Snake River Farms (SRF) and Crowd Cow are two of the most popular companies that deliver premium meat options.
To figure out which of these high-quality meat delivery services is better, I decided to take a close look at each company's offerings and sample their wares. So, I tried each service for two months - and here is what I learned.
Crowd Cow vs Snake River Farms: Key Differences
The main differences between Snake River Farms and Crowd Cow are in their sourcing and selection.
Snake River Farms sources its meat from its own ranch, ensuring a high level of meat quality but limiting your options to Kurobuta pork and American wagyu beef.
In contrast, Crowd Cow gets its product from suppliers worldwide - wagyu from Japan, seafood from Norway, and lamb from Australia.
This is on top of the free-range organic chicken, heritage breed pork, and game meats from suppliers from the US.
Comparing Their Features Head to Head
After researching the companies and trying their services, here is my comparison of their features.
1. Sourcing and Meat Quality
One of the most important aspects of any meat delivery service is the sourcing and quality of its products.
Snake River Farms
Unlike other meat delivery services, Snake River Farms' products are proudly sourced from their Double R Ranch in Loomis, Washington, at the base of the Cascade Mountains.
The company is committed to sustainable and humane ranching practices, as well as providing its customers with the best meat possible.
The cattle that create the Snake River Farms’ free-range and grass-fed beef are arranged in three herds that roam across the meadows of the ranch.
The pasture-raised beef moves from one side of the 80,000 acres to the other so that they always have access to fresh grass .
When it comes time for the trip to the meat processing facilities, they move the cattle to a Safe Quality Food certified location owned by Snake River Farms in Toppenish, WA.
They built this plant based on the work of Bud Williams and Dr. Temple Grandin. It is designed to reduce stress on the animals.
Snake River Farms has a robust breeding program to ensure only the highest quality wagyu beef is produced.
Since the introduction of their first Japanese bull in the early 1990s, the company has bred countless grass-fed wagyu cattle in an environment with daily health checks, access to fresh water 24/7, and humane and calm conditions.
They do not certify and advertise organic meat, but Snake River Farms believes that the secret to its meat is how they care for every part of the process - from the herd to the customer.
This company does not have its own ranch but sources its meat from a network of more than 50 international partners. This includes some of the world's best ranches, small family farms, and fishing concerns.
The company is focused on providing its customers with a wide variety of high-quality meat choices, as well as transparency about where each product comes from.
Each supplier gets a page on the Crowd Cow website, and there is a clear description of the ranching or farming practices used.
For example, one of the company's prime beef partners, Mahan Wagyu Ranch, grazes its cattle on native plants free of herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizer. These grass-fed cattle are raised with no added antibiotics or hormones.
"One simple question started Crowd Cow — where is my meat from? Answering that question has become an obsession and now customers can confidently purchase meat and seafood from the very best independent and sustainable sources."
- Crowd Cow
All of Crowd Cow's partners have a clearly labeled page with their sustainability and quality certifications. In this way, the customer knows which farms provide pasture-raised chicken, free-range beef, or sustainably raised seafood.
2. Menu and Selection
When evaluating what meat delivery service is most suitable, you need to consider if their menu matches your tastes.
Snake River Farms
Snake River Farms' menu is divided into two main sections: US wagyu beef and Kurabuta pork. Within each area, there are a variety of cuts and packages to choose from that rival those you would find at a small butcher shop.
As you would expect, the beef section is loaded with delicious steak options. You can purchase wagyu sirloin, ribeye, New York strip, and filet mignon.
Snake River Farms also offers a variety of beef roasts like tenderloin, prime rib, tri-tip, striploin, and corned beef.
To round things out, you can get dry-aged ground beef, brisket, burgers and dogs, beef ribs, as well as specialty items like Denver steak, bavette, hanger steak, Delmonico, picanha, and jerky.
The company gives options for premium dry-aged beef and Gold Grade American wagyu. Gold Grade is the highest American wagyu grade, and it balances the buttery taste of wagyu with the rich flavor of American beef.
With its Kurabuta Pork, Snake River Farms serves ham, boneless pork chops, pork ribs and roasts, and bacon. They also have cured meats such as salami and sausage.
Crowd Cow's menu is more diverse than Snake River Farms. They offer grass-fed beef and humanely raised pork like the competition, but they also have many other items on the menu.
Crowd Cow does have Kurabuta pork and it also sells wagyu beef. However, not only does it have American wagyu, but it also sells wagyu from Japan.
You can get the tender texture of A5 Japanese wagyu, which is the highest grade given by the Japanese Meat Grading Association.
