Mountain House foods have consistently ranked at the top of every consumer taste test I’ve read. Two nights ago I fed their Beef Stroganoff with Noodles to my husband for dinner, and he was perfectly happy. Even asked for seconds.
If you combine truly delicious freeze-dried meals in a ready-to-go emergency bucket, you have a real winner. Introduced just a couple of months ago, they have become a top selling product.
Although the buckets are new, Mountain House has been selling freeze-dried food for over 30 years. The company has been committed to three things: taste, convenience, and a proven long-term shelf life of their foods.
I’ve tasted numerous freeze-dried entrees from various companies, from Macaroni and Cheese to Vegetable Risotto, and I can tell you, they are not all equal when it comes to taste. Since most of us buy these entrees in preparation for some type of crisis, we need to be assured that when we need the food, it will taste good! A crisis is no time to discover that a case of #10 cans of Entree a la King causes you to break out in hives and your 7 year-old won’t touch it.
My family and I sampled all the varieties that came in the “29 Serving Bug Out Bucket”, and here are our verdicts:
- Granola with blueberries: Dried milk is already in the pouch, so you only need to add cold water, stir, and eat. I think this is a delicious breakfast and could serve two moderately hungry people or one teenage boy. My 11 year-old wasn’t crazy about this, but he can be picky at times.
- Beef Stroganoff: Yummy, creamy sauce with beef, mushrooms, and noodles. This is what I served my husband for dinner.
- Beef Stew: This stew is full of veggies with a flavorful sauce. Not bad, but not my favorite.
- Chicken with Noodles: Both my kids liked this dish. It was simple but had a lot of flavor.
- Chicken Teriyaki: Lots of flavor in this dish. My son ate the entire bag. I got one, maybe two spoonfuls.
- Lasagna with meat: Really, really good! Surprisingly good, in fact, with a rich, Italian flavor.
The meals were all tasty and filling, and I appreciate the fact that all Mountain House ingredients are grown and raised here in the U.S. Although they aren’t organic, they are high quality foods that you would find in the typical American grocery store. All these entrees contain real meat and chicken and not TVP (textured vegetable protein). I sometimes use TVP in my cooking but it’s not my preference.
If you’re unfamiliar with freeze-dried food, rest assured that they retain nearly all their original nutrients, including enzymes. Once the food, if properly stored, gets beyond the 20 year mark or so, the vitamin potency will have been reduced but overall, the food will still be nutritious. This is just one reason why freeze-dried food is used to such a great extent in the military.
By the way, if you’re either new to freeze-dried food or have never tasted these Mountain House varieties, this bucket is a good opportunity to sample them before investing money in larger quantities, and you’ll really like the clear bucket that allows you to see what is inside, whether it’s the Mountain House meals or whatever other emergency supplies you decide to add.
What could be easier than adding 2 cups of boiling water to a heavy duty mylar pouch, sealing it, and letting it sit for 8-10 minutes? When I prepare these meals, I add the water and then stir everything together a few times, making sure that all the dry ingredients that have settled at the bottom of the pouch are completely moistened.
Speaking of water, whenever you store freeze-dried food, whether in the form of individual ingredients or entrees, be sure to store additional water. In fact, setting aside an extra case of water along with this bucket would be a good idea. Add to that, a portable stove with extra fuel, and you will be fully set for an emergency!
Since the meals are freeze-dried, the bucket is very lightweight. The buckets weighs only 6 pounds. A child could certainly be assigned to grab one or two buckets during a family emergency evacuation drill without a problem.
Long Shelf Life
Mountain House has long set the standard when it comes to the shelf life of its foods. Oxygen is one of the 5 enemies of food storage, and Mountain House manages to remove 98% of it from their pouches. Recently, an independent lab confirmed the super-low oxygen content of their packaged entrees.
To insure the longest possible shelf life, always store food in dark, dry, and cool locations and be sure to keep an eye out for pests. Mice and rats have been known to chew through even super-heavy duty buckets and lids!
These Mountain House food buckets are a product that combines convenience and good food with a reliably long shelf life, and when you’re storing food for an emergency, that’s exactly the combination you need.
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