Saturday, May 19, 2012

Freeze Dried Foods

 I have never tried freeze dried foods with the exception of ice cream that my mom ordered from REI back in the 1970's. That is my only recollection of freeze dried foods, but I remember that my brother and I liked it, and mom bemoaned the cost. Any of the dried foods I use are invariably dehydrated. Most of my dried food supplies are items like pasta, rice, and beans, and dried soup mixes, with some dried apples, potatoes, and mushrooms on the shelf as well. When I have purchased dried foods  the foods were dehydrated because they are so much cheaper. When I have browsed websites that offer dehydrated or freeze dried meals in a can, I always looked past them because of the cost.

A while back I was visiting the Apartment Prepper's blog and entered a contest with suggestions of what people who live in an apartment can do to be prepared. You can read my entry here. I was very surprised when I got an email from Bernie saying I had won, and the prize contributed by Ready Made Resources was 6- #10 cans of freeze dried chicken and rice by Mountain House! I was so excited and happy to have actually won something. Especially something like freeze dried food that I never buy because it is so expensive, and something that I can add to my supplies. I eagerly awaited the arrival of my chicken and rice.

My package from Ready Made Resources finally arrived and I was eager to try my supply of chicken and rice. Much to my surprise, it was a variety pack. Yeah! There was chicken teriyaki with rice, lasagne with meat sauce, beef stroganoff, spaghetti with meat sauce, chicken stew, and chili mac with beef. How was I to decide which food to try. Well, I had it in my mind that I was going to be getting chicken and rice, so we tried the chicken teriyaki with rice.

I opened up the can and mixed up the ingredients. There were some pretty generous sized pieces of chicken in there, along with peas, red peppers, mushrooms, and bamboo shoots. I boiled up the water and mixed in the dry mix measured out at one cup per serving. I only had to wait 5- 10 minutes for it to be ready. It re-hydrated very quickly. It was very  flavorful and the chicken pieces tasted like real chicken and the texture was great!  I cooked up some zucchini and pineapple to go alongside. The combination was tasty, and best of all, it filled us up. I thought maybe 1 cup would be a small serving, but we were satisfied, and I will eat this meal again. 

I checked out the case price here at Ready Made Resources for the Chicken Teriyaki,  and it is currently on sale for $133.60 for 6 cans. At 9 servings per can, that is $1.48 per serving. That is a pretty good price for a satisfying meal that tastes good. If you buy cans individually, it is $29.70 at full price, which obviously costs much more per serving at $3.30. I must say that I am now convinced that freeze dried foods can be a good value. They also have a very long shelf life for years under favorable conditions.

I want to thank Bernie over at the Apartment Prepper blog for his contest, and Robert at Ready Made Resources for donating the case of freeze dried foods. Without those two people, I probably never would have bought freeze dried meals, but now I am happy to say that the meals are tasty, filling, and easy on the wallet.


  1. Just saw your link from Apartment prepper and am enjoying your site. If you or someone else wanted to try different flavors you could by the individual sizes to taste test. They have these at walmart/fredmeyers in my area. I know that my daughter will eat the mac and cheese any time, any place, so I have a few cans of that.

    Also, a reminder that when you buy freeze dried you are essentially paying for the cooking cost as well as it just takes hot or boiling water and it is done. This would be a pro in an emergency.

  2. Thanks for the tip. I will look for individual sizes at Walmart and Freddies. Are the freeze dried foods in the convenience food aisle with the chili, or maybe in the sporting goods section. I will have to look, and I will have to get some mac and cheese as well. Thanks for the info.

  3. i remember trying freeze dried ice cream when i was a kid...did not like it...but was impressed with why it was made. there was a show on tv not long ago that discussed all the work involved in getting meals for the astronauts that were healthy as well as tasting good too.

    1. I think my brother and I liked the freeze dried ice cream just because it was a novelty. I remember the texture very well. I think freeze dried food has come a long way and has a place in home pantries for many people. Thanks for your comment.

  4. An anonymous reader shouted at me that my math was WAY OFF! Well, I won't publish rude comments, but the point was taken and it is not that my math is way off that at 9 servings per can the cost is $1.48 per serving, but that I had a typo that should have read $2.48 per serving for the Teriyaki chicken and rice. So, please readers, we all make mistakes, but by being rude and self-righteous, you are not not making yourself look smarter, but simply pretentious, instead.

  5. Rose you took the comment way too personally. Too me when I come onto these sites its sometimes hard to determine if you have found the genuine article or if its a corporate shill.

    I have gone to many prepper sites and I see tons of positive reviews but hardly any negative reviews. So its tough to tell at times how much (if any) of a scam these things are. Your math was off by a buck but its a pretty significant typo. Basically a meal for a family of 4 goes from $6 to $10.

    I'm glad to find out it was a simple typo and not someone just trying to trick an unsuspecting buyer - the 6 cans are still a better deal than individually just not a super deal.


Your thoughts are welcome!