This page was updated in August 2020.
Simply Cook recipe box pros and cons
Pros: Convenient, fits through letterbox, long shelf life, great for trying new things
Cons: Portions were a bit too big, took longer than timing stated
Overall rating: 3.5/5
Read about how to sign up to the Simply Cook recipe subscription box
What is Simply Cook?
Simply Cook is a recipe kit service that was founded by Oli Ashness out of a passion to get even the busiest people cooking new and interesting recipes at home. Unlike other recipe boxes that come with all ingredients required to create a dish from scratch, Simply Cook is a letterbox-size box. It contains four ‘recipe kits’ – dry ingredients in pots, to which you add your own fresh ingredients.
Simply Cook recipe choices
The Simply Cook recipe list features a good mixture of cuisines, satisfying hot meals like stews, curries and bowl food. There are plenty of special diet options, including light, gluten-free and vegetarian recipes.
The recipes are customisable in that the box is just the recipe cards, pastes and seasonings you need to make the dishes. All of the other ingredients you buy yourself from the shops and suppliers you like/have access to. There are optional garnishes and additional serving suggestions too should you want to customise further.
How many recipes do you get in one delivery?
Four per box.
What is in the Simply Cook box?
My first impression was that the box was neat, compact and well organised. Inside were four recipe cards and four smaller boxes, each containing three plastic pots of ingredients.
What is the quality of the ingredients?
This is hard to tell, as most ingredients had been blended to pastes or spice mixes but the flavours and aromas were good. The rest of the ingredients (like the meat and vegetables) you have to buy yourself so the quality is, for the most part, down to you – which is nice.
What are the delivery options?
The boxes are designed to fit through a letter box so there’s no need to be at home to accept the delivery. However you can’t customise delivery options. The boxes are delivered via Royal Mail and aim to arrive within four working days from when you order. The boxes are available nationwide.
How much packaging is there?
An outer cardboard box, four inner boxes, 12 plastic pots with film lids. Most of the packaging can be recycled. The only thing not currently recyclable are the film lids from the plastic tubs.
Does Simply Cook offer good value for money?
It’s a great option if there are cuisines you’ve not cooked before and are keen to try out before you commit to filling your store cupboard with new ingredients. The portions are generous so would work out even better if you were to share most meals over four instead of two.
How easy are the recipes?
All very straightforward – no complicated techniques required. On average I found the recipes took about 10 minutes longer than stated. It’s easy to tip out the contents of the tubs when they contain dry spice mixes but some of the pastes needed a bit of digging out with a couple of teaspoons to make sure the full quantity was used.
The instructions are clear but for some recipes it might have been helpful to add in the pan or dish sizes/dimensions.
Is there any food waste?
No, the full contents of each of the tubs goes in to the recipe at the relevant stages.
Is there any excess packaging around the food?
No, it feels like a lot of thought has gone into using as little packaging as possible while still making it well organised and easy to use.
What are the finished recipes like?
The finished recipes were good, they looked like the images on the recipe cards and didn’t require additional seasoning. You do have to buy the bulk of the recipe ingredients yourself and there are additional serving suggestion items to go with the dishes.
How many people does it serve?
The recipes are for 2-4 servings however the portions for the recipes we tried were very generous for us. In most cases they would have happily served 4. I would like to see tips on the cards of how shrink or stretch the dishes as required.
What utensils did you need to use to make the recipes?
Chopping boards, standard utensils like knives, saucepans, wooden spoons/spatulas, frying pan – nothing specialist.
Who would Simply Cook be most useful for?
Busy people who are interested in trying new cuisines. Those with small kitchens or limited storage space. This would also be brilliant for self-catering holidays where you want to cook but don’t want to take a boot-full of spices, jars and seasonings.
What’s your favourite thing about this product?
You’re not tied to it if your plans change. The sachets have a long shelf-life so if you decide to go out on the evening you’ve planned to cook one of the dishes it will hold till the following day, week or even month.
I also loved how easy it is to shop for the additional ingredients as each recipe card has a tear-off strip for a shopping list you can take with you, but if you forget that you can download the app, and if you haven’t done that, you can get the info from the website – it has been really well thought out.
What are the subscription terms?
You can choose to get a box every week, every 2 weeks, 4 weeks or 6 weeks and your plan can be easily amended or cancelled via their website.
Overall star ratings
Ease of cooking 4/5
Quality of the finished recipes 3.5/5
Quality of ingredients 3/5
Value for money 3/5
Discover how to sign up to the Simply Cook recipe box
This review was last updated in August 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at email@example.com.