Remember the old days when you would accompany your mother to the butcher shop to buy fresh cuts of meat for the family’s dinner? (I know my age is showing.) Every town, it seems, had a local butcher who knew everything there was to know about beef, pork, chicken, veal, and any other meat he had for sale. He’d sell you the best steaks, the juiciest pork chops, and the ideal chicken for frying.
Today, things have changed. Most people purchase their meat at a supermarket from large cases full of pre-packaged choices. Occasionally, the butcher will appear if you request a special cut or some other service that requires his or her attention. Otherwise, there’s rarely any interaction between customer and butcher.
And do you ever find yourself disappointed when shopping for meat at your local supermarket? Are you increasingly frustrated by the prevalence of average (or even low-quality) cuts of meat being sold at unreasonable prices?
Many carnivorous shoppers have chosen another way to purchase their favorite steaks, chops, and other meats. They order them through the internet. Ordering meat online has become more and more common during the past decade as people increasingly go online for all kinds of shopping.
5 Reasons To Buy Meat Online
One of the key benefits of buying meat online is being able to access a high-quality product that tastes exceptionally good. There’s a noticeable difference in quality between meat purchased at the supermarket and meat which you’d happily eat in a restaurant. By ordering your meat from an online butcher, you can enjoy restaurant-quality cuts of meat at home. Buying meat online means you’re guaranteed to receive the freshest and finest meat, sourced from small farms with high standards of production. Usually, high-quality meat has a deeper flavor and offers a fuller taste experience.
Buying your meat online means shopping for the product you need whenever and wherever you like. With no opening hours to contend with, you can easily fit your shopping around your schedule, avoiding hurried trips to the supermarked before or after work. With a huge variety of meats to choose from, you’ll have no trouble finding exactly what you’re looking for either. Unlike supermarkets, which only sell a limited range of best selling meats, online butchers have a great selection of specialty cuts and will also be able to offer less commonly found meats like venison, wild boar, bison, antelope, and pheasant.
As if shopping with online butchers wasn’t convenient enough, buying meat online also means having the products you ordered delivered directly to your door. When you buy meat online, you’ll be given a wide range of delivery time frames and option to choose from, with meat being dispatched in temperature controlled packaging to keep the contents frozen or chilled and fresh.
Value For Money
You may be thinking that buying high quality cuts of meat online is going to cost you a small fortune, but prices are, in fact, very competitive with supermarkets and high-end local butchers. For a similar price, you’ll notice a huge difference in the quality and taste of the meat you buy, making purchasing from online butchers great value for many.
Online butchers are able to offer their customers great prices because you’re effectively cutting out the middleman by shopping with them, as their supply chains are often much shorter than that of a supermarket. They also have lower overheads than brick and mortar butcher shops and are able to pass those savings on to customers.
One final reason to consider buying meat online is that most online butchers are very transparent and open with customers about how they do things and where the meat you’re buying has come from. By working with small local farms, online butchers can be confident that the meat they’re providing has been sustainably and humanely produced with outdoor reared animals that have led happy, healthy lives.
There have been multiple high-profile cases of food fraud linked to supermarkets in recent years which has raised questions about the authenticity and traceability of meat. If you want to have total confidence in the provenance of the meat you are buying, shopping online with a trusted butcher is a great way to instill that assurance.
How To Order Meat Online?
Although there are many reasons to switch to online meat ordering, if you’ve never placed an order before, you’ll probably have some questions about where to go, what to purchase, and whether or not internet-sold meats are a good option for you and your family. You’ll want to make sure what you order is not only available and sold at a good price, but, most importantly, you’ll want to know if ordering meat online is safe.
Based on our experiences at Lowcountry Style and Living, as long as you use a reputable meat delivery company and store your meat properly once it arrives at your home, it is completely safe to buy meat online.
To begin, choose a reliable, well-known meat delivery company for your purchase. You can use a search engine like Google to search for reviews or feedback on any company that you are considering. Alternatively, you can consult people you know (and trust) that have ordered meat online before. You can ask them if they have found a company they like and recommend.
Once you have decided on an online vendor for your purchase, you should research how they prepare and package the meat for shipment. Meat should always be shipped cold or frozen, preferably with cuts individually vacuum packed. The company should use a sturdy, insulated box to send the meat to you.
Animal protein should also be packed with some sort of cold source, like dry ice or gel freezer packs. These cold sources will keep the meat cool while it is being transported. If your box arrives with dry ice, be sure to handle it with care. Use protective gloves/oven mitts to protect your skin. Prolonged contact with dry ice can cause an injury similar to a burn. To safely dispose of dry ice, let the dry ice evaporate in a well-ventilated area that is not accessible to children or pets.
If you are unable to find enough information about a meat delivery service online, you can reach out to the company yourself. A quality online meat company will always include contact information on their website. The fastest way to get in touch will generally be by either phone or email. You can ask a company representative to describe their freezing, packaging, and shipping process in detail, to ensure it meets all your safety criteria.
What To Choose When Ordering Meat Online?
Different online meat ordering companies might specialize in different types of meat. This can allow you to choose the best of the best every time you place an order. Some online vendors are the farmers themselves, and this is usually where you can see the best value and flavor. You can start with ordering the things that you would typically order in the supermarket or from a local butcher, but many companies also offer sample packs that might introduce you to something new and delicious. You may want to order your pork from a specific company and your beef from another, or you may want to choose a company that offers a variety of meats from a variety of farms and ranches to get the biggest selection with every order. Once you’ve found a company or two that you love, be sure to get on their email lists so that you can stay up to date on sales and specials. Many companies offer deals around the various holidays, and these are usually great times to stock up on your favorites.
What To Do When Your Meat Arrives?
When the meat arrives at your door you should open the package immediately. Make sure the meat is frozen solid or refrigerator cold (which is below 40 degrees as measured with a food thermometer). In accordance with USDA Freezing and Food Safety Guidelines, meats that are refrigerator cold, partly frozen (solid), or completely frozen can be placed in the freezer for later use. You should discard anything that is above 40 degrees F or that is exactly 40 degrees, as it might have been at that temperature for a few hours. If any of your items arrive at an unsafe temperature, call the company and let them know. A reputable company will immediately send you a replacement package or refund your money.
The Bottom Line
Buying meat online can be a super-convenient way to stay stocked on your favorite cuts or simply have more control over the quality of your food and where it comes from. It’s also a great option when you’re in need of specialty cuts that aren’t easy to find or when you’re having people over for a feast and would rather not have to make due with what the supermarket has available.