The MSR Ceramic Flex skillet has a slick, non-stick ceramic coating, wide cooking surface, and a lightweight removable handle for easy storage and packing. Weighing just 7 ounces and sporting a 8.25″ cooking surface, it’s an impressively large yet light way to expand your backcountry cooking options. It retails for 39.95 and is available now.
I’ve been using the Flex Skillet for a while now, and I’ve cooked everything from bacon and eggs, to oatmeal to pancakes with it, and it’s performed admirably. The non-stick cooking surface does an excellent job of preventing anything from gripping to the surface, even when not oiled, and it makes clean-up fast and effortless. It’s comparable to the standard Flex Skillet which I also own and have used for years with success, with the only real change coming in the non-stick coating and texture of the cooking surface. The pan is wide enough to cook a single sizable pancake at a time, or an about 6 eggs at once if you like them scrambled, and it does a good job of distributing the heat, assuming you have the proper stove, opening up options like quesadillas, grilled cheeses, and other items that require even and thorough heating.
Speaking of the proper stove, having the correct stove is very important here. Torch stoves, like the pocket rocket, really aren’t meant for skillets as the flame is too hot and narrow for the thin material of the skillet. Instead, you’ll need something like the Wind Pro 2, which has served me well for about 7 years now. It provides a nice wide cooking surface, and allows for lower cooking temperatures. Without something similar, you’ll likely warp the skillet and probably damage the ceramic coating also, so keep that in mind when choosing any light weight skillet. It helps to always make sure there is food in the skillet when it’s exposed to heat , as that will also help to distribute the heat load and transfer most of the energy away from the aluminum.
I really enjoy carrying the skillet as it’s light enough to justify packing it, especially considering it can replace a pot for boiling water so you only need to carry one cooking device. It’s allowed me to huge amounts of variety to my backcountry diet, with items that simply aren’t possible with a boil pot. This is of particular value to myself as pre-prepared dehydrated foods have never been my favorite way to eat on the trail. It packs a little awkwardly, just due to the wide 8.24 inch cooking area, but I’ve found that I can slide it into my pack vertically, with other items stuffed inside and around it to minimize room taken up in my pack. The handle is also removable by simply pressing the red button embedded within it, which certainly helps.
Overall, I really like the Ceramic Flex Skillet. It has promptly replaced my older skillet as it’s so much easier to clean and it also appears to cook more evenly. It’s impressively light weight for a skillet at just 7 ounces, so I’m not regretting it after a long ascent. Assuming you have the proper stove, a plastic spatula and the desire to pursue better food options while camping, the MSR Flex Skillet is something I cannot recommend enough. Just take care to use it properly.
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I want to extend a huge thanks to MSR for providing this product for review. We couldn’t do it without their help. Our full disclosure can be found here.
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