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If you’re anything like me, your environmentalist soul screams no in the meat aisle, but your YOLO spirit says…well…YOLO.
*drops meat package in the cart*
For years, this was my constant soul-wrenching dilemma whilst grocery shopping. It wasn’t until I started learning about organic and regenerative farming that I learned that not all in the meat industry are the earth-pollutin’, animal-abusin’ villain I learned them to be.
In fact, animal agriculture, if done well and right, can actually regenerate our soils and help REVERSE climate change!
That’s why I jumped on the chance to try out ButcherBox, the biggest certified B Corp meat company that is making it their mission to make organic, responsibly-raised meats more accessible to consumers across the country.
With their high standards for animal welfare and environmental impact, ButcherBox is making it easy for meat-loving environmentalists to have their meat and eat it too, all without ever having to leave the house!
Let’s chew over your subscription to this meat delivery service with this complete ButcherBox review!
Complete ButcherBox Review
What is ButcherBox?
ButcherBox is a subscription-based sustainable meat delivery service on a mission to make ethically-raised meat more accessible. ButcherBox sources its sustainable meats from the US, Canada, and Australia and delivers them frozen to your door in curated or customized boxes.
This isn’t just any meat delivery subscription service. As a certified B Corp, ButcherBox is dedicated to upholding the highest standards for environmental impact, animal welfare, and worker’s rights (learn more about BB’s mission & impact below). You can think of them as sustainable meat middlemen, connecting organic and responsible ranchers and companies directly to the consumer.
How Does ButcherBox Work?
Let’s cut to it—first, customize your box with the amount and kinds of meat you want, set the frequency of your subscription, ‘n place your order. (Check out our guide down below about which plan is best for you!)
Within 3-7 days, you’ll get a box of freshly frozen, high-quality meat delivered right to your door. Choose which meats you want to try first and get thawing!
Next, put on your chef hat and start searing, barbecuing, roasting, browning, broiling…you get the picture.
Each box and how often you get it is completely customizable before the next billing date. Add some wild-caught salmon or any of their other awesome deals to your next box, or even try a smaller, bigger, or a different box altogether. Skip a month, push back a week, and change the frequency of your subscription at no extra cost!
Our Experience with ButcherBox
Now for the meaty part!
I’ll take you step-by-step on my experience with the ButcherBox service, from the online order to the kitchen table, for an inside look at meat delivery subscription service.
Let’s dig into the details on why these B Corp grass-fed beef dealers have wooed this South Texan, meat-loving heart of mine.
Shopping & Website Experience
Immediately upon landing on the ButcherBox homepage, I was welcomed with a pop-up promotion offering free grass-fed ground beef for the lifetime of my subscription. Maybe I’m a sucker for free things, but it seemed like this relationship was off to a good start…
After signing in with my email, I was whisked off to select my box. I flirted with the Customized Box and perused the 24 meat options available to me with a prompt to choose 6 cuts (this, is the Classic Box — more on the different plans, below).
The selections of meat and seafood are laid out in a simple format with pictures, descriptions, weight/quantities, and even some suggestions for cooking. Here you can click to your heart’s content, exploring and picking your options. All of my usual go-to meat selections were available, from steaks to chicken breast to fresh salmon filets.
But since I don’t like to play favorites and because I love a good surprise, I choose the smaller Classic Curated Box for my family of two.
As I’m reviewing the details of my order-BAM! Pop-up! Do I want a free ButcherBox bacon? Aha need you even ask?!
All in all, a mixed Classic Box, ground beef, and bacon for a total of 129 buckaroos. And FREE delivery. It felt like a good deal from the start, all without having to venture to the grocery store.
Shipping & Delivery
Immediately, I got two welcome emails, one inviting me to join the exclusive member-only ButcherBox Community and the other confirming my order. I’m told that my package should arrive between 3-7 days and to be on the lookout for an email with my tracking details.
Sure enough, the next day I get word that my package has shipped, and included is an easy-to-follow tracking link. Along with that email are some extra deets about the delivery, some really great FAQs, and resources about how to handle frozen meats and dry ice.
You must be available to retrieve your delivery within 6-8 hours of it being delivered to ensure that all your meat and seafood remains at safe temperatures. What did this mean for me? Putting my email push notifications back on my phone. You could, conversely, monitor your email like a hawk on the hunt.
To my delight, three days after my order was placed, I was alerted my box had been delivered and sure enough, there it was in all its glory on my porch!
