Better than going to the grocery store! Convenient, easy, fun, interesting and all the things the internet promises me! But…. not so fast.
For anyone who doesn’t know the difference between a mandolin and a grater, this may be true. But for someone who can make a pancake drunkenly (Well a pancake shaped sugary carb item) the grocery store is infinitely easier than a box of BlueApron.
- Starch – COULD THERE BE ANY MORE STARCHES?! Like seriously. If I wanted starches delivered to me, I’d want them hot. And in pizza form.
- Waste – Setting aside the whole vegetables that are sometimes larger than needed for the recipe, every damn vegetable was in a separate bag. Like how many bags do they need? Do we want to drop the fish in the sea?
- Took too long to prepare – The time saved in not going to the store was spent entirely in two parts. Trying to understand the recipe, and the actual prep and cooking time were extremely long. Whether the methodology used was more complicated than a typical person needs, or what, it’s hard to tell. If you don’t know how to cook, you’re not going to be done in the 30 minutes it says on the recipe card… it’ll be an hour. And if you have skills in the kitchen you’re going to hate how it tells you to cook.
- Instructions were confusing – Constant sheet flipping to get the full picture of what we were doing with a recipe. Since the ingredients needed to be prepped, and those instructions were part of the instructions side, you’d be flipping back and forth for both sizes and clarity. So much clarity.
- Portion sizes – The portions for the meal were bigger than needed. If they were lighter on the starches or a bit less heavy, it may have been balanced out. As is, it’s obvious that Blue Apron is just trying to fill you up on starches to give the perception of a filling meal.
- Spice – There’s just way too much inconsistency from meal to meal in the way that the spices are applied. Some were bland. Some were way too overwhelming. If there’s one thing we expected from a meal planning service, was for recipes to be tested more than our own. Seems not so much.
- Variety – In selecting a meal out of the weekly menu, your options start begin to be limited, blacking out choices until you can only select certain items. WHY. AND there were not a lot of vegetables to choose from. When it comes to getting your fill of a certain vegetable, get ready for the trendy kale, sweet potatoes and more!
- All the other stuff/tools needed – What if you only have one pot. That’s a totally normal situation for the kitchen-phobic. There are a ton of tools the recipe assumes you, the ‘i hate the grocery store’ folk, has handy. Why are they doing this? The $109.99 upsell!
- Not written for beginners/who is their audience – Seriously. Too hard. Maybe we can’t read. But one half of Whiskey Bacon is a self proclaimed southern chef and drunken foodie. We know how to make.
- Pretentious shit – It’s the classic recipe, standard meal + hip ingredient. Chicken + Spinach + Rice = Nepolise chicken?Basically blackened chicken in sauce. Here’s this meatloaf, and we’ve add chiptole. Meatball ragu? Looks pretty, but was meatballs + pasta sauce. For $10 a meal, I could get a jar of premium vegetable garden sauce, meatballs frozen or even made from scratch and have more than two servings. See skillet meatballs or 40 Italian meatballs for $9.37 or some hipster impressive turkey sriracha meatballs for $6.65 serving 6.
If you can cook… you will hate this. If you don’t like buying too much food that inevitably goes to waste, but do like trying something outside your fast food, chain restaurant fall backs, then Blue Apron is for you. But if you have fun going to explore new things at the grocery store, experimenting and spicing up your menus with fattening as hell burgers or healthy fresh substitutes, then Blue Apron ain’t for you, or us. [Edit: Colin pointed out that these posts, however delightful when written intoxicated, need to be edited sober to be understood, so this paragraph has been amended by sober staff.]
Now it’s been a while since our test run, so we took a look at a recent recipe to see if things have changed. Spoiler alert. This mail order menu has not improved.
Let’s break down this recent recipe:
- They used real rice, when even the hip kids know that cauliflower makes a low-cal option for a fried rice bowl.
- 760 calories. That works if you’re Whiskey Beard’s size, weight, and demographic. For NoBakeLeni, that’s 50% of her calories. Sure, she should jump on a treadmill more often, but damn.
Step 1: is like 10 steps. Just put some damn bullet points in there.
Step 2: Dirty my roasting pan.
Step 3: Dirty my smallpot. Oh and wait for rice to boil. Great. Maybe I should have started this before the cauliflower since it uses two different parts of the oven.
Step 4: Now heat up and slick up the saucepan. The only pan I ought to have dirtied.
Step 5: WHY AM I RINSING OUT THE PAN. IT’S NOT TIME TO CLEAN YET.
Step 6: I could totally cook two eggs in vegetable grit. In fact. These eggs could get poached in the small pan for cooking rice earlier. Or just scrambled into the rice like a good fried rice!
Step 7: Clean the nonstick pan, small pot, and sheet pan. Even though I might have cooked that cauliflower in the non stick skillet with enough prep time, or steamed in the small pan prior, or with the rice. Perhaps I could have used a large non stick skillet and steamed the rice there, then added the cauliflower, the vegetables and used one damn pot. It would take just as much time as these 6 steps took.