CrateChef Chris Coombs Box Review + Coupon – December 2017
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.)
What is CrateChef?
The Subscription Box: CrateChef
The Cost: $45 a box (plus $6 shipping per box) or $44 a box when you choose a 3-month subscription. You may also purchase a one-time gift box for $49 a box (plus $6 shipping).
COUPON: Use code ADDICTION10 to save 10% off your first box!
The Products: Artisan foods, recipes, and kitchen tools, curated by a different chef each month– usually from the Southern region of the US.
Ships to: U.S.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
CrateChef December/January Review: Chef Chris Coombs
Each CrateChef box comes with a letter from the chef & curator. This month is curated by Chef Chris Coombs, a Boston area chef who has earned a number of accolades since 2013. He’s selected a number of New England-focused foods and some interesting tools for us this month:
I’m always down for some cured meats and mustard! The kitchen tools included this month look promising, too.
New England Charcuterie Snack Sticks Smoked Beef Sausage – Retail Value $9.89
This beef sausage has a surprising kick despite its nondescript packaging: ghost pepper!
We always set out a little meat and cheese platter when we have guests over this time of year, so this was a great inclusion for December. Of course, it didn’t last that long in our house, and these sticks were pretty petite sized– but delicious.
Both cured meat products in the box this month are from Chef Joshua Smith, the man behind New England Charcuterie. Chef Coombs features his products in his restaurants.
New England Charcuterie Saucisson Sec Salami – Retail Value $8.89
This second item is a “farmhouse style” salami made with white wine.
I wasn’t as big of a fan of this one, although my husband really enjoyed it. It had a good texture, but I felt like I could taste the fatty parts more than anything else.
Edmond Fallot Dijon Mustard – Estimated Retail Price $5.00
(Prices online range from $2.70 to $7, so I went with a value in between those.)
No charcuterie tray is complete without dijon mustard! This one hails from France and is ground in a traditional stone mill.
I enjoy mustard, but my husband loves it, so I asked for his tasting notes on this one: “Great, mild, not too harsh. But still has a kick. Very creamy. And very tangy. Very tangy.”
We’re planning to use this on our cheese board, but also for our annual Christmas Day beef wellington.
CrateChef did include a nice card about setting up a charcuterie board. They suggested here to slice the salami very thinly, which I didn’t see until after I’d sampled it. I do think in retrospect I’d have enjoyed it better that way.
Butternut Mountain Farm Maple Syrup, 6.7 oz – Retail Value $7.95
I looooove real maple syrup. Give it to me on pancakes, in granola, in my coffee, on ice cream… pretty much just give it to me, please.
Butternut Mountain Farm is one of the largest maple syrup producers in the US, based in Vermont, so it’s another great New England brand to include in this box.
I love the label and the bottle shape of this one, too! Perfect little stocking stuffer or to keep for your lazy holiday morning pancake breakfast.
Bamboo Salt Cellar – Retail Value $9.99
This item felt a little out of context with everything else in the box, but it was appreciated nonetheless. Confession: I’ve had a giant box of Morton’s Sea Salt sitting out on my counter for the last year.
This little canister has a magnetic closure and the lid swings open as shown above. It’s perfect for keeping your salt covered, but also easy enough to access with one hand if you’re in the middle of cooking and need to add some seasoning.
I filled this up pretty much immediately, set it next to our stove, and finally put my box of salt away in the cabinet where it belongs. The first time I used it to grab a pinch of salt while cooking I instantly felt like a professional chef. Or at least like Salt Bae:
Just try this move time you’re adding any kind of seasoning to your food, I swear it makes it taste better. 😉
Chicago Metallic Popover Pan – Retail Value $17.99
The biggest item in the box is this popover pan! I thought it was some kind of crazy muffin tin at first, but popover pans apparently are a little deeper and have steeper sides. This one doesn’t have a solid “pan” structure around the cups, to help promote even air flow and heating– essential for a good popover.
The pan is oven safe to 450 degrees F and is dishwasher safe.
I made popovers once YEARS ago so it will be fun to try them again! They are a relatively fast and fun accompaniment to beef burgundy and other winter comfort foods.
If you’re not familiar, Silpats are siliconized, reusable baking mats that can be used to line baking sheets in place of parchment paper. This jelly roll size is 8-1/4” x 11-3/4” and is meant to fit a 9” x 13” pan.
I’ve used them before in candy making classes years ago, but have never actually owned one. This jelly roll size is small, but it will come in handy for small baking like toasting nuts, or making chocolate treats and caramel.
CrateChef always includes some recipes each month as well:
Perfect for trying out your new Popover pan!
I do have some cranberries left in the freezer after Thanksgiving this year, so I just might have to try this Cranberry Chutney recipe as an accompaniment to our holiday dinner.
At first, I was like “eh, french toast”… but this recipe is a little more involved than my usual. Seems like a little more work but sounds absolutely amazing!
I’ve never cooked a duck before, but I appreciate that there’s this adventurous recipe included this month, too. I can definitely see this being a festive main dish served with the chutney and popovers!
Finally, there are a number of coupons included in the box this month as well:
Verdict: I enjoyed everything in this CrateChef box and it will all certainly get use in my kitchen! The theme felt more like a “collection of favorite things” from Chef Coombs (with a slight holiday entertaining tilt) rather than anything super specific. But, I think this is to be expected when the box is curated by a different personality each time, and I like the emphasis on products from New England this time around since so many boxes in the last year have been focused on Southern chefs.
The value this month was great: we got $74.71 in retail value for a box that costs $51 (including shipping), which is definitely higher than we normally see with CrateChef. With cooking/foodie boxes that contain pantry products and kitchen items, the price tag is often close to the retail value and sometimes barely break even.
Value Breakdown: For the $51 price point of this box, including shipping, here’s what you’re paying for each item:
- Snack Sticks: $6.75
- Salami: $6.07
- Mustard: $3.41
- Maple Syrup: $5.43
- Salt Cellar: $6.82
- Popover Pan: $12.28
- Silpat: $10.24
If I sign up today, will I get this box? Yes, if you choose! When you join CrateChef, you can select which box you receive first. The Chef Coombs box is currently available as of December 21st, 2017.
What did you think of the Chef Chris Coombs CrateChef?
Do you subscribe to any food and cooking boxes? How do you think CrateChef stacks up? Tell us in the comments!