I excitedly brought the huge box o’meat into our kitchen and started digging in. I was so psyched to see the cardboard box and cardboard, no-plastic insulation and packaging!
I didn’t have any dry ice in my box which made sense since it was only coming from Dallas, a 5-hour drive away, so no hang-ups there. Still, there are detailed instructions on how to handle this right on the packaging itself if needed.
All the better, all my meat was perfectly frozen and all the vacuum-sealed packaging intact!
Meat’s Back on the Menu, Boys!
(Any Lord of the Rings fans out there!? 👈 👈 👀 🤷🏽♀️)
As I said, I’m a huge fan of surprises, especially when they’re edible, so unveiling my curated meat selection was a delightful collection of ooos and ahs.
Not only was I blown away by the cuts that were given to us—2 strip sirloins, a gorgeous 1+ pounder top sirloin cap, 3 packages of chicken breasts, 1 package of bacon, 2 pork loin chops, and 4 packages of ground beef—I was also so impressed the seemingly never-ending amount of it!
The best part of the whole thing? All the beef was 100% grass-fed and grass-finished, the chicken, organic and free-range, and the pork was pasture-raised and heritage-bred.
Knowing that this meat came from responsible ranchers and companies made this surplus of meat feel like an even better deal!
A Meaty Review
Hands down, one of the best things about ethically sourced meat is the exceptional quality and taste.
But, before I jump into a review of the taste and quality of ButcherBox meats, I think it’s appropriate to preface with a bit of information about how I’m coming to the table.
I am no chef (not professionally, in the least), but I am a native Texan, farmer, and environmentalist. I applaud those strong enough to take on a vegan or vegetarian diet, but I have become comfortable in the fact that I am just not one of those people.
Eating meat is a huge part of life here in Texas, especially in my family. My grandfather opened his butchery/Mexican deli in the southside of San Antonio in 1975, and my family to this day still owns and operates it.
I still haven’t found ribs that rival my grandpa’s or a better steak than my brothers’. Be it my South-Texan upbringing, my brothers’ world-class BBQing, or the family business, I know and I love meat.
This is why my environmentalist path has led me to seek out sustainable and regenerative options as a rule, and why I was so excited to give my ButcherBox meats a try.
The ButcherBox Chicken
First to defrost was a couple of packages of the free-range, organic chicken breasts. Classic.
With little to no sinew or connective tissues to deal with, I just sliced, marinated, and seared the breast.
To be honest, the texture on the first package of chicken was a bit off, like it had been waterlogged. I’ve had this experience before after freezing store-bought chicken. The change in texture is a result of being frozen, thawed, and then frozen again.
The second package had none of this. It was a great texture, plump and juicy like well-cooked chicken should be. Both packages soaked up the marinade fine and tasted like—well…chicken.
I popped these babies in the oven and out came the. PERFECT. bacon.
Seriously cannot hype the bacon up more.
Perfectly distributed meat to fat ratio, just the right amount of saltiness, and that world-transcending bacony flavor and crisp. Muah!
I passed them out to my brother, husband, and parents, and all were happy customers. This family-approved bacon is a must!
For those of you who don’t know, you should definitely try baking your bacon. It’s the easiest way to get evenly cooked, perfectly crispy without risking ruining your clothes or eyesight.
Line ‘em up on a cookie sheet and put them in a 400 degrees oven for 5-10 minutes on each side. Tip on a tip, if you’re into using foil, reuse it in another recipe to add some extra bacon flavored goodness.
ButcherBox Ground Beef
Give a Texan ground beef, they’re sure to make chili…or at least that’s what I did.
This 100% grass-fed ground beef is much leaner than what you usually find on grocery shelves, which was a welcomed and healthy feature for me. No need to drain fat, but it still had plenty of beefy flavor!
Plus, once refrigerated, this ground beef didn’t form any of that neon orange (why?!) fat congeal common with even lean conventional ground beef.
My only regret was not leaving more big chunks as I broke up the meat because the texture and flavor of the ground meat was A++
Next order up, steak!! We rarely indulge in a steak night, so this was a real treat! (A great reason to try out the Curated Box is that it livens up your routine!)
Let me start by saying that to over-cook a steak or to order anything over a medium-rare is blashemphy where I come from and steak sauce–an insult.
