There’s an essential question the world should ask itself about mail-order meat: Why order it?

Online meat purveyors offer more diverse, more interesting and frankly better cuts of meat than what's found at a standard grocery store. And where does the intrepid cook whose town doesn’t have a proper butcher get their hands on heritage chickens? Or aged Osso Buco? Or true Wagyu beef? Or just a steady stream of meat to put on the table that’s better than whatever is available to them? Without these companies, the answer is nowhere. These are the best places to buy meat online.

What to Know Before Buying Meat Online

Ordering meat online is an entirely different experience from picking up some cuts from your local butcher or grocery store. While you’re in charge of making sure your meat makes it to your fridge or freezer in an appropriate amount of time when buying locally, your purchase is in the hands of delivery services when ordering online. And since meat is perishable, you always want to check to see how your meat is being packaged (climate-controlled packaging is a must) and that it will make it to you promptly — most companies in this guide will get you your food within a couple of days. You’ll also want to track your order to ensure that you’ll be home when your delivery arrives so it doesn’t wait outside for a lengthy period of time.

In exchange for putting up with the potential worry of shipping snafus, a major benefit of ordering meat online is the sheer variety of quality products available. Whether you’re shopping for steaks from a Michelin-starred restaurant, officially-certified Kobe beef or some other rare delicacy, you’ll have a better chance of finding it online than in the mom-and-pop shop down the block.

Common Cuts of Steak

While you can buy all kinds of meat online (as you’ll see below), steak remains the chief motivating factor for a lot of people looking to buy beef on the internet. But with so many different cuts available, it can be a challenge to determine what kind of steak you actually want. So to make your job a little easier, here’s a brief rundown of some of the most common types of steak you’re going to come across.

Rib: Taken from the upper, middle portion of a cow’s ribs, this is where you’ll find tender, well-marbled steaks like prime rib and ribeye.

Short Loin: Moving down a steer’s back into the hindquarters, directly behind the rib region, you’ll find the short loin. This area is home to your expensive, restaurant-worthy entrée steaks like the strip steak, porterhouse and T-bone; the latter pair of which also include part of the tenderloin.

Tenderloin: The tenderest part of a beef critter, the comparatively small tenderloin sits behind the short loin and partly overlaps it. Its soft and buttery texture is best experienced through the prized filet mignon, consistently one of the priciest cuts of beef you’ll come across.

Sirloin: Also located behind the short loin and divided into the more tender top sirloin and tougher bottom sirloin, you can think of sirloin steaks as your average, middle-of-the-road steaks.

Flank: Flank steaks are thin, muscular cuts that come from the lower sides of cattle, flanking the belly. One of the healthier and more affordable types of steak, flank steaks require a bit more finesse when cooking to prevent them from becoming too tough.

Round: Coming from the hind legs of a cow, round steaks are another affordable, leaner option. Like the sirloin, the round is divided into top and bottom portions, with both being fairly similar in their toughness and flavor and mainly differing in size (top round is larger).

How We Tested

collage of meat delivery boxes
Gear Patrol Staff

There is no shortage of meat lovers at Gear Patrol, so finding willing testers for this guide was not difficult. Our testers called in orders from a number of online meat delivery services, ordering brands' flagship products as well as looking to get a strong overview of their vendor's varied offerings. We paid attention to how the meat was packed and delivered, the freshness and taste of the product and the overall value for money. Here's where we think you should order meat online.

Porter Road

Best Overall Meat Delivery Service

Porter Road

  • Meat was fresh and still frozen upon delivery
  • Assortment of cuts offered a wide array of meals to make

  • Curated boxes don't offer the opportunity to make swaps, so buying à la carte may be the best move
  • Shipping Info: Shipments take 5-10 business days, with flat-rate shipping charges on orders over $125.
  • Pricing: Curated boxes from $120.

