When it comes to solutions for food and meal storage and preparedness, freeze-dried food is a fast and easy way to ensure that you have something to eat in any disaster scenario. This type of prepared food is relatively lightweight but contains no water, maximizing its shelf life. If they remain unopened, these foods have the potential to last up to three decades when stored properly, which makes them the perfect addition to any survival kit.
Even putting aside its extremely lasting nature, freeze dried food is actually often extremely nutritious, serving as an ideal way to maximize health and wellness in any situation. Every good survival kit needs to include freeze-dried food, and we’ve compiled a list that may meet those needs.
Let's review the most popular commonly used freeze-dried foods that can be a quality solution when it comes to long term food storage. For those interested in first aid kits, face masks, and many other survivalist items, be sure to check out how to survive a crisis to ensure your emergency preparedness readiness is where it needs to be should a real problem arise in the market and economy.
Ranking the Best 10 Freeze-Dried Foods
We did the research for readers with our best freeze-dried food 2023 list. In addition to rankings of the top freeze-dried foods, we have frequently asked questions and important information about survival kits and freeze-dried food.
Here are the freeze-dried foods that we have found to be some of the most useful options to consumers this year. However, remember that this list is not ordered in any specific way; it is just intended to be a starting point for research.
Mountain House Just In Case 14-Day Kit
The Mountain House Just In Case 14-Day Kit comes with a major supply of freeze-dried food that is meant to last a family about two weeks with 100 servings. The kits are easy to reheat, offering meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that can keep the user from getting bored with their options. The products have a 30-year shelf life, and the kit only weighs about 13 pounds with all of the meals in freeze-dried packaging.
While Amazon ordinarily offers this kit, it is presently out of stock. It includes meals like pasta primavera, Mexican rice and chicken, chicken fried rice, biscuits and gravy, and others.
Augason Farms 30-day Emergency Food Storage Supply
The Augason Farms 30-day Emergency Food Storage Supply provides consumers with over 300 servings, easily supporting a family of four through survival situations or while traveling. The thick plastic container is strong, defending the meals easily from vermin and insects that might get into the packaging otherwise. When all of the food is packed into the box, it weighs about 30 pounds, so it isn’t really to be considered ideal for mobility.
The kit from Augason is often available on Amazon, but through third-party sellers. Consumers will get meals like maple brown sugar oatmeal, homestyle mashed potatoes, cheesy broccoli rice, creamy potato soup, and macaroni and cheese, among other foods.
Wise Company Emergency Food Supply
There are many different supply kits available from Wise Company, this Emergency Food Supply with 120 servings is one we chose to make the list. With each individually sealed package, consumers can store everything within the included bucket, which has a 25-year shelf life. Every serving offers 250 calories for the user, so there’s a chance that consumers will have to eat more than one package per meal, reducing the amount of time they can cover with 120 servings. While it should be heated before consuming, users state that the texture just isn’t the same, which is fairly common among these types of meals.
While Amazon sells this supply of food, it is currently only available through third-party companies. Some of the foods available include cheesy lasagna, pasta alfredo, savory stroganoff, hearty tortilla soup, and loaded baked potato casserole, among other recipes.
NorthWest Fork Gluten-Free 30 Day Emergency Food Supply
NorthWest Fork Gluten-Free 30 Day Emergency Food Supply offers a selection of food that is helpful to consumers that don’t regularly consume gluten in their diet. Essentially, this kit is a go-to for consumers with a sensitivity or celiac disease, providing 90 servings to the user that can adequately support one person for a month or a family for a week (at least).
While Amazon usually stocks this item, it is presently unavailable. Some of the meals include different flavors of oatmeal, green pea soup, and pinto bean stew.
Augason Farms Lunch & Dinner
The Augason Farms Lunch & Dinner only weighs about 11 pounds, which makes is much lighter than most of these kits. While it only has about 92 servings, it offers a substantial amount of variety and nutritional support, appealing to consumers that don’t want to be stuck in the same routine with every single meal.
On Amazon, consumers can purchase this product from multiple third-party sellers, some of the meals include Italian marinara pasta, creamy stroganoff, creamy chicken soup, and others.
Legacy Emergency Preparedness Entree Meal Supply
Legacy Emergency Preparedness Entree Meal Supply provides users with calorie-rich meals to support their need for nutrients in their time of need. The entrees offer an impressive shelf life, whether stored properly or even with camping gear, but it only actually contains a total of 60 servings. With this limited amount, the supply may be better used as a short-term food supply, rather than survival for weeks upon weeks.
