Okay, so you’re looking for a meal delivery service that offers spectacular meals prepared by top-rated chefs. I give you CookUnity: A Chef Collective. Intrigued? Want to learn more? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
CookUnity is a meal delivery service that connects chefs working at different locations to thousands of foodies across the nation. I’ve researched and analyzed the company from top to bottom. I’ve looked into what’s on the menu, the subscription process, customer service, and more.
In my opinion, CookUnity is a meal delivery service with considerable promise. It’s got a few rough spots on the technical side of things (mainly in Customer Service) but, on the whole, its pluses outweigh its minuses.
Over 200 options per day
Meals prepared by top-rated chefs
Large number of filters to tailor meals to your liking
Quick prep (meals ready in <5 min)
Special discount: SAVE 50% ON YOUR FIRST WEEK
Difficult to contact the company
I had to send a few emails to get my query answered
A little more expensive than other services
Busy people who want quality dining
People who don’t enjoy cooking
Those who are environmentally conscious
People who get overwhelmed by lots of choices
Those who like to customize ingredients
People who like to prepare their own food
In terms of variety and selection, CookUnity blows most of the other meal delivery services away. All meals are chef-prepared. There are easily enough choices to have a different meal for lunch and dinner seven days a week.
CookUnity offers a huge selection of meals – over two hundred per day, in fact. It also offers a good variety of proteins, including seafood, poultry, and a selection of vegetarian meals.
Unfortunately, the one thing CookUnity lacks are extras like bulk meat packs, sides, breakfasts, and snacks. Although most meals tend toward the fancy, there are a couple of meals I would classify as kid-friendly, like the Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese, or Southern Fried Chicken.
You can filter according to dietary preferences (vegetarian, vegan, < 600 calories, low carb, keto, paleo) and ingredients (type of meat). You also have the option when setting up your account to provide a list of meals you don’t like, and can filter out dairy, gluten, and sodium.
However, as there’s a risk of allergen cross-contamination, if you have serious allergies, you may want to look elsewhere. Also, you can only sort by one factor at a time – i.e. you can’t sort for vegan and low sodium at the same time – which I found limiting.
You’ll have to heat many of the meals but not all. All meals come with oven-heating and microwave instructions. The longest you should have to wait for your meal to heat up is 20 minutes in the oven or 5 minutes by microwave.
CookUnity’s meals come in compostable, reusable, or recyclable packaging. All the meals are made from fresh ingredients and they have expiration dates, heating instructions, and nutrition information right on the packaging.
You don’t have to worry about sorting through any ingredients or doing any cooking. The chefs at CookUnity prepare and cook the food for you. All you have to do is toss the containers in the oven or microwave to be heated (oven is preferred).
As for storage, the meals can be stored in the fridge for 4-7 days, if you intend to eat them soon; otherwise, you can pop them in the freezer. The meals come packaged in containers that are ready to be heated.
Like most meal delivery services, CookUnity does its part to care for the environment. Its meal containers and boxes can be recycled. Its insulated liners are made of 86% recycled content and can be recycled alongside plastic bottles.
The insulated CookUnity bags can be reused (and the company will pick them up), while the gel packs can either be reused or drained into the garbage. After being drained, the remaining plastic from the gel packs can then be disposed of in the garbage.
CookUnity meals are fresh, not flash frozen. They should be put in the fridge immediately upon arrival (or the freezer if you’re not eating them any time soon) and can be stored there for 4-7 days.
The meals are prepared by chefs and are usually ready in under five minutes, if using the microwave. You shouldn’t have to chop or prepare much of anything, nor should you need to mix sauces. It’s just heat and eat. Yum!
The meal containers are safe for both microwaves and ovens – although ovens are preferred. Clean-up is a breeze. Just rinse the container and recycle.
These are some of the most tantalizing of CookUnity’s meals:
I’m a big fan of both Greek food and chicken. So, what could be better than a plate of Greek Chicken? Made with chicken, olive oil, an assortment of vegetables, and seasonings, it just beckons like a siren from … um, the kitchen. Okay, so maybe that’s not the best analogy but you get the point.
This is another classic chicken meal I love. Nothing quite beats a good hunk of chicken drenched in barbeque sauce. This particular dish comes with Mac n’ Cheese, which is okay, I guess, but in all honesty I think I’d prefer a nice potato. Regardless, the chicken looks delicious, don’t you think?
Steak is another of my favorites. The recipe for this particular meal is pretty basic – only nine ingredients, including hanger steak, arugula, and parmesan cheese among others. But really, just thinking about it makes my mouth water. Mmmm hmmm.
