Can You Eat Freeze-Dried Food Without Cooking?

Can You Eat Freeze-Dried Food Without Cooking?

When you go camping or hiking, you obviously will not have access to a kitchen or restaurant. That is why campers bring freeze-dried meals with them on their outdoor trips. These meals are super easy and hassle-free to prepare.

Can you eat freeze-dried food without cooking? Yes, you can do this. The whole point of freeze-dried food is that it is ready-to-eat in any indoor or outdoor setting. All you need is hot or cold water to prepare your meal.

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I will give you a brief explanation of freeze-dried food in this article. Additionally, I will tell you how to prepare freeze-dried meals without cooking.

Freeze-Dried Food Explained

To put it simply, in this process, food is frozen and stripped of any water or moisture. It preserves the food and its nutrients. Freeze-dried food can withstand the test of time and last for a few decades. They are designed to last at least 30 years and still retain their flavor and nutritional content.

Preparing Freeze-Dried Meals

While freeze-dried meals are not instant, they do not take long to make at all. The process should only take 10 minutes tops. However, the prep time also varies depending on how you decide to prepare the food.

These are three ways you can prepare freeze-dried meals without cooking:

Boiling Water

The recommended way to prep your freeze-dried food is to add hot water. It is not that hard to boil water even outdoors. There are special kettles and stoves made for camping trips. Another way is to create a fire with wood and rocks the classic way.

After you pluck out the oxygen-absorbing packet, add hot water according to the serving size. If you are prepping a pouch, you will not need more than two cups of water.

Stir the food while it is boiling for a couple of minutes, and then seal it afterward. Wait for about four minutes until stirring and sealing again. Your meal should be ready to eat in 10 minutes or less.

Cold Water

You can still eat your freeze-dried food if you do not have access to equipment to heat water. Just use cold water instead. The prepping process is similar to the usual one with boiling water.

Pour in the recommended amount of water into the packet. Start stirring the contents of the pouch until the food becomes softer. Seal the bag and let the food soak in the water for a while.

When you use cold water, the prep time will take much longer. Expect your food to be ready in double the amount of time it usually takes to prepare freeze-dried meals.


You might have leftover freeze-dried food pouches from your last hiking trip. If you do not want to let it sit in storage, you can prepare it at home with your microwave.

You simply add water to the pouch, either warm or cold, and pop it into your microwave. The water does not have to be hot because the microwave will heat it anyway.


You do not have to cook freeze-dried food to make it edible. You can use cold water if you have nothing else on hand. Hypothetically, you could also eat it without adding water at all, but that probably would not taste very good.