We’ve been trying new meal delivery boxes every now and then. So far we’ve done Home Chef (review here), Hello Fresh (review in progress), and Blue Apron. I will state, for the record, we consider ourselves your average everyday cooks. We received 3 meals each week for two weeks.
Let me break it down to a few bullet points first, and then I will elaborate:
- The recipes are advanced and some contain ingredients we had never heard of before…Gochujang?
- The meals take much longer to prepare than they say (maybe because we aren’t advanced cooks). For us, it took over 50 minutes to prepare from start to table when they claim 20-30 minutes. This is not ideal for families with small kids, people who are really damn hungry, or people who just came home from work and are tired.
- This sounds like such a first world problem, but the ingredients weren’t sorted into individual packages for each meal. This may be because we received “family size” meals and not the average 2 person servings because my parents were here visiting that week.
- The kitchen was a huge mess afterwards.
Ok so lets cover #1. The word was gochujang and neither of us are Top Chef contestants, so we had to Google it to find out what it was. Looking back, the recipe card probably told us at some point in all the many paragraphs, but after chopping, dicing, searing, and starving, we must’ve missed it along the way.
#2; The time it takes to make the meal. This is what inspired the title of this post. My husband is the cook in our family, and I will help chop when I can. By the time he came home from work and we said our greetings, he was in the kitchen for over an hour making these meals (the very last one, however, we abandoned and made something else with the meat because it became something to dread), and it got to the point where I wanted to just go get some damn take out and be done with it already so we could eat and be together. If I was the main cook, being home with my kiddo and having to cook this meal would’ve been impossible.
#3; Not boxing/bagging the ingredients together by meal. And I don’t mean each item was open and exposed, like the butter was out of the wrapper or the meats were touching the box or anything. They were securely wrapped and clean. I mean, they weren’t bagged or boxed all together so you all you had to do was grab one big bag out of the fridge and there’s everything you need to make that one meal. So having to read the ingredients on the recipe card while digging around in my fridge for all the ingredients, added to the already long time it took to prepare the meal. As I mentioned, I’m not sure if it was because we received 5 servings for 3 meals, which was way more than the usual 2 servings for 3 meals, so they wouldn’t have fit in a bag. But it was an issue and turned me off immediately, especially after having two other meal services send their meals sorted and bagged together.
#4; The mess after cooking. Because of how advanced the recipes were, we used nearly every bowl, spatula and pan in our kitchen. Who wants to clean that mess after doing all that work?
So in conclusion, unless you know what gochujang is without Googling, and you REALLY enjoy cooking, or looking to improve your cooking skills, then by all means try out Blue Apron. I will say I enjoyed two of the six meals we received. Most were too spicy for me, or just plain old too weird. Otherwise, maybe getting take out is a better option.