A year ago, I watched a documentary on how meat products were farmed for local grocery stores and it shocked me.
Disgusted, I set out on a mission to source better quality meats that follow sustainable, cruelty-free practices. Unfortunately, our local farmer’s market didn’t carry enough choices which led me to Butcher Box and Crowd Cow.
Butcher Box is a subscription service for meat deliveries that gives you a good choice of sustainable, fresh meat options for less than $6 a meal.
On the other hand, Crowd Cow is a better choice if you want to have more autonomy on which meat cuts and how large you want your deliveries to be.
Unfortunately, that still left me with the tasks of meal planning and shopping for other ingredients.
Both meat delivery services are good if you want to focus on having meat delivered to your doorstep. However, SunBasket is a better option if you want fresh, healthy meal kits delivered to your home.
Average Cost per Box
- Crowd Cow – around $100
- Butcher Box – around $130
- Crowd Cow
- 100% Grass-fed Beef
- Pasture Raised Grain-Fed Beef
- Japanese Wagyu
- American Wagyu
- Sustainably-sourced Seafood
- American Lamb
- Butcher Box
- Grass-fed Beef
- Grass-finished Beef
- Free-range Chicken
- Heritage Pork
- Crowd Cow
- A la carte
- Beef and Pork
- Beef and Chicken
- All Beef
- Crowd Cow – delivers to all states in the US
- ButcherBox – 48 contiguous states in the US
- Crowd Cow – at least $50
- ButcherBox – Classic box size at under $130
- Crowd Cow – free for purchases above $99, otherwise under $13
- Butcher Box – shipping is free
- Crowd Cow – as little as 2 days after placing your order
- ButcherBox – around 7 days from placing your order
- Crowd Cow – accepts refunds within 7 days
- Butcher Box – refunds and replacements accepted if you reach out immediately
- Crowd Cow – over 100 cuts
- ButcherBox – over 60 cuts
Review Summary: Both services are two sustainable meat delivery companies that focus on delivering various meat cuts at your doorstep. Their selections are sourced from cruelty-free farms and well-trusted ranchers. Crowd Cow’s main focus is allowing you to customize and curate the cuts you’ll receive. This means you can select every single piece of meat in your delivery and choose whether you want a subscription or not. On the other hand, Butcher Box has five subscription options including a custom option where you can select your own meats. Unfortunately, since both companies only offer meat delivery services, you will have to shop for your own produce. This is where SunBasket has an advantage. If you want to have healthy portions delivered at your doorstep that come with recipes and all the ingredients you need to cook a healthy and fresh meal, SunBasket is the ideal choice
Meat Options Compared Using Butcher Box & Crowd Cow
Both Crowd Cow and Butcher Box offer a decent selection of meat cuts that sustainably-sourced from farms that are cruelty-free and employ only the best practices. Since both companies focus on delivering meat products, you’re not getting a full meal kit delivered to your home. But, you are guaranteed a steady supply of premium and fresh-as-can-be meats.
CC has more variety compared to Butcher Box. There are over 100 cuts to choose from at any given time on their website.
Their meats are sourced responsibly. You’ll be able to clearly see detailed information about each cut they offer which includes information about the types of farms they work with.
- Crowd Cow is adamant about not working with industrial farms, meat brokers, or CAPO. Instead, they put a focus on smaller, more sustainable ranches and sources that utilize cruelty-free practices.
- Their meat choices are guaranteed to not have any unnecessary hormones added.
- There are ten types of meat to choose from on their website: 100% grass-fed, pasture-raised grain-fed, Japanese Wagyu and American Wagyu beef, Free-range chicken, pork, sustainably-sourced seafood, bison, American lamb, and Turkey.
On the other hand, BB has over 60 cuts to choose from on their website.
Much like Crowd Cow, the company promises that they work with sustainable farms and ranches that employ only the best animal farming practices.
- BB complies with several organizations to make sure the meat they source is grass-fed and pasture-raised.
- Most of their meats are sourced from Australian ranches that comply with the highest sustainability practices in raising animals.
- Most of their beef are sourced from US farms that employ the same cruelty-free and sustainable standard you would expect the Australian ranches to adhere to.
- Their meats are guaranteed to be free from antibiotics, synthetic dyes, and growth hormones.
- There are over 60 cuts of meat to choose from on their website: chicken, heritage pork, salmon, and beef.
My Experience Using Using Butcher Box & Crowd Cow
Both services have a streamlined website designed to highlight their meat choices or subscription options.
You’ll notice straight away that there aren’t very many sections that try to sell you their product, but they let their products speak for themselves.
I was appreciative of the fact that both services seemed to deliver in nearly the same timeframe as each other which is around 7 days. This gave me plenty of time to plan out which meals I wanted to cook and when I would cook them.
However, the most glaring similarity between the two companies is their focus on making your boxes a customized, and personalized experience.
