18 Places to Buy Meat That Aren’t Supermarkets
Why go to the grocery store when you can get all that the meat case has to offer (and more) delivered right to your door? Bonus: No mask required!
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Where's the beef (and other protein)?
While toilet paper and hand sanitizer are making a healthy rebound on supermarket shelves, you may have noticed that the meat case has been looking awfully empty lately. The prolonged shutdown of meat-processing plants and the notable outbreak of coronavirus at one of the largest pork factories in the United States have caused supermarket shortages of beef, poultry, and other meats, which experts expect to last through the summer. The seafood industry has been hit hard, too.
In response, some chain grocery stores, including Kroger and Costco, are limiting meat purchases, while others have been forced to hike prices. But don't panic. Farmers are still raising just as much quality beef, pork, chicken, and fish as ever. If you don't have a local farmers' market that sells directly to consumers, you still have plenty of options. The following services will deliver every kind of animal protein you can imagine—from Wagyu beef to kangaroo—directly to your door. As for fruits, veggies, and other assorted groceries, check out these 11 online grocers you've never heard of that are fully stocked.
Note: Prices listed were accurate as of press time; pricing fluctuations may occur.
The co-founders of Porter Road, James Peisker and Chris Carter, both worked in the Nashville restaurant scene, where they discovered how tough it was to find meats that met their standards for quality. Today, they raise and process their own lamb, beef, chicken, and pork, all vegetarian-fed and pastured in Tennessee and Kentucky. The beef is dry-aged for 14 days to ensure the tenderest steak, and it's always shipped fresh.
But the best part of their business may be their dedication to sustainability, down to their shipping materials, which can be fully recycled. Because they process the meat themselves using a technique known as "whole seam animal butchery" to minimize waste, they offer cuts many other suppliers don't, including teres major, tri-tip, and hanger steak.
Prices start at nine dollars for a dry-aged sirloin filet, as well as dry-aged ground beef, with free shipping on orders over $100 (so it pays to buy in bulk). Meats can be ordered a la carte or via two-, four- or eight-week subscriptions. They restock every weekday, typically between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Eastern Time, so definitely check back often if you're looking for a specific product and don't see it. Learn the 20 secrets your butcher won't tell you.
"Lots of people are experiencing online meat shopping for the first time," says Joe Heitzeberg, the CEO and co-founder of Crowd Cow. "One silver lining of that is many people are finding their way to a more transparent and sustainable way of producing meat." This Seattle-based company is one of those ways. Sourcing meat and seafood from small, independent farms and local processors in 22 states, Crowd Cow built its own supply chain, which allows it to offer a consistently high quality of beef, pork, chicken, seafood, lamb, and bison. Transparency is key, and there are biographies about each producer on the website, so you know exactly where your protein is coming from. Plus, the company is so committed to sustainability, it uses eco-friendly packaging and offsets all carbon emissions from deliveries.
This long-standing go-to for Father's Day gifts is probably already on your radar, and for good reason. After 103 years in the steak business, this fifth-generation Nebraska-based company knows a thing or two about beef. What you might not have realized, however, is that it also sells poultry, seafood, pork, bison, and all the accouterments and sides to make a meal. Whether you want a high-quality rib eye, a gourmet burger, or another protein altogether, this is your one-stop-shop. You can even buy bulk packages of different cuts. When you're ready to fire up the grill, just make sure to avoid these 10 mistakes (almost) everyone makes when cooking steak.
And here's something else you can feel good about: The company recently partnered with Feeding America, so a portion of the proceeds from your purchase will be donated to a national network of food banks.
Sea to Table
Don't forget the surf to your turf. This seafood service is a la carte and includes shellfish like wild Gulf shrimp and Maine lobster. Everything is wild-caught, processed in the United States, and meets the Marine Stewardship Council and Monterey Bay Aquarium's standards of sustainability, so you can be sure you're not contributing to overfishing. Every product is clearly labeled with the harvest area, catch method, and often the actual fishing vessel of your fish for the ultimate in traceability.
Plus, the fish is flash-frozen either on the vessel at sea or shortly after being caught to maintain peak freshness. Prices start around seven dollars per six-ounce portion, and shipping is free on all orders over $85. In case you were wondering, this is how long you can keep fish in your own fridge.
Holy Grail Steaks
As the name implies, this San Francisco–based business is a mecca for steak lovers. If you want the kind of quality filet served in the nation's top steakhouses, like genuine Japanese Kobe beef (not the American Wagyu most other sellers offer), this is where to get it. Founder Cameron Hughes sources his beef from artisanal farms and ranches in the United States and Japan and ages them at least five times longer than anything you can buy in a grocery store.
