Please note this is an unsponsored review, but I am an affiliate for ButcherBox. This means they did not pay me to do this review, but if you use one of my links to sign up, I will receive a small kickback. I only endorse products I use in my own home and love for our family.
I can’t believe it’s been almost fiver years since I posted about my first order with ButcherBox. (Read: Why I Started Eating Red Meat Again.) Since then, ButcherBox has grown and changed a lot. Although they were first of their kind, with innovation comes competitors.
You now have a lot of options when it comes to 0nline organic & high-quality meat delivery services, so I thought it’s time I posted a FULL review of Butcher Box. If you’ve been curious to find out if ButcherBox is worth it, then this review is for you!
So what is ButcherBox anyway?
ButcherBox is an online high-quality, organic, and grass-fed meat delivery service that delivers 100% grass-fed beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage breed pork, and wild-caught seafood directly to your door! All of the meat is antibiotic & hormone-free. It arrives on dry ice and will stay frozen all day until you can get home to pop it in the freezer.
Top 3 Pros of ButcherBox Organic Meat Delivery Service:
- Exceptional Quality & Variety. I can never find the same variety for the same meat quality at the store.
- Convenience Shopping. I can choose what I want in my pajamas, and I don’t have to go anywhere. It’s delivered to my doorstep.
- Member Deals. Exclusive deals are offered to members to save money on classic and premium cuts/staples.
Top 3 Cons of ButcherBox Organic Meat Delivery Service:
- Frozen Meat: The meat arrives frozen (pros and cons to this.) And occasionally the meat arrives unfrozen, aka damaged. More about this later.
- Increased Cost Compared To Conventional Meat.
- Their Grass-fed Beef is Not Local. It is sourced out of the US. Explanation below.
Delivery Options: Choosing Your Box
ButcherBox offers two different box options.
The Curated Boxes
The folks at ButcherBox curate this box. You have four options to pick from:
- Mixed Box
- Beef & Pork Box
- Beef & Chicken Box
- The All-Beef Box
In each box, they select a well-balanced assortment of easy-to-cook items, like chicken breasts, and more unusual cuts, like the Denver steak. In addition, you can always pick from a range of 12 add-ons to spice up your box (more info below)!
It comes in two sizes:
- The Classic Box is $146/month, providing 8.5-11lbs of meat, about 24 servings. $6.08/serving
- The Big Box is $269/month, providing 16-22lbs of meat, about 48 servings. $5.60/serving
In the video below, I unbox a curated ButcherBox they sent me to try out.
The Custom Box
In this box, you take control of the selection process. Select up to 21 different cuts of everyday items, like ground beef, as well as premium items, like pork tenderloins – not to mention a wide variety of 12 add-ons for that extra something special.
- The Classic Box is $169/month, providing 9-14lbs of meat, about 30 servings. $5.63/serving
- The Big Box is $306/month, providing 18-26lbs of meat, about 60 servings. $5.10/serving
100% Grassfed Beef:
- Ground Beef
- Stew Beef
- Top Sirloin Steaks
- NY Strips Steaks
- Premium Steak Tips
- Flat Iron Steaks
- Sirloin Cap
- Chuck Roast
- Ranch Steaks
- Filet Mignon
- Bottom of the Round Roast
- Sirloin Tips
Free Range Organic Chicken
- Chicken Drumsticks
- Bone-In Chicken Thighs
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
- Whole Chicken
- Chicken Tenders
- Chicken Tenders
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
- Ground Chicken
Heritage Breed Pork
- Ground Pork
- Ground Italian Sausage
- Breakfast Sausage
- Pork Chops
- Pork Tenderloin
- Pork Sirloin Roasts
- Boneless Pork Butt
- Center cut Pork Loin Roast
- Bone-In Pork Butt
- St. Louis Ribs
- Baby Back Ribs
- Tender Belly Bacon
- Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon
- Wild Alaskan Sockeye Burgers
- Wild Caught Scallops
- Wild Caught Cod and Halibut
- Wild Caught Lobster
- Wild Caught US Gulf Shrimp
- Cold Smoked Sliced Salmon
More Section – Changes Per Availability
- Ground Bison
- Uncured Beef and Pork Hot Dogs
- Mild Italian Chicken Sausage
- Apple Chicken Sausage
- Pot Roast
- Beef and Pork Meatballs
We order the custom box – classic size. If I weren’t a food blogger or a mom of small picky children, I’d get the curated box, but for recipe development purposes, I need specific cuts of meat.
Reoccurring add-ons are available for any box type. If you need a little more than what comes in the classic size box but aren’t ready for a big box, this is a great option. Also, if you’re signed up for a curated box, the add-ons help ensure you get the staple items you can’t live without in every box.
One of the best new features of ButcherBox is the member’s specials section. I’ve bought 10 lbs of ground 100% grass-fed grass-finished ground beef for $49.99 three times now. I’ve also ordered several other times from that section, including, most recently, a turkey!
Last year they let their members in on their most popular sign-up deal, ground beef for life! For a one-time fee of $49.99, you could add two pounds of grass-fed meat in your box every for the life of your subscription! You know I grabbed that deal. (We eat a ton of ground beef in my house!)
This is also where they will debut new products! Last year, they really expanded their product line of pre-made items like chicken nuggets, breaded chicken tenders, pulled pork, sausages, meatballs, and more! This Mama LOVED those items for the convenience and, of course, the quality you know and love from Butcher Box. My husband said the chicken nuggets were the best he had ever had in his whole life. Looks like they got into the veggie burger game too! Can’t wait to try these!
