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.