If you wonder about the cost, price, negative reviews and how much is Butcher Box, read my honest review of Butcher Box. Plus see what comes in a box! My family has used ButcherBox for over a year and we love the quality of the meat and learned how to make it fit within our budget!
I never intended on being a guinea pig when I grew up, yet here I am, testing and experimenting again on your behalf!
- First, it was how Ibotta works and how you can find cash back rebates on real food.
- Next, it was Amazon and how to get the most out of a Prime membership.
- Then, it was Walmart Grocery Pick Up and if it’s worth having someone else do the shopping for you.
- Recently, it was Thrive Market and if they really offer good deals on healthy foods.
And now it’s my honest review of Butcher Box, known for delivering grass-fed beef, heritage breed pork and organic chicken right to your front door. Never heard of Butcher Box before? Here’s what you should know.
What is Butcher Box?
Butcher Box is a meat distributor. They are neither a farm nor an online grocery store. Instead, they work with a group of family farms and cooperatives in order to bring grass-fed beef, heritage breed pork and organic chicken to your front door every month. Look at Butcher Box like a farm liaison. If you’re interested in eating better quality meat but haven’t been able to find it at your grocery store or at a local farm, Butcher Box can provide it for you.
How Does Butcher Box Work?
Butcher Box is a monthly subscription service. You choose what package of meat you’d like, how often you want the box delivered (either every month or every other month) and then choose any add-ons if you’d like. An add-on would be a one-off item, like a package of uncured sugar-free bacon or 1 pound of boneless pork chops. As of this writing, your package options are:
- Mixed Box (contains beef, chicken and pork – the most popular!)
- Beef & Pork
- Beef & Chicken
- All Beef
- Custom Box
In the first four options, you can choose they type of meat but not the exact cuts. The Custom Box is the only box where you get to choose exactly what goes in your box. As you register and/or login to change your order for the month, you pick whether you want ground pork or ground beef or a whole chicken… Each package comes in two different sizes: Classic Box (9-14 lbs of meat for about 24 meals) or Big Box (18-26 lbs of meat for about 48 meals).
The Quality of Butcher Box Meat
Butcher Box currently offers three types of meat – beef, chicken and pork – with the goal of bringing you the very best. The quality of the meat is pretty impressive, if I say so myself!
- 100% Grass-fed and Grass-finished Beef. The cattle are humanely raised, live their entire life on pasture and are never given antibiotics or hormones. They eat a natural diet of grass and they may be given silage or hay if the weather prevents them from grazing.
- Organic and Free-Range Chicken. The free-range birds spend most of their lives foraging in the field with plenty of room to move around and interact with other chickens. Thanks to all this exercise, these birds will naturally be leaner than conventional chicken.
- Heritage Breed Pork. The breeds of pork that Butcher Box sources have been specifically chosen for their rich color and marbled texture. There is no tail docking and the animals are either on pasture, or raised in open barns with bedding and space to engage in natural behaviors, as if they were outside.
How Much Does Butcher Box Cost?
This is a frugal food blog and no honest review of Butcher Box can get away without discussing the numbers.
- The Classic Box is $149 (9-14lbs of meat with an average of $10.64 to $16.55 per pound.)
- The Big Box is $270 (18-26lbs of meat with an average of $10.38 to $15 per pound.)
If you check out their site, Butcher Box prices their boxes by meals, where 6oz equals one meal. This makes their pricing look a little different than the per pound price I’m sharing here. Some families eat more meat per meal, and some eat less. Keep this in mind as you decide whether or not Butcher Box is right for you! Yes, I know this sounds pricey. $11-16 for ONE pound of meat is nothing to scoff at, especially when you’re struggling to pay the bills AND put food on the table. However, it is VERY possible to eat healthy food without going broke. My family and I are living proof, and that’s why I started this blog. Your own real food priorities might not include organic grass-fed meat. Right now, you may be looking for the cheapest cuts of chicken you can possibly find. And that’s okay. To learn how my family affords Butcher Box on a budget, read this post. I dig into how I can make my meat cost $10 per pound or LESS from ButcherBox. A few other things to note:
- Butcher box always offers free shipping.
- You can choose a monthly subscription, or every other month.
- If you’re still working through your last box, you can delay your subscription by one month.