Consumers can ordinarily seek out this product on Amazon, but it is out of stock at the moment. Still, when purchased, it contains recipes like strawberry creamy wheat, old fashioned pancake mix, classic chili mix, cheese & broccoli bake, and creamy a la king, as well as many other recipes.
Backpacker’s Pantry Freeze Dried Food
The Backpacker’s Pantry Freeze Dried Food is designed with the mindset of a long-distance hiker, but it actually contains supplies that would be helpful to anyone in a survival or emergency situation as well. With 660 calories of nourishment in every pack, consumers are able to pack a lot of healthy nourishing support into each meal, which is important in these types of circumstances. With more energy and a satiated appetite, consumers can even have the benefit of a variety of different options to keep them from getting bored.
This kit is available on Amazon right now for $28.95, offering six pouches. However, consumers can choose to add more or less to their routine as well. Some of the recipes include beans & rice, fettuccine alfredo with chicken, and Katmandu curry.
Nutristore Freeze Dried Fruit
Nutristore Freeze Dried Fruit is less about providing consumers with full meals, and more focused on offering ingredients in a way that is both easy to store and easy to use. While the brand offers meats, beans, and vegetables, the freeze-dried fruit is by far one of the rarer items to find in survival supplies, though it offers users a substantial number of concentrated vitamins and minerals. When it comes to survival, nutrients like Vitamin C and antioxidants tend to be difficult to get and preparing ahead of time can mean the different between surviving and being healthy in the process.
This kit is presently unavailable on Amazon, but it may come back in stock. The 120 servings include strawberries, raspberries, and bananas.
Harmony House Foods Deluxe Sampler
The Harmony House Foods Deluxe Sampler offers a different spin on freeze-dried food. While many of the kits on this list have meals that have already been assembled, the Harmony House kit offers more variety, offering consumers that prefer ingredients that users can create their own meals with. Each ingredient is stored in a plastic container that can be made into whatever recipe the user comes up with. However, this kit requires that consumers have their own space and supplies to cook with, so it may be cumbersome for consumers without this freedom.
While Amazon often offers two different packages for this kit, it is currently out of stock. When consumers order this set, they will receive portions of cabbage, diced carrots, tomato, beans, leeks, chicken, ham, and spices, along with other ingredients.
Peak Refuel Freeze Dried Meals
Peak Refuel Freeze Dried Meals is a delicate balance between what could be used for backpacking and camping or what could function as a survival set. All of the meals have a rather high content of protein, though they are still lightweight enough to carry. While the recipes include the classic use of beans and rice (as well as other staples), they also managed to integrate meats and other proteins to ensure that consumers get a well-rounded source of nourishment in these times. Since the desired audience for this product is backpackers, the only downside is that the meals are not available in bulk amounts.
A set of two serving pouches can be found on Amazon for $13.99, though consumers will have to search out the different recipes. Chicken pesto salad is presently one of the “Amazon’s Choice” products from Peak amongst consumers.
Who Should Purchase Freeze-Dried Food?
Freeze-dried foods are meant for a variety of audiences, but all of these groups come down to just one factor, the need for nutrient-rich food that is easily preserved. Anyone that wants to prepare for survival has a few big priorities in mind, which include first aid, water, shelter, and food. While food isn’t a top priority for survivalists, it is necessary for keeping the body energized and healthy enough to continue on.
A survival kit absolutely must include freeze-dried food, even if the user only wants to stock up for a few days. Considering how long this type of food can last while in storage, there isn’t any reason not to add it. By keeping food supply kits with water and a first aid kit, the consumer can be ready for nearly any circumstance.
How the Rankings Worked
There were several factors that contributed to our selection of these products for the list of freeze-dried foods we recommended. Some of those factors included the shelf life of the kits, the quality of the nutrients, the taste of the food, and even the strength of the packaging. Even though the storage of these kits is an essential part of taking care of it, the right packaging can make a difference in how well the kit stands up against the test of time.
Nutritionally, the rankings included products that have vitamins and minerals that offer support that consumers would need for their own survival without becoming weak. Many of the meals we put at the greatest priority included all of the nine essential amino acids. While taste seems to be a matter of preference, most of the products on this list were commonly liked for their flavor by customers.
