• Weigh-Dry 175 Grams
  • Calories/serve 406 calories
  •  
  • Cost $15.95

Back Country Cuisine Beef Stroganoff

2 Serve

Rating

Rating:                  7.5 / 10

Value for Money              1.4/2.5

Taste                              1.3/2.5

Convenience                   2.3/2.5

Weight                            2.5/2.5

Back Country Cuisine Beef Stroganoff Review

The Back Country Cuisine range of outdoor meals is probably the best known in Australia. These meals are stocked by the majority of outdoor stores and many people consider them the staple meal choice for outdoor activities. Back Country do a huge range of meal choices and many stores seem to select a ‘top ten’ so you are unlikely to find the full range in stock in any one store. In addition to the large variety of twin serves, the company also provides single serving (entree) although the single serve options don’t seem to have as large a variety at least as far as what the stores seem to stock. I’m still working my way though the very large range but I am finding this adventure is a bit hit and miss which is to be expected as everyone’s tastes are different.

I had high hopes for the Beef Stroganoff but given I make a mean version at home this offering fell short of my expectations. I’ll be fair here and say that the taste was passable but from my own preference I had some issues that mean I am unlikely to buy this one again. These issues were:

  • While the packet notes that there is no MSG (flavour enhancer 621) they have replaced this with flavour enhancer 635. I don’t really like either choice, and will try to avoid foods that rely on flavour enhancers. Apart from making me feel ‘off” I find they create an artificial taste I really don’t like. I can’t see the purpose in trying to boost the flavour which should come from the natural taste of food. This flavour enhancer is only used in certain meals so read the packet
  • I have problems eating certain types of rice that causes it to get stuck in my throat and choke (sorry for sharing too much!). This meal is one of those. I try to avoid boiled rice wherever I can just to be on the safe side. While this issue is purely something that relates to me, I do know others with the same problem however this won’t be an issue for the majority of people

The normal price sits around the $15.95 mark for a twin serve with the single serves working out more expensive per serving than the twin serve offerings. Most of the larger chain stores offer member discounts or have regular sales so its worthwhile looking around. These products do have a long shelf life so you can stock up during the regular sales at the outdoor stores.

While I will prepare some meal options myself and dehydrate, I love to cook, I tend not to worry about making complex meals but rather devote my time to other activities such as hiking. These meals are very convenient. These meals are very easy to prepare and as long as you can boil water then you are set with preparation time requiring only ten minutes. Although I have found leaving the meals for about 11-12 minutes tends to get a better result.

The meal comes in a bag that is well designed and the bottom opens out to provide a flat base for those minimalists who want to leave the bowl at home. The option exists to tear the top off the bag to allow easy access to the food but you if you have a long handled spoon you won’t need to tear the bag. My other reason for not tearing the top off the bag is that you minimise any mess and after you’re done, you can re-zip the zip lock.

So while I wouldn’t decscribe this as a bad meal it definitely falls short of other offerings in the range.

Features/Advantages/Benefits

  • Three year warranty which means you can buy these when you see them discounted thereby reducing the price. You also know the meals will always be edible
  • Minimal preparation time.  All you are doing is rehydrating these meals so once you add boiling water there’s only a ten minute wait
  • If you eat from the bag there is only the spoon to clean up. In fact you may not even need to carry a bowl at all thereby limiting the weight you carry
  • A very large variety of meals from which to choose both single and double serves so it’s unlikely you will become bored unless you are on a really long hike
  • Freeze dried. This takes much of the weight out of the meals and helps to limit the impact on your body
  • Single serve option provides just the right size for solo travellers meaning you aren’t wasting food or money by purchasing twin serve meals. If you’re really hungry go the twin serve

The Negatives

  • The main negatives of any commercially preprepared dehydrated / freeze dried meals is the cost. The Back Country Cuisine meals are cheaper than their competitors however the servings are also slightly smaller by about 8%. Per person this single serve meal is $7.50
  • Flavour enhancers are used in this product and for me this detracts from the taste. Stick to the varieties that don’t use flavour enhancers

Best Uses

An easy to prepare meal whether it be on a short or long trip for camping and hiking

Other Versions

Mexican Chicken

Honey Soy Chicken

Cottage Pie

Kung Pao Chicken

Spaghetti Bolognaise

Classic Beef Curry

Beef and Pasta Hotpot

Creamy Carbonara

Nasi Goreng

Sweet and Sour Lamb

Chicken Tikka Masala

Moroccan Lamb

Roast Chicken

Beef Teriyaki

Chicken Tomato Alfredo

Thai Chicken Curry

Pasta Vegetariano

Roast Lamb and Vegetables

Lamb Fettuccine

Venison Risotto

Vegetarian Stirfry

Smoked Fish Pie

Hearty Venison Casserole

Malaysian Vegetable Curry

Investment

$15.95 AUD

Disclaimer

This review was done with product purchased from a retail store by the reviewer

The bottom of the bag opens out to provide a flat surface. Opening out the base will allow the meal to more evenly rehydrate. If you don’t open the base fully, you will get ‘dry pieces’ in your dinner

Uncooked meal in the now opened bag

The meal now rehydrated and the bag torn down

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