Jan 09

MREs: The best and the worst.

A staple of any prepper food storage plan is the ubiquitous MRE (Meal Ready to Eat).  Well renowned the world over for being lightweight, nutritious and fulfilling meals MREs continue to increase in popularity.  No doubt over the years cases of these meals have made their way from the battlefield to the basement (and bugout bag), stockpiled by preppers like you and me.  What follows below is my list of the best and worst MREs that I have ever had the pleasure to encounter.  Some might not even be available anymore, if that is the case and they are on my “worst ever” list good riddance.  Hopefully this will give you some insight into what you might want to keep or barter away if T-SHTF.  I’ll try to toss in some comments based on personal experience.

The Best MREs ever.

1- Pork and Rice with BBQ Sauce: GOAT = Greatest Of All Time!  I’m pretty sure they don’t make this one anymore but I would absolutely pay $20 to snag one of these up in order to savor the flavor one more time.

2- Beef Patty:  A close #2, that fake soybean patty on wheat snack bread drizzled with cheese and BBQ sauce is actually pretty good.  Combine that with the fact this meal comes with combos and you have a winner.

3- Ham Slice:  The sheer size of the ham slice makes this meal worth it, you know you will not be hungry after consuming it.  I think it actually utilizes real ham too.

4- Cheese & Vegetable Omelet **Hash Browns w/ Bacon:  I know what you are thinking, nasty!  I beg to differ, this is the latest incarnation of the veggie omelet and (if heated up) it was quite delicious.  Toss in the salsa that comes with it and you are good to go.  Always easy to find because people love to trade these away.

5- Beef Stew:  One of my all time favorites, not higher on the list because this meal really doesn’t come with too many snacks.  Mix the beef stew with the crackers and cheese, drizzle in some hot sauce and you can’t lose.

6- Meat Loaf with Gravy:  A very hearty meal which actually tastes great when mixed with the mashed potatoes that comes with it.  Add to that this meal comes with shortbread cookies and it’s a solid #6.

7- Spaghetti with meat sauce:  A classic, what can I say?  Just like with the beef stew, mix up the crackers and cheese and you are set.

8- Smokey Franks:  The 5 fingers of death!  Not only is this meal legendary, it comes with potato sticks which are of my favorite side items.

9- Pork Rib:  A cheap McRib knockoff that isn’t that bad when placed on some snack bread.

10- Chili and Macaroni:  Almost like the spaghetti but not quite.  Still a good meal that I have never turned down.

The Worst MREs ever.

1- Jambalaya:  Whoever came up with this abomination needs to check their taste buds to see if they are still operational.  I can’t remember tasting anything more revolting, it seriously is that bad.  Your dog would probably turn its nose up at this meal.  No, really.

2- Pasta with Vegetables:  I can remember dumping salt packets, hot sauce, cheese and anything else I could find in this meal and it still had to be choked down.

3- Bean and Rice Burrito:  The good news: the burrito could double as a wheel chock if you ever had to park on a hill.  The bad news: a wooden wheel chock would probably taste better.

4- Chicken Ala King:  Some kind of gelatinous goo mixed with shreds of who-knows-what meat substitute, absolutely terrible.

5- Chicken with Rice:  The next evolution after chicken ala king, more gelatinous goo but this time with rice added.

6- Tuna with Noodles:  Yet again, more goo which is hard to choke down.  Maybe I have a problem with the texture of these meals?

7- Cheese Tortellini:  Absolutely nothing like you would get in an Italian restaurant.  Frozen Italian food from the grocery store (you know those 10 for $10 microwave meals) would be a much better option.

8- Tuna in Pouch:  I’m not opposed to tuna, but WHY does this meal come with tortillas….and pretzels?  Who eats tuna tortillas?

9- Sloppy Joe Filling:  What I recall about this meal is that it really isn’t a meal at all.  Think runny tomato sauce and little balls of fake meat inside of it.  Very strange indeed and not even close to being good.

10- Pork Chow Mein:  Again, more goo but with those chow mein noodles added to it (you mix it all together).  Pretty revolting, I can’t remember eating one and enjoying it.


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    • Ranger W on January 9, 2013 at 1:42 PM
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    spaghetti also usually has skittles.

      • PJ on January 9, 2013 at 7:16 PM
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      Skittles are money, often hoarded by those who happen to chance upon a packet. Charms and tootsie rolls are the most disappointing “treat” usually found within an MRE.

