The best meat delivery and subscription boxes tried and tested
On the hunt for good-quality meat that gets delivered straight to your door? Look no further. We've rounded up some of the best meat delivery and subscription boxes available nationwide
We are living in the age of convenience, so we're always on the lookout for ways to make food shopping easier. How much simpler can shopping for high-quality meat get than a delivery box straight to your door? Cut out the middleman and add freshness – by buying your meat directly from a supplier, you not only get the cuts you want with the quality you desire, but you can also save time and keep the meat from lingering around from supplier to shop to home.
We have selected a variety of meat boxes to choose from – from those designed to fill the freezer for when BBQ season comes, to ones perfect for feeding a family. We have tested meat boxes from the likes of organic farms such as Abel & Cole to high-end suppliers including HG Walter, with all meat boxes coming straight from farm to table.
We have plenty of recipes for some inspiration of how to use up the selection in your meat boxes. Browse our meat recipe collection, or beef recipes like feijoada (black bean & meat stew) or our rich braised beef for slow cooker meals. We also have plenty of sausage recipes the whole family will love, and chicken recipes such as our diced chicken recipes. Some meat boxes also come with unusual cuts of meat, so check out our guide on the 6 new cuts of meat to try and how to cook them.
For more on subscriptions, visit our reviews section to find 400+ review round-ups, including the best recipe boxes, veg boxes, gin, beer, cheese and coffee deliveries, plus even the best meal delivery services for when you don't have time to cook.
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- Best for family favourites: Donald Russell, from £34
- Best meat box for classic cuts: Riverford, from £19.85
- Best meat and fish box: Piper's Farm Surf and Turf BBQ box, £49.95
- Best healthy meat box: MuscleFood, from £30
- Best meat box for a small family: Abel & Cole, from £16
- Best meat box for freezing: Farmison & Co, from £20
- Best sustainable meat box: The Ethical Butcher, from £55
- Best meat box for interesting cuts: HG Walter, from £27
- Best meat box for a barbecue: The Ginger Pig, from £47
- Best traditional butcher's meat box: Parson's Nose, from £60
- Best meat box for variety: Swaledale Chef's Choice Box, £48
- Best for wagyu beef: Warrendale Wagyu Alternative BBQ box, from £85
- Best slow grown meat: Knepp Wild Range Meat, from £60
- Best for steaks: Taste Tradition, from £100
- Best luxury meat box: Tom Hixson of Smithfield The Heliot BBQ Box, £80
Donald Russell family selection box
Best for family favourites
- Available from Donald Russell (£34)
The family favourites selection box from Donald Russell provides a wide range of meat products in a cost-effective bundle. The selection focuses on family-friendly products that kids and adults alike will love, making it perfect for midweek meals. The box contains: minced steak, six pork sausages, six Lincolnshire sausages, two beef burgers, chicken mini fillets, sausage rolls and two pork chops. The meat is all high quality, with free-range chicken and grass-fed Aberdeen Angus beef. It's also easy to freeze for later, making meal-planning and grocery shopping simpler. The products come with cooking instructions but no recipe cards, so the choice is yours. We made some generously-sized beef burgers that were full of flavour, and used the succulent sausages in a hearty casserole.
The selection boxes are offered individually, so there’s no need to commit to a subscription. We found the only downside with this selection was the packaging. Ours came in a very large styrofoam cooler box with dry ice to keep it cold. While the meat arrived cold and fresh, we found the cooler box quite difficult to dispose of, as it’s not recyclable. Overall, the quantity and quality of meat is fantastic for the price, making it great value for money.
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Available from Donald Russell, from £34
Riverford essentials meat box
Best for classic cuts
- Available from Riverford (£19.85)
Riverford may be best known for its organic fruit and veg, all grown on its own farms, but this organic principle extends to meat, too. Meat comes from its organic butchery in Devon, sourced from West Country farmers and chosen from traditional breeds for the best flavour.
