A carnivore diet has several benefits, but finding high-quality, healthy meat is a big challenge. That’s why I’ve made it my mission to try all meat delivery services available on the market.
I’ve been testing and reviewing meat companies for years, and today I’ll talk about Blackwing and ButcherBox.
I’ve used both of these meat delivery companies for several months, so I’ll explain their similarities and differences and which one I think is the better choice.
ButcherBox vs Blackwing: Key Differences
The main difference between Blackwing and ButcherBox is their meat selection. Blackwing sells exotic meats, while ButcherBox has a more standard selection. For example, Blackwing sells elk, ostrich, camel, frog legs, and other exotic cuts. ButcherBox mostly sells beef, pork, and chicken.
Another difference is that ButcherBox is a subscription service. This means you subscribe to one of their boxes, and it’s automatically delivered to your doorstep every month.
Blackwing isn’t a subscription service but a la carte. You can choose as many different cuts as you want and as many quantities you want.
Finally, ButcherBox is an online business, which means the only way to order their meat is to visit their website.
Blackwing is also an online business, but they have a brick-and-mortar store you can visit and choose different cuts of meat in person. They also sell other items apart from meat, such as coffee and produce.
Comparing Their Features Head to Head
Even though ButcherBox and Blackwing are meat delivery companies, I found them to be pretty different. Here’s how their most important features compare.
1. Meat Selection
ButcherBox’s meat selection includes beef, chicken, pork, and sustainably-sourced seafood.
Here’s an example of some of their most popular cuts:
- Filet mignon
- Baby back ribs
- Sea scallops
- Ground beef
- Boneless pork chops
- Breakfast sausages
- New York strip steak
- Boneless skinless chicken breast
Blackwing says they are “America’s leading provider of organic proteins,” and I agree. The choice of regular and other meats they offer is huge.
Compared to ButcherBox, Blackwing has a much larger meat selection. They focus on exotic meats.
Here’s an example of different kinds of meat and cuts you can order from Blackwing:
- Ground bison
- Bison burger
- Bison skirt steak
- Bison ribeye bone-in
- Flank steak
- Organic burgers
- Ground meat
- Chicken drumsticks
- Chicken wings
- Whole chicken breast
- Organic ground beef
- Grass-fed beef burgers
- Ribeye bone-in
- Filet chunks
- New York Strip Steak bone-in
- Porterhouse bone-in
- Elk burgers
- Ground elk
- Flank steak
- Philly steak
- Inside strip filet
- Ground ostrich
- Ostrich burgers
- Stew meat
- Ground pork
- Boneless pork chops
- Pork chop bone-in
- Stew meat
- Frog legs
- Turkey bacon
- Wild Norwegian salmon
- Wild sockeye salmon
- Smoker salmon fillet
- French cut lamb racks
- Sirloin fillet
- Stew meat
- Wild boar
- Boneless chops
- Bone-in chops
- Strip loin
- Game birds
- Frozen pheasant
- Chevon goat
- Whole rabbit
ButcherBox is extremely open and transparent about their sourcing, which I loved, as I knew where each cut of meat comes from and how it’s been grown.
“ButcherBox delivers 100% grass-fed beef, free-range organic chicken, humanely raised pork, and wild-caught seafood directly to your door.”
They have a page on their website dedicated solely to their growing practices. Here’s how ButcherBox sources its meat:
- Beef — 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef. All cattle are humanely grown without any antibiotics or added hormones. The cattle are grown on pasture and allowed to roam free all their lives. Most of ButcherBox beef comes from Australia because they have high animal welfare standards and an excellent system for certifying pasture-grown meat .
- Pork — Grown crate-free on pastures or hoop barns without gestation. The pigs are given vegetarian feed, and most come from heritage-breed lines, such as Duroc, Berkshire, and Chester White. This means the meat has a slower maturation process which leads to better marbling and juicier flavor.
- Chicken — Free-range USDA certified organic chicken. The chickens are humanely treated without cages or crates and are antibiotics-free. The chickens are also Global Animal Partnership (GAP 3) certified for health, natural living, and emotional wellbeing.
- Seafood — Sustainably harvested without artificial coloring or additives. Salmon comes from Bristol Bay, Alaska. Sea scallops are caught in Georges Bank, Massachusetts. Lobster is caught off the coast of Maine, and cod and halibut come from the Bering Sea. ButcherBox sustainably harvests all marine products, so there’s enough for future generations.
Blackwing is less forthcoming about its sourcing practices. There’s no dedicated page on their website that explains how they source their meat, which would be very beneficial to know, considering they sell mostly exotic meats.
However, I did some digging, and here’s what I found about Blackwing sourcing practices:
- Bison (buffalo) — Buffalos spend their lives on pastures, are grass-fed and grass-finished. The animals aren’t given hormones, so the meat is lower in fat, cholesterol, and calories compared to beef.
- Beef — 100% organic beef, grass-fed and grass-finished.
- Elk — North American elk grown on 100,000 acres of pastures. Pastures are pesticide-free, and elk eat a diet of grass and foliage. The meat is full of proteins and iron, low in calories and fat, without GMOs, and hormone-free.
- Ostrich — 100% hormone-free. This meat is non-allergic protein, so it’s one of the healthiest options available today. It’s also low in fat.
- Lamb — Grass-fed and grown on pastures.
- Venison — Exclusively grown on farms without hormones, and low in fat, especially compared to beef.
- Antelope — Non-GMO, hormone and antibiotics-free. It has a third of the calories beef has, and it’s low in fat.
