Timothy Woods
Published by Timothy Woods
Last Updated On: September 5, 2022

Both ButcherBox and Harry and David are two companies well known for their meat.

While ButcherBox specializes in humanely raised meat and sustainably sourced seafood, Harry and David are home to a selection of meat and cheese gift baskets, kitchen and home items, flowers, and much more.

While both of these companies offer different products, they claim to sell high-quality meat and fish with no antibiotics or added hormones.

We have tested both meat delivery services over the span of a month to see which company produces the best quality meat at an affordable price.

ButcherBox vs Harry and David: Key Differences

Harry David box products

The most significant difference between these meat delivery companies is their services.

ButcherBox only handles meat and seafood, stocking a range of monthly subscription boxes where customers can either have items chosen for them (curated) or choose freely from the available menu (custom).

On the other hand, Harry and David have a wide selection of items, including gourmet food, fruit, desserts, gift boxes, and more.

All orders are a la carte, except the gift boxes, and can be purchased at the customer's convenience.

Another difference between these two companies is sustainability. While ButcherBox only offers humanely raised meat and sustainably sourced seafood, there is no mention of such practices on the Harry and David website.

There isn’t much information about their meat, whereas ButcherBox has pages dedicated to sourcing and sustainability.

Comparing Their Features Head to Head

Cooked meats of different brand comparison

After trying both of these meat delivery companies for a month, we listed their main services featured, including our own experiences.

1. Meat Options

While ButcherBox is exclusive to meat and seafood, there isn’t a huge range of items to choose from. Harry and David online company have a slightly wider selection of meats, with more unusual items such as lobster pot pie.

ButcherBox

ButcherBox specializes in humanely raised pork (many are sourced from pigs with heritage-breed lineage), wild-caught seafood, free-range organic chicken, and 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef.

Items available on ButcherBox.com are subject to change each month, with staple items such as their grass-fed ground beef being available all year.

ButcherBox works on a subscription box basis so that available meats will be based on your box selection.

With the custom box, you will have around 20 - 24 items to choose from, with the option to include any add-ons you may need, which may differ from the custom box cuts.

All other boxes are curated each month, so you never know exactly what you are receiving.

We like that ButcherBox has a relatively small inventory. While this may be a downfall to some, we at Carnivore Style have noticed that ButcherBox focuses on quality over quantity, and the small menu makes the website easier to navigate.

If you choose to have your meat delivered from ButcherBox, your box may include:

  • Boneless pork chops
  • Whole chicken
  • Ribeye steaks
  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • New York strip steak
  • Ground beef
  • Beef burgers
  • Ground turkey
  • Sea scallops
  • Uncured hot dogs

Once the selected items or box has been chosen, customers can then choose any add ons they may like to receive.

This includes ground beef, ground chicken, tender belly bacon, and boneless skinless chicken breasts. Customers can add as much or as little as they like; the limit being 10 per item.

Harry and David

Unlike ButcherBox, this company offers all its items on an a la carte menu where you can order as little or as much as you like.

While they offer a few gift baskets and meal deals, they mainly focus on individual cuts.

You will be able to find chicken, pork, beef, lamb, turkey, duck, and a range of seafood on the Harry and David website.

While you can purchase unseasoned meats such as ribeye steak, a lot of the meats come incorporated inside of a meal, such as the chicken pot pie, or seasoned and ready to cook.

If you decide to shop with Harry and David, here are a few items you can find:

  • Hickory smoked summer sausage
  • Bacon burgers
  • Bacon-wrapped stuffed smoke sausages
  • Pork chops
  • Ham roast
  • Meat and cheese gift box
  • Wagyu beef burgers

 

2. Meat Quality and Sourcing

Group of cows outdoors

ButcherBox is very open and honest about sourcing their meats, with an entire page dedicated to how they are raised and what they are fed. On the other hand, it is difficult to find information on the Harry and David website.

ButcherBox

ButcherBox is very transparent about its sourcing practices. They strive to create high-quality meat that has both animal welfare and the environment in mind.

Their meat and seafood are never ever given antibiotics or added hormones. This is great because the meat is healthier and doesn’t contain any artificial colors or flavors.

