Looking for a detailed ButcherBox review from someone who actually tried it? You've come to the right place!
With meal delivery kits taking the country by storm, it only seems logical that a subscription box for premium cuts of meat would enter the market. But is ButcherBox, the well-known leader in meat delivery, really worth it? Luckily for you, I decided to try it out and write a review!
In this ButcherBox review, we'll cover:
- What ButcherBox is and is not
- Pricing for ButcherBox Plans and Add-Ons
- Box contents from two separate orders (with pictures!)
- A full analysis of the quality of meats included in one ButcherBox order
What is ButcherBox?
ButcherBox started in 2015 after founder Mike Salguero experienced the quality and taste of grass-fed beef for the first time. After his encounter, Salguero discovered that only 1% of beef consumed in the United States comes from grass-fed cattle. Salguero's hope is that by offering premium meat at reasonable prices, ButcherBox can help people access meat that not only tastes better, but provides better quality, too.
Officially, ButcherBox is a consumer meat logistics company that delivers organic beef, poultry, and pork. In other words, they're a liaison between farmers and consumers. ButcherBox obtains the meat from family farms and farming cooperatives, then packages it for shipment to individual customers.
ButcherBox promises the following meats:
- 100% grass-fed beef
- Free-range organic chicken
- Heritage pork
Like most other subscription boxes, customers sign up to receive 1 box per month. You select the day each month that you'd like them to charge a subscription fee, then the box arrives 5-7 days after payment. ButcherBox currently delivers within all 48 contiguous states, and they hope to expand to Canada and Alaska with time.
What is ButcherBox not?
ButcherBox is not a weekly meal delivery kit. They only provide you with raw meat, poultry, and seafood (as an add-on). They do not distribute any produce or other grocery items.
ButcherBox is also not a corporate farm. They merely partner with many smaller farms that meet their requirements for organic, non-genetically-altered meat and poultry.
ButcherBox Plans & Add-ons
Currently, ButcherBox offers 4 curated box plans and 1 completely customizable option. You can sign up for either their small or large box with any of the plans.
Custom Box (You Choose!)
Mixed Box (Beef, Pork, and Chicken)
Pork & Beef Box
Beef & Chicken Box
All Beef Box
The Custom Box
With ButcherBox's Custom Box, you can build a completely customized package. You can choose from over 20 cuts of beef, chicken, and pork, and your box will include anywhere from 9 to 14 pounds of meat. Although this box costs a little extra, ButcherBox does promise this package comes with 20% more meat than their curated options.
The Mixed Box
The Mixed Box includes delicious beef, pork, and chicken selections. Each box includes between 8.5 and 11 pounds of meat (unless you select the large box), but the exact items included will vary based on regional availability.
The Pork & Beef Box
This small box will include an 8-11 pound mixture of beef and pork products. If you don't enjoy chicken (or just don't need it), this box can be a great option. Typically, this box will include some ground beef, steaks or pot roast, pork chops, and pork tenderloin or shoulder.
The Beef & Chicken Box
For those who avoid pork, ButcherBox offers a box filled with just chicken and beef. This box will include great variety, especially when it comes to the chicken. This box also includes 8.5-11 pounds of meat in the small box.
The All Beef Box
If beef is what you want for dinner, then check out ButcherBox's all beef box. Although this box will come with slightly less meat (8-10 pounds in the small box), the cuts of meat will surely impress.
In addition to the premium cuts that already come in your monthly subscription box, ButcherBox also offers the ability to add additional items. These add-ons automatically renew with your box every month unless you make changes to your plan before your next delivery.
Add-on options currently include:
- Sockeye Salmon
- Ground Beef
- Breakfast Sausage
ButcherBox Review: What comes in a typical order?
For this review, I ended up ordering two boxes to compare the contents. While specifics varied, it seems like most of their Mixed Boxes follow a basic format of: 2 lbs ground beef, 3 lbs chicken, 2 additional beef items, and 1 pork item.
My First Box
- 4 lb Half Bone-In Pork Butt
- Two 10 oz Strip Steaks
- 3 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
- Two 10 oz Ribeye Steaks
- 2 lbs Ground Beef
When doing a cost analysis at my local grocery store, I estimated that purchasing similar cuts of meat that were not grass-fed, all-natural, premium items would cost around $75. However, as you’ll read below, I could tell a significant difference in the quality of these meats versus what I typically buy at the grocery store.
