Mountain House meal problem- (did not rehydrate)

a3dhunter

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Has anybody had a problem with meals not rehydrating?

This weekend was down in the San Luis Valley and had cooked a Mountain House meal, it stated the typical time on the package and I gave it an extra 2 minutes and opened it up and started eating.
I found that the rice and beans were not rehydrated, giving a nasty chalky taste. Made sure it still had plenty of hot water and closed it up for another five minutes. Still the same thing.
After Jake made a few comments I found myself spewing chunks, unable to continue eating the nasty meal.
Jake said his did the same thing, but he ate it anyway. (yuck)
I had actually used a couple ounces more water than the 16 oz it called for, and everything in the meal was covered with the boiling water, made sure to really let it boil before putting it in, and stirred everything up before closing it to let it sit and cook.
We were only at 8100 feet elevation, so don't think that was a problem.
 

bbrown

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Must have been the Sangres - have to make everything harder....

Sorry never had that happen so I am not much help
 

JG358

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Heck, I'll eat dang near anything if I'm hungry enough... although your yacking didnt help much when it came to choaking down that crunchy chili mac.
 

Backpack Hunter

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Never had that happen. I always stir everything around really well then let them sit....have had some take a bit longer than the package stated (due to elevation I bet), but that's about it.
Were they expired?
 

Kevin Root

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Only time I've had what you mention happen was either, I did not stir it up well, not hot enough water or did I put enough hot water in the pouch or let it sit long enough. Sounds like you did everything right a3dhunter. I'm curious to know what type Mountain House meal you had.....
 

Gman

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Same here. I've had that happen but only because I really didn't dig out the dried stuff in the corners and mix it all up. I've never had Mtn House that was sitting in water not rehydrate.
 

actionshooter

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The only time I have ever had problems was not waiting long enough at high elevations. Beans always seem to take the longest anyway. I like to keep shaking the meals to help warm my hands up also. I think that helps a little.
 

dotman

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Only when I didn't stir it very well before sealing it and add the proper amount of water have I had this issue.
 

6mm Remington

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I had one recently do that, but I gave it another 5 minutes and it was great. The first bite was awful. It was like eating cardboard. The next part of the meal was delicious though! I think you just have to make sure you stir them well and then give them a few more minutes than what the package calls for.
 

sab

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I always knead the bag while it is cooking. I arrived at this method after encountering dry spots numerous times. Since I changed to this technique, I have not had it happen again. WARNING: it's best to wear gloves when kneading, or you could burn your fingers!

Regards,
Scott
 

Gman

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I always knead the bag while it is cooking. I arrived at this method after encountering dry spots numerous times. Since I changed to this technique, I have not had it happen again. WARNING: it's best to wear gloves when kneading, or you could burn your fingers!

Regards,
Scott

And don't get over zealous when kneading - I've had it burst from squeezing too hard and ended up with boiling water in my lap. Funny for my hunting partner as I hopped around like my jewels were on fire, but less fun for me.
 

RosinBag

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99.9% it wasn't stirred completely...once it is dehydrated, there isn't much that could prevent it rehydrating. I have had several that didn't rehydrate and upon looking it was not stirred enough prior to letting it sit. I stir, seal, shake, stir and then let sit. No issues since.
 
OP
a3dhunter

a3dhunter

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My meal was something like Mexican chicken and rice, Jakes was chili Mac. Both of them had problems.

I kind of figured there wasn't an expiration date on dehydrated meals, I'll have to check it out. Never had a problem during archery season with them.
I know it was stirred up real well before letting it set, sometimes those bottom corners of the meal are all hardened and really take some digging to mix them up but not this one.
 

DWarcher

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And don't get over zealous when kneading - I've had it burst from squeezing too hard and ended up with boiling water in my lap. Funny for my hunting partner as I hopped around like my jewels were on fire, but less fun for me.

Also make sure the ziploc is secure before you shake...staying scent free is pretty tough when your pants and shirt are covered with chicken and rice. :mad:
 

actionshooter

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My meal was something like Mexican chicken and rice, Jakes was chili Mac. Both of them had problems.

I kind of figured there wasn't an expiration date on dehydrated meals, I'll have to check it out. Never had a problem during archery season with them.
I know it was stirred up real well before letting it set, sometimes those bottom corners of the meal are all hardened and really take some digging to mix them up but not this one.

If you both had problems it was the elevation. When I'm up at 9000' some of the meals take 20+ minutes to fully cook. I usually have backpackers pantry though, IMHO, tastes better and they have less presevatives.
 

RosinBag

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I have had the mountain house at 14k and didn't know elevation did anything to it. Longer to boil water and I give a few extra minutes, but not much else. I also think all MH meals have expiration dates on them.
 

dotman

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I have had the mountain house at 14k and didn't know elevation did anything to it. Longer to boil water and I give a few extra minutes, but not much else. I also think all MH meals have expiration dates on them.

I have to agree, I have had the chili Mac at 11k many times without issue.
 

JG358

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Experation date on mine was May 2016. Mine had extra water at a roaring boil, was stirred twice and shaken a couple times and left for at least 20 minutes to hydrate. The crunchy noodles and beans were spread throughout the meal. Ate the other chili Mac opening weekend at 12k without any issues.
 

actionshooter

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Right on the Backpackers pantry directions it says re-hydration times are at 5000' and double the time every additional 5000' double the cooking time. I have found this to be right on the mark.
I really hate taking a bite of my dinner and getting that "crunch"

And for the expiration dates, they are going to be removed starting this year (from what I read) The MH folks just did some testing with some 30 year old product and gave it a thumbs up. I should say, thats for the canned freeze dried and not the pouches.
 
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unm1136

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Water boils at lower temps at higher elevations. I live at almost 5500' and last night I boiled water in my Kelly Kettle for the first time. Water boiled at about 202.7 degrees. The 212 figure is for sea level. When I was in cooking school the Level 1 kitchen was at the opposite end of campus and depending on the barometric pressure and humidity we could get a three degree difference in the boiling temp of water in the Level 2 kitchen, with less than a 200 foot difference in elevation. Water chemistry and the amounts and types of dissolved solids can also effect the boiling temperature of water.

Having said that, I would say that it was a combination of the discussed factors that led to the chalky food. The fact that the water would boil at a significantly lower temp would make thorough stirring that much more important, as the water cools as soon as it is taken off the heat. The bag, food, and air around the bag will also steal heat. A reflectrx cozy would help, with better stirring and a longer soak time will help, too, either on its own all together. Getting too high up and I would bring another pot of water to the boil and place the rehydrating bag of food in the water and keep it on the boil while waiting for the time to grind by as the food dehydrates.

Who said food science wouldn't be useful?

pat
 
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