Freeze-dried meals are hardly the most exciting thing to talk about. But if you love the outdoors, camping and hiking trips then maybe you should keep reading.
Firstly, before I tried Summit to Eat freeze-dried meals, I was a freeze-dried food virgin! So my opinions on this product are purely based on Summit to Eat food pouches.
If I am honest the thought of freeze-dried food didn’t appeal to me in the slightest. I have done many camping and hiking trips where I have taken some random food to eat. Most of it not at all practical and time-consuming to cook.
Ironically, the day I choose to test out Summit to Eat freeze-dried meals was on my birthday camping trip to the Peak District National Park. Not quite the 3-course meal that you might associate with a birthday treat, haha but I like to be different!
Keep reading to read my full review and whether I would try Summit to Eat meals again? Check out my review scores at the bottom of the post
Summit to Eat Freeze-dried Food review
Who are ‘Summit to Eat’?
Summit to Eat is a UK company, based in Preston that creates freeze-dried meals for adventures! The meals are manufactured by European Freeze Dry, they are cooked, then freeze-dried to lock in the freshness and delicious flavours. You can keep reading to see whether I agreed with this concept and whether these are the best tasting freeze-dried meals.
The idea is that meals can be reheated by simply adding boiling water. The website sells single pouches or you can opt for one of their kit options.
What is the Choice of freeze-dried meals?
The choice of meals on the Summit to Eat website is varied and also includes numerous vegetarian options too.
For breakfast, you have two choices – scrambled eggs with cheese or morning oats with raspberry.
The main meals, there are eight options – beef stew with potato, pasta bolognese, chicken fajita with rice, chicken fried rice, chicken tikka with rice, salmon and broccoli pasta including two vegetarian meals, macaroni cheese and vegetable chilli with rice.
And finally, for dessert, there are three choices, custard apple crunch, rice pudding or chocolate mousse.
Here are the Summit to Eat freeze-dried meals that I was trying for my review:
- Scrambled egg with cheese
- Beef stew with potato
- Chicken fajita with rice
- Custard apple crunch
Update – I have bought a couple more Summit to Eat meals to try on my camping trips (Pasta Bolognese and Vegetable Chilli). I will update my review once I’ve tasted them 🙂
You might like to read – Beginners wild camping guide in the UK
How much do the freeze-dried meals cost?
There are two costs for the meals.
The breakfast and desserts options are either £4.50 or £5.50 and all the main meals are £5.50. Pretty good for a nutritious hot meal!*
What are the benefits of the Summit to Eat meals?
There are numerous benefits of choosing to take these freeze dried meals on a trip.
- Firstly, they are ridiculously lightweight. There’s no way you could carry the equivalent meals for the same weight. And when you are doing a long hike or wild camping trip, you all know that every gram counts! My meals ranged from 87 grams for the custard apple crunch to 128 grams for the chicken fajita with rice.
- Lightweight also is great if you are doing a hike abroad and want to take supplies with you. Especially if you are going carry-on only.
- It means a hot meal. Even in the UK in the evenings it can get cooler and you need something hot to warm up.
- No planning your meal or going food shopping, simply pick up your pouch and go.
- You clearly know what calories you’re eating – it’s in a big font on the front of the Summit to Eat packet.
- No washing up involved, woo hoo, this has to be a huge bonus! The sealable pouch design means any leftovers don’t end up in your bag too!
- The ‘best before date’ last forever, mine was dated until 10 December 2024. So it means you can buy your pouches and keep them in a cool, dry place ready for that spontaneous hiking trip. *Ok not forever but a long time!
How easy is it to prepare the meals?
To begin with, the instructions are on the back of the packet, so no need to worry about what you’re supposed to do when it comes to preparing your dinner. You might need to remember your torch though if you’re cooking in the dark!
Step 1 – Put some water on to boil.
Step 2 – Open the packet haha, well kind of obvious! You also need to remove the small oxygen absorber.
Step 3 – Very carefully, add the boiling water up to the correct line inside the packet (make sure you read which one before you start pouring!)
Step 4 – Give the contents a little stir and reseal using the easy tab at the top of the packet.
Step 5 – Wait 8 minutes.
Top tips to enjoy your food
- Check how much liquid your saucepan/cooking pot holds in millilitres (ml) so you can roughly measure the right amount. This ensures you don’t boil too much or too little water.
- Pack your cutlery – eating hot food with your fingers is never a good idea.
- Remember to look at your watch. I forgot the first time and as I was too excited and probably ended up waiting longer for dinner.
What do Summit to Eat meals taste like?
This is what you really want to know, lightweight meal – tick, healthy – tick, hot food – tick. But seriously, what does freeze-dried food taste like when you are hungry and need to replenish your energy from a day’s hike?
I will set the scene, it’s my birthday trip, I am wild camping in the Peak District. I’ve carefully followed the instructions and not burnt myself. I give myself a pat on the back! Here goes, my dinner is ready – chicken fajita with rice.
Chicken fajita with rice
The first mouthful, I was surprised, oh this actually tastes good, then another and another. I genuinely thought it had a really good flavour. The rice was full of the Mexican flavour, not too spicy and it was accompanied by pieces of chicken mixed it. You could tell the chicken had been freeze-dried from the texture but I can’t fault the taste.
I had planned to have the apple custard crunch for dessert but I was full from the main meal. I admit I do have a small appetite so others might have needed the extra dish to fill up.
You might like to read – Hiking in Castleton in the Peak District
Scrambled egg with cheese
Now onto breakfast, I’m already experienced in preparing the meals. It’s exactly the same for each one. The only difference is the amount of water and which line you fill it up to. The flavour of the scrambled egg was exactly spot on and it tasted really good.
For me personally, the texture wasn’t to my taste, I like my scrambled egg closer to underdone (if you know what I mean) and this was a bit overcooked. I’m probably being a bit fussy because the flavour was good but there’s a reason people ask how do you want your egg cooked!
Would I try Summit to Eat freeze-dried meals again?
This is a yes and a no answer. The product and the concept are fantastic, perfect for my little adventures in the UK and abroad.
I really enjoyed the chicken fajita with rice meal and would definitely take that on a camping trip with me again. The scrambled egg with cheese wasn’t my favourite so I would like to try the other option for breakfast.
But overall, I’m really impressed and pleasantly surprised with my first freeze-dried food experience.
*Please note I haven’t tried the beef stew with potato or the custard apple crunch but I have plans to go to the Lake District this weekend so I will update you soon!
Review update August 2018 – I’ve now tried the remaining ‘Summit to Eat’ meals – Beef stew with potato and Custard apple crunch flavours. Again the main meal freeze-dried option, the beef stew tasted great, the flavours and texture were good.
But I wasn’t a fan of the Custard apple crunch. It’s partly my fault as I didn’t stir it properly but I’m not sure I would try it again.
You might like to read – Tips for your first camping trip
Summit to Eat – Freeze-dried meals review (my ratings)
These are my own personal review ratings for the Summit to Eat freeze-dried meals that I have tried on my camping and outdoor adventures. 1 = didn’t like, wouldn’t buy again and 5 = best-tasting meal, would buy again
Beef stew with potato
Custard apple crunch
Scrambled egg with cheese
Vegetable chilli with rice
Not tried yet
Are you planning a big hiking or camping trip soon? Are you wondering whether Summit to Eat is suitable for you? Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments below.
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*Summit to Eat provided me with these samples to review. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
*Prices correct at time of writing.
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