Home Chef hit the stage offering all the ingredients for meals you can cook from home that are also designed by high end chefs. They have since become one of the largest ready to cook meal kit companies in the United States.
I have used Home Chef several times for our family and these are the details of how the service works and options you have in ordering from Home Chef (I even snuck in a discount farther down).
How Does Home Chef Work?
With Home Chef you sign up to be a member and choose from 15 unique recipes of your liking.
Home Chef will deliver a meal kit to your doorstep with measured ingredients and instructions for each of those meals. You even have control over the deliveries, so say you don’t want to cook a certain week or day, you can reschedule the delivery of that meal kit.
You have the freedom to pause your account if you’re taking a break from cooking or are traveling for a few weeks. All of this can be done from your mobile phone or from the comfort of your home, through the Home Chef website. You only have to register and create an account.
It’s a venture that allows you to experience food through the intimacy of cooking your own meals. The folks at Home Chef seem to be innovative enough to curate their meal kits in ways that will be exciting for patrons as well as easy to understand.
The boxes are meant to come with special cards and tips on how to get the right taste.
Types of Meals Available
The meal plans offer a host of options. The recipes keep changing every week so every meal is exciting, even if it’s in the same food group. The wide variety of recipe categories you can choose from include:
- Vegetarian: There are at least three vegetarian options per week. The vegetarian meals sometimes also double up as vegan but there is no guarantee you will get a vegan option every time.
- Poultry: A host of options for chicken and turkey meals that experiment with all kinds of recipes.
- Seafood: Seafood dishes in a budget which are heart-healthy and rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Chicken: If chicken is your choice of poultry, then this category offers chicken meals exclusively. There are over 100 recipe options ranging in difficulty and spice level.
- Pork: If you want to add some livestock in your meal, there are several rich and healthy pork options like tenderloin and chops. The delicious red meat is easier to cook than you thought.
- Lamb: If you want to take it a notch higher, there are many lamb options too. You can try the chops or meatballs to add some panache to your meals.
- Cod: Enjoy the flavorful fish with a host of different recipes. Made with fresh cod from the deep Atlantic waters, the fish adds some lightness to your weekly meals.
- Without Nuts: If you need your meals to be devoid of nuts, there are several exciting recipes, the ingredients for which are all individually packed. The service tries its best to make a safe meal for you but if you are seriously allergic, you should take a personal call about whether the service is the right fit for you.
- Without Soy: If you’d prefer your meals to be soy-free, that’s an option too. All the ingredients are individually packaged, so there’s no chance of them mixing. But if your soy-free diet choice is due to an allergy, you should know that Home Chef’s central facility is not certified allergen-free.
- Without Wheat: For all those going the gluten-free way, there are several options for meals without wheat too. But if you have serious allergies, you may want to consult a health specialist about whether the food is safe for you as the central facility is not certified allergen-free.
- Without Milk: Lactose intolerant? There are several rich recipes that don’t need to go anywhere near milk and are delicious and wholesome on their own.
The ingredients of the meals are sourced locally when possible or from trusted partners that engage in sustainable farming practices. The box the ingredients come in is also lined with recycled, compostable and biodegradable textile fibers.
The meals at Home Chef start at $7.99 per serving for lunch size servings. A BBQ Shrimp Pizza, for instance, is $9.95 per serving. You can also choose from available add-ons like a smoothie or a seasonal fruit basket for $4.95 per serving.
At the sign-up stage, like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh, you can select how many meals you will need per week and how many people you will be cooking for. You can also select what you would prefer to cook – vegetarian, seafood or meat and if there are any ingredients you would like to leave out of your meal or are allergic to.
If the order is worth more than $45, then shipping is free. This is a relatively easy mark to hit with most boxes.
Currently Home Chef is offering a discount for new customers. Right now, anyone who signs up with a new account, will get $30 off your first meal kit purchase.
Home Chef Company History
In 2013, Home Chef CEO Pat Vihtelic started the company by partnering with a chef to design easy and tasty recipes that customers can cook at home. The company today has over 700 employees and covers a delivery ground of over 97 percent of the American population.
The root of the idea originated from Vihtelic’s desire to bring families together for a home-cooked meal. But of course, everyone is busy logging themselves away at work. Who wants to come home and cook food again?
Home Chef has attempted to make cooking exciting again by making it easy, accessible and fun. It eliminates the stage of going out to buy ingredients or measuring each ingredient before putting it in the meal.
It takes care of all of these logistics and hopes that customers will simply enjoy the experience of cooking. The company has also started a blog which publishes articles on nutrition trends in season, new recipes for food and beverages, insights from the chefs and tips for things like “how to slice an Avocado” or “how to mince garlic”.
Pros and Cons
It seems Home Chef has a fair bit to offer. The various categories and options have something to offer everyone. Since there’s enough information about the company now to weigh its pros and cons let’s see if Home Chef delivers all that it seems to promise:
Home Chef: The Positives
- The ingredients come in pre-proportioned quantities so you don’t have to stress about whether you’re putting the right amount.
- The meal kit comes in an insulated box with ice packs so you can consume it within five days.
- The packaging is recyclable and biodegradable so you don’t have to feel guilty about ordering packets online.
- Comes with instructions, tips and tricks to make the cooking process more easy and enjoyable.
- You can cook a meal for one under $10 on an average.
- Offers student discounts and gift cards.
Home Chef: The Drawbacks
- Does not offer too many vegan options.
- Phone lines not open on Sundays (but a message usually works).
- Has low-calorie and low-carb options but not enough variety for special diets.
Home Chef was one of the early companies to come out with ready to cook meal kits. They have worked out the early kinks in their service and have emerged as one of the bigger players in the market.
My family has used Home Chef several times and have been satisfied with their meals and the service we received the one time things went wrong with the shipment. Taking the affordable pricing into account and you can expect a good overall experience with Home Chef.