The Butcher Box reviews are in! If you wonder about the prices, quality, and even what comes in a box, keep reading! My family has used ButcherBox for several years, and we love the quality of the meat.
It’s been a few years since I first tried ButcherBox. At the time, I was a huge skeptic about buying grass-fed meat online. I was even more so unsure if it was possible while trying to work within a budget. That’s why it took me nearly four months and two full-size sample boxes to fall in love with the company and their monthly subscription service.
A lot has changed since I first purchased my subscription, so I wanted to provide even more insight for you in this updated Butcher Box review, so you can decide whether or not it’s a good fit for your family!
Before I dig in, I need to share some personal back story on how and why we landed on Butcher Box in the first place.
CAN YOU EAT TOO MUCH CHICKEN?
For the first 8 years of my marriage, 80% of our meat consumption was chicken. This was fine by me because chicken is cheap. I’ve seen whole free-range chickens marked down to as little as $3. This was also because my husband doesn’t like ground beef. Even the Best Burgers Ever.
It’s a texture thing, and it overlaps into fish and pulled meat, too, with Slow Cooker Carnitas being a huge exception; he requests that one often! But as we’ve learned more about our bodies and the role that food and supplements play, I’m starting to wonder if you can eat too much chicken…
My husband and I started taking a B-complex vitamin, primarily for the B12. He took it to help manage his nervousness and I took it to help with cognitive function and focus. It was a light bulb moment for both of us. We felt so much better!!
And then it dawned on me – if we felt relief from a supplement, we probably weren’t getting enough B12 in our diet. But why? We don’t eat processed food and have been consistently preparing whole foods for several years at this point! I did some research and found that the best source of B vitamins is animal protein. Here’s a quick rundown of the top vitamins for the major meat groups:
- Vitamin B1: Pork
- Vitamin B3: Chicken, Beef, Fish/Seafood
- Vitamin B6: Chicken, Beef
- Vitamin B12: Pork, Beef, Fish/Seafood
- Phosphorus: Chicken
- Zinc: Pork
Do you see what I see? Since we ate a balanced diet all around– omitting pork, beef, and fish– it still meant we were completely missing three of the best sources for B12! In the same way that we need a variety of vegetables for all their nutrients, we need a variety of meats!
HOW DOES BUTCHERBOX WORK?
If you’ve never heard of ButcherBox before, let me give you the chips and salsa version:
- ButcherBox is a meat delivery service. 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 pasture-raised pork, organic chicken, and wild-caught seafood to your front door every month.
- When you join, you choose the type of box you want to get:
- Mixed Box
- Beef & Pork Box
- Beef & Chicken Box
- All Beef Box
- Custom Box that lets you choose specifically what cuts of meat you want each month.
- Choose between two box sizes: Classic Box (9-14 lbs of meat for about 24 meals) or Big Box (18-26 lbs of meat for about 48 meals).
- You can change your order each month, so you’re never locked into one type of box.
- Throw in 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, or even seasonal items like ham for Easter or corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day!).
You choose what package of meat you’d like, the frequency (how often) you want the box delivered (either every month or every other month), and then choose any add-ons if you’d like.
Read more about how Butcher Box works and pricing on their website.
HOW MUCH DOES BUTCHERBOX COST?
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!
This is a frugal food blog, and no honest ButcherBox review 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.)
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 beef. 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. For example, choose larger cuts of meat (like whole chicken over boneless skinless chicken breast). Or join when their sign on offer is something you’ll use most (like free bacon, free ground beef, or free NY Strips).
A few other things to note:
- Butcherbox 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.
If you’re ready to jump in, click this link to claim the current ButcherBox Crumbs exclusive offer!
THE QUALITY OF BUTCHER BOX MEAT
Butcher Box meats fall into three main categories – beef, chicken, and pork – to bring you the very best. The quality of the meat is pretty impressive, if I do 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.
We think their ground beef, rib-eyes, top sirloin, NY strip, pork loin, and pork chops are absolutely amazing. They have THE BEST pork chops you will ever taste in your entire life. Every time I make them, I think that they’re worth the entire subscription alone! But since we’ve been Butcher Box subscribers for a few years now, I’ve also been able to try a few new cuts of higher quality meat:
- Salmon. Their wild salmon comes in 2-pound bags, with several pre-cut filets inside. Both my son and I LOVE salmon, so the two of us made a simple sheet pan-style dinner. Very tender and flavorful and we both wished we had made more so we could have seconds!
- Lamb Roast. The lamb roast was so, so good…incredibly tender, absolutely delicious, and the one roast was WAY MORE than enough for the four of us. We had so much leftover that I froze it, and we enjoyed lamb tacos for many, many nights!
- Turkey. I was super nervous to cook the Thanksgiving turkey last year, partly because I had never done it before, but also because I didn’t want to screw up cooking a pastured turkey! I followed a tried-and-true recipe and my husband’s entire family raved about how delicious the turkey was. And I admit, it was some of THE BEST turkey I’ve ever had!
