Not all meal deliveries are for young professionals on a budget! If you were hoping for a practical solution that puts restaurant-worthy experiences at the core of its offer and that caters to senior demographics, keep reading our Magic Kitchen review: we’re pretty sure you’ll love it.
The heat-and-eat meal kit company Magic Kitchen might not be the most well-known name in the game. However, with a focus on seniors and special diets, this company is bringing high-quality, nutritious meals to homes around the country.
While the company touts a mission to provide delicious and convenient meal options for individuals on medical diets, we had to see and taste the product for ourselves.
In this Magic Kitchen review, we’ll cover:
- What makes Magic Kitchen different from other meal kits on the market
- How the meals compare to other meal kit companies
- Who Magic Kitchen is perfect for (and who might not like it as much)
Hungry? Let’s dive in.
QUICK SUMMARY: MAGIC KITCHEN
- Taste: 4/5
- Packaging: 2/5
- Price: 3/5
- Ease to prepare: 5/5
- Diversity of options: 5/5
Magic Kitchen is a premium service that offers heat-and-eat meals specially tailored to seniors and people on special diets. Deliveries come in a bulky styrofoam cooler but last for weeks in the freezer and are ready to serve with minimal effort. A great option to take the guesswork out of cooking for niche diets.
Use Code "NOEL" for 20% Off Sitewide valid December 15 to December 25, 2021.
How is Magic Kitchen Different from Other Meal Kits?
A brief glance at the Magic Kitchen website is your first indication that this meal kit isn’t like the others. Rather than millennial-focused eye-catching marketing copy and “free trial” pop-ups, Magic Kitchen is marketed towards an older audience.
In fact, the company was born out of founder Greg Miller’s realization that despite the dozens of meal delivery options out there, there wasn’t a great solution for seniors. He recognized that most meal delivery services marketed to his parents’ generation lacked interesting flavors and thoughtful nutrition.
Enter: Magic Kitchen. From the start, the company has been fueled by its mission to:
“Provide delicious, nutritious, convenient, and special diet-sensitive meal options for individuals and families to eat well at home.”
Magic Kitchen doesn’t just provide dinner. Customers can choose from a selection of soups, side dishes, and even desserts.
Magic Kitchen also provides a personalized Auto-Ship Meal Program. Customers can tell the company about their dietary needs and either select their oven meals or have meals selected by the company and delivered weekly.
This sort of convenience and service can be an excellent solution for adult children who want to make sure their parents are well-fed from afar.
A Focus on Diets and the Requirements of Elderly Households
Magic Kitchen is doing a lot to facilitate the dinner experience of elderly couples and those with specific dietary requirements.
“Cooking may be challenging for older adults with medical conditions like chronic kidney disease and heart failure, as well as those on dialysis, due to the dietary restrictions involved. Notably, the Magic Kitchen menu accommodates specific diets.” Age Info Net
For example, as well as offering varied options such as vegetarian menus, they include alternatives for people who are diabetic, who need to follow a renal diet, and much more.
To streamline dinner for their older customers, all Magic Kitchen meals come fully cooked. At home, all that’s left is to follow the clear reheating instructions that accompany every meal.
Depending on what’s in your box, this could mean simmering a vacuum-sealed pack of thawed steak in water or baking Baby Clams with Linguini Marinara in the oven.
Sticking with Magic Kitchen will reward you with perks that go beyond this company’s tasty meals and effortless dinner experiences: they also have a loyalty program that turns your points into discounts and vouchers.
You can accumulate them with your weekly deliveries but also by referring friends, posting about Magic Kitchen on socials, or even on your birthday!
Other Magic Kitchen features
Subscription Flexibility: like most meal kit deliveries, Magic Kitchen allows you to pause or cancel your subscription whenever you wish. However, we found the process to be slightly less user-friendly since you need to email or call them rather than being able to do everything online through their website or an app. Still, given the target audience, this might actually work out better for the end-consumer, so it really depends on what you’re comfortable with;
Customer Service: Magic Kitchen actually encourages you to be honest regarding your experience and to get in touch with them if you’re not 100% satisfied with your meals or ingredients, operating a 100% money back guarantee policy. Given the high-end price of their dishes, we thought that this extra peace of mind was a nice touch.
We Tried Three Magic Kitchen Meals...Here’s How it Went
We decided to put Magic Kitchen’s claims of convenience and nutrition to the test by trying the meals for ourselves.
When the food arrived, it looked a bit different from other meal kits. Because the meals are fully frozen, they arrived in a large styrofoam cooler packed with bubble wrap and dry ice.
This was not only bulky to bring inside, but is also far from environmentally-friendly. The company says the cooler is recyclable, however.
Dry ice presents a risk of burning and must be handled carefully. Given the older audience that Magic Kitchen caters to, we expected an easier, lighter, and safer unboxing experience.
Nevertheless, we unpacked the meals. We stashed the first dish in the fridge to thaw as directed and popped the other two in the freezer for later.
Meal #1: Shrimp Scampi
The first meal was very simple to make. We simply dumped the contents of the thawed bag into a skillet and heated it until the sauce was thickened.