Our small essentials box included just three items: a two-pack of chicken breast fillets, 450g of beef mince and 6 pork sausages (400g). You can’t customise the box, but there’s a wide range of individual meat items to choose from on the Riverford website that you could add to your order. For £1 more, you could choose the Butcher's Choice box instead, which contains a 500g beef roasting joint, 300g of beef mince and two-pack of chicken legs.
The three items are familiar staples, but we still appreciated the cooking suggestions on each one with ideas on how to use them (such as meatballs, burgers, ragus, chillies or pies for the beef mince) which would be useful if you subscribed to this box regularly and were beginning to run out of inspiration. We chose to freeze the meat and the packaging has clear freezing instructions. Everything froze and defrosted well: after defrosting overnight in the fridge, our sausages cooked perfectly in the oven without bursting, were golden and crisp on the outside and juicy inside. A simple banger perfect for sausages and mash, and nicely herby to work well in a full English breakfast. The chicken breasts were a much more generous size than supermarket basics and were great for for a chicken pie, while the beef mince was tender and flavourful.
You can choose to get the box just as a one-off, or once every week, two, three or four weeks. Riverford delivers on specific days based on postcode in order to keep food miles down and follow the most efficient delivery route – our day was a Wednesday and this could not be changed. You can leave delivery instructions if you will be out. If you are going to be away, you can pause and cancel selected deliveries without cancelling the full subscription.
Compared to buying meat in a supermarket, this is a more expensive way to purchase three staple items. However, the quality of the meat is high and reflects the premium cost of organic produce, and encourages you to think of meat as more of a treat. Meat boxes can often be large quantities, so this compact version is great for couples.
Pipers Farm Surf and Turf BBQ box
Best meat and fish box
- Available from Pipers Farm (£49.95)
Sustainability is at the heart of everything Pipers Farm does. By working with small-scale family farms both Pipers Farm and the farmers are able to agree a fair price for the food they produce. Livestock is grown slowly; only select breeds, native to the specific areas of the country are reared. Animals are given the time to grow at a natural pace and allowed to graze in the farmland and countryside that is familiar to them.
The Surf and Turf box serves four to six and features two grass-fed sirloin steaks, one monkfish tail and six hand-dived scallops (with roe). The meat and fish arrived vacuum packed and fully frozen. It even came with a generously sized box of Maldon salt, which was a welcome surprise. As this box was only feeding two at the time of testing, we split it into its component parts and cooked them individually. The ingredients felt high-quality and would make the perfect addition to a barbecue.
The two sirloin steaks were generously sized, though notably, were on the thinner side. To cook, we placed them in a ripping hot cast iron pan, searing on both sides so they remained a perfect medium rare. Both steaks had a substantial and flavoursome fat cap that crisped up well in the hot pan, with marbling throughout the beef that added to the overall flavour. The monkfish tail was large enough to get six portions out of. If you’re searching for inspiration, the packaging includes a QR code that links out to recipe ideas. With the tail delivered whole and with the bone in, it’s a versatile offering; great for the grill or slicing up into individual rounds. Meaty and bursting with flavour, this monkfish paired brilliantly with a fragrant coconut curry. And not forgetting the scallops: plump and juicy, these needed little more than searing and basting with butter.
All meat and fish came vacuum-packed to avoid leaks and spills. The cardboard box was fully recyclable, as were the insulated packaging elements. Delivery to UK mainland addresses is Tuesday-Friday between 8am to 7pm for standard delivery and between 8am and 12pm for express deliveries. The courier delivering the Surf and Turf box provided excellent communication throughout, so we knew exactly when to expect the delivery. Whilst this is one of the smaller boxes on this list, you’re paying for the quality of the produce provided. If you’re after a versatile box of delicious and high-quality ingredients, perfect for creative cooks or to impress at a barbecue, this Surf and Turf box is worth every penny.
