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Mountain House

After you’ve organized your camping gear, stuffed your pack and started to load the car, your next focus is on planning and putting together meals for your outdoor adventure. Many people can get overwhelmed with this task—what are we going to eat? What ingredients and cookware do we need? Did I pack enough food? Did I forget butter and lemons for all of the trout we are going to catch? The simple solution that will relieve these stresses and concerns: freeze-dried, just-add-water meals from Mountain House. From biscuits and gravy to scrambled eggs with bacon, beef stroganoff, chicken teriyaki, ice cream sandwiches, raspberry crumbles and much more, there is no shortage of options when it comes to Mountain House prepackaged camping cuisine.

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Mountain House is an Oregon-based company that traces its roots back to the Vietnam War. During this time, the military was requesting food that lasted longer, tasted better and weighed less than K- and C-rations. Mountain House’s parent company, OFD Foods (then Oregon Freeze Dry), responded to the request, and the team began creating tasty freeze-dried foods intended as long-range reconnaissance patrol rations. When the war started to wind down, the surplus rations were taken to sporting goods and military surplus stores—the flavorful treat sold out immediately. In 1969, Mountain House was born after the company realized the immense demand for great tasting, easy to prepare foods. Since then, the company has continued to make delicious freeze-dried food for the US special forces and other branches of the military.

For on-the-go adventures to emergency preparedness and every happening in between, Mountain House is the premier provider of the best and tastiest freeze-dried foods. Whether you are camping, backpacking or hiking, these just-add-water meals feature home-cooked flavors and easy, no-mess cleanup—enjoy your treats in a bowl, on a plate or just straight out of the bag!

Shop all Mountain House products, here.

jerky-1.jpgWhat’s the difference between dehydrated and freeze-dried food?

Freeze-drying is a process that removes 98 percent of the water in foods. The delicious meals from Mountain House are freeze-dried, giving them a much longer shelf life than dehydrated foods, which only have 80 percent of their water removed. Food that is freeze-dried is first flash frozen and then introduced to a vacuum that helps remove all of the water through evaporation. Some freeze-dried foods can last for more than 20 years.

Another difference between freeze-dried and dehydrated foods is the amount of time it takes to rehydrate each. Freeze-dried food usually takes five minutes or less to rehydrate and most times, you can use either hot or cold water to do so. Dehydrated foods, on the other hand, usually take between 10-15 minutes to rehydrate and require boiling water, not cool or warm water.

The biggest and most significant variance between the two, however, is the nutritional value of each. Dehydrated foods lose 50 percent of their nutritional value during the drying process because they are exposed to heat—this also results in chewier meals because of the extended drying process. Unlike dehydrated snacks, freeze-dried foods retain all of their nutritional value as well as smell, taste and texture. From quick preparation time to superior taste and more, freeze-dried foods are clearly the better choice when it comes to just-add-water camping meals.

What are the steps in the freeze-drying process?

There are four steps in the freeze-drying process: pretreatment, freezing, primary drying and secondary drying. Freeze-drying works by freezing any given food and then reducing the surrounding pressure, allowing the frozen water in the food to transition directly from the solid phase to the gas phase (sublimation).

  1. Pretreatment: As the name suggests, the pretreatment phase involves any method of treating the food prior to freezing. The pretreatment process and decision whether to pretreat products is based on freeze-drying knowledge or is demanded by cycle time or quality considerations.

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    Freezing: Freezing is the most important phase in the process because if done incorrectly, the food can be spoiled or entirely destroyed. This step is usually done using a freeze-drying machine. Most food products undergo Individual Quick Freezing (IQF), which is an advantageous method for a number of reasons. First, the freezing process is very quick during IQF treatment, which prevents ice crystals from forming in the food’s cells—this ensures the food will maintain its color, smell, taste and shape after it defrosts. Second, IQF technology separates the food during the freezing process, resulting in a higher quality product compared to foods frozen in blocks. Individually frozen foods also reduce waste because rather than defrosting an entire block of raspberries, for example, you can defrost the exact amount of berries you would like, ensuring you don’t have to throw out excess food that you can’t eat.

  1. Primary drying: During this first drying phase, the pressure is lowered a heat is slowly introduced for the ice to transition from solid to gas, skipping the liquid phase entirely. Ninety five percent of the water in the food is sublimated during primary drying. Pressure is controlled using a partial vacuum that helps expedite the sublimation process.

  1. Secondary drying: Ice was removed from the food during the primary drying process, and now, unfrozen water molecules are removed during the secondary drying. In this phase, the temperature is raised, breaking any physicochemical interactions that formed between the water molecules and the frozen material. After the entire freeze-drying process is complete, the vacuum is broken and the final water content is between one and four percent.

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BEST SELLING FREEZE-DRIED CAMPING POUCHES

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breakfast-skillet-1.jpgMountain House Breakfast Skillet

Filling hash browns, savory sausage, tasty veggies and scrambled eggs all team up to make the legendary Mountain House Breakfast Skillet. Bursting with flavor and protein, it's no wonder this is one of our most popular breakfast items for fueling explorers everywhere! Perfect for the hearty meal that your body craves after a rigorous day of hiking, biking, or climbing, add this quick and easy breakfast item to your inventory of delicious food to pack for your next camping trip!

Key Features:

  • Just-add-water camping meal
  • Add boiling water straight into pouch
  • Vacuum sealed for high-altitude adventures
  • Minimal cleanup
  • Includes: hash browns, savory sausage, scrambled eggs, peppers, onion
  • Weight: 89g

Shop all Mountain House products, here.