    Porter Road started because chefs James Peisker and Chris Carter were annoyed with a lack of truly good meat for their newborn catering business. That frustration turned into a full-service butcher shop, which has since evolved into a sizeable online collection of beef, chicken, lamb and pork. All of Porter Road’s meats are raised sans antibiotics or filler feed. They’re also priced moderately and arrive (unfrozen) within two days of ordering. As an added bonus, the cooling foam inside the packaging can be disposed of by running it under the sink for a few seconds.

    Porter Road offers a wide array of cuts and meat varieties: from rarer, harder-to-find pieces, like Teres Major, to staples, like ground beef. Our tester was sent the Best of Porter Road Box, which came with two dry-aged strip steaks, two pork chops, two pounds of dry-aged ground beef, bacon, country sausage and chorizo. The assortment offered a nice mix, and because it came frozen, not fresh and store-bought, our tester was able to space out how and when he ate it more easily.

    a box of red meat
    Well-insulated packaging means your meat arrives still frozen.
    Evan Malachosky

    The meat didn't come dry-iced, but it was still plenty frozen, thanks to a few giant ice packs and an insulated cooler. Our reviewer found the value for the money was top-notch, especially since dry-aged meat doesn't come cheap, at least not locally.

    Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors

    Best Upgrade Meat Delivery Service

    Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors

    • Very consistent in its quality
    • Trusted by top NYC restaurants

    • Meat arrives unlabeled, making it hard to tell what's what if you ordered similar cuts
    • High price probably takes the name into account
    • Shipping Info: Two-day shipping, with cost dependent on location.
    • Pricing: No minimum required to order.

      There is little fame to be had in the world of meat production. Unless you’re Pat LaFrieda, who’s been called “the Magician of Meat.” His company supplies beef to some of the best restaurants in the country and just so happens to offer a good portion of its protein online. La Frieda offers a ton of different beef, pork, lamb, veal, poultry and more. For the purposes of this test, our reviewer was sent three of the top beef offerings: Prime T-Bone Steak, Prime Beef Short Rib and Original Chopped Beef Blend.

      The meat was packed in a large cardboard box with ice packs, which our tester wouldn't say was the most Earth-friendly packaging around. The meat all looked properly frozen and perfectly intact out of the box, though. Also worth noting: they called our tester before delivering to make sure he would be home to receive the shipment. Once defrosted, our reviewer says the meat appeared exceptionally fresh. It basically looked like the photos on the website, so as good as advertised.

      Our tester cooks meat fairly regularly, and everything he received from LaFrieda was definitely a cut above what he normally gets from a pretty nice neighborhood market, he says. The T-Bone Steak was big and juicy and a joy to simply salt and pepper and pan-fry medium rare. The Short Rib, cooked low and slow for several hours, pretty much melted off the bone, tender and flavorful. The chopped beef was moist but not slimy and quite versatile, easy to pack into patties, throw in a pan for tacos or incorporate into pasta.

      a steak cooking in a pan
      Pat LaFrieda’s meats live up to their hyped billing.
      Steve Mazzucchi

      Our tester said Pat's beef felt "pretty premium," and he was pretty hesitant to call it a value play, noting that you can get similar cuts of meat for much less at a grocery store or butcher shop. That being said, LaFrieda is renowned for its beef — it seems like half the burger joints in NYC brag about using it — so you are paying for both the name and the quality.


      Best Budget Meat Delivery Service


      • Boxes are customizable, so you won't get cuts you don't want

      • It can be hard to know how many cuts you're getting
      • Shipping Info: Deliveries take 1-5 days and ship free.
      • Pricing: Basic plans start at $99 per box.

        One of the best-known brands in this guide, ButcherBox operates on a subscription model. You either curate your own selection with a curated box or let the company do the picking for you, with boxes filled with poultry, beef, pork or a combination of the three. Each box can contain up to 14 pounds of meat, which could work out to about $5 a meal.