- You can cancel your subscription at any time.
- Their customer service is SUPER helpful and happy to address any issues you may have.
Here’s my second honest review of Butcher Box and how I STILL love them several months later!
The search for high-quality meat ends here. Amazing taste. Humanely raised and delivered to your door. Sign up today! Click this link to claim the current offer!
My Personal Experience and Honest Review of Butcher Box
As much as I truly love grocery shopping (I wouldn’t have created an entire course on how to eat real food on a budget if I didn’t!), I have to confess that it’s really nice to have a box of high quality meat show up at my door. To be honest though, when I opened our first box, I didn’t think there was a lot of meat. I took everything out and thought there was no way it would last us an entire month. There were a total of 12 packages of meat (including the free uncured sugar-free bacon) and each package weighed around 1 lb each. If I used only 1 pound of meat per meal and every time stretched it as best as I could, I might be able to get 15 meals out of the box. At one time, this would have worked fine for my family. We ate meatless meals often. But now I’m not sure it would be enough. We recently finished the Whole30 and really liked the difference in how we felt without eating grains, gluten, dairy or legumes. All four of us eat protein at every meal. Sometimes it’s eggs and sometimes it’s nuts, but most often it’s meat. Assuming we’re all eating four ounces of meat, three times a day, for 5 days of the week (which is being very conservative), we need at least 15 pounds of meat each week. At $149 per box, that’s $596 on meat every month… and that’s also more than my entire monthly budget! UPDATE: We’ve changed the way we eat just a little bit since I first published this review, and I encourage you to read how we now make Butcher Box fit within our monthly budget. And no, we didn’t give up eating meat!
Does Butcher Box have good meat?
The beef and pork from Butcher Box is absolutely delicious. I’ve purchased “natural” pork from the grocery store and every time it was tough and chewy. The pork from Butcher Box was nothing like that. Every pork chop was beyond tender and it made me wonder why we didn’t eat pork more often! Eating the steaks felt like a huge splurge for us since we don’t eat whole steaks at home often. We split two steaks for dinner to help stretch the meat, but they were so good that both Mr. Crumbs and I wished we had a whole steak to ourselves! These same thoughts run through my head every time we try their meat… we’ve had their ground beef, rib-eyes, top sirloin, NY strip, pork loin, pork chops and salmon. Every time, it has been very, very good. The chicken was good, but because we’re committed to buying organic chicken anyway, we didn’t notice much of a difference.
I LOVE knowing that the food we put into our bodies isn’t void of nutrients.
You can read more about why we’re including more beef in our diet in this post here. Mr. Crumbs and I BOTH needed more variety when it comes to the nutrients in our meats. We also had peace of mind that the food we were eating was actually doing our bodies good, instead of just being filler for our dinner plates. My husband and I both agreed that if were able to make it work with our budget, we’d definitely consider Butcher Box to source our meat. I don’t know if we’d be able to source ALL of our meat from them, but I’d certainly focus on the beef and pork since I can get good deals on organic chicken locally. Update: We found a way to make it work! Here are six ways we’re able to afford Butcher Box!
How long can Butcherbox stay outside on the front porch?
I was also wondering if the meat would go bad if it sat on my doorstep all day… The meat is shipped in an insulated bag, and then packed in an insulated box with dry ice. My box was delivered around 11am and when I opened it to take these pictures, the dry ice had melted but everything was still frozen solid (and two steaks still had frost on them!). I then packaged it all back up and put it back on my front porch until 6pm – to mimic what it would be like if I didn’t work from home and it sat outside in the Georgia heat all day. When I brought everything back in, everything was still very cold. The very outer edges of one package of chicken wasn’t frozen solid, but I wouldn’t have any fear of not being home for delivery of my meat. Also, ButcherBox provides a guide within each box on safely storing, freezing, and thawing your meat. They follow the USDA recommended guidelines.
Is Butcher Box a Good Deal?
I’ll be the first to admit that Butcher Box isn’t for everyone. Depending on where you are in this season, you might not be concerned about quality. Or perhaps you’re working on health issues and quality now tops the list of priorities. It’s entirely up to you, but I hope this butcher box review summary helps if you feel on the fence.
Butcher Box is good for those who…
- Are concerned about the quality of meat they’re eating. Quality is extremely important to Butcher Box, so that’s what they’re going to give you.
