New to MREs. Any tricks/tips would be much appreciated!

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Chasefortheelliott
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New to MREs. Any tricks/tips would be much appreciated!

Post by Chasefortheelliott » Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:24 pm

Hi everyone,

I recently stumbled onto steve1989's youtube channel and I find MREs super fascinating. In June I bought a 2015 Spaghetti w/ meat sauce MRE from an army/navy store but I had a few problems. The FRH didn't work or I made some kind of mistake, I don't know.

I found out my dad has 2008 MREs from a charity event he did a few years back and he let me have one. I chose Spicy Penne Pasta w/ vegetarian crumbles. Here are the components:

Spicy Penne Pasta
Crackers
Peanut butter
Raisins
Carrot Pound Cake
Orange flavored drink
Spiced cider
Seasoning blend

I'm excited to try it. But I have a few questions.

1. Is a 10 year old MRE completely safe? There were mouse droppings on the box and a few down inside the box but no sign of any chewing or holes anywhere. The cider and orange flavored drink are still powder, and the crackers and pound cake are still intact. Is there anything I should look out for in the meal itself?

2. Is there any tips on getting the FRH to work? If I can't get it to work, is there a good alternative to heat up the food?

3. Do you have any other hints, tips, or suggestions for me?

Thank you!

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elandil
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Re: New to MREs. Any tricks/tips would be much appreciated!

Post by elandil » Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:03 pm

add salt to the water you put in the FRH, that normally kickstarts them. If it still won't heat up, then you can always drop in boiling water for about 7-8 minutes, leave on a car dash in the sun til it warms up, or put in front of a heater until it warms thru. Or empty on a plate and microwave.

As for age, there are several videos of people eating stuff from decades ago with no issue. Then there are some of people getting items still in date that have issues. If there are signs of rodent droppings, I would definately clean the bag good with a antibacterial/sanitizing cleanser, but as long as there's no signs of breaching of the outer wrapping, the insides should be good.

In all things, use your senses. If it looks off, is swollen, don't risk it. If it smells bad or doesn't seem to be right, don't risk it. If in doubt, toss it out.

Teddydogno1
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Re: New to MREs. Any tricks/tips would be much appreciated!

Post by Teddydogno1 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:27 pm

I'm fairly new to collecting and eating MREs for fun myself, but I have learned a bit over the last couple of months.

The biggest thing that determines whether or not an "old" MRE is edible is the STORAGE CONDITIONS. I have a case of 2006 MREs that have lived in my pantry for at least the last 8 years but unknown before that. They are still OK, mostly. The 3 mains I have eaten have been good, but some side items like the "Nut and Raisin mix" have been starting to turn. And that's for well stored MREs.

You mention the mouse poop which makes me think yours may have been stored outside in a shed, barn or garage. That doesn't sound ideal, but it does depend on where you live. If it had been there a long time and that location regularly gets over 70 - 75 degrees, it is a fair bet that they are not going to be "good eats" any more.

With watching the big boys, you should have seen that they LOOK for signs of problems (holes in packages, off colors, mold, dried up, etc.). Then SMELL for trouble (should smell good not musty, old, chemicaly, acrid, etc.). Then finally TASTE small bites if everything looks good. Check for off flavors, bitterness where there shouldn't be, metallic flavors, burning on your tongue or lips, etc. Use ALL of your senses and don't take chances.


Rob

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carlosflar
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Re: New to MREs. Any tricks/tips would be much appreciated!

Post by carlosflar » Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:46 pm

MRE's are pretty straight forward... If it tastes good, it's good, it tastes like metal or really weird or bitter, to the trash... I've try ed old stuff without problems, just don't push it, if you try it once and doesn't taste well, don't try it twice XD
I have Spanish rations permanently, feel free to ask :!:
Interested in: International rations,medical items, emergency kits and other
YT channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/carlosflar

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housil
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Re: New to MREs. Any tricks/tips would be much appreciated!

Post by housil » Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:57 am

First of all , welcome to forums.
Chasefortheelliott wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:24 pm

3. Do you have any other hints, tips, or suggestions for me?

Thank you!
We have an own section for this, please see here:
viewforum.php?f=5

Chasefortheelliott
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Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:25 am

Re: New to MREs. Any tricks/tips would be much appreciated!

Post by Chasefortheelliott » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:32 am

Thank you to all 4 of you. I've noticed from afar that it seems like you guys really help each other out. I'm excited to start this new found hobby. Today's meals are kinda already set in stone so I'll try it tomorrow. If anyone has anything else, please post it. And I'll let everyone know tomorrow how it goes!

Chasefortheelliott
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Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:25 am

Re: New to MREs. Any tricks/tips would be much appreciated!

Post by Chasefortheelliott » Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:01 am

Hi sorry it took a little while. Life kinda got in the way. I got the FRH to work no problem, didnt require salt or anything. While I waited for that, I ate the crackers and peanut butter and drank the orange beverage base. My dog was all over me because he loves peanut butter lol! I wasn't a huge fan of the beverage, that was probably my least favorite part, a little bitter and not very orangy. Also ate a few raisins in this time. Not bad, actually really good for 10 years old but straight raisins aren't really my thing. Finally my main was ready. The pasta was perfect. No spoilage. A nice light spice with sausage crumbles that hit it on the flavor but weren't very sausage-y in texture. Finally, when my little Bros and sister got home, I offered them to try the spiced cider. My sister refused. She was weirded out by the idea of something that was packaged when she was 2 months old! But my little bro loved it and loved drinking something older than him.

