Top 10 Freeze-Dried Food for Food Storing

Whether you’re planning a camping trip without modern conveniences or making sure your family is secure if there’s an extended interruption in power, having a long-lasting food supply of non-perishable food is an essential part of keeping your family ready for any eventuality. Freeze-dried food is one of the best choices for non-perishable food due to it being shelf-stable, but many of the old options were lacking in flavor. The best freeze-dried food today, though, is bursting with flavor for all tastes.

What To Know About Freeze-Dried Food

Coming in both individual food kits ideal for solo needs or small-group camping and in large survival food packages, the best freeze-dried food provides needed nutrition and energy while being ready to eat or easy to prepare with a fire or heating element. The dehydration process preserves the nutrients in the food without compromising flavor or structure. Eating is essential to keeping your energy up in challenging circumstances, and the best freeze-dried food will make eating on the go a pleasure rather than another challenge.

The freeze-dried food market is growing fast, with many products claiming to deliver the nutrients and taste you want. That’s why here at Simple Family Preparedness, we’ve put together this list of the best freeze-dried food to have in your food storage. Read on to discover the best freeze-dried food to keep you and your family fed.

dried food

Best Freeze Dried-Food FAQ

These are some of the most asked questions regarding freeze-dried food. So, we thought it would be nice to respond before starting our article.

1. Are the Best Freeze-Dried Foods Easy to Prepare?

Most of the items on this list are dehydrated and can be heated up and rehydrated on fire or hot pot. The Grizzly Gear Emergency Food Rations bar is ready-to-eat out of the pouch.

2. How Long Do the Best Freeze-Dried Foods Last?

Usually, it varies per product, but most freeze-dried foods will remain stable for between two and twenty-five years. Also, freeze-dried fruits are on the low end of the scale. On the other hand, vegetables and sealed proteins last longer.

3. Are the Best Freeze-Dried Fruits Suitable for All Diets?

The ten freeze-dried food packages on the list are a mix of vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free options, so everyone should find an option. All options are free of seafood and all are free of nuts (except for the Pad Thai).

4. Do the Best Freeze-Dried Foods Fulfill All Nutritional Needs?

First of all, these food packages are designed with the intention to serve complete nutrition. Also, most of them are fortified with vitamins and minerals. Not to mention, the freeze-drying process preserves more natural nutrients than standard dehydrating or freezing. So, anyone with normal nutritional needs should be able to stay healthy eating them.

5. Where Can I Find the Most Suitable Freeze-Dried Foods for Me?

The ten freeze-dried food options on this list can be found on Amazon or at major survival or outdoor gear stores. Furthermore, you will find a supply at military supply stores and at major camping gear stores.

How We Picked the Best Freeze-Dried Food in 2022

First of all, the following list of the best freeze-dried foods was reviewed based on the value and affordability of the products. In this way, we tried to keep a fair balance between the price and all of its benefits.

Secondly, we took into consideration the products’ taste and nutritional content.

Last but not least, we picked these freeze-dried foods regarding their variety, suitability for alternative diets, ease of preparation, and shelf stability. These factors are not as mandatory as the previous ones, but in some situations, they can become worth knowing.

The Freeze-Dried Food’s Overall Price Range

The ten freeze-dried foods on this list come in varying sizes, styles, and packaging. So, single-serving pouches ideal for solo travelers can go for as little as $10 for an ample portion. On the other hand, family-size buckets containing dozens of servings can rise to $200.

Finally, the price range we choose is suitable for other items in the freeze-dried meal field, but a little more expensive than standard dried food options like trail mix.

What Freeze-Dried Food We Reviewed

  1. Augason Farms 5-20091 Deluxe Emergency 30-Day Food Supply
  2. Mountain House Essential Bucket
  3. Mountain House Beef Stroganoff with Noodles
  4. MaryJanesFarm Santa Fe Pasta
  5. Mountain House Breakfast Skillet
  6. Grizzly Gear Emergency Food Rations – 3600 Calorie Bar
  7. Mountain House Chili Mac with Beef
  8. Mountain House Rice & Chicken
  9. Backpacker’s Pantry Pad Thai, Two Serving Pouch
  10. Premium Vegetable Soup Mix – Dehydrated

The Best 10 Freeze-Dried Food for Backpacking in 2022

1. Augason Farms 5-20091 Deluxe Emergency 30-Day Food Supply

The ultimate heavy-duty emergency food supply, this twenty-nine-pound tub contains enough food packages for thirty days. It comes with eleven meal packs covering breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. Moreover, it offers one to three packages of maple brown sugar oatmeal, strawberry cream of wheat, buttermilk pancake mix, Fettuccine Alfredo, cheesy broccoli rice, creamy chicken flavored rice, Spanish rice, banana chips, creamy potato soup mix, chicken-flavored vegetable soup mix, and Morning Moo’s Low Fat Milk Alternative.

