You don’t need to give up all your favorite comfort foods in emergency situations. With a little forethought and smart prepping, you can have staples like emergency survival cheese on hand to satisfy your cravings during tough times. Here are some of the best options.
Whether you’re planning for a natural disaster, a pandemic, or another emergency situation that could have you living off your supplies, emergency survival cheese is a staple you’ll want to have on hand. While it may not seem that it’s a crucial ingredient at first glance, when you think about favorite comfort foods like mac and cheese and tacos, you’ll quickly realize that it’s a key ingredient.
Thanks to canning and freeze drying technology, it’s possible to find cheese products that have a long shelf life and still taste great without needing to be refrigerated. The three options out there are freeze dried cheese, moist canned cheese, and cheese powder.
In this helpful article, we’ve rounded up the best and most popular emergency survival cheese products available for this year. We’ve included a description of each and helpful tips we’ve found for each item.
Finally, we’ve included a buyers guide on how to pick the right types of canned cheeses to add to your emergency food supply to keep you well fed in any emergency scenario.
Best Freeze Dried Cheese
Freeze dried cheese is great for long-term food storage. It has an impressive shelf life and is easy to rehydrate – just let it sit in water! It can also be eaten straight from the can as a yummy snack. For best results, keep in a dark spot away from moisture once opened.
You’ll notice that the grand majority of these selections are just different varieties from the same brand – that’s on purpose! While other types of emergency survival cheese is more hit-and-miss, there’s a clear winner in the freeze-dried department: Nutristore. They have great products with great reviews. So, just decide which kind of cheese is your favorite, and buy Nutristore. If this brand doesn’t suit your fancy, Augason farms makes great freeze dried emergency survival colby cheese.
This mozzarella emergency survival cheese comes in a #10 can with 25-year shelf life. Each container has 20 large servings, or 46 small servings, and costs $47. If you buy bulk, 4 cans, there’s a slight discount where each can costs about $44.75.
One great aspect to this product is that it has no artificial fillers or preservatives. Also, it’s produced entirely in the USA.
Regarding taste, most users found that they went into it with low expectations and were pleasantly surprised. One reviewer even commented that it tastes even better than some fresh mozzarella.
Amazon ratings: 4.6/5 with 285 reviews
This product is everything that the mozzarella cheese is (#10 can, 25-year shelf life, 46 servings, $47, USA-made), just pepper jack!
People especially love snacking on this straight out of the can. Many commented that, although they bought this for long-term food storage, it was so good that they ate it all too fast to leave in storage. One review commented that, when melted, it tastes slightly milder than fresh store-bought pepper jack, so keep that in mind.
Amazon ratings: 4.7/5 with 131 reviews
If you’re a family of cheddar-lovers, this emergency survival cheese won’t disappoint. All the same as the previous two besides, of course, cheddar.
This product had plenty of positive reviews, and one noted that it’s low-carb makeup is great for low-carb diets like keto.
Amazon ratings: 4.6/5 with 616 reviews
Augason farms is another popular brand, and loyal customers comment that this is one of their best products. Also a #10 can, this has a shelf life of 30 years, and you can purchase for $40.
Reviews explain that it hydrates well, is great in recipes or to snack on as-is, and tastes great. One advised to avoid buying multiple cans at one time, as shipping tends to dent them. Another tip is that the leftover cheese-water used for rehydrating is great for cooking and sauces.
Amazon ratings: 4.7/5 with 656 reviews.
Best Moist Canned Cheese
Moist canned cheese is a great option if you want to combine the feeling of fresh cheese with storage potential similar to your other survival food. It requires no extra water, so it can be used immediately upon opening, unlike freeze dried cheese.
Unless you’re a cheese connoisseur, buyers are pretty unanimous that the best moist canned cheese option is Bega. It’s the best value out there.
In addition to their widely popular creation, Vegemite, Australia has also produced another crowd-pleasing canned favorite: Bega Canned Cheese. With an over 100 year history, Bega is a well-developed product with a stable shelf life.
Unlike dehydrated cheese, this option is a spreadable texture that doesn’t need any prep work before it’s ready to eat. It’s a similar consistency to blocks of Velveeta cheese that most Americans are familiar with, but it’s not loaded with chemicals and food coloring.
