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First Impressions: CrateChef

4.5 overall rating
4 Ratings | 0 Reviews

First Impressions is a series that introduces and reviews new brands to My Subscription Addiction, drawing from readers' requests for an insider's first look. Interested in seeing more reviews from this brand, or have another box in mind that you'd like to see reviewed? Let us know in the comments.

Full disclosure: at my house, we fancy ourselves kitchen masters. We’ve got every episode of Chef's Table queued up and can't help but critique Gordon Ramsay on MasterChef. Enter CrateChef – a subscription box that promises to elevate your culinary game, curated by chefs who know what they're doing. Intrigued? So was I. Let's dish on the deets.

ACTIVE DEAL: Save 10% off your first order!

This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the editorial guidelines to learn more about how we review boxes).

Subscription Details

Subscription Box: CrateChef

What’s Included: 5-7 items that represent a sampling of the featured curator’s favorite things

Price: $49 per box - ships every 2 months

Shipping: Varies depending on your location

First Impressions

The Box: Minimalist Grilling Aesthetic


Look, I'm a sucker for packaging, and this box was, well, a bit of a letdown. It's as if they said, "Why bother with frills?" and slapped a sticker on it. No whimsical quotes, no tantalizing hints – just a box.


Inside, you meet Steven Raichlen. He's a culinary Renaissance man—author, journalist, TV host, the works. While this information is not flaunted on the card, it is displayed on many of the item's packaging.

The Goodies: A Grillmaster's Bounty

Ah, the meat of the matter. Seven full-sized items, all with a nod to Steven's BBQ prowess. Here's the rundown:

Smoking Pucks, 2 pack - Retail Value $13.22


Perfect for smoking your grill goodies. They’re the perfect size and honestly feel/look like sturdy pieces that will stand the test of time.

Cedar Planks, 2 pack - Retail Value approx. $20


I love that they included the cedar plank here. No grill? No problem. Pop these in your oven and pretend you're at a backyard BBQ.

Bourbon Barrel Aged Worcestershire Sauce, 3.3 oz - Retail Value $11.99

Sugar Bob’s Habanero Maple Sriracha, 2.5 oz - Retail Value approx. $4.03


Worcestershire sauce that's vegetarian-friendly? Check. Sriracha that'll make you question your spice tolerance? Double-check.

BBQ Wood Chips Mesquite, 2lbs - Retail Value $4.99


These chips come with a scent strong enough to wake the dead. Use them wisely – aka not indoors like we did. 🙈

Kansas City Smoke Rub, 5.92 oz - Retail Value $7.99

Greek Island Herb Rub, 3.36 oz - Retail Value $7.99


Since we don’t have a grill, this was the most exciting part for us to try. These work well with poultry, pork, ribs, beef, burgers and more. It was an excellent way to give you everything you’d need to make a dish.

The Recipes: Culinary Roadmap


Three recipe cards guide you through a gastronomic journey. From salmon to ribs to a potato salad with a kick, you've got the tools and the know-how to whip up something delicious. Don’t worry; almost everything you’ll need season-wise is already in the box.

Final Thoughts: A Solid 3/5

Value Breakdown: Food boxes are often more about curation than sheer retail value. The curation was on brand, but getting a good value is always a welcome bonus. This box's items totaled up to an estimated retail value of $70.21, which is more than the $49 cost.

CrateChef, you're onto something, but you're not quite there yet. A little more backstory, a dash of versatility, and you've got yourself a winner. Would I try it again? Sure, if the next box comes with a trailer that I can’t resist.

Starting at $49.00
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Nourish your inner chef with CrateChef. Each crate is filled with cooking and food products, exclusive recipes, a personal letter and kitchen tools curated by world renowned chefs. Bi-monthly subscriptions are $49 plus $8 shipping. Save with longer commitment. Help the home cook in your life sharpen... read more.
Geraldine Orentas
Geraldine Orentas

I'm a Miami-based copywriter and content creator, deeply passionate about skincare and wellness. Through my Instagram platform, I candidly share my acne-healing journey, provide genuine brand reviews, and let you in on my vibrant life in the city. In the midst of running a creative marketing agency, I'm constantly experimenting with sunscreens and new healthy recipes, occasionally indulging in a hearty meal. When the screens go off, it's time for adventures with my trusty German Shepherd, Cora.

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I agree that this box is a great value. I have subscribed to Crate Chef a couple of years and have found some great products that are now my go to! I love the Bourbon Barrel Aged Worcestershire sauce and I can’t wait to try the grilling pucks. Great box!

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Margo Shearer

I agree that this box is a great value! I have enjoyed this subscription for the past couple of years and I find that it encourages me to cook with items that I might not otherwise try. It has broadened my cooking horizons. Compared to other food boxes, I agree this is a great deal!

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I did Crate Chef for about 5 boxes a few years ago. A couple of the boxes were great and filled with items we’d use (one was by an Indian chef and included an amazing spice blend and cookbook–totally blanking on her name right now!). But others were just totally off the mark for us, like a British one focused on baking (I miss the swap site on here–I was able to swap all the items!). This one that you reviewed would have been bad for me because I’m a vegetarian and also not into smoky flavors. I also think the best values are those that come with a cookbook, which this one didn’t.

So I haven’t found the value in subscribing. Maybe if it was a case where we could preview the box and choose whether to skip? Or choose from an older box, if they still had one available. It’s a good concept, and I think some sort of cooking box where you could choose from a few options would be great (not the meal kits, but something more like this).

Thanks for the review, as it confirmed that I’m making the right choice in not resubscribing! Could be a good choice for those with a wider variety of tastes though.

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