Eating the best restaurant steaks comes with a hefty price. That is when I started to order steaks and cook at home and this Snake River Farms (SRF) review will show you if you should try this gourmet steak place.
For those unfamiliar with Snake River Farms is a company that sells high-quality meats and delivers them to your doorstep.
Instead of spending a lot of money from eating in restaurants or getting low-quality meats from grocery stores, I thought it was better to get the best cuts of meat from Snake River Farms.
They sell at a higher price than grocery stores, but the meat you get is the best and is still much lower than what you pay in restaurants.
After a few months of trying out Snake River Farms, I have here my full review so read on to see what experience you are getting and if it is the right one for you.
Pros And Cons of Snake RIVER FARMS
|1. Premium-quality meat higher than the USDA grading system.||1. A relatively expensive choice for premium cuts of meat.|
|2. The best beef (American Wagyu) in terms of flavor and texture – they have the juiciest and most flavorful cuts with the combination of tenderness from the Japanese wagyu and beefy flavors from the robust breeds.||2. Limited options – there are no other cuts of meat aside from pork and beef. |
*Some customers noted that it would be nice to have other options like poultry and even seafood.
|3. Safe and sustainable packaging – with biodegradable insulation and reusable insulated bag.||3. Frozen meat – nothing surprising here since it is a meat delivery service but you will need to plan your cooking ahead as the meat is not ready to cook when it arrives at your doorstep.|
|4. Great customer service.|
|5. You can monitor the delivery schedule.|
|6. You can choose which cuts you get in each monthly package.|
|7. The website is really easy to navigate even for beginners.|
|8. The animals are raised under natural and humane conditions.|
|9. The animals are fed with no growth or enhancing hormones.|
What Is Snake River Farms?
Snake River Farms is a family-owned business that was established in 1968 and is based in Boise, Idaho.
As the business grew over the years, they also purchased Double R Ranch in Washington which also produces great cuts of meat that you can buy.
Snake River Farms produces meat from animals that are raised sustainably. The cattle and pigs are produced with the utmost care to produce tender and delicious cuts of meat.
Perhaps you know them from American Wagyu as they are considered the pioneers of American Wagyu.
They produce American Wagyu by crossing Japanese Wagyu with more traditional breeds of cattle.
The company sells the American Wagyu cuts under the Snake River Farms name while the ‘regular meats’ are sold on Double R Ranch.
You can choose from ribeye steaks, filet mignon, tenderloin, and more from the Ameican Wagyu which are all considered Prime cuts according to the USDA standards.
Aside from Ameican Wagyu, Snake River Farms also sells pork products from Kurobuta pigs with flavorful and tender cuts like pork chops, bacon, ribs, and more.
How Does It Work?
Snake River Farms is a company that sells top-quality beef and pork products. They deliver the products you order right to your doorstep.
You can order the meat you want by opening their website. You can then choose from the options that are available on the site.
There is a wide variety of American Wagyu and Kurobuta pork products that you can choose from and they are all of great quality.
You can also earn points and rewards with each order that you place by creating an account. Your orders are then delivered in an insulated box with dry ice to keep your orders frozen.
Within minutes, I was able to place my order since I already knew what I wanted. But even with beginners, it is really easy to navigate the site as they display all the options that you have.
After placing your order, you can then choose the date of when the meats will be delivered. There is standard shipping, express shipping, and overnight shipping.
Just place your order and then fill out the required details on the boxes provided. You will also be given choices on the payment method like VISA, PayPal, American Express, and more.
The prices vary according to the shipping method that you choose which we will tackle more in detail later on.
Snake River Farms Meat Specials
As we have mentioned above, you can choose between beef and pork cuts. Snake River Farms make sure to raise the animals with the best quality to produce high-quality meat.
You have a lot to choose from when it comes to the American Wagyu or beef option. The same goes for the Kurobuta pork for any occasion that you have.
From perfect marbling on the meat to delicious flavors, you have everything you need from Snake River Farms. So let us take a look in detail at each of the options.
American Wagyu Beef
I assume that when you hear the word ‘wagyu’, the initial thought that comes to mind is the Japanese wagyu made popular in Kobe, Japan.
