I’ve mentioned before that I try to find ways to cook in between my frequent work travels. I use Amazon.com to keep my non-perishables stocked (and I usually order from the airport!) And I’ve been using Hello Fresh lately to get ready-to-cook meals delivered to my house.
I found an amazing promotion on Plated over the holidays. I hadn’t heard of it before, so I scooped up the offer to try it out, plus I figured I could do a Plated review after my review of HelloFresh.
Plated is similar to Hello Fresh in that they send you ingredients portioned out according to the recipe. They may send you a teaspoon of cumin, or a tablespoon of white vinegar. (Though occasionally, Hello Fresh has sent me full sized spices, which rocks.)
I noticed immediately that the Plated ingredients didn’t seem as adventurous as Hello Fresh’s, but the recipes seemed easier/faster to make.
You can choose how many meals you want to order vs. Hello Fresh’s standard three meals per order. You also have more control over what you order. Hello Fresh gives you a choice of three out of four.
One of the things I ordered was the chicken ramen.
It arrived with all the ingredients packaged up neatly with a warning not to use the seasoning inside the ramen packet.
Basically, everything is thrown into a pot of water to be cooked. The bok choy, scallions, and chicken needed to be chopped ahead of time, but that was the majority of the prep work.
I set up molds in my pan for the fried eggs for the ramen, but because I’m a dork like that 😛
You basically add the ingredients one at a time, so all I had to do was leave them staged on my cutting board and push the next batch into the pot after a few minutes.
I cracked the eggs into my molds.
It was not the most complicated dish I’ve ever made from these food services, but it was fast and tasty.
Plated is $12 a dish per person if you subscribe to their membership, and $15 if you do not. There is no shipping fee unless you are redeeming free plates. You can get two free plates through my link (though it will also give me two free plates as well!)
But before you click through, here are the pros and cons to Plated. (I make some references to Hello Fresh, so here’s my review of that).
- Easy to cook
- Dishes are fast with minimal prep work
- Great variety/selection when ordering
- You can change how many plates you get at a time (great for weeks you’ll be gone a lot, or you can boost up a plate order if you want to have a small dinner party)
- Prices seemed reasonable for what you were getting
- Flexible Membership plan
- Meals are more simple than Hello Fresh delivery service
- I don’t feel like I’m learning new techniques and tips the way I have with Hello Fresh
- The ingredients don’t feel as exotic as Hello Fresh’s BUT it looks like this has changed since the holidays. I also looked at older reviews of Plated and saw more exotic ingredients. I think they did a huge special and toned down the offerings for that promotional period.
- Need to pay a $10 monthly membership fee to save $3 per plate
- The ordering process felt a little more confusing than Hello Fresh. It took me a few to figure it all out.
All in all, they are two different products. Plated seems to be for those who want to cook a good meal quickly, and Hello Fresh seems to be more for learning more complicated dishes. I’ve found the process of getting the ingredients in the mail really easy for both services.
There’s a third service, Blue Apron, that I haven’t tried. I’m considering trying it out so I can compare the three together. Any interest in this?
Note: I did this Plated review at a time when it appears they did a lot of promotions and dropped the quality temporarily. I will follow-up with another Plated review soon.