You’re here because the concept of high-quality, sustainably sourced meats regularly delivered to your door sounds intriguing.
ButcherCrowd are promising customised meat boxes designed to save you time, money, and stress through a monthly subscription (or one-off) service. Each box contains a personalised range of different cuts of meat from Australian suppliers.
Butcher Crowd Subscription Box Review
ButcherCrowd - Review Summary
ButcherCrowd delivers a superb selection of premium quality, sustainable meats & seafood that will level up your cooking. However, it will also level up your monthly grocery spending.
Ordering - Website - 8/10
Products - Quality & Experience - 10/10
Ordering - Delivery - 9/10
Value For Money - 7/10
- Ethical, sustainable, top-quality meats.
- Wide variety of different cuts of meat and seafood.
- Highly flexible monthly subscriptions.
- Delivered at a premium price point.
- Moderate portion sizes.
- No recipe recommendations.
A 2022 interview with Broadsheet illuminates the backstory to ButcherCrowd, with the business rising from the job cuts and opportunities created by Covid.
The founders, brothers Rob and Damien Moddat, grew up on the Atherton Tablelands in northern Queensland where ethical farm-to-plate practises are commonplace.
Unfortunately, a majority of meat eaten in Australia falls short of modern ethical standards. That’s ButcherCrowd’s major point of differentiation and why a simple comparison with Coles or Woollies is deeply flawed (although I will try!)
All ButcherCrowd’s meat follows strict ethical standards:
- Certified Sustainably Sourced.
- Certified Humanely raised & handled.
- 100% Grass-fed & finished, free-range, pasture raised.
- No hormones or antibiotics used for growth promotion.
It’s hard not to believe in the mission that Rob and Damien have created, so let’s find out if the service can match up to their high standards.
Getting Started with ButcherCrowd
Fundamentally, there are only two options available with ButcherCrowd:
- Small Box – Feeds 2-3 people with up to 6kg of meat.
- Large Box – Feeds 4-5 people with up to 11kg of meat.
These boxes are designed to serve you for the full month, so their recommendations average to around 2.5kg of meat per person, per month.
I generally have a high protein diet and look for 200 – 250g of meat in meals. So, that would create around 12 – 14 meals for 2 people. It’s a far shout from covering a full month of meals and points towards ButcherCrowd being used as part of a balanced diet that’s less heavily reliant on meat.
Once you’ve chosen the size of your box, you can opt to choose one of their standard boxes or to create a custom box. For most people reading this, I highly recommend building a custom box but if you want to keep things simple, here are your options:
- Wild Salmon Box
- The Value Box (Beef, Chicken & Pork)
- The Beef Box
- The Beef & Chicken Box
- The Beef & Pork Box
- The Mixed Box (Premium cuts of Beef, Chicken & Pork)
- The Beef & Pork Box
Let’s look at custom box instead, where you have full control of the meats you’ll find in your delivery.
Meat Variety and Options
If you’re ordering meats, the two most critical factors are the meat being ethically sourced, and there being a wide variety of cuts/types available. We’ve already seen ButcherCrowd’s ethical credentials, so let’s see the variety.
At the time of writing, it’s an impressive menu. We’ll explain the formatting after:
- Sockeye Salmon
- Coral Trout
- Goldband Snapper
- Tiger Prawn
- Ocean King Prawn
- Scotch Fillet
- Osso Bucco
- Burger Patties
- Eye Fillet*
- Flat Iron*
- Short Ribs*
- Blade Roast*
- Diced Lamb
- Leg Steaks
- Loin Chops
- Boneless Shoulder Roast*
- Streaky Smoked Bacon
- Shortcut Smoked Bacon
- Loin Steaks
- Loin Chops
When ordering, there are 3 steps. The first asks you to select a couple of premium cuts of meat (3 in a ‘Small’ and 6 in a ‘Large’ box) before you move into the second step where you can choose the rest of the ingredients in your box (5 in a ‘Small’ and 10 in a ‘Large’).