        Our tester enjoyed the customization offered by the service, noting the varied selection of basics like beef, pork and chicken, plus good seafood options and some "novelties" like sausage and breaded chicken strips. The meat comes frozen, but defrosts well, according to our tester.

        The value for money is dependent on what you get in your box. Our tester notes that the price per cut of the 6-cut pack is ~$28 and the 12-cut pack is ~$25. So if you get a lot of ground beef, you are paying a hefty premium for convenience! Less so if you're maxing out on steaks.

        packages of meat on a table
        A lack of variety is definitely not one of ButcherBox’s shortcomings.
        Eric Limer

        A couple of things to watch out for, from our tester: One, the cut sizes may require you to recalibrate some recipes. Our tester's pork chops were thicker than what he usually gets at the store, but the chicken thighs he received were smaller. Next, it can be hard to tell how many items are in a package. The 1-lb chicken thigh packages are labeled as containing 3-5 thighs, but you won't be able to tell until you get it open. Some cuts also have a max amount per box. For example, you can't get a 6-cut box of just top sirloin steaks; you're limited to 2 per 6 cuts.

        Crowd Cow

        Best for Sustainable Meats

        Crowd Cow

        • Meats sourced from independent, ethical and sustainable suppliers
        • Recyclable and compostable packaging

        • Packaging is also messy and not as durable as it should be
        • Shipping Info: Packages arrive in as few as two days, pricing is $25 or free on orders over $125 with free membership.
        • Pricing: $75 minimum required to place an order.

          Crowd Cow was founded when its founders caught wind that their friends were all going in on a cow from a local ranch. They thought that this practice could be streamlined and simplified, so they created Crowd Cow, which essentially acts as crowdfunding for the purchasing of beef. Instead of calling up a dozen ranches, coordinating shipping and storing what is frankly way too much meat, Crowd Cow allows you to buy high-quality meats (it’s not just beef) from local ranchers at fairer prices.

          Our tester was sent a wide variety of beef, chicken, pork and even seafood (salmon and shrimp if you're keeping score). She says the value for the money is good, especially if you're a beef lover wanting quality steaks and Wagyu options, given the impressive variety. The brand also runs a lot of promos, like the occasional 3 lbs of ground beef in your first subscription box, which definitely increases the value for the money if you choose to become a member.

          frozen meat on a counter with a crowd cow box
          Crowd Cow is definitely beef-centric, but the service also offers poultry, pork and even seafood.
          Leila Barber

          Our tester loved that Crowd Cow gets its meats from independent and ethical sources and that the company is committed to sustainability. They use recyclable and compostable packaging, which our tester appreciated but did note that shavings from the packaging tended to get everywhere as she unpacked her box. She also notes that the packaging for the individual meats also seems to break easily, making it susceptible to holes.

          Vermont Wagyu

          Best for American Wagyu

          Vermont Wagyu

          vermontwagyu.comVermont Wagyu

          • 100% full-blood Wagyu, flavorful and tender cuts
          • Fast and efficient shipping
          • Transparent farming and breeding practices

          • With the quality comes a steeper price tag reserved for special occasions
          • Shipping Info: Deliveries take 1-3 days and pricing varies by delivery zone.
          • Pricing: $100 minimum order required.

            Vermont Wagyu offers 100% full-blood Wagyu, bred and raised in America on a small farm that specializes in restorative agricultural management, low-stress handling practices and data-focused breeding. The farm offers around 19 cuts (with varying sizes to choose from each) along with ground meat and bundle packages. Its meat is frozen and shipped quickly in a box with dry ice that's insulated with styrofoam panels — when a package of it arrived on the opposite coast for our tester, it was still frozen solid. The meat was vacuum-sealed in freezer-safe bags and the styrofoam panels were easier to dispose of compared to molded styrofoam boxes, says our tester.