The cuts of meat are plentiful. From ground pork to chuck roast to top sirloin steaks. If a cut comes from high-quality beef or heritage pork, you will find it on the Crowd Cow menu.
This includes items like a boneless pork chop, Italian sausage, and pork tenderloin among many other premium meat options.
Outside of pasture-raised pork and beef, Crowd Cow sells many other types of meat. They have everyday items like chicken breasts, lamb, and turkey.
Additionally, they source a wide variety of wild-caught seafood with fish like cod, sea bass, swordfish, trout, and salmon. They also have shellfish options such as scallops, lobster, and shrimp.
Finally, Crowd Cow offers specialty meats that are not available from many other vendors. Some of these include:
- Wild boar - ground boar, tenderloin, andouille sausage
- Venision and elk - tenderloin
- Duck - rendered fat, smoked breast, half duck, fully-cooked duck leg confit
- Bison - bratwurst, NY strip steak, buffalo burgers, tenderloin, ribeye
3. Meal Plans and Pricing
Pricing is always an important consideration when it comes to determining the best meat delivery services.
Snake River Farms
Snake River Farms is not a meat subscription service - all items are ordered on an à la carte basis. You only buy when you want and get what you want. There are no membership fees or minimum purchase requirements for buying meat online.
It does have a variety of boxes and bundles available for purchase on the website. Some options include a Steak Lovers Bundle (wagyu top sirloin, USDA Choice ribeye, USDA Prime beef cowboy steak, and a filet) and a Steak and Chops Bundle that includes pork chops, a filet, and SRF steak seasoning and pork rub.
To provide some idea on pricing, here are the costs of some of their more popular items:
- Wagyu New York Strip Steak - $89.33/lb
- Wagyu Ribeye - $80.00/lb
- Wagyu Ground Beef - $12.50/lb
- Wagyu Sirloin Steak - $44.00/lb
- Kurobuta Pork Chop - $46.54/lb
- Beef Hot Dogs - $8.10/lb
Crowd Cow has a different model for its meat delivery options. It is a subscription service that delivers fresh meat to your door on a regular basis. You can choose the frequency of the meat delivery service, and you can cancel at any time. You can also order a one-off meat box if you don't want to commit to meat subscription services or just want to buy a gift or care package.
What sets Crowd Cow apart from many competitors is that it does not create carefully curated beef boxes. Instead of the company sending you what it wants, you get to order exactly what you want and know it will show up on your doorstep. It can be a mixed box or one with a single meat type.
To provide a pricing comparison, here are Crowd Cow's prices for the items mentioned above:
- Wagyu NY Strip Steaks - $113.07/lb
- Wagyu Ribeye - $87.34/lb
- Wagyu Ground Beef - $14.72/lb
- Wagyu Sirloin - $52.40/lb
- Kurobuta Pork Chop - $13.32/lb
- Beef Hot Dogs - $8.76/lb
4. Shipping and Packaging
When choosing between the many meat delivery services out there, the final thing to think about is shipping and packaging.
Snake River Farms
Orders from Snake River Farms can be shipped to all 50 states.
The meat I ordered was packaged in a reusable thermal bag inside a shipping box. Also inside the box, there was a biodegradable insulation foam. Dry ice is used as the cooling media to keep your items frozen throughout transit.
Shipping is done via FedEx and charged as follows:
- $9.99 Standard Shipping (1 to 3 Day Ground)
- $24.99 Express Shipping (2-Day Air)
- $49.99 Overnight Shipping (1-Day Air)
Crowd Cow only ships to the lower 48 states.
The company packages its products in an insulated box with dry ice. The box and shipping foam are recyclable. This insulation is made from cornstarch and can be burned, dissolved in water, or used in compost .
UPS Ground and AxleHire are used for shipping. Shipping costs are a flat rate of $19.99 per order unless the order is over $149 - then it is free. You only need a $125 box to enjoy free ground shipping on a recurring plan.
Snake River Farms vs Crowd Cow: Who's the Winner?
Both Snake River Farms and Crowd Cow are purveyors of premium meat, but they weren’t equal to the service and meat quality I get from ButcherBox.
ButcherBox sells only sustainably sourced and responsibly raised meat, without any hormones or additives. You can choose between beef, pork, chicken, and seafood options.
ButcherBox has five subscription boxes and flexible delivery options. You can choose one of the pre-packed boxes or handpick each cut of meat sent to you. You’ll get free delivery with each box. Check them out and get quality meat with free ground turkey.