The final step allows you to add additional cuts of meat for the price of each individual type.
Ingredients listed in BOLD above are premium cuts. Confusingly, many options appear on both premium and standard lists, so you might accidentally select cheaper cuts of meat for the same overall price.
Ingredients listed with a ‘*’ above are only available as paid add-ons to a custom box. These are usually large cuts of meat such as a whole chicken.
Overall, I must admit finding the ordering process a little confusing with the multi-step process as this isn’t made very clear. However, it certainly shouldn’t put you off.
ButcherCrowd have a fantastic range of different meats comparable to most butcher shops around the country. They tick the box on both ethically sourced meats and product range.
Needless to say, ButcherCrowd is not suitable for vegetarians. At all.
With that said, let’s get a box delivered.
As I’ve mentioned a few times already, ButcherCrowd is primarily a monthly subscription service, or it is also possible to get a one-time box for an extra $20 over the subscription cost (costs detailed below!).
When subscribing, you will receive a box soon after submitting your order and you’ll then receive your box on the same day every month from then. That’s much more flexible than most subscription services that all send boxes out at the start of the month.
ButcherCrowd deliver to EVERYWHERE IN AUSTRALIA. That’s quite unusual and very impressive.
Even more impressive is that delivery is TOTALLY FREE. Getting meat delivered is totally safe as well.
Ok, maybe I’m too easily impressed but it’s rare to find services that don’t try and sneak on an extra delivery charge. That means you only pay for the product you buy. Awesome.
After ordering, deliveries can take between 3 – 7 days to arrive depending on if you’re in a more rural or metro area across most of Australia.
It’s notable that ButcherCrowd don’t offer any form of express shipping option (paid, naturally) so if you need a box urgently you might struggle.
If you want to change your order each month, your cut-off date for making changes will be the same day that you originally paid for your first box.
How much does ButcherCrowd Cost?
ButcherCrowd positions itself as a premium meat supplier with strict guidelines on the suppliers they use.
Naturally, this means ButcherCrowd won’t be able to compete with the major supermarket chains. Instead, it’s much more like picking up meat from a local butcher.
A ‘Small’ Custom Box is $159/month.
A ‘Large’ Custom Box is $269/month.
Your value will vary based on the size of your box, as well as the cuts of meat you choose to buy. I’m going to choose a random sample of ingredients for a Small subscription box and compare it to a local premium butcher in Sydney as well as against Coles. The quality of meat decreases from left to right.
|Porterhouse Steak (350g)||$25.00||$11.45|
|Diced Lamb (450g)||$17.55||$13.00|
|Chicken Thighs (800g)||$12.80||$11.60|
|100% Beef Patties (x4 580g)||$14.00||$9.86|
|Lamb Mince (500g)||$13.50||$7.50|
|Smoked Streaky Bacon (180g)||$12.00||$7.20|
|Chicken Maryland (x2 800g)||$17.00||$16.00|
|Lamb, Rosemary and Garlic Sausages (430g)||$14.00||$9.00|
We’re all comfortable that a local butchery is going to be more expensive (about 50%) than picking up the same ingredients in Coles. You are, of course, getting a much higher quality of ingredient.
ButcherCrowd is positioned as a further step above butcher shops, many of whom have less stringent requirements for the way animals have been raised.
However, with a price that is double the prices from Coles, the expectations are high for the meat ButcherCrowd are sending. Are they twice as good?
Let’s see what my first impressions of the box were.
My ButcherCrowd Review Box
I received a small custom box to feed my partner and I, containing a variety of different seafood and meats.
The box itself is smartly branded with the ButcherCrowd logo and was the perfect size to fit the 11 different products I ordered.
The contents are kept cooled by a few re-usable ice packs, within an insulated liner. The meat arrives frozen so I would suggest not leaving the package outside for more than a couple of hours.
If the box is left outside for a long period of time and you’re concerned about the product inside, ButcherCrowd recommend taking the temperature and contacting them if the meat has a temperature higher than -5 degrees Celsius.
