Chef 5 Minute Meal Review

Awhile back I received a package from Chef Minute Meals.  This was one of those packages I love to get because there was food in it!  What’s really cool about these meals is that it’s a little like an MRE.  It doesn’t have all the extras like peanut butter and cheese, but it does contain a meal package that is self heated.

So what I mean is it contains a small heating element and the box itself is used as a stove.  It comes with a spork and a few other things you can check out in the short video.

I went hiking over the winter and took one of these meals with me to try out.  It tasted really good – meaty – and it gives a hiker some flexibility in that you don’t have to start a fire to have a warm meal.  You just pull this bad boy out, add water to the heating element, and voila!  Five to seven minutes later there’s a hot meal.  Very cool.

These meals were designed with the prepper in mind, but he wanted me to try it out to see if there was some application for use in camping as well.  I’d say they’d be ideal for a short term hike or to pack a few in a bug-out bag.  My only problem with them is that they’re a little big.  Not heavy.  They just take up space.  But imagine this… you’ve been hiking for five days out of a ten day hike and you’re sick of GORP and dehydrated spaghetti.  Pull out one of these meals and you have yourself a real nice treat in the middle of ten day hike.

There are a wide variety of meals and like I mentioned earlier they’re very tasty.

These meals are really designed for preppers and in that respect they’re ideal.  You can make one of these in minutes and you don’t need an open fire or stove and fuel or anything to make it.  Perfect!  If you’re a prepper buy a few of these meals and throw them on the shelf.  Especially if you live in an apartment or other place difficult to make a fire.  If the grid goes down it’s an easy hot meal to prepare with everything needed already in the box.

Here’s a quick video I did of the Chef 5 Minute Meal.  I’d never tried one of these meals, so you can watch me fumble around trying to figure it out.  As it turns out it’s very easy to heat one up.

Questions?  Comments?

Sound off below!

-Jarhead Survivor

  • j.r. guerra in s. tx. April 7, 2014, 8:24 am

    It appears like a great deer camp lunch meal, when after a long morning on stand, you want to eat a quick meal before taking a short siesta before your afternoon stand time.

    Or an afternoon picnic with the kids who all get their own picked menu. Yelling ‘Trade’ in middle of meal is optional. :^)

    Very cool – did not know of their existence. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Jarhead Survivor April 7, 2014, 9:05 pm

      They’re pretty neat little meals. Eating them at deer camp would be a great idea.

      Reply
  • irishdutchuncle April 7, 2014, 3:20 pm

    well this answers my question: what survival food to keep in the car?
    after “Sandy” my power was out for days… just add water, sounds better than using a camp stove indoors.

    Reply
    • Jarhead Survivor April 7, 2014, 9:10 pm

      These would work great in that capacity, Irish. I was thinking just have a dozen or so in the basement and if there’s a short term emergency you’ve guaranteed you and your family a few hot meals regardless of whether or not you can light a fire or a stove.

      Reply
  • JC April 7, 2014, 5:54 pm

    Could you consolidated a few of these to save space! I would assume the heating tray is reusable and if you used a cozy instead of the box you could pack a few. So assuming you packed just the food/water/heating element and then reuse the tray and use a thermal cozy you could pack a few of these easily. Might just have to try some of these. As for taste are the comparable to backpacking meals like Mountain House etc….

    Reply
    • Jarhead Survivor April 7, 2014, 9:15 pm

      Excellent question JC. I wondered that myself. I don’t see why not. The cozy would have to be breathable so the chemical reaction could do it’s thing, but I don’t see why not.

      We used to do this with MFE’s when we were on a long field op.

      As to taste I’d say these are better than freeze dried meals. It’s all relative of course. Lord knows I’ve eaten my fair share of freeze dried food over the years. I took my nephews camping last fall and gave them freeze dried for the first time and they loved it.

      These meals taste like you made them in your kitchen. And I’m not just saying that to help this guy sell stuff. I’m not getting a kickback of any kind other than the meals he sent me. They’re really very tasty.

