Update as of December 19, 2019 to reflect a change in my opinion about the Butcher Box meat delivery subscription. I am no longer recommending Butcher Box due to my experience in a change in product quality, customer service and messages I have received from others who have shared their similar experiences with me.
My sincere apologies to anyone who had read this review and ended up having a negative experience with Butcher Box.
I am leaving most of the information from this original post in place as it does have valuable information for someone who is considering trying out Butcher Box for themselves.
I really really did love Butcher Box until things seemed to go downhill later in 2018 in terms of quality and attention to detail. The biggest reason I loved Butcher Box so much was because the meats just tasted so darn good.
Below are the main reasons I am no longer ordering from Butcher Box.
1. Damaged Packages
- I had received multiple shipments where the vacuum-sealed meat packages had what looked like box cutter slashes in them.
- Others were just not sealed correctly and would be flooded with water when being defrosted.
Since they weren't sealed, there was no way we were going to consume them.
Not every vacuum-sealed piece of meat was like this, but started happening with every shipment and multiple pieces of meat.
I would have to submit an issue request to their customer service and the remedy was just to add a replacement to the next shipment rather than refund money for the damaged meat.
Not only is this inconvenient, but it is a waste of food and an animal's life.
2. Quality of the Meats
- The meats started tasting not as good. When I would defrost a steak or ground beef, there was so much liquid that would come out of the package that what was left was grey-looking meat and just didn't seem right and the result was tough meat. I went from being wowed by the flavors to being super disappointed when I would defrost something. Since I create recipes on this website, I stopped being able to use their products for photo shoots because they no longer looked as good.
3. Sloppy Butchering
- Possibly related to #2, but I started receiving cuts of meat that were just sloppy. A 2 pack fo filet mignons were cut the wrong way and didn't even resemble a filet. Other cuts like pork shoulder were sloppy and didn't cook well. It wasn't just pork shoulder cut in half, but it was like a mangled piece of pork shoulder.
4. Customer Service
- This is mostly from people reaching out to me saying they had bad experiences with customer service. Not that I have been totally impressed with it, but I haven't personally experienced anything terrible. People have said that it has been tough to get refunds when whole boxes were thawed, it has been difficult to cancel, etc. Again, the customer service complaints have mostly come from others emailing me about it and not my actual experience.
These are the 4 biggest issues to me because you are paying a premium for "quality," and when that is not delivered upon, we have the choice to take our business elsewhere to someone who delivers upon the promise.
It's important to note that we never got sick from any meat we ever consumed from Butcher Box (and I have never heard of anyone else getting food poisoning from their products).
I also haven't used Butcher Box for many months, so there's of course a chance that they have fixed their issues by now.
I also have no insight into the company as to what might have changed. My guess is that they grew too fast and the quality of the products and the customer service has suffered. I hope they are able to turn things around because there is a lot of potential for good, as they have done in the past.
Full disclosure: I tried Butcher Box, loved it (at the time), and want to share my experience and some special savings with you so I became an affiliate where I receive a small commission if you sign up.
Butcher Box first caught my interest because it is different from the full meal subscription boxes I've seen and tried in the past. Instead of receiving all the ingredients and a recipe for the entire meal; Butcher Box delivers just the protein right to your doorstep that you use in whatever recipe you wish.
What is Butcher Box?
Butcher Box is a meat distributor that connects local farms and coops to distribute and deliver high-quality grass-fed beef, heritage pork, organic free-range chicken and wild Alaskan salmon to your front doorstep. All of their animals are humanely raised and free of antibiotics and hormones.
Who is Butcher Box for?
- Those who really care about the quality and taste of their proteins.
- Those who want to save time by having their food arrive on their doorstep without having to go shop for it.
- If grass-fed beef, heritage pork and organic free-range chicken aren't available locally.
- You love to come up with your own dishes instead of having the entire meal and recipe delivered.
Butcher Box Ordering Options
Butcher Box has a total of 5 box options to choose from when you order. There are 4 curated box options as well as an option to create a custom box. When you go through the ordering process, you have quite a few ways to customize your box.
Each of the 5 options can come in a regular (classic) size and a big box size. The weight of the contents depends on which you order. There are also lots of "add-ons" that can be placed in the box along with monthly specials that are available.
You will have a choice between a mix of beef, pork, chicken, and other add-ons for special cuts such as salmon, lamb, and turkey (depending on the season and availability).
A custom box allows you to choose exactly what goes into your Butcher Box from the 20 different cuts of beef, pork
If you can source organic free-range chicken locally for cheaper than it is with Butcher Box, it might be worth getting a beef and pork combination box without the chicken, for example.