- Ribs. My husband was a skeptic about their ribs and thought they couldn’t be better than the ribs we buy from Costco. Butcher Box proved him wrong! I’ve used the ribs from Butcher Box to create my Slow Cooker Ribs recipe, and they turn out perfect every single time.
- Ground Pork. I’ve heard from several people that finding natural, humanely raised ground pork locally is hard, but I don’t have that issue now that Butcher Box offers it in their monthly boxes! Nine times out of ten, we use the ground pork to make Homemade Breakfast Sausage. The 10th time we make Egg Roll in a Bowl and chow down on that!
After our first few boxes, 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 decided I’d focus on beef and pork since I can get good deals on organic chicken locally. And we figured out how to make it fit into our budget!
DOES BUTCHER BOX MEAT TASTE GOOD?
This is probably the most important question of all the Butcher Box reviews: but does the Butcher Box meat actually taste good?
The beef and pork from ButcherBox are 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 whole chicken was also good, but because we’re committed to buying organic chicken anyway, we didn’t notice much of a difference.
BUTCHER BOX REVIEWS: THINGS I LIKE ABOUT BUTCHERBOX
A few things have changed since I shared my original review, but they’re for the better, making ButcherBox one of the best companies I’ve worked with.
YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR MONTHLY BOX CATEGORY
You now have the option to change your monthly box. I don’t know if I missed this initially, but when I reached out to Butcher Box and asked them to put one month on hold because I had beef coming out of my ears, they told me I could switch my box to something else!
This is perfect for keeping our freezer stocked with grass-fed beef, organic chicken, and heritage breed pork. I can balance our monthly grocery budget AND the need for more or less meat, depending on what’s going on in any given month.
CLASSIC BOX AND CUSTOM BOX COST THE SAME
The Classic Box is the same price as the Custom Box. The Classic Box used to cost $20 less than the Custom Box. At first glance, you might see this as a negative. I see this as a HUGE positive! That means that you can pick and choose the exact cuts of meat you want without having to pay more to do it!
A custom curated box is perfect for picky eaters (like my husband). Or for when you need a specific cut for your meal plan. This is one of the key elements to make ButcherBox worth the cost!
YOU GET AN EMAIL ABOUT YOUR SHIPMENT BEFORE IT’S PROCESSED.
I LOVE getting an email at the end of each month reminding me about my order that’s about to process. This gives me a chance to check my freezer to see what I’m low on, to check my meal plan to see what I need and to check my family calendar to see what upcoming guests or parties we have planned. I can log in on my own, update my order, and then have everything I need when it arrives on my doorstep.
THE PACKAGING HAS CHANGED, AND IT WORKS!
Getting high quality meat from point A to point B WITHOUT sacrificing the quality or integrity of the meat can be a challenge. Butcher Box has stepped up to the plate! While the insulated bags they originally used were cute, they didn’t always get the job done.
Instead, they switched to insulated boxes, so when you open the box, the entire box is insulated with 1” thick material. On top of that, there is a significant amount of dry ice inside that insulation so that your meat arrives cold and safe, according to FDA standards. Even with the old packaging, my meat has never arrived completely thawed.
However, the new packaging means my meat is rock solid frozen, every time!
BUTCHERBOX HAS UPPED THEIR GAME IN EDUCATION
As you can imagine, there are a lot of rumors and misinformation when it comes to meat and temperatures and safety concerns. For example:
- It is perfectly safe to refreeze food that has been thawed in the refrigerator, WITHOUT cooking it first.
- If food is partly frozen, as cold as if it were in a refrigerator (40 °F), and still has ice crystals, it is safe to refreeze or use!
You may have heard otherwise from your grandmother, but it’s simply not true! I love that ButcherBox has taken the initiative to educate their customers on what is considered safe and not safe, according to FDA standards.
They now send a super helpful infographic each month via email after your order processes. There’s also an insert in your actual monthly delivery.
BUTCHERBOX HAS INVESTED IN CUSTOMER SERVICE
I know first-hand how important customer service is, and that’s why I personally brought YOUR concerns to ButcherBox last year. In turn, they hired a new customer service manager and drastically reduced response time.
Your concerns trickled up the chain, too. They’re planning to open two new distribution centers to help reduce transit time for hard-to-reach states.
I know that companies are run by humans and humans make mistakes, but I love that ButcherBox isn’t sweeping them under the rug. They acknowledge them and make plans to fix them in the best interest of the customer. I’m not sure if customer service gets any better than that!
IS BUTCHER BOX A GOOD DEAL?
I’ll be the first to admit that ButcherBox 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 helps if you feel on the fence.
BUTCHERBOX IS GOOD FOR THOSE WHO…
- Are concerned about the quality of the meat they’re eating. Quality is extremely important to ButcherBox, 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, ButcherBox 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 ButcherBox 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!
BUTCHERBOX 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 ButcherBox, 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.
IS BUTCHERBOX WORTH IT?
I personally am a VERY happy and satisfied customer and have been for quite some time now. If you’re looking for high quality beef, pork, and chicken, I highly encourage you to give ButcherBox a try!
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Have you tried ButcherBox before? Leave your own Butcher Box reviews in the comments!