CrateChef Subscription Box Review + Coupon – Feb/March 2016
CrateChef is a bi-monthly subscription box curated by top-name chefs and sends artisan foods, recipes, and kitchen supplies.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: CrateChef
The Cost: $45 a box (plus $6 shipping per box) or you may purchase a one-time gift box for $49 a box (plus $6 shipping)
COUPON: Use code ADDICTION10 to save 10% off your first box!
LIMITED TIME OFFER: Get an 4th box free when you sign up for a 3 month subscription! Free box will ship immediately. (Restrictions: Cannot be combined with other discounts)
The Products: food products and cooking items from a top-name chef (different chefs curate each box)
Ships to: U.S.
Good to know: This box is still available! When you sign up, you can select which box you want to receive first, and “Karl Worley/Biscuit Love” is currently an option.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
The first thing I noticed about this box is that it was very heavy, and you can see why: it was packed full of goodies!
I saw some breakfast themed items and was immediately excited; I always cook a big breakfast on the weekends and would happily eat breakfast for every meal!
The letter also outlines all of the products included and where they’re sourced from, with tips and more.
CrateChef also includes some handy recipe cards – there were 5 recipes total for everything from biscuits, to bacon, to chocolate gravy (!):
I am totally unlikely to ever make this, but I like the idea of it. Candied bacon paired with chocolate biscuits and gravy? Totally indulgent but probably something I should try once.
Grits and biscuits? Yes, please. Let’s dig in!
Olive & Sinclair 67% Cacao Bar, 2.75 oz – Value $7.50
First up is a single origin dark chocolate bar, made in Tennessee from beans grown in Ghana. How great is this packaging?
I’m not sure if I’ve ever had chocolate sweetened with brown sugar before!
I opened this box at the end of a particularly stressful day, so no surprise that this chocolate was the first thing we dug into. I love this stamping, too, and this was a great size for sharing.
As far as chocolate goes, this hit the spot. I didn’t notice the brown sugar specifically; since this is a dark chocolate, it was still overall more bitter than sweet, but otherwise I thought it was a nice bar. I think all subscription boxes should include chocolate!
Biscuit Love Blackberry Lemon Preserves, 12 oz – $7.95
I love berries, so I was looking forward to trying this one right away. The ingredients are simple: blackberries, lemon juice, cane sugar, salt.
This product is from the shop and restaurant run by this month’s founder. (The Biscuit Love menu looks amazing, btw, so if you’re in Nashville and love breakfast as much as I do, I feel like it’s worth checking out!)
The flavor of these simple preserves is great: not too sweet and with just the right amount of lemon to balance it all out.
Aretha Frankenstein’s Insanely Great Pancake Mix, 32 oz. – $9.95
Aretha Frankenstein’s is a diner in Chattanooga, TN, apparently famous for these pancakes! This is the “exact formula for the famous scratch pancake mix made daily” at their restaurant, and they say you must use buttermilk, eggs, and canola oil for authenticity’s sake.
Again, I love this packaging. It’s a great mix of retro and homespun and manages to be silly but totally appealing in every way.
We only make pancakes about once a month, and when I do make them it’s from scratch. This mix went together really easily, and these pancakes have some SERIOUS height:
They were enormously fluffy and delicious, too. This box is huge so it will last at least two more big batches.
Now onto the savory side of this month’s box:
This is one of those products that is really tough to assign a value to. Grits are normally pretty cheap, and in this case, you can buy 2 lbs from the manufacturer for $3.50… but shipping to PA was over $12. At that rate, it might be cheaper to visit Tennessee and pick some up myself! (I am only slightly kidding because this box is giving me the urge to go on a southern road trip and eat all of the breakfast.)
We have not made grits in a couple years at least, so it’ll be fun to prepare these sometime soon. I’m a fan of cheese grits with shrimp, bacon, green onion, and lots of hot sauce! Speaking of which:
Red Clay Southern Hot Sauce, 50 mL (1.7 Fl Oz) – $2.50
This “Bootlegger” size is clearly meant for bringing along anytime you might need your own hot sauce handy.
This hot sauce was thin and more vinegary than I am used to, but it really grew on me after a few days.
Biscuit Love Sausage Gravy Seasoning, from Savory Spice – Value $5? (estimated on similar sausage blends from Savory Spice)
This is produced exclusively for CrateChef from the blend Chef Worley uses in his restaurant!
The size on this isn’t labeled, but if I had to guess, it’s enough to make two big batches of the included sausage gravy recipe.
This stuff smells amazing, rich and spicy. It did remind me of sausage, and the recipe calls for ‘ground pork’, so it’s probably best to use unseasoned meat with this.
Finally, Crate Chef includes kitchen items in their boxes, too:
Biscuit Cutter Set, 5 pieces – Value $10.99 on Amazon (retail price $14.99)
Between the hot sauce, spice mix, and these biscuit cutters, I definitely foresee biscuits & gravy in my future!
This set is super sturdy, and I love that there are so many sizes and that the round part is so deep. I’ve been using simple round cookie cutters for anything that needs to be cut into a round shape, but these are SO much nicer!
After this I really had no choice but to make a totally indulgent Sunday breakfast:
Biscuits and gravy!
I love to cook but I’m really not much of a baker. I did have to read the included recipe through a few times and really think it through to make sure I was doing things correctly — for example, it didn’t immediately register that “flour, low protein, A/P” was “All Purpose Flour.” Fitting a recipe onto a recipe card isn’t easy so I understand all the shorthand, but really green cooks might have some trouble with the more complex recipes included.
It’s really hard to take a beautiful photo of biscuits and gravy, people, so trust me when I say this tasted a lot better than it looked:
The biscuits were melt-in-your-mouth delicious! Grating the butter with a box cutter was a revelation for me; I have never felt like I could cut butter in properly before, and these were so tender and buttery that I think it paid off big time. It was a little funny that the included recipe was for drop biscuits, so I didn’t need the included biscuit cutters, but I know I’ll get good use out of them in the future.
I used a seasoned hot sausage for the gravy and personally thought it turned out way too salty (so unseasoned meat is probably the way to go here), but my husband loved it and gobbled up the leftovers for lunch, too.
Verdict: This is my first month reviewing CrateChef and I was impressed! I loved the “Southern Breakfast” theme and it turned out to be an ideal box for me personally. Value-wise, the items included add up to a little above the cost of the box, which I’m very happy to see for a cooking box since they can be on the lower end of the value spectrum. I also think this month was well curated, with a fun and interesting mix of local Tennessee brands, including several from the curator himself. The whole experience gave me some interesting culinary ideas (chocolate gravy) as well as solid recipes that I’ll use again in the future (biscuits!) and a serious strong desire to take a road trip to Nashville!
What do you think of CrateChef?