Home Chef Meal Subscription Box Review & $30 Coupon – January 2016

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home chef box january 2016box
Potatoes au gratin, steak, ribs, and bacon — this may be my favorite week of Home Chef yet!  Home Chef is a dinner in a box subscription – every week choose from a variety of recipes and have all the ingredients and preparation instruction delivered to your door.  It’s similar to other weekly meal delivery services  like Hello Fresh and Plated but like all of them, has its own unique features and perspectives. (We don’t typically review Blue Apron – in the past we’ve found it extremely fussy, with small portion sizes).

When you sign up you fill out a mini profile of your family and tastes so Home Chef can automatically suggest a weekly menu for you, which you are welcome to change. The selections for this meal subscription are much larger than the other ones, offering 10 selections available for 2, 4, or 6 people, a breakfast choice, a smoothie choice, and a fruit basket selection. Currently this is the least expensive and has the most choice out of any similar major subscriptions (for 2 people).

home chef box january 2016unboxing
Your weekly parcel contains your recipe cards and all the ingredients for your meals. Everything arrived bundled inside insulated packaging with big ice packs to keep it cold.

home chef box january 2016meat

The meat is placed in the bottom of box and packed with several ice packs.

We were really impressed with the recipe choices — there are tons of options!  We also thought the meals were more accessible than the other meal kit subscription boxes, which tend to use lots of ancient grains, alternative greens, exotic spices, and likes to target the foodie crowd.  This subscription has plenty of flavor and variety, but it uses more familiar ingredients.

home chef box january 2016cards

The recipe cards have all the info we like to see — prep time, difficulty, and allergen and nutrition info.  They also included a drink pairing suggestion (something other boxes have dabbled in but not stuck with), and a “best cooked by” time frame.  We like this way of stating the fridge stability of the ingredients (instead of simply telling us to eat the fish first), as it allows us to plan our order of meals however we want, while still optimizing freshness.

home chef box january 2016recipe
The back of the card has the actual recipe guidance, complete with pictures and boldfacing of ingredients.  The instructions were clear and complete, and I found them to be very thorough.  There was an inventory of ingredients provided, a listing of tools and items you provide (mainly S+P and oil), and the recipes had great hints littered throughout — they even help you expand your cooking vocabulary, like explaining the characteristics and benefits of “sous vide” cooking — basically translating French cooking terminology in layman’s terms when relevant to the recipe.  The only minor annoyance is the adherence to standard prep order (i.e.:  preheat oven, chop veg, prep meat) — we switch the order a bit where it makes sense. If you’re an experienced cook we do recommend cooking in the most efficient order, but for novices we recommend following the directions exactly so you don’t get flustered or lose your place. The recipe cards have pre-punched holes so you can store them in a recipe binder.

home chef box january 2016packaging

Each recipe was packed separately, and neatly, in its own bag. FYI, this box cost $89.60, because the rib meal was a premium selection.

home chef box january 2016IMG_5545 Healthy Takeout Bourbon Chicken With Chicken Thighs, Water Chestnuts, Broccoli, and Jasmine Rice. 35 mins, easy, 624 calories.home chef box january 2016Healthy Takeout Bourbon Chicken With Chicken Thighs, Water Chestnuts, Broccoli, and Jasmine Rice

Very simple to prepare, the chicken had the wonderful tenderness and sweet juiciness associated with Bourbon chicken.  This  dish was a nice twist on the traditional stir-fry flavor profile, as it had sweetness without a thick sauce.  Pictured above is about 3/5 of the food made from the recipe, served family-style — this was more than enough for two.

home chef box january 2016IMG_5547 Parisian Bistro Steak With Potatoes Dauphinoise and Green Beans. 50 minutes, intermediate, 901 calories.

home chef box january 2016Parisian Bistro Steak With Potatoes Dauphinoise and Green Beans

I was impressed by the simplicity of the potato side — the cream and parmesan thickened into a creamy sauce without any thickener other than the natural starch of the potato.  We always welcome green beans and steak, and the shallot and beef-based sauce was a great complement to the latter.  The potatoes were really good!  This picture captures one of the two servings, but the plate only has about 1/3 of the potatoes from the recipe.

home chef box january 2016IMG_5549 Premium: Sous-Vide Southern Baby Back Ribs With Hush Puppies and Collard Greens. 55 minutes, expert, 1436 calories. This premium dish runs $14.95 per plate. home chef box january 2016Sous-Vide Southern Baby Back Ribs With Hush Puppies and Collard Greens

I don’t think this dish was technically sous-vide, or even en-papier, but it was delicious.  Brandy noted the great, hearty taste of the hush puppies and surmised that they were made from a high-end milled mix without seeing the box.  I thought I let them get a little dark, but they were still excellent — the recipe is very forgiving.  The ribs were pre-cooked, so all that was needed was resaucing and heating.  The collards rounded out the meal, making it a true Southern feast.  We thought this meal was well worth the premium fee (pictured, above, is a single serving).   The recipe made a ton of hushpuppies (about a dozen biscuit-sized puppies),  and the ribs were a full-length rack  for splitting.  home chef box january 2016IMG_5550

Breakfast: Sweet Potato, Bacon, and Goat Cheese Skillet With Jalapeño, Bell Peppers, and Grape Tomatoes. 45 mins, intermediate, 572 calories.

home chef box january 2016Sweet Potato, Bacon, and Goat Cheese Skillet With Jalapeño, Bell Peppers, and Grape Tomatoes.

This was another bountiful platter.  Pictured is the full recipe — a lot of food.  The goat cheese melted slightly on the hot eggs, making the dish particularly creamy and delicious.  The sweet potato made a wonderful base.  It complemented the seasoning and generated a sweet coating that flavored the eggs and veggies.  Plus, the entire dish was smothered with a giant pile of bacon!

We have been extremely impressed with Home Chef, and it has been very popular with our readers, as well.  The recipes and ingredients have produced really nice meals every time we’ve tried it, and their are tons of options to choose each week.  We LOVE that we can pick a steak dinner every week, and that we don’t have to cut up one steak to get two portions (Plated is particularly obnoxious about this). And we actually like that Home Chef doesn’t shy away from offering calorie-laden meals – there are so many choices that you can choose not to order them, or choose to, as we do.

Visit Home Chef to subscribe or find out more! Get $30 of free food when you sign up – just use this link to get the deal.

The Subscription: Home Chef
The Description: Receive fresh ingredients and visual, step-by-step recipe cards on your selected delivery day every week. Cook like a seasoned chef in your own kitchen with ease.
The Price: $60.00 every week
See Home Chef in the Hello Subscription Box Directory!
The Categories: .
The Reviews: See all our Home Chef Reviews.


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  • Patti

    DO NOT USE HOME CHEF. I had cancelled my account and they continued to charge my bank account post cancel. Management was rude, refused to refund my money. SCAM SCAM SCAM

    • Elma

      They did that to me too, but it was because I cancelled too late for them to cancel my box that was already made up. Seems fair to me.

  • Del

    I am not seeing how many meals per week you get.

    • Brandy

      It’s $9.95 per meal per person and you can buy as few as 2 meals for two or lots more. they have a HUGE menu every week to choose from. If you get more than essentially 4 plates, you will have free shipping. If you take a look at some of our prior reviews you will note that the number of meals we order varies each week.

  • Virginia

    Your “cornbread” was cooked just right. My mother-in-law was the best Southern cook whose food I ever tasted. Usually you don’t see it fried this way.