Hughes recommends the simplest preparation—pan searing with a little sea salt—to let the flavors and legendary marbling of the meat speak for themselves. He says Tajima Wagyu burgers and rib eyes are popular, but when you want to pull out all the stops, nothing beats a tomahawk on the grill. That kind of quality does come at a cost, though; steaks start at $49. Here's why Wagyu beef is so expensive.
KC Cattle Company
A relative newcomer to the online steak business, this three-year-old company won recognition for its gourmet Wagyu beef hot dogs, which taste like steak on a bun. Owner Patrick Montgomery is just as discriminating about the rest of his inventory, which includes Wagyu beef—from cattle, he raises with zero hormones or antibiotics on a 300-acre lot in Missouri—and Berkshire pork. (Lamb will also be available beginning at the end of May.) But most impressively, because this is Montgomery's second act after a career as a U.S. Army ranger, his business is 100 percent veteran-owned and operated, so you can feel good about eating well. Inventory updates every Tuesday, so that's when you stand the best chance of landing the cuts you want, according to Montgomery.
Sheltering in place can be boring—but what you eat doesn't have to be. This could be the perfect time to venture outside your usual comfort zone with game meats like duck, wild boar, squab, and rabbit from New Jersey-based D'Artagnan. The company sells humanely raised gourmet meats used by top chefs, including Bobby Flay and Tom Colicchio, and it has also seen a huge recent increase in staples like chicken, pork, lamb, and beef.
Company founder Ariane Daguin grew up with a French chef father and wanted everyone to experience food the way she did. She is also as committed to giving back to the community as she is to selling quality products; she recently donated $430,000 worth of meat to local food banks and partnered with several celebrities on a relief fund for small farmers who have been impacted by COVID-19. These uplifting stories of neighbors helping during coronavirus will inspire you to do the same.
Like a CSA for meat, this Boston-based subscription-only service offers custom or curated boxes of meats, including grass-fed beef, heritage pork, and free-range poultry. The company has started to offer seafood as well: Alaskan sockeye salmon, salmon burgers, and wild-caught sea scallops. On any given week, there are more than 20 cuts to choose from, and bison, lamb, and turkey are offered seasonally as well. Customers can select their preferred cuts or choose to be surprised. Boxes start at $129 per month for between eight and 11 pounds of meat (add-ons are extra), and shipping is free. The website recently opened the waitlist to new members, so sign up if you want to get in on the action.
Meat isn't just for meals, especially if you're a Paleo devotee. For high-protein snacks and deli-style charcuterie, this subscription-based service has you covered. Choose from classic boxes ($40 per month plus shipping) or snack boxes ($25 per month plus shipping), and receive a box of high-quality cured beef or pork-based cured meats: salami, summer sausage, prosciutto, and more. Occasionally the selection will include poultry and wild game, but always from sources that treat animals ethically and use locally sourced ingredients. There's even a special box for jerky aficionados. (If you happen to be one, check out these jerky flavors you never heard of before.) The ever-changing selection means you're always getting something new and exciting, whether you subscribe monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly.
Kansas City Steak Company
If you haven't had Midwestern steak, you haven't had steak—at least according to this 88-year-old meat purveyor. The secret to its juicy, super popular filets and rib eyes lies in quality meat from cattle raised in western Kansas and a premier wet-aging process. Steaks are cryovaced with their original juices for up to 28 days to keep the meat moist and lock in flavor, then flash-frozen and delivered to your door.
The site also offers chicken, lamb, pork, seafood, and some prepared foods like Beef Wellington to save you prep time. But its steak, signature steak sauce, and steak seasoning are what it's best known for—particularly the Kansas City Strip Steak. Almost as delicious: a flat shipping fee of $14.95 for standard delivery.
With so many supermarket delis restricting their selections, good charcuterie can be tough to come by these days. Enter this online cured-meat wonderland, which has a vast selection of high-quality artisan producers across America, Italy, France, and Spain. Prosciutto and salami are top sellers, but you can find bresaola, jambon de Bayonne, chorizo, soppressata, and kielbasa, among other items to step up a sandwich, pizza, or charcuterie board. All meats are cut and wrapped to order and ship nationwide via overnight FedEx.
To make the most of your time between deliveries, check out these 14 ways to make your coronavirus stockpile last longer.
