Freeze dried meat is amazing! For real. It is.
When I was growing up we stored TVP instead of meat–talk about gross! I can’t stand the stuff. Textured vegetable protein (TVP) is made from soy, and it has all sorts of additives and preservatives. It just isn’t healthy. Plus, did I mention it is gross? Yes, you can mask the flavor a bit with all those additives or you can mix it with real meat to hide the flavor a bit, but in the end, it just isn’t something I want to eat–or feed to my kids.
But freeze dried meat is nothing like TVP.
Note – Some links in this post are affiliate links meaning if you purchase after clicking on them, I will be given a small commission (at no additional cost to you). Learn more here about how I am (and am not) compensated, and thank you for your support of me and my family!
What Makes Freeze Dried Meat So Great?
Freeze dried meat is great because it is real meat. Often, I will serve freeze dried chicken to people during a food storage class and they will say:
“This tastes just like chicken!”
Well, yes, yes it does. Because it is chicken!
If you have ever frozen cooked meat and then thawed it out and eaten it, then you know what freeze dried meat is like.
Freeze dried meat is cooked and then frozen. The water is then removed using a process called sublimation. This simply means that the water is removed while the meat is frozen. It goes from frozen water to steam without going through the liquid state. All that technical stuff just means that the meat isn’t changed (like it is when you dehydrate it). It is still the same size and color, and it still tastes the same.
There are, however, two common mistakes that I see people make when using freeze dried meat. In fact, I made both these mistakes myself many times!
Mistake #1 – Hydrating freeze dried meat in boiling/hot water
Freeze dried meat is already cooked. So, if you boil it or hydrate it in really hot water, you are overcooking it. It will change the texture and make it rubbery, dry, and weird.
The solution is simple: use cold or room temperature liquid instead.
I use a ratio of 1:1. One cup liquid for every one cup meat. Then, let it sit for 15-20 minutes making sure you stir it every few minutes. Simple, right?
Mistake #2 – Hydrating freeze dried meat in just water
When you cook with store bought meat, you typically cook it with seasonings or in broth etc. Since you don’t want to overcook your freeze dried meat, you shouldn’t do this. Instead, you hydrate it first, then add it to the dish once hydrated.
But if you just hydrate it in water, this means the flavor can be a bit off–bland or dull.
To solve this problem, hydrate your meat in a flavored or seasoned liquid that complements what you are cooking:
- Making enchiladas? Use some water mixed with enchilada sauce.
- Making stir fry? Add some soy sauce to the water you hydrate the meat in.
- Making chicken noodle soup? Use bouillon and add some thyme or rosemary.
Follow these two tips and your freeze dried meats will be delicious!
Where (and When) to Buy Freeze Dried Meat
If you haven’t yet added freeze dried meat to your food storage, you might get a bit of sticker shock when you look around the Thrive Life (affiliate) or Emergency Essentials (affiliate) or Augason Farms (affiliate) websites. It is pretty pricey! This is one food storage item that I don’t use regularly for that reason. I use it enough to rotate through it every five years or so (although it has a 25 year shelf life), but I don’t use it like I do my freeze dried fruits (affiliate) and veggies. (affiliate)
I occasionally pull it out just because it is so darn convenient! If I forget to thaw out meat for dinner, we use freeze dried. I love it for that reason! And that happens often enough for me to rotate through it every five years or so.
Thrive Life (affiliate) is my favorite place to get freeze dried meat because it just tastes the best. They freeze dry their own (the only food storage company that currently does), and I’ve just always been happier with it.
Here are a few tips for getting it for less from Thrive Life:
- Get it for nearly 50% off by purchasing one of these “unadvertised” specials.
- Buy it in November (Black Friday weekend) or during their five day spring sale (typically in March or April). There are usually one-three meats at 30%-50% off.
- Use free/50% off product. Anytime you plan to make a $400+ purchase from Thrive Life, CONTACT ME FIRST! I’ll have you spend the $400 on anything/everything BUT meat or cheese, and then I will GIVE YOU the 50% off and free product I earn as a consultant. We will use those benefits to get your meat (and/or cheese if you want it).
If you aren’t set on Thrive, you can also watch Emergency Essentials group buys (affiliate) each month. They occasionally have meat for fantastic prices! They also have their biggest sale in September each year, so that can be a good time as well!
How About You?
Do you store freeze dried meat? Do you use it regularly for convenience?