On first inspection, all the meats look exceptionally high quality. It’s immediately noticeable that the colour is far more vibrant than any supermarket equivalent you can buy.
Some products are branded with as ButcherCrowd, whilst others are from artisanal suppliers from across Australia like Cape Grim Beef, Saskia Beer Farm and Boks Bacon.
One of the major limitations of ButcherCrowd, in my opinion, is that they don’t help you make the most of your ingredients.
You’re paying a premium for excellent quality meats, which deserve an equally high standard of recipe to make the most of them. You want the meat to be the star of a full dish.
You need to come up with your own recipes and cooking techniques. This makes ButcherCrowd most suitable for people who are already confident in the kitchen.
For example, I cooked the salmon with a simple honey-soy-garlic glaze in a pan before finishing it under the grill. Sat on a bed of blanched carrots with garlic rice. Simple yet extremely delicious, the salmon was incredibly flavourful, complementing the sweet glaze perfectly.
I cooked the prawns in a simple tagliatelle pasta dish with a subtle white wine sauce. Like the salmon, the prawns were the star of the show. Huge, juicy and packing a punch on flavour, these were some of the best prawns I’ve ever eaten. Certainly the best I’ve had at home.
The salmon burger patties presented an interesting cooking challenge for me, as it’s the first time I’ve ever cooked them. For a simple, healthy meal I paired them with green beans and a chive mash. User error meant that I definitely overcooked the patties and they were unfortunately quite dry.
It’s a prime example of where I think ButcherCrowd could improve: helping people cook the incredible ingredients they’re receiving.
Moving away from seafood, the beef patties were cooked into simple burgers on our barbecue. The patties had an incredible beef flavour and cooked through whilst remaining super juicy. A simple meal, but delicious when the meat is the star ingredient.
From a taste perspective, the huge benefit of ButcherCrowd is that the protein element of your meals is no longer a filler that needs spices or sauces to enjoy. The meat or seafood is a standout flavour by itself and works perfectly in simple meals.
On receiving my first box, I got a text the night before my box was due to arrive, with tracking details informing me of a planned delivery between 12 – 2 the next day. That’s a much smaller window than most other subscription boxes, which is a huge plus.
Unfortunately, I received my box at 8:30am with no attempt to buzz my unit. It was left outside the building, and I only knew so because I received an email and a text informing me of completed delivery.
There are two factors that work in ButcherCrowd’s favour here:
- They use a well-regarded delivery service that many other companies use when they need refrigerated shipping. I’ve had many positive deliveries from this courier company before.
- When I raised this issue directly with ButcherCrowd, they responded pro-actively by raising it with the courier.
I wanted to share my experience, but I don’t consider this a negative for ButcherCrowd. They did everything they could to ensure a smooth delivery and were let down by a third-party who are regarded as one of the best in the industry.
My Overall Thoughts on ButcherCrowd
ButcherCrowd is a premium meat delivery box, and they certainly hit the mark on product quality. The vibrancy and taste of every piece of meat or seafood is a significant step above anything that can be bought at a supermarket.
With a convenient monthly delivery cycle, ButcherCrowd contributes towards a thoroughly ethical, diverse and flavourful diet. There’s no doubt you will enjoy the contents of a ButcherCrowd box.
This excellence, however, comes at a premium price point. That puts ButcherCrowd in a position that’s likely not affordable for many Australians. You certainly need to budget for the increased costs as part of your monthly shopping bill.
I recommend ButcherCrowd primarily for two types of people:
- People who are trying to eat more ethically sourced meats as part of a varied diet.
- People with disposable income who want to increase the quality of meat within their regular meals.
I can confidently say that if you order a ButcherCrowd box, you won’t be left disappointed.
I’d love to hear about other people’s experiences with ButcherCrowd – were they similar to mine? Did you find my ButcherCrowd review useful? Let me know in the comments section below!