a selection of steaks

Let’s be clear about one thing right from the get-go: the only truly "bad" mail-order steak is the one that never arrives. Or the one that arrives thawed and rotten. Frankly, that’s a lot worse than the one that goes missing anyway. The point is, all of the companies listed here do a good job of delivering steak to your door or making you something of a heroic figure in the eyes of others when you send steaks to theirs. So when we say "worst" we don’t mean any of these brands is inherently bad and unworthy of consideration.

Some mail-order steak companies just happen to do a better job than the others, that’s all. And the reasons for that are myriad, including the selection of meats available, the ease of ordering and speed of delivery, the quality of the meats, and of course the prices. We’ll make it clear how and why each company included got its ranking and how these (and any other) factors came into play as we break things down.

But first, a quick PSA, in case you’re new to the mail-delivery steak thing. The best way to thaw a steak is always to leave it sealed in its packaging on a plate in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours. If you must speed things up, fully submerge a sealed steak in a large bowl of cool water and place an object atop it to keep the meat under the water. That should have even a relatively thick steak thawed and ready for cooking in under an hour.

Now, let’s rank these mail-order steak shops.

11. Harry & David

steak sampler

And now we start out with the first of many "they’re not bad, just not the best!" explanations, because there is a lot to love about Harry & David, like the pears, the curated gift baskets, the pears, the floral arrangements, and oh by the way, you have to try the pears! But when it comes to mail-order steak, it’s really best to shop elsewhere. The company just doesn’t have the selection of steaks to make things anything near exciting, and the pricing on steak is pretty steep here, too.

Exhibit A: a pair of eight-ounce fillet mignons for $74.99. And Exhibit B: a pair of six-ounce fillets wrapped in bacon for just five bucks less at $69.99. By all means, shop the brand, but for the pears and gift baskets, not the steaks. When it comes to meats, it really is best to stick with a company that is primarily focused on said products, rather than one for whom they are a little niche.

10. Omaha Steaks

Omaha Steaks on plate

Please put away the steak knives, again this is a company that does a lot of great work and does indeed have a lot of great mail-order steak to offer. But while there are a lot of reasons to check marks in the "pro" column for Omaha Steaks, there are some "cons" we have to note in good faith also. The first thing to note is that calling Omaha Steak a steak company is in the same ballpark as calling Amazon a book company. This outfit, once all about the steaks, now sells all sorts of meats and seafoods, not to mention soups, candy, wine, and more. They still sell a lot of great steak, but their focus has definitely wandered.

Second, while they do offer an all grass-fed line of meats, most of their steak comes from cattle largely fed grain diets, according to Carnivore Style. And third, if you do stray from the steaks, you’re going to find a number of foods sold by Omaha Steaks seriously lacking in quality, like their Colossal Cut Bacon (hard to cook right, easy to get wrong) or the Chicken Stir-Fry Kit, which has a middling 2.9-star rating and of which many customers complain about the paltry amount of food included.

9. Silver Fern Farms

silver fern farms steak

Let us be crystal clear about one thing: the steaks from Silver Fern Farms are divine. They are tender and tasty and inherently excellent. And so is the lamb and venison from this New Zealand-based operation. So what’s the problem here? Only that all of the meat does indeed come from New Zealand, and that means a hugely expanded carbon footprint and longer delivery times than American customers experience when they order a steak from, well, America.

Granted, the meats from Silver Fern Farms are carefully packed and ship reliably frozen, but they are still going to spend more time in transit, which opens the possibility for food safety issues, and until we are running ships of electricity produced from solar power, wind farms, tides, or some other fully clean and sustainable source, the overseas shipping should give you pause. Unless you’re in the Pacific region already, in which case by all means go for it.

8. Holy Grail Steak

tomahawk steak

The first thing you need to know about the Holy Grail Steak Company is that you will be hard-pressed to find more unique, exciting, and amazing cuts of steak ready to ship to your door anywhere on the internet today. The second thing you need to know about the Holy Grail Steak Company is that their prices on many steaks will have you saying "holy" something else.

You’d like an example, you say? Sure, how about a six-pack of Akaushi American Wagyu Ribeye steaks — that sells for a mean $349, and if we’re breaking it down, that’s just under $60 per steak. Or the Upper Prime Black Angus Dry-Aged Tomahawk, which is $119 for a single steak, though granted it’s a 32-ouncer. Another issue is that the steaks from this company are often out of stock. But on the other hand, they do have some options that are closer to affordable, and in those top-price steaks, you will be getting as close to a life-changing steak as can be had.

7. E3 Ranch & Co.

tomohawk steaks

If E3 Ranch & Co. had a bigger selection of steaks to offer, they’d be farther toward the other end of this list, but at present, the company only offers six steaks, and due to their popularity, even some of those are sold out from time to time. The steaks you can get (when you can get them) from this all-American outfit are superb, however. All are hand-cut, aged for a month, and flash-frozen before packing and shipping, so the taste and tenderness are preserved and the meats you grill up taste about as fresh as a decidedly not fresh cut can.

