Heater Meal

Have you ever had a Heater Meal? I hope not.

Heater Meals are distributed by the Red Cross in an emergency situation. That’s why I hope you have not had one.

I was given a Heater Meal in November when I had a meeting with the Red Cross. The meeting was about a display and possible competition they would do during this year’s San Diego County Fair. My contact, Holly, (funny, I rarely run into another Holly!) shared a Heater Meal with me and basically said, “Try it, you’ll like it!”

Holly told me about how it heats, that the heating element in the box can actually be taken out, manipulated and turned into a crude form of alcohol – maybe more information than I wanted, but interesting none-the-less.

Holly told me that everything, EVERYTHING, I needed to heat and eat the meal is in the box. She said there are a variety of different menu items available, and that if you are hungry, they are not so bad.

Holly asked me to try the Heater Meal and let her know what I thought. So I took it home, put it in my cupboard where I could see it, expected to eat it this night, then that afternoon, then next weekend. I just never got around to it, until a few weeks ago.

What an experience!

I took the pre-package meal out of the box, the bag of liquid, the utensils and the “plate” or tray to serve it on. I read the instructions, opened the bag of liquid – smelled it, tasted it – just water - and put it in the instructed meal bag.

Immediately the bag started smoking, I mean really smoking – and stinking! Others in the office I was in peaked around the corner to see what was happening. I touched the heating element in the Heater Meal, it was burning hot! I let it sit and “cook” and wondered what I was getting myself into. (I was glad I had brought something else for lunch that day!)

Finally, my Southwest-Style Chicken with Rice and Beans was cooked, right before my eyes with a little bag of water, and some other stuff. What was that other stuff? Hmmm…. But I promised I would try it, so I did. It is not the normal meal that I would be interested in eating, with all the “stuff” in it.

I mixed it around a bit on the tray, so it would look a little less processed, stuck my spork in and took a taste. It wasn’t too bad. My lunch certainly looked and sounded better, but given an emergency situation I can see where it would be a great opportunity for a hot meal. And the cooking process was by far the most fascinating part!

Not bad Holly thanks for sharing.


  1. Oh My! I hope Lauren doesn't read this. Smoke? Burning hot? Sounds like another trip to the Urgent Care just waiting to happen...or at least an entry in the Bevi Bump & Scrape Log!

  2. lets give me a little credit here. This sounds like those things of hot chocolate that heat themselves just by pulling a tab

  3. I have to admit, I took a few dainty tastes, and the long list of "ingredients" just overwhelmed me! But the heating part was really facsinating.

  4. Amazing. Holly, did you happen to notice the product was fully cooked and the heater in the package was only to heat the product? This is a much better meal than Military MREs as they don't have as high a portion of sugar content.

    It would seem you may think staying in a hotel with a restaurant is a camp out as some former wives.