Current Freeze Dried Meal Favorites

Have a favorite trail recipe or technique you'd like to share? Please do! We also like reviews of various trail food products out there. The Backcountry Food Topix forum is the place to discuss all things related to food and nourishment while in the Sierra wilderness (as well as favorite trail head eateries).
User avatar
mort
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:47 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Current Freeze Dried Meal Favorites

Post by mort » Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:59 pm

The Knorr bags of rice or noodles are good value, but you need to simmer in a pot for about 10 minutes. I haven't cooked over a campfire in about 20 years.
-mort








User avatar
Wandering Daisy
Topix Addict
Posts: 3801
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:19 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento area)
Contact:

Re: Current Freeze Dried Meal Favorites

Post by Wandering Daisy » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:17 am

You do not need to simmer the Knorr sides for 10 minutes, if you make pot "cozies", which are insulation to wrap around the pots. I boil the meals for about 2 minutes and then wrap in a cozies and let sit 5 minutes or so. Cozies can be made of old closed cell sleeping pads or any insulating material. My new ones are made of the reflective insulation that I bought at Home Depot. One strip goes around the pot and held with a rubber band and two round cut-outs that fit the top and bottm. For my cup (I like to keep my drinks hot) I cut the cuff off an old wool sock and just slip that over the cup, and have two round pieces of reflective insulation for bottom and top. The foam cozies are a bit lighter, but the reflective insulation ones are more compact. A full set of cozies only weighs about 1-2 oz.

This method also works fine for from-sctatch cooking. I often bring angel hair noodles, instant rice and steel cut oats which all can be cooked in a similar manner. The cozies plus a good wind screen for my stove has really cut down the need for lots of fuel and allows me to consider all kinds of dry food, not just freeze dried.

User avatar
fox212
Topix Novice
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:40 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Central Coast

Re: Current Freeze Dried Meal Favorites

Post by fox212 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:55 pm

I also cook Knorr sides in the bag, usually just wrapping my beanie and/or jacket around the bag instead of using a coozie. I've found it helps to do two "mini boils" - boil and add half the water, then after 5 min or so boil and add the rest. Kinda reheats the mix for a 2-stage rehydration, and kinda allows you to monitor the water content so as not to make soup (unless you're trying to make soup!). Not as fuel efficient as a single boil, but not as inefficient as actively simmering.

Favorite freeze dried meals at the moment:

- Mary Jane's Farm Bare Burrito. Add some Fritos and Taco Bell hot sauce, and it is damn good. Or spoon it into tortillas (still with Fritos and TB sauce) for a "real" bean burrito.

- Knorr Pasta Alfredo. Gotta add powdered milk, REAL butter, and lots of pepper. Maybe some TB sauce.

Pretty much anything is edible with enough TB sauce smothering it. Pretty sure someone famous said that once... ;)

User avatar
fishmonger
Topix Fanatic
Posts: 1072
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:27 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Madison, WI
Contact:

Re: Current Freeze Dried Meal Favorites

Post by fishmonger » Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:11 am

just saw this thread and want to chime in with my freeze dried preferences. For the last two years I've been dehydrating my own concoctions mostly, but there are still a few Mountain House favorites we use to mix up the menu on our multi-week trips. The most liked item is Beef Stroganoff. Then there's Chili Mac, not as high on the list, but once or twice on a trip we like to have that on the menu as well.

Other than those two meals, I just buy freeze dried chicken and build meals using various forms of couscous and noodles.

User avatar
kpeter
Topix Expert
Posts: 802
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:11 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Current Freeze Dried Meal Favorites

Post by kpeter » Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:05 pm

From Mountain house:
1) Chile Mac. Pretty much the only dinner from them I can get through.
2) Breakfast Skillet. I use it for a dinner. Freeze dried scrambled eggs reconstitute very well, and the sausage and onions and peppers add flavor.

