I cooked with the best meal delivery service on the market and I couldn't believe how well it worked

Blue Apron WillettMegan Willett/Business InsiderI really felt like I was learning to cook with Blue Apron.

Recently, I tried the three most popular recipe services on the market: Plated, Hello Fresh, and Blue Apron.

And though all three were good, Blue Apron was my clear favourite thanks to the range of ingredients as well as the meal presentation that made me look like an expert chef.

It was also the most affordable of the three options with either a two-person or a four-person subscription and a flat rate of three meals per week. The two-person plan is about $US60 per week or $US9.99 per person, while the family plan is roughly $US140 per week or $US8.74 per person.

It also put an emphasis on cooking tutorials and instructions online, so I really felt like I was improving my cooking skills with each recipe instead of just “painting by numbers,” so to speak.

And I’m not alone in loving this New York City start up. Last year, Blue Apron raised $US50 million and is now worth an estimated $US500 million. It’s safe to say that Blue Apron will continue to get more and more popular.

So should you give it a try? Keep reading to see if Blue Apron would be a good fit for your life.

My Blue Apron box had arrived by the time I got home. My boyfriend threw it in the fridge just in case, but the company says the contents will stay cold in the box for 'several hours.'

Opening up the box, there's a letter from Blue Apron and the three different recipe cards.

Blue Apron sends customers a break down on what they're cooking as well as some more information on the ingredients.

These are the three different recipes I cooked during the week: Turkey Kibbeh, Flat Iron Steak, and Rice Flake-Crusted Hake. Each meal also had a side.

Here's the refrigerated bag inside the Blue Apron box that keeps the food cold.

Peeking inside the bag, you see all the greens at the top. Next are the dry ingredients and potatoes followed by the meats and some ice packs at the very bottom.

My least favourite thing about Blue Apron was how all the ingredients came en masse. They did not have individual labels explaining which recipe they went with.

For example, it would have been helpful for this label to say the mushrooms were for the 'Rice Flake-Crusted Hake' dish.

The only things that do have a label are the 'knick knacks' bags that are filled with the smaller ingredients. It was handy to grab this bag and know it was for the steak dish.

Now onto the cooking! I started with the Rice Flake-Crusted Hake dish which had 500 calories per serving and was supposed to take 25-35 minutes.

Prep work for this dish was not too challenging. I was ready to start cooking within 5-10 minutes.

Within my knick knacks bag were these three little sauces, perfectly portioned and ready to use. The best part about a service like Blue Apron is that all the measuring is already done.

Also in the knick knacks bag was ginger as well as wasabi powder. Here's what your wasabi looks like before water is added to it.

The instructions for the vegetables in this dish were straightforward. Plus, cooking them made the kitchen smell amazing.

The fish, however, was another story. I put the 'rice flakes' on the hake and almost immediately they started falling off.

The recipe card warned this might be a problem and not to worry, but I still felt like a kitchen failure.

When plated, though, the dish looked and tasted great. I put some of the rice flakes back on for presentation and added a smear of wasabi to both plates.

Here's what it was supposed to look like. Not far off!

Next up was the Flat Iron Steaks meal. With a side of shaved asparagus salad and fingerling potatoes, this meal was 520 calories per serving and had an estimated cooking time of 35-45 minutes.

I ended up going online to the recipe page to see how they were shaving and cutting the asparagus. I really love that Blue Apron has dedicated pages with advice on how to cook each dish.

Unfortunately, I did not have a peeler to get the asparagus shaved nicely. All the other prep work for the meal was pretty simple.

The best part of the Flat Iron Steaks meal was -- surprise, surprise -- the steaks. Blue Apron had me cook them in olive oil and butter which made them taste amazing.

The fingerling potatoes with ramps also came out really well and got some extra butter and steak flavour.

The asparagus salad was only so-so. In the future, I would have used less dill and maybe bought a peeler so I could shave the asparagus even thinner. The crème fraîche Blue Apron sent was delicious.

All in all, this meal probably took me about 45 minutes to make and was my favourite recipe of the bunch.

The last recipe was the Turkey Kibbeh. This meal seemed bigger than the other two and had 660 calories per serving and was supposed to take 25-35 minutes.

But the prep work on this meal took me almost half an hour alone. I had to cut and scoop the interior out of a cucumber, dice an onion, pick the mint and parsley off stems, and dice apricots.

That doesn't sound like a lot, but it took longer than I was anticipating. Plus I was cooking bulgur while this was going on.

Finally the meal started to come together as I mixed the aromatics.

But then I had to mix the aromatics with the ground turkey in a big bowl and make 12 sticky patties. My hands were covered in bulgur, turkey, and spices.

I finally got my kibbeh patties going in the pan and they started to look a lot tastier.

While those finished cooking, I mixed together the yogurt and the cucumber -- the easiest part of this entire meal by far.

Finally it was plated. Though the presentation on this dish was excellent, it took me roughly an hour and 15 minutes -- 30 minutes longer than Blue Apron said it would take -- before I was able to eat anything.

Still, Blue Apron remains my favourite recipe service because it pushes me to learn to cook with new ingredients and has an amazing presentation that makes even an amateur chef like me look like they know what they're doing.

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