- Wild-boar — Blackwing claims they are the only producer of wild-caught, farm-raised wild-boar. The boars are fed a diet of acorns, roots, and plants and are de-wormed and quarantined for 90 days. The boars are USDA tested for pesticides and trichinella upon each processing.
- Kangaroo — 100% pure kangaroo meat, high in proteins, iron, and minerals, and low in fat.
- Salmon — Has 4% salt solution injected to increase flavor.
- Poultry — Grown on pastures without GMOs.
Blackwing says their meat is sourced from farms across the US and their own herds and that all meat is from animals raised in humane and sustainable conditions. Beef, elk, and bison are all 100% grass-fed and finished, without growth hormones, and graze on open pastures all their lives. This makes meats high in protein, rich in iron and low in fat and calories.
“Established in 1996, Blackwing is one of North America's leading providers of clean and healthy meats to consumers, retailers, restaurants, and food service industries. Blackwing’s mission is to offer all-natural, healthy, and organic meats to health-conscious consumers.”
However, I noticed they don’t source the seafood they deliver. Instead, they sell products from third-party manufacturers. For example, they sell products from Ocean Beauty and Spence & Co.
3. Shipping and Pricing
ButcherBox has free shipping on all of its subscription boxes. Plus, you’ll get free ground beef for the duration of your subscription .
Here’s how their subscription boxes are priced:
- Custom Box — You can choose up to 25 cuts of meat. It comes in two sizes:
- 9-14 lbs of meat which is enough for 30 meals for $169 per month, which is $5.63 per meal
- 18-26 lbs of meat which is enough for 60 meals for $306 per month, which is $5.1 per meal.
- Mixed box — Includes a mix of beef, chicken, and pork. You can get meats such as New York Strip Steak, sirloin, whole pork tenderloin, boneless skinless chicken breasts, and more.
- Beef and pork — A selection of pork and beef cuts can include ground beef, sirloin steak, whole tenderloin, and boneless pork chops.
- Beef and chicken — Includes a selection of beef and chicken, such as New York Strip Steak, sirloin, drumsticks, and boneless skinless chicken breasts.
- All beef — Includes different beef steaks, such as steak tips, chuck roast, and sirloin.
Apart from the custom box, all other options also come in two sizes:
- Classic box — 8-11 lbs of meat which is enough for 24 meals and costs $146 per box
- Big box — 16-22 lbs of meat which is enough for 48 meals and costs $269 per box
The classic box is a great purchase if you have a smaller family or little freezer space, while the bigger box is a good purchase if you have a large meat-loving family and a big freezer.
As for the delivery, I don’t have any complaints. The first order arrived at my door in three days. The meat was packed in a recyclable cardboard box. Each cut was flash-frozen and placed in a vacuum-sealed bag with plenty of dry ice.
I got to choose the next delivery date, and ButcherBox was always prompt, so I could plan my cooking stock in advance.
Blackwing’s shipping process takes longer than ButcherBox. They don’t shop the same day the order is placed, and there’s no guarantee your order will ship the same week you placed it .
Here’s their shipping schedule:
- 3 Day orders ship on Mondays and Tuesdays.
- 2 Day orders ship on Monday through Wednesday.
- 1 Day orders are usually shipped on Thursdays.
The order will be shipped on the next available shipping day for customers who opt for expedited air shipping. In case customers need delivery by the weekend, they have to order by Thursday.
Customers who need to receive their order by a certain date should contact Blackwing to check if specific day deliveries are possible. Expect that you’ll have to pay more money for specific day deliveries.
My order came flash-frozen in a vacuum bag with dry ice and gel packs, and it was frozen when I received it.
As for the price, Blackwing doesn’t have any subscription options, so the price of your order will strictly depend on how much you order and if you order exotic meats, seafood, or poultry.
Keep in mind that Blackwing can only deliver orders of a minimum of 5 lbs to make sure your steaks and poultry remain frozen.
Stand Out Features
The biggest stand-out feature of Blackwing is that they sell great quality organic beef and organic exotic meats.
However, you can also make a purchase of other items that aren’t meat-related. This comes in handy when you notice your groceries stock is running low.
Here are some other items you can order from Blackwing:
- Organic fruit — Berry, blueberry, cherry, mango, and more.
- Organic vegetables — Spinach, green peas, squash, sweet corn, and more.
- Coffee — Cameron’s organic roasts
- Gourmet cheeses — Various Bunker Hill cheeses
- Supplements — Made from aloe vera, turmeric force, organic sambucus
- Bones — Elk, venison, bison, beef, and ostrich
- Chili — Elk, bison, and venison
- Healthy snacks — Bison, wild boar, venison meat sticks, and sausages
- Marinades and sauces — BBQ and marinara sauces
- Bison hides — Medium, large, or extra-large
- Organ meat — Bison tongue, liver, and kidney
All of these are also available in Blackwing’s store located in the greater Lake County.
The biggest stand-out feature of ButcherBox is its gift boxes. Some of them are:
- Premium Grill box $175
- ButcherBox favorites $159
- Steak lovers’ box $169
- Celebration box $139
- Beef variety box $155
- Seafood box $149
- Chicken sampler $129
These boxes are a perfect gift for a meat-loving friend. They are also a good choice when you’re having a cookout for a special celebration.
Blackwing vs ButcherBox: Which One to Choose?
My vote for the best meat delivery service goes to ButcherBox. They have a smaller meat selection than Blackwing, but it’s is top-notch meat quality. All cuts are sustainably sourced, and the cost is affordable.
ButcherBox offers free shipping on all orders, and each box comes at an affordable price, so it pays off more than shopping at a grocery store.
Their delivery is always on time and comes in an eco-friendly package.
Click here and discover ButcherBox quality meat selection.