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Butcher Box and Crowd Cow are two online meat box delivery services that claim to provide farm fresh meat to your door. This post will provide a side-by-side comparison of Crowd Cow vs Butcher Box so you can decide which is best for you, and if either (or both) is worth the money.
Note: I personally try every item I review on this site. Before writing this review on Crowd Cow vs Butcher Box, I personally ordered several boxes from each of them to give a first hand account of my experience.
Main differences of Crowd Cow vs Butcher Box
- Subscription? Subscription only (Butcher Box) vs ala carte with subscription option (Crowd Cow)
- Shipping charges: FREE (Butcher Box) vs FREE over $99 (Crowd Cow)
- Meat sourcing & transparency: Overarching guidelines (Butcher Box) vs Full transparency (Crowd Cow)
For full transparency in sourcing their meat, top-of-the-line meat quality, and flexibility in their subscription option, Crowd Cow is my preferred choice over Butcher Box.
Delivery Areas: Crowd Cow vs Butcher Box?
Where do they deliver? Both Crowd Cow and Butcher Box deliver to the 48 contiguous United States (meaning everywhere except Alaska and Hawaii).
Both boxes are delivered with dry ice designed to keep the meat frozen until it gets to your house (ideally it stays frozen even if you have to leave it outside for a few hours).
In my case, both boxes arrived with the meat completely frozen. If you get a box with the meat NOT frozen, contact the customer service department and ask for a refund (for both companies).
TAKEAWAY: Crowd Cow and Butcher Box tie in this category, since they’re essentially the same.
How does the subscription work with Crowd Cow vs Butcher Box?
With Crowd Cow, any order can turn into a subscription. When you get to the checkout page, just select that you’d like to get your order delivered regularly, then choose the frequency, and wait for the farm fresh meat to be delivered to your door. By signing up for a subscription, you’ll get 5% off and FREE shipping on orders over $99. Also, don’t forget to use this link and code STB25 to get $25 off your first box.
According to the Crowd Cow FAQ page, you can customize your recurring order before it’s sent out. They’ll re-create your order each month (or however often you ask for it to be delivered), but it may vary a bit based on their inventory. Learn more about their subscription options here.
Butcher Box has a few subscription box options. First, you pick whether you want a Custom Box (you pick the cuts) or a Curated Box (they pick the cuts for you, based on which kind of meat box you choose). Then you choose which size of box you want. Classic or the Big Box?
Once you’ve chosen Custom vs Curated and Classic vs Big, you choose what kind of meats you want in your box. If you choose the Custom Box, you get to choose all the cuts. If you chose the Curated Box, you’ve got a few choices. At the time I’m writing this post, Butcher Box has a Mixed Box, a Beef & Pork Box, Beef & Chicken, and the All Beef Box.
TAKEAWAY: Crowd Cow’s flexibility in making any order a recurring transaction is pretty great, however Butcher Box takes away some of the decision making by offering curated boxes. This one’s a tie.
What’s the price difference of Crowd Cow vs Butcher Box?
Since their business models are very different, it’s a bit hard to compare their prices. However, for the sake of this post and giving you ALL the information you need to make an informed decision, here’s the breakdown:
- New York strip steak - $22 for a 12 oz steak
- Ground dry aged steak - $9 for a 1lb pack
- Top sirloin steak - $10 for an 8 oz steak
- Wagyu chuck eye steak - $8 for a 6 oz steak
- Pastured chicken thighs - $8 for a 12 oz pack
- Copper river sockeye salmon - $15 for a 6 oz fillet
- Thick Cut Heritage Bacon - $5.99 for 12oz
- 100% Grass Fed & Finished Ground Beef - $8.99/lb
Shipping Cost: Free over $99
Crowd Cow HAS given my readers an exclusive coupon code of $25 off your first box of over $50. Simply use this link and enter code STB25 at checkout.
- Custom box (9-14 lbs) is $149 (average $10.64-$16.55/lb)
- Custom box (18-26 lbs) is $270 (average $10.38-$15/lb)
- Curated Classic Box (8-11 lbs) is $129 - Mixed box, beef & pork only, beef & chicken only, or beef only. (average $11.73-$16.13/lb)
- Curated Big Box (16-22 lbs) is $238 - Mixed box, beef & pork only, beef & chicken only, or beef only (average $10.82 - $14.88/lb)
Shipping cost: Always FREE
Butcher Box is known for having special sign-up bonuses (like a FREE free-range turkey, or free bacon for life, or free ground beef in your first box). Check here to see the latest Butcher Box sign up bonus.
TAKEAWAY: It’s pretty hard to compare prices because of the different business models of the companies. With Crowd Cow, you get more control over your order (what and how much you order). You can try new cuts of meat, supplement with what you need, or get all your meat from the farm of your choice.
