Porter Road Meat Delivery Review

Meat from Porter Road Butcher

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As consumers, we are getting more and more sophisticated when it comes to shopping for meat.

For many of us, price is just one factor. We want meat that has been humanely raised, preferably on pasture with no use of hormones or antibiotics.

For this review, we tested out the meat delivery service from Porter Road, a butcher shop that takes their commitment to sourcing high quality, humane and pasture-raised meat from local farms seriously.

The story behind Porter Road

Porter Road is a butcher shop in Nashville that was created out of co-founders James Peisker and Chris Carter’s struggle to find high quality, fresh meat for their hospitality business.

Photo courtesy of porterroad.com

The idea behind Porter Road was to work with a select group of local farms who raise their animals to the highest standards. All meat is then hand cut at the Porter Road facility in Kentucky.

After some initial success, the duo decided to take their meat nationwide to help people who were stuck eating low quality, grocery store meat.

You won’t find the usual USDA meat gradings on the Porter Road website. Instead, they have come up with their own criteria for selecting meat based on how the animal is raised.

  • All partner farms raise their animals outside and are fed vegetarian non-GMO feed with no hormones or antibiotics.
  • The animals are “pasture-raised” and then finished when a grain blend which helps produce better marbling and flavor (see our grain-fed vs grass-fed guide to learn more about the differences)
  • Meat is sourced from sustainable family farms and ranches
  • All their beef is dry-aged for at least 14 days

The majority of Porter Road meat ships fresh, not frozen which is a little unusual for meat delivery businesses.

The idea here is that frozen meat causes some slight chemical changes which affect the final product.

The way the meat is packaged and shipped makes this safe.

Ordering and shipping

I found the website simple to use. You can shop by beef, pork lamb or chicken and then in each category you can browse by cut.

There’s a lot of selection, with over 50 cuts of beef to choose from including bone-in and boneless ribeye as well as tomahawk ribeye.

I appreciate that you can find plenty of specialty cuts including Picanha, whole brisket, whole Bavette, Tri-Tip and heart steak.

You can also choose from a range of curated boxes at various price points which the butchers have selected. These would make great gifts.

To test out the meat from Porter Road for this review I selected a range of different products including:

  • 1 pound of ground beef chuck
  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 Bone-In Ribeye (1.31 lbs)
  • 1 Bone-In Pork Chop
  • 1 pound of BP Pork Sausage
  • 1 Flat Iron Steak (1 lb)

All up this came to $75 which I think is reasonable for small farm, sustainably raised meat.

The box arrived quickly and was stuffed with lots of insulation and ice packs.

After delivery, the box sat outside in the blistering sun for at least 6 hours before I arrived home and took it inside.

When I opened the box, the meat was still mostly frozen, and ice packs were still partially frozen as well.

I have all confidence that the box could have remained outside for quite a few more hours without any concern of the meat thawing out.

How Good was the Meat from Porter Road?

Here is a breakdown of how I prepared and cooked each meat, and how I feel it compared with what you could get from the supermarket.

Bone-in Ribeye

While the full-bodied flavor was pleasing, the tenderness was a bit disappointing.

Seasoning/Preparation Method: Salt, pepper, and garlic powder
Cooking Method: Grilled on my Charbroil gas grill
Presentation: Served with cheesy broccoli and cauliflower

Verdict:

This was a nice, thick chunk of steak! It was cut about 1.25” thick and it revealed some nice marbling, which I believe, would reflect a respectable USDA choice label.

I didn’t really find this steak to be any better or worse than local grocery stores.

At $29 per 1.19 – 131 steak, the ribeye from Porter Road is on the cheaper side compared to other steak delivery websites.

BP Pork Sausage

  • Seasoning/Preparation Method: No seasoning. Pressed into breakfast patties.
  • Cooking Method: stove top griddle
  • Presentation: Served with fried eggs for breakfast

Verdict:

This was probably the most tender pork sausage that I have ever had. With that said, I found the taste unusual.

Not gonna lie; it’s not what I was expecting.

This was not their normal breakfast sausage, but I thought it would be similar.

The strong taste of ginger and some of the other spices was a turn off for me. Neither I, or my wife, was a fan, but others may like it.

Chicken Drumsticks

Seasoning/Preparation Method: Buttermilk and hot sauce brine
Cooking Method: Grilled on my Charbroil gas grill
Presentation: Grilled with no seasoning, just the brine. We cooked some extra chicken breasts as well to feed the whole family.

Verdict:

This was delicious! The chicken was super juicy and flavorful.

The skin charred up leaving a nice crisp slight crunch on the outside.

The brine added flavor but not enough to be overwhelming. Staying objective, I cannot say that this chicken was better nor worse tasting than local supermarket chicken.

Ground Beef

Seasoning/Preparation Method: Salt, pepper. Pressed into patties.
Cooking Method: Frying pan
Presentation: Cooked and served with onions in a keto heavy cream sauce.

Verdict:

Man O man was this good! I can happily say that I could really taste the flavor of the beef and was very pleased.

It had great meat to fat ratio. Not was it ground well making it a little softer, it was hearty and, well, beefy!

It just seemed really fresh tasting, like I had just picked up from a local butcher.

I would definitely take this ground beef over many others, including most grocery stores.

Bone-In Pork Chop

Seasoning/Preparation Method: Salt and brown sugar brine. Then salt and peppered.
Cooking Method: Grilled on my Charbroil gas grill
Presentation: Served with Sauteed zucchini

Verdict:

Pork always seems to pair better with a slightly brackish flavor.

This chop was flavorsome offering a savory pork taste with a supple tenderness.

I believe this pork chop tasted better than most local store-bought pork chops, though, only slightly.

Flat Iron Steak

Seasoning/Preparation Method: Kensington Club Polynesian Marinade
Cooking Method: Grilled on my Charbroil gas grill
Presentation: Served up with sauteed broccoli and blueberries.

Verdict:

The rich aroma mix of Maillard reaction charing and the juices from this sweet and salty marinade made this steak very pleasing to the palate.

It was succulent and engaging to the taste buds. There was no hard cartilage or gristle in it. This steak was definitely a notch above any grocery supermarket flat iron I have had.

Final thoughts

I am surprised that nowhere on the Porter Road website do they mention the breed of cattle they use for their beef.

They indicate what breed pig they are using for their pork, so I found it surprising.

However, they do emphasize very heavily HOW they take care of their animals and prepare their meats. And I believe that to be, notably, even more important.

You are most definitely getting cleaner and healthier meat than most chain grocery stores.

Most of the meat was good, but is it worth the price? If that answer was based solely on taste and tenderness alone, I would say – no.

If you also factor in how the company does business, how much cleaner and healthier the meat is, and how well they take care of their animals, I would say ordering from Porter Road is worth it.

Especially if you don’t have access to any high-quality local butcher shops. I would say the prices at Porter Road compare with what you would find at a gourmet butcher.

Ryan Black

Ryan Black

Growing up in a bbq'ing family in the backwoods of Tennessee, we approached our food with passion! When I wasn't at school, I was working at the family restaurant smoking meats, searing steaks, and grilling burgers. Although the restaurant has long been retired, those family traditions and recipes still live on through backyard bbq's and grill outs. I still love experimenting with new recipes and methods. Being a techy kinda guy, I also enjoy trying new gadgets that aid in the overall experience.  

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