You’ll be able to choose from a multitude of cuts at your own discretion so there’s plenty of time to prepare before they arrive.
Crowd Cow’s focus is on selling premium cuts of meat. There is a $50 minimum per order to place your order so you’ll have to purchase an average of 2-3 cuts of meat per order.
If you like to cook often, this shouldn’t be an issue. However, one thing that confused me as I was ordering was that I couldn’t find their subscription options.
It took me a good 10 minutes to figure out that you’ll have to build your own subscription and decide whether you want it to be a recurring delivery.
While I didn’t really mind choosing my own meat cuts, I would have liked a heads up from the beginning so I didn’t waste my time trying to figure out how ordering worked.
Other than that, the selection, payment, and subscription process was easy, straightforward, and finished within a few minutes.
Butcher Box on the other hand has a smaller selection of meat cuts compared to the former. However, that didn’t mean I felt limited in my choices.
Their meats looked of good quality, and right from the home page, you’re prompted to view their subscription options which is nice.
This meant I was able to view which subscription options were right for me. Much like Crowd Cow, BB also offered a custom delivery option.
This meant you would be able to mix and match cuts of meat to meet your needs or choose a subscription with pre-selected cuts of meat.
I did appreciate how after selecting your plan, you’re also prompted to choose your delivery size. This feature gives you an option between a Classic and Big box.
The Classic option contains 9 to 14 lbs of meat while the Big option comes with 18 to 26 lbs of meat.
This helped me better gauge how much meat I’d need for the month so I didn’t have to go on random grocery runs.
Meat Delivery Services Plans & Prices Compared
As previously mentioned, both services focus on meat deliveries instead of complete meal kits. One good aspect of both these companies is the fact that they each have their own approach to deliveries and the subscription process.
I personally liked the way ButcherBox’s subscription operated more. However, I did also appreciate how you had an option to purchase a la carte meal with Crowd Cow.
CrowdCow focuses heavily on custom boxes and a la carte purchases. There are over 100 cuts of meat to choose from on their directory and only one subscription option available.
One thing I like about the CrowdCow subscription is you get to decide on your delivery schedule and exactly how big you want your delivery to be by selecting your own meals.
- Each box’s price varies according to the amount of meat you order so it’s a completely personal experience.
- However, subscribing to a recurring delivery will earn you a 5% discount on your order regardless of how much it costs you.
- There is a minimum purchase of $50 per transaction.
- Shipping is calculated at checkout and is usually around $13.
- You can qualify for free shipping if you purchase more than $99 worth of meat.
- New members get a free pound of premium ground beef.
ButcherBox on the other hand has five subscription options to choose from. They deliver boxes that are good for a whole month.
You also have the option to choose whether you want your box delivered every four, six, or eight weeks. They also offer two size options to meet your portion requirements.
- Signing up for the first time will get you two 5-ounce lobster tails and two 6-ounce filet mignons for free.
- Shipping is free for all plans.
- You can choose between the Classic or Big size options.
- The Classic box is ideal for small families and singles. It contains around 8 to 14 pounds of meat.
- The Big box is ideal for mid-size families or if you have large freezers at home. It contains around 16 to 26 pounds of meat.
- Custom Box – the custom box contains 20% more meat compared to their curated options. You can choose between 100% grass-fed or grass-finished beef, free-range chicken, heritage pork, and wild-caught seafood which you can change each month.
- Mixed Box – this box gives you an assortment of grass-fed and grass finished beef, organic chicken, and heritage pork.
- Beef and Pork – contains an assortment of 100% grass fed and grass finished beef as well as heritage pork cuts.
- Beef and Chicken – a selection of premium 100% grass-fed and grass finished beef plus free-range non-GMO chicken.
- All Beef – all premium grass fed and grass-finished beef cuts.
Cost per Meal – under $6 on average
Cost per Box
- Classic – under $130
- Big – under $240
ButcherBox also gives you the option of add-ons like salmon and breakfast sausages to your subscription.
Best Menu Selection
Both CrowdCow and ButcherBox deliver more than just premium beef cuts. They also have a good selection of heritage pork and free-range organic chicken cuts that are cruelty-free, and sourced from farms and ranches that employ sustainable practices.
While BB has a good selection of over 60 cuts of meat, CrowdCow has more options and even carries more varieties of beef and other meat cuts.
CrowdCow has a selection of over 100 cuts of meat. This goes beyond just the typical grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, and heritage pork choices you’ll find on the BB website.
- There are four beef varieties to choose from
- 100% grass-fed beef
- Pasture-raised grain-fed beef
- Japanese wagyu
- American Wagyu
- They also carry free-range chicken, heritage pork, and sustainable seafood.
- You’ll also be able to find cuts of bison, American lamb, and turkey on their menu.
