When things don’t go as planned, one of the first things sold is a kitchen package. Supply chain disruptions cause chaos and panic in grocery stores, and food becomes scarce. That’s why buckets for long-term food storage have been an essential part of food preparation for more than 50 years. Whether it’s a regional or national disaster, you’ll have everything you need with a food storage kit.

There are many different brands, flavors and sizes to choose from. The number of pre-cooking options can be overwhelming. That’s where we can help. We have extensive experience with prefabricated food storage kits and have conducted research and testing. We’ve highlighted three brands that stand out from the rest, offering great value for money, reliable durability and the best of everything: They taste really good.

Content (Go to section)

Best cooker

Storage of existing food products

Great value, high calorie content and better taste.

With a versatile and tasty food kit that includes all the basic necessities, you’ll be ready for any emergency.

*Price at time of publication; check for price changes or clearance sales.

Legacy Food Storage is a leading manufacturer of freeze-dried emergency food products. They offer samples to explore their options at a low price, and their 30-day feed bucket is reasonably priced. Legacy offers phenomenal discounts for bulk purchases. So if you’re stocking up for more than six months, you can find large packs that easily cost less than $10 per pound.

Legacy also offers excellent customer service and is known for its quality control. Other brands may have broken bags or defective packaging, which you don’t want to discover at a glance. As far as flavor goes, we agree that Legacy has the best flavor we’ve ever tasted, and doesn’t need as much seasoning or spice as other brands. A shelf life of 25 years is standard with Legacy, with some other brands it is only 7 years. If you are serious about storing and preparing food, you can’t go wrong by choosing a brand that is preferred by professionals.

Budgetary feeding

Augason Farms

Economical, long shelf life and long range.

Fill your pantry with one of the cheapest pre-cooked buckets that deliver tasty calories every time disaster strikes.

*Price at time of publication; check for price changes or clearance sales.

Augason Farms offers one of the most affordable 30-day feed buckets you can find. Because they are cheaper, they are produced in larger quantities and are usually one of the last brands of emergency kits sold in emergency situations. In addition to the popular travel brand Mountain House, you can find Augason Farms in many Wal-Mart stores. Great availability and low prices make Augason Farms an excellent choice for those looking for a last minute breakfast or a low cost breakfast.

Gluten-free food processor

North-west Fork

Gluten free, vegetarian, but still delicious.

For those with allergies or sensitivities, or with a preference for gluten-free or vegan cooking, this kit is a great way to help you survive a food disaster.

*Price at time of publication; check for price changes or clearance sales.

We have many friends and loved ones who suffer from gluten sensitivity, food allergies and alternative preferences. There’s also no shortage of brands with solutions for this demographic, which is great. But many of these alternatives become extremely lethargic, including freezing for long periods of time. That’s not the case with Northwest Fork, which meets all the criteria of gluten-free, vegan, and healthy, while remaining absolutely delicious.

It’s curious how a company can get a strong taste out of its products, while other brands constantly taste something I can only imagine as POW. The only complaint about the Northwest Fork is the box storage above the sealed bucket storage for extra protection. If you or a member of your family is on a gluten-free or vegan diet, or if you just want to diversify your pantry (always a good idea), Northwest Fork’s 30-Day Box is an excellent choice.

All we recommend

Augason Farms

Fill your pantry with one of the cheapest pre-cooked buckets that deliver tasty calories every time disaster strikes.

Where to buy

144* for the Amazon

* during the investigation

Northwest Fork

For those with allergies or sensitivities, or with a preference for gluten-free or vegan cooking, this kit is a great way to help you survive a food disaster.

Where to buy

150 dollars* in the Amazon

* during the investigation

Kits we compared

Our study limited the field to the few candidates we tested: Mountain House, Food Storage, Ready to Eat, 4 Patriots, Emergency, Ready Hour, Wise Company, Augason Farms, NorthWest Fork and more. After discussing parameters such as cost, calories, estimated shelf life and nutritional value, we moved on to our taste tests. Everyone’s taste preferences may vary, but it’s always easy to know when an entire group decides that one brand tastes better than another. All this information helped us to formulate our recommendations.

Freeze-dried vs dehydrated

You may have noticed that all of the kits we tested use frozen dry food. This is important because freeze-drying allows a longer shelf life. Freeze drying removes 98% of the water from food, making it extremely durable. By comparison, dehydration only removes 80% of the water. Conservation takes nothing away.

We still recommend canning and dehydrating foods for long-term storage, but freeze-drying kits are still the best way to be prepared for fires and forgotten emergencies. If an airtight Mylar bucket of frozen food can last more than 30 years under the right storage conditions, you won’t find a better solution for long term food storage.

What to look for

The best kitchen sets have a few key features that you should look out for:

  1. Costs
  2. Calories
  3. Nutrient content
  4. Shelf life
  5. Trial

We explain below what each of these points means for the best kitchen sets. If you find the right combination, you will get the best overall value. Each of these points is important – for example, it would be a mistake to prioritize cost and taste.

Cost vs. performance Size

There are two main factors that affect the long-term cost of your food storage kit: Brand and quantity.

Brands charge different amounts for the same product on paper, but they use a clever marketing trick to sharpen the cross-selling amount. This trick is the portion size. Most brands advertise one dollar per serving, although a more accurate measure may be one dollar per pound. The problem with weight measurement is that manufacturers begin to add fillers to reduce cost and increase weight. Their products have fewer calories and much less nutritional value.

