CrateChef America’s Test Kitchen Box Review + Coupon
CrateChef is a bi-monthly food subscription box curated by top-name chefs. Each box includes artisan foods, recipes, and kitchen supplies, as well as a cookbook or recipe cards from the featured chef to help you put your items to use! In my experience, it’s always well-curated in that it introduces me to some new ideas and flavors as well as cool techniques I’ve never used before.
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 per box + $8 shipping. Save with longer subscriptions.
The Products: Artisan foods, recipes, and kitchen tools curated by a different chef each month.
Ships to: US
The America’s Test Kitchen Box
I am geeking out about this box! While most CrateChef boxes feature some sort of celebrity or personality chef, this month instead features America’s Test Kitchen. I don’t really follow a lot of food personalities these days, but I did used to listen to the ATK Radio podcast every week before they went on hiatus and have borrowed this cookbook from the library a few times. (They also have a new food podcast, Proof, which somehow went under my radar until just now!)
I love the science behind food and cooking, so I love ATK’s overall approach and how they tend to explain why one particular recipe or kitchen tool is “the best.” Because of their approach, I had pretty high expectations for this box!
This box has a pretty obvious summertime grilling theme, and I am HERE for it. CrateChef always includes an info card with more information about each item in the box, and a letter or Q&A with the curator that explains more about each of their choices. In this case, the box is curated around making The Ultimate Burger, which is also the title of the included America’s Test Kitchen cookbook.
CrateChef boxes that include cookbooks are some of my personal favorites. Let’s dig in, shall we?
The Ultimate Burger Cookbook
I can’t believe I’ve never owned a cookbook about burgers exclusively, because we cook them pretty regularly in our household. And yet… I still feel like I haven’t quite mastered them. After browsing through this book, I already feel like I’ve upped my burger game.
Put simply, this book is 256 pages (139 recipes!) of summertime grilling glory (plus tips for burgering on the stovetop, too). Aside from the “obvious” recipes like how to grind your own custom burger blends in a food processor or how to make crazy stacked burgers like the nacho version on the cover, there is so much more: Make your own pretzel buns! Perfect french fries! Veggie burgers! Milkshakes! Hello, I love it. And true to America’s Test Kitchen, they talk about some of the highlights from how they tested each recipe and why they picked the final versions that they did. I love hearing about the failure stories, too, because I sometimes run into cases in the kitchen where I wonder if I can substitute something else or take a shortcut–it’s helpful to know what NOT to do.
I had ground chuck in the fridge when this box arrived, so I almost immediately turned to the recipe for Griddled Smashed Burgers. This recipe introduced me to a new technique of using a heavy foil-wrapped pan to smash the patties as they are frying, to create thin patties with crispy edges. The burgers were simple since I didn’t want to go out to the grocery store for new ingredients, but the technique absolutely delivered a delicious, crusty, perfectly cooked burger. This book is a very happy addition to my cookbook shelf and I’m looking forward to the next recipe already!
OXO Good Grips Tongs
OXO Good Grips 12″ Tongs – Retail Value $12.99
I have two other pairs of tongs: a pair with silicone-coated pinchers (fine, but heavy and sometimes hard to grip with) and a supersized cheap-o pair for the grill with wooden handles (again fine, but hard to squeeze together and I sometimes drop stuff). I’m generally a fan of OXO Good Grips and happy to report that these are a solid pair and I’ll be able to replace my subpar grilling tongs, if not both pairs. The silicone is on the handles for a better grip, and they’re easy to hold and squeeze since they’re not too big and don’t spring open wildly when you release pressure.
Norpro Stainless Steel Spayer/Mister – Retail Value $10.25
This is a cool gadget! I really dislike cooking spray and for awhile now, I’ve only used the Trader Joe’s coconut oil spray when I really need to. Otherwise, I generally slather oil on generously with my hands or a paper towel if I need to coat a sheet pan. This doesn’t look like much, but I like how this isn’t an aerosol (you pump up air pressure with the cap when you need it), that I can refill it with any oil I want, and the spray actually lasts a surprising amount of time. It has some mixed reviews on Amazon, so I hope it holds up over time.
Blue Plate Mayo
I prefer a vinegar-based coleslaw, but a bit of mayo on a burger is always welcome! Blue Plate was part of ATK’s mayo taste test and is praised for using egg yolks only, with no whites, for an apparently deeper flavor. It also has a very short ingredient list and comes in a squeeze bottle, which are two things I’m always a fan of! They’ve also included a $1 off coupon, but I’m not entirely sure if I can find this brand locally.
Pork Barrel BBQ Sauce
This is definitely a brand I’ve not seen locally! This brand was selected as the “Supreme Sauce” by Cook’s Illustrated (which is affiliated with America’s Test Kitchen). I always keep BBQ sauce on hand for this mini sheetpan meatloaf recipe, so this is so very welcome in my pantry! The flavor is definitely less sweet and a bit more peppery than a lot of other brands I’ve tried over the years, and I think it might need to make an appearance on a burger in our household ASAP. (They’ve also included a 20% off coupon for online orders.)
Paper Milkshake Straws
Paper Milkshake Straws – Retail Value Approx $4.47 (Similar: Buy 50 for $8.95 here)
Eco-friendly straws are appearing in a bunch of subscription boxes lately! I don’t mind paper straws personally, and I keep a bunch on hand for parties where we’ll have kids around. These are a nice big version that are perfect fodder for the milkshake recipes in the book, or smoothies if you’re so inclined.
Verdict: This may be one of my favorite CrateChef boxes to date! The curation was solid and timely, and I felt like all of the items in the box really gave me something new to try and leveled up my cooking game just a bit. CrateChef is also typically a box where I feel like I’ll use everything in the box, and this one is particularly useful for myself and my family’s cooking habits–it will all be eaten and used one way or another. I can’t wait to cook up some more amazing burgers this summer!
To Wrap Up:
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. This box is currently available along with some other past favorites. (Check out our past reviews to see what’s inside those boxes, too!)
Value Breakdown: Depending on whether you use the MSRP or the Amazon price for the book, this whole box has a retail value between $53 and $62. That breaks down to $8.83-$10.33 per item. CrateChef bi-monthly subscriptions cost $53 per box ($45 + $8 US shipping), so you’re getting a decent overall value here. They do offer discounts if you sign up for 3 or 6 box subscriptions, too, which would be an even better value overall.
Keep track of your subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What do you think of the latest CrateChef?