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What is a Meat Delivery Service?
Meat delivery companies source, cut, package, and ship high-quality protein products to meat lovers across the country.
Most meat delivery companies sell their meat, seafood, and other products in one of two ways:
Every company specializes in its own range of products, most online butchers sell all or some of the following:
How Does Meat Delivery Work?
It’s extremely easy to sign up for a meat delivery company, with most companies only requiring customers to complete three online steps:
1. Select Your Menu Items: Start by selecting your desired proteins. If you’re selecting from an à la carte menu, you can build your box piece-by-piece, choosing individual proteins for your online cart. If you’re going the subscription route, you’ll select one from a series of curated protein boxes, each containing a unique mix of options.
2. Customize Your Shipment: Once you’ve chosen your menu items or subscription box, you’ll be offered a few options. Most meat delivery companies allow subscription customers to select add-on products (e.g. extra proteins, rubs, or cooking utensils) and set their shipping schedule (i.e. weekly, monthly, or bi-monthly).
3. Ship and Pay: In the final steps, customers choose their preferred shipping address and pay. If you’re interested in giving a meat delivery as a gift, simply enter the recipient's address and pay on their behalf!
Meat delivery companies ship their products straight to your door, usually within a week of purchase.
How Do Meat Delivery Companies Ship?
Most meat delivery companies vacuum-seal their proteins, flash-freeze each sealed item, and package everything together in a recyclable box that contains dry ice or disposable ice packs to keep proteins frozen during shipping.
When your box arrives at your house, your proteins arrive frozen, so that they’re both safe to eat, if you choose to thaw and cook them right away, or ready to go into the freezer for later. If you aren’t planning on cooking in the next day or so, make sure to keep them in the freezer. Although details vary from company to company, frozen meats are typically safe and delicious to eat up to 6 months after purchase.
Once you’re ready to eat, make sure to include some defrost time into your cooking plan. Frozen, smaller-sized proteins can usually be left out overnight to thaw before cooking. If you forgot to take your protein out the night before cooking, most meats can be submerged in cold water for an hour to thaw before cooking. (Though check with your local food or health department for full recommendations on defrosting meat safely.)
What to Look for in a Meat Delivery Company
When it comes to choosing the perfect meat delivery company, it’s all about what features matter the most to you. Bargain hunters tend to put a low price above all else, whereas quality aficionados might care most about a protein’s sourcing.
To find the perfect meat delivery company for you, start by asking these questions:
What proteins would you like?
This is the best place to start. Does the meat delivery company in question offer the protein you’re looking for? Some meat delivery companies will specialize in steaks, others in chicken, and others will aim for a wide variety of proteins: pick the one that has what you’re looking for!
One-time delivery or subscription?
You’ll want to make sure that your preferred meat delivery company not only sells the proteins you want, but also sells them in the style that you want. Most meat delivery companies offer two shipment structures—à la carte online menu or recurring subscription box—but some may only offer one structure or the other.
How much would you like to spend?
Protein shipments from meat delivery companies can vary widely in price, depending on factors such as sourcing, quantity, and add-ons. For context, a great-quality meat subscription shipment can cost about ~$150 (including ~10 pounds of protein), whereas an excellent-quality meat subscription shipment can cost +$300 (including ~8 pounds of protein).
Is sourcing important to you?
In meat delivery, “sourcing” refers to where, and from what, a protein product was farmed. Any meat delivery company worth its sea salt will provide in-depth information on its protein sourcing. Sourcing might refer to the quality of a protein (animal breed, protein origin), farming practice (organic, hormone-enhanced), or even treatment of cattle (balanced diet, humane practices).
Is this a gift?
Some companies will go above and beyond, offering gift boxes, gift cards, and personalization options. Alternatively, other companies may have few to no gifting customization options available outside of changing the shipping address.
Meat Delivery Gifting Guide
Meat delivery shipments make great gifts for the foodies in your social circle, family, or office, but not all meat delivery companies handle gifting the same way. When choosing the way you’d like to gift a meat delivery box, keep the following methods in mind: