Help with Hawk Vittles

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Guest
I know some people swear by these but I've yet to have one I was really excited about. So instead of flaming me, help me, because I want to like them!


- I know I need that snuggie thing. So far every meal I've had has been ice cold. I've been half tempted to dump out a MH so I can use the bag to rehydrate.


- Watery. I add the minimal amount of water but everything is always soupy. Doesn't seem to absorb fully. I wonder if this is a function of temperature?


- Crunchy. Even with boiling water right into the pot and sitting until stone cold, things are still crunchy. I've yet to have one cook right. Again, maybe I need that snuggie?


- Bland. I've yet to taste any kind of flavor. Maybe I'm eating the wrong stuff. Particularly the breakfast I haven't found one that I like. I can never finish it either. Not because it is too much, but because it is soupy, cold, crunchy and lacking any kind of flavor. I added ketchup to the taters - that just make watery, cold ketchup.


I still have certain ones I've yet to try. But my list is running thin. I can't imagine the ones I hated getting any better, even if warm and properly moist... the taste was just lacking.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
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Location
Raymond, ME
Eat a MH. Save the bag.. Dump HV into the MH bag and add boiling water. Because HV is dehydrated and not freeze dried it may indeed take longer to rehydrate. Consider dumping HV into a Nalgene in the am and letting it rehydrate during the day.

Cold is easily remedied with application of heat. Now as to the taste. Because there is lots of grain and tomato often and no salt I have found that salt makes dinner better.

I'm not wild about the breakfast selections save for the eggs and grits and sausage which I find darn good. The rest of the breakfasts being brown are not real appealing.

I have never had luck with the snuggies because unlike MH bags, they are not flat on the bottom. They are apt to tip over even supported in a pot.

I really like the Sierra Spaghetti and the Bison Stew.. The clam and shrimp dishes need clam and shrimp.. seems just the essence of shellfish was wafted over.

Do I think I can do any better? Nooo... I dehydrated some one dish meals for the upcoming Green River/Missouri River trips and it looks like they are currently in need of an application of a hammer and sitting in a couple of Nalegenes with water for a day.

I'd give up cooking up HV as suggested on the package.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
838
Hi Bird, I've never tried them but a starting point might to read the instructions again; sometimes when something doesn't work as it ought, I've missed some part of the directions.
I have read some reports about how good they are from several folks. Have you tried any kind of prefabricated meals that you did like and worked for you? We are all so quirky in our food tastes maybe Hawk Vittles just aren't for you?

Now "soupy" "crunchy" and "cold" all sound like they need to cook longer. If your trying to do that "put the boiling water in the envelope" thing; maybe just try cooking once in a pot and see if that makes a difference. If your cooking in a pot, you could cook and boil off the extra water or add a tad more mix.

But what ever happens you're wise to test it out at home, that's sure the place to fiddle and fix a problem!

Best Wishes, Rob
 
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I've had good luck with HV meals. I've learned that the pasta meals should be boiled for a few minutes before letting them sit. Forget about the snuggie; just drape a towel or shirt over the pot after you turn off the heat. My favorites are:

Beef Stew
Moroccan Stew
Linguini with Mushroom Sauce
Sweet Italian Sausage with Pasta

I prefer these because they're lower in both fat and sodium. For breakfasts, try Outdoor Herbivore:
http://outdoorherbivore.com/
Toasted Sunburst Muesli
AppalaChia
Apple Quinoa Oatmeal

I also like MH:
Wild Rice & Mushroom Pilaf
Pasta Primavera
I add MH freeze-dried chicken to both of these.
 
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
596
Location
Aberdeen, MD
I can only speak for the dinners, as I am a die hard bacon and oatmeal breakfast guy, and bring a cold lunch consisting of a meat, cheese, starch, and sweet.

My favorites are the Buffalo Pasta, Sweet Italian Sausage, and Bison Stew... Cowboy ____ (chili? stew?) was pretty good too.

Spice is a matter of personal taste... I grew up on mushrooms, gravies, and salt, and find even black pepper too much... so HV are "just right" by me.

As far as too soupy, crunchy, and cold, yes, that is entirely a function of improper re-hydration. Imagine the difference between 20 minutes of cooling off, and 20 minutes of "soaking in the bag, and still too hot to eat!"...

I've mentioned this before, but I don't rehydrate in the bags... I'm cheap, and usually buy the double portions so I can get two out of them... some days I'm not that hungry, and i'll only make 1/3 of a double, so I use a piece of duct tape to hold it shut after opening... I pour out what I need into an old KoolAid jar. I have trimmed the rim down to the threads, just enough to hold the lid on, without the "shoulder" (the part that forms a kind of scoop so you can dump it out into a pitcher). I fill it up about 1/2 way with product, then add boiling water to about an inch above that... you get to know your meals... the bison stew is "finer" than the buffalo pasta, and I use less water. Anyway, I put the lid on and put it in a special cozy I made from a piece of blue foam (also have a thinner green one... works just as well). Let it sit for 20 minutes THAT way, and it will be still too hot to eat... but it will be rehydrated. you can go 25 minutes if you really don't like your pasta firm.

Good luck.
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
Messages
287
Location
Rochester, NY
I also don't use the bag, nor do I just add boiling water and wait in a different container. I use the "old instructions" and still do for my own dehydrated meals.
1. Add meal to pot, add water to just above food (quarter or half inch, you learn how much for your own desired consistency).
2. Cover and bring to a boil.
3. Cut heat, stir and eat.

