Previous to the pandemic, I wouldn’t have precisely thought of myself adept within the kitchen. Positive, I used to be capable of feed myself—particularly these days I used to be testing pre-made meal kits—however as a rule, I used to be both eating out or making a primary chicken-and-veggies dinner at house.

Enter the pandemic, and instantly eating places had been closed and journeys to the grocery retailer had been feeling more and more overwhelming. I lasted six months cooking by myself earlier than hitting a wall.

Then, in September 2020, I signed up for Home Chef, the best meal kit we’ve ever examined. Since then, I’ve lowered my grocery journeys all the way down to small journeys for easy breakfast and lunch objects, saved cash on dinners versus consuming out, and amassed a repertoire of culinary expertise just by following Dwelling Chef’s beginner-friendly directions.

Two years and greater than 200 meals later, as eating places proceed to ease restrictions, I’ve no intention of giving up my meal equipment behavior—right here’s why.

About Dwelling Chef

An open Home Chef box and bags of meal kits on a table

Credit score: Reviewed / Meghan Kavanaugh

Meals arrive in an insulated field, separated into luggage to maintain related components collectively.

Home Chef is a meal equipment supply service made up of recent, pre-portioned components and easy-to-follow recipe instruction playing cards. After creating an account and deciding on a weekly supply day, customers merely peruse the upcoming week’s menu, make choices, and look forward to the package-tracking emails to reach.

I go for my deliveries to reach on Mondays so I do know I’m beginning the week off with wholesome, home-cooked meals. And, as a result of I usually pre-select my meals within the app as much as six weeks prematurely, every supply seems like a deal with to myself—an amazing dinner with minimal brainpower required.

There are at present seven main classes of meals to select from:

  • Meal Kits: That is the traditional providing full with pre-portioned components (that you just usually nonetheless want to arrange) and a cook dinner time of round 30 to 40 minutes.
  • 15-Minute Meal Kits: Pre-portioned components on this meal are additionally usually already prepped as nicely. In comparison with the usual meal equipment, you’ll obtain pre-chopped veggies as a substitute of complete ones, for instance, so you may have dinner on the desk in quarter-hour. Here’s our full review of 15-minute meals.
  • Quick & Recent: With all components sliced and diced earlier than they arrive, simply combine them within the supplied tray and pop them within the oven or microwave—with the latter getting dinner on the desk in underneath 10 minutes.
  • Oven-Prepared: Most components on this class come pre-prepped, permitting you to pop them within the oven within the supplied oven-safe tray for a hands-off dinner in usually 20 to 40 minutes. Here’s our full review of oven-ready meals.
  • Grill-Prepared: As soon as components are prepped, add them to the supplied grill-safe bag to cook dinner on the grill.
  • Household Meal: Recipes are much like these within the Meal Package class, however make 4 servings as a substitute of two, which is ideal for feeding extra folks or, in my case, constructing in a leftovers evening for busy weeks.
  • Culinary Assortment: In the event you’re within the temper for extra premium components, like steak, or a extra superior cooking preparation, this class delivers with a barely greater price ticket per meal and a cook dinner time nearer to 50 or 60 minutes.

Dwelling Chef additionally shares pre-made breakfast, salad, pizza, snack, and bread choices that may assist fill your pantry and prevent a visit to the grocery retailer. There’s additionally an choice to bulk-purchase meat, poultry, and seafood in Protein Packs that would preserve your freezer full for weeks.

What I like about Dwelling Chef

A Home Chef recipe card for a shrimp and rice bowl surrounded by its ingredients

Credit score: Reviewed / Meghan Kavanaugh

This two-serving honey cashew shrimp bowl comes with the precise quantity of components wanted—no extra and no much less.

Meals are high-quality—and filling

As a lot as I really like my newfound culinary expertise, going out to a pleasant restaurant is one in all my favourite actions. I’ve excessive requirements for a way I need my meals to style, and I’ve upset myself prior to now with how subpar my very own dishes have turned out. That mentioned, I’ve not often missed with Dwelling Chef. Elements are high-quality and style nice. I’ve gotten the very occasional wilted inexperienced onion, however due to the ice packs and insulation in delivery, there has by no means been a problem with rotten produce or questionable protein.

The meals are additionally massive sufficient to comfortably feed me and my fiancé, who works on his toes all day and is normally ravenous come time for supper. Except we’re making a Household Meal choice, there aren’t any leftovers, however we’re by no means left feeling hungry, both.

There’s an amazing selection every week

Two tins of veggies and salmon in an oven.

Credit score: Reviewed / Meghan Kavanaugh

This oven-ready roasted salmon dish with panko- and Parmesan-crusted veggies required little or no hands-on time.

