- Customizable menu
- Cooking instructions
- Straightforward interface
- Fresh ingredients
- Weekly delivery
- No free shipping for orders under $40
- No large selection of vegetarian dishes
Home Chef originated from the culinary mind of Pat Vihtelic, who in 2013 decided to share his vision of creating tasty and easy-to-make recipes for busy people. His dream soon became a reality, and today Home Chef is considered the most popular meal delivery service on the market.
On that note, in these Home Chef reviews, we’ll talk about the sign-up process, ordering options, menu plans, pricing, and our overall experience with this weekly meal delivery service.
Ready to transform yourself from a home chef to a master chef? Let’s dig in!
How It Works
As a weekly meal subscription service, you can expect to receive your tasty culinary wonders each week—so the first thing we’ll talk about in this Home Chef review is the subscription plan.
Signing up is easy. Simply select the number of meals and servings you want to receive and answer a few questions regarding the number of people you’re cooking for. Next, you can choose to receive a package that will include servings for two, four, or six people, and you can pick the number of meals you want to cook each week (2–6).
As you’ll soon learn from our Home Chef delivery review, this meal service has a unique feature that allows you to take total control over your orders. First of all, you can order any item your heart desires. But then, you can add or exclude specific proteins, skip days, and pause or continue your subscription plan.
How to Make Changes to Your Order
Making changes to your order is as easy as it gets. Once you decide on your dish, all you need to do is click on the Details button to see your final pick.
Now, here’s where our reviews of Home Chef meals become even more intriguing. Please welcome the customization option! What does it do?
With it, you can modify your order by choosing different proteins and adding or removing the number of servings. Want to make a romantic dinner for two on Thursday? Try the roasted tomato chicken and add some parmesan, mashed potatoes, and zucchini. Don’t like chicken? Change it to a mouthwatering filet mignon.
Be sure to check out various Home Chef menu reviews to get an idea of what you can cook. Now, if you’re satisfied with your choice, hit that Save button. However, if something isn’t to your liking, or you believe you exceeded your budget, click the Remove button and save your progress again.
To skip a delivery day, hit the Skip button.
How to Cancel Your Order
If you no longer want to receive Home Chef meals, reviews verify that you can’t delete your account, but you can pause it. Clicking the Pause button will automatically cancel your subscription for an indefinite period. When you’re ready to put that white apron back on, click on Un-pause.
Apart from that, you can use the Pause button when you want to change your subscription plan (it can be weekly or monthly) or appoint a day when you want it to be reactivated. However, by canceling your subscription, you won’t simultaneously cancel your order if it’s already processed.
When canceling your orders and subscriptions, make sure you do it before Friday (the final deadline). Otherwise, they’ll be transferred to the next week.
Focusing on Home Chef meal reviews, we’ve already said that you can customize your every order, but there are more menu options to choose from, starting with the meal plans:
- Home Chef (various meals + cooking instructions)
- Fresh and Easy (easy, quickly cooked meals)
After you decide on which plan to use, you’ll be asked additional questions to determine your dietary preference:
- Omnivore (you basically eat everything)
- Carnivore (you eat meat, with the exception of fish)
- Pescatarian (you eat fish, but avoid meat overall)
- Vegetarian (you don’t eat meat or fish)
You’ll also notice that these Home Chef meal plans allow you to include or exclude the food you don’t like (like pork, milk, mushrooms, etc.), and you can select a preferred diet (calorie-conscious or carb-conscious).
With each week bringing different lunch or dinner choices, there are 14–26 meal types that you can choose from:
- Oven-Ready Dishes
- Fresh and Fast
- 15-Minute Dishes
- Meal Kit (for meat dishes and vegetarian dishes)
Busy cooks, good news! Home Chef Oven-Ready food reviews will tell you that the fastest and easiest way to prepare a finger-licking dish is to choose already prepared meals. As the name suggests, Oven-Ready dishes come in an aluminum box that needs to be put into a preheated oven.
