger cap: 1lb, 0.3oz. MSRP: $134.95. www.jetboil.com

Chris Glaspell

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