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Reviews > Food > Packaged Meals > Bridgford Pizza, Beef, BBQ > Test Report by joe schaffer

Bridgford Pizza, Beef, BBQ
Test series
by Joe Schaffer


INITIAL REPORT - January 11,2019
LONG TERM REPORT - May 4, 2019

TESTER INFORMATION:
NAME: Joe Schaffer
EMAIL: never2muchstuff(AT)yahoo(DOT)com
AGE: 71
GENDER: Male
HEIGHT: 5'9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 170 lb (79.4 kg)
HOME:  Bay Area, California USA

    I enjoy California's central Sierras, camping every month with a goal to match my age in nights out each year; about 30 solo. In summer I'm a route hiker moving nearly every day. For comfort I lug tent, mattress, chair, etc. Summer trips have been 5-8 days; 40 lb (18 kg), about half food and water related; about 5 miles (8 km) per hiking day. I winter camp most often at 6,000 to 7,000 ft (1,800 to 2,000 m); 2 to 3 nights; 50 lb (23 kg); 1 to 2 miles (1.6 to 6.4 km) on snowshoes.

INITIAL REPORT
 

THE PRODUCT:
        Manufacturer: Bridgford Foods Corp.
        Web site: www.bridgford.com
3 meals
        Products: Ready to Eat
             Pepperoni Pizza with Cheese & Sauce, net wt. 6.2 oz (176 g)
             Pork with BBQ Sauce, net wt. 4.4 oz (125 g)

             Mexican Style Beef Filling, net wt. 4.4 oz (125 g)
       Made in: USA

MFR STATS: (per serving, 2 servings per pkg; copied from pkg)
       Pizza: 280 cal; 10 g protein; 29 g carbs; 0 transfat; 12 g total fat; 15 mg cholesterol;    850 mg sodium
       Pork:  360 cal; 14 g protein; 56 g carbs; 0 transfat;   8 g total fat; 20 mg cholesterol;    990 mg sodium
       Mex:  370 cal; 18 g protein; 48 g carbs; 0 transfat;   9 g total fat; 30 mg cholesterol; 1,190 mg sodium


Received: 1/9/2019

PRICE: found online for $3.95 US per package

MY MEASURES:
    Packaged weight:
        Pizza #1   8 1/2 oz (241 g); #2   8 1/4 oz (234 g)

        Pork  #1   5 3/8 oz (153 g); #2   5 1/4 oz (149 g)
        Mex  #1   5 3/8 oz (151 g); #2   5 5/8 oz (159 g)
   
    Package dimensions:
       Pizza: 8 3/8 in W (21.3 cm) x 9 1/4 H (23.5 cm) x 1 1/8 in T (2.9 cm)
       Pork:  8 3/8 in W (
21.3 cm) x 9 1/4 H (23.5 cm) x 1/2 in T (1.3 cm)
       Mex:  8 3/8 in W (21.3 cm) x 9 1/4 H (23.5 cm) x 5/8 in T (1.6 cm)

MY DESCRIPTION:
    These ready-to-eat packaged meals require no preparation other than removing them from the package envelope and inner pouch. If desired they can be heated using an MRE/Flameless heater; boiling water immersion (unopened pouch) for 6 minutes; microwaved (removed from pouch) 20-30 seconds; or toaster oven (removed from pouch) 350 F (177 C) 8-10 minutes.
Package envelope is of a cellophane nature, very thin. Inner pouch appears to be foil. Refrigeration is not required. Shelf life claimed is three years at 80 F (27 C) or below; six months at 100 F (38 C).

IMPRESSIONS:
     Yippee! No cooking. Even I can open a package, so these meals have my full attention. I can sometimes boil water, making it possible to heat them if I can wait for six minutes. Even better, the meals get boiled in their pouches, keeping the pot clean.

    I like the thin outer envelope as this kind of material is not very heavy and can be squished into carryout of minimal consequence. (They're kind of like a big ramen package.) I'll find out when I use one whether it's even necessary to carry the outer envelope.

    Since these are not freeze dried meals, what I heft is what I get, and the heft makes me think I better tote lots of peanuts.

    Looking at the mfr's net wt. vs my measured gross weight of the wraps, I extrapolate an ounce (30 g) of packaging for 4.4 oz (125 g) of food. In gross weight this equals about 20% packaging / 80% food. Pizza ratio runs about 25/75.
I'd find these ratios a little out of balance for an extended trip, though not a relevant consideration for a quickie. The total package takes up no more and perhaps even less space than a typical freeze dried meal.