  • Grass-fed beef: ButcherBox sources its beef from farms around the US and Australia. These farms allow their cattle to roam freely, eating a natural grass diet. This is good as a grass diet produces healthier meat that is tasty and tender [1].
  • Free-range chicken: Chicken from ButcherBox is USDA-certified organic and free-range. They are fed a natural diet have an enriched environment, outdoor shade, and natural light. They are Global Animal Partnership (GAP) level 3 certified. 
  • Humanely raised pork: Many of ButcherBox pork products are sourced from pigs with a heritage-breed lineage including, but not limited to Chester White, Berkshire, Duroc, and more. They are fed an all-vegetarian diet (except for milk proteins) and are raised with traditional, sustainable farming methods. According to ButcherBox, this “old-world” lineage coupled with traditional and sustainable farming methods, creates meat that has better flavor and a fine marbling [2]. 
  • Wild-caught fish: The seafood from ButcherBox is sourced from family-owned businesses around the U.S. and Canada. They partner with people who uphold strict fishing and handling practices to guarantee an unprecedented level of quality and sustainability. ButcherBox carries a wide range of seafood including fish, scallops, lobster, and shrimp.

The Global Animal Partnership (GAP) has created a meaningful animal welfare labeling program, verified by audits on participating farms, in order to influence the food industry, raise consumer expectations, and create a sustainable environment.
- ButcherBox

ButcherBox doesn’t name any names when it comes to sourcing their meat, but one look at their website shows that they pride themselves in quality meat and seafood that are delicious and humane.

This company also ensures that they work with trusted partners, who abide to the highest standard for quality. These meat processing facilities are routinely inspected, and approved by the USDA or comparable agency.

 

Harry and David

Harry and David products with logo overlay

Finding sourcing information for the meat and fish at Harry and David is a lot more difficult than it is compared to ButcherBox.

Many statements say the meat is “premium meat” and “gourmet quality,” but there isn’t much evidence to back this claim.

Harry and David do, however, state that all of their meat is USDA Prime and USDA Choice, without any hormones or additives [3].

The steaks are selected from Midwestered corn-fed stock, which according to Harry and David, “Are hand trimmed by the same master butcher who supplies our fine restaurant customers, to deliver only the juiciest, tender and flavorful steak experience.”

Some of the individual products list specifics, such as the New York strip steak, which is sourced from Black Angus beef raised on the Midwestern plains and corn finished. But other meat products do not, so it seems to be a little hit and miss when it comes to transparency.

Once the steaks have been sourced, they are then aged in order to maximize tenderness and flavor. According to Harry and David, each and every steak has been carefully inspected to ensure customers only get the best.


 

3. Delivery and Packaging

All deliveries from ButcherBox are free no matter what you order. In contrast, Harry and David charge shipping depending on weight and sometimes depending on how many items you order, which can get very expensive.

All packaging from ButcherBox is 100% recyclable and environmentally friendly, whereas the information on Harry and David is lacking.

ButcherBox

Top view of Butcherbox packages

ButcherBox currently ships to all contiguous 48 states, which excludes Hawaii, Alaska, and Canada. Shipping is completely free and will typically arrive 2-5 days after ordering.

When shipping with ButcherBox, you will not have the option to choose a specific date or time for your delivery. However, once you’re a member you will be able to select your ship week.

You will receive a tracking number that allows you to track your order every step of the way, which is great as you can prepare for the arrival of your box.

It’s fine if you aren’t home to collect your delivery, as ButcherBox states that all orders should stay cool for up to eight hours after delivery, and this is due to the dry ice that they pack within the box, keeping everything frozen or cool after it has left the warehouse.

Your subscription box will arrive inside an insulated box which is designed to keep all your meats cool during shipping. The shipping box is 100% curb-side recyclable and made from recycled materials, which is great as it makes it convenient to throw away while also being environmentally friendly [4].

ButcherBox states that all products should arrive below 40ºF, so they recommend checking the internal temperature of the meat if it arrives thawed. Meat over 40ºF should be discarded immediately, and you should contact ButcherBox so they can resolve the issue.

Harry and David

Harry and David ship to all states around the US, including Alaska and Hawaii, for an additional $9.99. They also offer international shipping, which is not typical for most meat delivery services.

That being said, international shipping is limited to Canada (+$17.99), Germany, and the UK (+$29.99), which makes it rather expensive.

Shipping typically takes four to seven business days after ordering.