It definitely piqued my interest. Since then, I took one more of my dad's MREs (2008 Sloppy Joe), and bought two more at the local military surplus (2015 Meatballs w/ Marinara and 2015 chicken penne pasta). First I tried the chicken penne pasta. I had the cinnamon bun for breakfast. A nice little wake me up, I wish I would've heated it up, but hey, that's always something for next time. The cheese spread and bread sticks were perfect together. I'm not a big processed cheese guy but I thought it made a good combo. The peanuts were great. The vacuum seal kept them nice and roasted like they were just roasted 5 minutes ago. Might be my favorite taste from a ration so far, that you can't just get off a rack at the store, at least not in my local store. The fruit punch beverage base was okay, good but not great. Bt then again I'm not a huge fan punch Gatorade guy. The chicken pesto pasta was delicious and I could taste it all day, even after eating the ration gum. For people who hate this main, I can see how that would be bothersome. But for me, I loved it and I was quite content. Finally, the patriotic cookies for dessert. Almost like nilla wafers. It reminds me of a kindergarten snack. I was ready for my nap after, lol! That might've been the big meal I just consumed though.

Next, I had the sloppy joe. I was a little hesitant, because the idea of 10 year old meat kinda threw me for a loop. But first, I didn't get all that was listed so I was a bit disappointed. I didn't get the twin wheat snack bread, only the regular, and no tortilla whatsoever. Which was pretty disappointing. I was planning on putting the sloppy joe filling and some of the jalapeno cheese in the tortilla, but, hey, I don't need all the calories that someone out in the field is gonna have, so no complaints. I got another orange beverage, but maybe this one paired a little better because it was better than the first orange, though still not great. I put the jalapeno cheese on the bread. Not a big spice person but it wasn't bad. I would probably trade the jalapeno cheese spread and get something else that perhaps is less desired, but still tasty. The sloppy joe filling was nice, tasted like straight up manwich. Definitely interesting coming out of a retort pouch. A little hot sauce made it perfect. And finally the brownie. They shouldn't have removed that thing, cause it was delicious. It tasted like something you could buy at a local bakery. Definitely would be a morale boost in the field.

And lastly, I tried the meatballs with marinara. And this was my favorite one so far. Definitely saved the best for last. I couldn't figure out how to heat both. For awhile, the FRH didn't even activate. Putting it in the middle just didn't get the water in there, even though I shaked it. I still have a lot to learn! Then I put the meatballs and potatoes on the same side, but it only heated through the potatoes. So I took those out and ate them on my own while I waited. Tasted like my dad's au gratin potatoes. I've heard in the past, they weren't liked, but they were great. What's weird, is that even though I'm not a spice person, I found myself craving it. So the little bottle of tobasco from the sloppy joe was put back in service! After that, it was perfect. The meatballs didn't warm completely, but they were alright.meatballs like that or canned have a weird texture that I don't like, but the sauce was nice and I scarfed it down. The jerky was probably my least favorite part of any of this. If it wasn't for the cheese spread, it would've been unedible. The lemon lime beverage base was incredible. It tasted like key lime to me! I love key lime. This was by far my favorite beverage base. I could drink it every day. If I was in the field I'd find the person who hates lemon lime and befriend them just so I could trade them every time they got lemon lime! Maybe that's a bit over the top lol, but it was very delicious. And finally, the marble pound cake. It was my favorite dessert of any of them so far too. Such rich chocolate flavor. I could eat about 10 of those! All in all the perfect meal and the one I would love to have in the field, while hunting, or just sitting in the comfort of my own home

Chasefortheelliott
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Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:25 am

Re: New to MREs. Any tricks/tips would be much appreciated!

Post by Chasefortheelliott » Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:06 am

I want to thank you who helped me again. Im definitely happy of this new hobby and can't wait to try more. I have a limited budget as I am between jobs and dealing with some mental health stuff, so I'm gonna buy two or 3 more to last me awhile after selling a longboard that I won. I'm thinking 2015 hash brown with potatoes, pepper jack beef Patty, and maybe tuna so I can try a dairy shake. I might even take pictures and do a text review of one or more of them. When I get a chance and get everything settled, I'd love to buy a 24 hour foreign ration. A British ORP sounds especially good, but what's some other countries that produce tasty rations? Also, what's everyone's favorite place to buy one?

Thanks!

Shawn
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Re: New to MREs. Any tricks/tips would be much appreciated!

Post by Shawn » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:46 pm

If you get the dairy shake do yourself a favor stick it in the fridge or freezer for awhile. It's much better

Chasefortheelliott
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Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:25 am

Re: New to MREs. Any tricks/tips would be much appreciated!

Post by Chasefortheelliott » Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:30 pm

Shawn wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:46 pm
If you get the dairy shake do yourself a favor stick it in the fridge or freezer for awhile. It's much better
I got the dairyshake, strawberry inside a tuna mre and then they had a chocolate one by itself that i bought. So how exactly do I go about that? Do I mix it in the pouch and then fridge?

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