If you’re a reluctant-but-wannabe-better cook, meal-prep delivery services may just appeal to you. With my (somewhat) recent Hello Fresh experience in the back of my mind (more here), I had a pretty good idea of what I was getting myself into when I subscribed to Home Chef. Like with the Hello Fresh, I was also lucky enough to be gifted a few free meals to toy around with.
The Home Chef model is pretty straight forward:
1. Meal Selection
3. Meal Prep
4. Bon Appetit!
Choosing and customizing the meals on the Home Chef website is easy enough. At minimum one can order two meals a week for two people, but options for three or four meals (for two or four people) are also available. Additionally, one can add their dietary preferences (vegetarian or gluten free, for example) so the site will give you appropriate recommendations. Meal customization is also possible. For example, I found a meal, which listed salmon as the main protein, but one could also select ahi tuna, filets mignon, or steak strips as a substitute. To help you make your selections, the meals come with “difficulty levels,” prep/ cook time estimates, as well as “cook within” estimations (for example, “cook within” four days of receipt). Altogether, per meal (+ shipping), the total came out to be about $12 – $16 per person per meal.
This is the best part. The food supplies literally arrive at your door. If you have a busy schedule, where you are away for most of the day, this could be a problem for you though as the foods should be refrigerated ASAP. Also, like with the Hello Fresh order, waste in terms of (necessary) packaging materials, is an unfortunate consequence of such a convenient service.
Like with Hello Fresh, Home Chef provides easy-to-read instruction cards filled with pictures. Additionally, the ingredients are sent to you in pre-portioned containers, which is a major time saver and allows you to sample fun flavors that you may not buy on your own. Not everything is provided, however, but the items you will need to have are most likely already in your kitchen (including oil, salt, pepper, pots, pans, and the like). Also, there is zero to no guess work in the cooking process, which makes Home Chef very beginner-friendly (but also a bit boring).
I very much enjoyed the outcomes of these meals. Most of these dishes contain seasonings that make them especially flavorful. However, in my opinion, it would be nice to see more vegetable options as side dishes. As it stands, many of the Home Chef dinners are packed with protein (great!) but they can also be very starchy and contain sugary/ fatty sauces (not so great). Luckily, Home Chef also has “calorie conscious” and “carb conscious” options.
Home Chef Pros:
- Easy and convenient
- Lots of meal choices and customization options
- Aaand again, easy and convenient (because that’s the whole point of such services)
Home Chef Cons:
- You have to pay for shipping if you only want two meals per week for two people
- Limited options for certain dietary restrictions (like for vegans for example)
- Kind of inflexible (when it comes to portion sizes and ingredient substitution)
- Deliveries can be delayed (which increases the likelihood of food spoilage—not safe!)
Overall, I had a good experience with Home Chef. If this meal prep service fits your budget and lifestyle, it is certainly worth a try!