So I am utterly ashamed to admit it, but I over-cooked these babies (which is why they’re not pictured). 😖
And yet, to my surprise and delight, even at a medium cook, these steaks were tender and maintained a lovely bite. Even with less marbling as conventionally produced strip sirloins, the 100% grass-fed & finished meat was decadent and full of the umami wonder that elicits closed eyes and pure enjoyment.
If you are unfamiliar with how to cook & prepare any of the cuts of meat you receive, have no fear! Grow Ensemble’s Founder, Cory, recommends ButcherBox’s YouTube channel as a friendly resource that offers step-by-step recipes and cooking tutorials.
Just search for your cut!
Pros, Cons, & Takeaways of ButcherBox
- Guaranteed sustainably-sourced meat
- Conveniently shipped, on-time delivery
- As a B Corp, you know there are no cut-corners
- Delicious, high-quality meat
- Completely customizable boxes and flexible subscriptions make for an easy customer experience
- Wide variety of cut selections
- Competitive prices
- Great recipe and cooking tutorials through their blog and YouTube channel.
- Need to be home within 8 hours of delivery to ensure your meat is still at healthy temps
- Occasional holes in packaging have been reported, might leak in the fridge when thawing!
- Some planning ahead is needed
Is ButcherBox Worth The Money? (Is ButcherBox a Good Deal?)
Yes! I LOVE my ButcherBox subscription!
Not only was the ButcherBox user interface very navigable and ordering, shipping, and delivery, a breeze, the meat was singingly delicious and all top restaurant-quality. It’s definitely worth a try!
Even the numbers say yes! Let’s break it down.
At my local farmers market, I usually pay about $8 for a (~1 lb) package of grass-fed ground beef, $20-$60 for any grass-fed steaks/higher quality cuts of meat, $6-$15 for select cuts of free-range or organic chicken, $10-20 for a package of bacon, and $14+/lb for select heritage breed pork cuts.
Dividing up the cost between each package(1-2 lbs each) of meat equally in my first ButcherBox, it totaled up at about $10 per package. Not only does this run about the same as my farmer’s market prices, in a lot of cases, but it’s also incredibly cheaper!
Can you imagine picking up a top sirloin cap for just $10?! Just. doesn’t. exist, not even in the conventional meat world!
Mind you, my box did include some freebies, but even searching around the add-ons, member deals, and customized options, the meat prices stay very competitive with their sustainable meat counterparts you’d find at a grocery shop or farmers markets.
Again, add free shipping right to your doorstep, member perks, and flexible subscription options, you really can’t go wrong.
The convergence of sustainability, convenience, quality, and price makes ButcherBox score high on the should-I-do-it scale.
ButcherBox offers premium quality meats, so they are on par with what you might find in various grocery stores. However, you can subtract the inconvenience of getting there, deciding what to get, and sometimes, paying even more (looking at you Whole Foods).
There’s nothing that tastes better than sustainability! With ethical sourcing as a standard practice, ButcherBox meat is as high-quality and low-impact as meat can be. Add free delivery and there’s not much more you can ask from a meat delivery service.
With flexible subscription options, there are all sorts of ways to make ButcherBox service work for you and your family’s needs so that you can have a sustainable dinner on a budget.
Just be sure to give clear instructions, be there at delivery, and use any packages with holes first!
How Much Does Butcher Box cost? (What’s the Price Per Meal?)
ButcherBox generally costs about $5 per serving of meat or about $10-$16 per pound on average.
What Comes with my subscription?
Not only will you have easy access to high-quality meat on a regular basis, but you’ll also be invited to join the exclusive ButcherBox Community where you can connect with other customers, swap recipes, get recent updates and VIP support, and join live events with their in-house chefs.
Members also get access to their member-only deals and bundles, like their Game-Day Bundle, lobster tails, or the 5 pack of bacon for $30 (because, BACON!).
Also as a member, be sure to check out their chef-crafted recipes on their Just Cook Blog for yummy ideas to take outside the box.
Where is ButcherBox Meat From?
Most of their grass-fed, grass-finished beef is from Australia, and their heritage breed pork and free-range, organic chicken come from both the US and Canada. Other specialty items like their wild-caught salmon, lamb, bison, and turkey all come from the US.
No matter where it’s from, you can trust that ButcherBox sources only from ranches and companies with high standards for animal welfare and sustainability. All their meat is guaranteed humanely raised and butchered, their seafood sustainably caught, and there are never any antibiotics or added hormones.
Find a list of their partner farms here to learn more about their practices and certifications.