MuscleFood build your own box
Best healthy meat box
- Available from MuscleFood (£30)
MuscleFood is a delivery service which aims to bring convenient, high-quality, lean protein right to your door. Along with its range of fresh ingredients, it also offers lunch pots and tailored meal plans to make it easy for you to prep healthy meals and meet your nutritional goals.
MuscleFood offers a range of boxes, starting at £30 to feed two people for a week and going up to £100 to feed a family or stock up the freezer. The frequency of delivery is up to you, and you can choose what you get depending on the meals you’re planning to make. So, whether you’ve been craving healthy burgers, homemade bolognese or spicy jerk chicken, it has got you covered.
We tried the £50 box and were surprised to find so much inside. It was filled with lunch pots (whole meals in one, such as Thai chicken and rice or a sausage, beans and potato pot), lean steaks, burgers, beef mince, chicken, tuna and sausages – more than enough for two. At first we were overwhelmed by the amount of protein, especially as some had short use-by dates. However, we planned every meal for the week (and stuck anything freezable in the freezer) and eating it all soon became a manageable task.
Our favourites? The chicken was juicy and flavoursome, the lunch pot healthy yet filling and the peri peri steak hache was a delicious surprise. When served with salad, all provided a nutritious meal. However, we did feel the tuna, sausages and beef steaks were simply supermarket quality and lacked flavour. And we couldn’t help but notice how much plastic had been used for packaging.
Overall, the biggest pro of MuscleFood is how easy it makes eating a healthy, high-protein diet. For anyone looking to do so, this box could be for them.
Abel & Cole Marvellous meat box
Best meat box for a small family
- Available from Abel and Cole (£17.50)
Abel & Cole offers organic British meat boxes as part of its growing range of extras that can be delivered with its weekly organic fruit and vegetable boxes. Organic farming has always been front and centre for Abel & Cole, so when it comes to its meat boxes, it is championing free-range, 100% organic, high-welfare or sustainably wild food. We tried the Marvellous meat box but there is also a Seasonal meat box, Quick ’n’ Simple meat box, and several meat options paired with sustainable fish.
The Marvellous meat box we received included three items: 400g of diced chicken leg from a farm in Devon, 400g of minced beef from Daylesford, and two Abel & Cole farmed pork escalopes, together weighing 320g. Although the meat didn’t come with recipe suggestions, the Abel & Cole website has some brilliant recipes, which are promoted from the purchase page. Using the chicken leg we made sticky lemon and sesame chicken with steamed pak choi and rice; with the beef, a bolognese sauce with a cup of split red lentils for the freezer; and breadcrumbed the pork to make schnitzels. Both the chicken and beef cooked well, not releasing too much water, and tasting flavourful. The pork had more fat than expected but, cooked another way, it could have melted.
You can’t choose the delivery day as your box will be delivered when the vans are in the area (in order to be minimise the environmental impact of deliveries), which will be the same day every week. Apart from that, subscribing is flexible – you can buy boxes as a one-off or at intervals of up to eight weeks. Leave out the cardboard box and any other packaging the night before and it will be collected when the next box is delivered. There’s a flat-rate delivery charge of £1.99.
The meat products arrived in a cardboard box, with ice packs surrounding the meat, which itself was wrapped with Woolcool – insulation packaging made from British sheep wool. The unconventional packaging worked well as the meat was still cold when we unpacked the box. We returned the cardboard box, defrosted ice packs and Woolcool to the driver the following week.
The price for the Marvellous meat box was £17.50, which is fairly priced when the high quality farming methods are factored in.
Farmison & Co Eat Better Meat™ Essentials Box
Best meat box for freezing
- Available from Farmison & Co (£36.50)
This award-winning online butcher is based in the Yorkshire Dales, working with smallholding farmers that rear heritage breeds to create meat with more marbling and flavour. Cuts in the Essentials box change every four weeks, but include the likes of heritage breed minced lamb, bavette steak and pork belly steak, as well as smoked back bacon, sausage and a half chicken. All meat is freezable and each box comes with a couple of recipes, plus there are links provided in the confirmation email with step-by-step cooking instructions tailored to each cut.
