In modern society, we have been increasingly busy with our work., This has led us to become dependent on frozen food or takeout. This is, however, not healthy for our body. To help us get excellent home-cooked meals with very little preparation, companies like Home Chef have been offering meal subscriptions for the favorite recipes of their customers. For busy people, meal subscriptions have truly been a game changer. It enables us to cook healthy home-cooked meals within 15-30 minutes, and with very little preparation.
The meal subscriptions make cooking (and life) a lot easier! This has been a strong point for the immense popularity of Home Chef recently. So, should you really try the service that Home Chef offers? Let’s go through the Home Chef reviews to find out if it is truly a service that you should rely upon!
A Quick Introduction to Home Chef
Established in June 2013, the Illinois-based startup has been offering meal subscriptions for the ones who don’t get enough time to prepare and cook delicious food. Led by Pat Vihtelic as the CEO, the company has grown impressively. It now employs about 847 people and ensures meals for more than a hundred thousand people every day. It has served more than 10 million meals in 2017, and the number is continuing to grow every single day! The main motto of the company is, ‘Home Chef brings people together around the dinner table.’ This has been true to the core because the meal subscriptions have truly saved us time and reduce food waste!
Some Fast Facts about Home Chef
- Founder & CEO: Pat Vihtelic
- Headquarters: Illinois, USA
- Employees: 847
- Yearly revenue: $255 million
- Facebook followers: 451,846
- Twitter followers: 10.7k+
- LinkedIn followers: 6,478
- Instagram followers: 69.8k+
Is Home Chef an ideal choice for you?
Home Chef offers to deliver the customers with the necessary ingredients required to cook a certain meal. The company promises to provide fresh ingredients and these come in such a way that you can get your own home-cooked meal in under 30 minutes! That saves a lot of time while ensuring fresh and healthy meals.
What’s more special about Home Chef is that every package comes with a cookbook, and a novice cook can prepare the delicious meal. You won’t find, however, any common staples such as salt, pepper or cooking oil. Getting the meal subscriptions will mean that you will be essentially be relieved from planning your meals, going out to the grocery for purchasing the ingredients and hunting for the perfect recipes. This will save you a considerable amount of time.
Getting started with Home Chef
Signing up and placing an order
When you’ve entered the website of Home Chef, you will be prompted to log in or sign up. For new customers, you should sign up using your email address. One problem I’ve come to encounter when signing up was that the website crashed saying that ‘too many people are trying to access the website.’
After signing up with your email, you will enter a new webpage which asks for your preferences. You will be asked for how many people you’ll be cooking for, how many times a week you want to cook, the specified food you prefer to eat, your personal dietary preferences and the foods you want to avoid.
Next, you will have to provide Home Chef with your shipping address, which includes your full name, street address, the city you live in, phone number and when you want to schedule your first delivery.
In the next section, you will be given your order summary. You will also find a section where you can apply promo codes to get a discount off your purchase. Apart from that, you’ll find a sentence over the payment option that states, ‘If you’re not 100% satisfied, we don’t expect you to pay. That’s our promise and guarantee’. This is truly something that makes Home Chef unique!
Plans and Pricing
One of the best thing about Home Chef is the price it charges for each meal. You can eat any meal for the price of $9.95 per serving, which is a huge advantage. This enables you to choose between a wide variety of meal options and never having to worry about higher pricing. If you compare this to the restaurants, eating an average meal in an average restaurant will cost you just around $13, even higher. Meals cooked in restaurants is not healthy, too! So, you save money while you get healthier meals!
The basic pricing for the meals is $19.90 for two servings and $39.8 for four servings. If you order a five-minute lunch, you will have to pay $15.98 for two servings while $31.96 for four servings. You will get an option to get premium meals once in a week, and you will be charged the market price for the meals.
For meals over $45, you’ll get free shipping. If your meals cost less than $45, you will be charged $10 for shipping.
You can choose two add-ons with your regular meals – smoothies and fruit baskets.
For smoothies, the cost is quite low. You will be charged $9.90 for two serving (regardless of what smoothie you choose) while $19.80 for four servings.
If you choose to have a fruit basket, you will be charged the same as the smoothie, i.e., $9.90 for a serving of two and $19.80 for a serving of four.