Benefits of Purchasing Freeze-Dried Foods
There are several reasons that consumers may end up purchasing freeze-dried food, whether for an emergency preparedness kit or a survival kit. For instance, while some consumers may opt for dehydrated food, this type of meal usually loses out on nutrients that would otherwise be preserved with the freeze-drying process. Freeze drying allows more water to be pressed out with a low-pressure environment, though the nutrient content is preserved but without high temperatures used to dry it.
When it comes to traveling, freeze-dried food offers less weight than carrying along canned food or even dehydrated food. While the weight of a kit or food isn’t really important for consumers that are stocking up in a place that won’t require mobility, for consumers that need to survive away from their home will find that freeze-dried foods are the way to go.
Longevity is another reason to consider freeze-dried foods, as these foods have a greater shelf life than canned food or dehydrated meals. Much of the reason for this longevity has to do with their lack of water content, which allows the food to last for up to 30 years without losing the taste or nutritional content of their original state.
Frequently Asked Questions About Freeze-Dried Foods
Freeze-dried food can be confusing. Consumers might be wondering about the nutrition, use, availability, or other key factors relating to freeze-dried food and the companies producing it. While users should contact specific companies for particular concerns or questions about their product lines, this section will answer some of the most commonly asked questions about freeze-dried foods that consumers often voice.
Q: What is freeze-dried food?
A: Freeze-drying is a process that eliminates all water from food at low temperatures and low atmospheric pressure. When food is freeze-dried, it can survive for extreme amounts of time without going bad or becoming dangerous to eat. This makes freeze-drying an ideal process for users to learn if they fear an apocalypse or dangerous situation that might limit their access to food in the outside world.
Q: How long can freeze-dried food last?
A: Freeze-dried food has the capacity to last up to 30 years in the best of circumstances. However, to reach that length of time, consumers need to make sure they follow storage instructions, keeping the kit at a cool and dry area within a container that is impenetrable by insects and vermin. If the instructions aren't followed properly when freeze-drying food, this length of time can be shortened significantly.
Q: Is it possible for consumers to make their own freeze-dried food?
A: While it is possible to make freeze-dried food at a personal level, the process is time-consuming, and the equipment may be expensive. In an industrial setting, the work is done for the user, which means that consumers just have to place an order. Oftentimes, industrially freeze-dried food is guaranteed to be perfect and fresh. Unless consumers have a reason to distrust companies and their freeze-drying process, we generally recommend that consumers reach out to professionals rather than trying to freeze-dry their own food.
Q: How should freeze-dried food be stored?
A: Freeze-dried food should be kept in a cool and dark place that is never exposed to light or significant warmth, which can make freeze-dried food go bad. A plastic container is often the best protection for a kit, as it keeps out pests that would otherwise deplete the supply. The plastic should be thick; vermin will eat easily through thinner plastic containers if they become hungry enough.
Q: How should freeze-dried food be rehydrated?
A: The re-hydrating of freeze-dried food entirely depends on the type of food. Solid foods like steak can be soaked in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes before it is ready. Foods like pasta and potatoes re-hydrate faster, as the user pours hot water into the food until it develops the correct consistency.
Q: Once opened, how long does freeze-dried food last?
A: Consumers should use re-hydrated foods within a week or two of opening. Though the freeze-drying process keeps the food preserved while the package is closed, opening it exposes the food to oxygen and bacteria, which begin the process of ‘going bad' that makes food uneatable.
Q: Are there any kinds of foods that can’t be freeze-dried?
A: Foods that have a high content of oil, fat, or sugar are unable to be properly freeze-dried. While jam, jelly, syrup, butter, and honey can all technically be freeze-dried, the processed doesn’t work well. Thick cuts of meat also are difficult and even impossible to freeze-dry properly.
Ultimately, consumers that want to store lightweight, nutrient-rich, and long-lasting food in their preparedness kits should consider having these types of dehydrated products on hand in the case of an unexpected emergency or event. Freeze-dried food offers unprecedented nutrition and can remain unopened and safe to eat for up to three decades.
The lightweight food storage helps to keep moisture out of foods, which aids in preserving nutrients that users need when they finally need use and consume it. Anyone can find a good reason to integrate these kits into their existing preparedness system; a good prepackaged freeze-dried food stock can mean the difference between starvation and thriving in a disaster scenario.