            Our reviewer was sent the farm's NY strip, tenderloin and tomahawk steaks. The meat itself was special — rich, flavorful, marbled and tender. It's what you'd hope to get with cows like that; pasture-raised and grass-fed without hormones or steroids. Now, this isn't Japanese A5 Wagyu, the type of meat that's marbled so much it literally melts like butter, and that's ok. With the Vermont-raised full-blood Wagyu, you still get juicy, tender, full-flavored meat, but you can enjoy more of the experience — you can eat (and share) the steak and enjoy every bite.

            two photos of steak, one uncooked in a pan next to one cooked in a pan
            The American-raised Wagyu from Vermont Wagyu is rich and flavorful.
            John Zientek

            The prices reflect the quality of the cattle and the farms practices, so these cuts of meat are more likely reserved for special occasions, but they are worth splurging on. Our tester says to opt for the larger sizes, if you can afford it — the thicker cuts make it possible to get sublime sears without overcooking. The tomahawk cut was incredibly juicy and tender with the most marbling of the cuts our tester received. The tenderloin was a standout — our tester says it's perhaps the best tenderloin he's experienced — with an incredible texture that retained more moisture than other tenderloins he'd cooked. And, the NY strip was hard to fault — perhaps a middle ground between the two, offering something for everyone.

            Rugby Scott

            Best for Burgers & Dogs

            Rugby Scott


            • Sustainable and effective packaging
            • Quality offerings like A5 Wagyu, American Wagyu and Mangalitsa pork
            • Family-owned

            • Selection is pretty limited
            • Could use more transparency into how their meat is raised
            • Shipping Info: Standard shipping offered at $25, with shipments going out on Tuesdays and Wednesdays only.
            • Pricing: No minimum required to order.

              Rugby Scott is a family-owned purveyor of meats from three ranches: the original property in North Dakota, which stretches back five generations, along with subsequent ranches in Kansas and Colorado. The brand preaches a three-part philosophy of "honor the land," "respect the cycle," and "eat with intention." So how does that translate to the meat?

              Our tester was sent a wide variety of steaks, burgers and hot dogs from Rugby Scott, most of which centered on the brand's own American-raised Wagyu beef. Also included was a 4-oz filet of genuine A5 Wagyu from Japan, which is a relative rarity online (and, at $49 per 4-oz filet, it isn't cheap). The A5 Wagyu is, put simply, an experience. It's more akin to pork belly than a traditional steak, and searing up and eating some was arguably the highlight of our tester's Rugby Scott experience.

              packaged steak next to cooked steak in a pan
              In addition to show-stopping burgers and dogs, Rugby Scott also sells super-marbled A5 Wagyu from Japan.
              Johnny Brayson

              But the brand is best known for its homegrown Wagyu, which our tester also found delicious. Calling this Wagyu and expecting the same thing you'd get from Japan is a bit of a misnomer — Rugby Scott's American Wagyu still firmly falls in the Western steak camp, but it's on the very high end of that category, with tons of marbling and flavor. And while the argument is often made that Japanese Wagyu should never be ground up since it will lose its butter-like texture, Rugby Scott grinds its American Wagyu — and our tester was all the happier for it. The ground Wagyu is mixed with Managlitsa pork — those sheep-like pigs considered among the best pork in the world — to create out-of-this-world burgers and dogs. Our tester found both to be among the best he'd ever tasted, as both were extremely juicy and richly flavored.

              The meats arrived frozen and insulated with Green Cell Foam panels, which are non-toxic and disintegrate in water. They admittedly took a long time to break down in our tester's tub, but eventually, he was left without a mess. What our tester would like to see from Rugby Scott is a bit more transparency. While the brand talks like many other "natural" meat purveyors, and its products are free from hormones and antibiotics, there's no mention of other certifications one might expect, like "organic" or "grass-fed." Also, the site claims to use the whole cow by offering "provisions" like cooking oil, pet treats and leather products, but none of these are available on the site.

              E3 Meat Co.

              Best for Ranch to Table

              E3 Meat Co.