The principle cause I signed up for Dwelling Chef within the first place was the shortage of selection in my repertoire of meals. I had a couple of hen dishes down pat, however we uninterested in these early on within the lockdown interval.

Dwelling Chef presents greater than 20 particular person meal choices every week, that includes components that I wouldn’t have already got in my pantry. Not solely can I check out new taste mixtures with out committing to a pantry stuffed with just-opened spices, however the selection retains every week fascinating. Some dishes are comparable—you may at all times rely on some form of rice bowl or taco showing within the choices—however I’ve by no means had the very same meal twice.

As a bonus, every recipe card is instantly able to be added right into a three-ring binder when you’re executed. I’ve saved my favorites and even referred again to them on nights I’ve cooked by myself, recreating whole meals and even only a nice garlic-blue cheese butter topping on a steak I made with my sous vide.

Customer support is clear and useful

A lot of the customer support communication is automated but dependable. Emails are despatched out if an ingredient is barely totally different that what the recipe card says. For instance, maybe the field comprises complete peanuts that must be crushed when the recipe assumes you may have a pre-chopped model.

I used to be most impressed after I needed to attain out a couple of particular concern—the one time I’ve executed so in over two years. One week, I acquired beef strips as a substitute of salmon for a specific dish. Once I emailed, I acquired not solely a immediate reply, however a credit score to my account that was much more beneficiant than the price of the salmon I went out to buy individually on the retailer.

What I don’t like

A Home Chef recipe card for chicken tacos surrounded by ingredients.

Credit score: Reviewed / Meghan Kavanaugh

It will be nice to keep away from wrapping a single bell pepper in plastic.

Supply instances can range week-to-week

Within the two years I’ve gotten weekly Dwelling Chef deliveries, I can rely on the one hand the variety of instances they’ve missed the supply date fully. In these instances, it was associated to main weather- or provide chain-related occasions, and it was well-communicated from the customer support crew.

Nevertheless, bins can typically arrive as early as midday on the supply date, or as late as 8 or 9 pm. There’s up-to-date monitoring, however it’s not useful as soon as the field has been loaded on the truck. In the event you’re high quality probably consuming a late dinner in your supply date, you received’t have an issue, particularly because it’s not often that late. However, there have been some days my abdomen begins rumbling at 5, and I’m left debating between ready or ordering take-out.

There’s quite a lot of (recyclable) packaging

Breaking down bins is one in all my least favourite chores. So, despite the fact that Dwelling Chef makes use of recyclable and reusable packaging, it may be a ache to do away with all of it.

Plus, with all the individually packaged components (even produce typically, like a single bell pepper wrapped in plastic), I’m conscious of how a lot waste I’m producing. Dwelling Chef already assumes you may have olive oil, cooking spray, and salt and pepper at house, however I wouldn’t thoughts seeing extra objects added to that listing. Soy sauce and sriracha, for instance, come up fairly often within the meals I order, so I want there was a approach to choose out and use the bottles I have already got as a substitute of the numerous tiny packets.

How a lot does Dwelling Chef price?

Dwelling Chef pricing is dependent upon the precise meals and variety of parts you may have chosen for a specific meal. Meal Kits hover round $8.99 per serving, Household Meals might be extra like $6.99 per serving, and a Culinary Assortment meal may very well be $13.95 or extra per serving. Delivery is usually fastened at $6.99 for the order, however has fluctuated at instances.

Every week, I usually order 4 dinners of two servings every. Relying on the meals chosen, this has price anyplace from $55 to $94, with the bulk falling within the $75 vary. Utilizing $75 for instance, that’s $9.38 per particular person per meal.

For us, it’s far cheaper than take-out or eating out at a restaurant. Positive, I may extra cheaply feed us that many dinners by means of grocery procuring alone, however not with out sacrificing number of components and time spent making an inventory and going to the shop.

Is Dwelling Chef value it?

A bowl of shrimp and rice next to its Home Chef recipe card.

Credit score: Reviewed / Meghan Kavanaugh

Dwelling Chef is value each penny.


I couldn’t have gotten by means of the pandemic with out Dwelling Chef—and that’s no exaggeration. I signed up at a time after I was bored of the identical three meals in my wheelhouse, when stepping outdoors my home nonetheless felt scary, and after I had a while to kill studying a brand new ability. In lieu of a commute, Dwelling Chef grew to become my alternative to step away from my laptop on the finish of the day and unwind.

All that apart, the meals is scrumptious, and I’m nonetheless impressing myself with the restaurant-quality dishes I’m whipping up on a Tuesday. Plus, I can plan six weeks value of meals on my sofa whereas I’m watching TV after which not take into consideration dinner for the subsequent month. It’s turned a nerve-racking activity into an exercise I sit up for every day—and that’s value its weight in gold.

Sign up for Home Chef

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Costs had been correct on the time this text was printed however might change over time.

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