Jetboil Mug Treats
I’m antsy during this lockdown, so I wanted to share some backcountry baking I did with my Jetboil last July. I’d been wanting to try ultralight baking in the wilderness for a while and decided to try it on a quick overnight trip. After some research, I decided to go with a pre-made microwavable cake mix to maximize my chance of success.
After perusing the box-cake mix aisle in the grocery store I selected Betty Crocker brand MUG treats, chocolate chip cookie flavor.
The cooking process isn’t that complicated—add water (following the package instructions), mix, and cook. I kept the mix in the foil-lined paper packets it came in, which handled the heat just fine, and popped both in the jetboil side by side, leaving them open to allow the dough to rise.
The challenge is the Jetboil. They’re purpose built for one thing—boiling water fast, not cooking sous-vide or baking. To turn one into an oven you need to maintain high heat inside the pot while minimizing fuel loss and not damaging anything. Jetboils are well insulated but the base is thin, lightweight aluminum that needs to transfer heat.
To prevent scorching the bottom, I created a small trivet with folded aluminum foil (see pictures below). This lets me elevate the cooking food above a small amount of water at the base. A positive side effect of boiling water is steam, which helps breads rise. My trivet was about one centimeter high, but I’d recommend making it higher. The water boils off fast and needs replacing, which is difficult to do without dripping into the cake.
To minimize fuel loss keep the flame as low as possible, which is tricky with the Jetboil. For me, keeping it at the absolute minimum caused the flame to go out after a minute or so, so dialed it up a smidge.
This took a while, about 23 minutes, but the bake was surprisingly good! I’ll probably try a DIY mix next time since the store bought mix was very sweet.