Chef’s 5 Minute Meals… Not Much Of A Deal



5 minute meal

A little while back, a friend of mine read a few of my reviews on survival food.  He noticed that my main gripe was about flavor and mostly about a lack of salt.

He suggested that I try out a brand called Chef’s 5 minute meals.

I had all but forgotten about them until I ran across one of the vendors at a local survival expo that was showing them off.

I tried their samples and they were ok, but had been sitting out for a while.

I decided I would pick up a couple of varieties and give them a try.

The basis of the meal isn’t much different than an MRE.

The food comes precooked but has a water activated heater that makes the food piping hot in “5 minutes.”

I will say, first off, their version of piping hot and mine must differ quite a bit as it took me significantly longer to get it heated to my liking (roughly 9 minutes).

The meal is simple and fully self contained.

The cardboard box doubles as the “oven, the meal comes with its own water supply to activate the heater pouch.

It has a plastic fork, spoon, napkin and even (to my great surprise) it’s own packets of salt and pepper.

I snapped a few photo’s to show you all of the contents as well as the finished meal.

Take a look below:

image photo(2)

Now let’s dive in to the taste.

It looks about as appetizing as any canned pasta meal from Chef Boyardee and honestly the taste is about the same.

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So it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t a 5 star meal either.

From a few other reviews I have seen online it seems that the best choice for flavor goes to the beef stroganoff.

The nutrition on these is another factor that will determine if you want to keep them in stock or not.

The calorie count for this particular dish was only around 220, which in a survival situation is barely a meal.

The only benefits to these meals is that there are no preservatives and such for those of us with sensitivities to things like MSG… Although I can’t find the full ingredients list to prove this…

The price of these meals is another factor.

Each one comes in at around $6.00 a unit which makes the price to calorie ratio very high.

In the end, the Chef’s 5 minute meals only impress me by having salt and pepper included in the meal, which can easily be remedied with any other meal by carrying my own spices.

These may be good for those of you with food sensitivities to preservatives.

The comparable taste to that of Chef Boyardee may make these more palatable to those of you with children.

I’d say that unless you do a lot of short day hikes, or live in an area prone to blackouts, these really aren’t that good of a deal.

You would be much better off with some of the other name brand meals, they are around the same cost (less if you can catch a sale) and provide much more caloric intake which is what you need in a survival situation.

Want to weigh in on this?

Leave me a message below.

Want more easy and quick way to prepare survival food? Check out these great articles:

Oatmeal: Ultimate Survival Food?

Quick, Simple, And Shockingly Delicious Survival Food

Instant Mashed Potatoes: Awesome Survival Food?

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  1. Eric Rearden

    August 5, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    $6 for 220 calories – and the full ingredients are not listed! In a survival situation, not prepping for survival, the absence of preservatives (which appears to be the main selling point) is of zero conern unless you will die from ingesting msg or such. Every prepper I know carries a knife/fork/spoon as part of every day garb. This $6 meal sounds like it is meant for those not prepping for survival, but maybe camping out in their back yard.

  2. Dienekes

    August 5, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    No salt and low salt foods are essential. Sodium is one of the easiest ingredients to control. Many people don’t need or want salty foods. Salt, in packets or whatever container has no expiration date and is inexpensive. If you are on the move there is little to no weight penalty and you can add as much salt to your rations as you wish without subjecting others to higher levels of sodium. I’m always looking for low sodium foods, whether for daily consumption or as stable emergency rations. I’d rather save the salt for tanning hides.

  3. JJM

    August 5, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    220 calories to survive? Even 4 meals a day is half of what is required unless you can just lay around until rescued. Disappointed that a large variety of Wise foods range from 50 to 300 calories – at least I didn’t spend much more than $1 each.
    Don’t remember details, but u might want to check out COSTCO online, I think it was ‘dehydrated meats’ I saw a special on for this month.

  4. gena

    August 19, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    I bought some awhile back, tried them, did not particularly care for them, certainly not at that price. While I am HIGHLY allergic to MSG, there are many lower cost alternatives that don’t have MSG, taste better, provide better nutrition and are much better value.

  5. Christina

    November 10, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    Hi Joe,
    Based on your review, i would not purchase the C5MM. If i understand and you do not suggest the Chef 5 Minute Meals, which prepackaged meal should i try?
    Thank you,

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  8. Mark Weaver

    June 23, 2018 at 4:09 PM

    I got a very good deal at a state auction and I am wondering if you know how long they last? I know it lists a test date after 5 years, but I have read other posts that most MRE’s last 5-10 years after the test day, does anyone know for this brand?

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