Taste Test: THRIVE Freeze Dried Roast Beef

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Today I got to test out something I have been curious about for quite some time:  freeze dried roast beef.  Misty McBride who runs Your Own Home Store blog sent me a sample of Thrive Freeze Dried Roast Beef and I am pleased to offer an objective taste test.

Thrive freeze dried roast beefFor anyone like me who as never seen freeze dried roast beef, I took lots of pictures so you know what it looks like before and after cooking.

Here is what it looks like when you first open the can.

freeze dried roast beef
freeze dried roast beef

The instructions indicated it needs to soak in hot water for about 15 minutes.  I checked with Misty for further tips and she mentioned boiling tends to make it tough; after soaking in hot water you can add any sauces or seasonings for whatever dish you are preparing.  For this test, I measured about 1/2 cup of freeze dried roast beef, then added 1 1/2 cup of water to rehydrate it.

Adding water to freeze dried beefI left it alone for about 15-20 minutes.  Here is what it looks like rehydrated.

rehydrated beef I double checked the can and it indicated this is precooked, so it is edible.  I drained out the excess water after the beef was rehydrated, and tasted it.    As is, the meat tasted just like boiled meat, but the texture on its own (without further cooking or seasoning) was a bit rubbery.   The family was not wild about the texture, but I told them I would season it and they were willing to try the cooked version.

I wanted t0 conduct this test as though we were out at camp, and there are no other ingredients available except for water, salt and pepper.  First I warmed up the skillet then added the beef.  (Note:  I used a well seasoned cast iron skillet that needed no additional cooking oil, but if yours is not non stick, a bit of oil would be recommended.)  Then I added salt and pepper.

Pan frying the rehydrated roast beef
Pan frying the rehydrated roast beef

I browned the meat.  Here is the finished product:

Browned beef
Browned beef

The meat pieces came out nicely browned.  The family and I tried it and were pleasantly surprised.  It had a really good beefy taste, and the texture was more of what you expect from roast beef.    The meat was tasty enough to eat on its own.  For this part of the test, we give it a thumbs up.

Tomorrow, I will finish the second part of this taste test:  I will make it for an actual family dinner and see if freeze dried roast beef is something I would keep around for everyday meals.


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  1. I also have done a taste test of the Thrive Freeze Dried Roast Beef but have been hesitant to post the results since, in my opinion, the taste was vile. Survival Husband did not think it was bad but as far as I an concerned, I will stick to rice, beans and oatmeal.

    I actually purchased my can (it was not cheap) but dumped it after the test.

    1. While I did not care for the texture for the most part, it was ok after seasoning and panfrying it. The real test is when I make it for dinner tomorrow.

    2. I would be happy to send you a can or two of some of our other meats if you are interested. People are typically 50/50 on the Roast beef (it isn’t my personal favorite), but most everyone loves the chicken. I also really like the sausage in my spaghetti sauce or in an omelet. Contact me if you’d like to review a sample of one or two of our other meats, and I will send them to you for free. Then, you could include the negative review of the beef and not feel bad!

  2. I always wondered about the length of time the meat will last. Once you open the can will it last a long time (of course not the 10 years or whatever their guarantee is) or do you need to eat all that expensive freeze dried meat up within a few weeks? We don’t have any freeze dried meat in our storage program but I’ve thought about it. I guess we’ll have to try it for ourselves since two people whose opinions I respect differ on their thoughs about it.

    1. Official opened shelf life from Shelf Reliance is 1 year. In my personal experience, I’ve had all the meats open now for 9 months b/c I wanted to see how long they really last. The chicken, sausage, and ground beef are all just fine: same as when opened. The Ham started to taste funny around 3 weeks. I opened another can and kept it in the freezer and it has been fine. The roast beef started to taste a bit off around 6 months. I hope that helps!

      ps…if you contact me, I’d be happy to send you a sample of one of our meats as well!

    1. They do tend to be pricey ATH. I guess its because of the longer shelf life than canned. But if you are able to get canned that don’t expire for at least 2-3 years out, then might as well get a bunch of cans and keep rotating them.

      1. That’s what I do, buy cases, rotate out and when it gets within 3-6 months I will donate or give to my sister to save her money to have some saved up for the kids and hubby. I do have some freeze dried foods and a few cases MRE’s.

        Would love to know how the chicken is since I’m not a roast beef fan.

        1. Jarhead 03 sounds like you have a good rotation system with your storage food. Everyone benefits! I will post about chicken and ground beef after the next taste test.

      1. A pressure canner is on my wish list as well. But I probably would start out with simple stuff like vegetables and fruit.

    2. I’m going to show my naivety here, but I’ve never actually canned my own meat and don’t really know exactly what is involved. Does it require a lot of sodium and / or other preservatives? That is one reason I like the freeze dried meats so much: absolutely no preservatives. But, if I could can my own meat w/o preservatives, I would be very interested in learning more.

  3. Wow Bernie! Thanks for the review, I had all these meats on my list to try and now I am on the fence because 1. The quantity looked little with the space I can see in the can and that looks like the pantry size can and 2. It looks dry and chewy but I am going by looks. I was going to get these for stews and soups and meals but with the cost I think I will just stick to my pressure canning which is what I have been doing for meat storage. For those of you that do not pressure can , I HIGHLY reccomend it! I have learned a lot before I purchased my canner and then bought everything I need so I did it right the first time as I do not have a lot of money. I watched my Grandma can everything growing up. Do not follow all the advice you will find on you tube because A LOT of it is UNSAFE. There are great groups on FB you can learn a ton from. No preservatives OR sodium if you do not want them. Thanks again for the review and for being unbiased, it saved me a lot of money and costly mistakes I could have made and saved for many other items we need. I have some shelf reliance cans but this made me think. I like the idea of pantry can sizes but then I don’t want to use them! Thanks. God Bless all!

    1. Hi Clarissa, Glad to help! Thanks for the info on the pressure canning, that is on my “to do” list. I may test a few other dehydrated meats later, I think they still have a place in long term storage, just have to find the right ones.

  4. For those of you that want to learn more about pressure canning, get the Ball book on canning because it’s tried and true and very safe. That’s the MOST important thing. You do not want to get sick and waste the food you put up. It’s worth the investment. Takes some time putting food up but you know what’s in it and where it came from.

    1. I worry about getting the wrong information and doing the wrong thing that can cause food to spoil or botulism. I will definitely get the Ball book, as it is tried and true. Thanks for recommendation.

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