BASIC Question - The correct way to heat MRE’s

Discussions about US MREs and other US rations
CaptainCoOrdinates
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BASIC Question - The correct way to heat MRE’s

Post by CaptainCoOrdinates » Sun Oct 10, 2021 6:17 pm

Hi, I’m new to this forum but you all seem very informed so I thought I’d ask a question; What is the correct (or quickest) way to heat MRE’s in the field?
I did do a search but there was no definitive answer.

I generally read conflicting methods about heating MRE’s in the field, as well as at base, even. The recommended method I believe is;
1. Boil water, add MRE, bring back to boil, then simmer for ‘x’ minutes.

I don’t currently do this, I heat both water and MRE together and simmer on heat for 6-8 minutes;
so, 2. Boil water and MRE together, simmer for ‘x’ minutes.

I then read (on this forum) the just boil method;
3. Boil water, (in an electric kettle) add MRE, leave for ‘x’ minutes.

It then strikes me that (3) could be adapted for field use and save simmer fuel by;
4. Boil water (with or without MRE contained), place pot/mess tin with contained MRE and hot water in insulated bag for ‘x’ minutes.

My understanding is that water won’t boil if containing an item at lesser temperature, so heating the MRE until boiling would mean the MRE was ‘boiling’ (I might be wrong). Yet many heating instructions for foodstuffs is to ‘add foodstuff to boiling water’.

Probably all the above 1-4 would be OK, but what would be the ‘correct’ way to heat an MRE accounting for any foodie type tech?

TIA.

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Smitty
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Re: BASIC Question - The correct way to heat MRE’s

Post by Smitty » Sun Oct 10, 2021 6:34 pm

I don't follow anything exact. If it's warm, it's warm. FRH's are the most common way I'll heat a retort pouch in the middle of nowhere. If I'm heating a retort pouch near electricity, I just put the pouch in a electric kettle and flip the switch. Works great and several veterans have told me that's how they do it on base. So I suppose that's similar to your #2. When it boils, you know the contents are nice and hot.

The Canadian Military uses a Coleman stove with a pressure cooker to heat the retort pouches in the field. In vehicles, a lot of them have a water heater. There's also 24V ration heaters.
All the best, Gents.

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cavguy
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Re: BASIC Question - The correct way to heat MRE’s

Post by cavguy » Mon Oct 11, 2021 12:04 pm

When I was in the Army, you either used the FRH (most didn't due to a time crunch) or you stuck the meal itself in or on the hot/warn exhaust pipes of the vehicle. It would heat your meal pretty nice too!

Most folks were content with eating a cold meal however.

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Smitty
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Re: BASIC Question - The correct way to heat MRE’s

Post by Smitty » Mon Oct 11, 2021 12:56 pm

cavguy wrote:
Mon Oct 11, 2021 12:04 pm
Most folks were content with eating a cold meal however.
That seems to be the most common thing I hear. “No time or inclination. I just ate it”. Most meals are pretty fine that way too. Some of the Canadian IMPs like Sausage and Hashbrowns, and Beef Macaroni are terrible that way due to the congealed fat.
All the best, Gents.

- I'm also making videos mainly for my own enjoyment, but hey, maybe you might want to check them out: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4-9gp ... C1dSyPX0w/

Rstel01
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Re: BASIC Question - The correct way to heat MRE’s

Post by Rstel01 » Mon Oct 11, 2021 1:41 pm

Image

Never forget the most important part of cooking :D

ChowLine
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Re: BASIC Question - The correct way to heat MRE’s

Post by ChowLine » Mon Oct 11, 2021 10:11 pm

I've always just used the FRH. To increase the heat generated by the FRH chemical reaction, add the salt from the accessory packet. I have observed the heat produced reach up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit by using this method. Then simply put the main inside the FRH. If you have two pouches to heat up, I add the second pouch UNDER the FRH, but not in the FRH pouch, containing the main and slide both into the cardboard sleeve. This allows the second pouch to heat up without displacing water in the pouch which prevents a more efficient chemical reaction.

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blue87fj60
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Re: BASIC Question - The correct way to heat MRE’s

Post by blue87fj60 » Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:33 pm

I agree with Chowline. Do the same.
Only thing I use boiled water for is an MCW. Easily done with Jetboil or teapot if I am around house.

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housil
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Re: BASIC Question - The correct way to heat MRE’s

Post by housil » Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:50 pm

CaptainCoOrdinates wrote:
Sun Oct 10, 2021 6:17 pm
Hi, I’m new to this forum but you all seem very informed so I thought I’d ask a question; What is the correct (or quickest) way to heat MRE’s in the field?
There isn´t a "the correct" way. Any way is correct to heat rations, depends what is available in the fields. I like my electric 24V rations heater. All I have to do is to turn a switch on. That´s the quickest way when I´m motorized.
I prefer to heat them up in boiling water (jetboil, tommy cooker etc.) as hotter as better are the mains.

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Kays1968
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Re: BASIC Question - The correct way to heat MRE’s

Post by Kays1968 » Tue Oct 12, 2021 5:20 pm

Smitty wrote:
Mon Oct 11, 2021 12:56 pm
Some of the Canadian IMPs like Sausage and Hashbrowns, and Beef Macaroni are terrible that way due to the congealed fat.
Yum. Tasty congealed fat. Spread it on a cracker, it would make any Russian happy.......

-Zed

alcockell
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Re: BASIC Question - The correct way to heat MRE’s

Post by alcockell » Wed Oct 13, 2021 9:21 am

Kays1968 wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 5:20 pm
Smitty wrote:
Mon Oct 11, 2021 12:56 pm
Some of the Canadian IMPs like Sausage and Hashbrowns, and Beef Macaroni are terrible that way due to the congealed fat.
Yum. Tasty congealed fat. Spread it on a cracker, it would make any Russian happy.......

-Zed
And wolf it down, speaking to camera with your mouth full... (Immediately thought of Taras on his videos)

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