Why Getting Meat Delivered Is a Great Idea Even Once the Pandemic Is Over
The hardships of the past year have had a positive outcome: We are all far more creative about how we source our food. From getting really into cooking at home from scratch, to meal kits from our favorite chefs and restaurants, to figuring out how to get supplies directly to our doors to keep us safe, we have all found the resources that work best for our lives and the way we cook and eat.
For many, sourcing great meat was a challenge, especially if you were someone who relies on a local independent butcher, or really want to be sure to get meats that are organic or sustainably raised. Finding terrific mail-order meats felt like a major win this year, and I have to say, while I will certainly be excited to return to in-person visits to my butcher, I think there are a lot of things I will continue to source online. From offering specialty cuts to convenient freezer stock-ups, a lot of online meat purveyors also offer free shipping, and their per-pound pricing is comparable or even less than your local market.
Here are my 6 top online meat shippers, with something for everyone!
This source for humanely raised organic beef, poultry, pork, and lamb was new to me, but I'm a fan for life. Belcampo has a great variety of products, which includes some prepared items like meatballs and carnitas in addition to the raw cuts. And while they have amazing classics for you like strip steaks and pork chops, they also have some specialty cuts that are hard to source locally, like the Brazilian style picanha cut (think Brazilian steak house skewers with those u-shaped steaks), and bavette, one of my personal favorite cuts for summer grilling.
Another new-to-me company, Butcherbox is a subscription service that is super customizable and very flexible, so you can adapt it to the way you cook and eat with the number of people in your household. Boxes can include beef, pork, and chicken products, and can be pre-selected mixes or your own custom blend. Each box contains between 9-14 pounds of meats, and averages less than $5.40 per serving, which is no more expensive than you would pay for premium meats at the market. I love their thick cut pork chops and New York strip steaks.
I have been a longtime customer of D'Artagnan, especially for poultry. Their Green Circle product line is certified humane free-range, so their chicken and turkey actually taste like chicken and turkey. And they are my preferred source for duck and other fun specialty birds like goose for Christmas, or game birds like pheasant and quail.
If you want that premium Wagyu experience, but for a price point that makes it manageable, look no further than Vermont Wagyu. Here, Wagyu cows are naturally raised on grass and finished on grain with no GMO products, for a meat that is beautifully tender and marbled, with deep, beefy flavor. Whether you want to up the game on your summer burgers with their ground, try their full range of steaks and roasts, or even enjoy some of their house made sausages, their products are delicious. You can buy a la carte for specific cuts or stock up your freezer with one of their affordable bundles.
You might think that this classic brand is just for holiday gifting for the boss but think again. Omaha Steaks can supply you with all the basics you know them for. Me, I love the king cuts. These supersized cuts are made for sharing and make quite the statement on a platter. My faves are the 48-ounce bone-in ribeye (the perfect prime rib for four) and the 48-ounce T-bone (ideal if you want to grill a traditional bistecca alla fiorentina). They also have a 72-ounce top sirloin, which will serve a whole party!
If you don't know much about venison, it is time to learn. This healthy, lean meat does not have to be scary or gamy. Even better? Maui Nui is culling the Axis deer in Hawaii, which can be invasive, so not only are their products organic and sustainable, but they are also actually helping to balance the ecosystems of the islands (if left unchecked, the deer pose a threat to natural resources). Venison tastes like a combination of beef and mild lamb, and your box will include a combination of stew meat, ground venison (great for burgers and chili), and either a rack (similar to rack of lamb) or striploin. They also make delicious snacks like sausage sticks and bars, and even have all-natural dog treats, chews, and antlers for your pups.