When it comes to the best meat delivery services, Lobel's Steaks and ButcherBox are two of the most well-known options. Some key differences set these companies apart, despite both of them offering a variety of high-quality meats.
As experts in the Carnivore lifestyle, we put both of these services to a three-month taste test to help you decide which service is right for you. The results are in this article.
ButcherBox vs Lobel's Steak: Key Differences
The main difference between Lobel's Steak and ButcherBox is in their underlying business plan.
Lobel's Steak is a brick-and-mortar store that delivers, while ButcherBox is an online meat delivery service.
Lobel's Steak has been in business for over 100 years, providing fine meats to New York City residents. It offers a wide selection of hand-cut, dry-aged prime bee and pork, lamb, poultry, etc.
ButcherBox was founded much more recently with the mission to make it easy for people to get high-quality, humanely raised meat. The company offers a monthly subscription service with a limited number of options sourced via grass-fed beef and free-range organic chicken.
Comparing Their Features Head to Head
In a market full of meat delivery services like Omaha Steaks, Snake River Farms, Holy Grail Steak Company, and Kansas City Steak Company, it is impressive how ButcherBox and Lobel’s of New York stand out. To do so, each of these services comes with unique features.
Lobel's offers a wide variety of steak cuts sourced from all around the US - American Wagyu beef, USDA Prime beef, and other dry-aged beef sources.
They have an excellent variety of restaurant-quality steak, briskets, filets, roasts, and tenderloins, as well as many other beef cuts. They also have veal, poultry, ham, lamb, and pork.
ButcherBox focuses only on beef, pork, and chicken. They have similar beef cuts as Lobel's, but Lobel's offers more pork and chicken options.
Neither company offers game meats like wild boar or gourmet meats like genuine Kobe beef, foie gras, or Kurobuta pork, but they have common cuts like New York strip steak, prime rib, boneless pork chops, and sirloin steaks.
ButcherBox is a company that specializes in grass-fed and grass-finished beef, free-range chicken, and humanely-raised, heritage-breed pork.
Ensuring the consistent quality and taste of their meat. It also guarantees the absence of growth hormones and antibiotics.
Lobel's Steak is a steak shop and mail-order steak company that has been around for six generations and is known for its high-quality meat. Their selection of USDA Prime beef, Wagyu beef, and dry-aged steaks is substantial, though it does not include Kobe beef or other high end steaks.
For example, Lobel’s ranchers feed their cattle only natural grains without animal by-products. These natural grains are antibiotic and hormone-free. Further, their Wagyu cattle are on a minimum feeding program of 450 days - leading to a denser marbling than young cattle can develop.
Lobel's is proud of where they source their meat - USDA Prime steaks and natural prime beef from Texas, pasture-raised lamb from the open meadows of the Rocky Mountains, poultry from Mennonite and Amish farms in the hills of Pennsylvania.
Their heritage pork is only from farms in the Midwest that meet Lobel's high quality standards.
We believe in better every step of the way. That includes working with people we trust at meat processing facilities with the highest standards for quality. - ButcherBox
The sourcing for ButcherBox is also impressive as they work with Australian farms that meet their ethical and humane standards - such as being pasture-raised, grass-fed, and free-range. They source their meats to be healthy and free from growth hormones and antibiotics.
Lobel's Steak is a high-end purveyor of meat that provides offerings on an a la carte basis.
Their menu is extensive, and the prices vary greatly depending on the order - from USDA Prime ground beef at $19.95 per pound to $579.95 for a 10 oz Wagyu filet mignon.
On the other hand, ButcherBox is a subscription mail-order steak delivery service that offers their 8-11 pound basic meal box starting at $137 per month.
They give you the choice of an all-beef box, beef and pork box, beef and chicken box, or mixed box. For $159 per month, you can create a custom box of your favorite meats.
Comparing the two, ButcherBox is the more affordable option.
ButcherBox carefully packs your order and places it in eco-friendly packaging. They use dry ice or frozen gel packs to ensure that your meat arrives at the doorstep fresh and in the correct temperature range.
Lobel's Steaks sends their meat fresh and vacuum-sealed to maintain flavor and taste. They do not use dry ice, but your order is packed with gel packs in a Styrofoam container inside a corrugated shipping box designed to keep the meat unrefrigerated for two days.
ButcherBox is a company that offers free shipping on all of its boxes. The company provides mail-order steaks to the lower 48 states.
Since it is a monthly service, you can plan for and pick which day of the month you want to receive your order.
Lobel's delivers to all 50 United States, but their shipping rates are based on the weight of the order and the distance it needs to travel.
Standard FEDEX shipping is $25.95 for orders in Zone 1 up to 5.99 pounds, and then it goes up to $115.95 for orders over 26 pounds in Zone 6. For overnight shipping, it generally costs $4 more.
Lobel's is a family-owned and -operated butcher shop that has been in business for more than 100 years, now providing online ordering of its meat in an a la carte fashion. Because of this, you can order only when you want some meat and will not be committed to any regular schedule.
On the other hand, ButcherBox is a subscription-based meat delivery service that will send you meat on a repeated basis.
The default interval is once per month, but you can change it to be more or less frequent as you see fit. You are also in complete control of your subscription and can cancel it without penalty at any time.
8. Customer Support
Both Lobel's and ButcherBox offer excellent customer service. I found positive comments online about each service's customer service department, and my experience was outstanding when I did my research.
These two companies have a robust chat, email, and phone support in addition to an outstanding online FAQ.
In addition, Lobel's invites customers to their Madison Avenue, Manhattan store where you can speak to them in person.
Stand Out Features
The feature that most clearly stands out between these two companies is ButcherBox's subscription-based delivery. Their "fire-and-forget" method of ordering ensures you get fresh meat every month without having to remember to order it.
With a monthly delivery, your freezer always has poultry, pork, or beef ready to go when you want it - whether you're grilling in the summer or cooking pork tenderloin in the winter.
ButcherBox vs Lobel's Steak: Which Is Better?
In the contest between Lobel's Steak and ButcherBox, we find that ButcherBox is the winner. Even though Lobel's has high-quality offerings, the quality difference is not significant enough to make up for their higher prices.
ButcherBox has tasty grass-fed beef from healthy sources to satisfy even the most discerning carnivore. And, with its subscription-based model, it's easy to get your meat fix without having to worry about running out of steaks or burgers.
Feel free to check out our ButcherBox's meat service review.