Rating: 7.8 / 10
Value for Money 1.6 / 2.5
Taste 1.4 / 2.5
Convenience 2.3 / 2.5
Weight 2.5 / 2.5
Campers Pantry have been known over the past couple of years as producers of high quality freeze dried vegetables but in late 2017 they became the newest entry into the Australian freeze dried meal market releasing ten main meal options in addition to three dessert choices. These meals are progressively becoming more commonly available and can also be ordered both online, in store and through the supplier.
Before I discuss the taste test many of you would be wondering why bother to introduce yet another range of freeze dried meals to the Australian market when the offerings from Back Country Cuisine and Outdoor Gourmet are so well known. Campers Pantry has done there homework and these main meal offerings which are single serve, sit in the middle, size-wise, of the other two brands at 110 grams.
On simple overnight trips, I find that the single serve offerings from Back Country work well but on multi week trips they are just not enough. This larger single serve suits those of us with bigger appetites who don’t want to go with the full twin serve option. In addition these meals offer some great variety rather than trying to repeat what is already on offer and in doing so, expand the freeze dried meal choices on offer. This includes two vegetarian offerings, that means that everyone should be happy.
Now beef Teriyaki is not usually a dish that I eat as I usually prefer chicken so I didn’t really have a frame of reference when trying this meal. As usual I’ll discuss the negatives first and in this case it was very much a personal one. This meal contains flavour enhancers (627 and 631, and 620) and while I’m not overly allergic to these I do have a reaction as they leave me with can only be described as a ‘red wine hangover’ shortly after ingesting them. In the case of this meal the amount of flavour enhancers used appears to be minimal but I’m judging this purely based on taste and the after effects which was much less than those caused by meal offerings from other brands on the market.
Having said this the taste was quite good and in no way artificial which is not something that I would usually say when flavour enhancers are used. The texture was quite also good with the meat and vegetable component being very obvious, and the meal was very filling. This meal does contain salt like most freeze dried meals but it has been used sparingly which is a good thing.
Campers Pantry meals have a high protein content which is so important particularly over the longer trips. The Beef Teriyaki has a topping 61 grams of protein per single serve pack compared to under 16-17 grams per serve from other brands on offer. The calorie count of this meal is also excellent at 604 calories which is unsurprising given that this is a beef dish (listen to our Podcast 057 on nutrition on the trail on the importance of protein on longer trips).
The Campers Pantry bag recommends adding 250 grams of boiling water to rehydrate this meal and this amount appears to be spot on. I added more and found that I’d overshot producing a more watery result that I normally prefer. Campers Pantry recommend allowing 20 minutes for rehydration with an occasional stir and partly this is due to the extra protein in the meals requiring this additional time to absorb the water but I’ve found that allowing 14 minutes produces a good result.
The normal price for these meals sits around the $15.95 mark for a single serve pack which if you compare this to the offerings from Back Country Cuisine single serves is expensive. However, lets talk value for money rather than cost. These meals are great tasting, have a much higher protein content than the other choices currently available ( in this case almost 4 times the protein) on the market which while not an issue for short trips is very important on the longer more physically demanding trips. They also have a higher calorie content which helps to reduce the food weight you carry. These meals have a two year shelf life so you can stock up at the sales in anticipation of an upcoming trip.
The meal comes in a bag that is well designed and the bottom opens out to provide a flat base if you want to leave the bowl at home. Unlike Back County and Outdoor Gourmet, the Campers Pantry meals don’t have a tear point to make the food easier to access. This doesn’t bother me as I prefer to use a long handled spoon and leave the bag intact otherwise you can end up a big mess in your rubbish bag.
So what is the final verdict? While I liked the taste of this meal my own personal issues with flavour enhancers will mean that I wont be using this as part of my regular meal rotation. If flavour enhancers aren’t an issue for you then I think most outdoor enthusiasts will find this to be a very good choice for that overnight adventure.
If you have tasted the Campers Pantry Beef Teriyaki meal or if you have questions, we’d like to hear from you. Post your comment or questions below
Please note that our affiliations do not influence, in any way, the independence of our gear reviews. If we don’t like a product, you’ll hear about it from us!
Campers Pantry Beef Teriyaki meal as purchased
Meal bag with the base folded out allowing the bag to remain upright while rehydrating
Campers Pantry Beef Teriyaki meal unrehydrated
Campers Pantry Beef Teriyaki meal rehydrated and ready to eat. In this image I have added 300ml of water. The 250ml recommendation on the pack is the amount to go with
This review was done with product provided by Campers Pantry