On the other hand, ButcherBox has a simpler menu, but that doesn’t mean their selections are limited or lacking.
There are over 60 cuts of meat to choose from which are all sustainably sourced from ranches and farms in Australia and the US.
- You can choose between two beef varieties:
- Grass fed beef
- Grass finished beef
- You also have the option to choose between free-range chicken, heritage pork, and Alaskan salmon.
- You’re able to choose between five subscription options including a custom box with meat cuts of your choice.
- There are also several add-ons you can purchase with your box.
Quality of Ingredients
Both CrowdCow and ButcherBox put a heavy emphasis on sustainable and cruelty-free practices. This means you’re getting premium meat cuts without having to worry about your meat coming from cruel ranches and farms that treat their livestock like non-living creatures.
- Puts a focus on working collaboratively with smaller farms. They have denied time and time again that they work with industrial factory farms, meat brokers or CAFO-associated meat suppliers.
- They also claim that their meats are free from unnecessary hormones.
I appreciate how you can view more information on each specific cut of meat right on the product page.
- ButcherBox maintains sustainability practices by aligning themselves with a number of organizations that guarantee pasture-raised, and grass-fed beef.
- Their meat is also certified to be free from antibiotics, growth hormones, and synthetic dyes.
- Most of their beef is sourced from Australian ranches and US farms.
- Unfortunately, there’s no available information on individual partners and suppliers they have for their meat. However, they guarantee that their suppliers follow the highest sustainability standards.
How Do Meat Subscriptions Work With ButcherBox vs Crowd Cow?
Both services have a vastly different approach when it comes to their subscriptions. For one thing, CrowdCow focuses on a la carte services and customizability.
Their order process takes you through the full menu before you’re able to decide whether you want a recurring subscription for the cuts of meat you chose.
CrowdCow also allows you to choose how often and when you want your meat choices to be delivered. It’s fairly easy to change your meat choices as well for each delivery. Plus, you get a 5% discount off your total if you choose the subscription.
On the other hand, ButcherBox offers five subscription options. The first four of which carry an assortment of meat cuts while the fifth lets you choose exactly which meat cuts go into your box.
Questions and Answers
Butcher Box is definitely worth the price if you don’t have access to certain sustainably-sourced meats in your area. The convenience is also a good bonus since you just have to shop from the convenience of your home.
Butcher Box meats come either half or frozen solid. This guarantees freshness and that your meats will not get spoiled in transit.
Butcher Box does not disclose individual supplier information. However, their beef is sourced from Australian and US farms.
Yes, you can cancel ButcherBox any time. Their cancellation process is easy and straightforward and shouldn’t take more than five minutes.
Crowd Cow vs Omaha SteaksAt the time I first noticed Omaha Steaks had a membership program I thought it was one of the cheapest but so far above a standard ground beef alternative I had ever seen. I wanted to make sure I didn’t buy one of these programs just because of the price, I wanted to know it had to deliver at the same level as the other options I could buy for the same price. I made a point of starting with the meat in the middle of their “best buys” list. For me, this ended up being Blue Label Tenderloin Chops and Shanks, I typically buy the 8oz steaks for one person. I did find this place to be cheaper for much of the meat compared to most online restaurants. It didn’t get cheaper for me, but that’s because I love beef and these things tasted amazing and had an incredibly juicy, flavorful, and remarkably tender quality. Follow the membership program schedule. There is a fairly strict schedule that the product moves on the member shopping website. I got my meat and stuck it in the fridge. The whole point of this exercise was to see if there were any obvious flaws in the system or if I could even find any more quality meats. To test that I grabbed my membership card off the fridge, went to the website, and in one click sign up for the membership. As I suspected, there was no food safety label like I would normally expect to see so I scanned over the page to make sure it wouldn’t be the case.
Both Butcher Box and Crowd Cow are good delivery services that make it more convenient to shop for sustainable beef pork, chicken, pork, and more at home.
They also make premium cuts more accessible to home who may not have local farms to supply them with good-quality cruelty-free cuts.
I found that Crowd Cow is a good choice if you want to have more autonomy over your choices. Their a la carte ordering system lets you choose exactly which cuts you’ll get and then afterwards, you can decide whether you want to subscribe to a recurring delivery for 5% off.
On the other hand, Butcher Box focuses on subscriptions. This makes it easier for you to either choose to curate your own subscription or pick a pre-curated option containing specified cuts.
While both services make it more convenient for you to shop for meat at home, they’re not the most cost-effective meal option.
In fact, I recommend that you try out SunBasket instead if you want to get the most value out of your money.
SunBasket delivers meal kits straight to your home. This means you don’t have to worry about heading out to shop for additional ingredients or figuring out which recipes to cook with your meats.
Plus, at around $6 per portion of meat, both Crowd Cow and Butcher Box are quite expensive. Not to mention the cost of the additional ingredients you’ll have to buy.