How to Prepare Freeze Dried Foods

How to Prepare Freeze Dried Foods
Freeze dried foods are a favorite item on the camping or backpacking menu because they last a long time and don't require special storage. It might help to think of freeze dried food as a sort of "instant meal." All you have to do is add hot water and let the food sit until it reconstitutes itself, much like a package of instant oatmeal does. There's no way to re-freeze this food in the field, so make sure to only prepare as much as you can eat at any one time.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Camp stove
  • Cooking pot
  • Water
  • Zip-top freezer bags
Step 1
Open the package of freeze dried food and check to see whether there are individual packages inside that must be prepared separately.
Step 2
Remove individual packages, if there are any, and set aside anything that is meant to be rehydrated and eaten separately, like side dishes or dessert. For the main entree, remove items---such as noodles and vegetables---from their individual packaging and place together back in the primary package.
Step 3
Heat water to a boil.
Step 4
Pour boiling water into the main package so that it covers the entree completely. This will usually yield a thick texture once the food has rehydrated. If you want a smoother or more liquid texture, add more water above this level.
Step 5
Roll, zip or otherwise seal the main package shut. Shake it to ensure the contents have thoroughly mixed and then let it sit for several minutes.
In the meantime, if there are any freeze dried side dishes or desserts to be rehydrated, pour each separate dish into a zip-close freezer bag. Add enough hot water to cover the food, as you did with the entree. Stir or shake, then zip it closed and let rest.
Step 6
Check your entree food pack after 6 minutes. Stir and check the consistency. Look for any material that is still dried or isn't fully plumped back to a normal texture. If the food is hot all the way through and shows a normal consistency, it's done. If it looks dry and crumbly, add more water. If it's plumped up but not warmed all the way through, close the bag up again and wait another couple of minutes, then check once more.
Step 7
Check the side dish or dessert rehydrating in the zip-top bags in the same manner.

Tips & Warnings

Substitute a heavy-duty freezer zip-closure bag for the original packaging or to rehydrate separate meals; it's usually sturdy enough to tolerate the boiling water. A bowl with lid that can be sealed and shaken would also work.

Article Written By Marie Mulrooney

Marie Mulrooney has written professionally since 2001. Her diverse background includes numerous outdoor pursuits, personal training and linguistics. She studied mathematics and contributes regularly to various online publications. Mulrooney's print publication credits include national magazines, poetry awards and long-lived columns about local outdoor adventures.

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