Porter Road was founded by James Peisker and Chris Carter in 2010. The two owned a catering business in Tennessee and kept running out of product. Their solution was to begin sourcing their own meats from a facility in Kentucky and establishing a butcher shop in Nashville.
They started out serving their local area and catering business. But, as word got out about their better quality and cuts of meat, they set up a website and began selling online. They've since become an online delivery service selling premade boxes around the United States and expanding to beef, chicken, pork, and lamb.
Porter Road: Know Before You Buy
1) Menu Choices
The selection at Porter Road is a bit more limited than some of the other online meat delivery service providers or what you might find at local grocery stores. They offer a wide variety of cuts, including suitable for each cooking method including:
The company offers various cuts of grain blend finished beef, including dry-aged ground beef, beef marrow bone, chuck eye steak, blade steak, short ribs, filet mignon, and more.
You can find both whole chickens as well as bone-in and boneless chicken breast and fresh chicken broth for cooking.
Porter Road offers many different types and cuts, including pork butt, boneless pork chops, bone-in pork chop. country sausage, pork steaks, half pork butt, breakfast sausage, and more.
You can also find a wide variety of lamb meat at the company both online and at their Nashville butcher shop. Some of the cuts they offer include lamb shoulder, shank, steaks, and more.
2) Meat Sourcing
Like many of the other online meat subscription services, the quality of the meat is much higher than you would typically find in a grocery store or at many butcher shops. According to their website, Porter Road sources all of its meat from small farms near their processing plant in Kentucky.
All of the farms they work with practice environmentally friendly techniques, and no one uses hormones or antibiotics. Porter Road claims that its products are pasture feed, and they avoid buying from people that operate mass factory farms or who raise animals inhumanely.
The induction of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria and the disruption of normal human intestinal flora [from antibiotics in meat] are major concerns in terms of human health impact
- Daejin Kang, Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, South Korea (1)
Their pricing is a bit higher than you would find at your local butcher shop or in the grocery store meat section. Due to the way the company sources its meats, the cost of many of its products is higher to match the quality and environmentally friendly meat raising practices.
Their beef ranges between $8 for the cheapest cut to over $100 for whole chunks of beef. Chicken prices range from $15 to $26 for large whole chickens. Pork ranges in price from $9 to over $30 for some cuts.
4) Subscription Boxes
Porter Road offers both individual purchasing of their meats and subscription box services. Their subscription service is new and allows you to completely customize your box so that you can get different products each month. All of the meat comes from the Porter Road butcher shop. They also offer curated boxes that include:
Butchers Choice Box - includes dry-aged beef steak, ground beef, bacon, and various other types of pork.
Best of Porter Road - this is a hand-selected mix of their different types of meat. It's suitable for adding to the grill, cooking with a sous vide, or throwing on a cast iron skillet.Grill Master Box - as the name implies, this box is full of meat that is better suited for grilling and slathering some BBQ sauce or hot sauce on.
As with many other companies, Porter Road packages its deliveries in environmentally friendly biodegradable packaging. They use a cornstarch-based foam in the packaging, which, according to the site, can be washed down the sink or used to help light your grill.
Unlike many of the other companies that freeze and mail using dry ice packs, Porter Road says they don't freeze most of their meats to ensure freshness and taste. You may need to be at home when your order arrives so that you can get it into the fridge.
Porter Road ships to the 48 contiguous states in the United States. This excludes Alaska, Hawaii, and other territories of the country. They offer both standard shipping and express shipping and provide free shipping on all orders over $100. All of the meat ships from either the Porter Road butcher shop in Tennessee or from their processing facility.
There are stringent laws in place covering where meat can be shipped by mail, so they have the same area as other meat subscription services. (2)
7) StorageThe company recommends the way you store all meats is in the refrigerator short term to ensure flavor. According to their site, meat that is frozen runs the risk of becoming damaged due to ice formation
The recommend that you freeze or consume poultry within four days, pig meat within five days, and beef within ten days unless it is ground.
Porter Road Butcher Customer Service
Porter Road is a bit unique in that they have the butcher shop in Nashville and the online presence. For this reason, they have two ways of providing customer support through email and phone.
This means that you can call in whenever you need assistance with something, whether it's help with one of your orders or questions about future products. You can find many reviews online from customers who have had positive experiences with the company and mention specifically the service as a huge difference.
So much of the meat that you get from the grocery store simply isn't quality or nutritious. A lot of it is packed with hormones and sourced from a beef purveyor or provider that may not raise their animals humanely. That's the difference between Porter Road and traditional meat shops.
During my review of the company, I found the quality of their meat to be good each time I ordered. Their steak always came fresh, and the taste and flavor were consistent each time.
Even though they don't have seafood and some of the other specialty meats like bison or venison, there is plenty of variety. Each cut is different, and you can find meat to cook any way you like.
They have cuts suitable for every type of cooking method imaginable. One of the main things I loved when I tried Porter Road was that I could have a different cut cooked each day of the week differently.
Downsides of Porter Road
While there are many upsides to Porter Road and its delivery, there are two main drawbacks. The first is that, while they have a large variety of cuts they offer, there isn't as much to choose from as far as types of meat.
Some of the other online companies offer unique options such as bison, elk, venison, and different kinds of seafood. What they do offer is excellent, but having more meats to choose from would be nice.
The second downside is that they are sometimes sold out a bit more often than larger online providers. You can check their website regularly to see when they restock, and as they get larger, this will no doubt be less of an issue. However, there may be times that you go to place an order and something you wanted to try isn't available.
While that sometimes means there may be something I want to order that is sold out, I know that what I do get will be healthy and clean. Check out Porter Road and remember that they are offering a discount if you opt for one of their subscription boxes.
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