From Pack It Gourmet (my new favorite purveyor of backpacking food.) Some of their meals are designed to be eaten with bring your own tortillas--which fit conveniently in a bear can. I use 2 tortillas per meal but some might want 3. These meals mostly come with little packets of condiments, olive oil, etc. to add in. I've only tried a few and liked them all and am eager to try others.
1. All American works. (Burger in a tortilla, with all the condiments.)
2. Burrito with fajita chicken
3. Pizza margherita wrap
4. Deli roast beef wrap

User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Addict
Posts: 2497
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:18 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Silicon Valley
Contact:

Re: Current Freeze Dried Meal Favorites

Post by SSSdave » Sat May 19, 2018 8:35 pm

Each summer I usually go online in order to purchase most of my summer freeze dried meals because it is always significantly less expensive than any local or mountain stores. And will often sell some to late comers on group trips versus paying usual at local stores.

After checking amazon prices for its many Mountain House commercial site offerings, I then went to the www dot mountainhouse dot com site and and noted I could order through them and save quite a bit including no tax or shipping fees. Of course any freeze dried meals have always been expensive due to the considerable food processing and packaging required. I tend to only use the meals on longer trips in order to be able to fit more into bear canisters, reduce weight, and enjoy better meals. Thus on trips up to 4 days for hot meals am likely to only bring cheap supermarket products like soup cans or those Knorr rice or Kraft mac n cheese packages etc.

So Friday ordered a variety of 14 Mountain House ProPaks and Pouches for $109 or about $7.80 each all of which were the 2 or 2.5 serving sizes as hungry me eat the whole meals. Of course a decade or two ago that could have been less than $6 each thus costs continue to rise. Although there are always new freeze dried meal vendors selling such meals, my experience has not been that positive experimenting so thus tend to stick with what I know works keeping this hungry little guy happy. If others do use the MH site note their tedious site software for locating meals tends to leave out product. Best to just use their search field with say "spaghetti". Thus ordered:

3 each Rice & Chicken Pro-Paks
4 each Spaghetti with Meat Sauce Pro-Paks
4 each Beef Stroganoff Pouches
3 each Pasta Primavera Pouches

Also would have ordered Sweet and Sour pork with Rice but they were outof stock. Have never had any issues with salt or sugar and consume much.

Note I had done the math between those "emergency preparedness" 10 serving cans and the 2.5 serving pouches or 2 serving ProPaks. Cost ratio per ounce is exactly the same as though MH is not calculating packaging overhead in their pricing. Will note cost per ounce is a bit less for the Sweet and Sour pork with Rice 6.10oz 2.5 serving pouches at $9.99 ($1.64/oz) versus the #10 cans at 24.61oz for $43.99 ($1.79/oz). On amazon some sites do sell 6 packs of pouches for $48. Thus 6x6.1= 36.6oz. $48/36.6= $1.31/oz. However a site on amazon sells same #10 can for $35.53 ($1.44/oz)

Thus it pays to do some math if buying in bulk and buying directly from MH is not always a bargain however one ought note that with a 22 year shelf life, some product by vendors is not going to be new especially when discounted versus the manufacturers current pricing.

User avatar
John Harper
Topix Regular
Posts: 252
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:54 am
Experience: N/A

Re: Current Freeze Dried Meal Favorites

Post by John Harper » Mon May 21, 2018 9:18 am

SSSdave wrote: Have never had any issues with salt or sugar and consume much.
Famous last words.

John

User avatar
gary c.
Topix Fanatic
Posts: 1185
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:56 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Lancaster, CA

Re: Current Freeze Dried Meal Favorites

Post by gary c. » Mon May 21, 2018 9:22 am

A buddy called me over the weekend to let me know that our local Costco has a Mountain House multi-pack right now for a very good price. I'm going to try to get over there this week sometime to check it out.
Last edited by gary c. on Tue May 22, 2018 2:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
-- Lionel Terray

User avatar
John Harper
Topix Regular
Posts: 252
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:54 am
Experience: N/A

Re: Current Freeze Dried Meal Favorites

Post by John Harper » Mon May 21, 2018 1:31 pm

gary c. wrote:A buddy called me over the weekend to let me know that our local Costco has a Mountain House multi-pack right now for a very good. I'm going to try to get over there this week sometime to check it out.
I think my roommate said something about that the other day.

John

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests