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Meal Review: Coleman Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Showing up of late in outdoors stores is a line from Enertia TrailFoods branded under Coleman. Expect to find these at chains such as Cabela’s rather than say REI. The meals are a combination of classic Enertia meals re-branded under the Coleman name with new meals featured as well. Pancakes are a favorite of mine to try out – simply because I have been spoiled by Kirk’s pancakes at home. I don’t make pancakes. That and steaks. Those are foods I wreck and Kirk masterfully cooks.

The Chocolate Chip Pancakes are touted as serving 2 – which it could do if you provide a second part to breakfast (shelf stable bacon slices would go well). Otherwise if you don’t add bacon or eggs you will get a hefty carb loader breakfast that will fill up one average sized adult male.

The meal comes in a very sturdy bag with full information on the back. And when I say sturdy, I mean that. The tear strip is so heavy duty I finally gave up and got out my knife to open it – I couldn’t get it to tear! Good news is that means it won’t rip in your food bag at least.

You can see the meal components via the clear bottom:

The pancake kit contains one bag of pancake mix, the other is chocolate chips.

To mix up all you need is cool water. You can do the mixing in the outer bag for ease of use. Stir the dry ingredients into a lumpy batter and toss in the chocolate chips. Now here is a gripe – the meal contains no oil packet. It requires the user to have oil on hand. At over $4.50 for a meal making 6 pancakes a 35¢ packet (retail mind you!) of vegetable oil wouldn’t kill them. It would make the meal ‘all in one’ and ready to go. Packit Gourmet’s Buttermilk Pancake kit may cost $7 but it contains not only the oil but as well maple syrup. The second gripe is the “mini chocolate chips” were standard size. The directions on the back don’t tell you what to do with the chocolate chips – whether to add in the batter or to sprinkle on the pancakes after pouring.

Gripes aside, the process of making them is simple and on a good non-stick slick frypan with a good layer of oil you will get 6 pancakes full of gooey chocolate. It is easy to do. Kids will love it.

But having said that, while I am sure they would taste great on the trail it pains me that 6 pancakes costs that much when frankly Bisquick® based pancakes taste the same. A jumbo box of it from Costco would last a season, grab a bag of chips from the baking section and you can feed an army. See here and especially here for more on making Bisquick® based pancakes. In the second link the Shake n’ Pour® container retails for $1 and makes the same amount of pancakes.

I’d say this: the pancake kit would be a nice stocking stuffer, a great add on to a new backcountry pot set or for bribing kids to come hiking – the pancakes are reasonably good tasting and easy to prepare but I wouldn’t recommend them for constant use due to the cost.


PS: Yes, Kirk cooked them for me. 😉

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