A little while back, a friend of mine read a few of my reviews on survival food. He noticed that my main gripe was about flavor and mostly about a lack of salt.
He suggested that I try out a brand called Chef’s 5 minute meals.
I had all but forgotten about them until I ran across one of the vendors at a local survival expo that was showing them off.
I tried their samples and they were ok, but had been sitting out for a while.
I decided I would pick up a couple of varieties and give them a try.
The basis of the meal isn’t much different than an MRE.
The food comes precooked but has a water activated heater that makes the food piping hot in “5 minutes.”
I will say, first off, their version of piping hot and mine must differ quite a bit as it took me significantly longer to get it heated to my liking (roughly 9 minutes).
The meal is simple and fully self contained.
The cardboard box doubles as the “oven, the meal comes with its own water supply to activate the heater pouch.
It has a plastic fork, spoon, napkin and even (to my great surprise) it’s own packets of salt and pepper.
I snapped a few photo’s to show you all of the contents as well as the finished meal.
Take a look below:
Now let’s dive in to the taste.
It looks about as appetizing as any canned pasta meal from Chef Boyardee and honestly the taste is about the same.
So it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t a 5 star meal either.
From a few other reviews I have seen online it seems that the best choice for flavor goes to the beef stroganoff.
The nutrition on these is another factor that will determine if you want to keep them in stock or not.
The calorie count for this particular dish was only around 220, which in a survival situation is barely a meal.
The only benefits to these meals is that there are no preservatives and such for those of us with sensitivities to things like MSG… Although I can’t find the full ingredients list to prove this…
The price of these meals is another factor.
Each one comes in at around $6.00 a unit which makes the price to calorie ratio very high.
In the end, the Chef’s 5 minute meals only impress me by having salt and pepper included in the meal, which can easily be remedied with any other meal by carrying my own spices.
These may be good for those of you with food sensitivities to preservatives.
The comparable taste to that of Chef Boyardee may make these more palatable to those of you with children.
I’d say that unless you do a lot of short day hikes, or live in an area prone to blackouts, these really aren’t that good of a deal.
You would be much better off with some of the other name brand meals, they are around the same cost (less if you can catch a sale) and provide much more caloric intake which is what you need in a survival situation.
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