There are various subscription options depending on household size and needs. The Essentials box includes enough meat for 10 meals for two, while the Large Essentials feeds two for 15 meals, and the family box contains enough meat for 10 meals for a family of four. You can buy as a one-off, or get a subscription delivered every week, fortnight or four weeks. Packaging is recyclable and easy to box down so not too bulky in your kitchen.
The high quality of the meat and variety in cuts provide excellent value, and we also recommend exploring some of Farmison & Co’s great-value showstopping seasonal joints, including seven-day dry-aged whole leg of lamb and 32-day dry-aged rib of beef.
The Ethical Butcher Mutton (Cull Ewe) Taster Box
Best sustainable meat box
- Available from The Ethical Butcher (£90)
The Ethical Butcher was founded out of a desire to create change in the meat industry. As it says: ‘It's not just about eating good food. It's about knowing where it comes from and how your choices impact both people and planet.’ It provides the farmers it works with with holistic management training, with an emphasis on terroir and regenerative agricultural practices. In a nutshell, says EB: “Our farmers honour natural systems and farm in ways that increase biodiversity and regenerate the land, having a positive impact on the British countryside."
The contents of the box were an eye-opener. While it’s widely eaten all over the world, mutton – known as cull ewe – isn’t on many people’s radars in the UK for its reputation of being tough to eat. But it can be cooked just like lamb. Cull ewe are retired breeding ewes, aged from between three and six years old, that will no longer lamb for various reasons. They are retired and given weeks, or months on pasture, to rejuvenate after their final lambing and regain body fat. These additional years of grazing add layers of fat, which equals flavour and very juicy meat. The Cull Ewe taster box comes from the Balcaskie Estate in Scotland and contains a combination of cuts from across the carcass, adding up to the equivalent of a quarter of an animal.
The box included half a shoulder roast. This was robust and rich, and this mutton shoulder really packs a flavour punch. Much stronger than lamb, it’s a real connoisseur’s cut. Cook it long and slow until the meat falls off the bone – follow this three-hour shoulder lamb recipe for more in depth tips. The half a leg roast was a great centrepiece for a Sunday roast. Plus the mini sirloin roast was a neat and elegant joint that great’s for a quick roast, cooked to pink perfection. Try this lamb, wilted spinach and roast potatoes recipe for an impressive dinner. Also included are four loin chops. Don’t be put off by the thick layer of fat on these chops: that’s where all the flavour is. For our test, we bashed them out with a meat hammer and marinated them with yogurt and spices before cooking under a very hot grill. There are also pre-skewered sausage-shaped mutton koftas, which are ready to put straight onto the BBQ. Pile them onto flatbreads with minty yogurt and tomato salad.
Meat arrived in a simple recyclable cardboard insulated with Woolcool and chilled with frozen pure water packs. Minimum order is £50. Orders from £50 to £85 have a £5.99 delivery charge. Orders over £85 have free delivery. Orders are delivered two working days after being placed. There are no deliveries on Mondays.
This was a revelatory introduction to a meat we should be eating more of. Be warned, it is much in demand by chefs and sells out quickly. Worth buying to stock your freezer and then defrosting for special weekend roasts and barbecues.
HG Walter Butchers' Cuts Box
Best meat box for interesting cuts
- Available from HG Walter (£36.50)
Supplying some of the best chefs and restaurants in London, HG Walter sources its meat predominantly from small farms rearing free-range native breeds, such as Hereford and Aberdeen Angus cattle. Sustainability is a priority for the farmers from whom HG Walter sources, with livestock contributing to a biodiverse landscape.
We all know that prime cuts – fillet, sirloin and rump steaks, for example – are much in demand, but the Butchers’ Cuts box aims to encourage customers to try ‘lesser cuts’ as they adapt to a more sustainable way of eating. Products arrived fresh and individually vacuum-packed and were suitable for freezing.
