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- Online meat delivery service Porter Road sells high-quality, pasture-raised beef, pork, lamb, and chicken that are raised on local farms.
- Porter Road not only offers a large selection of cuts, but it also shows you the best ways to cook them, encouraging shoppers to get out of their comfort zone and try new cuts.
- After testing the service myself, I don’t think I can go back to shopping the meat aisles of my local supermarket again.
- Due to higher than anticipated demand, certain items are currently unavailable and delivery times will take slightly longer than usual.
- See more: The best places to buy meat online
When the residents of Nashville want a good cut of meat for dinner or a barbecue, they stop by butcher shop Porter Road, where everything is sourced from a local farm and hand-cut by people who know their meats.
The neighborhood favorite, which opened in 2011, was founded by trained chefs Chris Carter and James Peisker who realized that it was difficult to find quality meat, even when they visited farmer’s markets, while shopping for their catering business.
In 2018, they took the business online to recreate the local experience for home cooks nationwide. “Bringing Porter Road online truly happened out of necessity, as we had friends, family, and loyal customers outside of Nashville who kept telling us they couldn’t find good quality, humanely-raised meat,” says Peisker.
What is Porter Road
Porter Road sells beef, pork, lamb, and chicken, which is conveniently delivered to your door so you can enjoy the taste and care of the original Tennessee butcher shop, whether you live one state over or on the other side of the country.
Meat quality is undeniably affected by how the animal is fed and raised. All the animals sent to Porter Road’s processing facility are pasture-raised and treated humanely on carefully vetted farms in Kentucky and Tennessee.
They aren’t given any added hormones or antibiotics and live under the least amount of stress possible. When it comes to sourcing meat ethically so you can consume it with peace of mind, Porter Road ticks off all the boxes.
What Porter Road offers
The company’s beautifully designed website and large selection of cuts make shopping for dinner very enjoyable, not to mention educational. You can browse by type of meat and further narrow your choices by cooking time and cooking gear (e.g. oven, grill, sous vide).
Intrigued by osso bucco, but not sure what part of the cow it is from or the best way to cook it? Porter Road will tell you with its illustrations and cooking notes so you can experiment with new cuts without feeling intimidated.
The possibilities for all the delicious recipes you can cook will start brewing in your head as you shop through the many cuts offered, from a rich pork belly to smoky andouille links. If you’re having trouble deciding or you want to send a curated box to send as a gift to someone, the site also offers Combo Kits.
Like at a regular butcher shop, there’s limited availability of each cut, but they’re restocked periodically and the product page provides tips as to when you should check back. Standard shipping (2-3 days) is free on all orders over $100.
Carter can’t recommend the Denver Steak (currently unavailable on the site) enough: “It is a very large, marbled piece of meat that has a nice chew, incredible flavor, and grills up incredibly well. It’s also very versatile. My preferred cooking method is to sous vide, then char it on the grill. You can also braise it like short ribs, or sear it in a hot cast iron pan. No matter how you cook it, it will be incredible.”
Peisker says the St. Louis Pork (currently unavailable on the site) is his personal hometown favorite: “St. Louis Pork Steaks are a lazy cook’s fantasy. They’re a lesser-known cut that packs a ton of great flavor, cut from the top half of the shoulder. We leave the bone in to maximize the flavor. We like to char the steaks heavily first then cook them slow and low in BBQ sauce and beer.”
What it’s like to order from Porter Road
Porter Road provided me with $100 credit, which I used to pick up these cuts:
They arrived safe and cold in an insulated box four days after I placed my order, and I got to cooking. Everything tasted great — the filet mignon was tender and juicy, the loose sausage had an elevated taste thanks to Porter Road’s addition of sage, ginger, garlic, and a fennel bulb, and the lamb shoulder and oxtail were perfect for a slow cooker.
Any cut I didn’t cook immediately stored well in the freezer, but still tasted fresh and delicious on the plate.
The bottom line
Since my first test, I’ve ordered again from Porter Road because it clearly cares about sharing the best meat and best cooking experience with its customers, from the way it carefully controls its sourcing process to how it designed its digital shopping experience.
While competitor ButcherBox can be a commitment and investment because it sends you large quantities of meat, Porter Road offers a more flexible, but equally high-quality service with its array of à la carte options.
Even though I can’t physically visit its Nashville shop and meet the founders in person, I already feel like I have in a way after shopping on and buying from its online shop.