Rating: 8.4 / 10
Value for Money 1.9 / 2.5
Taste 1.9 / 2.5
Convenience 2.2 / 2.5
Weight 2.4 / 2.5
The Outdoor Gourmet Company provides dehydrated / freeze dried meals to the Australian market. As far as commercially preprepared meals go and as the name suggests, they are a high end, high taste product. I’m a big fan of nearly all the Outdoor Gourmet Company meals and while I will very happily eat any of them I have my favourites.
Lets start with taste. The Venison and Rice Noodle Stirfry is like the rest of the range and packs plenty of flavour but it does this without being overpowering. For me taste is a combination of flavour, smell, and texture and in the case of this offering from Outdoor Gourmet it has it all. The taste is good, the smell is enticing, and the texture is actually quite good. The rice noodles which make up much of this meal are real noodles rather than being a cheap copy which is the case in some of the poorer offerings on the market. The vegetable component is also good and doesn’t overpower what is essentially a meat and noodle dish.
Unlike other companies, Outdoor Gourmet focuses on providing meals for two. These meals are larger than their competitor’s offerings (produced by the same company) by approximately 8-9% which doesn’t sound like much but does help to explain the premium price. I’m a big eater and even after a two week long trip I am looking for more calories having used up my body’s reserves by this stage so will often pack some two person servings every 2-3 nights.
The obvious negative with any freeze dried meals, and in particular with Outdoor Gourmet offerings is the price. The normal price sits around the $16 mark and at about $8.00 per person that isn’t cheap. Having said that, the products do have a long shelf life so you can stock up during the regular sales at the outdoor stores.
The argument that many offer against using commercially prepared meals is that you can prepare meals more cheaply in your own kitchen. While this may be the case if you make meals in bulk, unless you are a good cook the quality is often not as good. I love to cook but there are other activities (such as hiking!) to which I would rather devote my time.
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. The suggested water addition of 50o mls is spot on being absorbed without leaving the meal tasting like soup. I have yet to use cold water (and there is no reason why you can’t) however you would need to allow more time (a couple of hours to be ready for eating). 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.
The Outdoor Gourmet Venison and Rice Noodle Stirfry is a good meal option that while not displacing my favourites is well worth considering as part of your hiking diet.
Great choice for an easy to prepare meal whether it be on a short or long trip. The Outdoor Gourmet meals are really good for couples being just that little bit bigger which make all the difference after a week on the trail
Please note that our affiliations do not influence, in any way, the independence of our gear reviews
If you have eaten the Outdoor Gourmet Venison and Rice Noodle Stirfy meal or if you have questions, we’d like to hear from you. Post your comment or question below
The Outdoor Gourmet Company provides a range of nine main meals in a twin serve size In addition to this current review these include:
Outdoor Gourmet Venison and Rice Noodle Stirfry as purchased
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 out, you will get ‘dry pieces’ in your dinner
Picture of the uncooked meal in the now open bag.
The meal now rehydrated and the bag ‘torn down’. The real food is recognisable in these meals
This review was done with product purchased from a retail store by the reviewer