After you choose your meals, you will be asked to choose a delivery date. This is the date when you want your package to arrive. The company sends weekly deliveries all through Tuesday to Friday. For this reason, you can choose any day of the week that is most convenient for you. Once you’ve completed the payment process, you will have to wait till the meal box reaches your location.
Another excellent thing about Home Chef is that if you’re not home, the delivery man will leave the package outside your home without requiring any significance whatsoever. This is a feature that I personally don’t like mainly because people can easily steal the package while you’re not at home.
Packaging of Products
The delivered products are packaged with an insulated cardboard box. Inside the box, you will find cool gel packs and some more insulation to keep the ingredients refrigerated, not frozen.
Real Life Experience with Home Chef
So, after all the hype and fuss about Home Chef and its unique approach of making cooking easier, we finally decided to give it a try. At first, I was doubtful of the freshness of the ingredients and if the meals were truly tasty or not. So, let me share my personal experience with Home Chef and what I think about their service.
What I ordered
Once I entered the website of Home Chef, I encountered a handful of tasty meals that they offered. I couldn’t control my thirst for the tasty meals, so I ordered quite a few of them. I ordered Steak Strip and Broccoli Lo Mein and Filet Mignon with Goat Cheese Butter. The latter was a premium meal and cost $19.95 per serving (which is very reasonable). I also included two add-ons which included a seasonal fruit basket and a Cranberry Orange Dream Smoothie.
For each of the meals, I ordered the package for two people. I was charged a total of $79.6. The premium meal cost $39.9 ($19.95 per serving), the regular meal was priced at $19.9 ($9.95 per serving). The add-ons each cost $9.9 ($4.95 per serving).
Making an order and getting it delivered
I ordered the meals on a Wednesday, hoping to receive my packages by Friday next week. As I waited for the delivery, the package reached my house sharply at 10:30 am, just before I’d cook the lunch. I was personally doubtful if the package would reach safe and sound, but to my astonishment, the package did reach without a scratch. The delivery didn’t require my signature, and it was truly convenient.
Unboxing the ingredients
After receiving the delivery package, I quickly opened it up. I noticed two layers of frozen ice packs and some insulating material within the cardboard box. Upon removing the top cardboard, I found four pieces of cookbooks, each containing the recipes to each meal. I noticed that the ice packs have melted and condensed within the package, but it was not quite an issue.
Under the first layer of ingredients, there was a second layer of ice, and it was semi-solid. It kept the ingredients refrigerated until it reached my home. I checked to see if the ingredients are fresh or not, and found that they were completely fine.
Ingredients for Filet Mignon with Goat Cheese Butter
- 1 tsp. Herbes de Provence
- 1 oz. Butter
- 1 oz. Goat Cheese
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 12 oz. Filets Mignon
- 12 oz. Red Potatoes
- 8 oz. Green Beans
Ingredients for Steak Strip and Broccoli Lo Mein
- 5 oz. Lo Mein Noodles
- 8 oz. Broccoli Florets
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 10 oz. Steak Strips
- 1 oz. Crispy Rice Noodles
- 3 fl. oz. Teriyaki Glaze
- ¼ Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
Ingredients for a seasonal fruit basket
- 1 Navel Orange
- 2 Bartlett Pear
- 2 Gala Apple
Ingredients for Cranberry Orange Dream Smoothie
- 1 Navel Orange
- 6 oz. Frozen Pineapple
- 4 oz. Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce, Canned
- 4 oz. Greek Yogurt
- 4 fl. oz. Orange Juice
- 1 fl. oz. Honey
To my surprise, I got two packets of Cranberry Orange Dream Smoothie ingredients while I ordered for one. Getting extras are always better than not getting them, right?
Preparing the meals
One thing I loved about Home Chef is that they provided the ingredients prepared beforehand. This saved a lot of time and effort. Cooking the recipes were also quite straightforward. For the Steak Strip and Broccoli Lo Mein, I had to first cook the pasta and boil the broccoli. Next, I had to put the steak strips onto a frying pan and fry it till the strips gain a brownish color. Then the pasta and boiled broccoli should be added to the steak strips. The spices should then be added and the meal should be cooked for 2 to 3 minutes. At last, seasoning must be added to give the meal a perfect look! It took just about 20 minutes to cook the entire dish. And yes, it was indeed very tasty!