Keep in mind that these dishes are not meant to be put into the microwave. For microwave dishes, pick something from the Fresh and Fast category.
Fresh and Fast
The next type we’ll talk about in our real Home Chef reviews is the Fresh and Fast model. This type is ideal for people with a busy daily schedule. The trademark of these meals is the minimum preparation time (10–15 minutes) and the cooking process’s simplicity. Assemble the ingredients and put them into the microwave. That’s all!
15-Minute Meal Kit
The 15-Minute Meal Kits are classic and familiar dishes that can be prepared in less than 20 minutes (like BBQ chicken mini-flatbreads and tomato and spinach pork medallions).
Next on our Home Chef reviews menu, we have the most versatile option for food enthusiasts—it includes a wide range of proteins (chicken, turkey, pork) and veggies (broccoli, shiitake mushrooms, kale, etc.).
Nearly all these entrees can be customized, allowing you to change the main protein. For example, if you select tomato and spinach pork medallions, you can swap the pork with filets mignon, sirloin steaks, or chicken breasts.
Moving on with our reviews of Home Chef, all dishes come with step-by-step instructions, which include cooking guidelines, cook time, difficulty level, and spice level. In addition, for an extra fee of $4.95, you can order various smoothies and Snappy Snacks (small snacks like toast).
To get even more detailed information about the dishes, or to make a plan for the next week, you can scroll through the Recipe Categories and pick the food you prefer (chicken, seafood, pork, pasta, without soy).
With so much food going to waste on a daily basis, customizing your dish and planning your menu can reduce this bad habit.
After scrolling through Home Chef food delivery reviews, it came to our attention that customers are overall satisfied with the recipes that come with the dishes. Not only do they incorporate estimated cooking time (20–30, 30–40, or 50–60 minutes), but you’ll notice that each of the dishes lays out a difficulty label (easy, intermediate, expert), spice level (not spicy, mild, medium), and nutrition records.
In other words, there’s no beating around the bush with the Home Chef recipe cards. The digestible step-by-step instructions (with pictures) will help any home chef become the next master chef without the help of Gordon Ramsay.
How Accurate Are the Recipes?
As we mentioned above, each dish comes with a recipe card that can also be downloaded as a PDF file. The cards contain the following:
- Detailed information about the ingredients in the box (you’ll get everything you need except for salt, pepper, and olive oil)
- An accurate prep time
- Information about the minimum protein cooking temperature (145° for steak and pork, 165° for ground turkey)
- Before-you-cook prepping tips
- Cooking instructions
As you can see from our Home Chef delivery reviews, the recipes are accurate and easy to follow. Starting at the easy level, which is a piece of cake, to the intermediate level, which is a bit more challenging but clear enough for beginners, and finally to the expert level, which requires a bit of patience and finesse.
A bit of advice, though. If you choose an expert-level dish, select something you already know how to cook.
After our review of these Home Chef recipes, it’s time to talk about the taste. Can a meal in a box be as tasty as the dish you order in a restaurant?
You’ll be happy to hear that Home Chef uses only freshly prepared ingredients that are carefully wrapped in plastic bags. The portions are big enough, so you probably won’t need an extra snack to feel full.
Speaking of the Home Chef meat quality, most proteins are as delicious as they look in the pictures. The pork melts in your mouth, the oven-ready food tastes like it was cooked for hours (and not less than 30 minutes), and the flavors are well balanced.
According to various customer reviews, the most appetizing Home Chef dishes include the following:
- Texas-Style Steak on Toast
- Teriyaki Ginger-Glazed Salmon
- Blue Cheese and Smoked Almond Bone-In Pork Chop
- Black Bean Enchiladas
- Parmesan-Crusted Chicken
The most pleasing dish, however, will always be the Home Chef Premium Meal. This meal tastes like a regular five-star restaurant dish. It includes special limited ingredients, so it’s no surprise it costs more ($19.95 per serving). The Premium Meal can also include a holiday dish (which sometimes comes with added desserts).