You can choose between a monthly or a bi-monthly subscription. You will have the option to delay or change the frequency of your subscription at any time (which will go into
How much does Butcher Box cost?
The classic size mixed box is $129. The classic box includes 8 to 11 pounds of meat which equals out to 24 meals.
The big box is $238 and includes 16 to 22 pounds of meat, equaling 48 meals.
This might sound really expensive. But chances are you are already spending that much or more on meat at the grocery store, and the quality is probably much lower than that of Butcher Box meat.
The big box option comes out to less than $5 per 6oz portion.
What you get in a Butcher Box.
The classic size mixed box changes each month. Last month's box included:
- 2lbs of grass-fed ground beef
- 2 grass-fed New York Strip Steaks
- 4 grass-fed Top Sirloin Steaks
- 1lb of Whole Heritage Pork Tenderloin
- 3lbs of Free-Range Organic Chicken Breasts
Is Butcher Box worth it?
Butcher Box isn't cheap, so this is a great question to ask, and one I asked myself. While it is more expensive, just based on taste and convenience alone,
it is totally worth it.
Years ago I was all about seeing how big of a piece of meat I could get for the cheapest price. Sure, it would taste okay (maybe not so much) but it would fill me up. More recently I have been all about less but better, and have been so much happier since changing to that attitude.
Knowing you are eating quality humanely raised animals that taste so much better makes the difference. From seafood to produce, I would rather eat a little less but way better ingredients. Not only is this usually healthier, but eating quality often means it has more nutrition, so you need less of it to give your body what it needs.
The Value of Butcher Box
The real value of Butcher Box comes in when you add in your time.
You are paying for quality and convenience. If you are buying high-quality proteins, you are probably having to shop at multiple stores. The time it takes to decide what to add to your shopping list, driving to the store and shopping really adds up quickly. This is all eliminated when you get Butcher Box delivered to your doorstep.
It's all about the convenience
I really don't mind going to the grocery store, it can actually be fun and inspiring when not in a hurry. I've found it much more fun to go out to the store for all the veggies and sides rather than the main ingredient.
Butcher Box helps simplify your life
When you subscribe for a mixed box; they decide for you what you will be eating that month (or you can decide with a custom box), which is a bit freeing in a way. It takes another decision out of the way so you can focus on something else that's important in your life.
A few Negatives to Butcher Box
As much as I have loved Butcher Box so far, there are a few negatives that I have experienced. They definitely aren't deal breakers, but I just want to let you know about them.
- The packaging - There is quite a bit of packaging that is included to keep the meat frozen during transportation. It's a large very sturdy box with an inner box encased with compostable packaging popcorn. The popcorn is loose in the box and is a bit of a hassle to deal with if you don't have a compost bin to simply dump it in. It can also be put in the sink and disintegrates when it comes in contact with water.
- Meat can arrive with damaged packaging. While this doesn't happen often, I have experienced the vacuum sealed packaging being unsealed upon delivery. They do make it easy to either get a credit to your account or add a replacement to your next order if this ever happens. Even if they replace it, it is still a waste of food that could have been eaten.
- Depending on how much meat you eat, the box you order can have too much or too little for your needs. They have multiple plan options to make it work for you. We switched our box delivery frequency to every other month since we don't eat meat every day.
Would I re-order Butcher Box?
The answer is
Update as of December 2019: Unfortunately, I am no longer able to recommend or give a positive review of Butcher Box due to changes in more recent negative experiences.
5 Benefits of Butcher Box (why to love it)
- All of the meat is extremely high-quality.
- The taste is exceptional!
- Convenience. It's waiting right there in the freezer when you need it that night or when planning out meals for the week/month.
- It saves you shopping time since it arrives right on your doorstep.
- Helps reduce food waste. When your protein is in the freezer; you simply take it out that day or the day before you are going to cook it. Buying non-frozen proteins that you are planning on consuming at a later date can end up expiring and being wasted.
- Hidden benefit: Butcher Box can actually save you money!!! By going to the store less often (specifically Costco), you are much less likely to impulse buy and will end up spending less and wasting less. Think about that benefit for a sec. It's pretty powerful.
When it comes down to it; Butcher Box is really about the convenience of quality. If you love the best tasting proteins that are delivered right to your doorstep and are waiting for you in your freezer, then you should definitely give Butcher Box a try.
Butcher Box was great when I first tried it at the end of 2019 and first half of 2019, but it has gone downhill both in terms of the product quality their customer service. I am no longer recommending Butcher Box to anyone.
I am currently in search of a new exceptional meat delivery subscription service that I can recommend.