If you're committed to an organic lifestyle or want to know that your meat was raised as humanely and as sustainably as possible, this company has strict standards for organic, certified humane beef, pork, lamb, and poultry. Livestock is raised only on USDA-certified organic farms, including Belcampo's 25,000 acres of northern California farmland, where the utmost care is taken to ensure that animals are raised humanely and compassionately, with the freedom to roam and graze, and handled with low-stress techniques.
That attention and the company mission to produce meat that's better for both people and the planet shows in the quality of cuts like beef short rib, bone-in pork chops, and whole chickens. And at nine dollars per pound for ground beef, the cost isn't wildly off of what you'd pay in a supermarket for similar-quality products. Shipping is free on orders over $100. Keep in mind that quality matters, because when you eat processed meat, you're likely also eating this gross ingredient.
Snake River Farms & Double R Ranch
Superior quality is the aim of this Boise-based, family-owed purveyor, which offers two kinds of beef—American Wagyu and USDA Prime Northwest—as well as heritage pork. The beef is sourced from locations throughout the Northwest including Washington and Idaho, is grass-fed and grain-finished, and is either wet-aged or dry-aged. To achieve that kind of quality, the company invests in sustainable and humane practices for all its meat, and it will ship fresh or frozen. You can find filets and other cuts in a range of prices and qualities, from USDA Choice ($24 plus shipping) to American Wagyu Gold ($53 plus shipping), which has the highest marbling they offer. Provision packs of bulk cuts are also available at a discount.
When you're bored with chicken and beef, check out this New Jersey-based outfit, which specializes in wild game such as bison, elk, venison, wild boar, ostrich, pheasant, and quail—even kangaroo loin. Owner Lance Applebaum got interested in game meats after eating bison and ostrich and discovering they were naturally leaner than beef and chicken but just as tasty. "Wild animals are free to forage on natural grasses and are never, ever administered antibiotics, steroids, or growth hormones," he says. In addition to regular cuts, virtually all meats are available as burgers and sausages. Applebaum says game meats appeal to people (and pets!) with allergies to red meat, or to anyone who's just looking for some culinary adventure. Prices start around seven dollars for a bison burger and $10 for strip loin steak, plus shipping.
The namesake and founder of this South Jersey-based business was a butcher, and that's reflected in the quality of the meats you can buy. They all come from small family farms across America: chicken from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, pork from eastern Pennsylvania, and more. There are also plenty of sustainable seafood options, including wild-raised Faroe Island salmon and line-caught albacore tuna. All proteins are vacuum-sealed and flash-frozen, so they stay fresh for up to a year in the freezer. The company even carries plant-based meat alternatives. Pricing starts at $19 plus shipping (free on orders over $200). There's also a discount for referring a friend.
As the name indicates, this New York-based company specializes in heritage breeds of turkey, pork, beef, and poultry, which are sourced from family farms in the Northeast and Midwest. Heritage meats have a depth of flavor and fat marbling that makes the meat more tender and juicy and is unrivaled by industrially farmed varieties. Choose from five breeds of heritage pork, seven breeds of 19th-century heritage turkey, six breeds of chicken, and some of America's oldest lamb breeds. The company also works with artisanal curemasters to make country ham, prosciutto, salami, sausage, and bacon from their heritage breed meats. Heritage Foods has a loyalty program for return customers, which it's almost guaranteed you'll be after you taste its humanely raised, restaurant-quality meats.
Make sure to avoid this mistake when cooking pork.
Wild Alaskan Company
Steaks are great, but don't forget about fish. This subscription service delivers the best, most sustainable catches from Alaska (where the company's founder grew up in a fishing family) and the Pacific Northwest to your door on a monthly basis. Choose a plan (Wild Salmon Box, Wild White Fish Box, or Wild Combo Box) and any add-ons like scallops, and enjoy premium seafood done right. Prices start around $117 per box. It's a great—and delicious—way to make sure you get all your omega-3s. Don't miss these 11 seafood facts that will change how you eat fish forever.
This Chicago institution is known for its restaurant-quality, hand-cut aged steaks, but the company also offers other top-quality meats and seafood. You can find steakhouse classics like prime-aged porterhouse and Wagyu tomahawks, as well as grass-fed strip steaks. All USDA-graded choice or prime beef is sourced from farms and ranches in the Midwest, while the Wagyu comes from the United States, Australia, or Japan. Artisan butchers then wet- or dry-age the meat for the juiciest, most tender steaks. You can select cuts a la carte or order a steak box or subscription (starting at $525). The meat is flash-frozen and shipped using eco-friendly materials; shipping rates start at $25, but are free on your first order when you sign up for email updates.
For more strategies, including how to stay sane and safe, see our comprehensive Coronavirus Guide.
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