              • Great customer service
              • High-quality meat
              • Packaging keeps meat fresh for a long time

              • Packages are very pre-structured — take it or leave it
              • Shipping Info: Deliveries occur within the same week your order is placed and cost $25.
              • Pricing: No minimum required to order.

                Major-league level beef brought to you by former major leaguer Adam LaRoche and his Fort Scott, Kansas cattle ranch. All the beef that E3 sells is antibiotic-, added hormone- and steroid-free. The red and black Angus cows are permitted to roam and graze before a grain finishing, a process that adds a final bit of tasty fat to the eventual cuts. Plus, it's all processed in-house and wet-aged for nearly a month by E3's butcher team.

                Our tester's shipment was a sample pack of products, not one of the formal packages offered on E3's website, but the formal packages offered seem slightly on the pricier side, if not outrageous. The package itself did an excellent job keeping things cold; an unexpected trip out of town meant it had to sit on our stoop for an extra 50 hours after delivery, yet the steaks were still good inside. (Their customer service was also excellent, quickly responding when our tester called to ask how long the meat would be good for.) Unfortunately, the ground beef was poorly packaged and tore open in transit, spreading blood everywhere. The two ribeyes and two baseball cut sirloins were excellent — flavorful, tender and quite good-looking, to boot.


                Best for a Variety of Cuts



                • Good selection of humanely-raised meats and grass-fed beef
                • Fast shipping

                • While other meats are offered, the selection leans very beef-centric
                • Shipping Info: FedEx Overnight is standard, with zone-based pricing from $20.
                • Pricing: No minimum required to order.

                  The self-proclaimed "New York's Butcher" has been around since the early 1920s, but now resides in nearby Jersey City. Its meats are humanely raised and free of antibiotics and hormones. DeBragga has a seemingly endless selection of meats and cuts, as well as meal kits, spices and cured meats.

                  Thrive Market

                  Thrive Market
                  Best for Organic Meat

                  Thrive Market


                  • Great selection of organic goods
                  • Wholesale pricing

                  • Membership required to order
                  • Shipping Info: Fast and free shipping for frozen meat orders over $120.
                  • Pricing: $5/month membership required to order.

                    Thrive Market is basically an online grocery store. Get your meat needs and everything to accompany it like spices and even wine. Its meat selection includes curated boxes that have all you need to induce the meat sweats.


                    Best for a Butcher Shop Feel



                    • Has a family-owned, neighborly feel
                    • Some specialty meats offered, like bison

                    • Shipping could be faster and cheaper
                    • Shipping Info: Shipped within 5 business days. Cost is free for orders over $200, $10 for orders costing $100 to $199 and $25 for anything under $100.
                    • Pricing: No minimum required to order.

                      The family-run Rastelli's offers curated meat boxes, but shopping a la carte is where the fun is at. Browse a wide selection of meat, poultry and seafood, and shop with confidence knowing that Rastelli's is bringing you only the best quality food. The butchery works with reliable farmers and fishermen who prioritize sustainable practices and care about the food they raise as much as you care about the food you eat.

                      Holy Grail Steak

                      Best for Genuine Kobe Beef

                      Holy Grail Steak


                      • One of the only places offering licensed Kobe beef
                      • Everything is top-shelf

                      • Prices are, for lack of a better word, insane
                      • Shipping Info: Delivery in 1-3 days for $29 or free for orders over $199.
                      • Pricing: Subscription boxes from $200

                        Holy Grail Steak operates under what it calls the Golden Rule of the Cow, which dictates that a steak only tastes as good as it was raised. This mantra led the mail-order meat outlet to become one of six retailers of certified Kobe beef and the only official online retailer of Kobe beef, what’s widely considered the most sought-after meat in the world.


                        Best for Asian Cuisine



                        • Wide variety of Asian goods offered
                        • Constantly rotating selection

                        • Not much transparency into the origins of their meat
                        • Shipping Info: Delivery times vary by zip code, with free shipping on orders over $49.
                        • Pricing: No minimum required to order.