      Reply
  • Chuck Findlay April 7, 2014, 8:04 pm

    With a water packet I wounder if they tolerate being left in an auto in the winter. I would think not because the water (if that is what was in the packet) would freeze as would the meal and the heating may not overcome the frozen block of food. Even if you kept the packet close to your body to keep it from freezing a block of food would be a tough thing to overcome.

    How about a video with the meal frozen and the water packet not frozen as you could always substitute other non-frozen water for the water packet.

    Reply
    • Jarhead Survivor April 7, 2014, 9:17 pm

      Good question, Chuck. The answer is I don’t know and we’re past the time here in the season where I could test it. I could put it in the freezer I guess and see what happens over a few days, but I suspect you’d have to have some way to thaw it out before using it.

      Reply
    • AuricTech April 10, 2014, 3:29 pm

      According to their FAQ, the water packet is, in fact, a saline solution. Depending on the concentration of salt in the solution, that ought to lower the freezing point to some degree (pun intended, of course!).

      Reply
  • Wally April 7, 2014, 9:14 pm

    Nice video, cool looking product. I guess though that I’m just a mutant cause I still the taste of a cold (or almost warm post carrying it in my inside pocket after a long hike) MRE entree. Also, like CF, I’d be concerned about the “water” freezing.

    Reply
    • Jarhead Survivor April 7, 2014, 9:19 pm

      I’m worried about you Wally. :-). Just kidding.

      I can still remember the wonderful taste of the Chicken ala King meals. People bitched about them, but I thought that particular meal was pretty good. Do they still have those? Or the dehydrated beef and pork patties? I don’t think I could ever say anything good about those hockey pucks though. Ha!

      Reply
      • Semper Gumby April 8, 2014, 3:42 pm

        Don’t know when you got out, but I just retired in December. There aren’t any hockey pucks anymore. I do remember the freeze dried versions, they kinda sucked. The new ones are pretty good, cold or hot. They now have all kinds of variety. The chicken and noodles is a close 2nd to the Ala King!

        Reply
  • Chuck Findlay April 7, 2014, 10:08 pm

    I would guess that the heating tray is not reusable. I don’t know, but I think once the chemical action started by the water is done you probably used up or burnt through all it has to give.

    But my somewhat local Army Surplus store sell US Military MRE heaters that you add water to. I have several of them and they are flat and very packable. You could use them with almost any food you can put in a Zip-Lock type of bag. Haven’t looked, but I would think Amazon or E-Bay has MRE heaters for sale.

    Reply
  • smokechecktim April 7, 2014, 10:48 pm

    Haven’t used this brand but the high end camping places like REI have a similar type called heater meals. You cant reuse the tray but like MRE (which I actually like except for the mex one) you can strip it down a little by removing the outer container, accessory pack and water. Use your own water instead. And yes the little water pack will freeze. The meals are pretty tasty but rather heavy compare to the various freeze dried meals. But for a day trip or hunting or even a few at work in case of a power outage they are great. The heater meals have a 5 year shelf life.

    Reply
  • Marc April 7, 2014, 10:51 pm

    $$$$???

    Reply
  • smokechecktim April 7, 2014, 11:05 pm

    you can them online for 60-70 bucks for 12. I think they have four or five different styles but I have only used the EX one.

    Reply
  • Ray April 8, 2014, 4:54 am

    Jarhead , are they as salty as the other “shelf stable meal trays” out there? (Dinty Moore comes to mind, They got more salt in them than a box ‘a crackers)

    Reply
    • Jarhead Survivor April 8, 2014, 8:22 am

      Hi Ray,

      I don’t remember this one being as salty as what you’re talking about, but I wasn’t paying much attention. I liked the way it tasted and I do like salt, so it’s possible.

      Reply
  • เป้อุ้มเด็ก April 8, 2014, 5:05 am

    Choose sleeoing bags with a hood, draft tube and draft
    collar if you to be sure that your kids stazy warm. For example,
    suppose you took the mokney and bought everyone a fairly inexpensive toy instead to
    play with. You can settle down with the bean bag chairs, watching TV or playing computer games etc.

    Reply
  • Chuck Findlay April 8, 2014, 6:05 pm

    ????

    Reply