Four of the Best Military Rations (MREs)

   06.26.18

Four of the Best Military Rations (MREs)

Looking for some tasty Meals Ready to Eat (MREs), but not sure where to start? Rather than buying a case and some of the rations turning out to be disagreeable? Let’s talk about rations most people may like.

First, let’s go ahead and say everything in this article is subjective. Not everyone is going to like certain foods, and some people may have food allergies.

Second, this article is going to exclude products with an overwhelming tomato taste. Sometimes rations taste like tomatoes were used to make up for the lack of other flavors.

Third, this article is based off my personal experience with MREs. I started using MREs in the mid-1990s while camping and hiking. They are more convenient than a stove, freeze dried meals, and a pot for boiling water.

One of the main drawing points for military rations is the ability to grab and go. Over the years I have taken a lot of the meals apart, put the main entrees in one box, with the side dishes in another box.  Going fishing for the day, hunting, or on a hiking trip? Grab a main meal, side dish, throw them in a backpack and head out the door.

With no further ado, here is the list.

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and dumplings are at the top of my list. However, nothing compares to homemade chicken and dumplings. Does MRE chicken and dumplings compare to homemade? Not in the slightest. Then again, they are not half bad either.

Chicken and Dumplings MRE

If nothing else, they will make you want to go home and give your mama a hug, and tell her how much you miss her home cooking.

The chicken and dumplings out of my MRE collection weigh in at 8 ounces and has 190 calories. That is half a pound of savory chicken chunks, dumplings and sauce. Compare that to some of the other meals that may weigh in at 5 ounces, or even 2.8 ounces.

Beef Stew

Looking for a meal that has plenty of flavor? Look no further than beef stew. This is the type of ration that will fill your stomach an give you the energy to get back on the trail.

Beef stew MRE

The beef stew from my MRE collection weighs in at 8 ounces and has 290 calories.

Menu no. 9:

  • Beef stew
  • Dairy shake powder – vanilla
  • Hooah! bar
  • Crackers
  • Heater
  • Spoon
  • MRE accessory pack
  • Cheese spread

Grilled Chicken Breast with Rib Meat

This is more of a snack than a main meal as it weighs just 2.8 ounces and 90 calories. What it lacks in size it makes up for in flavor. Grilled chicken breast with rib meat is the ration size someone may bring while on a fishing trip, or on a hiking trip.

Grilled chicken breast MRE

Portion size is large enough to break the hunger pain, but not too large that someone may want to take a nap after eating.

Throw in a side dish of something like Mexican style corn – 5 ounces and 110 calories – and this should becomes a decent sized meal that should satisfy most appetites.

Veggie Burger in Barbecue Sauce

Sometime around 2007 or 2008 my youngest and I were getting ready for a hiking trip and were digging through the cases of MREs. My son came across an MRE marked “Veggie Burger,” pulled it out of the box and said he wanted to try it.

Veggie burger MRE

Fast forward a couple of years and my son ate just about every veggie burger MRE in the stockpile.

The main meal weighs 5 ounces and has 240 calories.

What is the veggie burger made out of of? The first ingredients are soy and wheat gluten.

Final Thoughts

While military rations may have a bad reputation, some of them are rather tasty. Then again, there is an old saying that goes something along the lines of, “How good something taste depends on how hungry you are.”

One of the great things I love about military rations is how easy they are to grab and go. Going on a fishing, hiking or hunting trip? Grab and meal and toss it in the backpack.

Military rations may not taste the best, but they are hard to beat when it comes to convenience.

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