For many of us, meat is a staple part of our diet and a key component in our favourite meals. It’s important that fresh, high-quality meat is available to us without breaking the bank, and that it is ethically and sustainably sourced before it reaches us. This is where online butchers come in, who are challenging supermarkets and changing the game by allowing us to buy the finest cuts of meat at great prices. Buying meat online may seem like a strange or unfamiliar concept, but this modern way of purchasing produce makes it much easier to source meat that ticks all the boxes.
So, you’re thinking about buying meat online for the first time, but you’re asking yourself, ‘Where do I begin, and who are the best online butchers?’ Experts at The Dorset Meat Company are here to help, with their practical guide to what you should be looking for. The best online butchers are those that offer the below:
A great range of produce
One of the things that is most appealing about buying meat online is the choice that’s available to you. Unlike in supermarkets, where the selection of meat available depends on profit margins and what sells best, an online butcher will stock a wide range of meats and speciality cuts. Whether you’re looking for key staples such as beef mince and roast chicken or something a bit more unusual such as goat meat, a good online butcher will be able to cater to you and provide exactly what you’re looking for.
Online butchers bring a fantastic variety of meat directly to you, which means that even those customers who don’t have a local butcher and are typically limited to supermarket meat can enjoy great value, high-quality produce and enjoy experimenting with new dishes at home.
Value for money
You may think that shopping online for meat sounds expensive, but a good online butcher will actually have very competitive prices, and it’s probably much more affordable than you think to have premium meat delivered to you. This is because online butchers generally have fewer overheads than their bricks-and-mortar counterparts and are able to pass these savings on to their customers. Buying from an online butcher as opposed to a supermarket also means you’re shortening the supply chain and cutting out the middleman, allowing prices for high-quality meats to be more competitive.
So many of us are time-poor these days and appreciate anything that makes our lives a bit easier. Buying meat from an online butcher is one of these things, as it allows you to shop at a time that suits you and find exactly what you’re looking for more quickly. Buying meat online also means getting it delivered to your door, so you can start cooking with it right away.
Hygiene is always a vital factor when it comes to food – especially meat. The idea of meat being delivered to your home might make you raise questions about the hygiene of the meat itself, but the best online butchers are those who take stringent hygiene measures in order to ensure that the meat they are sending out is clean, safe and of the very highest quality.
Modern delivery methods typically involve vacuum packing of the meat before placing it in a temperature controlled chilled liner. This helps to ensure that the meat inside the parcel stays chilled for over 48 hours.
The Dorset Meat Company, for example, use Recycle-Air chilled liners from their packaging partner Hydropac. These are revolutionary temperature controlled food packaging systems which are also fully recyclable. The Recycle-Air system has been tested and validated to ensure it meets current UK legislation.
Take the time and do your research to make sure that any online meat delivery service you choose uses the very highest standard of hygiene practices in their operations. This will ensure that you get to enjoy the safest, freshest and most delicious cuts of meat available.
As well as impacting the hygiene of the meat, the delivery methods put in place by online butchers can determine how quickly you get to enjoy your meat after ordering. The best online butchers will have an efficient set of measures in place to make sure that delivery is quick and effective.
First and foremost, you need to look for online butchers who are able to deliver to your location. Look for butchers who make the effort to deliver speedily, and who keep up communications with you to let you know what to expect at every stage of your delivery. The best online butchers will send you regular notifications on your delivery day to let you know when you can expect your parcel. You should also look for butchers who let you track your order and find out exactly where it is at any time after placing your order.
Transparency and traceability
Who are the best online butchers? Those that are completely transparent and open about the way they do things as a business. A good online butcher will work with small, local farms and have a traceable supply chain, so you know exactly where your meat is coming from.
The best online butchers are those that source their meat in a sustainable and ethical way, with grass-fed and outdoor-reared animals that have lived good, happy lives. Meat bought from online butchers is typically of a higher quality because of these good working practices, with it having been produced in a way that respects the environment and the animal, which in turn improves the flavour and texture of the meat.
Buying meat online makes it easier for you to understand the provenance of the produce you’re buying, ensuring you have confidence in your choice. After all, knowing how an animal has been reared, in what environment and on what food gives both a butcher and customer confidence that the cuts of meat produced will ultimately taste great and offer the maximum health benefits.