Snake River Farms offers similar meat with their American Wagyu beef. It is one of the more luxurious cuts of meat that you can find in America.
They cross purebred Japanese wagyu with traditional American beef breeds. As the company says, you get the “best of both worlds”.
The tenderness from the marbling of Japanese wagyu beef is paired with the beefy flavor you get from more robust American breeds.
Aside from the meat itself, Snake River Farms also incorporates traditional Japanese feeding methods to make sure that the cross-bred cattle develop the best cuts of meat flavorwise and texture-wise.
Because of this, Snake River Farms is considered the pioneer of American Wagyu. The cattle are fed with all-natural sustainable feeds like soft white wheat, alfalfa hay, and Idaho potatoes.
The cows are on feed for about three times longer than the average beef which enables SRF to produce two high grades with the meat from the cattle.
You can choose between the two available grades of American Wagyu from Snake River Farms. These are the Black Grade and Gold Grade Steaks.
Difference Between Black Vs Gold Grade Steaks
Snake River Farms have beef cuts that are simply too good for the USDA grading scale. That is why SRF uses a combination of the USDA grading scale and the Japanese Beef Marbling Score.
When it comes to beef, more marbling means that there is more flavor on the meat. The USDA grading scale is what is commonly used to grade most beef products in the U.S.
I mean, it only makes sense to use a combination of the grading scales since they breed a combination of Japanese wagyu and other more robust breeds of cows in the U.S.
The scale uses a grading system of 1 to 12 with 1 having the lowest marbling and 12 meaning it has the best or highest marbling content.
SRF sells American Wagyu with Black Grade and Gold Grade from this grading system.
Black Grade Steaks
Black Grade steaks from Snake River Farms are the steaks that earned a grade of 6 to 8 on the scale. This might seem like it is not that high but it is right on par with the USDA Prime grade.
The Black Grade steaks have a deep color that has a lot of white stripes indicating that they have a very good marbling.
Note that the grading scale for the meat from SRF is higher than the USDA grading scale so even with the best USDA meats, the SRF Black Grade steaks are usually better.
The best Black Grade steak you can get is the ribeye which is usually 15 ounces in weight and 1.5 inches thick and costs around $75.
Gold Grade Steaks
If you think the Black Grade steaks are amazing, Snake River Farms has something even better with the Gold Grade steaks, especially the ribeye cut.
This is the best of the bests and goes way over the USDA grading scale. The Gold Grade steaks from SRF have a Japanese beef marbling score of 9 to 12.
The meat is made with an almost balanced amount of fats and lean meat which gives it its robust flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture.
This, of course, means that it costs more than any other cuts of beef. A 1.5-inch thick ribeye with Gold Grade can cost up to $99.
Which One Is Better?
In technical terms, it is obvious that the Gold Grade steaks are better than the Black Grade steaks. However, it is up to you as to which you should buy.
I tried both of these cuts and in my opinion, the Gold Grade steaks are better because they are more tender and have a deeper flavor.
The Black Grade steaks are not that far. They have a great flavor and are better in texture compared to the best USDA Prime cuts.
So I say, why not spend your money on the best cuts and go with the Gold Grade steaks, right? While it is more expensive than the Black Grade steaks, you will get the best quality cut.
That said, the Gold Grade steaks are still less expensive than the ones that you order from restaurants which can get up to $350 to $400 for only two people.
If you have the budget, the Gold Grade is the better choice but if you are a little bit short in money, then the Black Grade steaks are still a great choice, even better than the USDA prime meats.
Snake River Farms Kurobuta Pork
Kurobuta is a Japanese word that translates to ‘black hog’ and Snake River Farms has the best version of Kurobuta that you can find.
If you want a pork culinary equivalent of Wagyu beef, then your best choice is the Kurobuta pork from Snake River Farms.
The pork meat is highly regarded for its internal marbling and its tenderness as well as the intense flavor that it produces.
Snake River Farms produces Kurobuta pork from 100% purebred Berkshires. This breed originates from the United Kingdom so they do put out a higher price for the meat.
