Home Chef Review: How It Works and Is It Worth It?
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Home Chef is a weekly subscription meal kit delivery service that aims to bring people together around the dinner table.
However, you may wonder how Home Chef compares with other meal kit delivery services.
This article provides a detailed Home Chef review on how it works and its pros and cons to better help you determine whether it’s right for you.
How it works
Home Chef is a subscription-based meal kit delivery service that makes it simple to prepare and enjoy a home-cooked meal.
Here’s how the program works:
1. Choose your plan
Home Chef offers two plans — their primary plan with fresh, pre-portioned ingredients and easy-to-follow cooking instructions or a fresh and easy plan with low or no prep meals, some of which are microwave- or oven-ready.
After you select your plan, you can choose whether you prefer vegetarian, calorie-conscious (less than 625 calories per serving), or carb-conscious (less than 35 grams of carbs per serving) meals.
You can also select any foods you want to avoid and choose your preferred meal spiciness level.
From there, you can start building your box after you sign up for an account through their website or app (1).
In addition to signing up using your email address, you can also sign up if you have a grocery account with a Kroger-owned grocery store, where you can also find Home Chef meal kits.
During signup, you’ll be prompted to enter your zip code to determine whether Home Chef can deliver to your area.
You also have the option to order add-ons like proteins, breakfast items, sides, and desserts.
2. Customize your plate
You can adjust your meals and servings based on the number of people you’re cooking for and how many recipes per week you want to receive.
Every Monday, you’ll receive an email with 20+ meal options to choose from and you have until Friday at noon (CST) of that week to make any changes or go with Home Chef’s recommendations based on your preferences.
You can also skip a weekly delivery by the Friday deadline the week before your scheduled delivery or put your upcoming deliveries on hold for up to five weeks at a time.
Home Chef uses refrigerated boxes with packaging that is recyclable or reusable to ship your meals so the ingredients stay fresh, even if you’re not home when the package arrives.
As with all perishable items, however, the sooner you can unpack the box into your fridge, the better.
You will receive an email with the tracking information on the day of your scheduled delivery.
3. Cook and enjoy
You can make any Home Chef meal in less than 60 minutes, and in 10–15 minutes with the 15-minute meal kit option.
Just make sure to have olive oil, salt, pepper, and cooking spray as well as basic cookware and cooking utensils available.
Each meal comes with an easy-to-follow recipe card, which also includes the recommended number of days you have to cook each meal after delivery.
Home Chef recommends cooking fish and other seafood first to make sure it remains at peak freshness.
The recipes are three-hole punched and your first order includes a binder so you can keep your recipe cards neatly organized.
Home Chef offers several pros and advantages over some of its competitors.
Easy and fun to customize
Each week, Home Chef makes meal recommendations based on your selected preferences, similar to Sunbasket.
But if you’re just not feeling one or more of the meals recommended, you can select your own.
You can also customize the type of protein or double up your favorite protein on select recipes.
For example, you can swap chicken for steak, seafood for a vegetarian option, and so on, depending on what would best fit the recipe. Though doing so may change the cost of the meal.
To save you time when choosing your meals, Home Chef allows you to filter the meal options based on cook time, meal type, and protein.
Food allergens are clearly listed
Home Chef clearly lists the common food allergens so that when you’re making your meal selections, you don’t have to waste time trying to determine whether any food allergens are present.
Still, even though all ingredients are individually packaged, Home Chef’s central facility is not certified allergen-free.
Home Chef also provides information on each meal’s calories, carbs, fat, protein, and sodium content if you want to track your macros.
Easy to cancel
Canceling a service — including some meal kit delivery services like Blue Apron — can be both confusing and time-consuming.
However, Home Chef makes it easy and intuitive to cancel your account — no matter the reason.
If you try Home Chef and determine it’s not for you, you can cancel under “Account Settings” in “My Account.”
Here are a few cons of Home Chef to consider:
More expensive than competitors
With most meal kits averaging $8.99 per serving, Home Chef delivers a higher price point than other subscription-based meal kit delivery services such as HelloFresh.
However, some Home Chef meals start at $6.99 per serving to offer more affordability.
You may also get a price break if you purchase them at a Kroger-owned grocery store.
Possible ingredient shortages
The supply chain of many industries — including the food supply — has undoubtedly been interrupted by COVID-19.
Due to certain ingredient shortages, there may be instances where Home Chef has to make substitutions.
But these substitutions are generally minor and don’t significantly impact the meal itself — for example, you may receive a different sauce.
The good news is that when Home Chef makes any ingredient substitution to your order, you will receive an email notification with what’s being substituted and the amended instructions.
Potentially fewer delivery days
Depending on your location, you may have fewer delivery days available to you compared with other subscription meal kit services.
Your delivery day options can also change depending on the capacity of Home Chef’s facilities and customer volume.
You can check the delivery dates available to you under “Account Settings” in “Weekly Delivery Day.”
A final look
Home Chef delivers pre-measured fresh and quality ingredients that you can turn into delicious meals in about 30 minutes using simple-to-follow recipes.
If you’re pressed for time — or you just want to prepare something that requires less effort — Home Chef offers oven-ready meals and meals that you can serve in under 15 minutes.
You can customize Home Chef meals to fit your liking, easily identify any food allergens, and enjoy a hassle-free experience should you choose to cancel.
However, Home Chef is slightly more expensive and you may have fewer options for delivery days than some of its competitors.
You may also experience ingredient substitutions if there are issues with the availability of an ingredient, but Home Chef notifies you of any changes and provides amended instructions.
The bottom line
Home Chef is a weekly subscription meal kit service that saves you the time of finding new recipes, meal planning, and shopping.
The benefits of Home Chef include its easy and fun menu customization options, clear identification of food allergens, and simple cancellation process.
Compared with other subscription-based meal kit delivery services, however, Home Chef can be slightly more costly and, depending on where you live, have fewer delivery days to choose from.
Consider both the pros and cons of Home Chef so you can determine whether it’s right for you.