These were two onglet steaks (200g each). Also known as hanger steaks, because they hang beneath the diaphragm, these lesser known steaks are best flash-fried and served rare. Check out our guide on cooking with onglet for more tips. We also recieved two pork chump steaks (250g each). The equivalent of a beef rump steak, they have a nice marbling of fat running through them so are good for marinating and cooking slowly, but they also make good schnitzel: tenderise them with a meat hammer, then dip them in flour, egg and breadcrumbs and fry for a few minutes on each side. Use them instead of escalopes in this recipe for pork schnitzels. The four chicken drumsticks included (380g) were so versatile. Roast, slow cook or dry rub with herbs and spices, and gently cook on the BBQ or soak in buttermilk, coat in seasoned flour and deep fry as seen in these chicken drumstick recipes.
There was also one beef tri tip (400g), a triangular steak bursting with beefiness from the bottom of the rump. Finally, we had four lamb neck chops (500g) which are wonderful in a stew or a curry. Marinate in ginger, garlic and spices, and cook them low and slow for 1-2 hours.
Products arrived in a simple, neat cardboard box with no freezer bags or padding. There is nationwide delivery to postcodes throughout the UK (except Highlands and Islands) four days a week, from Tuesday to Friday; next-day delivery on orders placed before 12pm. Minimum basket value is £40 and orders under £60 are charged £8.50 delivery fee. Orders over £60 qualify for free delivery, after discount codes or discounts are applied.
We created five meals for a family of four with the meat in the Butchers' Cuts box. Not only was it great value for money, but also introduced us to some cuts we were unfamiliar with. Unfortunately, there were no cooking instructions or recipe cards, which would have been helpful, but there are plenty of recipes on the HG Walter website.
The Ginger Pig BBQ box
Best meat box for a barbecue
- Available from The Ginger Pig (£70)
Founder Tim Wilson reared rare-breed cattle, sheep and pigs on his farm in North Yorkshire and now works with like-minded farmers to supply his Ginger Pig shops. All its beef is dry-aged for a minimum of 28 days. Sausages and burgers are made by hand, whilst bacon and gammon are cured either by hand-salting or using a traditional brine.
The BBQ box is designed for six to eight people, with a selection of Ginger Pig’s favourite cuts. The meat arrived vacuum packed so it could be popped into the fridge or freezer. Inside were a 660g T-bone, which is a glorious special occasion steak to impress and share, with a sirloin on one side and a substantial fillet on the other. Try our All-American T-bone with crispy onion rings and blue cheese-dressed iceberg lettuce wedges. There were two 350g rump steaks – for many meat lovers, the rump is their favourite cut because of its intense beefiness. Two 370g pork chops are great for a midweek meal for two, and the four chuck steak burgers were a weekend treat. Hand-pressed from dry-aged, minced chuck steak and mixed aged rib cap fat, they had great flavour and were very juicy – a perfect burger for your BBQ. Ginger Pig is famous for its sausages. and this box includes 12 Lincolnshire sausages. What started as a means to reduce waste and be more sustainable, quickly became its signature product. They are handmade every week using a blend of pork shoulder and belly for juiciness. Great on the BBQ, but also for a midweek supper. Try them in a toad-in-the-hole.
Meat is vacuum packed to avoid leakages and help to prolong shelf life. It arrived in a branded fully recyclable cardboard box with eco-friendly Woolcool insulated lining and ice packs. Delivery to UK mainland addresses is between Tuesday-Saturday. You can place your order before 10am for next-day delivery or choose a delivery date up to one month in advance. Deliveries are usually made between the hours of 8am and 6pm. All nationwide orders include a £10 delivery charge. All local orders (within the M25) are a minimum order of £40, plus £7 delivery charge.