Also, the size of the package makes it better for long-term food planning than backpacking, but individual pouches can serve as meals on the go. Not to mention that the twenty-five-year life span is a big positive – it’s one of the best values on the list.

Last but not least, all items are prepared with water and in most cases heat. This makes it ideal for any situation where you’re lacking electricity.

Augason Farms 5-20091 Deluxe Emergency 30-Day Food Supply

Where you can buy the Emergency 30-Day Food Supply:

2. Mountain House Beef Stroganoff with Noodles

A classic option from one of the most popular brands of freeze-dried food, this hearty beef stroganoff comes with a good portion of meat in a savory sauce flavored with sour cream and mushrooms over wheat noodles. At 650 calories a pouch and holding two and a half servings, it delivers hearty meals on the go and can be split up according to differing appetites. Also, the sodium content is higher than many items on the list, but it delivers the filling, warming meal you want after a long day of camping.

Moreover, it comes in a compact pouch that easily fits in a backpack, and the thirty-year shelf life makes it ideal for frequent campers. It only takes ten minutes to prepare like all Mountain House products and is prepared in water on a hot plate or over a fire. The thick cream sauce can be watered down to taste and gets high marks for richness and providing meat, dairy, and starch in one package. A perfect blend!

 Mountain House Beef Stroganoff with Noodles as one of the best freeze dried food in 2022

Where to buy this beef stroganoff with noodles:

3. MaryJanesFarm Santa Fe Pasta

One of the newer names in the freeze-dried food market, this organic brand from Idaho native Mary Jane Butters is quickly getting a name for its healthy options. This vegetarian alternative to the traditional Chili Mac has just under three hundred calories a serving and one and a half servings per pouch. Also, its top ingredients are pasta, cheddar cheese, and a vegetable blend including sweet corn, onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Sounds delicious!

It gets high marks for its intense flavor profile without being overly spicy, and the convenient pouch is easy to open for preparing on the go. On the other hand, it loses points for the small portion size and the high price point per meal. This is a boutique brand and is better for campers who only need a little food to get through a night in the wild.

MaryJanesFarm Santa Fe Pasta - Best Freeze Dried Food for backpacking

Where you can buy this freeze-dried food:

4. Mountain House Essential Bucket

Mountain House is one of the best-known names in freeze-dried foods, but most of its meal options are geared toward short-term camping trips. For those who go camping frequently or want a large supply of high-quality freeze-dried meals for prepping, this thirty-two-serving bucket is a cost-effective choice. It contains four packets each of three of Mountain House’s most popular meals – Chili Mac & Beef, Rice and Chicken, and Spaghetti with Meat Sauce. I think it’s so yummy!

Each meal comes with between 230 and 270 calories a serving, and two of the three are suitable for people with dairy allergies. The thirty-year shelf life of all Mountain House products makes this a perfect choice if you intend to take yearly camping trips, as the per-pouch price is much cheaper than any other option. Like all Mountain House products, they only take ten minutes to prepare in hot water.

Mountain House Essential Bucket -  One of the Best Freeze Dried Food

Where to buy this freeze-dried food:

5. Mountain House Chili Mac with Beef

The most popular brand from Mountain House, this classic campfire chili has cooked beef as its first ingredient and combines it with macaroni pasta, tomato paste, and kidney beans for a wholesome and filling meal. With 230 calories a serving and two and a half servings per pouch, it’s free of common allergens (except gluten) and comes in a variety of convenient sizes.

Like all Mountain House products, it has a thirty-year shelf life and takes only ten minutes to prepare when combined in the pouch with boiling water. High in carbohydrates, protein, and nutrients, it’s an ideal all-purpose meal that will satisfy most campers and fulfill all your nutritional needs.

Mountain House Chili Mac with Beef - one of the best freeze-dried food in 2022

Where you can buy this freeze-dried food:

6. Mountain House Breakfast Skillet

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that goes double when you’re on the trail and need an extra boost of energy to start your day. This hearty all-in-one breakfast is a combination of hash browns, scrambled eggs, peppers, onions, cheese, and pork sausage crumbles. Similar to a breakfast skillet you’d get at a diner, it contains 350 calories a serving and has two servings in a pouch.

Higher in fat and sodium than other options on the list, it is guaranteed to fill you up and keep you running during a long day of hiking. Like all Mountain House products, it is guaranteed for thirty years and takes only ten minutes to prepare when combined with boiling water. While it contains several major allergens, it’s easy to prepare and provides a hearty meal in the morning.

