Factor meals are premade meals delivered to you based on a meal plan you made in advance. They are advertised as healthy and GMO-free and come to your doorstep fresh, not frozen. The boxes they use are adequately insulated so that your meals arrive fresh and still warm. However, the ordering system is bundle-based, meaning you cannot order one meal at a time. The lowest number of meals per week is four, and you get all of the orders at the same time. This is when the problem arises; how to store Factor meals? And can you freeze Factor meals?
You can store Factor meals in the fridge or the freezer. They will be safe for one week if you store them in the fridge. If you freeze them, they will be good for about two months.
Considering that Factor meals come in excellently insulated original packs explicitly designed to protect the meals from the outside elements, some may think there’s no need to store them. Therefore, leaving the meal in its original pack on the counter is a common mistake, resulting in an irretrievably damaged meal. To help you avoid this from happening, in the following paragraphs, I will explain how to store Factor meals properly and make the most of them.
How to Properly Store Factor Meals?
Storing unopened Factors meals is more straightforward. If you can’t finish your Factor meal, you can refrigerate it and keep it safe for three to four days, but not longer. If you freeze it, it will be good for about three weeks to a month.
To preserve your meal and keep it as close to its former glory as possible, store your half-eaten meal in an airtight container on the top shelve.
If you haven’t opened your meal, you can refrigerate it in its original packaging. This is the only way you will prevent the meal from absorbing the moisture and surrounding smells from the fridge. So even if your fridge is stacked with smelly cheeses, they won’t rub on your Factor meal.
The same goes if you decide to freeze the unopened meals. You can freeze them in their original packaging, and they will be safe for another two months. If you freeze a meal that has been previously opened, store it in an airtight container, or a freezer baggy, depending on its consistency.
Factor meals are packed in an eco-friendly high quality, and well-insulated packs explicitly designed to protect the meals against external influences. This means that your meal will be fresh at your doorstep. If your meal is supposed to be warm, you’ll get it warm; if it’s supposed to be cold, you’ll get it cold.
In addition, the Factor meal packs are designed to maintain the temperature of the respective meal for 48 hours after delivery. Therefore, even if you don’t eat right away, your meals will be fresh until the end of the next they.
However, many mistakes the original package of the meal for a storage unit and expect the meals to be fresh way longer than 48 hours, which is when they face the horrible truth that the meal has gone bad.
Now that you know how to store Factor meals, let’s see if you can freeze Factor meals.
Can You Freeze Factor Meals?
Yes, you can freeze Factor meals, both unopened and opened. If you plan on freezing an unopened meal, freeze it in its original packaging, and it will last you for about two months.
If you are freezing an opened Factor meal, transfer it into an airtight container or a freezer baggy, depending on what kind of meal you’re freezing.
If the consistency of the meal allows it, you can place the Factor meal in a freezer baggy and place the baggy into the airtight container.
Once opened, your Factor meal will be safe in the freezer for about three weeks to one month.
How to Cook Frozen Factor Meals?
The first thing you need to do after taking your Factor meal out of the freezer is to let it thaw. Never pop it in the microwave or in the oven without giving it enough time to defrost on its own.
Since Factor meals are advertised as home-cooked all-natural meals, GMO-free and free of any additives that would somehow alter their quality, you can treat them as a regular meal that you would make. Therefore, the cooking, or the warming-up procedure after taking them out of the freezer, would be nearly the same.
If you try to warm up your meal right after taking it out of the freezer, you will most likely end up with a watery and soggy dish with diluted flavor. The other extreme is to end up with a dry and tasteless dish. Therefore, before you warm it up, let your Factor meal reach the stage it was in before you froze it, or as close to that stage as possible.
Depending on the dish itself and on how warm you want it to be, you can adjust the length and temperature at which you let it cook. I’d recommend three minutes in the microwave or 15 minutes in the oven. If you are warming the meal in another appliance, such as an air fryer or a toaster oven, adjust the temperature to medium and heat up as long as you think you should.
The crucial thing to remember is to always let the meal thaw and soften up before you cook it. If there’s excess liquid, drain most of it, and let the rest reabsorb inside the meal, as that liquid is where the taste is.
How Long Do Factor Meals Last in the Fridge?
An unopened Factor meal can hold up well in the fridge for a week. You can place it in the fridge in the original pack, or you can place it in an airtight container.
The original pack is at its best before opening the Factor meal; after that, it is more or less the same as your average plastic storage container as the insulation has been unsealed. Therefore, to keep the freshness and taste of your meal intact, I suggest you transfer it into an airtight container and place it on the fridge’s top-shelf. The shelf life of an opened Factor meal in the fridge is about 3 to 4 days, after which it will start to lose quality, change the flavor and ultimately turn.
If you refrigerate an unopened meal, don’t make the mistake of opening it just to transfer it into a storage container, as the original packaging will do even better. If the insulation is still intact, the fridge moisture and surrounding smells won’t penetrate the pack and get absorbed into the meal. You will be enjoying it with its original flavor and aroma. An unopened Factor meal can last for up to a week in the fridge, after which you should either eat it or freeze it.
How Long Do Factor Meals Last at Room Temperature?
How long will your Factor meal last at room temperature depends on several Factors, and there’s no single estimate. Therefore, I’ll try and be as inclusive as possible in this aspect.
First of all, after delivery, Factor meals can hold up to 48 hours in the original package at room temperature. When I say “original pack” here, I mean the entire box they were delivered in before you take the individually packed meals from the box. The meals are prepaid and delivered to your doorstep, so the entire box keeps the meals safe for that long in case you aren’t home when they arrive.
However, this 48-hour grace period isn’t always as accurate as a Swiss watch. The estimated time is 48 hours, but if you keep the box in a hot room or it is hot outside, the 48 hours can quickly turn into 24 hours or even less. Conversely, if the weather is cold or if you keep the box in a cold room, the 48-hour freshness won’t be hard to achieve.
