Data presented by the BBC in February 2019 points to a correlation between meat consumption and wealth. Beef Magazine asked two times in 2014 if beef was on the road to becoming a luxury item. When the pandemic ravaged the world throughout 2020, beef was one of the many pleasures consumers opted to forgo. Great cuts started feeling like an endangered species.
Until the internet stepped in.
Online grocery delivery services have been proliferating over the past decade as every area of shopping has tread its avid track to the digital sphere. Last year facilitated a massive consolidation in this direction. Perishable and best assessed with an informed eye, meat has held out, one of the last lagging industries to make its proliferation in the same fashion—save for Omaha Steak catalogues, which somehow harken to a fuzzy era of shag rugs and aspic.
After a hard year for the industry, characterized by supply shortages and labor concerns, great cuts are miraculously easier to come by than ever—at long last, they’re increasingly available at your doorstep. Specialty stores abound, enabling omnivores to order meat online at reasonable rates, from wide selections, with incredible reliability.
Bask in the pleasures of our modern era, and enjoy the extra time and peace of mind available when you buy meat online. More options means better choices and more freedom, ideally. From subscription boxes to a la carte offerings, from poultry to beef to seafood, different services have different specialties to sate different days in your appetite. We’ve filtered through them all to present you with our preferred cut of the best sites for great cuts of meat delivered to your door, always fresh. Bon appetit!
This Jersey-based staple leads the online meat industry, but their journey began with a late night donut run. Ray Rastelli, Jr. stopped by his favorite donut shop after a gig with his band and was surprised to find it closed. Entering maturity and seeking more security, Rastelli capitalized on the open space and took up his father’s profession, providing high quality meats to the residents of his small town. Today, Rastelli’s ships all manner of great cuts around the nation, and they remain family-owned.
Time and again, customers and publications cite Rastelli’s as the top pick for those curious about ordering meat online. From staples like steak and chicken to specialized offerings like bacon-wrapped scallops and lobster tail, Rastelli’s offers it all at a reasonable price. Rastelli’s certified organic cuts come free of antibiotics, hormones, and steroids. They also arive vacuum-sealed and blast frozen to optimize freshness, and will last in the fridge for a year. Try Rastelli’s if you’re just starting out and looking for a service you can count on.
In 2010, Porter Road co-founders James Peisker and Chris Carter met on Nashville’s savory food scene. After striking up a connection, the duo started their own catering business. When they noticed difficulties sourcing great cuts of meat they could consistently rely on, the two struck out on their own once more to solve the problem themselves. Thus, Porter Road began as their own go at a butcher shop that stood a cut above the rest.
In 2017, they took the show online. Though their endeavor has grown significantly since then to serve customers beyond their local community, Peisker and Carter regularly visit the farms they source from to ensure customers receive the greatest possible caliber of cuts. All of their offerings are still cut on-site at their proprietary Kentucky plant with the utmost care. Porter Road maintains their passion for high quality meat, sharing this love nationwide. Try the sausages and bacon—we hear they’re great!
The past few generations altered our human relationship to food dramatically, as FarmFoods notes on their website. While our grandparents may have known the county farmer who raised and slaughtered the butcher’s beef, history grows more complex, interconnected, a situation offering upsides (like online meat ordering) and downsides (dubious products of varying ethics and freshness.) FarmFoods works to make authenticity accessible by providing a downright impressive selection of great cuts of all types of meat at reasonable rates.
FarmFoods sources from multiple farms, each with their own niche of expertise. Customers can shop according to farm or meat type, and each meat category listed on their site offers a ‘value pack’ section at the top that leverages cost and quantity to produce the most bang for your buck. While they require a minimum order of $99 to ensure shipping stays efficient, the sheer amount of food that can be procured for this cost makes FarmFoods an excellent fit for the budget-conscious meat eater.
Subscription service Butcherbox prides themselves on three tenets: high-quality meat, unbeatable value, and complete flexibility. Offering beef, chicken, pork, and seafood, every one of the great cuts available through Butcherbox comes with the promise their grass fed and free range promise. Furthermore, buyers can schedule each delivery on their own time, cancel their monthly subscription whenever they like, and enjoy free shipping for it all!