Therefore, it is important to compare the cost with all other factors, not just one.

Calories per pound

To really reduce the above BS marketing with false portions and added fillers for weight, you need to look at weight in calories.

The caloric value is a good indicator of how much energy a spoonful contains. The higher the value, the better (in most cases). It’s also delicious if you’re in a hurry or need to eat on the go. The higher calories mean that each bite provides much more energy.

Quantity is not everything. The nutritional value, and in particular the calorific value, is important for the long-term preservation of food.

Calories are the king of survival foods, but they still don’t show the big picture. Without supplements, your survival food will leave you malnourished and unable to process those calories.

Nutrient content

Proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals work together to promote health and normal organ function. When putting together a long-term food storage plan, choose a wide variety of foods to prepare balanced meals. It is not practical to store only one type of food, even if it is an assortment of frozen dry foods. Many brands offer different buckets and kits, and you should choose a mix that will ensure a balanced diet for you and your family.

Freezing Expiry date of dried fodder

The shelf life of frozen foods generally ranges from five to thirty years, depending on the contents and the manner of packaging. Aside from products with no expiration date, that’s all you can get. If you’re lucky enough to have your food’s expiration date near, make sure you have new ones. It’s a good opportunity to chop them up and eat what you have in a pinch.

Oxygen Absorbers help extend the life of sealed buckets by more than 25 years, even when frozen.

When you taste or use some of your emergency food, make sure you stock up quickly so you don’t end up empty-handed in an emergency.

Taste problem

No one expects frozen dry food to taste like a perfectly cooked steak from the best steakhouse in your town. But taste is always important – just ask a soldier who had one of the worst MREs in the field. As I quickly learned with MREs, spices can certainly help in the preparation of flavorless meals.

Why pre-feeding kits are important for survival

Food is an important part of our daily lives. It’s one of the five pillars of survival, and the survival rule of three is that we can’t live long without it. Our research shows that you can’t go more than three weeks without eating, and even that without expending a lot of energy.

Most of the food we eat during the week cannot survive on its own for more than a few days. Food decays – rots – that’s how the world works. Over the years, people have accomplished a lot by trying to increase the shelf life of food. We salted meat and invented refrigerators, freezers and supermarkets. The latest and greatest innovation? Set of frozen products.

Freezing meat at room temperature extends its shelf life up to 1500 times.

Freezing dry food can preserve meat up to 100 times longer than freezing it.

Freezing dried foods can extend the time they are consumed by 150,000 times!

A few centuries ago, people would have been amazed at this achievement. We send astronauts into space with frozen dry food. The military uses food as a standard IMO in operational areas. The only drawback is the cost, otherwise there would be no famine on the planet. Freeze drying is a labour intensive process requiring expensive equipment and high energy costs.

Astronauts actually bring canned food in different ways. The longest? Freeze-dried.

Some may not justify the cost of purchasing a survival kit, but this kit is a guarantee that you can feed yourself and your family at any time for 30 years. The cost is negligible compared to the risks of disrupting the supply chain of products in this world. There are many reasons why the fragile supply chains that bring food to the world can be destabilized. There’s a great way to prepare for this: buy a pre-bake kit.

Who needs food parcels?

Everyone eats, and everyone can benefit from having a supply of food for emergencies.

Most pre-trainers keep these food packages, as well as tools and other supplies, in their primary residence:

Emergency buckets (due to their robust construction with handles) can also be used in these kits if you are using the Bug Out Vehicle (BOV) :

If given the chance, many popper enthusiasts keep popper kits in their Bug Out Location (BOL). Any place you can turn to in case of an emergency is a good option for storing extra products with an extremely long shelf life.

How we inspect the goods: We do extensive research before selecting the best products to review. We consult with experts in the field to better understand what constitutes good transmission. The devices are tested for hours in the field under stressful conditions. We set performance criteria and evaluate each tested product impartially. You can support us through our self-selected links, allowing us to earn a commission at no extra cost to you. After our investigation, some of the points we investigated can be found in our documents.

Sources and references

Our analysis of the best baking tins would be useless without our sources and references. We draw on these sources for book knowledge combined with our practical experience in military and disaster management. If you want to learn more about prepackaged foods, how frozen foods work, and food shelf life research, check out our resources :

Denkenberger, D. and Pierce, J. (2015). Feed them all, no matter what: Managing food security after a global disaster. Academic Press. (Source).

Ratti, K. (2008). Freeze drying and vacuum drying of food. Drying technology in the food industry. Blackwell Publishing. p. 225. (Source).

Subramaniam, P. and Kilkast, D. (2010). Stability and shelf life of food. Woodhead Publishing. (Source)

Conclusion

Food is one of the most important things a host can provide, and food packages make cooking easier. A century ago, people spent a lot of time planning and preparing food storage, but today, thanks to freeze-drying technology, we can store food for an extremely long period of time.

We’ve given some information, but as always: If you have any questions, please let us know and we will be happy to help. Our research and testing has shown that preserving heritage foods is the best option in terms of quality, selection, nutrition, taste and value.

As always, I highly recommend trying your meal kit. Make sure you know how to prepare it, store it properly, and make sure it has enough calories, nutrients, and a wide variety of flavors. If you’ve had it for a while, check the expiration date and take inventory if necessary. If you want to learn more about food storage, check out these articles we’ve written:

Keep exploring, prepare and be safe.

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