Having family or friends around for a weekend of fun in the sunshine? This is the box for you. The T-bone steak is a real crowdpleaser and the other cuts are of exceptional quality. Even if you’re not barbecuing, there’s plenty to please throughout the week.
Parson's Nose medium meat box
Best traditional butcher's meat subscription
- Available from Parson's Nose (from £60)
The ethos of this family-run West London butcher is to bring back the traditional butchers' shop, which it has successfully achieved in three high street shops and a thriving online business. All meat is free range and comes fresh from the counter in minimal packaging, and is suitable for freezing.
There are plenty of meat subscription options to choose from depending on household size (small, medium and large), plus the option of a mixed meat and fish box. The small box feeds two people for four meals, while the medium box covers four people for four meals, with cuts including a whole Sutton Hoo free range chicken, South Downs pork chops, and prime Scottish chuck steak. As a great extra touch, all the meat boxes also include a box of the season’s best fresh vegetables, therefore providing you with complete meals. You can buy the boxes as a one-off, or get a subscription delivered every week or four weeks.
The Parson’s Nose’s BBQ box is also a great option if you are looking for easy entertaining, with cuts including a Scottish dry-aged T-bone steak, South Downs pork chops and traditional pork sausages, alongside marinated chicken kebabs to pop straight on the grill.
Parson's Nose (from £60)
The Swaledale Chef’s Choice meat box
Best meat box for variety
- Available from Swaledale £48
Swaledale is an online ‘whole-carcass butcher’ based in the Yorkshire Dales, offering a huge variety of cuts of meat, from beef, lamb and chicken to mutton, venison and game. They combine these offerings into curated meat boxes for every occasion – from the Artisan Steak box for exploring different cuts to a Barbecue Meat box or ones focusing on heritage breeds.
We tested out the Chef’s Choice box, which combines well-known staples with some less familiar cuts. It came in a smartly labelled cardboard box with ice packs to keep the meat cool and all items were vacuum-packed and clearly labelled. We were slightly confused as all the meat had the same best before date of just a couple of days after delivery, including bacon, which usually lasts a couple of weeks in the fridge. We decided to freeze some of our meat to spread it out – the sausages and sausagemeat both froze and defrosted easily. There was no information on the cuts or suggested recipes included with the box, which would be useful for some of the less familiar cuts, such as the large pig’s cheek and pork shoulder chop, as these are tricky to find recipes for. However, all the items are also sold individually on the website and some have more information or suggested cooking methods there.
The Yorkshire breakfast sausages were a surefire hit as part of a weekend full English, cooking evenly and with lots of flavour. We used the spicy, well-seasoned lamb merguez sausages to make sausage rolls with a difference, while the red wine-infused sausagemeat was perfect for a tender ragu. The bacon was incredibly smoky and would add a big depth of flavour if used in risottos or stews. We’ve previously only ever cooked individual small pig’s cheeks, so it was enjoyable to experiment with a large smoked 750g pig’s cheek, slow-cooked to melting tenderness. Our box also contained bone marrow, a pork chop and a hefty kilo piece of salt beef.
At just under £50 (with £9 delivery), this box is guaranteed to keep you busy in the kitchen. It's great for combining familiarity (sausages, bacon) with unusual cuts and styles of meat you’d usually only find in restaurants, which will definitely help push your cooking skills.
Warrendale Wagyu alternative BBQ box
Best for wagyu beef
- Available from Warrendale Wagyu (£85)
Warrendale Wagyu works with farmers across the UK and aims to produce the highest quality British wagyu beef, consistently and sustainably.
Perfect for BBQ season, the box can easily feed eight to 10 people and includes a selection of BBQ alternatives – a showstopping selection for any family gathering or summer party. Included is 500g of wagyu kebab chunks, which can be seasoned and threaded onto skewers (check out our kebab recipes for inspiration). The four 4oz wagyu burgers are juicy and flavour-packed, while the larger 80z burgers are impressive and ideal for those with heartier appetites. Steaks are also covered, with a mix of flat iron and Denver cuts included. Both are known for their excellent marbling quality, so they’re perfect for grilling on the BBQ.