Home Chef, like many other food delivery services, puts its meal kits in recyclable cardboard boxes. On top of that, we indicated earlier in these Home Chef box reviews that each ingredient is fresh (chopped, washed, prepared for cooking) and wrapped in small plastic bags, with the exception of the meat, which is put into special bags filled with cold gel.
Besides the ingredients, the box contains a cookbook with the instructions and recipes. What we liked the most was the soft cushioning on the top and sides of the box, which keeps the ingredients intact. It’s reusable and recyclable, as are the plastic bags.
What about the delivery? Many reviews of Home Chef meal delivery services will tell you that the boxes will be left at your doorstep. Moreover, since you’ll receive a tracking number, you’ll be able to track your package, but you won’t have to sign any papers to pick it up.
Expect your delivery during the week, Monday through Friday, and check your account for the exact delivery date.
We’ll finish our Home Chef reviews, 2020 edition, noting this meal service kit’s value. Many statistics say that cooking at home can be less expensive than eating out. After all, you cook your own food and choose the proteins (and veggies) you want to integrate into your weekly menu.
Skipping meals and eating junk food can do horrors to our bodies, so try to create healthy eating habits and avoid fast food and drive-ins as much as you can.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about the various Home Chef pricing plans.
To start, each meal comes with a fixed price of $6.99 per serving. In other words, if you order two meals once a week, the cheapest option will be $13.98. To keep things simple, there’s also a Standard plan that costs $39.80, and it includes two servings for two people.
Moreover, your total Home Chef cost will depend on the proteins you add or remove from your dishes. All meals that have the customization label can be modified. To demonstrate, your initial dish that starts with $6.99 can soon become a dish that costs $15–$20 if you add, for example, organic meat (add $4–$5) or antibiotic-free meat (add $2–$3).
While preparing our Home Chef meal delivery reviews, we found that besides food, you could add different types of smoothies or Snappy Snacks (add another $4.95). But let’s not forget the shipping fee of $10 for all orders under $40.
Generally speaking, if you think that this complicated pricing system diminishes most Home Chef ratings, you’d be wrong. Not only does this company rate highly when compared to other food delivery services, but it also takes the cream with its flavorful menu.
Home Chef Alternatives
You will find many food delivery services that can easily compete with Home Chef. Here are some of the most popular services:
- Green Chef
- Purple Carrot
- Nurture Life
- Sun Basket
- Blue Apron
Blue Apron vs. Home Chef: Reviews and Comparisons
Both Blue Apron and Home Chef have taken the lead in the super-busy market of food delivery services. This is unsurprising since both were founded over seven years ago. Blue Apron and Home Chef are similar in many ways, but what sets them apart?
As stated above in this review, Home Chef gives you more options when it comes to menus. In fact, you get to choose from 14–26 meals every week, while with Blue Apron, you can choose from only eight meals every week.
Another big difference can be seen in the dietary plans. While both offer four different plans, Blue Apron has more options for vegetarians, and many dishes are Mediterranean and seafood-based.
On the one hand, when it comes to Home Chef fees, reviews confirm that there’s no free shipping on orders under $40, and the initial price of the dishes is fixed ($6.99 per serving).
On the other hand, the prices of Blue Apron’s dishes will be reduced if you select more servings. In other words, the price of one serving is $9.99, but if you order four servings and two recipes, the price will be reduced to $8.99 per serving, and the shipping will be free.
Home Chef reviews often mention that this company’s main focus is helping people prepare their food quickly, with no limitations when it comes to personalizing the dishes.
That said, Blue Apron reviews will tell you that this company has high standards for food. Not only will you get international recipes, but you’ll also get to add wine and cheese to your orders, making Blue Apron a bit more luxurious.
