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- Beef, pork, and poultry suppliers are turned to direct-to-consumer (DTC) models amidst the pandemic.
- Here, we’re keeping a running list of our favorites, from old classics to newer DTC brands alike.
- Read more: The best places to buy groceries online
Meat purveyors ran into a shortage last year as the pandemic began to take hold, but as restaurants sat empty, many restaurant suppliers kept busy by turning to smaller supply chains and direct-to-consumer (DTC) models and blossomed. As a result, there are now more places than ever to purchase your beef, pork, and poultry online.
We’ve been keeping a running list, an online compendium of sorts, of our favorite online meat purveyors we’ve tried, broken down by general brands, specialized brands, and those offering meal kits and “meatless meats” and other meat alternatives.
Depending on the type of meat you’re after, we have recommendations, from free-range antibiotic- and hormone-free free animals to products from large and less artisanal, but much more affordable, purveyors.
- Chicago Steak Company: If you don’t require grass-fed-and-finished, hormone-and-antibiotic-free beef, Chicago Steak Company offers certified USDA Prime or upper-1/3 USDA Choice beef, which as far as flavor goes, is tough to beat. If you want to step it up a bit, consider the American Wagyu, which isn’t quite like the Japanese Wagyu, but is noticeably more marbly than USDA. The assortments are generally the best deals on the site: look to the Chicago’s Best Seller, which comes with two filets, two strips, two sirloins, and two ribeyes. Right now as part of Insider Reviews’ Grill Week, you can save 17% off sitewide with code INSIDER17.
- Cooks Venture: Pasture-raised and antibiotic- and GMO-feed-free, Cooks Venture’s beef and chicken boxes are about as simplistic as meat delivery gets. There are only four main options (individually sealed whole chickens, various chicken parts, various beef parts, or a combination of chicken and beef) and a few add-ons like a tray of drumsticks or a couple of ribeye steaks. The heirloom chickens are the brand’s own breed, the cattle are grass-fed and -finished, and everything is pasture-raised in northwest Arkansas. Read more about its farms here. As part of Grill Week, take 20% off your order with code INSIDER.
- Crowd Cow: A subscription-based delivery service known for top-notch cuts of meat from livestock that lived the high life, Crowd Cow offers delicacies like Japanese Wagyu, organic and grass-fed American cattle, and on down to more pedestrian breeds, and works with multiple farms. You can read about the farms they partner with as you shop individual cuts. You’ll also find a variety of fresh and smoked fishes, predominantly from fishing cooperatives. Subscriptions start at $99 with free shipping and the company is currently offering a 5% discount on every shipment. Crowd Cow’s food all comes in compostable packaging and is 100% carbon-neutral. Crowd Cow works with small independent ranches, which you can read more about here. This week, save $15 on your first order from Crowd Cow with code GRILLWEEK15.
- Omaha Steaks: If you’re after meats from the good old US of A that received top marks from the USDA, look no further. Bison, ribs, roasts, veal, ham, and bacon; it’s all there. Through May 16, get four free top sirloins on orders $159+ when you shop through our link.
- Porter Road: Porter Road has all the basic meats, but while the steaks are great, we’re huge fans of the sausages and bacon. The brand hasn’t had any delays and plans on restocking regularly. Read more about its pasture-raising process in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania here. For Grill Week, save $20 off a first order of $100 or more with code INSIDER20.
- Pursuit Farms: If you’re looking to go all-out for the best of the best Wagyu beef you can get your mitts on right here in the US of A, Pursuit Farms sells it in both small packages and in bulk. You’ll pay a lot for meat of this quality, though maybe not as much as you’d expect, and it is, after all, the best beef we’ve sampled yet. What’s more is that there’s flat rate shipping (two-day, air) regardless of how much you order. Read more about Pursuit Farms’ process here. Use code BUSINESS10 for 10% off your order through May 16.
- Rastelli’s: This veteran New Jersey outpost sells responsibly-raised meat in single servings and in bulk. Boxes of different bundles and cuts of meat are available, but you can also subscribe to regular shipments with a 5% discount. Antibiotic, steroid, and hormone-free, you can read more about Rastelli’s sourcing here. Save $20 off your first purchase with code INSIDER through May 16.