While the sauce never thickened completely, the dish itself was quite flavorful. The shrimp were not overcooked and stayed plump and moist.
However, we felt that the meal could have been rounded out by pasta or another starch to soak up some of that flavorful sauce.
Meal #2: Crab Cakes
These crab cakes were delicious and our favorite meal of the bunch. They seared up beautifully from thawed and had real crab flavor throughout. We just wish there were more!
The cakes came with a small plastic container of sauce that looked like it was meant to become creamy like aioli or remoulade.
However, after thawing, the sauce remained separated and lumpy. No amount of whisking seemed to bring it together. It tasted ok, but it was hard to get over the oily, separated texture.
Meal #3: Sous Vide Beef Short Rib
When we heard that Magic Kitchen offered sous vide recipes, we thought we’d need to buy a new appliance to heat them. Luckily, the beef short ribs have already been cooked sous vide and all we had to do is simmer the bag in water until the meat reached a safe internal temperature.
While this sounds straightforward enough, it was actually a bit challenging. The only way to take the temperature of the meat is to open the bag, but once you open the bag, you can’t return it to the water bath, or you’ll lose all of the sauce.
We used the heating guidelines provided (simmer the meat for 13 to 25 minutes, which is quite a range), and ended up with moist, flavorful, and fall-apart tender beef short rib.
This time, the sauce packed a lot of flavor. The instructions said to shake the bag after removing the meat to emulsify the remaining sauce. While the sauce never really thickened up, we didn’t mind a thinner coating to flavor and enrich the meat.
Again, this meal was just the protein, no side dishes, and it would have been nice to have some mashed potatoes or greens to round out the plate.
The Pros of Magic Kitchen
Magic Kitchen meals have some definitely positives going for them:
The Cons of Magic Kitchen
That being said, there are some drawbacks to keep in mind:
What Type of Household Is Magic Kitchen for?
- Middle-aged parents or retired couples looking to treat themselves with a chef-style experience at home and while skipping traditional food prep altogether (and for whom budget isn’t a concern)
- Both meat-eaters and vegetarians, as well as people following a set diet or who have specific food requirements (e.g. dialysis meals)
- Anyone who’s happy to pay extra for a few more perks such as desserts and sides and who wants to be able to choose between a la carte dishes and menu-complete meals depending on what they crave each week
Who Would NOT Enjoy Magic Kitchen?
- Younger couples and single professionals, or any type of household looking for a budget-friendly solution
- Eco-conscious customers (all that styrofoam would probably put you off immediately)
The Verdict: Is Magic Kitchen Worth It?
At the end of the day, the meals we tried from Magic Kitchen were all tasty and satisfying. The service is a bit more expensive than other meal kits. However, the convenience of not having to sort through and prep ingredients or follow a recipe is a major bonus for busy cooks.
For seniors, single-person households or anyone following a niche diet who is willing to pay for ease around mealtimes, Magic Kitchen is a great solution.
- Get 10% off your first order at Magic Kitchen with code MEALD.
- For Seniors: Use promotional code SN10 to get $10.00 off any order $80 and over.
Use Code "NOEL" for 20% Off Sitewide valid December 15 to December 25, 2021.
Does Magic Kitchen Ship Nationally?
Yes, the service ships from their warehouse in Kansas City, KS. All shipments take a maximum of four business days, though customers can pay for express shipping.
Are there Gluten-Free Options?
Yes, Magic Kitchen makes it easy to sort through their meals according to your dietary needs. The menu includes options for gluten-free, dairy-free, low-sodium, low-carb, low-fat, vegetarian, and portion-controlled meals, in addition to several medical diets.
Is there a First-Order Discount?
Magic Kitchen offers first-time customers 10% off with the code MEALD or free delivery on your first order of $100 or more. Seniors can also receive $10 off any order of $80 with the code SN10.
Magic Kitchen Alternatives
If Magic Kitchen is too pricy for your budget, or you like to put more effort into cooking dinner, try these meal kit alternatives:
Dinnerly is for the home cook on a budget. Their $4.99 meal kits are simple, pared-down and wallet-friendly, but delicious.
Hello Fresh sits somewhere between Dinnerly and Magic Kitchen on the price spectrum. It includes fresh, high-quality ingredients and recipes to prepare unique meals at home.
Have the pictures of our Magic Kitchen meals already tickled your tastebuds? Wanna feel the thrill of enjoying a restaurant-style meal within a few minutes and without leaving the house? Get the full experience by trying at least a week’s worth of them!
1. (n.d.). # 3 Best Meal Delivery Services for Seniors. Retrieved from https://ageinfonet.com/3-best-meal-delivery-services-for-seniors/
Lizzy is a trained chef, freelance food writer and always-curious home cook. She’s passionate about making home cooking fun and accessible and is on a mission to help everyone eat delicious food that makes them feel their best, however it fits into their schedule.
- How is Magic Kitchen Different from Other Meal Kits?
- We Tried Three Magic Kitchen Meals...Here’s How it Went
- The Verdict: Is Magic Kitchen Worth It?
- Magic Kitchen Alternatives