Have you ever found yourself getting frustrated over planning a meal?
It can sometimes be a tedious long winded task. First you scour the recipe books for something you fancy. Next, you make a list of the ingredients you need and head off to the grocery store.
After searching for a while you find they don’t have all the things you want. So off you go to another store. Eventually after lots of time searching for and buying your products you head home to cook your meal.
Just imagine, someone delivering all the ingredients to your home. They give you a step by step photo guide on how to turn them into a delicious meal.
Blue Apron may have just the solution you need.
Let’s take a closer look.
What Is Blue Apron?
This company is a meal delivery service bringing fresh, seasonal ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes direct to your home.
It was founded in 2012 by Matt Salzberg, Ilia Papas, and Matt Wadiak. They started out testing recipes in their own apartments in NYC. The first ever Blue Apron boxes were hand delivered by these guys to family and friends.
Blue Apron has now expanded and delivers over 8 million meals a month to homes nationwide across the United States.
The company name was inspired by chefs around the world who wear blue aprons when they’re learning to cook. It has become a symbol of lifelong learning in cooking.
The company believes that you can always learn more when you it comes to cooking. They design their menus to ensure you’re always learning new cooking techniques, trying new cuisines, and using unique ingredients.
They state they are:
Thrilled to be welcomed into our customers homes and part of their weekly cooking routine.
The company sources its ingredients directly from farms, importers and family-run businesses. They partner with sustainability experts to create better standards, both for growing food and raising animals.
Some of their foods are organic and Non-GMO. They use seafood that has been sourced as recommended by Seafood Watch.
They aim to support regenerative farming practices by basing their menus around crop rotations. This means the farmers can replenish their soil and increase their yields. They don’t need to rely on costly pesticides and fertilizers.
They aim to bring you the freshest ingredients direct from the farms, cutting out the middle men. That sounds like a good thing to me.
The company aims to help cut down on the huge amount of food wasted in the US each year.
Having the ability to predict their orders each week, they can plan with the farmers to use whole crops.
The farmers can grow only what is needed and cut down on food waste. This also translates to what they send to you.
The pre-portioned ingredients needed to cook the recipes that you receive mean you are not left with extra food at the end of the week.
How Does Blue Apron Work?
So, you like the sound of what you have heard so far, but how does all this work?
It’s a really easy process! Pick out your plan, choose your recipes and wait for the box full of goodies to arrive. All the ingredients you need will be delivered direct to your doorstep at a date and time to suit you.
Once you have your box, you can unpack it and store it away until you are ready to cook. There are some very useful storage tips on the company website.
When you are ready to cook your meals, select your ingredients and follow the step-by-step recipes which have useful color photos. They will show you the main steps in the process.
They even start with instructions on how to prep all the ingredients before cooking. The ingredients are all carefully portioned so you never have to work out whether you have too much or not enough.
You can view the recipes online when you order and it will also tell you what equipment you will need. This details right down to pots, pans and utensils. Handy if you might not have an essential utensil.
The company has a good selection of how to videos that can show you what to do if you’re really stuck. There are also useful tips from customers who may have already cooked the recipe you are preparing. They also have an app suitable for Apple and Android phones.
If you don’t have all the utensils you need to cook your recipe you don’t have to shoot out to the store. The company has a selection high quality cooking equipment and essentials on their website that you can order. If you really want to look like a chef you can even order a blue apron.
Fancy some wine with your meal? The company can even take care of that for you.
You can subscribe to their monthly wine delivery plan. This will allow you to have wines that have been specially selected to accompany your recipes.
The wines come with information about tasting notes and flavor profiles, They include the story behind the bottle to give you the confidence to select the right wine for any occasion.
What Makes This Company Different?
There are a few reasons that make this company stand out from the rest:
- Learning and Knowledge – the company refers to its customers as home chefs. They place an emphasis on tutorials and instructions when showing you how to cook their recipes. Some people say that this actually makes them feel they are learning about what they are cooking as opposed to just following what they are told to do.
- Different Ingredients – the meals that this company offers often include ingredients that you will not find in your local store. This makes the meals interesting and introduces you to new flavors.
- Wine – you have the option of selecting the perfect wines to accompany your meals delivered to your home. Afterall a couple of glasses of red wine a day is actually good for you.
- Responsible Food Growing Practices – as we previously mentioned, adopting these practices cuts down on food wastage and allows the land to replenish between harvests.
- Fresh Food – the company partners very closely with farmers so that they are able to get all the fruits and vegetables when they are their freshest. This means lower cost, fresher high quality foods delivered to you.
- Non GMO Meat – this is sourced from animals that are not fed antibiotics or hormones.
- Sustainable Fish – they only work with fisheries that practice sustainable fishing methods.
Blue Apron Meals And Recipes
There are two meal plans on offer from this company. A Two Person Meal Plan and a Family Meal Plan.
