Ideally, we would all have the time to pop down to our local artisanal butchers and browse for the best cuts before we started cooking, but real life rarely gives us that kind of downtime.
If you don’t have a spare minute to shop, or just don’t have access to a local butcher, there is another way. The number of fantastic quality online butchers has exploded in recent years, and, if you read on, we’ll be suggesting some of the best online meat delivery services on the web.
Looking to get steak delivered? We have a seperate guide to the top mail order steak companies.
Best online butcher shops to order fresh meat with just a few clicks
1. Best Overall – Crowd Cow
Crowd cow made it on to our list of the best mail order steaks in 2020 for a reason; they offer some fantastic beef at very reasonable prices.
The name Crowd Cow comes from the fact that the founders, Joe and Ethan, found out that their friends were buying meat directly from local ranches with excellent results.
While buying and storing an entire cow’s worth of meat seemed logistically difficult, Joe and Ethan hit on the idea of crowdfunding a cow, with up to 50 people each buying a small amount of beef directly from a local farm. They set up a website, sold their first cow in 24 hours, and haven’t looked back since.
As you can expect, Crowd Cow offers some truly exceptional beef, from 100% grass-fed organic offerings from local ranchers to genuine imported Japanese Wagyu from the Kagoshima Prefecture in Japan.
Crowd Cow works directly with the ranchers themselves and prides itself on its sustainability and the humane way the animals are raised.
2. Best for American Wagyu (And Top Quality Pork) – Snake River Farms
Wagyu, as you’ll know from our deep-dive article on the subject, is a very sought after Japanese beef, taken from the Kuroge Washu breed of cattle. Famed for its rich flavors and decadent marbling, the exporting of Wagyu beef is heavily controlled by the Japanese government, making it quite expensive.
Thankfully, in the 1970s, some Kuroge Washu cattle were exported to America and interbred with Holstein to create what is commonly referred to as American Wagyu.
This means Snake River Farms can sell you beautifully marbled Wagyu beef without you needing to take out a mortgage to afford it.
Not content with selling some of the best beef in the world, Snake River Farms also stocks some amazing Kurobuta pork. Basically, the Wagyu of the pork world, Kurobuta, despite the name, actually comes from the English Berkshire pig, which produces beautifully flavorful and tender pork.
If you’re interested in ordering some Wagyu or Kurobuta, but don’t want it frozen, Snake River Farms also offers fresh shipping. Fresh shipping means your exceptionally high-quality meat is packed in ice and sent to you overnight without any need to freeze it.
3. Best Craft Butcher – Porter Road
Porter Road founders James Peisker and Chris Carter met working in a kitchen in downtown Nashville. They hit it off almost immediately and decided to go into the catering business together.
The first snag they hit was the difficulty in getting the excellent quality meat they wanted, even at local farmers’ markets. Realizing there was a big glaring hole in the market, the duo pivoted and decided to open their own butcher shop.
Porter Road sources all its meat from local farms, processes it, and cuts it by hand in their facility in Kentucky. All the animals the meat comes from are pasture-raised without the use of additional hormones or antibiotics.
The Porter Road online store offers a fantastic range of high-quality meats, from dry-aged beef to heritage chickens. They even provide a curated butcher’s choice subscription box that will turn up on your doorstep, full of meaty morsels, every 2, 4, or 8 weeks.
You can find all your usual cuts, as well as a great selection of interesting cuts like Pork wings and Pork Brisket, Beef vs Bacon and Picanha.
4. Best Authentic Wagyu – Holy Grail Steak Co
If you call your company Holy Grail Steak, you need to be prepared to back that up, and the good news is, Holy Grail Steak really can.
For a start, Holy Grail Steak is the only licensed online source for authentic Kobe Beef. Kobe beef, if you’re not aware, is to Wagyu beef what Dom Perignon Champagne is to a good prosecco.
It’s considered by many to be the best beef in the world and is notoriously difficult to get hold of, even in Japan.
Not content with just supplying the best beef in the world, Holy Grail Steak also offers some genuinely fantastic cuts from local ranchers in the U.S., including dry-aged USDA Prime Black Angus, American breeds of Wagyu, entirely grass-fed beef, and excellent Wagyu burger patties.
As with the other retailers on this list, Holy Grail Steak prides itself on the way the beef the offer was raised, abiding by the Golden Rule of the Cow, a mantra which states “a steak only tastes as good as it was raised.”
5. Best Subscription – Butcher Box
Subscription services have become increasingly popular in recent years because everyone likes having a nice surprise turn up at their door once a month.
