Crowd Cow Review: Craft Meat Delivered
Crowd Cow was initially launched as a craft meat subscription service where you would sign up and receive monthly boxes of meat sourced from the best farms and ranches around the world.
Today you can order individual cuts ala carte, so there’s no need to sign up for a subscription.
What sets Crowd Cow apart from other online meat delivery services is the level of choice you have, down to the individual farm.
Crowd Cow sent me a selection of meat for free in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
The Crowd Cow story
Owners Ethan and Joe Heitzberg started Crowd Cow by partnering with the best small-scale, independent farms they could find.
By working with small producers who each had their own method of raising animals they were able to source meat that couldn’t be found from the usual sources.
“The result was some of the finest beef I’ve ever had — better than anything I’d ever experienced in steakhouses or grocery stores — and raised in complete contrast the commodity beef available everywhere”Joe Heitzeberg
Today Crowd Cow has expanded to offer purebred Kuroge Washu from both the USA and Japan, and they were the first company to bring Olive Wagyu to consumers in the United States.
While they still have “Cow” in the name, you can also buy a range of pork, chicken, lamb, and seafood. All sourced with the same principles.
Crowd Cow Review
For this review Crowd Cow were kind enough to credit us with $150 to order anything we wanted.
Shopping on the website is quite an interesting experience. You can choose to shop by collection, e.g. grass-fed beef, domestic Wagyu, Chicken, or by farm.
The level of information about each Farm is quite impressive. You can see exactly how meat is raised, and pick whatever criteria is important for you whether that is:
- Pasture-reaised, grain finished
- Antibiotics free
- Hormone free
- Dry aged
- 100% grass-fed
- Non GMO
What we like:
- Level of choice – Select the cut you want and then pick the exact farm or ranch you want to order from.
- Access to rare meat – You can order a huge range of A5 Wagyu, or if you really want to treat yourself, pick up some Olive Wagyu which is amongst the rarest beef in the world and sells out fast.
- Support small family farms – We see the Crowd Cow model as a win win as you get the best quality meat, and get to support small family farms.
- Save 5% with subscriptions – You can setup a regular repeating order and save 5% off the total price
What we don’t like:
- Price – You’ll definitely pay more than your local grocery store. What you get in return is hard to compare though in terms of quantity.
For our review, we only tried out the ala carte ordering option, but from our research, the subscriptions are also a great choice. We have Crowd Cow on our list of the best online butcher shops.
Crowd Cow is regularly updating their website with different deals and stock, so be sure to check that out.
Ordering and shipping
You’ll need to add at least $50 worth of product to your cart before checking out which seems fair as smaller orders would cost too much with all the packaging and dry-ice.
When you go to checkout it gives you an estimated delivery date which you can change if you want to.
The meat from Crowd Cow came incredibly well packaged! As you can see in the photo, it’s a neatly sized cardboard box.
When you open it up, the contents are clearly well insulated and all kept cool by some significantly sized pieces of dry ice.
My meat selection was all clearly labeled. To get a feel for a variety of items I had ordered:
- 2 bone-in pork chops from Alexandre Family Farms
- 1 bone-in ribeye steak from Valley Oaks Farm
- 1 T-bone steak from Huttarian Farm
- 1 beef skirt steak from Five Dot Ranch
- A pasture-raised spatchcocked chicken from Pasturebird Farm
The interior was quite cold and the contents were frozen solid, despite sitting in the California sun on my front porch for a few hours.
As a bonus, all this insulation is environmentally friendly – it dissolves in water once removed from the plastic and easily went down the sink.
All other components were recyclable (except the actual packaging of the meat).
Related – The best mail order steaks
How good was the meat from Crowd Cow?
I’ll admit to being a bit of a skeptic when it comes to fancy-branded meat.
I love my prime cuts and my air-chilled organic chicken, but how much further do you really need to go?
Well, I was pleasantly surprised by the selection from Crowd Cow. Both me and my family felt each cut was just that much more tender and flavorful than even the high-grade cuts we typically get from our local butcher.
I kept my preparation for each really simple so that the flavor of the meat would dominate.
My favorite overall was the pork chops. I prepared them without any brining or fancy seasoning.
Simply salt-pepper and a tad of oil, onto direct heat on the grill. They came out fantastic, moist and tender with a great flavor. I had similar success with the other cuts as well again with very simple preparation.
Price-wise, all of the above was about $150. It a notch above in price for what you’d pay even for a high-grade meet (e.g. USDA Prime).
Overall, I found the meat from Crowd Cow a real treat.
I liked the variety of choices and the fact you knew exactly where the meat was coming from.
On top of that, they sell some delicious products. Given that, when you’re looking for a special treat, I think you’ll certainly get what you’re paying for with this product.
If you’re interested in buying meat online, you may also want to check out our Porter Road and Snake River Farm reviews.
You can currently save 5% on EVERY box when you subscribe! No coupon code required.