The manufacturer says it can last for up to 10 years, and all you’ll need to serve it is a can opener. It tastes great spread on crackers, bread, or toast and has a creamy texture and flavor.
There are a few downsides to this option. First is the price. For six cans with six servings each, or 36 total servings, you’ll pay around $40. Also, the containers will take up more space in your storage area than a dehydrated product. This could be the right choice for you if you have a significant amount of room and a larger budget for your food prep.
Amazon ratings: 4.5/5 with 460 reviews.
If you’re a foodie who wants gourmet cheese with robust flavor to perfectly pair with your wine, and you want it in a crisis situation than this luxury option might be the perfect fit for you.
Made by the WSU Creamery in Washington State, this student and educator developed cheese gives back a portion of their proceeds to the WSU food science department to provide educational support for the students.
A sharp white cheddar cheese in a can, this product has won awards worldwide for being delicious, having the perfect texture, and tantalizing taste buds. The best part? It’s one of those cheeses that actually gets better the more it ages.
The current stock is only about a year old, and the longer it sits, the more crumbly and sharp the flavor will become. Eventually, it will develop cheese crystals, which are like gold to connoisseurs. They give a little crunch to the cheese texture and make for an interesting and complex flavor profile.
This is the most expensive canned cheese on our list. It’s around $70 for 30 ounces, and the supplies are limited. Although it won’t be the right option for everyone, it’s decidedly worth mentioning if you love the finer things in life and want to stock your emergency pantry with that in mind.
Amazon ratings: 4.7/5 with 476 reviews.
Best Cheese Powder
Although cheese powder can’t produce quesadillas, it’s a good way to bring in the cheese flavor and storage potential without the high price tag. Budget friendly!
Long lasting, easy, and cheesy, this product makes a great food-storage item. You can buy a whole pound for $18. Customers love how this tastes on popcorn, macaroni, or in soups. Another attribute that makes this product stand out is the use of real ingredients. I read the list myself and understood what every word meant – which is hard to find with powdered cheese.
Amazon ratings: 4.4/5 with 3885 reviews.
Just like our previous cheddar cheese option, with a slightly different flavor. Whatever suits your preferences, you can trust Hoosier Hill Farm.
Amazon ratings: 4.5/5 with 2751 reviews.
Another great option for a white cheddar emergency survival cheese is from Judee’s. This product comes in a 1.5 lb bag and sells for $27. It is gluten-free, nonGMO, and hormone-free. People love the salt content compared to other powdered cheeses – it has the perfect amount. It is also less likely to lump than some other options.
Amazon ratings: 4.4/5 with 814 reviews.
This product has very similar ingredients to the Hoosier Hill Farm. It’s ratings are slightly lower, but prices are also lower at $14 per pound compared to $18. Most customers loved this product, but many wished it had a stronger flavor, so keep that in mind.
Amazon ratings: 4.3/5 with 605 reviews.
There are several additional tips and tricks you can use to determine which canned cheese or cheeses are the right addition to your pantry. Here are a few to consider.
It’s Not One Size Fits All
Stockpiling foods for crisis situations isn’t something that’s one size fits all. Some people may live in an area of the country where annual hurricanes are a concern, and their prepping needs will be vastly different from someone preparing for a long-term emergency situation.
Keep in mind, just because a product comes highly recommended and works well for many pantry preppers, it may not be the right fit for your unique situation.
Take the time to analyze your needs, the potential conditions under which you may have to use your stores, and then pick which option is best for you.
Mix and Match
Although it may be tempting to find something you like and buy it in bulk, that strategy may not pay off in the long run. It might make sense to have several options stocked that give you access to canned and freeze-dried varieties.
Even if you rotate your pantry regularly, you’ll find that some foods aren’t eaten as quickly as others, so having a mixture with a range of shelf lives could be helpful.
Shop Around for Deals
No matter who you are, chances are good that you’re shopping on a budget. Once you decide which emergency survival cheese is right for you, compare costs at your local retailers to find the best deal. Places like Costco, Sam’s, or other buying clubs often offer significant savings if you buy in bulk. Online retailers may include incentives like a percentage off or free shipping for larger orders.
If you have a small storage space but still want the benefits of bulk ordering, consider purchasing a large order with a friend. That way, you‘ll split the cost, the size of the order, and the savings.