- Cannot find a local source for grass-fed beef, pastured pork and/or organic chicken. I have friends who live nowhere near a farm and have very limited grocery store options as it is. For them, Butcher Box is a blessing because they wouldn’t have access to this quality of meat otherwise!
- Enjoy having someone else shop for them. Not everyone enjoys grocery shopping and with a Butcher Box subscription, you can eliminate “meat” from your list every single month.
- Enjoy nicer cuts of meat. Your monthly subscription will by default include cuts of meat you likely wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise – that’s a good thing!
Butcher Box is NOT good for those who…
- Can get grass-fed beef, pastured pork and organic chicken from a local source. I can consistently get grass-fed ground beef from Costco for $4.99/lb. I can even find it marked down to $3.99 at Kroger or Walmart! But I have never seen any other cuts of grass-fed beef in local grocery stores.
- Need to be more focused on the budget rather than the quality of meat. Everyone will be in this season at some point in time and there’s no way around it. If you are not in a place to financially afford Butcher Box, then say no for right now.
- Like to know exactly what they’re getting every month. If you’re particular about the meat you need for your meal plan, this might not be a good fit UNLESS you choose the Custom Box.
I encourage you to consider what your food priorities are and see if Butcher Box can help you meet them. Have you tried Butcher Box before? I’d love to hear your honest thoughts about the company and their service. Please leave your comments below for myself and your fellow Crumbs community to read!
Because of a similar concern, I have done some research on this topic. According to my google searches and a discussion with my father (who used to be a butcher), it is my understanding that this leaking is often the result of the package cracking during the freezing then thawing processes.
I always thaw my meat on a dish with only like meats so there is no mingling of juices.
I love the quality and convenience of Butcher Box. Below are a few things I do to improve the affordability.
1. Bake your Bacon, Save the fat for cooking Bacon Fat is great for cooking and as long as it comes from a high quality source (like Butcher Box) it is full on nutrients and good for you. This isn’t something I would do with grocery store bacon, toxins are often stored in the fat and poor quality meats tend to have poor quality fats.
1b, When I cook a pork roast for pulled pork, whatever juices aren’t mixed back in are then separated so I have a nice stock and I pour the fat into a jar and place in the fridge for cooking.
2a. Save your bones and make home made stock (i know this one was mentioned in the posting).
2b. I often cook my roast in the crock pot and save the broth for soup.
3. Take advantage of recurring monthly add-ons and ever changing member specials. These tend to be at a much better price point, and more comparable to what you find at the grocery store. Examples include ‘Bacon blast’ 10 packages of bacon for $40′. I reduced the frequency of my deliveries to bi-monthly plan and have lots of add-ons and specials.
5. Take advantage of ‘for life’ offers. Several months back there was a promotion, I paid ~$30 to receive 2lbs of ground beef with every box for the life of my membership. They are currently offering a similar offer for Bacon, if you sign up during the promotional period.
All the best,
These are fantastic ideas K – thank you for sharing with us!
I really enjoyed reading your blog about BB. I also enjoyed reading others comments about them and your informative answers!
I just received my first BB meat package, it was well packaged and when opened it I was pleasantly surprised to see the meat still frozen! I fixed my first meal last night using the sirloin tips, yum it was very tender and flavorful. I got the big box of mixed meats I look forward to seeing of the rest are is good, but my first impression is that it’s very good quality. I plan to continue my subscription with them, and I’m delighted to have good quality meat delivered toy door every month!
Thank you so much for your review. Especially since on the Butcher Box website, you have to put in your email address before you can even so much as look at what they offer. And personally, I don’t want to be subscribed to their email advertising just to investigate what they have. Thank you for saving me from that! I’m planning on doing Whole30 in May and now have some idea of price-point that I can compare at the Natural Grocers and Whole Foods for the cuts of meat I want to purchase. 🙂
You’re very welcome Jennifer! Good luck on your Whole30!! There are several posts here on the blog, if you need help doing it on a budget. 🙂
one hold up for me on the marketing. They are located in Massachusetts, right? Well as a fellow north easterner, how are they getting “fresh grass” year long? even without any snow, the grass is still dead at least 5 months at of the year? and, yes, there is hay, but that is not ‘fresh grass’. thanks
Hi Ted! The company is based out of Massachusetts, but not all of animals are raised there. They work with farmers outside of the direct area as well.
