ButcherBox Review: Is This Mail-Order Meat Service Worth the Hype?

Meat in the mail? Our chef expert put the ButcherBox meat subscription service to the test.

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We all know the benefits of buying high-quality meat, but it can be difficult to find unless you live in a big city with plenty of butchery options, or close to farm-raised animals. ButcherBox aims to solve this problem by shipping the best meat straight to your doorstep. This mail-order meat company sets high standards for all the farms and fisheries it partners with, requiring they follow humane, environmentally friendly practices. Beef is grass-fed, chicken is free-range and seafood is sustainably caught. But when it comes to ButcherBox reviews, how does the meat taste?

What is ButcherBox?

ButcherBox is a mail-order subscription service that delivers high-quality, humanely raised meat and seafood. Offering 100% grass-fed beef and bison, heritage-breed pork and free-range, organic chicken, all of ButcherBox’s meat comes from farms committed to sustainable agriculture and fair labor practices. In other words, the meat is raised without the use of hormones or antibiotics. Seafood offerings are wild caught, sustainably harvested and are never treated with chemicals, preservatives or artificial colorings.

Meat is shipped frozen rock solid in individually vacuum-packed portions, and comes packed in a 100% recyclable insulated box with dry ice. Subscriptions can be set for delivery every two, four, six or eight weeks, and can be postponed or skipped over if needed. Choose from four different boxes: beef and pork, beef and chicken, mixed (with beef, chicken and pork) and a custom box that lets you mix and match from 25 different cuts.

Not looking for a commitment right away? ButcherBox also offers an assortment of one-time gift boxes to ship to loved ones—or yourself! 

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We Tried It

ButcherBox

ButcherBox provides high-quality, humanely raised meat and seafood delivered straight to your door.

ButcherBox Features

Uncooked Steak on plateAllison Robicelli for Taste of Home

There are three standard ButcherBoxes to choose from—beef and pork, beef and chicken, and mixed (with beef, chicken and pork). They are specially curated with different cuts of meat every month. Each shipment is a surprise! A box with eight to 11 pounds of meat is $146 while a 16 to 22 pound box is $269. According to ButcherBox reviews, here are possible meat options:

  • 100% grass-fed beef: sirloin tips, ground beef (85/15), ground sirloin (90/10), hamburger patties, tri-tip steak, flat iron steak, top sirloin steak, flank steak, ribeye steak, NY strip steaks, filet mignon, steak tips, bottom round roast, sirloin cap (roast beef), pot roast, beef hot dogs
  • Free-range, organic chicken: whole chicken, boneless skinless chicken breasts and thighs, chicken tenders, drumsticks, bone-in thighs, wings, ground chicken, mild chicken sausage, apple chicken sausage
  • Humanely raised pork: ground pork, St. Louis and baby back ribs, center-cut pork loin roast, tenderloin, Italian sausage links, ground Italian sausage, boneless pork chops, pork sirloin roast, bone-in pork butt, ButcherBox bacon, tender belly bacon, ground breakfast sausage, ground chorizo, pork hot dogs
  • Seafood: wild-caught Alaskan sockeye salmon, wild-caught scallops, salmon burgers, cod, wild-caught gulf shrimp, cold smoked salmon

If you’re not much for surprises and don’t mind spending a little more, ButcherBox offers custom boxes as well. For $169, you’ll get 9 to 14 pounds of meat and/or seafood. Shipping on all boxes is always free.

How We Tested It

My custom ButcherBox included two filet mignons, four boneless pork chops, a flank steak, a whole chicken and a bag of individually frozen salmon filets.

Filet Mignons

Filet mignons are cut from the tenderloin, a muscle running down the back of a cow that sees almost no movement, so there’s no connective tissue or gristle to be found. However, this also means there’s not much in the way of fat marbling, which is what gives prized cuts, like ribeyes and porterhouses, so much flavor. Though it’s certainly a luxurious piece of meat, filets can run the risk of being flavorless—something you never want to encounter, especially if you’re paying a premium.

The good news is that ButcherBox’s grass-fed filet mignons deliver plenty of big, beefy flavor while also being impossibly tender. They’re cut on the thinner side, so they cook quickly and go from rare to well-done in a matter of seconds. Searing them for two minutes per side in a cast-iron skillet rendered steaks that were a bit more cooked than I personally prefer, but this didn’t diminish my enjoyment one bit.

Salmon Filets

cooked Salmon on Plate with forkAllison Robicelli for Taste of Home

Much like a good steak, a quality piece of salmon needs next to nothing to taste spectacular. In fact, it’s almost a sin to cover up superlative salmon with excessive amounts of sauce, spices or marinades. I tested ButcherBox’s salmon by air frying filets directly from the freezer without thawing, which helps prevent the insides from overcooking—not to mention making dinner far easier to slap together! Simply sprinkle kosher salt and lightly spritz cooking spray to prevent sticking.

The resulting salmon was stellar, rich and buttery. The second time I made it, I added a light glaze of Bachan’s Japanese barbecue sauce halfway through the cooking process, which complemented it wonderfully without being overwhelming, and giving me a fancy no-fuss dinner in minutes with almost no work whatsoever.

Boneless Pork Chops

Cooked Pork Chops on PlateAllison Robicelli for Taste of Home

It’s easy to make boneless pork chops that are dry and underwhelming, and that’s due to the quality of factory-farmed pork. ButcherBox’s humanely raised pork is (literally) an entirely different animal—one that remains juicy and succulent during cooking. With so much flavor, it isn’t necessary to marinate or slather with strongly flavored sauce.

Flank Steak

Steak before and after being cookedAllison Robicelli for Taste of Home

Thanks to the filets, I already knew that ButcherBox’s beef is impressive when prepared simply. That’s why I chose to use its flank steak to make a rich ragù to serve with pappardelle, and I’m pleased to announce it was a wise decision. The flank steak’s flavor was robust enough to not get lost in the sauce. When red wine, tomatoes and plenty of garlic are invited to the party, a lesser piece of meat could easily be overshadowed or rendered completely invisible. ButcherBox’s flank steak, on the other hand, remained firmly in the spotlight, shining like the star it is while playing nice with its fellow ingredients.

Whole Chicken

A simple roast chicken is wondrous, assuming the bird in question is of exceptional quality. A standard supermarket chicken often needs a good amount of assistance to be transcendent, whether it’s brining, basting or employing “hacks” to save it from becoming another dry, boring bird. ButcherBox’s chicken, on the other hand, roasts up wonderfully without much help. Simply seasoned and roasted atop a bed of vegetables in my Great Jones Dutch oven, it came out tender and juicy, with the sort of flavor that makes rotisserie chickens look downright depressing in comparison.

Pros

  • Remarkable quality
  • Meat comes packaged in individual portions
  • Delivered frozen solid
  • Eco-friendly packaging
  • Company has strict sustainability standards
  • Only works with humane, ethical farms
  • Good selection
  • Certified-B corporation
  • Free shipping

Cons

  • Pricey (though worth it)
  • Seafood, bison and turkey are only available in custom boxes

FAQ

Is ButcherBox meat high quality?

Yes, ButcherBox has quality meat from highly reputable farms that humanely raise their livestock and use environmentally friendly practices.

Can you get ButcherBox without a subscription?

Generally, ButcherBox requires a subscription, but there are no fees or penalties to cancel. Subscriptions deliver every two, four, six or eight weeks. The brand also offers several curated gift boxes for one-time purchase.

Is ButcherBox meat organic?

Chicken is the only meat from ButcherBox that’s certified organic. While its beef, pork, bison and turkey don’t have organic certification, they’re all raised according to the highest agricultural standards without the use of hormones or antibiotics.

Product Comparison

There are many mail-order meat companies and meal delivery services out there, so what sets this meat subscription apart? According to ButcherBox reviews, the company wins with its high standards for quality, sustainability and business ethics. (Check out our Good Chop review for another stellar option for ethical, eco-friendly meat delivery!) In contrast to well-known brands like Omaha Steaks, ButcherBox requires a subscription and sells meat in assorted boxes instead of à la carte by cut.

Final Verdict

If where your meat comes from matters, then ButcherBox makes ethical eating easier. It’s a company committed to making big changes in the meat industry, and it’s an eco-friendly alternative to environmentally disastrous factory farms, according to ButcherBox reviews. But most importantly, the meat and seafood are spectacular! ButcherBox may completely change your relationship with meat, and that’s a wonderful thing.

Where to Buy ButcherBox

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We Tried It

ButcherBox

Get high-quality meat at an unbeatable value with a ButcherBox subscription.

Sign up for a subscription at the ButcherBox website and feed your family a curated box of a high-quality selection of meats and seafood delivered to your door. A monthly subscription starts at $146. Your customized choices await!

Allison T.S. Robicelli
Allison is a James Beard-nominated cookbook author, recipe developer and food writer. As a former professional chef, Allison is the go-to writer at Taste of Home for putting cooking tools to the test and sharing what’s worth adding to your home kitchen. A few of the things she’s personally reviewed at Taste of Home include HexClad cookware, All-Clad cookware and the Beautiful by Drew Barrymore cookware set. Formerly the chef-owner of Robicelli’s Bakery in Brooklyn, she currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland, with her kids, cats, pots and pans.