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Reviews > Food > Packaged Meals > Bridgford Read-to-Eat Sandwiches > Test Report by David Wyman

Bridgford Sandwiches
Test Series by David Wyman



Test Phases:

Initial Report - February 26, 2011

Long Term Report - June 21, 2011



Tester Information

NAME David Wyman
EMAIL wyman(AT)wymanhq(DOT)com
AGE 31
LOCATION Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
GENDER Male
HEIGHT 5' 10" (1.78 m)
WEIGHT 175 lb (79.40 kg)


While I've been camping for years, I've only been backpacking for a short time. I'm trying to find the right equipment, alternating between tent and hammock. My dog usually comes along on the longer hikes, and my wife and toddler join me on the shorter ones. I tend to carry more gear than I need resulting in a heavier pack, but I'm working on that. When I hike with my dog and/or my wife and son, we take it a bit slower, stopping frequently to enjoy the forest. I rarely hike fast unless I'm trying to make up time.



Initial Report - February 26, 2011

Product Information

Manufacturer Bridgford Foods Corporation
Website http://www.bridgford.com/
Product Ready to Eat Sandwiches
Year of manufacture 2010
MSRP N/A
   
Preparation
Sandwiches are designed to be eaten straight from pouch; however, they can also be heated via one of the following methods:

AS IS: Tear open the pouch at tear notches. Remove Sandwich and eat.

MRE/FLAMELESS HEATER: Place unopened pouch in MRE/Flameless Heater and follow the MRE/Flameless Heater heating instructions. Tear open the pouch at tear notches. Remove Sandwich and eat.

BOILING WATER: Immerse unopened pouch in boiling water for 6 minutes.* Tear open the pouch at tear notches. Remove Sandwich and eat.

MICROWAVE: Remove sandwich from pouch, wrap in a paper towel and microwave on high for 20 to 30 seconds.*

TOASTER OVEN: Remove sandwich from pouch, place on a baking sheet, and place in an oven at 350F for 8 to 10 minutes.*

*(recommended heating times.)


Bacon in Cheese-Flavored Bread


(image from website)


Barbecued Beef Sandwich


(image from website)


Barbecued Chicken Sandwich


(image from website)


Cinnamon Bun


(image from website)


Italian Style
Sausage, Pepperoni and Tomato Sauce in Bread


(image from website)


Italian Soy Marinara


(image from website)


Pepperoni Stick Sandwich


(image from website)



Initial Impressions

All of the sandwiches come individually packaged in MRE-style packaging. Designed for the military and currently incorporated in their "First Strike Ration" MRE, these sandwiches have a three-year shelf life when stored at 80 F (27 C) or less and a six-month shelf life at 100 F (38 C). Bridgford provides instructions for multiple heating methods but, while backpacking, I'll really only be using the "as is" and boiling methods.

The sandwiches weigh in between 2.5 and 3.5 oz (70 and 100 g) and, after folding excess packaging under, measure in around 4" x 5" x 3/4" (10 cm x 13 cm x 2 cm). Not too bulky, but still a bit large for the amount of calories they provide.

Trying Them Out

The first thing I did after getting the measurements was try one of the sandwiches out. I chose the Cinnamon Bun and opened up the package. The sandwich was very similar in construction to a Pop-Tart® but with a fairly dense bread shell and a cinnamon filling. Following the toaster oven instructions yielded a nicely browned exterior and a very hot filling. After letting it cool for a few minutes, I found the cinnamon bun to be a decent snack. The bread was a bit chewy and there didn't seem to be much of the cinnamon filling but overall, the taste was pretty good. Due to the small quantity of filling, the taste of the bread overpowered the taste of the filling but I could still tell the cinnamon was there.




Long Term Report - June 21, 2011 Trips Taken

I was able to give these sandwiches a pretty good test over the last few months. I took them on quite a few day trips in the 4 to 5 mile (6.5 to 8 km) range under average conditions (not raining, not too warm or cold) as well as three car camping trips and a single two-night backpacking trip.

Two of the car camping trips were in Raccoon Creek State Park and one was in Ohiopyle State Park, both in Pennsylvania. Weather for all three was pleasant with temps between 55 and 80 F (13 and 27 C) and little to no rain. Used the campsite as a base camp for the day hikes around the parks.

The multi-night trip was a 20 mile ( km) hike in the Pennsylvania portion of the Allegheny National Forest, along the North Country Trail between Henry Mills and Hearts Content. Temps were between 50 and 85 F (10 and 30 C) and, surprisingly, no rain! We averaged around 6.5 miles (10.5 km) a day which left plenty of time to relax or explore the area around the camp.

Thoughts and Impressions

These sandwiches are all right around 300 calories which doesn't make much of a meal but came in very handy as mid-hike snacks or as an appetizer while waiting for the rest of the meal to cook.

My two favorites were, by far, the Cinnamon Bun and the Pepperoni Stick sandwiches. The Cinnamon Bun was good cold and helped make a breakfast into a nice meal. But it was excellent after being heated and really tasted good. The Pepperoni Stick was also tasty when eaten cold and even better heated. Both had good flavor and didn't seem too dense or be overwhelmed by the bread.

Runners-up were the BBQ Chicken and BBQ Beef. Both of these sandwiches were very good when heated. When eaten cold, they were definitely edible, but not nearly as enjoyable. The filling inside was plentiful and the sauces had a good proportion of spices.

Consolation prizes are awarded to the Italian and Bacon-in-Cheese sandwiches. Both of these had a lot of potential but failed to really deliver. They were fairly edible when hot, but I wouldn't choose to eat them cold unless I was out of fuel. I expected more bacon flavor from the Bacon-in-Cheese sandwich and the Italian one seemed pretty generic.

Coming in last place was the Italian Soy Marinara. I've got a bit of aversion to soy products so I'm probably a bit biased against this sandwich, but even considering that, it definitely seemed to be lacking in flavor and was one of the densest sandwiches in the group.




Summary

Likes:
  • Cinnamon Bun!
  • Long shelf life
  • Decent flavor and texture for most of them
  • Easy to prepare or even eat cold
Dislikes:
  • A bit bulky for the amount of calories
  • Italian Soy Marinara was definitely not as good as the others


This concludes my Report on the Bridgford Ready to Eat Sandwiches. Thanks to BackpackGearTest.org and Bridgford for this opportunity.


Read more reviews of Bridgford Foods gear
Read more gear reviews by David Wyman

Reviews > Food > Packaged Meals > Bridgford Read-to-Eat Sandwiches > Test Report by David Wyman



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