My Second Box
- Four 6 oz Flat Iron Steaks
- 3 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 2 lbs Ground Beef
- 3 lbs Beef Round Roast
- 4 Boneless Pork Chops
Again, I estimated that purchasing similar cuts of meat at my local grocery store would cost around $75. After receiving two boxes and analyzing the costs, I can tell that ButcherBox does a fairly good job of ensuring that each shipment is filled with similar amounts of meat and costs around a similar dollar amount. Consistency is great in my book.
My Personal ButcherBox Experience
From the start, ButcherBox made the ordering process easy. I entered my location info, selected the desired box and size, walked through the screen of add-on items, then entered all of my info.
Although some subscription boxes allow you to subscribe with a PayPal or Venmo account, ButcherBox only allows you to pay via credit card.
But, in a matter of minutes, I ordered a box and received my confirmation email that stated I would receive my box within 5-7 days. I also received additional emails when my subscription shipped and when the box arrived at my doorstep.
My box shipped just two days after ordering and arrived at my door within 48 hours of shipping. Each box comes with insulation on all sides and is packed with dry ice to keep the meats frozen during the shipping process. The meats all remained cold upon unpacking, and the ice definitely could have lasted several more hours.
As I previously mentioned, I selected the small Mixed Box for this particular ButcherBox review. In addition to the included meat, I received an additional 2 pounds of ground beef due to a promotion at the time. As you can see from the lists above, I felt very satisfied with the contents of each box. I eagerly planned out several days of meals, then placed the rest of my meat in the deep freezer. Although ButcherBox does include some great recipe ideas on their website, I decided to plan out my own meals so I could sample the included meats in a variety of unique ways.
Trial #1: Ribeye Steak
Each of the 2 ribeye steaks weighed in right around 10 ounces. They both contained a fair amount of marbling but weren't overly fatty. I used Alton Brown's skillet method to cook the steaks (a go-to in our house on nights when we don't feel like firing up our charcoal grill). Both steaks cooked up to a wonderful, juicy medium.
My husband and I noticed significant differences in both the texture and the flavor of these grass-fed cuts versus the typical ribeye steaks we buy at our local grocery store. My favorite part by far was the flavor. The meat tasted juicy, but also earthy. I found myself longing for more of the flavor in my mouth because it literally tasted that good. The meat felt more muscular and thick, but I didn't find it tough to chew. Hands down, this was probably one of the best ribeye steaks I'd ever eaten.
Trial #2: Slow Cooker Pork BBQ
One of my favorite meals to throw together on busy days is some pork BBQ in my crock pot. I can simply coat the pork shoulder or Boston butt in a dry rub, then toss it in the slow cooker with some Dr. Pepper and a massive amount of barbecue sauce and let it cook on low all day. The only drawback is I usually spend a fair amount of time pulling out fat once the pork is finished cooking. However, I found that even for a fatty part of the pig, this pork was fairly lean. This made it slightly harder to shred, but didn't detract from the overall flavor.
Trial #3: White Chicken Enchiladas
Instead of just grilling the chicken breasts, I decided to try them in a little different way. When I sampled Blue Apron a few weeks ago, my family loved the chicken enchilada recipe. So, we recreated it ourselves. While the entire meal was quite flavorful, I have some specific praises about the chicken itself.
For starters, the breasts were all a fairly decent size but obviously not hormonally enhanced. They were well-trimmed and definitely contained less fat than chicken breasts I typically buy at the grocery store. The poultry cooked up nicely, and the end result was moist, meaty, and easy to chew. I felt these chicken breasts were definitely well worth the slight premium in price.
Trial #4: Homemade Chili
I rounded out our ButcherBox trial with a fall favorite: a delicious pot of chili. Just like the steaks we devoured the first evening, I found the beef to be flavorful and hearty. I really liked the way the ground beef cooked up, especially because it didn’t fill the pan with grease like some lower quality beef from the supermarket can.
Final Verdict: Is ButcherBox Worth It?
Mike Salguero started ButcherBox so that he could make grass-fed, all-natural meats more easily accessible to the masses. While you pay a slight premium for ButcherBox (compared to the ordinary meat at your grocery store), the cost is definitely noticeable in the overall meat quality you receive. Furthermore, each box appears to contain enough variation that you don’t feel like you’re eating the same cuts of meat for months on end.
For me, this seems like a great choice if you can afford the monthly cost. And just to be clear, you can pause your subscription for up to 6 months or cancel it any time before your next order is billed. There are no hidden fees or penalties.
Hopefully this unbiased ButcherBox review can help you decide if the subscription is the right choice for you.