Two Person Meal Plan
With this plan you get to choose two or three from eight recipes on offer each week. There is a vegetarian option. You can also opt out of certain ingredients before you check out such beef, poultry, pork, lamb, fish, shellfish.
Eating a vegetarian regime may have health benefits.
This plan would make use of all the fresh seasonal vegetables that the companies partner farmers have to offer.
Quite a few of the recipes are shown as being suitable for a Mediterranean Diet although this is not an actual plan option. This diet consists of eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains and seafood.
It utilises healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil. Rather than add salt to your diet it flavors food with herbs and spices. Red meat is limited to a few times a month and poultry and dairy products are consumed in moderation. Studies have shown this diet is good for cognitive and cardiovascular health.
Family Meal Plan
This plan is designed to feed a family of four and gives you the option of choosing two, three or all four recipes on offer each week. The meals are kid friendly and designed to be eaten family style.
All the varied and tasty recipes on offer provide you with fresh, locally sourced ingredients in pre-measured quantities.
Blue Apron Reviews & Complaints
It seem a lot of customers are very happy with what Blue Apron has to offer. Of 277 reviews on Trustpilot 95% of them rate the company above average.
Tammy was given some meals from this company by a friend and loved them so much she still orders.
I really enjoy Blue Apron. The recipes are great, food is delicious and I don’t have to worry about what to make for dinner twice a week! I got a free week from a friend and figured I would cancel after the free week, but much to my surprise I really liked the food. I also love it that I get everything I need for dinner, delivered to my door! I actually tried one other service and the food was not nearly as good and it was $50 more for the same amount of meals with Blue Apron. I had to see what else what out there and glad I did, it was not comparable in my opinion. I’m pretty picky and was surprised at how much I loved everything about Blue Apron!
Some people love cooking but don’t like the effort of having to shop after a hard day at work. The convenience of having everything at home waiting for them is very appealing. They also like the experience of preparing new things.
One such customer is Sharon, she writes:
I love Blue Apron. I tried about 4 other services similar and BA is by far my favorite. I love to cook, and the recipes are easy enough, but I still get the feel for actually preparing foods. I enjoy receiving new things, like a squash I have never made, whole and having to prep it myself. This way I learn and when I see that squash in the store I’m more likely to buy it again. The portions are good and my husband and I love trying new foods. After a long day at work the last thing I want to do is go shopping, so it’s awesome to just get home and have everything I need for a delicious home cooked meal waiting for me. We also love the variety. I tell everyone about Blue Apron!
Fancy yourself as the next Curtis Stone! Some people report that cooking these meals has improved their culinary skills.
I always get great, fresh food when I order from Blue Apron once a month. I especially enjoy the quality of the seafood. Blue Apron has introduced me to new ingredients and new types of cuisine. It has also breathed new life into my cooking repertoire and given me new recipes in which to use my garden produce. My husband and I love it. He says it’s like having a gourmet chef right at home!
There are many comments about the freshness and good quality of the ingredients. They also comment that the portion sizes are good.
As with anything, there will always be people that are not like minded and may not have had the same positive experience.
There are a few comments about the recipes including too much kale. Maybe that was a good harvest for the farmers!
Another customer complained that there was too much preparation and he had to shred the block of cheese in the box himself.
Other issues include that the meals take too long to prepare and some of the produce does not last beyond two days.
One other issue is the option to skip weeks, some people find it hard to remember to do it in time.
Ruth Ann reports:
Only about half of the meals are good. Very expensive. Good concept, though. Trying out other such companies to see if I can find a better one. Produce is not very fresh; meat quality is excellent. Can be creative in recipes. Requires LOTS of chopping/prep.
Blue Apron: Packages, Prices & Where To Buy It
You can order your meals on the official company website.
You can skip a week or more at any time you want by visiting your account online. You must however cancel one week before your next delivery is due by 12pm EST.
The company does give a friendly reminder that any orders identified as ‘Order Processed’ or ‘Shipped’ in your “Upcoming” page have already been processed.
Free delivery is offered on all orders. You can choose the day and preferred time for your order to arrive.
There are sometimes money saving offers available for new customers.
The company uses recyclable packaging. They give you two options.
- You can visit the company’s dedicated recycling page in your account on their website. This will tell you how to recycle at home or at a nearby recycling centre.
- Alternately you will find details on this page to enable you to return the packaging to them via USPS. They will even come and pick it up from you.
How convenient is that?
See below how the official site looks like.
The company delivers nationwide, you can check whether they deliver in your area on their website by entering your zip code.
Blue Apron Pros & Cons
Blue Apron Review: Final Verdict
It looks like I might have found a timesaving, convenient solution to meal planning.
The food supplied by this company is organic, sustainable and fresh. It is delivered to your door in recyclable packaging.
The recipes are varied and interesting. I particularly like the fact that they appear to introduce new ingredients that I may not have used before.
So, if like me, you are excited to start a new style of culinary journey, sign up now!
Read next: Green Chef Review 2021: How Does It Work?