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- Home Chef is a meal kit delivery service that makes cooking impressive dinners at home fast and convenient.
- At $9.95 per serving (three two-serving meals per week cost $59.70), Home Chef’s meals are neither cheap nor wildly expensive.
- They’re an affordable way to keep your weekly dinner menu interesting without too much effort.
- I tried three weeks of recipes from Home Chef and was surprised at how simple yet delicious they were — the ingredients were always fresh, and the recipes were easy to follow.
- See more: The best meal kit delivery services
When I’m not going out to restaurants and ordering delivery, I like to cook — with terms and conditions attached. I’ve learned that I only really like cooking when I have the time to find a good recipe, go grocery shopping, and figure out exactly how else to use the excess squash or seasoning I just bought.
It’s hard for me to check all three boxes, and for someone who simply wants food on the table, now, the process doesn’t always seem worth it. That’s why I love meal kit subscriptions like Home Chef that send chef-designed recipes and pre-portioned ingredients directly to you.
Particularly now, as the novel coronavirus takes its toll on the food supply chain and forces people to stay home, Home Chef has proven to be a reliable and convenient way to get fresh, high-quality meat and produce delivered to my door.
I recently tried some Home Chef meal kits to see if they really did make cooking simple. Keep reading to learn more about how Home Chef works and how it successfully delivered on its promise of “home cooking made simple.”
Home Chef subscription prices
The price of a Home Chef subscription depends on the number of meals and servings you choose and how often you have your kits delivered. The price per serving gets cheaper as you increase the number of meals and delivery frequency, so your subscription could be as low as $6.99 per serving.
If you’re planning to supplement your regular grocery shopping and cooking routine with Home Chef, we recommend the 3-meal, 2-serving plan, which is $59.70 per week ($9.95 per serving). I found this plan was just enough to keep my weekly dinner lineup interesting while still giving me the freedom and flexibility to cook other things that I wanted.
If you find this amount is too much or too little food for your needs, you can always change your subscription type in your account settings.
Home Chef also offers a 10% discount to first responders, doctors, nurses, hospital employees, teachers, and military personnel. You can verify your status on the website to receive the discount.
Home Chef’s menu features lots of variety
When you first sign up, you’ll be asked questions about your food preferences (e.g. whether or not you’re a vegetarian, the amount of spice you can handle, any allergies you might have). The resulting “Taste Profile” influences the meals that Home Chef chooses for you every week. However, you can always update your Taste Profile preferences and choose your own meals.
I’ll eat pretty much anything, but I noticed that most of the weekly menus did contain meat, wheat, and milk. Though it has a few recipes that cater to vegetarians or those with dietary restrictions, I don’t think Home Chef is the best option for everyone. It’s great for omnivores like myself, but specialized meal kits like Purple Carrot, which is entirely plant-based, could be a better route for certain people.
I loved the interface of the Home Chef menu site, which lets me view and choose my meals up to five weeks in advance. Every week’s selection is filled with enticing recipes and includes all the cooking and nutrition details, so you know exactly what to expect with each kit. Here’s an example of the types of meals on Home Chef:
Home Chef helpfully organizes the recipes by category (e.g. customer favorites, ready in just 15 minutes) to help you make your decision.
What to expect from your delivery
After you’ve made your selections, you just sit back and wait for your box to be delivered. You’ll get an email notification and tracking information when your order ships. Home Chef delivers to 98% of the US, Monday through Friday (you choose the day), and shipping is free on orders over $40.
Your meals for the week arrive in an insulated box that keeps all the ingredients fresh. I tried three weeks of Home Chef and each delivery arrived safely and securely. All meats and fish come in one bag, while produce and other ingredients are separated into bags organized by recipe. With this sorting system, I could get right to cooking and didn’t have to spend time fishing out what I needed from a large jumbled mess.
What it’s like to cook a Home Chef meal
I was impressed by the quality of the meat, fish, and produce that Home Chef sent, and it was consistent quality at that. The ingredients aren’t always organic (sign up for Green Chef or Sun Basket if that’s important to you), but, in my experience, they were always fresh and delicious.
For the most part, the recipes didn’t require a slew of different pots and pans, and the only ingredients I needed to provide were cooking oil, salt, and pepper. The recipe instructions were well-written and easy to follow, while the cooking time estimates were accurate.
Your very first Home Chef delivery will come with a binder where you can store each week’s recipe cards for future reference. The binder kept everything organized, and I did, in fact, go back to a few of my favorite recipes to see how I could recreate them or put my own spin on them.
While the recipes were simple they yielded delicious results that appeared to be much more complex. As I cooked the recipes, I often found myself thinking, “I could definitely make this myself in the future,” and thanks to the recipe cards, complete with helpful suggestions for protein substitutions, I did.
Some of my favorite recipes were:
- Beef and Poblano Tamale Pie with cornbread-cheddar crust
- Blue Cheese and Smoked Almond Pork Chop with honey-roasted carrots and chives
- Chili-Lime Salmon with roasted chayote squash and mojo de ajo
- Farmhouse Fried Chicken with mashed potatoes, green onion gravy, and corn
The bottom line
I like cooking, but sometimes I lack the creativity, inspiration, and energy to come up with a good recipe. I also hate spending money and precious cabinet space on specialty spices or ingredients that I only end up using once or twice.
That’s why meal kits like Home Chef are so useful — Home Chef frees up time and energy you usually spend on grocery shopping and cooking. It may not be cheaper than buying ingredients yourself, but it is a convenient way to get a hot, home-cooked meal on your table.
The whole website is designed to promote customizability and flexibility. Even if you’re new to meal kits, it doesn’t take much time to get accustomed and fall in love with the process and the delicious results.