Can You Cancel ButcherBox at Any Time?
ButcherBox is a month-to-month subscription. Cancel anytime before your next billing date!
Can You Skip Months with ButcherBox?
Yes-sir-ee! As long as you’re changing your box settings before your next billing date, you can skip and move the date of your next delivery.
How Fast Does ButcherBox Ship?
I was told to expect my box 3-7 days after I placed my order. To my delight, I received my box 3 days after ordering it.
The ButcherBox Plans: Which One is For You?
There are basically two options at ButcherBox: a Curated Box or a Custom Box. Each of these options comes in two sizes: Classic or Big.
Finding the right box for you will depend on a lot of different factors—How many people are you feeding? How often do you eat meat? What is the frequency of your subscription? How much freezer space do you have? How much do you love bacon?
Bacon aside, let’s get into the details of each box to find out which is right for you.
A Curated Box is a mix of pre-selected cuts of meat. While you can always add on other selections, the core of this box is preset, meaning there’s no subbing or way of knowing which cuts of meat you’ll get.
The Curated Box is an excellent way to try new cuts and explore more recipes. (Discovering which meats were sent to me was one of my favorite parts about the ButcherBox experience!)
There are many options within the Curated Box. You can choose from:
- Mixed Box (which include Beef, Pork, and Chicken)
- Beef & Chicken
- Beef & Pork
- All Beef
Now, which size?
Classic Curated Box
The Classic Curated Box goes for $129 and includes about 8-11lbs of meat, or roughly 24 servings. This is recommended for individuals, small families, or those with limited freezer space.
Big Curated Box
Their Big Curated Box runs at $238 per box and includes 16-22 lbs of meat, or roughly 48 servings. This is the box for you if you’re a meat-three-times-a-day kind of person, have a deep freezer, or have more mouths to feed.
Their Custom Box runs slightly larger (20% more meat than their Curated Boxes) and a bit more expensive. With this option, you can completely hand-select what is included.
Create your perfect box by choosing from more than 25 high-quality cuts of 100% grass-fed beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage-breed pork, and wild-caught seafood. They’ve got the classics like ground beef, chicken breast, filet mignon, and bacon, and cuts for the more experienced chef like sirloin cap or bone-in pork butt.
Be sure to mix it up! Getting a straight order of ground beef and drumsticks might not be the best way to get the best bang for your buck if you’re catching my drift.
Custom Boxes are for those who’ve got their routine down, know what they like, and have nailed their crowd-pleaser recipes. Now it’s just a matter of choosing the size…
Classic Custom Box
For $149, you can select 6 cuts with a Classic Custom box and it’ll get you about 9-14lbs of meat. Again, going Classic is best for individuals and small families, and freezers.
Big Custom Box
For $270, you can select 12 cuts of meat and it’ll total between 18-26 lbs. Going with the big box, of course, best for big appetites, big families, and big freezers.
No Sweat, Change as You Go!
The good news here is that no matter which box you go for, there is always the possibility of adding add-ons, so if there is something you’ve been craving or want more of, you can always add it to your box!
Some more good news is that you can change the type or size of your box at any time, with no extra fee. You can ALSO change the frequency of your subscription to come every 2,4,6, or 8 weeks or even change your next billing/delivery date!
So if it’s too much or too little, adjust when needed! This is one of the best features of the ButcherBox membership—you can completely tailor it to your needs, your budget, and your tastebuds!
Other ButcherBox Reviews Online
Most of the reviews I read through couldn’t rave enough about the value, quality, and service of ButcherBox, but the reviews were not without some common critiques.
Some of the most repeated complaints were about packaging and shipping. I can imagine when shipping frozen, very temp-sensitive items on dry ice and in low-waste packaging, there are bound to be some issues. 🤷🏽♀️
ButcherBox: Impact & Mission
ButcherBox was started in 2015 with a mission to make grass-fed beef and humanely-raised meats more accessible to the average consumer. As a certified B Corp, ButcherBox has since expanded its mission to raise standards across the meat and food industries. At every step of its operations, ButcherBox is ensuring the protection of its employees, farmers, animals, and the planet through its rigorous B Corp reporting.
They use ethical sourcing practices to select humanely-raised meats free of hormones and antibiotics from sustainable farms and fisheries. So you know you’re getting a high-quality product that’s better for your body, the animals, and the planet.