Home Chef Customer Reviews
Generally speaking, most customers are satisfied with the services this company offers. The delivery time is always accurate, the food standards are high, the ingredients are fresh, and the dishes’ recipes are straightforward and easy to cook.
The customization of the dishes is what people appreciate the most regarding food delivery services, and Home Chef is the star in this field.
But not all that shines is gold, and naturally, you’ll find some Home Chef complaints on the internet that are mostly connected with the billing process. Simply put, you’ll be charged for your meal before you finish your order.
There’s a plethora of food delivery services that are growing in popularity every day, especially in these challenging times of continuous lockdowns and remote working. That said, finding the best service out there can be tricky if you’re not sure where to look.
With that in mind, we created this Home Chef review to get you more acquainted with the company’s dishes, prices, subscriptions, features, and overall services to make sure you’ll make the right choice.
Virginia Woolf once said, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well,” so keep that in mind when you plan your next signature dish.
Stay healthy and bon appétit!
Is Home Chef any good?
Home Chef is one of the market’s most popular meal delivery services offering various weekly dishes. You can choose the number of servings (two, four, or six) and the number of meals you plan to cook during the week.
If you want to learn how to cook flavorful, classic, customizable meals that come with step-by-step instructions, Home Chef is definitely the right place to start.
Is Home Chef worth the money?
Home Chef has a reasonable price list, starting at $6.99 per serving. Knowing you’ll get fresh ingredients that are already prepped and ready to cook, we believe Home Chef is worth every dime.
Moreover, you can add different proteins to your dish, leave out the ingredients you don’t like, select a diet type, and skip, pause, or change your subscription plan whenever you want.
Is Home Chef easy to cancel?
There’s no easier way to cancel your subscription plan. First, go to your Home Chef account and click on the Account Information. There, you’ll find a section called Delivery Details. Click on it, and hit the Pause button. This will automatically cancel your subscription until you reactivate it by logging in again.
Also, be sure to cancel your subscription before Friday.
Is there a fee to cancel Home Chef?
Because you can’t delete your account, only pause it, there are no additional cancelation fees you need to pay. On top of that, if you don’t want to cancel your subscription, you can choose to skip weeks, change your delivery frequency, or schedule your dates.
Is Home Chef better than Blue Apron?
Home Chef and Blue Apron are very similar when it comes to food quality and pricing. Both use fresh ingredients, and both offer affordable prices. So what makes Home Chef better than Blue Apron? The one thing that distinguishes Home Chef from its competitor is the customization option. Simply said, you can add or change the main protein from your dishes.
Which is better, Home Chef or Hello Fresh?
Home Chef and Hello Fresh offer appetizing dishes for the same price. Both have four different plans. Hello Fresh has a Classic plan, Veggie plan, Family plan, and Low Calorie plan, and Home Chef has Oven-Ready dishes, Fresh and Fast, 15-Minute Dishes, and its Meal Kit.
However, when it comes to food diversity, Home Chef holds the advantage. While the basic meals will always be on the menu, you’ll also get three vegetarian dishes and two seafood dishes to choose from.
Which is cheaper, Home Chef vs. Hello Fresh?
Generally speaking, Home Chef and Hello Fresh have almost identical prices, at around $7.49–$8.49 per serving. However, to receive your Hello Fresh meal delivery box, you’ll have to pay a fee of $6.99. Conversely, Home Chef orders under $40 come with a fee of $10, while orders over the mentioned price are free.
Is Home Chef cheaper than the grocery store?
Ordering from Home Chef is much cheaper than eating at a restaurant or buying the same ingredients at the local grocery store. The price of one serving is $6.99 (plus a $10 fee).
After all, if you’re a busy person or you cook for more than two people, it could be smart to use the help of a meal delivery service. Not only will it save you a lot of time, but it will save you a lot of money. Hopefully, our Home Chef reviews have shown you how to get the most of your subscription.