- Thrive Market: Thrive Market is a subscription-based online superstore of sorts, selling certain things, like meat and seafood, in bulk. You won’t necessarily find the most outstanding quality on everything, but it is very well packaged and sourced on the more sustainable side. Read more about Thrive Market’s qualifications for their organic, GMO-free offerings here. Get 25% off your first order and a free gift when you join Thrive Market (1 year and 1 month memberships available) through our link.
General and specialty meat purveyors
- Belcampo: Balcampo sells all things beef, pork, and poultry out of a Northern California farm and butcherie. The animals at Belcampo have some 50,000 acres of free range and the meat is xertified humane. You can read more about Belcampo’s farms here.
- ButcherBox: While most meat subscription services offer pre-existing bundles, ButcherBox lets you curate and build a box yourself. The brand offers both pasture-raised meat and wild-caught seafood, and you can read more about its sourcing here.
- D’Artagnan: One of the earlier DTC meat distributors, D’Artagnan started out selling some of the first US-made foie gras to New York City chefs in 1985, but quickly branched out. Now the company offers specialty game birds, beef, veal, duck (from muscovy and moulard to Rohan duckling), truffles, charcuterie, and plenty more. D’Artagnan is our favorite pick for special occasions. Think pig roasts, and the over-the-top charcuterie platter of your dreams.
- FarmFoods Market: Farmfoods offers your everyday cuts of beef and pork like anywhere else, sure, but what you don’t get elsewhere is a carefully selected co-op of 14 farms and seafood outfits for the job. We sampled a wide range of seafood and meat from around the world, and, sure enough, everything came immaculately vacuum-sealed. We received a filet of wild Alaskan sockeye salmon from Wild Alaska Salmon and Seafood, a rack of free-range New Zealand lamb from Ovation, a pheasant-based cognac sausage from Chateau Royal, a pork chop from Redtop Farms, an Ossobucco from Fantasma’s Finest, and, well, you get the idea. Everything comes from a farm or fishing outfit that specializes in doing a few things just right. There’s also free shipping when you order over 10 pounds. Read more about the farms they work with here.
- Flannery Beef: Selling California Reserve and Midwestern (USDA) beef along with lamb and pork at very reasonable prices, Flannery offers affordable but flavorful cuts of beef. Our favorite is the Midwestern Hanger steak. That said, if you’re looking to buy organic, free-range beef from small co-ops who can tell you the name of the animal you’ll be dining on — which, yes, comes at a cost — look elsewhere.
- Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative: The Grass Roots Farmer’s Cooperative provides pasture-raised beef, pork, and poultry from a cooperative of families producing small batches of some of the highest-quality animal protein you can get your hands on. Read more about its farms here.
- Holy Grail Steaks: Very few meat purveyors in the United States offer Japanese Wagyu, but in addition to its US-raised beef, Holy Grail stocks several choice cuts of the rich, marbly stuff (though be aware that it rings in at top dollar).
- LaFrieda Meat Purveyors: LaFrieda Meat Purveyors sells beef (and veal), pork, poultry, and lamb directly on its own site and on Goldbelly. The three-generation-old New Jersey-based vendor is best known for its fresh and dry-aged cuts of USDA Prime Black Angus beef: bone-in rib and strip steaks, tomahawks, and burger patties made from short rib, brisket, and dry-aged beef.
- Maui Nui Venison: Axis deer were introduced to the Hawaiian islands over 150 years ago as a gift to King Kamehameha. Fast-forward, and as with many introduced species around the globe, their population numbers have become a problem. Fortunately, axis deer is some of the best-tasting venison on the planet, and Maui Nui has carved out a way to manage them as a resource, rather than an invasive species. We recommend the rib racks for something a little different. Read more about the farm here.
- Meat N’ Bone: Based in Florida, Meat N’ Bone offers everything from heartland-raised American Wagyu to specialty game and seafood, too. Think wild boar, elk, stone crab claws, hogfish, yellowtail snapper, and gulf shrimp.
- Silver Fern Farms: Silver Fern Farms offers 100% grass-fed, antibiotic-free New Zealand-raised beef, lamb, and venison. Everything arrives expertly vacuum-sealed and double-packaged, which lends everything from this brand to a long freezer life, free of freezer burn and spoilage. This is some of the best lamb we’ve ever tried. Read more about the farms here.