CookUnity delivers to most of the lower 48 states of the U.S. except West Virginia, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, and parts of Wyoming, Nebraska, and Colorado. Delivery days vary by zip code. For me, the delivery options were Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
Of course, since sometimes there are unexpected snafus and whatnot, CookUnity provides an easy process to reschedule deliveries. You just go to your “Upcoming Deliveries” and pick a different day. As long as you do so before the cutoff date (which is around 4-6 days out) you shouldn’t have any problems.
CookUnity also offers tracking through either SMS or email, depending on your location (SMS for LA and NY, email for Southern and Northeast California).
Cookunity’s specialized logistics team for LA and NY is dedicated to ensuring the punctuality of its deliveries. For shipments elsewhere, it relies on UPS to make the deliveries –.and UPS has a remarkable reputation in that regard.
If you decide to go the CookUnity route, subscribing to its service is easy. It’s a simple four step process.
First, enter your zip code and click “Get Started”. Then, dive into the four step process:
Step 1) Choose your plan. You can choose from five different meal plans that range in size between four servings and sixteen servings per week.
Step 2) Choose your delivery date. Here, your options vary according to your zip code.
Step 3) Fill out this brief questionnaire:
What’s your top wellness goal
What’s your go-to protein source
Step 4) Create your account and check out. Then, wait for your box of deliciousness to arrive. Yum!
You can pause your subscription for up to eight weeks by going to “My Account”.
You’ll receive a confirmation email and another one a few days before your deliveries are due to restart.
Canceling altogether is just as simple. Go to “My Plan” in “My Account” and you can cancel your account there. Just make sure you take the extra step to “Skip” all your future orders, if you don’t want to receive them. Make sure to cancel before the cutoff date, or else you’ll still receive one final order and you’ll be charged for it.
CookUnity’s FAQ section offers a number of answers to the most common questions and is a great first port of call.
When I reached out to Customer Service, the only option I initially found was email, which I found to be very frustrating. I’m a big fan of chatbots and phone calls, which many other meal delivery services offer.
I eventually found a reference to a chatbot on the site, and after a considerable amount of searching finally found the chatbot itself on the “Sign In/Check Out” page. In the process, I also found a text number as well:
I wanted to find out in detail how CookUnity deals with allergens, so I reached out to Customer Support via email. Unfortunately, they sent me an email back asking for my phone number to set up a call to discuss this over the phone.
This response email arrived only 12 minutes after mine, which is pretty good. However, I would have preferred that Jenny just answered my question over email, as I was put off by the notion of waiting for a phone call. So, I hemmed and hawed and wound up delaying the whole process by several days.
Because I delayed (and there was a weekend involved), I didn’t get my final answer until four days later. Like I said, that’s probably as much my fault as CookUnity’s. Still, answering my questions right off the bat would have been preferable. The answer came via email anyway.
(In case you were wondering, CookUnity does have the equivalent of a filter system for dealing with allergens. There’s a special field under “Restrictions” in the “Preferences” section when you set up your account. You can list all the ingredients you can’t eat and CookUnity will make sure the meals recommended to you won’t contain those ingredients.)
$10.49 per portion
4 meals/week: $53.96
You’ll get the lowest price per serving by ordering 16 meals per week, which is the largest meal plan. So, obviously, the fewer meals you order, the more expensive the price per serving. However, there are no shipping fees for any delivery.
You’ll be charged every week approximately 3 - 6 days before you receive your delivery. The specific time period is determined by your zip code. And, barring something unusual, you should be charged on the same day every week going forward.
The method of payment is secured by the online payment processing company Stripe. A number of credit cards are accepted by CookUnity, including Discover, American Express, Mastercard, Visa, and others.
CookUnity offers gift cards to treat friends and family for special occasions. And there’s also a referral program that can be used to introduce them to the full service.
I definitely think CookUnity is worth trying. It has a whole slew of options and a large number of professional chefs preparing them.
So, unless there are special circumstances, like an unusual allergy, or something equally out of the ordinary, you’ll most likely be able to find a large number of dishes you’ll enjoy. And isn’t that the idea behind meal delivery services?
Yes. CookUnity meals can easily be frozen should that prove necessary or desired. Frozen meals simply need to be thawed, preferably in the fridge, before being heated and consumed.
CookUnity’s large menu provides healthy food as well as catering to a number of specific diets like keto and paleo. The meals are prepared from fresh ingredients by top-rated chefs.
CookUnity offers fresh food prepared by top-rated chefs. You get what you pay for. When I researched pricing, I found that the minimum price per serving for a CookUnity meal was $10.49.