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Reviews > Food > Packaged Meals > Bridgford Pizza, Beef, BBQ > Test Report by Coy Ray StarnesBridgford Pizza, Beef, BBQ
Review by Coy Starnes
Initial Report: January 11, 2019
I live in Northeast Alabama. I enjoy backpacking, hunting, fishing and kayaking. I enjoy hiking with family and friends but also hike solo occasionally. Most of my hiking has been in the Southeastern US. I hike throughout the year but actually enjoy late fall or early spring the most with some winter hiking mixed in. I don't like the hot and humid weather of summer unless I can escape to the mountains where it is cooler. My style is slow and steady and my gear is light. I will sacrifice weight for comfort and durability to a degree. A typical 3-season load for me is around 20 lb (9 kg) not counting food and water.
Initial Report: January 11, 2019
Bridgford makes a variety of what they call "on the go" wraps, sandwiches and pizza. They even have similar sweet treats but I won’t be reviewing those. I will be reviewing the Mexican style beef wrap, pork with BBQ wrap, and pepperoni pizza with cheese and sauce which are new to the Bridgford lineup. They are not actually full meals but I would consider them more than a snack. They come packaged in such a way that they will keep for up to three years from the manufacture's date at 80 F (27 C) and six months at 100 F (38 C). The date on the package is a "best used by"date and appears to be 3 years from the date it was packaged. In other words, these are ideal for outdoor trips where means of keeping food cold are problematic if not impossible. This also means they can serve as emergency rations. They can be eaten right out of the pack but can be heated in the field by either placing a packet in boiling water for 6 minutes or heating with a flameless MRE meal heater. Microwave and toaster heating instructions are on the packet but I don’t typically carry those with me when backpacking... I like cold sandwiches and pizza so unless it is really cold out I probably will just eat at room, or more accurately, my pack temperature.
My interest in testing the Bridgford snacks is two-fold. First off, I am lazy and don’t like to cook after a hard day on the trail. And secondly, I like variety because, energy bars, instant oatmeal, ramen noodles, tuna fish and cashews get tiresome after awhile. I know I can’t wait to hit a burger joint on the ride home after a few days in the woods. I’m hoping theses are flavorful enough to satisfy that part of my taste buds while still in the woods. Oh and BTW, these are not ultralight foods. I see them more suitable for one or two day/night hikes but could see carrying a few of them along with lighter options for longer trips. Along those lines, some of the items are more calorie dense which tells me those may have a higher fat content. I am glad to see they have no trans fats. I personally try to stick with a low carb diet, and while I would not consider these as low carb, when I’m hiking I feel I can eat and burn carbs more efficiently. However this review is not going to be so much about the nutritional value of these foods but rather focused on how I like them. One other caveat, all the foods I’m testing are fairly high in sodium. I personally maintain a pretty salty diet but it is worth mentioning for those who prefer not to.
I’ll start with the pizza. I won’t list all the ingredients as the list is long and tedious. The package says 6.2 oz (176 gm). However, I’m pretty sure this is just the food inside the package. I weighed the unopened package at 8.45 oz (240 gm). A serving contains 280 calories and there are 2 servings in a packet. More interestingly to me, the pizza claims it contains 90 calories per ounce. Each serving has 280 calories, 10 g of protein, 29 g of carbs and 12 grams of fat along with 850 mg of sodium.
Next up is the bbq pork in a flour tortilla. The package says it weighs 4.4 oz (125 g). I weighed the unopened package in at 5.3 oz (150 gm). This time there are 2 wraps in a package but it is considered just one serving. A serving contains 360 calories, 14 g of protein, 56 g of carbs and 8 g of fat along with 990 mg of sodium. This time the calories per ounce is listed at 132.
And last, the Mexican style beef in a flour tortilla. I weighed the unopened package in at 5.7 oz (162 g). As with the BBQ pork, there are 2 wraps in a package and it is still just one serving. Each serving contains 370 calories, 18 g of protein, 49 g of carbs and 9 g of fat along with 1190 mg of sodium. This time the calories per ounce is listed at 136 which is slightly more dense than the BBQ pork wrap. From a pure weight weenie standpoint, this one would be at the top of the list.
My Initial Thoughts and Impression
It’s hard to say much without actually tasting the product but I’ll save all that information for the Long Term Report. The thought of going stove-less on a multi-day hike has always intrigued me. I’m sure I would miss my hot cocoa in the morning but other than that the lazy aspect sure is appealing. I am impressed that the packages are shelf stable for 3 years but wonder what kind of preservatives are used. It may be challenging to keep the food warm while backpacking since the packages are a little big for my pocket so I’ll have to see if I resort to heating them before warmer weather arrives. They seem a little big for the solo titanium cook-pot I normally carry. I also like that the food is sealed in a waterproof package. This is perhaps not super important when backpacking but I kayak camp as well and this is a big plus on the water.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned for my Long Term Report which should follow in approximately four months from now. My thanks to BackpackGearTest.org and Bridgford for this testing opportunity!
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Reviews > Food > Packaged Meals > Bridgford Pizza, Beef, BBQ > Test Report by Coy Ray Starnes
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