I also LOVE the holiday feast boxes. We always order one or two of those! They usually include spiral ham, turkey, and more holiday favorites.
You can select from every 2, 4, 6, or 8-week interval option for a new box. Keep in mind it’s super easy to change your box delivery date. I almost never stay on a true “delivery schedule” I’m always adjusting the date of my deliveries. I move them forward when we are low on meat and back when I’ve scored more member specials in a box one week.
Butcher Box Meat & Seafood Sourcing
ButcherBox has very transparent sourcing information.
Their pasture-raised, 100% grass-fed & grass-finished beef comes from Australia. Australia offers a balmy climate, which allows the cattle to roam free and graze year-round. They do state on their website that as the US grass-fed industry grows, they continue to seek domestic partnerships.
While I would prefer the meat to be US-based so that we can support the local farmers attempting to provide 100% grass-fed & grass-finished beef. I understand the current industry doesn’t meet their demand.
Their pork and chicken come from the US and Canada, and special items such as wild-caught Alaskan sockeye salmon, lamb, and turkey all come from the US.
I’m using a lot of terms here that you may think you’ve seen at other places like say, Costco. Now I love Costco, in fact, here is a list of my favorite healthy staples from Costco. That being said, Costco is undoubtedly cheaper because the quality is NOT THE SAME. That goes for a lot of other places you can get meat as well.
Costco Grass-fed Beef – is not 100% grass-fed and grass-finished, but ButcherBox is. That means that it might be grass-fed, but that doesn’t mean they are pasture-centered (they give grass pellets instead of letting them roam.) And if it isn’t 100% grass-finished, they still fatten them up with corn and soy at the end. This practice limits the health benefits you should get from 100% grass-fed & grass-finished meat. Costco near us doesn’t even sell grass-fed beef in any capacity. They do have organic, but that is not the same as organic. In fact, 100% grass fed beef will not be organic because the ranchers can not guarantee the wild grass is organic because they dont’ 100% control it. (My Costco now carries 100% grassfed burgers in the frozen section.)
Costco Organic Chicken – is usually (varies by location) not GAP -3 Certified like ButcherBox organic chicken is*. This may not make a huge difference in nutrition, but it does affect animal welfare standards. GAP stands for the Global Animal Partnership, and its certified labeling program ensures that animals are raised without the use of antibiotics, added hormones, or animal by-products. The number indicates how closely the environment mimics the animal’s natural habitat.
Costco Pork – I haven’t seen any natural or pasture-centered options at our Costco. We don’t even have uncured bacon at our Costco, I know my in-laws had it in California, but we don’t. ButcherBox offers heritage breed pigs who have access to the outdoors with bedding in OPEN barns, plus a nutritious diet. Moreover, their pork products, like bacon, aren’t cured or stuffed with a bunch of fillers like carcinogenic nitrates.
So, comparing the two meat purchasing options (ButcherBox vs. Costco) is really like comparing apples to oranges, they are just not comparable.
Seafood, on the other hand, might be slightly more comparable. Costco and ButcherBox offer wild-caught seafood options. They both have varying inventory of seafood that is about equal at this point. I get most of my seafood from Butcher Box because the cost is comparable to Costco. For example, 2 lbs of wild-caught cod was the same price at my Costco as it was at Butcher Box.
And here is where I’ve personally seen the most growth and improvement in ButcherBox products. While the meat was always DELICIOUS, its packaging and shipment processes have had to evolve. When they first started shipping, they shipped in these awesome insulated bags with dry ice. Since then, their packaging has changed with both the environment and product quality in mind.
I’m going to bet people are reading this review who tried ButcherBox but stopped their subscription due to errors. Well, I’m happy to announce that my affiliate manager told me that the error rate is now UNDER 1% for both ButcherBox and SmoothieBox. They currently feature an insulated recyclable box with dry ice that keeps everything rock-solid frozen.
Added for 2023 Update: I have had defrosted meat show up at my door or sometimes a missing product, but never once have I had an issue replacing it. Typically this happens when there is a carrier delay outside of ButcherBox’s control. I’ve found customer service to be incredibly responsive and willing to replace whatever was damaged in the next box.
Keep in mind with any meat delivery service, the meat will always be frozen. Frozen meat comes with a few potential downsides, such as dealing with the packaging, needing extra freezer space, and needing to defrost the meat before use (reasons why I love my Instant Pot so much.) And reasons why I love their premade section. Frozen chicken nuggets to the rescue in a pinch!
Final Thoughts- Is It Worth It?
If you’ve followed me on IG (@hungryhobbyrd) or this blog for a while, you already know I think it’s worth it. But what about fitting it into your budget? This used to be a hard thing for me to answer, because we didn’t closely budget our food. Now with two kids and one on the way, we definitely budget. We still make room for Butcher Box.
I still shop sales and price match, etc. I always check out the meat department for 100% grass-fed & grass-finished meat at the grocery store, and it’s overwhelmingly underwhelming. The price is usually much higher than the average cost of Butcher Box, while the variety and quality are far less.
The store doesn’t carry the variety that ButcherBox offers. Furthermore, there are a lot of fake marketing tactics happening at the store, like advertising grass-fed meat that is grain-finished you don’t have to deal with. No deception. You can bet that ButcherBox is guaranteeing the animal welfare concerns and sustainability practices of the farms they source from, not just by some random packaging at the store.
Verdict: Yes, it’s worth it. We love our Butcher Box subscription (which I’ve had going since 2016.) If you try it out, let me know what your favorite cut was. Also, don’t forget you can search by ingredients like beef, poultry, pork, and seafood in my recipe index if you need recipes to cook your meat with!