Home Chef meals are premade meals delivered to your doorstep. Designed for those who don’t have the time, energy, or inspiration to cook, this home-cooked food-delivery service is a practical solution for your nutritional needs. Taking much pride in the fact that they use all-organic ingredients and the fact that the meals are prepared from scratch, the Home Chef meals still have a downside, in some sense. Since they don’t contain any shelf-life prolonging additives, they tend to spoil pretty quickly, and you need to be careful when storing them. So, can you freeze Home Chef meals, and how to store them?
You can freeze Home Chef meals and prolong their shelf-life up to one month. In the fridge, they last about a week in their original package, and three or four days stored in an airtight container, and no more than two hours at room temperature.
Throwing food is not only wasteful but also painful. However, it is sometimes inevitable, and it must happen. Still, throwing your Home Chef meal in the garbage is totally preventable, and in the following paragraphs, I will explain how long Home Chef meals last and how to store them.
How to Store Home Chef Meals?
Since Home Chef meals are regular home-cooked meals, you should treat them as such in terms of storage.
Your freshly delivered Home Chef meals are perfectly safe for 48 hours after delivery thanks to their original package that is excellently insulated, keeping your food at the perfect temperature.
However, after opening the original box, you need to find a storage solution for your food, as things will go south very quickly. Even though your meals are still in their original package, they are out of the box and left at the mercy of Mrs. Room Temperature, and she is merciless.
So, once your Home Chef meals are out of the insulation box, you should either eat them or refrigerate them. If you refrigerate unopened Home Chef meals, they will be good and safe for up to a week.
If you refrigerate an opened Home Chef meal, you need to put it in an airtight container, wrap it up in a freezer baggy, and place it in a regular plastic container if you don’t have an airtight one handy.
In no case should you store your opened or unopened Home Chef meals at room temperature in your kitchen cabinet or pantry, as they will start spoiling within two hours.
If your Home Chef meals include seafood, you should have that first as it spoils the quickest.
Your Home Chef meals will be safe in the freezer for a month. Pay close attention to their consistency and freeze them accordingly. Don’t put too much food in one container, and don’t press the container with other frozen things on top.
You can freeze any type of Home Chef meal, but you should avoid freezing potatoes, rice, and salads, as they are unusable after defrosting.
Some foods are better frozen in freezer baggies, such as meat or fish, and others, such as peas, beans, lentils, or similar, do better in a plastic container.
How to Reheat Home Chef Meals?
Reheating Home Chef meals are no different than reheating any home-cooked food.
If you reheat a refrigerated Home Chef meal, leave it at room temperature for a few minutes and place it in the reheating appliance.
If you use the microwave, reheat in several short cycles, and if you use the oven, start at medium and gradually increase the temperature. Do the same with any other appliance you may use.
If you reheat frozen Home Chef meals, you should mandatorily leave them to thaw for a while. Monitor their texture and see if they soften. When they start softening, place them in the heating appliance and gradually increase the temperature from medium to high.
If you use the microwave, reheat at shorter cycles, just like with the refrigerated Home Chef meals.
How Long Do Home Chef Meals Last?
After delivery, Home Chef meals are safe for 48 hours in their original insulation box. The original packaging keeps them at the perfect temperature, safely protected from outside elements such as heat or cold weather.
After you open your Home Chef meal, it will be good and safe for about two hours, including the time you need to eat it.
An unopened Home Chef meal in the refrigerator is good for up to a week, and an opened one is good for a maximum of four days. These periods are shorter for seafood, about five days unopened and two days opened.
In the freezer, your Home Chef meals will be okay for about a month if you store them properly.
Are Home Chef Meals Good After Expiration Date?
Sadly, Home Chef meals do not fall under the durable food category and spoil rather quickly. Though there are foods you can eat well beyond their expiration date, Home Chef meals aren’t members of that family.
Home Chef meals do not contain shelf-life prolonging additives and are therefore highly perishable. Never eat a Home Chef meal even a second after its expiration date, as it is there for a reason.
Even though the food may seem and smell nice, the degradation process has undoubtedly taken effect at the molecular level. Therefore you may have a delicious Home Chef meal after its expiration period and still end up with food poisoning or at least stomach pain.