The MRE (Meal Ready to Eat) is a long standing food storage favorite. They’re nutritious, convenient, and better tasting than ever before. With an entree, side dish, dessert, and accessory pack enclosed, all you need to eat an MRE is the meal pack and a heat source. But what if you don’t have an MRE heater?
Rest assured, there are plenty of ways to heat MRE meals in a pinch if you don’t have a standard heater. Many MREs, like our MRE Ultimate Full Meal, include a heater to conveniently prepare your meal. However, that’s not always the case. You may already have heater-less MREs in your food storage, or maybe you’ve ordered a meal that doesn’t include a heater. While they can be eaten hot or cold, you’ll probably enjoy the meal much more if it’s heated. First, let’s see how a meal is heated with a standard heater.
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How to Heat an MRE With a Heater
Watch the video below to see how an MRE is heated with a standard heater, or read a step-by-step guide.
8 Ways to Heat MRE Meals Without a Heater
Boiling The Pouch
Before opening up the MRE throw the metalized bag into a pot of boiling water and allow the contents to heat up. Carefully take the package out after a few minutes and open the contents. The food inside will be heated and ready to warm your belly.
On the Car's Engine
If you have MREs in your emergency car kit, you can easily throw them on top of the engine and take the heat from your car. The metal bag will transfer the heat to the food while keeping the grease and fumes out.
Use a Flat Iron
You can even heat your MRE with a clothes iron! Because some irons are too hot, you may need to wrap your food in a cloth to buffer the metalized bag from burning. You can also put the iron on a lower setting and rub it along the bag. Be careful not to melt the bag - that’s too hot.
In the Dishwasher
Now, we haven’t tested this one out yet but we thought it was an interesting idea - using the dishwasher to heat up your MRE. The idea is that you put the MRE in the top rack of your dishwasher and let it run through a cycle with the dishes. Depending on your dishwashers heat/dry system this would probably work. If not, you’d have a really clean MRE.
On Coals & Rocks
When you’re out camping, simply place the MRE on some rocks next to the fire. White hot coals would probably burn through the MRE bag but if you placed flat rocks down and then placed the MRE on top of that - it should do fine.
On a Car's Tailpipe
Like we mentioned above, you can place your MRE on the engine of your parked car. However, you can also get a lot of heat to prepare your MRE off the tailpipe of your car. Balance the meal on top of the tailpipe and let it heat for a few minutes.
Use Your Body Heat
If worse comes to worse, you can always use your own body. Let’s say that you were out snowmobiling (I’m jealous) and wanted to heat up your MRE. Besides possibly using the motor on your snowmobile, you could also put the MRE inside your coat near the hotter parts of your body to heat it up a bit. It probably won’t get it as hot, but it’s better than a frozen MRE.
Under The Sun's Heat
You can also use the sun to heat up your MREs. Whether it be with a sun oven or placing it on a rock in the desert sun, they’ll heat up pretty quickly. We’ve also heard of people fashioning tin foil to reflect into a single area that would transfer the sun’s heat to the MRE’s metalized bag - thus heating up the MRE.
How Have You Heated MREs Without a Heater?
We’ve listed a few ideas that we’ve heard of, but we’d love to hear ways you’ve gotten creative with heating your MRE meals! Comment below to tell us how you have, or plan to heat up an MRE.
Update: The Ready Store still has ample stock of MREs, with 1-12 month supplies available. Order your full meal MREs today.