Filet Mignon with Goat Cheese Butter
For the Filet Mignon with Goat Cheese Butter, preparing the dish required a few extra steps. At first, the potatoes needed to be cut and mixed with 1 tbsp of olive oil, salt, pepper, and Herbes de Provence. Next, it should be roasted in the oven for 20 minutes. While the potatoes were being roasted, I prepared the ingredients and fried the green beans. Then I seared the fillets. In the end, all of the ingredients had to be served on a plate with a little bit of butter on the fillets. And voilà! You’ve got yourself the tasty Filet Mignon with Goat Cheese Butter within 30 minutes!
Cranberry Orange Dream Smoothie
Preparing the Cranberry Orange Dream Smoothie was too straightforward. You will just have to prepare the ingredients and put them into a blender. Blend all the ingredients for about 5 minutes till you get a perfect mix.
The seasonal fruit basket didn’t require any preparation, and you only had to wash and cut the fruits to enjoy them. These were fresh and tasty but were not worth the $9.9 price tag.
The thing I have to tell you about!
After all the hassle of cooking, the meals tasted really good. I was truly surprised to find how good it was, given that I’m not a good cook. It tasted just like the restaurant cooked meal but was home-made. I loved the simplicity of the ingredients and the fact that they included the cookbook along with the packages. Let’s know about some other things I really loved about Home Chef.
What I loved
- Home Chef menu had a number of different meals to try from
- Affordable pricing
- Simple and minimalist approach
- Easy to cook the meals
- Tasty meals
- Included cookbooks
- Good and healthy packaging
What we did not like
- The seasonal fruit basket was not worth the money
- The ice gel packs had melted
- The packaging can be better
- Inadequate ingredients
The customer support
Once I had received the extra Cranberry Orange Dream Smoothie, I contacted the customer support to let them know that I got an extra. To my surprise, they apologized for the inconvenience and let me keep the extra meal. They also credited my account with $9.90 for my honesty. This was something that was unexpected when I was reading the Home Chef reviews.
Can Home Chef ensure and boost wellness?
Home Chef ensures fresh ingredients that are healthy for the body. Apart from that, it offers people with a variety of nutrient options – whether it’s low fat, low calorie or low sodium diet; it’s more likely you’ll find a tasty meal that suits your diet choice. This is Home Chef can ensure and boost wellness while providing tasty meals.
Home Chef and its competitors
Although Home Chef is the pioneer in the meal kit delivery service, there have been several other meal kit delivery services that are gaining immense popularity as of lately. Let’s now look at a few of the competitors of Home Chef and how they’re performing in the current market.
1. Blue Apron
After Home Chef, Blue Apron is the most popular meal kit delivery service. Established in 2012, the company has been providing more than 8 million meals per month. They source their ingredients directly from the family-run farms and ensure the utmost quality of the ingredients before packing and sending them to households all around the US.
Some Quick Facts about Blue Apron
- Headquarters: New York City, USA
- Founded in: August 2012
- Twitter followers: 59.9k+
- Facebook followers: 2,043,253
- Pinterest followers: 49k+
- Instagram followers: 313k+
- Meals served per month: 8 million+
Plans and Pricing
The basic two-person plan costs $9.99 per serving, which means you will have to pay $19.98 per meal. If you order 3 meals per week, you will get free shipping. If you choose 2 meals per week, you will have to pay $7.99 for shipping.
The family plan (serves 4) comes with a wide range of options. Shipping is free for all the packages, and the frequency of meals per week directly impacts the cost per serving. If you order 2 meals per week, you will have to pay $8.99 per serving while you’ll have to pay just $7.99 for 3 meals per week. If you choose to have 4 meals per week, the price goes down to $7.49 per serving, and it is truly a savings when compared to the other meal kit delivery services.
2. Hello Fresh
Similar to Home Fresh and Blue Apron, Hello Fresh is another popular meal kit delivery service. Based on Berlin, Germany, the company is one of the largest international meal kit delivery service. It was founded in 2011 and has been operating ever since. The company provides high-quality ingredients with tasty meals and recipe books to ensure everyone can cook delicious meals at home. It also offers a $20 discount for the first two purchases along with free shipping.
