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Beat the Heat with Hot Weather MRE Meals

What are Hot Weather MRE Meals?

Hot Weather MREs, or “Meals Ready-to-Eat”, are meals designed to be eaten in hot weather conditions. MREs have been developed to provide an alternative to traditional camping and emergency food resources, as they can be stored without refrigeration and will remain palatable even in hot climates.

MREs have become increasingly popular amongst outdoor enthusiasts, travelers, and military personnel alike; they are lightweight, contain all the necessary nutrition a person needs, and are easily prepared without the need for extra equipment or ingredients.

MREs are particularly beneficial in hot weather, as they do not require cooking and can be eaten straight from the packet. They also come in sealed, durable packages that are easy to store and transport.

In this guide, we'll take a look at the history of MREs, explore their benefits, discuss how to store and prepare them, and provide meal ideas and recipes to make your MRE experience both enjoyable and nutritious!

History of MRE Meals

Meals, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) were first developed by the U.S. Army during the 1980s in response to the need for a lightweight, nutritious and self-contained meal that could be eaten on-the-go. Initially, they only contained three meals a day, but in 1986, the four-meal system was introduced. Since then, numerous improvements have been made in order to ensure the meals are appetizing and nutrient-rich.

In recent years, MREs have become an increasingly popular option for convenient hot weather meals. This is due to their portability and the fact that they maintain their nutritional value in hot climates, thanks to the specialized packaging used for each individual meal. They also offer a wide variety of options, including classic favorites such as macaroni and cheese, chili, and beef stew.

Benefits of MRE Meals

MRE meals are an ideal food source for hot weather conditions for a variety of reasons. The most obvious is that they require no cooking, which makes them far more convenient than other forms of meal preparation, especially if you’re in a remote location with limited resources. Furthermore, MRE meals are designed to withstand extreme temperatures and remain safe to consume, meaning you won’t have to worry about food safety even when the temperature is soaring. They are also typically high in calories and nutrients, providing the energy necessary for long days in the heat.

Additionally, MRE meals are extremely light and can be easily transported, making them much more convenient than traditional camping meals. Finally, MRE meals are often quite tasty, giving you more choice in what you eat, and can be easily stored for extended periods of time, with some lasting up to a year.

What to Include in a Hot Weather MRE Meal

When it comes to creating a hot weather MRE meal, there are certain items that you must include. These essentials will provide sustenance and energy to get through a hot day. Here is a list of the basic items for a hot weather MRE meal.

  • Ready-to-eat food: When creating your hot weather MRE meal, make sure to include food items that can be eaten without cooking. This might include items like crackers, granola bars, and fruit snacks.
  • Convenient snacks: Snacking is an important part of maintaining energy levels and keeping hunger pangs at bay. Nuts, jerky, trail mix, and energy bars are all great options to include in your hot weather MRE meal.
  • Beverages: Hydration is key when working or playing in hot weather. Make sure to include some form of beverage such as water, sports drinks, or juice boxes.
  • High-energy foods: High-energy foods like peanut butter, nut butters, and dried fruits will give your body extra fuel when you need it most.

These four items are the essentials needed when preparing a hot weather MRE meal. Together, they provide the nutrients, calories, electrolytes, and other important components needed to keep your body going in the heat.

Storing & Preparing Hot Weather MRE Meals

When it comes to preparing and storing MRE meals for hot weather, there are a few essential tips to keep in mind. In order to ensure that your MRE meals remain safe and are as delicious as possible when you’re out under the sun, it’s important to store them properly and take certain safety precautions.

If you are planning to use MRE meals during hot weather, consider packing them into a cooler or insulated bag with an ice pack. Keeping the meals cool will help them to remain fresher for longer, and it will also prevent any growth of bacterial contaminants. Additionally, you should always make sure to check expiration dates on MREs before consuming them, as expired meals are not safe to eat.

When it comes to actually preparing your MRE meal, it can be helpful to have a plan. For optimal safety and freshness, you should aim to make and consume your meal within 4 hours after opening the entrée bag. Additionally, you may want to choose a meal that does not require too much time or effort to make. To minimize the risk of heat exhaustion, you may also want to limit any strenuous activities while preparing the meal.

Finally, when you are done with your meal, make sure to properly dispose of any leftovers. Any food that has been unrefrigerated for more than two hours should be discarded to prevent the growth of bacteria. With the right safety measures in place, you can enjoy delicious hot weather MRE meals with confidence!

