Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hormel Compleats for Food Storage

I'd never paid attention to this food until www.SurvivalBill.ca recently wrote about it. I just assumed it was frozen or refrigerated, but its not! It is shelf stable at room temperature for about two years! This makes it a strong candidate for mid-term food storage, bug out bags and camping. Currently there are over 30 different entree's to choose from covering breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Compleats product line.

The Test:
I purchased a "Homestyle Beef Pot Roast" at WalMart for $2.18, this meal weight is 10oz (over half a pound!).

Nutrition Facts:
Calories = 230
Carbs= 22g
Salt is high at 1470mg
Servings Per Container: 1

As a camping or emergency meal, this salt level is nothing compared to many chain restaurant foods. I haven't looked at all the other meals offered but the eight I did check the salt ranges from 600mg to 1000mg. This is not a deal breaker for me. I would take a SWAG (scientific wild ass guess) that the added salt is part of their preservation method.

Couldn't be simpler, just heat and eat! You don't have to add water or anything, it's a fully prepared meal.

Microwave Instructions: Puncture film/peel back film, heat for 30 seconds, stir, heat for 30 seconds, stir.

Boil Instructions: Place unopened plastic tray in boiling water and simmer for about 9 minutes.

Heat in a Pot: Transfer contents into a camp pot and heat it over a campfire or camp stove.

More information at these links:

So, what does it taste like?
I ate this meal today and it was very good, just as good as any frozen quality entree'. I can't compare it to an MRE because I've never eaten an MRE and not looking forward to it especially because of cost. I certainly will be testing and stocking more of these Compleats.

Front view.

Side view.

Rear of package showing nutrition facts and best by date. This was purchased 11-24-14.



  1. Jeebus, dat sodium content is off the charts!

    1. That's fairly common with heat and eat entree's (it's lower than most fast foods). Don't make it a deal breaker for yourself. These are good tasting meals and during disaster times they will taste even better.

  2. MRE's have a better flavor and longer storage, and more complete nutrition. These have the advantage of lower cost and wide availability. You will sometimes find $1 off coupons for these. The package is very durable. The 'Best By' date is just that. They will last longer than 2 years if properly stored. I usually rotate them so they do not go much further than the date, but bet they would still be 'good' for another 2 to 3 years beyond this date. I have had one a year past the best by date, and it tasted the same and I suffered no ill effects.

    I keep about 20 in a opaque, plastic, lidded container, stored in a closet. I rotate them about once a year. Eating the older items and replacing them with new. That's the nice thing. You get used to eating them so its not a shock if you had to eat them in an emergency.

    1. MRE's have their place. Having a few around is an option if you can afford them at $5-$6 each and everyone is used to eating them.