Raised in natural and humane conditions, the pig produces meat that is known for its tenderness, distinct flavor, and succulent or juicy results.
Just like the American Wagyu, you also get a variety of choices with the Kurobuta pork like ribeye, tomahawk ribeye, pork chops, pork short ribs, Kurobuta bacon, and more.
These items range from $75 up to $159 depending on the cut you choose and whether the meat is Black or Gold Grade.
Specialized Meat Options
Aside from the common cuts that you can get from either the American Wagyu or Kurobuta Pork, you can also choose any of the specialty items on the website.
1. Sausage Links
You can get the handmade sausage links from SRF made from Kurobuta pork which gives the sausages a very delicious flavor.
It is available in both hot and sweet variations and you can moderate the spice level to your liking. Each package contains four 2-ounce sausages and costs only $12.
2. Rack Of Pork
If you need a large cut to feed a lot of people, you can go with the rack of pork which has become a popular specialty item from Snake River Farms.
The rack from the Kurobuta pig contains 10 to 12 bones and costs $119. It is easy to prepare and cook making it perfect for events to feed a large group.
The bones are frenched beforehand so you also have a more presentable rack on the table. A single rack can feed somewhere between 8 to 10 people.
3. Bavette Kebabs
This is one of my favorite specialty items under the American Wagyu cuts. These Bavette kebabs are easy to cook and come out delicious and tender.
The meat is hand-cut and is placed on wood skewers that are ready to be cooked on the grill. Each pack contains four 4-ounce kebabs and costs only $47.
4. Hot Dogs
These hot dogs are made from 100% American Wagyu. So if you love hot dogs, then you should definitely try these.
The flavors are elevated along with the firm texture and casing that almost pops satisfyingly when you bite into the hot dog.
Recognized as America’s premiere gourmet hot dogs, the 100% American Wagyu meat is mixed with signature spices and is slowly smoked with hardwood.
Each package contains 1 pound of hot dogs and costs only $12 making it perfect for everyday meals that you and the kids will surely love.
After trying out Snake River Farms for a few months, here is my honest review and opinion from the delivery, and the package, to the quality and taste of the meat that I have received.
You truly receive what your money’s worth is from the packaging alone. The luxurious black bag that is used to store all the meat orders is reusable and insulated.
Yes, all the meat is packed in a huge black reusable bag that is insulated with foam but each meat is packaged individually in a biodegradable pack.
This made it easy for me to just throw the meat in the freezer and defrost them in the fridge without having to remove the packaging.
The whole package also includes a cook guide with different recipes that you can use to cook the meat.
The bag is well-insulated. My delivery package came in and stayed on the porch for at least an hour and when I opened it, the meat was still frozen with dry ice all over them to keep them frozen.
The foam insulation in the bag is also biodegradable so the packaging is really sustainable and environment-friendly, and I have used it when shopping.
Quality Of Meat
Snake River Farms has not failed me when it comes to the quality of meat that is delivered to my home. They are all juicy and tasty with versatile recipes that you can experiment with.
The juicy and tender meat from SRF is perfect for grilling as well as other cooking methods like smoking or slow cooking.
I also love how transparent Snake River Farms is. They make sure that the animals are fed and cared for with the right and humane methods from start to finish.
It can be observed on the meat of the animals that they have not undergone too much stress as the melt-in-your-mouth texture shows.
The American Wagyu ribeye with Gold Grade is perhaps the best steak I have ever tasted. The specialty items like burgers, corned beef brisket, and hot dogs are equally delicious.
Snake River Farms delivers the meat to my house on time. I only experienced the standard shipping since I rarely order premium meat for emergency use.
The well-packaged cuts of meat are delivered in perfect condition and most of my orders usually arrive within three days.
You can get the standard shipping option for $9.99 or opt for express and overnight shipping if you want the cuts of meat to be delivered quickly to your house.
Note: Hawaii and Alaska are available only with Express Shipping.
Here are your delivery options from Snake River Farms
- Standard Shipping (ground) – $9.99
- Express Shipping (2 days by air) – $39.99
- Overnight Shipping (1 day by air) – $79.99
- Expedited Dry-Aged Shipping – $49.99
You can get free shipping by getting coupons that offer free shipping once you buy a certain amount of meat from SRF but otherwise, you will have to pay for shipping.