Recipes & Meal Ideas for Hot Weather MRE Meals

A great way to add variety and nutrition to your Hot Weather Meal Ready-to-Eat (MRE) meals is by introducing new recipes and meal ideas. Here are some tried and tested recipe ideas you can try out with your MRE ingredients:

  • Veggie and Bean Burritos – Heat up a tortilla and stuff it with heated black beans, diced tomatoes, onion, bell peppers and seasonings.
  • Taco Wraps – Spread refried beans on a tortilla and top with shredded cheese and diced tomatoes. Wrap up and heat in a skillet or oven until cheese is melted.
  • Chili Cheese Fries – Take a bag of French fries, spread in a single layer on a baking sheet, scatter cooked ground beef, chopped onions, diced tomatoes, jalapenos and shredded cheese on top and broil for 5-7 minutes.
  • Beans and Rice – Boil 1 cup of long-grain white or brown rice with 2 cups of water for about 25 minutes. Heat up a can of black beans and stir into the cooked rice.
  • Soup and Sandwich – Mix together a can of condensed cream soup with 1 cup of boiling water. Toast two slices of bread and spread one side of the toast with mayonnaise or mustard. Fill the sandwich with sliced cheese and sliced lunchmeat.

Try out these recipes and meal ideas to switch up your hot weather MRE meals and enjoy delicious, nutritious meals every day.

How to Make MRE Meals from Scratch

For those looking to experiment and make their own hot weather MRE meals from scratch, there are several important steps to keep in mind.

First, it’s important to have a good selection of quality ingredients that make up the base of the meal. This includes staples such as rice, noodles, beans, grains, and other proteins. It also helps to have some healthy fats such as olive oil, butter, or avocado. Having a variety of herbs and spices on hand is also a great idea to create flavorful combinations.

Once you’ve gathered all your ingredients, you’re ready to start assembling your meal. Start with the base ingredients and slowly build your meal from there. Consider adding flavors and textures to create a unique and delicious meal. When adding sauces or condiments, be sure to add them sparingly as too much can overpower the meal.

Finally, don’t forget to think about portion size. It’s important to make sure your meal is balanced, so use half of your plate for vegetables or salad, a quarter of your plate for protein, and the remaining quarter for grain-based carbohydrates or starches. Once you’ve created your perfect meal, you’re ready to enjoy!

Bonus Idea: Customizing MRE Meals for Improved Taste

Most MRE meals don’t need to be customized to make them more palatable; however, if you want to take it a step further, there are several ways to enhance the flavor of your MRE meals. Here are some tips to make your MRE meal a truly delicious experience:

  • Add condiments or sauces to give the meal an extra kick. Try adding barbecue sauce, ketchup, hot sauce or steak sauce to your meals.
  • Experiment with different recipes by combining MRE ingredients. Create new and exciting combinations.
  • Make your own marinades or peanut butter/jelly sandwiches for a fun and tasty twist.
  • Add spices like garlic powder, red pepper flakes, black pepper, oregano, or paprika to liven up your MREs.
  • Mix in crunchy items like nuts or granola to create a more interesting texture.

These simple tips can help to liven up your MRE meals, giving them an extra flavor boost. Experiment and have fun customizing your MRE meals. Enjoy!

Reducing Waste

When using MRE meals in hot weather, it is important to be aware of ways to reduce waste. Not only is reducing waste more eco-friendly, it can also save you money in the long run. Some tips for reducing waste include:

  • Storing your MRE meals in air-tight containers helps to prevent them from spoiling in hot weather.
  • Consuming no more than what you need helps to minimize wastage and ensures that you won't have to discard unfinished meals.
  • Be mindful with portion sizes so that you can take advantage of the food's full nutritional potential.
  • If possible, shop in bulk in order to buy larger portions at a discounted rate.
  • Reusing and recycling packaging materials whenever possible is a great way to reduce your overall carbon footprint.

By taking steps to reduce waste, you'll find that you're not only doing your part to help the environment, but you'll be saving money too!

Best Practices for Hot Weather MRE Meals

When it comes to enjoying the benefits of MRE meals, particularly during hot weather, there are several best practices to consider. Eating an MRE meal in hot weather takes a bit of planning and preparation in order to guarantee its quality and taste, as well as ensure that it is still safe to eat.