All steaks are vacuum-packed individually, then packed in a thermal bag with ice and shipped in a branded box. Our meat was all fresh and could be frozen on delivery.
This is luxurious meat, but Warrendale shows that luxury needn’t cost the earth. The beef is juicy and intense. We’d have liked the box to have come with descriptions of the less familiar cuts, but there’s plenty of information on the website.
Knepp Wild Range Meat 'Introduction to Knepp organic box'
Best slow-grown meat
- Available from Knepp Wild Range Meat (£60)
Knepp Wild Range comes from the pioneering rewilding project at the Knepp Estate in West Sussex. The animals lead a life that is as close to being wild as possible in the UK. Low-density, free-roaming old Longhorn cattle, Tamworth pigs and red and fallow deer help restore nature and capture carbon. The meat produced is a necessary part of controlling animal numbers to provide the best conditions for biodiversity.
Knepp Wild Range promotes ‘nose-to-tail eating’, valuing every part of the animal, reviving traditional uses for offal and introducing modern cuts, such as spider steaks and tri-tips. Its 'Introduction to Knepp organic box' takes the decision-making out of choosing from the range, and offers a look into the variety of products on offer.
The box contains a 900g piece of organic topside beef. A real family classic that's equally suited to quick roasting medium-rare or slow-cooked succulence. This muscle has worked hard, creating an open texture and rich flavour. Also included are organic beef sausages and old English Longhorn beef mince (minimum weight 450g), which is perfect for family dishes such as bolognese, cottage pie and lasagne. Away from beef, there are also interesting venison inclusions, such as fallow burgers and red deer haunch steaks. Red deer venison haunch steaks have a delicate gamey taste and require just a few minutes cooking over a high heat.
Knepp offers nationwide delivery to postcodes throughout the UK (except the Highlands and Islands) four days a week from Tuesday to Friday, with next day delivery on orders placed before 6am. Meat is delivered frozen in boxes containing sheep’s wool insulation and food-grade water ice packs. The packaging is entirely recyclable and keeps the meat frozen for around 72 hours.
Knepp Wild Range Meat offers plenty of choice when it comes to cuts of meat and types you may not have tried before. It all comes at a reasonable price too, but that aside, the big USP here is the fact that the animals are wild, which makes for proper sustainable eating. There were no recipe cards included, but there plenty of recipes on the Knepp website, particularly for the lesser-known cuts.
Taste Tradition steak lover's box
Best for steak fans
- Available from Taste Tradition (£100)
Rare breed meat specialist Taste Tradition supplies hotels, restaurants, independent retailers and butcher shops nationwide. It was founded by mum-and-son team Joyce and Charles Ashbridge in 2004 in North York Moors National Park, where the family has farmed for three generations.
This box includes a great collection of succulent prime cuts from rare breed cattle, plus two increasingly popular flat iron steaks cut from the feather blade – these are extremely lean and tender. There are also five 200g sirloin steaks – perhaps the most familiar steakhouse steak – that were very juicy, with a thick layer of fat on the outside that sizzled in the pan. Try our foolproof sirloin steak recipe to cook them to perfection. Five rump and five ribeye steaks complete the box.
Taste Tradition offers nationwide delivery. For next day delivery, order before noon the previous day (to allow the butchers time to prepare it fresh). Our steaks arrived in a cardboard box with cool packs. The vacuum-packed steaks are fresh, not frozen, so you can portion them up and refrigerate or freeze them to your requirements.
With twenty full-flavoured prime cut steaks costing £5 each, what’s not to like? The flavour of the steaks was outstandingly beefy. This is an absolute must for anyone who loves steak, and has lots of friends and family who will enjoy it too.