What is a review without mentioning the actual taste of the products that I bought, right? Well, here it is.
My first thought while checking out my orders was whether or not the money I spent would be worth it and oh boy, was it worth it.
As I have mentioned before, more fats mean more flavors. The excellent marbling on the meat made a succulent result but also makes for great robust meat flavors.
The American Wagyu offered that amazing tender texture while also introducing a beefy flavor that you would usually get with lean and tough cuts – only this time, SRF made it really tender.
Specialty items such as corned beef briskets and the Bavette kebabs are full of flavors as well. They have a very authentic meaty taste and can absorb seasonings really well.
The Kurobuto pork ribeyes were also amazing. They have this slightly sweet flavor that perfectly matches with mild seasonings like paprika as well as BBQ sauce.
I just cannot get over how flavorful the cuts are and paired with the tender, almost-buttery texture that oozes juices even after resting them on the cutting board.
Trust me, if you do not mind spending money on quality beef, then buy Snake River Farms American Wagyu. It is nothing near any grocery store cut of meat.
Where Do You Buy From Snake River Farms?
You can order Snake River Farms products directly from their website or through limited grocery stores around the country.
Snake River Farms only partners with regional distributors and do not sell directly to local businesses so it might be a little difficult for you to find SRF products in your local grocery stores.
Is Snake River Farms Hormone Free?
Yes, Snake River Farms animals are all hormone-free. They are raised on a natural feed like hay, grass, and potatoes.
The animals are given vitamins and minerals but are NEVER given growth hormones or any other enhancements.
Occasionally, the animals are given antibiotics to treat wounds and injuries and also to avoid infections from said injuries.
Why Is Snake River Farms More Expensive?
Snake River Farms is more expensive than your average grocery store cuts of meat because, well, the cuts of meat from Snake River Farms are not average.
They take good care of the animals under humane and natural conditions to produce the best cuts of meat possible.
It is also a little difficult to find authentic American Wagyu. The animals that are raised to produce American Wagyu are raised with the best care to make the intensive marbling on the meat.
Given the quality of care – which eventually turns into high-quality meat, it is no wonder that the prices of Snake River Farms are more expensive than your regular grocery store cuts.
Can I Refreeze My Snake River Farms Meats?
Once the cuts of meat from Snake River Farms arrive, you can put them straight into your freezer, they will stay good for up to 6 months.
But what if I took them out and thawed them? Can I refreeze the meat from Snake River Farms?
Snake River Farms recommends not refreezing fully-thawed cuts of meat as this can lower the quality of the meat and you will not experience the high quality that they promised.
Generally, thawed meat can be refrozen but it will not have the same quality.
If the cuts of meat from Snake River Farms arrived at your home and are fully thawed, you can reach out to SRF through their customer service page and fill out the request form.
Note: Partially thawed items are still within the Snake River Farms guarantee. Simply put the products in your freezer for up to 6 months or up to 7 days in the fridge.
Is There A Monthly Subscription For Snake River Farms?
Snake River Farms no longer offers the subscription option which is a bummer since all monthly subscriptions used to have FREE shipping.
This, however, made it easier for you to order any cut of meat you want. The discontinued monthly subscription used to have a fixed product assortment so it is nice that you are now free to select any cut of meat that you want.
Is Snake River Farms Worth It?
As I said, the American Wagyu from Snake River Farms is the best among the bests so I say that Snake River Farms is totally worth it.
Overall, Snake River Farms did not disappoint with the unique cuts and flavor of meat that I have tried for them.
There are items that I would be happy to taste just once in my life, not because they are bad but because I just am not a fan personally.
I would definitely buy again from Snake River Farms. That is if I had a special occasion coming as SRF prices can be too much for people like me who can survive a day without meat.
What I mean is that I can go on for days without eating meat so I do not really mind getting meat from Snake River Farms every now and then.
The great delivery services, packaging, customer service, and most importantly, the quality and taste of the meat from Snake River Farms make it all worth the money you spend!
Photo Credits- www.snakeriverfarms.com
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