Below are some key learnings about how to handle MRE meals in hot weather:

  • Always store MRE meals at a cool temperature –– 40°F or lower is ideal, however, higher temperatures can be endured (up to 80°F). If stored at a temperature above 80°F, MRE meals must be consumed within three hours.
  • If temperatures will rise above 100°F, keep MRE meals with you or in a cooler to maintain their quality.
  • Prepare your MRE meals in a timely manner –– that way, once eaten, they won't remain at room temperature for extended periods of time. Do this by selecting meals that require minimal preparation (such as fruits, nuts, and cheese) and by avoiding water-based meals like soups or stews.
  • Try to consume the entire MRE meal –– don't leave leftovers sitting out at high temperatures which can quickly spoil the remaining food.
  • It’s also important to keep yourself well hydrated in hot conditions when consuming MRE meals, since dehydration can be a factor.

Ensuring that you follow these best practices for handling MRE meals in hot weather will make sure that you get the most out of your experience. It might not make the meals tastes like five-star cuisine, but proper care will ensure that you stay healthy and have a pleasant experience overall.


MRE meals are an essential part of staying nourished in hot weather conditions. The use of MRE meals can provide important nutrition, help reduce food waste, and allow for a more sustainable and convenient option when preparing meals in hot weather conditions.

When using MRE meals, it is important to remember best practices. Proper storage, preparation and recycling of materials are key components to reduce waste and maintain quality. Additionally, it is important to consider creative recipe ideas and customizable options to improve the overall taste of the meal.

By having an understanding of the history of MRE meals, benefits and best practices, you can properly utilize this nutritious resource even in the most challenging of climates.

Frequently Asked Questions – Hot Weather MRE Meals

Here are some of the most common questions about hot weather MRE meals that we have been asked.

  • Q: What is an MRE meal?

    A: An MRE meal is a Meal, Ready-to-Eat, and is a type of packaged food that is specifically designed to be easily prepared in hot and humid conditions. The meals are pre-cooked and sealed in airtight packages so they can last up to 5 years without refrigeration.

  • Q: How much water do I need when preparing an MRE meal in hot weather?

    A: It is important to have enough water on hand when preparing an MRE meal in hot weather. Depending on what ingredients you are using, you should plan on having at least 4-5 cups of water on hand.

  • Q: How long do MRE meals last in hot weather?

    A: Properly sealed and stored MRE meals can last up to 5 years in hot weather. However, it is important to monitor the temperature of your environment as extreme heat or humidity can cause the meals to spoil sooner.

  • Q: What ingredients should I include in my hot weather MRE meal?

    A: When creating a hot weather MRE meal, there are a few essential ingredients that should always be included. These include grains, proteins, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats. Additionally, adding spices and flavorings can help to give your meals more variety and complexity.


Throughout this guide, we have used a variety of sources to provide you with up-to-date information on Hot Weather MRE Meals. To ensure accuracy, we have checked all sources for their reliability and trustworthiness.

The primary sources that we used throughout this guide were:

  • U.S. Department of Defense’s Combat Feeding Directorate
  • U.S. Army Field Manuals
  • The Survivalist Blog
  • Ready Reserve Foods

We also recommend these websites as additional sources of information on Hot Weather MRE Meals:

  • MREInfo.com
  • ArmyStudyGuide.com
  • ReadyToGoSurvival.com
  • PreparednessAdvice.com

FAQs on Hot Weather MRE Meals

  • Q: What are MRE meals?
    A: MRE meals are ready-to-eat packages that contain full meals, originally developed by the military for use in operational environments.
  • Q: How long have MRE meals been in use?
    A: MRE meals were first introduced in the 1980s for use in military environments, but are now widely available for camping and emergency survival purposes.
  • Q: What are the benefits of using MRE meals in hot weather?
    A: MRE meals provide easy to transport nutrition in hot weather as they do not need to be rehydrated. They also will not spoil in hot weather like other meal options.
  • Q: What should be included in a hot weather MRE meal?
    A: A hot weather MRE meal should contain items such as energy bars, snacks, drinks, sauces, condiments, and utensils.
  • Q: How should MRE meals be stored and prepared in hot weather?
    A: MRE meals should be stored in a cool place and kept out of direct sunlight when possible. They should also be consumed within one or two days. To prepare, all that is necessary is to heat the meal up if desired.
  • Q: What methods can be used to reduce waste when preparing and consuming MRE meals in hot weather?
    A: When prepping for an adventure involving MRE meals, you should plan ahead and bring only the amount of meals you will need and nothing extra. If you don't eat everything in your meal, you can store the leftovers for later.
  • Q: What is the best way to customize MRE meals for improved taste?
    A: To customize MRE meals for improved taste, you can add flavor enhancing items such as powdered broth, cheese packets, and hot sauce. You can also add fresh fruits and vegetables if they are available.