- Snake River Farms: Snake River Farms offers top-notch, responsibly produced meat, and it’s also available in bulk. The brand’s US-based Wagyu is an excellent — and much more affordable — alternative to Japanese Wagyu. SRF crafted its own Wagyu hybrid in the 1980s, and its entire process is performed in-house. Read more about Snake River Farms here.
- Sustainibeef: If you’re looking for wholesale beef from a small family farm, Sustainibeef offers a community-supported model that operates like a cooperative. You can either start a subscription or make a one-time purchase, and the offerings are simple: One 10-pound box of frozen cuts, or a half of a steer, butchered down and delivered in an included freezer chest. Read more about the fourth-generation family farm here.
- US Wellness Meats (AKA Grassland Beef): US Wellness offers all of your basic French cuts of beef, but all of the brand’s cattle are 100% (non-GMO) grass-fed and grass-finished, as well as antibiotic- and hormone-free. The most exciting thing about US Wellness Meats’ offerings, though, is the selection of bulk-size “primal cuts,” which range from around three to 15 pounds, and allow you to portion and cut your own steaks, sandwich meat, ribs, and more. We can also vouch for the brand’s lamb. Delivery has been on the slower side lately, with orders arriving about 10 days after they’re placed.
Meal kit delivery services come with everything you need to make delicious dishes at home — including any meat required for a certain recipe. It’ll be more expensive overall than buying meat and produce separately, but it’s a smart way to ensure you get all of your ingredients at once.
- Home Chef: Fresh, chef-designed meals based on your preferences (like calorie-conscious or vegetarian). Starting at $6.99 per serving.
- Blue Apron: Blue Apron offers well-balanced meals made from responsibly sourced ingredients. Meal kits start at $7.49 per serving.
- Goldbelly: Goldbelly facilitates deliveries to all 50 states (when and where possible) so that you can, for example, send Raoul’s Steak Au Poivre Kit or a meal kit from Cote Korean Steakhouse to your friends or family anywhere in the greater US. Note that some merchants are experiencing delays on an individual basis.
- Sun Basket: Sun Basket offers sustainably-sourced meals, three ways: oven-ready, pre-prepped, and classic (meaning the prepping and cooking is up to you). Starting at $10.99 per serving. Deliveries might be delayed according to this Covid-19 update.
- HelloFresh: A box of high-quality, fresh ingredients shipped directly to you from the farm for $7.49 per serving. The brand also offers flexible meal plans so you can skip a week here and there, as well as swap recipes. HelloFresh hasn’t reported shortages or slow-downs, but according to its Covid-19 update, you’ll receive an email if there are any issues with your order.
- Dinnerly: “Unfussy and affordable” weekday meals are what Dinnerly advertises, and that description is spot-on: at $4.49 per serving, it’s the most budget-friendly meal plan or kit we’ve found yet. According to the brand’s most recent Covid-19 update, your delivery date might shift depending on where you live.
Non-meat meat delivery options
If sustainability is on your mind, you’re thinking of transitioning to a more plant-based diet, or members of your household are vegetarian or vegan, you might want to consider signing up for a non-meat meal kit service, too. At the very least, you’ll have backup options for dinner if you do run into meat delivery issues at some point.
- Beyond Meat: Beyond Meat has done an outstanding job of using plant-based ingredients to replicate beef. The brand also offers vegetarian takes on sausages, breakfast sausages, and ground beef, and you can expect to see more soon.
- Blue Apron: Blue Apron also offers vegan and vegetarian meals, including some featuring the Beyond Meat burger. Meal kits start at $7.49 per serving.
- Dr. Praeger’s Purely Sensible Foods: This is one of the early birds of vegetarian and vegan prepared foods: Veggie burgers, tenders, patties, etc. Just note: The seafood DOES contain seafood.
- Meatless Farms: Meatless Farms is one of those brands offering meatless meat in all its various forms, ready to cook and be swapped in for whatever meat for which a recipe calls. We really like its veggie burgers.
- Morningstar Foods: Another early player in plant-based meat substitutions, Morningstar has long been popular for its black bean burgers. Faux chicken, hot dogs, and veggie takes on meat-heavy appetizers are all on offer.
- Purple Carrot: Purple Carrot offers healthful, plant-based meal kits starting at about $9.99 per serving. Options include protein-rich and carb-rich dishes.
Check out our other grilling guides