Once out of the box and still, in the individual packs, the Factor meals are good for no more than a few hours at room temperature, assuming you don’t keep them under direct sunlight. The original pack is pretty resilient, but still, when it comes to food, you can never be too careful.
Once you open your Factor meal, either eat it or refrigerate it, as it won’t last very long at room temperature, no longer than an hour, so consider freezing Factor meals.
How Long Do Factor Meals Last in the Freezer?
On their original pack, before they have been opened, your Factor meals can last for up to two months in the freezer. After this period, they will start losing consistency, stability, and flavor. It’s not that they will be inedible or will harm you, but they won’t have the same quality and nutritional features. The extended period in the freezer will irretrievably freeze some valuable molecules containing nutrients, so when you defrost the meal, those molecules will turn into plain water.
As for the consistency of the meal, the prolonged freezer time will cause the bonds holding the meal together to weaken, so when you defrost your meal, it will be significantly softer, soggier, and gooey. In addition, you should know that not all ingredients do equally well when frozen.
You should avoid freezing eggs or egg-based meals, meals containing cucumbers, merengue desserts, cream soups or sauces, fried food, pasta, and rice. These types of food get soggy when defrosted, or even worse, they completely fall apart. If your meal contains some of these elements, it is best not to freeze it, as that would be equal to throwing it out.
If you freeze a meal you have already taken out of the original pack, you should place it in an airtight container or a freezer baggy before you place it into the freezer. Your meal will be good for about three weeks to a month.
Can You Eat Factor Meals After the Expiration Date?
The expiration date is there for a reason, so don’t test your odds, and don’t eat your Factor meal after the expiration date. Many foods are safe even after the expiration date; some are good even two months after the expiration, but those foods are highly processed and contain many preserving additives.
Factor meals, however, are perishable meals that don’t contain shelf life-prolonging substances. The only preserving method they use is the package, which ensures they are good for 48 hours if you cannot pick them up right after delivery.
Therefore, even if the meal looks as fresh and as delicious as the minute it was delivered to you, don’t take your chances eating it past the expiration date.
Are Factor Meals Fresh?
Factor meals are fresh and at the temperature they should be when delivered to you. They are known to contain fresh ingredients and are advertised as GMO, soy, hormone, and gluten-free.
They have rotating menus each week, and their objective is to provide their customers with fresh, high-quality meals. The dishes mostly revolve around the paleo and keto diet, which means lots of protein and low amounts of carbs.
They also refrain from processed food and tend to cook with fresh and organic ingredients. The packing (Modified Atmospheric Packaging) has been designed to keep the meals fresh and at the proper temperature.
Are Factor Meals Healthy?
Factor meals rank high among the delivery-based ready-made meals. Whereas you get deep-fried food containing lots of unhealthy fats and carbs, with Factor meals, you get a balanced meal containing moderate amounts of the food groups you need.
Factor meals are meals that have been designed for people who don’t have the time to cook to have a healthier lifestyle. Therefore, it is safe to say that they are healthy. Also, they don’t contain any shelf life-prolonging additives; they are hormone-free, soy-free, GMO-free, and gluten-free.
Factor meals have also been advertised as hypoallergenic, which is safe for most people with allergies. The meals are run by and approved by dieticians and nutritionists and cooked by trained professional chefs.
The used ingredients are fresh and nutritious. Another plus is that you can choose the menu you want from the list of meals they offer. The meals are rotated each week, so you can choose a new menu every week.
However, if you want to stick to your meal plan but you want to mix it up, they can recommend food that would fit into your eating habits. Also, if you choose a meal that needs to be adjusted, you can request that and deliver it like that.
All in all, Factor meals are advertised as healthy; moreover, many customers confirm that. Still, when you get a fully prepared meal, you can never be too sure about what’s inside. It is another thing to personally choose the ingredients and cook the meal by yourself.
However, today you cannot be too sure about how and where your food has grown, so you trust the advertisement anyway.
Therefore, according to the ingredients list and the positive reviews Factor meals have acquired, it is safe to say that Factor meals are a healthy option if you want to eat healthily but can’t cook.
Are Factor Meals Worth It?
Regarding the price of Factor meals, whether you characterize them as good value for the price or are overpriced, you need to consider all the costs involved if you cook the meal.
The minimum number of meals you can order is four, and the maximum is 18. The price per meal decreases as the number of meals increases. Four meals per week cost $15 per meal or $60 per week.
If you order 18 meals, the price per meal is $11, which is $198 per week. How much food for $60, i.e., $198 per week, would you buy? With $60, you can buy and cook more than four meals, and $198 will surely get you more than 18 meals.
However, I’d say that Factor meals provide good value for the price, especially when compared to fast food meals that range from $4 to $7 per meal. Fast food is far more harmful, while Factor meals are designed to be healthy. Therefore, if you see them as an investment in your health, Factor meals are worth buying in the long run.
Another thing you need to consider is the number of people in your household because you’ll have to multiply the prices by the number of people, which could be pretty expensive. Therefore, if we are talking in terms of families, Factor meals are too pricy. If you live alone, they are a good solution, if you can afford them.
In summary, if you live alone, don’t have the time to cook, and want to improve or maintain your eating habits, Factor meals are an excellent solution. However, if you have the time to cook, it is way more practical and cost-effective to prepare your meals yourself.
If you have a family, ordering Factor meals would mean multiplying the prices by 2, 3, 4, etc., which could be very draining for your pocket. However, if you can afford it, go for it.
Also, if you aim to learn to cook Factor meals, don’t get your hopes up, as there’s no recipe on the meal, so you’ll have to play it by ear.