Our latest Home Chef order combined a wide variety of cuisine in a single box. Home Chef is a meal 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 in concept to other weekly meal delivery services, but it has its own unique features and perspectives.
Meal selections are suggested automatically according to a profile you fill out noting your family’s preferences, but you can change your selections any time. Home Chef offers an incredible 10 selections available for 2, 4, or 6 people, a breakfast choice, a smoothie choice, and a fruit basket selection. The portions are huge, and this is currently the least expensive and has the most choice out of any similar major subscriptions (for 2 people) – $9.95 per person per selection (they typically have one meal a week that’s a premium meal).
Everything arrived within well-insulated (water-dissolvable) cooler padding, atop ice packs.
Each bag has nearly everything needed to make a complete meal. You have to have a basic kitchen setup (stove/oven, cookware, etc), but a couple tablespoons of cooking oil and salt and pepper are usually the only ingredients you have to have at home. Unlike other boxes, Home Chef includes liquid egg when needed — once they even included a bottle of oil for shallow-frying.
The meat is placed in the bottom of box and packed with several ice packs. I like that they now put all the meat in giant bag to protect against leakage and to let you get the meat without touching it or the ice packs.
The recipe cards recently have been reformatted — they still have prep time, difficulty, a “best cooked by” time frame, and even a spice level. There is also a list of stuff you may need from your own kitchen, like cookware and salt and pepper.
The back of the card has the actual recipe guidance, complete with pictures and boldfacing of ingredients, and an inventory of everything provided. The recipes usually have a pro-tip or explain some cooking terminology. The reformat has streamlined recipes by pulling the tips out of the actual recipe and putting them in a sidebar.
The order of preparation has been streamlined, too — abandoning strict mis-en-place, instead instructing you to start the long lead time items first. Although this makes the chopping slightly less efficient than doing it all at once, it gets your meal to the table faster, and with everything finishing cooking closer to the same time. I like it for these reasons, and because it saves me from having a completely overflowing cutting board when I start cooking. The recipe cards have pre-punched holes so you can store them in a recipe binder.
Each recipe was packed separately, and neatly, in its own bag. Unless otherwise noted, each of the pictures of prepared food below show one of two servings made by each recipe. Due to our selections, this box cost us $79.60. The following pics of prepared food show one or two servings, unless otherwise noted.
Roasted Bone-In Pork Chop With Kumquat-Cilantro Butter And Edamame Fritters. 30-40 minutes, intermediate, 576 calories per serving.
I liked this dish quite a bit, but Brandy was less enthused. The kumquat added too marmalade of a flavor for her liking, but I thought it complemented the fatty pork well. The pork was super tender and juicy — really fabulous. The edamame cakes surprised me, as they looked like they would never stick together in a patty. They had a nice rich flavor from the beans and spring onion, as well as lots of textural variety.
Grilled Southeast Asian BBQ Chicken With Brown Rice And Zucchini Salad. 30-40 minutes, easy, 608 calories per serving.
This dish was OK. The chicken had a pleasant flavor and the meat was, of course, great quality — but the marinade didn’t really form much of a coating, so it was really more like marinated chicken than smothered BBQ. I had to cook the water off of the rice, as it stayed a bit wet when its’ timer was up. The zucchini salad was pretty good. I like chowing on raw veggies in bulk on occasion, and I like radishes. For someone else, it might be a bit too much like crudite.
Chicken Quesadillas With Homemade Guacamole And Pico De Gallo. 25-35 minutes, easy, 980 calories per serving.
Nothing wrong here. This dish was a complete homerun! Pictured is the whole recipe… kind of. The kit came with several extra tortillas, and there was plenty of chicken and cheese to fill the suggested three quesadillas, so I made a fourth. Above is the recommended serving for two, with each person getting one and a half quesadillas (three tortillas). We had a whole nother quesadilla on the side! The homemade pico de gallo was superb, as was the guacamole. The most impressive aspect was the wonderfully crisp and golden crust on the tortillas — this was achieved by setting a couple sheet pans on top of them as they baked.
This week’s Home Chef selections showed some nice inspiration, but it was the classic quesadillas that truly blew our minds! Home Chef has a huge selection of meal options to choose from each week, and the portions are very generous! They offer breakfast selections, and there is even an option to get a fruit basket (BTW, we’ve gotten the fruit several times and found it to be really nice — sweet but not overripe).
Have you tried Home Chef? What did you think of your meals?
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