While wine, Funko Pop figures, and pickle of the month are all well and good, we think a meat subscription box would be the pinnacle of this service, and Butcher Box agrees.
The Butcher Box subscription service puts an emphasis on sustainable and environmentally friendly meat taken from heritage breeds that are pasture-raised with no added antibiotics or hormones.
When you sign up, you’ll be given the option to choose from different types of boxes, including:
- all beef
- beef and chicken
- beef and pork
- mixed box
You’ll also be able to create your own custom box from scratch and pick from over 20 different cuts to mix and match.
There are two different sizes of boxes for you to choose from, depending on how many people you need to feed, and your meat is shipped vacuum sealed and frozen for maximum freshness.
6. Omaha Steaks
Founded all the way back in 1917 by the father and son team of J.J. and B.A. Simon, Omaha Steaks is a family-run butchery business based, unsurprisingly, in Omaha.
The Simon family firmly believes that the highest quality beef in the world comes from Nebraska, which is why they only offer meat sourced from within the USA.
Bruce Simon, the fifth-generation family owner of Omaha Steaks, still hand selects the steaks they offer with the help of an old-school team of 80 butchers with over 600 years of collective experience.
The team prioritizes grass-fed and grain-finished beef, sometimes called Midwestern beef, that combines the rich flavors of grass-fed beef with the extra marbling you get from that grain finish. The steaks are then all aged for 21 days to ensure extra tenderness and flavor.
Not only is Omaha Steaks a source of excellent meat, but they also offer a lot of great advice, with butcher’s tips on how to cook beef and some fantastic recipes to go with the excellent product.
Chicago is pretty famous for its seafood, so it makes sense that the Chicago Steak Company would combine both meat and the fruits of the sea to make them the best surf and turf providers on the web.
You can expect to find a fantastic selection of cuts on the Chicago Steak Company website, from melt in the mouth American Wagyu filet mignon to a rustic, caveman-like USDA Prime Black Angus tomahawk steak.
Once you’ve picked out your steak, you don’t need to go anywhere else to find an excellent seafood accompaniment. The Fresh Fish Market is filled with an excellent selection of fishy treats, and you can even order yourself up some live Maine lobsters if you’re feeling really fancy.
If you’re looking for something a little special for dinner, then you might want to consider perusing the steak offering of New York’s Butcher, Debragga.
Alongside their fantastic selection of pork, lamb, poultry, and excellent USDA Prime beef, Debragga is one of the very few licensed distributors of Miyazaki-Gyu beef from the southern Japanese island of Kyushu.
This specular beef has been the winner of the Japanese culinary Olympics (yes, there is such a thing) and was chosen over top-class Wagyu beef from all over Japan.
The beef itself is taken from cows who are fed for over 500 days on a barley-based diet and raised without antibiotics or added growth hormones. The cuts of meat themselves are graded A5, highest quality on the strict Japanese grading system, making them some of the best steaks in the world.
Not, in fact, a purveyor of swords and fancy French hats, D’Artagnan Foods does provide meat that definitely slips towards the decadent end of the scale.
While they do provide a wide selection of meat, all raised without antibiotics or hormones, D’Artagnan is probably better known for its selection of game, veal, foie gras, and charcuterie.
You’ll undoubtedly be able to find some fantastic cuts of beef taken from D’Artagnan grain-finished Angus beef or premium A5 Japanese Wagyu beef. Still, you could also splash out on milk-fed, exclusive French veal, grass-fed lamb, Kurobuta pork, and even wild boar actually cage-trapped in Texas.
If you really want to spoil yourself, D’Artagnan will provide you with a sumptuous medallion of duck foie gras with black truffles, which pairs very well with their artisanal dry-cured saucisson sec and their duck mousse basquaise.
The only thing D’Artagnan won’t provide you with is the antacids you’ll need the next day.
Wrapping it all up
Even though we live in a time where just about anything can be delivered to your door within a day of you ordering it, online butchers haven’t entirely made it into the mainstream.
Thankfully, there are plenty of companies like the ones we’ve listed above who are busy muscling their way into that mainstream by providing some absolutely fantastic meat and meat-based services.
So, if you’re looking for fantastic quality meat, but you don’t have a local butcher, don’t worry. You’re only a click away from getting some of the best meat in the world delivered straight to your door.
Do you have a favorite online butcher that we’ve missed off this list? Is there a particular product you’ve tried from one of the providers above and want to let everyone know how amazing it was?
We’d love it if you could tell us about it in the comments below.