What’s the customer experience like with Crowd Cow vs Butcher Box?
I have also not had any problems with Crowd Cow. Crowd Cow currently has 14 complaints at the Better Business Bureau. Most of the complaints are about delayed shipping, or other shipping issues. One person said the meat arrived unfrozen (I have not ever had this happen), but Crowd Cow gave them a full refund.
While I have never had a problem with Butcher Box, I’ve heard from others who have. Butcher Box has 165 complaints at the Better Business Bureau. While most of the complaints are addressed on the site, from reading over a few of them, it appears that if you have a problem with Butcher Box, you may be on the phone for a while to get it resolved.
TAKEAWAY: In any business, there will be things that go wrong. The true test of a company is how you handle things when they DO go wrong. Crowd Cow wins for customer satisfaction.
What types of meat do Butcher Box and Crowd Cow offer?
Crowd Cow offers:
- Wild seafood
- Pasture raised chicken
- Grass fed & finished beef
- Grass fed & grain finished beef
- Grass fed & finished bison
Butcher Box offers:
- Grass Fed & Grass Finished Beef
- Free-Range & Organic Chicken
- Wild Caught Seafood
- Heritage Breed Pork
TAKEAWAY: Crowd Cow wins this category for more options, and better quality chicken. Because, friends, there is a difference between pastured chicken and free-range chicken. And really, Butcher Box doesn’t have much information about how much free-ranging their chickens actually do. If they had more information about this, or were more transparent with the farms they source their chicken from, it would be helpful.
What do you need to know about the quality of meat between Crowd Cow vs Butcher Box?
Both Crowd Cow and Butcher Box offer Grass Fed & Grass Finished Beef, and they both offer Heritage Pork and wild caught sustainable seafood. If you’re comparing the meats they BOTH sell, the main difference is their chicken.
The chicken from Crowd Cow is either Organic Free Range OR Pastured Chicken. Pastured chicken is the best chicken, in my book. Because it means the chickens were raised outside on pastures. That’s the closest to nature, and the top-of-the-line when it comes to quality. They also have Organic Free Range chicken, like Butcher Box. But the difference is that they tell you all about the farm that raised the Organic Free Range chicken, so you can read about them and decide if you’d rather have pastured chicken or the free-range chicken.
The chicken from Butcher Box, as described on their website is “free-range Organic chicken”. Unfortunately, they don’t tell us much about the farm where the chicken is raised, because “free-range” can mean a lot of different things. At some farms this means there’s a little door to the outside, but it doesn’t mean the chickens go outside. I wish Butcher Box had more transparency with where they source their meat.
TAKEAWAY: Crowd Cow offers pastured chicken AND full transparency about where their meat comes from (you get to actually see which farm every part of your order is coming from). Crowd Cow wins in this department.
Sustainability & Recyclable Boxes - Crowd Cow vs Butcher Box
At the time I ordered my box (a few months ago), the meat was shipped in an insulated cardboard box, with a plastic liner. Their website says the box and plastic can be recycled, but I know not all areas accept all kinds of plastic in their curbside pickup.
At the time I ordered my most recent box (within the last month), Butcher Box orders are shipped in a 100% recyclable insulated cardboard box. There was zero plastic in the box, and I really appreciate that.
TAKEAWAY: Butcher Box wins this one because there is ZERO plastic in the box itself. Yes, each item is vacuum sealed in plastic, but the box itself is made of 100% recyclable cardboard and other paper products (meaning it can go straight to the recycle bin).
Overall - Crowd Cow vs Butcher Box
Overall, I’d say that Crowd Cow is my preferred option. And before you skeptics start thinking this has something to do with my affiliate relationship with them, you should know that actually Butcher Box has a higher commission rate than Crowd Cow. So, if I was REALLY only writing this for selfish reasons, don’t you think I’d recommend the company with the HIGHEST commission?
Obviously, that’s not why I’m writing this post.
You see, I wrote this post to give you an honest, unbiased comparison of Crowd Cow vs Butcher Box so that you can make the decision that’s best for you to get high quality, farm-fresh meat delivered to your door.
How do I sign up for Butcher Box or Crowd Cow?
Butcher Box often has rotating sign-up bonuses, which are super fun. For example, around Thanksgiving in previous years, they’ve offered a FREE Free-Range turkey with your first box. I’ve also seen free bacon, or free ground-beef. Check their website here to see their current promotion.
Crowd Cow has given you (my reader) a generous discount code of $25 off your first box. Simply fill up your box and use the code STB25 at checkout. You’ll see $25 magically deducted from your total! The fine print: this is for new customers only, on orders over $50.
Still need more info to decide which is best?
Read my Butcher Box Review to learn more about what it’s like ordering from Butcher Box.
OR Read my Crowd Cow Review to learn more about how Crowd Cow works.