Benefits of Sustainable Meat
Meat isn’t just big business, it’s HUMONGOUS! With global totals reaching $2 trillion annually, there is no doubt that animal agriculture has a huge effect on climate change, livelihoods, and community health.
Let’s go over some of the most important reasons to go sustainable when it comes to buying meat.
For the Earth
The industrial feed-lots that the majority of meat is produced are horrible for the environment. Not only do the animal-packed yards strip away healthy soil and increase erosion, factory farms are also one of the biggest culprits of waterway pollution and emitter of greenhouse gases.
Pasture-raised meat is waaaay better for the soil, water sources, and the climate in general. In fact, animal integration is one of the key tenants of the regenerative organic agriculture movement that seeks to restore soil and sequester carbon. Yes, you heard me correctly. Well-managed, pasture-raised animals can help sequester carbon from the atmosphere and into the soil. With this in mind, many experts agree that regenerative animal agriculture, and agriculture in general, must be the future of farming.
For the Animal
To put it simply, humanely-raised animals live far healthier and happier lives than animals in industrial feedlots and barns. They are allowed to eat what they’re evolved to eat and have the space to move freely, which leads to a lot fewer health problems.
In their more natural habitat, they can carry out their natural behaviors, feel less stressed, and do not have to rely on antibiotics and hormones to keep healthy.
ButcherBox uses partners certified with the Global Animal Partnership (GAP) and who have integrated various humane practices inspired by Dr. Temple Grandin, a global leader at the Humane Farm Animal Care Program.
For the Community
The modern meat industry has been rife with worker rights violations and health and safety hazards since its inception (thanks Upton for the heads up…not that it’s made much difference).
Recently Covid-19 highlighted the devastating abuses meat companies expose their workers to on a daily basis, from lack of adequate break time, little to no health or work benefits, low pay, and grueling work tasks and quotas.
Boycotting the industrial meat industry is one way to show your solidarity with workers. Another important way is by supporting the family farms, slaughterhouses, and companies who are shining examples of fair and dignified working practices (a-hem! Like this B Corp!).
For your Health
Oftentimes, due to genetics and environmental factors such as diet, pasture-raised, heritage-bred animals are far leaner than their factory-fed counterparts. A better, more natural diet means that the meat is more densely packed with essential vitamins and nutrients and has fewer fats and saturated fats than conventional meat.
Another certified B Corp, Thrive Market is a one-stop-shop for all your grocery and household needs.
Choose from a range of grass-fed, responsibly-raised, sustainably-caught, direct-from-the-farmer, you-name-it, high-quality meat and seafood in your next order.
With options to order à la carte or to build your own box or bundle, the meat possibilities are many!
A similar service to ButcherBox, Moink sources its meat from US farms that embrace ethical ranching practices and delivers it directly to your door.
Order in a standard size, but completely customize your box with more than 27 cuts of high-quality, ethical meat with this service.
Your Local Rancher
Along with composting and investing in reusables, visiting your local farmer’s markets is one of the best ways to integrate sustainability into your everyday routine.
You’ll save the earth the cost of transport and help support local, small farmers practice their sustainable, soil-saving, animal-loving ways.
Be sure to talk with your farmers! Some will let you buy a whole cow or pig wholesale, so you can divvy the meat between your friends or family. This can often be the most cost-saving, sustainable way to buy your meat. Might be a time to invest in a deep freezer!
Don’t stop at meat, make your whole diet sustainable! Be sure to check out some more of our other favorite sustainable food and beverage companies!
Conclusion: ButcherBox for Better Meat
I know firsthand that it’s hard to always make it to the farmer’s market or the specific grocery shop I know will have sustainable options available. Most of us live very busy lives!
I imagine we’ve all had a case of the meat guilts after we give in to buying lower quality meats for the sheer convenience and availability of it. Who can judge?
I have found ButcherBox to be a great way to supplement or replace my meat buying habits and help guarantee that the meat I consume is on par with my environmental and social values. And to me, that peace of mind is just invaluable.
Better meat from a better-for-the-world company? What’s not to love?!
Let us know about your experience with ButcherBox in the comment section below!
Grow Ensemble Contributor
Alma Rominger is an educator and farmer passionate about regenerative agriculture, composting, gardening for mental health, and outdoor education.
Alma believes that the health of the earth and the health of its people are intrinsically connected and has spent her entire career advocating for both. She currently specializes in Bokashi composting systems and soil ecology through her work with Compost Queens, a women-owned community composting company based in the San Antonio area.