 

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biscuits-and-gravy.jpgMountain House Biscuits And Gravy

Wondering what food to take camping? Mountain House Biscuits And Gravy are a filling and delicious breakfast that you can enjoy anywhere, any time! Simply add hot water and you'll be ready to dig into a taste of home even if you're thousands of miles away. Made with real buttermilk biscuits, sausage patties and gravy, Mountain House Biscuits And Gravy are guaranteed to give you the fuel you need to tackle the day ahead. You won't even have to worry about packing a bowl or a plate—just add water to the pouch and you're good to go. Talk about quick, easy and tasty camping meals!

Key Features:

  • Just-add-water camping meal
  • Add boiling water straight into pouch
  • Minimal cleanup
  • Pouch includes: buttermilk biscuits, sausage patties, gravy
  • Weight: 140g

Shop all Mountain House products, here

 

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lasagne-with-sauce.jpgMountain House Lasagna With Meat Sauce

Lasagna is one of those dishes that everyone seems to love, yet few have the patience and time to cook it. That's where Mountain House Lasagna comes into play—talk about the best campfire cuisine! Made with real meat sauce, cheese, and noodles, this lasagna is a comforting, quick and easy camping meal that can be enjoyed anywhere around the world at any given time. Just add hot water straight into the pouch and you'll have a filling, oh-so delicious dish ready in minutes for your devouring pleasure!

Key Features:

  • Just-add-water camping meal
  • Add boiling water straight into pouch
  • Minimal cleanup
  • Pouch includes: real meat sauce, noodles, parmesan, mozzarella and romano cheeses
  • Weight: 136g

Shop all Mountain House products, here.

 

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chicken-fajita.jpgMountain House Chicken Fajita Bowl

Wish you could take your favorite Tex-Mex meal with you on your next excursion? Now you can with Mountain House Chicken Fajita Bowl! Made with pieces of tender cooked chicken, each pouch brings you the hearty campfire cuisine you deserve after a long day adventuring. Rice, black beans, bell peppers, corn, onions and seasonings blend together to make this meal all the more satisfying. Use it to fill up tortillas, or enjoy it right out of the pouch! Just add hot water, and you'll be ready to dig to this amazingly tasty, quick and easy camping meal.

Key Features:

  • Just-add-water camping meal
  • Add boiling water straight into pouch
  • Minimal cleanup
  • Pouch includes: rice, black beans, bell peppers, corn, onions, tender precooked chicken
  • Weight: 120g

Shop all Mountain House products, here.

 

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applecrisp.jpgMountain House Apple Crisp

Need a reward after a long day out in the wilderness? Mountain House Apple Crisp is one of the best and easy to make camping snacks around! Made with real cinnamon apples and crunchy granola, this slightly sweet yet satisfying dish makes a great companion for hunting trips, climbing excursions, or just about any occasion. All you need is boiling water and five to six minutes of patience and you can have this comforting favorite ready in minutes. Serve alongside your dinner as a flavorful side dish, or enjoy it on its own as tasty dessert—talk about quick and easy camping treats! Enjoy!

Key Features:

  • Just-add-water camping meal
  • Add boiling water straight into pouch
  • Minimal cleanup
  • Pouch includes: cinnamon spiced apples, crunchy granola, graham cracker crumbles
  • Weight: 130g

Shop all Mountain House products, here.

 

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Mountain House has you covered when it comes to a wide and extensive array of freeze-dried camping meals. From breakfast to lunch to dinner and dessert, your favorite treats are only a rip, pour, seal, stir and serve away, allowing you more time to relax by the campfire after your long day of adventuring.

camp-cook.jpgBREAKFAST

  • Biscuits & Gravy
  • Scrambled Eggs With Bacon
  • Scrambled Eggs With Ham & Peppers
  • Spicy Southwest Breakfast Hash
  • Breakfast Skillet
  • Granola With Milk & Blueberries

LUNCH/DINNER

  • Beef Stew
  • Sweet & Sour Pork With Rice
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Italian Style Pepper Steak
  • Beef Stroganoff With Noodles
  • Chili Mac With Beef
  • Lasagna With Meat Sauce
  • Homestyle Chicken Noodle Casserole
  • Chicken Stew
  • Chicken A La King
  • Chicken & Dumplings
  • Chicken Breasts & Mashed Potatoes
  • Chicken Fajita Bowl
  • Chicken Fried Rice
  • Pasta Primavera
  • Noodles & Chicken
  • Spaghetti With Meat Sauce
  • Chicken Teriyaki With Rice & Vegetables

DESSERT

  • Apple Crisp
  • Raspberry Crumble
  • Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Neapolitan Ice Cream
  • New York Style Cheesecake Bites

Shop all Mountain House products, here.

What Customers Are Saying About Mountain House

“Mountain House is pretty much the gold standard when it comes to freeze-dried food for backpacking, camping or whatever other occasion might call for quick, easy to prepare meals. All you have to do is add hot water, stir and reseal the zip and wait ten minutes. Our family uses them pretty extensively for the purposes I listed above but we also use them in our emergency kits in case of hurricanes creating power outages or a requirement for evacuation to a hotel.”

“Our scout troop purchased these meals to take on our trek along the Appalachian Trail. The favorite of the bunch was the lasagna, close behind were the beef stroganoff and chicken teriyaki rice with the beef stew bringing up the rear. However, all were good, filling and easy to make!”

“Perfect for camping food, especially if you're a hike in/hike out kind of outdoorsman. You basically boil some water, dump it into the packet, seal it for a few minutes, and you've got yourself a warm meal that will leave you feeling full. It packs light, takes a beating in the bag and won't rip/tear. This is the best bang for your buck when it comes to camping food!”

Shop all Mountain House products, here.