Available from Taste Tradition (£100)
Tom Hixon of Smithfield, The Heliot BBQ Box
Best luxury meat box
- Available from Tom Hixson of Smithfield, £80
Tom Hixson of Smithfield are a third generation master butchers who have been serving chefs and pitmasters for many years. Their expansion into home delivery boxes offers boxes ranging from beginners' selections up to the luxurious Hixson’s Connoisseur Box.
The Heliot BBQ box has been curated in collaboration with the Heliot Steak House with 'meatologist' and chef Ioannis Grammenos. The box includes a Wexford Valley tomahawk steak (0.7kg), salt moss aged T-bone steak (0.45kg) and USDA St Louis pork ribs (1.5kg). Alongside the meat, you also get a complete BBQ accessory kit, including a spatula, carving fork and meat tongs.
The high quality of the meat is evident. The rearing of the beef comes through in the taste – it’s succulent, tender and incredibly juicy, with outstanding flavour. Mouth-watering is often an overused term, but it is true here. If you’re not planning a large barbecue, other than the ribs (which thaw out during delivery), the meat is freezable and will last for a few months, easily. It’s well packaged so freezer burn would not be an issue. There are expert cooking tips and serving suggestions and, for those interested in wine pairings, there are also suggestions for suitable wines, too.
The outer box is recyclable but the cool bag inside will be more tricky to recycle. The meat is in plastic wrap which will need disposing of. The packaging isn’t excessive, though.
It’s not a cheap option for a meat box, but the meat is of great quality and, if you want to make a barbecue really celebratory, it’s a great option. The barbecue utensils are a nice added touch but for those who are already ardent barbecuers and have the gear, there are plenty of other good quality meat boxes on their site to choose from, too.
The Heliot BBQ Box, £127.50
We tried and tested a variety of meat boxes from different brands to get a good idea of the overall quality and value of the meat. We also noted the lack of halal subscription boxes on the market. One thing we strongly considered was the value for money, this is based on not only the quality of meat but the amount or range of meats in the box for the price. We focused on where the meat came from, how fresh it was and if the box came with any cooking suggestions or extra features. We also understand that flexibility is a great consideration when it comes to subscription boxes so we researched the subscription and delivery options as well as the overall sustainability of the boxes, from the efforts of the farm to the packaging.
This means that the animals are free to roam around the farm for at least some of the day.
Organic farming means that natural resources on the farm are protected. Chemicals such as artificial fertilisers and pesticides are not used on the soil, so the animals roam on natural land and avoid ingesting artificial substances. Organic farming also means more biodiversity in the farm, as there's an absence of veterinary medicines like antibiotics in rearing livestock, an avoidance of genetic modification and livestock do not have additives in their feed. Read our more in-depth guide to the term organic.
This means running a farm that takes into consideration the environment and public health. This can take the form of using renewable energy sources on the farm or efficient recycling methods, such as collecting rain water to irrigate crops or re-using crop waste or manure to fertilise soil.
Meat coming from high-welfare farms means that the animals' well-being is prioritised. This means they're largely free to roam, have ample access to the outdoors and their environments are kept clean and comfortable. For poultry, it also means they have enrichment, such as perches or toys, to help reduce stress.
Livestock that are 'heritage breeds' have been around before industrial agriculture and generally stayed in the same environment, so they are well adapted to their local habitat. They have fuller flavour and generally more marbling.
This refers to meat that is not only grass-fed and organic, but also produced by farmers using regenerative agriculture. This aims to reverse effects of climate change by rebuilding organic matter in soil and restoring degraded soil biodiversity. Regenerative meat meets specific criteria to enhance the environment, soil health and animal welfare, and the farms treat workers ethically and fairly.
Animals that are wild-range are free to roam and eat from re-wilded land, which is rich in natural herbs and bark. This method of eating means they are slow-grown (not unnaturally fattened up), which creates richer meat.
A technique where meat (specifically beef and sometimes lamb) is stored in a controlled environment (temperature, humidity, air circulation) until the natural enzymes of the meat breaks down, making it more tender and maximising flavour.
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