How to Cook and Eat MRE Meals

Originally, meals ready to eat (MRE) were designed as military rations by the U.S. army to feed their soldiers in operation and on the field. However, more and more, they have been adopted by civilians as a great food resource for emergency disaster situations. For a trained soldier, preparing and eating from an MRE pouch might be a no-brainer, but for the ordinary person, it might prove to be challenging.

An MRE package is one complete meal for an individual. When you first open up the package, open it up like a bag of chips and don’t rip it up along the sides. You can use the bag for disposal purposes later. In your package, you can expect it to include a main entrée, a side dish, a dessert or a snack, bread or crackers, and a spread for it. The package should also come with a spoon, a drink mix, and a flameless ration heater (FRH) that is water activated. Finally, the MR package also comes with an accessory pack with miscellaneous items such as chewing gum, water resistant matches, toilettes and toilet paper and seasonings.

Arrange your MRE meal contents so everything is easily identifiable. Find your main entrée and your FRH. The main entrée should come in a small flat box. Open the box and you’ll find your meal in another sealable pouch. Save the box as you’ll need it later. Next, peal open the top edge of the FRH. Inside, you’ll find the heating element of the FRH and it is important that you do not touch this. Slide your main entrée package into the FRH bag with the unopened edge on top. Fill the FRH bag with just the right amount of water as indicated by the bag line. After you put the water in, you will find that your bag starts to steam. It does get very hot so put the package back in the main entrée box that it came in to prevent your hands from handling the hot food. Tilt the box at a 45 degree angle so the water doesn’t run out of the box and this method does help to heat the food evenly. After approximately 10 minutes, your meal should be fully heated. Just take out the entrée from the FRH and repeat the process with your side dish.

MREs are a great and convenient meal for when you’re on the go and also for emergency situations. It just takes a little know-how to prepare and cook your MRE package for the first time.