- Best for tons of dietary options and tastes
- Simple and tasty meals
- Add breakfast, fruit baskets, smoothies, or premium meals
- Not best for Vegans
- No option for three portions
- Minimal cooking tips
Home Chef is a Chicago-based weekly subscription meal kit service. They serve 3-million customers each month, sending all the fresh ingredients needed to make restaurant-quality recipes at home.
Like other meal kits, Home Chef helps you to save time by taking care of grocery shopping, finding new recipes, meal planning, and portioning for you. Instead of choosing specific meal plan options, Home Chef allows you to pick your specific recipes from a menu that rotates every five weeks.
Find out more about what makes this meal kit service different from the other options out there. Keep reading to get the scoop on the quality, variety, value, and more!
Recipe Quality and Taste
Home Chef delivers quality, tasty meal kits straight to your door. There are a lot of plan options to choose from. You can have meals delivered for up to six days per week, with up to 6 servings in each meal. That makes it a great meal kit option for larger families or people who like to entertain.
Choosing Your Meals
There are different types of meals available, so there’s something for every type of chef and for every palate. Home Chef recommends meals based on your taste preferences and you can select more granular preferences like bone-in or skin-on protein options.
You can choose meals based on the amount of cooking time they require and opt for the faster options when you know you’re busy. You can also sort meal options based on the level of difficulty and various dietary concerns–more on that soon. No matter the degree of difficulty, all of the recipes are easy to follow and novice-chef-friendly.
Types of Recipes
The Express meals are for those weeks where you’re extra tight on time–they’re ready in just 15 minutes or less. But while they’re quick to prepare, there’s no shortage of taste. Choose fast and delicious options like Ginger Steak and Peppers with Roasted Peanuts and you’ll never end up with meals that you don’t have time to cook on weeknights.
Premium meals are available, too. They’re awesome for special occasions or when you’re feeling fancy. For a few dollars more per serving, you can enjoy gourmet meals like Filet Mignon with Sauce Bordelaise. Or, throw on a few servings of ready-to-eat 5-minute lunches, which include options like a salad with pre-cooked protein.
Building your Cookbook
Every meal is sent with a high-quality recipe card and your first order includes a three ring binder to store them. There’s also an online version of your recipe binder, My Cookbook. Here you can look up recipes, rate your meals, and provide valuable feedback on what you like and didn’t like in each meal. With this, you can easily find your favorite meals to order them again. Sort by relevant meal features, including:
- Cook Time
- Spice Level
Variety / Flexibility
Every week you’ll receive perfectly portioned ingredients, organized by recipe into individual bags with complete cooking instructions. Each recipe card lists the cookware needed to prepare the meal, along with any additional ingredients needed such as salt, pepper, and oil. Anything you don’t have on hand, you can purchase through their convenient Kitchenware marketplace. The recipe cards also include tips and tricks to help guide your culinary adventure, like the “before you cook” section.
Home Chef really stands out as the meal kit that caters to all types of dietary needs. It seems like they’ve thought of everybody’s needs.
Their extensive list of specialty diet options include:
While there are tons of dietary options, if you have strict dietary preferences, (i.e. if you are vegetarian and lactose-free.) you could end up with only one or two meals to choose from. If you have only one meal option and don’t meet the two-meal delivery minimum, you can skip that week or add a fruit basket to your order.
The rotating menu includes up to 18 meals for dinner and weekly options for breakfast, lunch, dessert, smoothies, and fruit baskets, too. The “Customize It” feature enables you to mix and match meal choices by swapping, upgrading, or doubling the recipe protein. With this, you can choose from up to 26 weekly options including steak, chicken, pork, fish, and vegetarian. The idea is that everyone will be happy with their meal, no one will go hungry, and you can be the Home Chef hero!
One downside of Home Chef is that shipping isn’t always free. It’s only complimentary for orders over $45 a week. However, only the smallest plan (two meals for two people) ends up costing less than $45 and they give you a heads up if you haven’t met the free shipping threshold. If you don’t hit the minimum, shipping is an additional $10. Here’s a hot tip: adding a smoothie or fruit basket to your 2×2 order will earn you free shipping!
They deliver to 98% of the USA, including all of the lower 48 states. Unfortunately, Home Chef doesn’t offer delivery options 7 days a week. You can select any day, Tuesday through Friday, that’s most convenient for you to receive a delivery. But if you’d like to try them out and don’t want to work around delivery schedules, Home Chef meal kits are also available for purchase in Kroger stores across the country.
Most Home Chef customers are very satisfied with their overall experience. They have one of the highest satisfaction ratings and the lowest customer churn of all companies in the meal kit market.
Similar to most meal kit services, there’s a lot of packaging in this meal kit, including insulation, ice packs, and cardboard. However, Home Chef boxes are lined with recycled, compostable, and biodegradable textile fibers. To dispose of the cotton liner, you simply cut open the film, throw the denim contents in the trash, and recycle the film where you recycle your plastic bags.
These insulators are a lot better for the environment than styrofoam. They’re also significantly more expensive than other insulation options, so kudos to them for thinking of the planet.
The ice packs are numerous, but they’re non-toxic. If you don’t want to reuse them, simply cut them open, throw the contents in the trash, and recycle the plastic wherever you recycle plastic bags.
There isn’t much attention focused on sustainability or animal welfare practices on their website. However, they note that Home Chef chooses partners with vetted sustainability practices and sources locally, when possible.
Value for Price
Pricing is straightforward and relatively affordable, at $9.95 per serving. There are tons of customization and add-on options, which can change the total cost of the weekly delivery.
Here’s the break down:
|Recipe Type (1 meal)||2 Servings||4 Servings|
|5 Minute Lunch||$15.98||$31.96|
|Premium Meal||Market Price||Market Price|
Home Chef is one of the more affordable meal kits. Not only is the price approachable, but the variety and difficulty of the recipes are as well. With this meal kit, you’re confident that everyone will be happy with the meal they get, even the picky eaters and those with large appetites.
Conclusion: Is Home Chef Worth It?
Although limitations on delivery windows and lackluster sustainability practices may be deal-breakers for some, this meal kit has a lot going for it. Home Chef is totally worth it for the budget-conscious and time-strapped person who wants to have tasty and familiar meals with tons of options.
How do you think Home Chef compares to other meal kit options out there? Let us know if you think this meal kit is worth it by leaving a review below!
If you’re ready to try out this meal kit service, order Home Chef and get $30.00 off your first delivery.
Specification: Home Chef