I could probably eat, or rather gorge, on the Mountain House Chili Mac with Beef, just about every meal, 24/7 when out on some outdoor adventure. I think it is that good! This is camping comfort food.
There are lots of versions of this that I have made or eaten over the years in my own indoor kitchen. Back in the day, when I was working for Uncle Sam, –way back in the early 1980’s, I didn’t have a lot of extra cash, so making Chili Mac was an easy and inexpensive meal.
A few years ago, when I ran across this Mountain House version, I tossed it in the shopping cart without a second thought.
A bit of time went by before trying it. No issues with that, Mountain House freeze dried meals pouches have a shelf life of 12 plus years. Actually, I know folks who have brought meals along on camping trips that are close to that “best by” date. They must have a really deep pantry! I have eaten Mountain House Ice Cream Sandwiches that are on a bit on the distant side of that “best by: date, but don’t tell the food police!
Taste And Texture
Back to the Mountain House Chili Mac with Beef, –once rehydrated, it does have a surprisingly beefy taste. The noodles, well they look like noodles should, and they are not over cooked and soggy. Over all, it looks about like that popular boxed Helper product that I ate quite a bit of.
I find that adding a bit of hot sauce and some red pepper flakes gives this that extra bit of flavor I am looking for. But that is my own preference.
Preparation And Tips
The back of the pouch directions recommend adding 2 cups of boiling water. Myself, and a good number of Amazon customer reviews recommend adding less, otherwise it gets a bit soupy. My suggestion is to try about 1 3/4 cups of water (14 ounces) and see how that works for you.
As always, I recommend that you practice cooking up a pouch of something new at home first. Be sure to use the very same stove and other campware kitchen tools that you pack along on your adventures.
Doing a practice run or two at home can help prevent that “aha” moment out in the field. You know, figuring out that this would be easier if I only had “this” or “that.”
I had an “aha” moment when I switched from bringing a tiny teakettle to using only my large stainless or titanium camping mug. I discovered I needed something to remove the mug from my backpacking stove, as the handles were too hot.
Another “aha” moment, my large Nalgene water bottle has graduations marked on the side. So I can get really close to that ideal 14 ounce, or 1 3/4 cup mark.
Bottom Line Review
In my opinion, this Mountain House Chili Mac with Beef makes for some good downright tasty and filling doing stuff outside eating. I am giving it my own 5 star review for taste, texture, and ease of preparation. This is one freeze dried food pouch that most definitely has a place in my outdoor pantry.