Delivery options within the US consist of:

  • Standard Shipping: The price depends on how much you spend on the website. For example, if your order total is $15, your shipping fee will be $6. If your order total is $150, your shipping fee is $23.99.
  • Club Shipping: Harry and David offer club offers such as cheese clubs and wine clubs. The shipping price depends on the club.
  • Express Shipping: If you want to receive your order faster, you will be asked to pay an additional fee per item. For overnight express, you will have to pay an extra $19.99. So, if you order four items at $150 and include overnight express, your delivery fee will be $103.95.

Packaging-wise, all orders are packed inside a reusable shipping freezer with an ice pack to help keep everything frozen or chilled. There isn’t much information available about how recyclable the packaging is.

It is possible that customers may receive a different item to what is ordered due to limited quantities of meat. If this is the case, Harry and David will substitute it for an item of equal or greater value.


 

4. Boxes and Prices

Top view of Harry and David meat collection in comparison with Butcherbox packed products

Since ButcherBox only offers subscription boxes, it can be difficult to compare the prices between these two companies.

Therefore, we have decided only to include the prices of the gift baskets from Harry and David as we believe this gives the best comparison.

ButcherBox

ButcherBox lets customers choose from five subscription boxes. All boxes follow the same pricing; $137 for the classic box and $253 for the bigger one.

The only exception is the custom box, where customers can choose their meat, which will cost $159 or $288.

You can set up your subscription box to be delivered every four, six, or eight weeks.

  • Custom Box: This is the most popular choice on the ButcherBox website, as customers can choose which cuts they would like to receive. The classic box gives you 9 - 14lbs of meat, whereas the big box gives you 18 - 24lbs.
  • Mixed Box: You will receive a mix of beef, pork, chicken, and fish. All cuts are pre-selected.
  • Two Meat Boxes: Options include beef and chicken or pork and beef.
  • All Beef: A subscription box containing only meat.

There is a possibility to change some items within the curated boxes via member deals and add-ons. However, ButcherBox does recommend the Custom Box for anyone who would like complete control over their order.

You can also add some extra items to your box for an extra charge.

Harry and David

As mentioned, Harry and David do have some great options when it comes to the menu. Their most popular items seem to be the Harry and David gift baskets which contain fine meats and gourmet cheeses.

  • Charcuterie Favorites Collection: Includes a selection of four different salami, gouda cheese, mustard, spread, marmalade, and sea salt water crackers. $119.99
  • Ultimate Meat and Cheese Gift Box: Includes hickory-smoked summer sausage, salami, gouda cheese, hot honey mustard, and sea salt water crackers. $109.99
  • Grilling Collection: contains top sirloin, ribeye steak, and black Angus burgers, weighing around 6lbs. $129.99

 

Standout Features

Blurred background with logo overlay of Harry and David

We would particularly like to highlight Harry and David's menu and gifts for special occasions. When shopping for foods, you can choose a specific occasion, such as a birthday, and have meats recommended to you that best fit the occasion.

“Options like our Maine Shore Bake and Mariner’s Pie dinner make exceptional gifts if you’d like to surprise someone special with incredible fresh seafood.”
- Harry and David

They also have special occasions meat and cheese gift box such as birthdays, get well soon and thinking about you. This could possibly make the perfect gift for any meat and cheese fan.

ButcherBox vs Harry and David: Our Winner

Both of the companies reviewed here today have an impressive menu. That being said, we believe ButcherBox takes the crown here.

While Harry and David stock quality meat, we think it is better to make the perfect gift for specific occasions.

On the other hand, ButcherBox stocks meat and seafood that can be used in everyday meals at an affordable price.

They are very transparent with their sourcing and sustainability methods and take pride in the quality of their meat and seafood you can feel confident preparing and eating.

Check out our review if you’d like to learn more about ButcherBox meat delivery.

#1 Meat Delivery Service

ButcherBox

Opening a box of Butcherbox meat products inside
Price
5.0
Meat Quality
5.0
Menu Options
4.7
Shipping
4.8
Overall Score
4.9
Pros
  • Grass-fed and grass-finished beef delivered directly to your door
  • Without antibiotics or added hormones
  • Customizable boxes available
  • Select from up to 21 different cuts
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of September
Cons
  • No organ meat

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