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Home Chef is a meal delivery service founded by Pat Vihtelic in 2013. In the roughly five years since the company has grown to include multiple chefs and 700 employees. The company has undergone rapid growth in that time, delivering over 10 million meals last year. Home Chef meals are available to 97% of the United States.
In founding the company, Vihtelic’s goal was to provide everything needed to make a meal and create lasting family memories, no matter how busy someone was. The company practices simplicity and seeks to institute that in every step of the home-cooked meal process. Let’s take a closer look at how Home Chef works and how it compares to other home-cooked meal delivery services.
How Does It Work?
Home Chef dedicates a portion of their website to explain how their process works.
Potential customers should first join the Home Chef community. Joining the Home Chef community is considered signing up for the meal delivery service, which the company claims will allow you to “discover new ways to enjoy cooking.”
Once signed up, you’ll be able to adjust your delivery schedule. Home Chef allows you to skip deliveries on a week-to-week basis, or pause your account for a longer delivery suspension. Customers with Home Chef are also able to select their favorite recipes. The company provides 11 fresh recipes, featuring
- Vegetarian Options
These recipes change weekly, so customers have a great deal of variety to choose from. After selecting your meals for the week, simply wait until your delivery date.
When your Home Chef box arrives, it will contain a recipe card for each meal in addition to pre-portioned ingredients. The box is insulated and is shipped with ice packs, so it should not be a major concern if you cannot get to the box within the first couple of hours after delivery. While we don’t recommend leaving it on your porch for a few days, the box should last until you get home from work.
Home Chef indicates that their meals take about 30 minutes to cook. Your box includes various tips to help guide you through each meal.
Conscious Of Their Footprint
The company is also very environmentally-friendly. They only select ingredients from their network of trusted suppliers, using local products as much as possible. They also only work with partners who exhibit sustainability practices that meet their standards.
Home Chef also stresses the fact that the ingredients for their meals are portioned perfectly, reducing the chance of food waste. Meals are shipped in boxes that are lined with textile fibers that are recycled, biodegradable, and compostable.
Plans & Pricing
Ordering from Home Chef is straightforward and slightly different from other home-cooked meal subscription services. Under the Our Menu portion of the website, the current week will come up. The site indicates how many days are left before you are no longer able to order for that week, and then states that each meal is $9.95 per serving unless otherwise listed.
Remember, however, that the minimum number of servings you can order is two. So, each meal will cost, at least, $19.90. If your total purchase is greater than $40, Home Chef will provide free shipping.
There is no limit on how many meals you can order. See your favorite meal and want to have it twice? Simply put two in your cart. The a-la-carte option that Home Chef provides is great for those with flexible schedules. Whether you only need one meal a particular week but four meals the next, ordering is a breeze either way.
When we looked, there were 11 meals listed for dinner. The site also listed a few other options. There was a Buffalo Chicken and Blue Cheese Salad available. This was labeled as a “5 Minute Lunch,” did not require any cooking and cost $7.99 per serving. A Blue Hawaii Smoothie and a Seasonal Fruit Basket were also both available for $4.95 per serving.
Each listing also indicated that the ingredients contained may impact those with food allergies or sensitivities. For example, the Sirloin Steak recipe contained Milk while the Firecracker Shrimp recipe contained Wheat, Shellfish, and Soy. There are also logos below some recipes that tell customers whether a recipe is for those who are “Calorie Conscious” or “Carb-Conscious.”
There are mixed Home Chef reviews online. Most customers at Top 10 Meal Delivery Services were happy with Home Chef, giving the service a four-star rating. Many were happy with how good the food tasted and how easy it was to cook meals.
Some customers indicated in their Home Chef review that the portions were inconsistent between meals, with one meal providing enough leftovers for three days while another meal left people hungry.
Other customer complaints seemed to stem from problems with ice packs. Some complained that the ice packs leaked through the box and ruined their food, while others were wary of the fact that the ice packs did not keep through the day. Their meats were room-temperature by the time they were able to open their package.
Generally, people were satisfied with the service, but there were also one-star reviews from customers that could not be overlooked.
Want to share your own experience with Home Chef? Tell the community what you think! Leave your review in the comments below.
Recipes Available At Home Chef
The Our Menu portion of the website includes a list of dinner options each week. Our favorites included:
All recipes indicate the anticipated cook time, how soon after receiving the box the meal should be cooked, the difficulty level of the meal, and the spice level of the meal. Each meal also provides the chef who inspired the meal, the nutrition facts for each meal, the ingredients that come with the meal, and the ingredients you’ll need to provide to make the meal.
Home Chef vs The Competition
Home Chef is most similar to Blue Apron, Plated, and Hello Fresh. While the other three competitors were formed in 2012, Home Chef came onto the scene a year later. Home Chef is generally different from other meal-subscription services because it allows you to order as many meals as you’d like. Blue Apron and Hello Fresh limit you to three meals a week, while Plated mandates four meals a week.
When ordering three meals for two people, Home Chef is the cheapest option, coming in at $59.70. Blue Apron costs $59.94, while Hello Fresh cost $69.00 and Plated cost $72.00. From a taste perspective, Home Chef is seen as comparable to other meal subscription services.
Is It Right For Me?
If you are constantly living life on the go, Home Chef could be for you. The meals are easy to make and more convenient than going to a grocery store and having to pick out your own ingredients.
The meal plan is also great for those with flexible schedules. Customers are not locked into a predetermined amount of meals each week, unlike other meal subscription services. The convenience of being able to select how many meals you need each week should not be overlooked.
However, Home Chef may only be beneficial if you have disposable income for groceries. With meals that cost a minimum of $20, Home Chef is significantly more expensive than the grocery store. Obviously, you’re paying for convenience, but for those on a budget, you may want to consider other options.
Deals and Coupons
Home Chef offers a referral program to their customers. If a new customer signs up with a referral link, both the existing customer and the new customer will receive $30 in Home Chef credit.
If you’re a first-time customer that does not know anyone currently using the plan, there are multiple affiliate referral links available online. Additionally, Groupon offers a voucher for up to 41% off a purchase.
Home Chef is a home-cooked meal subscription service that provides delicious meals cooked with local ingredients. Customers have options to choose from for dinner, and how many meals they’d like each week. The available options set Home Chef Review apart.