Butcherbox offers their monthly boxes in five varieties to keep things simple for the consumer. Just choose from all beef, beef and chicken, beef and pork, or a mixed box with all three options. If these four choices don’t fit your needs, Butcherbox also allows subscribers to craft their own combination of the more than 25 cuts they’ve made available. While the subscription nature baked into Butcherbox’s model makes them a no-brainer for any busy carnivore, their greatest strength lies in value. Each box averages $129 per month, but with 8.5-11 pounds of meat in every classic-sized box, the total cost per serving never tops $5.50. Now that’s mouth watering!
GRASS ROOTS FARMERS COOPERATIVE
Ideally, the best way to ensure best practices lies in empowering those best acquainted with production throughout the greater process. Farmer-owned Grass Roots Farmers Cooperative achieves just this, run by the people who know and care for their animals best. With a great stake (most definitely a pun) in the business, participating farmers deliver great cuts of meat through Grass Roots Farmers Cooperative’s national distribution chain. “Our cooperative model is growing a new generation of farmers dedicated to restoring integrity in food and the agricultural systems that produce it,” their website reads.
The cooperative delivers their delicious wares nationwide, but still manages to own and operate their own small-scale processing facilities in the United States, centrally located near their farms to minimize travel time and ensure a more human practice. From beef to pork and poultry and lamb, topping off their benefits with affordable prices might have you considering the impact of your meat habits just as much as their taste and nutrition.
This online superstore takes a different approach from its competitors, offering a full range of grocery store products through their annual subscription model. Thrive Market runs middle of the road on quality, from affordable offerings to more exotic products like Wagyu Beef (we’ll get into that later.) Their website advocates against the perils of factory farming, citing the dangers of neglecting soil regeneration, overworking the land to the point that it becomes fallow.
Thrive Market sources their 100% grass-fed beef from the Patagonia Mountains in Osorno, Chile, where cattle are cultivated by smaller operations of ranchers called huasos. “These families make sure the animals have plenty of room to roam, graze on abundant grass, and most importantly not overgraze in any particular area of the pasture,” Thrive Market explains. “The health of the farming system is exceptional—untouched by chemicals, antibiotics, and nourished by clean air and mountain spring water.” Treat yourself to taking the extra mile for our planet by throwing in a hearty bottle of Merlot from Thrive Marketing’s other abundant grocery offerings.
Snake River Farms
“We didn’t set out to reinvent the beef industry,” the Snake River Farms origin story begins. “We were just trying to play it smart and work hard to reach the highest levels of quality and excellence.” While the retailer only offers pork and beef, Snake River Farms specializes in Wagyu Beef, a Japanese cattle breed popular in agriculture for their physical endurance. American Wagyu Beef is Japan’s less expensive counterpart. Wagyu beef in general is hailed for its rich marbling, the result of the genetic makeup part and parcel to that famed physical endurance. Snake River Farms has been in the science of breeding this particular type of cattle for over 30 years now. Their offerings are a little more expensive, for famed reasons. Snake River Farms has won prestigious awards over a significant span of time. Their animal feed division won ‘Cattle Company of the Century in 1998, and their parent company’s Founder Robert Rebholtz Sr. was inducted into the National Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame in 2012. Consider keeping them in your back pocket for special occasions, and consider pumping some iron afterwards to enjoy the maximum benefits of this high class nourishment.
As we’ve seen, beef and chicken and poultry and pork rule the online meat ordering market. Sometimes the odd lamb or seafood is thrown in for good measure. But if you’re looking for great cuts that scratch even more remote itches on the palate, then look no further than specialty store D’artagnan Foods. Their story begins with foie gras, that contentious delicacy of duck liver. Then-college student Ariane Daguin joined forces and funds with a coworker from the pâté producer that employed them. Together, they founded D’Artagnan Foods in 1985, on the cutting edge of the farm to table movement, connecting American families with unique cuts of meat once found only in foreign lands.
The company carries their legacy proudly, always expanding their offerings to outpace even the hottest trends. Recent additions include Spanish mangalica hams, milk-fed porcelet piglets, New Zealand venison, and hunted Scottish game birds. D’Artagnan even commissioned the creation of the Rohan duckling, a hybrid heritage breed raised exclusively for the company. D’Artagnan is equal parts purveyor and idea producer—your most ornate choice for great cuts that delight, surprise, and inspire.