    • 1775 on January 9, 2013 at 11:12 PM
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    Been in 10 years now and I gotta disagree with one thing… The only good thing about cheese and veggie omelet is sometimes it has skittles and a pop tart…

      • PJ on January 10, 2013 at 7:09 AM
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      Good call on the pop tart, although usually it is a pop crumble!

    • Prepper Daddy on January 10, 2013 at 3:26 PM
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    Saw the title; “MREs: The best and the worst.” and got all excited. I have never purchased MRE’s, prefering instead to package food my way, but now I am wanting to get a least a few cases on hand. I was hoping this acticle would indicate which BRAND or type was the best/worst to buy…any thoughts on that idea?


      • PJ on January 10, 2013 at 6:47 PM
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      Prepper Daddy

      Sorry to disappoint, hopefully I can point you in the right direction though. JM’s comment has a good link to military MREs, in addition you can check out the following sources for MREs (Click the links).

      Emergency Essentials
      The Ready Store
      Readymade Resources
      Camping Survival

      Hope that helps!


        • JM on January 10, 2013 at 10:34 PM
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        PJ, have you tried those brands? That is one of the reason I found and ordered from the MREdepot, I was concerned what the civilian MRE’s had in them. I knew what the Military MRE’s were, but the fear of the unknown with the civilian version gave me pause. I would like to know what people have to say that have tried them.

    • JM on January 10, 2013 at 5:18 PM
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    If you know much about MRE’s, you know that they come in boxes of Menu A and Menu B and they are illegal to sell commercially. I found a website that sells 100% US Government MRE’s that are 100% legal. They are packaged for Government Contractors woking in other countries and marked Menu C. They are the best of the best menu items from Menu A and B and sell for $89.95 at MREdepot.


      • PJ on January 10, 2013 at 6:49 PM
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      Thanks for the link! By chance….what is your favorite MRE? 🙂

        • JM on January 10, 2013 at 10:30 PM
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        I’m with you on most of them. I like the beef patty, spaghetti , Beef stew, and Meat loaf. I can eat any of them without much regret, but if I had to choose a favorite, I would have to say the beef patty. But, I could do without the vegetable lasagna.

  1. As someone who spend a few years in the Army and had my share of MREs I would recommend that MREs be a back up to your back up. You will loose your taste and desire for MREs after a few days, and they are poor quality. Have other emergency food stock and use MREs if that fails or as a barter item.

      • PJ on January 13, 2013 at 7:25 PM
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      Peter I totally agree, they should only be considered one part of a diverse food storage strategy.

    • Old Goat Patrol on January 15, 2013 at 9:06 PM
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    Ham and Lima beans with apricots.

      • AIRBORNE JOHN on May 21, 2017 at 10:32 PM
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    • Lud on December 18, 2015 at 4:14 AM
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    I personally would go for the beef stew.. It’s just like denty Moore be stew nice meat chunks with potatoes and peas and carrots in a good sauce.. Great with Tabasco and some bread.. Just don’t an abused old smashed up one out things will not look good.. The Taste would be in it.. Add some salt.. And what ever happend to the instant butter power for the mashed.. And glass mini Tabasco.. I’d also love the mashed with bacon.. I would not eat the who packet at once..

    I’d just keep having snacks and then trade my m&ms for anything else.. Usually they are fubar. Or add a smashed up atomic cinnamon candy balls to the coffee.. It made it perfect

    • Joe Balochoni on February 11, 2017 at 12:16 AM
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    I hate the veggie Patty mre so much. It is disgusting.

    • Tom on February 19, 2017 at 6:54 AM
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    I have just bought the cheese tortellini MRE. Is it good? As most reviews of it have been very mixed.

    • Mike W on March 6, 2017 at 12:37 AM
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    You’re right about the chicken ala king, but you think the Vomlet is edible? Even on the list of best MREs? You gotta be outta your mind.Vomlet wasn’t worth a cheese packet in my own opinion.

      • PJ on March 6, 2017 at 12:39 AM
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      Ha! To each his own bro. Maybe my taste buds are out of sync

    • John Galt on April 28, 2017 at 6:48 PM
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    Can’t go wrong with owning a little gold and silver.

    • Jeannie on July 3, 2017 at 11:25 AM
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    Would you say it’s a good idea for us to take these on a hiking trip? Lol. They sell them individually at our MCX.

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