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If you eat meat on a daily basis but don’t like the idea of spending endless hours finding the best deals at your grocery store, then meat delivery services are the way to go.
But many of these subscription services spend more on fancy marketing than on sourcing high-quality meat.
Crowd Cow is one such service that has come to our attention, and we spent a few months testing it to give you a full Crowd Cow review.
And here’s what we learned.
What Is Crowd Cow?
It’s ideal for people whose work and life balance is under enough strain to not add spending a lot of time going to the grocery store or farmers market to get the best meat.
Subscribers have different options for the size of packages they receive, as well as the types and cuts of meat they prefer.
You also get to choose how often you receive a delivery to make sure that you’ve always got enough stock.
Crowd Cow Pros And Cons
What we liked most about Crowd Cow was that you really could look at it as an online meat store; it’s like the Amazon for meat.
We also noted that all the meat was top quality and sourced from smaller local farms where animals are raised in fields, not tiny cages.
The selection of different meats is also impressive.
I doubt you’ll have that wide range of choices from ground beef to premium wagyu beef and even lobster at your local grocery store.
And the fact that you have a lot of flexibility to choose how often and how much Crowd Cow delivers means that you only need to order as much as you’ll use.
- Guarantees grass-fed and pasture-raised beef
- Sourced from independent farms for higher quality
- Great selection of meat, poultry, and even fish
- Allows you to choose the frequency and size of each delivery
- It’s not the cheapest service
How Does Crowd Cow Work?
Every local farm is carefully chosen to ensure meat quality but also the humane treatment of animals.
Here’s how you can configure your order.
1. Subscription Box
This is where you can get the best value with preconfigured boxes of different meat.
You have lots of different subscription boxes to choose from. Some have a wide mix of beef, fish, chicken, and pork. And then you can get some that have special cuts of meat ideal for a family BBQ.
The price of the boxers obviously depends on the quality and types of meat, meaning that a box of pork, chicken filets, and ground beef will be a lot cheaper than, say, filet steaks and lobster.
But you’ll still save a lot of money compared to shopping at grocery stores.
2. Custom Box
This option is great if you know exactly what you want. But you have to be prepared to pay a higher price than for the preconfigured boxes.
You can add all meat and seafood products individually in the exact amount you want. It’s meat buying like at the butcher, just using an online store instead.
What Kind Of Products Does Crowd Cow Offer?
What’s great about Crowd Cow is that it’s not just a service for steak lovers. Yes, they have some of the best juicy steaks, but you also have tons of choices for craft beef, pork, poultry, and even seafood.
Let’s take a closer look.
1. Grass-Fed Beef
The first thing to mention is that absolutely none of the beef is sourced from factory farms. Crowd Cow also says that they don’t provide any meat from animals that were given unnecessary antibiotics.
Here are some of the options available.
- Ground beef: This is one of the go-to products, and you’ll find it in many of the subscription boxes. Wait until you taste this ground beef in chili or homemade burgers; there’s a big difference in flavor.
- Chuck roast: This is another one of the cheaper cuts, but extremely tasty when you slow roast it or put it in a smoker for a few hours.
- Bone-in ribeye steak: Your normal ribeye comes without the bone, but by keeping it on the bone, you can gain some extra flavors.
- Sirloin steaks: These are my personal favorite steaks, and with Crowd Cow, you can save money to buy a few more.
- New York strip steak: If you’re planning a BBQ, then order some of these. Cook them slowly and serve them rare to give you the juiciest flavors.
- Japanese wagyu beef: This specialty type of beef is a real treat. Yes, it’s probably one of the most expensive options available, but your taste sensation will be rewarded.
- Filet mignon: This is another one of the prime cuts and a great treat to replace your normal Sunday roast.
All the pork is sourced from independent farmers and mainly small farms where animals are treated humanely. That means that they spend a lot of time outdoors rather than being caged their whole life.
- Pork chops: Whether you roast, fry, or BBQ them, these will be the juiciest chops you’ve ever had.
- Sweet Italian sausage: I personally always add these to my recurring box as they taste as authentic as being on vacation in southern Italy.
- Short ribs: Here’s another important option for your BBQ box. They are ideal for slow roasting or putting on a smoker for 5 hours.
All the chicken and turkey products come from small family farms to ensure the highest quality. Despite that, you’ll find plenty of poultry at a better price than your local butcher.
- Truly pasture-raised chicken: Believe me when I say that you can taste the difference. The whole chicken is ideal for roasting or throwing on the BBQ.
- Chicken breasts: This is another staple in my monthly order, and they are suitable for everything from fajitas to stir-fries.
4. Sustainable Seafood
Crowd Cow has also started offering fish and shellfish that are certified to be farmed using environmentally friendly practices. You’ll find a lot of seasonal specialties, but here are some of my favorites.
- Wild Maine lobster: Yes, it’s wild, it’s affordable, and you won’t have to throw a live lobster into a pot of boiling water.
- Wild Alaskan halibut: This works great for a light meal on a hot summer day. It’s also difficult to get, which makes this even more appealing to add to your custom box.
- Cod: Crowd Cow offers sustainably caught black cod, and it’s a real treat if you’ve been struggling to get wild and not farmed cod.
How Do They Ship The Meat?
Your Crowd Cow order is shipped frozen in specialty boxes with dry ice.
The company has created a great delivery relationship with courier companies to ensure that your order spends as little time as possible in transit.
Once you’ve placed your order, you’ll receive an email with an expected delivery date and time as well as a tracking number to make sure you’re home to receive the order.
I was surprised how well the Crowd Cow meat was packaged, and the dry ice works very well indeed.
How Much Is A Crowd Cow Subscription?
There’s actually no cost to becoming a member. All you need to do is sign up and choose the size of the box and how often you would want a delivery. That’s what makes Crowd Cow worth a trial run as you’re not tied into a minimum term.
On your first order, it might be worth picking one of the ready-to-go boxes to get a better idea of the value.
Meat Sourcing And Quality
By sourcing all the meat from independent ranchers, Crowd Cow has been able to supply the best quality beef, pork, and chicken.
None of the products have added hormones and the animals are all pasture-raised.
There is a significant shift in the food industry to move back towards such sustainable food production processes, and you certainly can tell the difference in a taste test.
Are There Any Downsides?
This wouldn’t be an honest review if we didn’t highlight some downsides.
First of all, there’s the Crowd Cow cost.
Yes, the prices you see online might be higher than what you see at your local stores, but you have to compare like with like.
I would be very surprised if you found lower prices for the same quality of meat anywhere else.
Some people don’t like the idea of frozen meat being shipped using dry ice. But there is a huge convenience in receiving the highest quality meat straight to your front door.
Just transfer it to your freezer, and take it out as you need it.
Why is Crowd Cow so expensive?
Crowd Cow is so expensive because they only source meat from small farmers that supply grass-fed and/or pasture-raised beef and pork. The poultry they offer is free-range organic, so you’re getting the best of the best.
Does Crowd Cow come frozen?
Yes, Crowd Cow orders come frozen in a specialty insulated box. Your order is also kept cold using dry ice, so there’s no mess in the box when it arrives.
Where is Crowd Cow located?
Crowd Cow is based in Seattle, WA, but they supply meat to all states.
Are You Ready For Your First Order?
Overall, the service is similar to Butcher Box, but we found that the selection was better, and you have the option of getting some fish as well.
You’ll get the best burgers, sausages, and steaks delivered right to your door within days.
Try out the one-time purchase option and maybe even add seafood to add some more diversity to your meal plans.
Just make sure you start making some space in your freezer because once you get the first delivery, you’ll likely keep the orders coming.