    A complaint does arise from what I consider to be false advertising on the wraps envelopes. A correct quantity of contents attends the product graphic, but I'm calling foul on showing three wraps while the packages actually contain two. I'll tote the outer envelope with me so I can compare the actual size of the product to the image size on the envelope.


pizza

LONG TERM REPORT

FIELD CONDITIONS:
      1. Jan 23-26: Dodge Ridge, California. Backpacking three nights; four mi (6 km) towing sled. Snow camping at 7,100 ft (2,200 m). 25-50 F (-4 to 10 C). Sunny, no wind.
    2
. April 17-20, 2019: Tahoe National Forest, California. Three nights backpacking; 1 1/2 mi (2.5 km) on snow. 55 lb (25 kg) leave weight. 6,400 ft (1,950 m); 32-65 F (0-18 C). Mostly clear and warm.
    3. May 1-4, 2019: Catfish Lake, Stanislaus National Forest, California. Three nights backpacking; 8 mi (13 km). Leave weight 45 lb (20 kg). 5,600-6,100 ft (1,700-1,900 m); 35-75 F (2-24 C). Clear and sunny.

IMPRESSIONS:
    1. Dodge Ridge:
        Jan 23--Pizza. Air temp 50 F (10 C). Product sun-warmed in the package to probably 80 F. Each piece was in its own foil wrap. Appearance-wise it looked similar to the picture, flattened. This can't be surprising. Texture was somewhat doughy. Taste seemed precisely similar to pepperoni pizza.

       Jan 24--
Pork and Mex wraps. Air temp 40 F (4 C). These were both packaged two per foil pouch. I boiled the two pouches together for six minutes, then the Mex wrap for another six minutes as I noshed on the Pork. Six minutes is not enough to soften the wrap and heat the filling, though the Pork wrap was not unpleasant. Some of the wrap was still hard. The Mex wrap was close to hot enough and tasted very good. The wrap was softened almost enough, and gave off the pleasant odor of a warm flour tortilla. It's very spicy, which in small amounts I like. One bite had a chunk of something that may tantalize the ants after snow melt.

    I am fairly impressed with these products. They taste good with minimal preparation. The foil pouches didn't feel all that hot, so it was no surprise the food wasn't hot. I thought it important to follow the direction of six minutes of immersion in boiling water to see if that prep time was enough, and I would say it is not.

    The food was satisfactory. Texture is somewhat homogenous, especially the pizza, but there are distinct flavors in all three products. The serving size does not put much bulk in the tummy, but the brain was not pushing for more. These products are not meals for me. They are low-maintenance snacks that taste pretty good and put the tiger belly to sleep as I prowl the bear can for other courses.

    2. Tahoe:
        April 18. Air temp 40 F (4 C). Pizza. I put one piece in boiling water and let it boil for six minutes; then left it sit in the hot water for another four minutes. The package did not burn my fingers. The pizza came out cleanly and warm enough to eat--wouldn't say hot. Tasted pretty good, with a doughy texture as described before.

       April 19: Air temp 38 F (3 C).
Pork wraps. Both pieces in the package went into boiling water for eight minutes. They came out of the package cleanly and whole. I like the taste and texture, though the pork pieces didn't seem to soften quite enough. They chew about like a not-quite-cooked-enough bean. I ate both, and could eat more. One of them had a dry bite of wrap. It didn't taste stale, just not quite as chewy-soft as the rest of it. I didn't find anything about eating the meal that I didn't like.

    3. Catfish:
       May 2: Air temp 45 F (7 C).
Mexican Style Beef Wraps. I had a fire, but didn't feel like cooking. As a cold wrap up for the test, I would say that's not their best use. They are certainly passable as food and not in any way objectionable, but on a routine basis I'd rather have the greater pleasure of eating them hot. Cold texture is firm enough the individual parts are not so discernible and the flavors are more subdued. Certainly they were convenient to snack on while winding down from camp chores. They were not sufficient as an evening meal and later I did cook up a walloping pot of hot water for ramen. I love the smell of warm tortilla and I kind of regretted not bothering to warm them up for that pleasure alone.

        May 3: Air temp 50 F (10 C). Pizza. Rummaging my bear can I found a packet that had survived the previous outing. Again I did have a campfire, but looking at the pizza and fondling it, I couldn't bring myself to suffer all the trouble of boiling for just the one packet. It's not bad cold and I enjoyed it. The pepperoni takes the front row in taste, and cheese was somewhere in the background. I had a few peanuts later and a chunk of chocolate and called it quits for cooking that night.

    On these short trips the amount of packaging was no issue. I'd left the outer wrapper on one of the packages at home; and I found the other wrapper made a good garbage bag. I could take issue with the foil inner wrap taking up more space than I'd like to afford a spent meal. The meals are more suited to short trips; and though I tend to be somewhat less of a glutton in the outback, I'd have to say these are not stand alone meals. Included as a course along with a protein drink, handful of peanuts and a chocolate topper I can get to sleep before I'm hungry. They wouldn't suit me as trail snacks as I prefer them hot and making them so outside of camp would be fiddle-faddle beyond my culinary pursuits. Having sampled them cold, though, I much like the 'backup' potential of something ready to eat for those times I want to get in bed as fast as I can; or when it's raining too hard to cook.

QUICK SHOTS:
    a) ready to eat
    b) taste good
    c) lot of packaging

Thank you Bridgford and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this product. The test is complete.


Read more reviews of Bridgford Foods gear
Read more gear reviews by joe schaffer

Reviews > Food > Packaged Meals > Bridgford Pizza, Beef, BBQ > Test Report by joe schaffer



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