I tried this for a couple of months. I found the packaging to be a problem. I thought I had somehow poked holes into the package but it seems I had several items that came that way. I’m single, so it’s just me in the freezer. I only used about 40% of what I received after 2 deliveries. When I canceled online one of the reasons I could select was packaging which makes me think they are aware of it.
I’m not accusing anyone of doing something wrong but after I defrosted in the fridge a few items and had a plate full of juice I realized the problem. I found a few other packages in the freezer had small holes and I tossed it all to be on the safe side.
If they are aware of this issue I hope they find a way to correct it.
Your site is awesome for information! Keep it up.
Thanks for sharing Christian! By the way, if the meat is kept above 40F, holes won’t make it go bad. 😉
Love your honest review!! I live in a very small town in west Texas and I’m a ButcherBox member. A drive to the closest big town is an hour away, so I appreciate that I can receive quality meat once a month delivered right to my door. I also feel better supporting a system that is supporting farmers with cleaner practices.
I can totally see how this would help you out Jennifer. I’ve driven through West Texas a few times and there’s not a lot out there. How wonderful to have this delivered to your door!
BB really needs to offer more bacon as an order or offer for free with an order for life…seriously.
Aw geez… now you folks are making me reconsider.
I LOVE bacon, but hate the splatter and mess of cooking it, so I do without (for like, ten years now?!)… But-then, everyone saying how amazing BB’s bacon is and it’s tempting me!! I’ve added the scallops and bacon special to my next order (and-August), so I’ll get to try the bacon…. Oh dear, this MAY be a mistake … I may need to start dealing with way more splattering than I want to…
Hey Elenor – you can bake bacon in the oven to avoid the splatter. 😉 https://dontwastethecrumbs.com/how-to-cook-bacon-in-the-oven/
Hi Tiffany, thanks to your review I signed up for Butcher Box. I saw them on Facebook but was a little suspicious about it so I thought I should look for some reviews of it! I hope you didn’t let me down! 🙂
I only share products I personally use and love (and pay for out of my own pocket!), so I hope you love them too!!
Confused, that’s a box come every week or every month. So is it when 129 per week or month? Thanks for your review.
Hi Stephanie! The prices are based on a monthly subscription. You’re very welcome!
FYI BB does not give you the free bacon anymore. Now they give you 2lbs. of Wild Alaskan salmon, they did honor the $20 off your first order. I grew up on a farm and we raised our own beef, pigs and chicken and we would prepare them for the butcher they were raised on grasses and no antibiotics or hormones. Of course back then not much of that stuff in feeds yet so meat was very tasty. Looking forward to my first order I’ll let you know what I think about service and taste of my order. Thanks for everyones input.
Hi Hermon! Every order comes with a pack of bacon, but you’re right – the current promotion is 2lb of Salmon. I’ll make sure we update this post with the most current information!
I ordered my first Butcher Box for the holidays and have to say the ham was outstanding!! I’m used to buying organic higher quality meats but often find it difficult to find higher quality pork. Wow, what a difference!! I haven’t tried the beef yet but the ham alone was a huge selling point for me. I also really wanted both grass fed and grass finished beef so eager to see if I notice a difference. Thanks for the info in your article, much appreciated!
You’re very welcome Deborah! Just wait until you try the pork chops – GAME CHANGER!
We ordered the Butcher Box large beef box just before Christmas. The delivery was delayed several days so I contacted the company and they checked and there was no UPS delivery date available in the system. Butcher Box immediately shipped another box to us for no charge. Two days later, I received the original order. All the dry ice was gone and most of the beef was a little thawed out. We tried some of the ground beef and it was delicious. We are still waiting on the second box but since Butcher Box treated us right, I just changed my order to the large custom box of beef, pork, and chicken. I look forward to a long-term relationship with Butcher Box….. Again, please note that they were very responsive and professional in dealing with my first order!
We love Butcher Box Matt, and I’m so happy you’ve had a great experience with them as well!
One clarification I’d like to make in that you describe “BB” as being “grass fed”, when they’re “grass finished” beef.