 Mountain House Breakfast Skillet - one of the best freeze-dried food in 2022

Where to buy this freeze-dried food:

7. Grizzly Gear Emergency Food Rations – 3600 Calorie Bar

If you’re in a situation where you won’t have any time to cook, emergency rations that can be eaten right out of the package are a convenient substitute. A wheat-based snack bar enriched with thirteen vitamins and minerals, it is made of nine individual squares that can be taken out of the pouch before resealing. Each bar is a 400-calorie meal replacement.

This bar has a five-year shelf life when sealed and is certified Kosher and vegetarian. It contains less sugar than most meal replacement bars and isn’t dry, meaning you won’t have to stop drinking often. Health-conscious campers may not like the partially hydrogenated oil content.

Best Freeze Dried Food for backpacking - Grizzly Gear Emergency Food Rations - 3600 Calorie Bar

Where you can buy this freeze-dried food:

8. Mountain House Rice & Chicken

Mountain House is synonymous with quality in the freeze-dried food market, and this lighter option is no exception. A simple but filling meal of chicken-flavored rice with bits of chicken, it’s mildly spiced and has 270 calories per serving and three servings to a package. Lower on fat than other options and free of dairy, it’s a good choice to satisfy a family of campers.

Like all Mountain House products, it has a thirty-year shelf life and is prepared in a pouch with boiling water in only ten minutes. This is also a meal that can be dressed up with the addition of dehydrated vegetables like peas or carrots for a more complete dinner.

Mountain House Rice & Chicken -  Best Freeze Dried Food in 2022

Where to buy this freeze-dried food:

9. Backpacker’s Pantry Pad Thai, Two Serving Pouch

A hearty and flavorful vegetarian meal, this reasonably priced stir-fry duplicates the flavors of the popular Thai dish. Gluten and dairy-free, it is made from rice noodles, vegetables, and a mildly spicy tomato-based sauce. It can be enhanced with the included roasted peanuts. However, they’re in a separate package along with the peanut sauce for allergy safety.

Two servings per portion and 460 calories a serving make this one of the richer meals on the list. Each portion prepares a thirteen-ounce meal. It has a seven-year shelf life. It takes between fifteen and twenty minutes to prepare with boiling water in the pouch.

Backpacker's Pantry Pad Thai, Two Serving Pouch - one of the best freeze-dried food in 2022

Where you can buy this freeze-dried food:

10. Premium Vegetable Soup Mix – Dehydrated

If you’re looking for a wholesome meal with zero artificial ingredients, Harmony House has you covered. They made them entirely from a wide range of dried vegetables including carrots, onions, tomatoes, peas, green beans, and parsley. So, you just have to add boiling water and let it turn into soup. With sixteen servings in a container, it’s one of the best values on the list.

However, the drawbacks are the lack of protein and the need for spices to make it flavorful. Also, it lacks instructions on how to rehydrate. On the other hand, an experienced camper should find it natural.

Finally, we think this soup may go well as a nutritious appetizer on the list.

Premium Vegetable Soup Mix - Dehydrated

Where to buy the vegetable soup mix:

The Best Freeze-Dried Food for Us in 2022

We were impressed with all ten items on the list. They lived up to their billing as the best freeze-dried food on the market. However, one brand kept on impressing us with its value, taste, ease of preparation, and nutritional content. Mountain House consistently delivered quality, and we found few faults in any of our offerings.

While we were most impressed with the Chili Mac and Beef of the meals reviewed, the overall value of the package leads us to pick the Mountain House Essential Bucket, with its packages of Chili Mack, Chicken and Rice, and Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, as the best freeze-dried food on the market today. You’ll get a full supply of their best options at a fraction of the price.

backpacking in 2022

Suggested Read: Serving Size Of Freeze-Dried Produce

What’s Your Favorite Freeze-Dried Food in 2022?

Now, that you saw all of our options and our verdict, you are now ready to decide for yourself. A very important aspect that you have to consider before purchasing freeze-dried food is its final purpose. Where would you eat it? With whom? Do you prefer its taste or its energetic value? Are you going to feed it to your child? And many more.

Moreover, don’t forget to go for a product that you’ll find fairly tasty. Again, I find it essential to take food that you really like on a hike or camping trip. You do not want to starve yourself because the freeze-dried food you just bought is disgusting (for you). So, just follow your taste and preferences, besides the energetic and nutritive value.

Finally, please share with us what is the best freeze-dried food for you and what are its benefits. Also, we aspect any further questions about the previous products in the comments section and any other mentions.

You can learn many tips and techniques on how to become a wise and smart prepper. Try browsing our website to discover more tutorials and recommendations that will make you think you might need one. Or maybe you could have a direct interest about Emergency Preparedness Hacks.

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Becky is a wildlife enthusiast and pet and livestock care expert with a diploma in canine nutrition. With over a decade of experience in animal welfare, Becky lends her expertise to Simple Family Preparedness through insightful info about pets, livestock, bee keeping, and the practicalities of homesteading.

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