Some Quick Facts About Hellofresh
- Headquarters: Berlin, Germany
- Founded in: 2011
- Twitter followers: 31.2k+
- Facebook followers: 1,837,186
- Instagram followers: 313k+
Plans and Pricing
HelloFresh offers three distinctive meal plans, each suited to different people. The first meal plan is targeted for the vegetarians, and you can choose plans for two or four people. You will get 3 recipes per week. If you choose the plan for 2 people, you will have to pay $8.99 per serving ($5.66 as a discount off the first two purchases). If you choose the plan for 4 people, the price will drop to just $6.99 per serving ($5.32 on the first two purchases).
Then there’s the classic plan which aims for a serving of two people. You can choose to get 2, 3 or 4 meals per week, and will be charged $9.99, $8.99 and $8.99 per serving consecutively.
The last meal plan is for a family of four offers two meal options – 2 or 3 recipes per week. 2 recipes per week costs $7.87 per serving while 3 serving per week costs $7.49 per serving.
3. Sun Basket
Sun Basket is yet another meal kit delivery service with an aim to provide healthy and fresh ingredients to the households. It offers to provide fresh, seasonal produce directly from the country’s best farms. The ingredients are 99% organic, 100% non-GMO and truly delicious. There are a variety of diet plans in Sun Basket, including meal plans like Lean & Clean, Paleo, Vegetarian, Mediterranean, Gluten-free, diabetes-friendly and more!
Some Quick Facts About Sun Basket
- Headquarters: San Francisco, USA
- Founded in: April 2014
- Twitter followers: 3814
- Facebook followers: 257,759
- Pinterest followers: 4k+
- Instagram followers: 149k+
- Meal choices ~ 30 varieties
Plans and Pricing
The meal pricing in Sun Basket is pretty straightforward. You can choose between two meal options – classic and the family menu. The classic menu consists of 3 recipes per week, and you can choose between 2 people or 4 people serving. You will have to pay a flat rate of $11.99 per serving, regardless of the serving size. You can choose between 18 recipes each week to suit your taste.
For the family menu, you can choose between 6 family-friendly recipes each week serving for a family of four. You will have to pay $10.99 per serving, and you will choose between 2, 3 or 4 recipes per week each costing the same price per service.
For people looking for a distinctive taste, Plated offers a wide variety of meal options. It has diet meal plans for vegetarian, gluten-free, low-calorie, and low-carb diets. Other than that, the company offers totally organic and fresh ingredients that aids in the enhancement of health. You can select between 20 different menus and choose any meal that suits your taste. This has been the prime reason for its immense popularity.
Some Quick Facts About Plated
- Founded in: 2012
- Twitter followers: 22.2k+
- Facebook followers: 280,131
- Pinterest followers: 17k+
- Instagram followers: 111k+
- Meal choices – 20 varieties
Plans and Pricing
The meal-kit plans for Plated come in three different varieties – 2 servings per night, 3 servings per night and 4 servings per night. For each category, you can choose how many nights per week you want the meals to be served. They will charge you $11.95 per serving for the 2 serving per night pack. While both the 3 serving per night and 4 serving per night costs the same, i.e., $9.95 per serving. You will get free shipping for orders over $60.
Why is Home Chef a better choice?
Up until now, we’ve gone through few of the top competitors for Home Chef. So, why is Home Chef a better choice for you?
To start off, we’ve known that the meal pricing of Home Chef is just $9.90 regardless of what meals you buy. While this is not the least in the market, it surely is convenient and doesn’t force you to buy extras to get price cuts. The ingredients provided by Home Chef seems more premium and of high quality, while the others remain doubtful.
The packaging that Home Chef provides keeps the ingredients refrigerated for a long time, and is environmentally-friendly. Some of the ingredients come prepared beforehand, so you will not have to face the hassle of preparing these. The other meal kit delivery services, on the other hand, don’ provide with prepared ingredients. Instead, they give away whole ingredients. This makes Home Chef a great meal kit delivery service provider.
Home Chef meals reviews have been the latest hype lately, and it has a reason to be. Home Chef provides excellent and fresh ingredients to ensure that a novice cook can create delicious meals within 30 minutes. It has featured in top journals and news portals such as ABC, Chicago Tribune, Fox, Inc., The New York Times, USA Today, WGN and a lot more. The journalists have given descriptive Home Chef reviews and the service they’re providing. Everyone loved the service of Home Chef. And it’s more preferable that the other competitors.
Home Chef promises to provide fresh ingredients while ensuring great taste and easy to cook recipes. This is why they’ve gained their popularity and is still one of the largest meal-kit delivery services in the world!