I learned there’s a difference between the two in that YouTube channel host Thomas Delauer states the difference is that one can start feeding cows grass but at the end “finish” with grain, to include GMO, and still be correct in their description on being Grass fed. The grain is used to fatten the cow up. Hence the name “grass finished”.
Thank you for your review and valued input in that we can hav save money by purchasing the items that are available locally. This isa good point.
Another thing that lead me to try BB was whether their grass Finished beef had a gamey taste. I just got my order and will find out shortly. I purchased some grass fed beef from my local Wholesale meat distributor and the meat from New Zealand was gamey and my wife didn’t like it. I didn’t mind though… I was told this can vary from ranch and the type of grass the herd grazes on.
Hey Dan! BB is actually grass-fed AND grass-finished. You’re right that there’s a difference!
We love Butcherbox!
However, the Butcherbox company is launching Smoothiebox. Their smoothies are TERRIBLE (and I don’t eat sugar), they messed up my first order, and customer service is unhelpful.
Don’t waste your money on Smoothiebox, but Butcherbox is worth it.
I appreciate this Angela! I haven’t tried their Smoothiebox yet, but hopefully it’s the jitters of launching something new!
I’ve received a few packages of meats that seemed more “thawed” than they should in the past. However, this past month I noticed they upgraded their insulation with stuff that was well over an inch thick. Everything was frozen solid, and this was a HUGE upgrade from their previous packaging. I highly doubt customers will have this issue anymore as it appears that they have resolved it.
Like another reviewer said “quality over quantity,” this costs more (for less), but you can’t beat the quality. It’s worth it for us and we enjoy the product.
Hi Barbara! Several weeks ago I contacted Butcher Box with several of the issues mentioned in the comments in this post (not just yours), and their customer service team specifically reached out to every single person I was able to give them information on. If you haven’t already, please contact Butcher Box with ANY issues you might have. I’ve spoken to their customer service lead and improving their customer relations is one of their top priorities.
They also told me that they are “[improving and tweaking] issues through a multi-pronged approach – adjusting dry ice amounts, which was especially important during the summer, adding line hauls to get product to hard to reach locations faster, and responding to customers faster.”
As you know, they cannot control FedEx and sometimes boxes are at the very end of a long delivery route, but they are working on making customers happy even when these situations arrive.
I personally purchased a subscription to Butcher Box and my last box came still halfway full with dry ice and everything was frozen solid – so much so, that I had to put on my kitchen oven mitts to handle everything because it was so cold!
With all this said, I understand if Butcher Box isn’t right for you, but do know that they are not ignoring customers and are constantly seeking to improve the way they do business so that we as customers can continue to receive incredibly high quality meat! ♥
I’m so sorry you went through that. I had a slightly different experience. When one of my shipments was completely defrosted and warm (not sure if the box was damaged prior to/during shipping, or the ice was actually inadvertently omitted in packing), I received a new shipment very promptly. While the CSR was in a state of disbelief, as was I, they did rectify the situation immediately, which was the deciding factor for me continuing with this subscription.
I’ve read the reviews as well as your article and I question the math involved.
You mention, regarding cost, that the average cost of the meat is $7.75-$9.00 per pound. You also state “Each package comes in two different sizes: Classic (9-14 lbs of meat for about 24 meals) or Big (18-26 lbs of meat for about 48 meals).Mixed Box / Beef & Pork / Beef & Chicken / All Beef: $129 for a Classic Box, $238 for a Big Box.”
“Depending on what is in your box, it comes out to $7.75 – $9 per pound.”
Let’s do the math. Let’s assume I buy the Classic Box and get a full 14 pounds of meat. My cost is $129 or $9.21 per pound (above the high end of your stated average). If I get the low end on the weight (9 lbs) that comes to $14.33 per pound!! It doesn’t get much better going to the Big Box where 26 pounds would cost $9.15 per pound and 18 pounds would cost $13.22 per pound!!
Steve – I’ll revisit the math on this. BB has changed the wording on how they offer the boxes, so I can’t pull up the page I used to calculate this… I can however, update it to reflect the new BB page. Thanks!
I love my mixed BB and have never had any problems with packaging or my order. The meat, pork and chicken are all excellent. I love getting my surprise box every other month and feel so much better about eating animals raised this way.
I appreciate you sharing your experience with us Kori!