Also, beyond the meat, the company (which happens to be headed by former MLB player Adam LaRoche) does extensive effort to combat human trafficking and to support American combat veterans, so you know your dollars are going to a good cause. Also, they get you steak, of course.

6. Porter Road

strip steak

Porter Road offers a great selection of steak because they have all the fancier, pricier cuts you’d expect (like filet mignon, of course) but then they also offer lots of lower-cost and frankly less-refined steaks, too. Like their Sierra Steak, which is essentially a smaller cut of flank steak that Porter Road sells for just $11 and that’s great for fajitas, a steak salad or sandwich, or any other steak-based dish in which you really don’t need a wagyu ribeye.

The company also sells a lot of other great beef products like top round roast, short ribs, and more, and then beyond that they offer lamb, pork, and chicken, so they may well become your one-stop online butcher shop for all your meat needs well beyond steak, too. If you do choose to start shopping with Porter Road, you can set up regularly delivered, carefully curated subscription boxes, so you always know what’s inbound.

5. Good Ranchers

t-bone steak from good ranchers

If you want to feel good about the meat you’re buying because it comes from a company wholeheartedly devoted to humane and sustainable practices, then Good Ranchers is a good choice. And if you want to feel pretty good about the prices you pay for said meat, they are a good choice, too. When you order one of their large curated meat boxes, you can actually save a good deal of cash vs. what you’d pay on a per-item basis at a local grocery store or butcher.

Take their The Cattleman beef box: it comes with two large steaks, six smaller fillets, seven sirloin steaks, three NY strips, and six burgers, or all in all 18 portions for $152, or less than $8.50 per item. Still not cheap, per se, but it’s a narrow savings vs. buying steaks on a one-off basis, and you can’t beat the convenience. And you can probably only tie the quality, really.

4. KC Cattle Co.

steak on a board

There’s really only one problem with this online butcher’s meats, and that’s the fact that they are so often sold out. The KC Cattle Company seems to be an occasional victim of its own success, with stores of its Wagyu KC Strip Steaks, its Wagyu Flat Iron Steaks, its Wagyu Tomahawk Steaks, and well over a dozen more cuts were in fact sold out at the time of this writing. But do yourself a favor and check back in on the brand from time to time, because this place offers some amazing meats at prices that are competitive in their context. The company also sells several chicken products including whole and half birds.

It’s also a veteran-owned company (a former Army Ranger, no less) and the KC Cattle Co. does much to support veterans and their families, so you can feel good about where some of your spending is going.

3. Belcampo

Belcampo steaks

Belcampo’s steak is a lot like Holy Grail Steak Co’s steak albeit not quite so "holy s–t!" expensive. Granted, it’s still expensive, but less so. Like their massive (as in 30-ounce) bone-in Organic Beef Tomahawk steak costs $79.99 to Holy Grail’s $119 for a 32-ounce comp, so you’re saving dozens of dollars right there. The company also offers a lot of great staple steak cuts, like boneless ribeye, and New York strip loin, and in front of any of the steaks they offer, you can find the word "organic."

The fact that all Belcampo beef is certified organic and is grass-fed and grass-finished helps one feel a bit better about paying a bit more for these steaks than you will from some other brands. And a bit less than you pay for others, as noted. That said, customer reviews of the service are somewhat middling, so take note when considering an order.

2. Mr. Steak

filet mignon

Mr. Steak meats sit right at the perfect intersection of price and quality, meaning that the quality is very high and the price not crazy high. (If you expected us to say low, then sorry: this is still mail-delivery steak we’re talking about, low price is not really a thing in the category.) You can get a steakhouse-quality filet mignon at steakhouse prices, some more affordable cuts like flat irons or prime t-bone, and you can get burgers and sausages, too, if those are more your speed.

And hey, need a grill on which to cook up your steaks or other meats (or even non-meat foodstuffs)? This company offers those as well, and their grills are actually a surprisingly good price, like a five-burner propane grill on which you could cook for a whole party for just under six hundred bucks. (Also you just can’t beat the name Mr. Steak.)

1. Snake River Farms

SRF steak

Snake River Farms has been in business for more than half a century now, so it’s not exactly a shock that these guys have gotten really good at producing really great beef. And really producing, for the record: in the 1980s, they pioneered cross-breeding Wagyu cattle with domestic species and in so doing created a new breed that yields some mighty fine meat. So don’t also let it be shocking when you see the prices here, which are quite high. Like $80 for a 12-ounce American Wagyu New York Strip.

But for those prices, you may just get the best steak you have ever eaten, and you will surely get one unique cut of meat. Need to ease in a bit? Go for the cheaper cuts of top-quality beef, like the American Wagyu Gold Grade Top Sirloin, which is just $22 per steak and still quite good.