Wise Ready-Made Meal Review

Wise Company makes ready-made meals that are tasty and easy to store for emergency situations.

By Dan Sanchez

Wise Company Chicken Teriyaki. Photo by Dan SanchezWhen it comes to having a good meal in the backcountry, many backpackers like the convenience of a ready-made, freeze-dried meal packet. So while many backpackers are familiar with ready-made meals, the Wise Company decided to take this concept to a different level and provide a variety of ready-made meals that are intended for food storage in the case of emergencies.

These ready-made meals are prepared in the same manner as backpacking meals. You simply boil water, add the packet and in 15-25 minutes, dinner is ready. But unlike backpacking meals, Wise Company’s meals are meant to have a 25 year shelf life and come in unique nitrogen packed pouches. This process removes 98 percent of the residual oxygen so it’s truly an air-tight seal. One 10.16 oz packet weighs 288 grams and feeds four.

The emergency meals are intended for people who want to keep a 3-12 month supply of food in storage at any given time. They store in large four-gallon square buckets that can be easily stacked and take up minimal space. The Wise website even has a calculator that can help you determine how many meals you need, depending on your family size and the amount of supplies you’ll need for any length of time.

Wise makes a large variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner meals that are also designed to be tasty for kids. The company contracted with professional chefs to come up with a variety of meals that people would find delicious and that were also kid friendly. We tried the Chicken Teriyaki that features enriched rice, carrots, onions, celery, soy sauce, and chicken flavor. With only five cups of boiling water we poured the entire package into a large pot and let it simmer for 25 minutes, following the directions.

We cooked up the Wise Chicken Teriaki and served it up in an Innate MC2 bowl lid.
We cooked up the Wise Chicken Teriaki and served it up in an Innate MC2 bowl lid.

The Chicken Teriyaki was very flavorful and we didn’t crunch down on any uncooked rice. The ingredients contains high levels of salt (1310mg), which is understandable for a ready-made meal, but it only had 260 calories per serving with 5 grams of fat (1.5g unsaturated fat). Keeping in mind that these emergency meals aren’t intended for backpacking, Wise does make some outdoor meals that are made in the pouch, just for that purpose. These cook in 10-12 minutes and also come in a variety meals such as cheesy macaroni, stroganoff, cheesy lasagna, and creamy chicken pasta.

While the food is tasty it isn’t like your mom’s home-made cooking, but in an emergency situation, it’s good to know you have food available that costs about $1.60 per serving. Aside from keeping them stored for an emergency, the Wise ready-made meals are also great for car camping, if you want to go lightweight and save on some trunk space. For more information, visit www.wisefoodstorage.com where you can try a free sample.

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