Cooks Venture has a reputation as a great place to purchase humanely-bred pedigree birds. The company prides its food system and supply chain on being good for climate change and better for your health. But, can you trust what the company says?
We performed a comprehensive Cooks Venture taste test to find out.
What is Cooks Venture Farm?
Cooks Venture farmers is a meat distribution company headquartered in New York that deals with pasture-raised heirloom chickens.
These are a special breed of chicken whose line dates back to before the poultry industry started adopting factory farming practices.
In 2019, the company raised $12 million to spread regenerative agriculture practices.
This money was used to expand its capabilities to handle over 700,000 chickens per week.
Their new 800-acre farm will be able to feed and raise the 700,000 chickens per week and get them ready for processing in line with Cooks Venture’s strict animal welfare policy.
The company was founded by the former COO of food distributor Blue Apron.
- Strict animal welfare policy
- High-quality heirloom chicken products
- Advocates of regenerative agriculture
- No antibiotics or hormones added
- Only chicken producers and farmers
- No deliveries to Alaska or Hawaii
- No overnight shipping options
- No egg cartons
Cooks Venture Food Menu
Cooks venture Chicken has a minimal menu: pasture-raised chicken. According to their website, there are plans in the future to begin selling similar slow heirloom livestock.
Some of their future options include grass-fed and grass-finished beef (a perfect option for anyone on a beef only diet), heritage slow-growth pork, grass-fed and grass-finished lamb, wild-caught seafood.
For right now, the company only deals with pasture-raised chicken. You can choose from four different boxes.
These chicken packages include:
- Curated Chicken Sampler Box
- Boneless Chicken Box
- 6 Whole Pasture Raised Chickens Box
- 4 Whole Pasture Raised Chickens Box
What’s the Meat Quality?
Because of the rigorous commitment that Cooks Ventures places on their breeding program and feeding system, the products that come from their chicken farm are some of the best quality you can find in the chicken industry.
According to popular food news sites such as Civil Eats, they align with the strict quality standards set forth by Whole Foods Market (1). This includes no cage confinement in poultry coops creating better wiggle room, improved access to better chicken feed, no-grain diet, and total outdoor access.
We have reviewed well over a dozen meat delivery companies and found that the chicken breeds coming out of Cooks Venture are some of the best in terms of their bone density and immune system, which leads to a better quality of the animal.
Cooks Venture Price Range
Cooks Venture market is a bit more expensive than other companies we’ve reviewed in the past, such as Fresh Direct or ButcherBox. Because they use birds that take longer to raise and promote good soil health and proper animal feed, the costs of raising each chicken are greater.
That said, for the quality of breast meat and other parts, the higher price is generally evened out.
Cooks Venture Guarantee Program
One thing that we appreciate about Cooks Venture is their rather generous guarantee program. Out of all the companies we’ve reviewed, Cooks Venture is one of the only ones that openly states they will provide refunds in the event you are unsatisfied with your product.
The company promises to either refund or replace the chicken box you order. Other meat box providers we’ve reviewed will only replace your product instead of providing refunds.
Cooks Venture Complaints
The majority of complaints were from people whose orders arrived thawed out. We should note that because of the nature of the product, it is possible that some orders can arrive thawed and with a need to cook immediately.
This is especially true for orders going across the country, such as to the west coast.
Comparison to Other Meat Deliveries
Here’s how Cooks Venture compares to ButcherBox. Their menu includes chicken, lamb, beef, and pork. ButcherBox offers beef, chicken, pork, and seafood.
Crowd Cow menu includes beef, including Japanese Wagyu, chicken, pork, and seafood. Snake River Farms offers several game cuts and beef, but no poultry or seafood.
Cooks Venture has two subscription box options: regular and large. ButcherBox has five, Crowd Cow has four, and Snake River Farms has the most — over ten boxes.
Finally, Cooks Venture has free shipping in the 48 contiguous US states. ButcherBox also offers free shipping. Crowd Cow shipping starts at $19.99 and Snake River Farms starts at $9.99.
Everything we found about the company falls in line with the idea they are raising better poultry products.
The boneless chicken that we ordered was tasty and delivered on time. The only thing that we don’t like about the company is they only have poultry products.
If they do expand to more than just chicken sales, it will be nice.
Cooks Venture has mostly positive reviews from the people that use their products. The vast majority of reviews that we read mentioned the taste and ease of cooking. They also speak about the improved poultry farming practices.
The company has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau website. One thing to note is that they are not accredited and currently have no customer complaints (2).
Cooks Venture has over 1,300 followers on its Facebook page. The smart chicken distributor has an average rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars (3)
What are heirloom chickens?
Heirloom chickens are a special type of heritage breed chicken. Heritage breed means that a specific animal is an older breed of livestock. In the case of heritage chickens, these are similar to those breeds used before the advent of factory farming. They typically take longer to mature than factory chickens.
Is air-chilled chicken better?
Air-chilled chicken is better than water chilled chicken as it doesn’t absorb the extra moisture. Air chilled chickens are cooled down after slaughter by running them through cold air chambers. This is in contrast to water chilled chickens that are cooled by soaking large batches in iced water with chlorine.
Are Cooks Venture chickens given antibiotics?
Cooks Venture chickens are not given antibiotics or hormones according to their website. Instead, all chickens are grown naturally and fed a natural diet and non-GMO verified feed and allowed to roam on 800 acres of open pasture. This helps the chickens to stay healthy before being sent to the processing facility.
“Arrived frozen solid on dry ice and well insulated. Roasted my first one today. Perfect size. Delicious! Clean, fresh, tender, juicy, and the skin crisped up beautifully!”
- Lara J. Fields, verified Facebook Reviewer (4)
Is Cooks Venture Worth It?
After a thorough Cooks Venture test, we are confident they are good to use if you’re looking for high-quality birds given a clean chicken feed. That said, we prefer ButcherBox for our subscription box orders.
They offer a wider range of grass-fed and grass-finished beef, free-range organic poultry, heritage-breed pork, and wild-caught seafood, giving you more options.
Check them out if you’re interested in receiving monthly orders of specialized meats.