                          Umamicart is an online grocery store that specializes in Asian groceries. That means you can expect products that will help you make Asian dishes, like beef short ribs for Korean kalbi. Orders are shipped and delivered quickly to ensure freshness, and new products are constantly being added to the store.

                          Campo Grande

                          Best for Ibérico Pork

                          Campo Grande


                          • Great spot for Spanish delicacies
                          • Humanely-raised meats

                          • Nothing on the menu is less than $100

                          • Shipping Info: Deliveries occur within 2 days, with pricing that is zone-based and free for some.
                          • Pricing: Boxes from $129.

                            Campo Grande works with Spanish farmers to import some excellent cuts of Ibérico pork, which has long been prized for being both flavorful and healthy (well, as healthy as meat can get). The pigs are raised humanely, which somehow makes it taste even better. Campo Grande also offers Spanish beef and fish to complement its pork.


                            Best for Gourmet Cuisine



                            • Lots of gourmet goods
                            • Standard overnight delivery

                            • High-end product has the high-end prices to match
                            • Shipping Info: Overnight delivery is standard, rates vary.
                            • Pricing: No minimum required to order.

                              As the name might imply, D’Artagnan is luxurious. Its store is filled to the brim with game birds, duck fat, foie gras, Wagyu beef, lamb racks and all other things that trigger thoughts of drooling and drained bank accounts. The outlet partners with local farms and farmers with tight ethical and quality standards, meaning the stuff isn't just expensive but well-considered.

                              Snake River Farms

                              Best for Kurobuta Pork

                              Snake River Farms


                              • A long history in the business
                              • Carries hard-to-find Kurobuta pork

                              • $49 minimum order is on the higher side
                              • Shipping Info: Standard shipping takes 1-3 days and costs $10.
                              • Pricing: $49 minimum order required.

                                Founded in 1968, Idaho’s Snake River Farms produces a lot of headliners — American Wagyu, dry-aged tomahawk steaks, and huge hams among them. But the crowd-favorite is the Kurobuta pork, which is often described as the Kobe beef of pork, and Snake River Farms is one of few to carry it, much less sell it online.

                                Omaha Steaks

                                Best for Entire Meals

                                Omaha Steaks


                                • Absolutely massive selection
                                • Free shipping on some orders
                                • Money-back guarantee

                                • Quality can be hit or miss
                                • Shipping Info: Standard shipping costs $20 for orders up to $139.99, $10 up to $168.99, and is free for orders $169 and over.
                                • Pricing: No minimum required to order.

                                  Even if you've never even thought about ordering meat online in your life, you've probably heard of Omaha Steaks — especially since loads of people have been ordering steaks through them since long before the internet even existed. (Fun fact: people used to order meat through catalogs they received in the mail.) Today, the brand is a behemoth, offering practically every cut of steak imaginable along with poultry, pork, seafood and even a wide selection of appetizers, meals, desserts and wine. It's more akin to an online restaurant chain than a butcher shop, like if Outback Steakhouse delivered to your home. There's really something for everyone and every budget, and while the quality can be hit or miss, Omaha Steaks does offer a 100% money-back guarantee if you're dissatisfied.

                                  Harry & David

                                  Best for Gifting

                                  Harry & David


                                  • Some high-quality offerings
                                  • Can group meat in with larger orders

                                  • A newcomer to the space — meat isn't really the brand's bread and butter
                                  • Shipping Info: Standard shipping takes 4-7 business days, costs vary.
                                  • Pricing: No minimum required to order.

                                    You might know Harry & David for its gift baskets filled with snacks, but in recent years the brand launched its new online butcher shop. Shop from a range of meats including beef, poultry and seafood, and orders are shipped as efficiently and quickly as other gift sets (which are also 100 percent worth looking into).