There is some fiddle factor. The amount of water is adjusted on the fly, easier to add more than take out. If it boils too quick, then sometimes you have to wait longer. In general I have found bringing it to a boils more slowly is best.
 
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I had been thinking about 'cooking' them a bit to see if that would help. I'll give it a shot. Thanks for the advice.

I think I'll forgo the breakfast and make my own concoctions with dried fruit and oatmeal.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
838
There is one 'hard times' solution to improve the taste of any meal: skip one or two meals just prior to your intended meal. There's the old saying: Hunger makes the best sauce.

Rob
 
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Hey l'oiseau, I love mixing in dries cherries, blueberries and cranberries, along with walnuts, (and milk powder) into my oatmeal. Add just enough boiling water for consistency, and voila. I love it. Maple syrup makes it a morning treat.
 
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There is one 'hard times' solution to improve the taste of any meal: skip one or two meals just prior to your intended meal. There's the old saying: Hunger makes the best sauce.

Rob

LOL, well said, and so true!
 
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
20
Location
W Mass
I like HV solo dinners a lot, but I have trouble keeping the cozy from spilling over or tipping over. So, I no longer rehydrate the food in the original bag or use Hawk's cozy. I now use a Halulite solo pot/cup, which comes with a cozy. First I boil the water in the pot. Then I add the dry food into the pot. Then I pick up the pot with the silicone gripper and slide it into its own form-fitting cozy. Then I put on the insulated lid that comes with the pot. Then I let it sit for the recommended time. I usually guess pretty closely with the water level, but occasionally I need to spoon off a little before eating. I especially like his stews and pastas. I also like his peanut and garbanzo spread as a savory alternative to peanut butter.
 
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Garbanzo spread? That sounds good!

Sounds like a lot of messing around. I've found HV meals rehydrate best when I put them in the pot before boiling the water, and then continuing the boiling for a minute or two. I always have a cloth napkin or kitchen towel available, and that works great as a cozy.
 
Joined
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central NYS - 10 miles from the Baseball Hall of F
To second YC's comment about the cozy; all of mine have been made out of old closed cell foam pads. I've just duct taped them together at the seams and so far have had no problems. I looked into purchasing some of the insulating foil they're made out of at my local Home Depot and the amount that you had to purchase was ridiculous. I think everyone on this forum could have made 2-3 cozys and there'd still be material left over; hence my cutting up of an old pad. It may be cheap but it certainly works.

That's all for now. Take care and until next time...Be well.

snapper
 
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Guest
I also don't use the bag, nor do I just add boiling water and wait in a different container. I use the "old instructions" and still do for my own dehydrated meals.
1. Add meal to pot, add water to just above food (quarter or half inch, you learn how much for your own desired consistency).
2. Cover and bring to a boil.
3. Cut heat, stir and eat.

There is some fiddle factor. The amount of water is adjusted on the fly, easier to add more than take out. If it boils too quick, then sometimes you have to wait longer. In general I have found bringing it to a boils more slowly is best.

I tried this method with the Cowboy pasta. Came out better than it ever has. Consistency is better, almost sauce like... temp is great. Still got some crunchies in there... maybe a little slower on bringing up to temp? Not sure. But so far it's an improvement.

Also I may have misunderstood your other comment about the 600ml pot. I used a 2 qt and it was plenty large for a double serving, so I'm assuming you can squeeze a double in 600ml.
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
Messages
287
Location
Rochester, NY
I tried this method with the Cowboy pasta. Came out better than it ever has. Consistency is better, almost sauce like... temp is great. Still got some crunchies in there... maybe a little slower on bringing up to temp? Not sure. But so far it's an improvement.

Also I may have misunderstood your other comment about the 600ml pot. I used a 2 qt and it was plenty large for a double serving, so I'm assuming you can squeeze a double in 600ml.

Not sure about a double serving. I only cook for one. A 900mL would probably be ok for a double though.
 
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Guest
Thumbs up on the sweet Italian sausage and pasta. Cooked it old style - seemed I needed to add a LOT more water than what I started with. Only burned a little bit on the bottom :eek:

Mildly chewy (al dente maybe?) pasta. The onions were a bit tough but kind of in a good way. Flavor was excellent - sweet and onion-y. I'll eat this one again.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Thumbs up on the sweet Italian sausage and pasta. Cooked it old style - seemed I needed to add a LOT more water than what I started with. Only burned a little bit on the bottom :eek:

Mildly chewy (al dente maybe?) pasta. The onions were a bit tough but kind of in a good way. Flavor was excellent - sweet and onion-y. I'll eat this one again.

Two thumbs up on that one. It's one of my favorites. It might help to pre-soak it for an hour or so. I'll be trying that next month.
 
Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Messages
694
Location
Western Adirondacks
I'm quite certain that Hawk began with recipes from Linda Yaffe's book: Backpack Gourmet, Good Hot Grub You Can Make at Home, Dehydrate, and Pack for Quick, Easy, and Healthy Eating on the Trail. I have used it extensively as well. Some recipes are a little unusual, but most are quite good. Dehydrating your own trail food is easy to do on your own. Even better, Linda's ideas get you thinking on how to create your own recipes, which is what Hawk expanded into doing. The book has from time to time been available on Kindle for free, but buying the hard copy is well worth the price.

My rule of thumb... 20 minutes in boiling water with food covered in an insulating cozy is sufficient to rehydrate most meals. Be sure to check at the 10 minute mark for adequate water, add more if needed and stir at that point. Don't peek again until 20 minutes has passed. If some recipes contains larger chunks, going for 30 minutes doesn't hurt. You will be disappointed if you have not waited long enough. Your patience will be rewarded.
 
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