Prison food is all the rage nowadays. Not the food offered on the state prison trays; rather, recipes inmates use in prison. Books have been written containing prison recipes and a restaurant featuring "jail decor and food" even opened in Egypt. But most of the so-called "prison recipes" available on the Internet and in print seem to contain a lot of food items that would be extremely difficult to obtain in prison, if not impossible.
The prison recipes below contain no fancy ingredients, nor are they very nutritional, but they are legitimate. All ingredients can be purchased from commissary or are items that frequently appear on state food trays, like condiments. The only exception to this is onions, which seem to be fairly easy to get, no matter what prison you're in.
Depending on your custody status, items that need to be cooked are done so in a variety of ways. In general population and death row, inmates usually have access to a microwave and/or a "hot pot." If you're unfortunate enough to be in administrative segregation, you must get a little more creative and make your own version of an easy bake oven. If you ever wondered what inmates are really eating or how prisoners make alcohol, then continue reading.
Prison Lock Down Brownies
This recipe was submitted by an inmate serving life in prison in Alabama. He has stated he cannot eat this too often or he'll go into a sugar coma, but he enjoys it every once in a while.
- 1 large pack of soft batch chocolate chip cookies
- 3 Hershey bars (with almonds if you like) or chocolate bar of your choice
- 5 oz. of milk
- 4 instant cocoa packs
- 2 Three Musketeers bars
Crumble up all the cookies into a large container. Crumble up all the Hershey bars on top of cookies. Microwave this mixture for 30-50 seconds or until the chocolate is kind of melted and can be mixed up.
Microwave 4 oz. of milk for 60 seconds and add the 4 packs of hot cocoa to milk. Stir briskly and pour on top of your cookie mixture.
Mash ingredients until malleable.
Transfer mixture into a pan, smooth out, and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes (in prison, they make their own easy-bake ovens).
Add remainder of milk to a glass or container and squish the two Three Musketeers into the container. Place in microwave and cook for 30 seconds or until melted. Stir until fluffy.
Pour Three Musketeers mixture on top of finished brownies.
Prison No-Bake Cookies
This recipe came from an inmate currently serving time in Texas. He said, "Sometimes you just get a hankering for some home-made cookies. Without access to an oven, these are the next best thing."
- 2 packets of instant oatmeal with raisins
- 3/4 cup of peanut butter
- 1/4 cup of water
- 2 packets of sugar
Mix all ingredients together. Shape into 1/2 inch thick cookies. Let sit for 3 hours. Makes 5 cookies.
This recipe came from Clifford Olson, a serial killer who was incarcerated in Canada. Olson stated that this was his wintertime go-to drink. Olson died in 2011 from cancer.
- 1 1/2 spoonful of instant coffee
- 1 cup of boiling water
- 4 coffee creamers
- 5 packs of sugar
- 2 packs of instant hot cocoa
Mix the instant coffee with the boiled water and stir. Add creamer, sugar, and the hot cocoa. Stir.
Prison Sangria (non-alcoholic)
This recipe was given by Heather Watkins, who spent 10 years in Indiana Women's Prison. Heather and her friends in prison would get together and make enough Sangria for everyone. She stated that drinking her Sangria and hanging out with her friends in prison was the closest feeling she had to being at home.
- 2 16 oz. bottles of strawberry soda
- 1 package of orange Kool-Aid
Pour one half of the package of Kool-Aid in each pop bottle. Gently shake.
Pour over ice.