Porter Road vs Omaha Steaks

Latest posts by Erin Jamieson (see all)

I value high-quality food, and it’s hard to beat the special feeling of a grill-out with friends and family. But since 2020, there have been fewer options in local stores. PorterHouse promises ‘life-changing’ meat delivery and Omaha Steaks offers signature steaks. That’s tempting. 

At the same time, many of us- myself included- are trying to be more frugal than ever. And with so many meat delivery services, it’s always a question of what’s overpriced, what’s a ripoff, and what’s genuine excellent service and quality. 

Here’s my honest comparison of Porter Road vs Omaha Steaks- and my take on which meat delivery service is the best option for your money. 

Bottom Line Up Front Summary: While Omaha Steaks offers a great selection of seafood, meat, desserts, and sides, the lack of sourcing transparency, grading, and overall quality makes it not as worth your money. Porter Road offers humanely-raised beef, chicken, lamb, and pork for grilling and everyday dinners. I recommend Porter Road over Omaha Steaks for the average customer. Be sure to check out some of my recommendations for alternatives too at the end of my review. 

Main Differences Between Porter Road vs Omaha Steaks 

  • Porter Road only sells meat, whereas Omaha Steaks sells seafood, meat, sides, and desserts
  • Porter Road offers both a la carte boxes and subscriptions, whereas Omaha Steaks offers a la carte shopping
  • Porter Road offers a smaller selection of meats that are free of antibiotics and pasture-raised, whereas Omaha Steaks offers a wide variety of products, including unique cuts (Wagyu)
  • Porter Road sources its meat locally, whereas Omaha Steaks sources seafood and meat from many places

Company Origins: Omaha Steaks vs Porter Road 

This tells you where the company is headquartered and gives you a sense of where most of its management and budget are focused.

Porter Road 

In contrast, Porter Road is relatively new, founded in 2017. This meal-delivery service isn’t as widely known, but that isn’t inherently a negative thing. Many exciting new meat-delivery services have popped up in the past decade.

 Porter Road was founded and remains headquartered in Nashville. The emphasis is on locally-sourced meat, as opposed to the more full-service options that Omaha Steaks is known for. 

Omaha Steaks

Omaha Steaks

Let me start by saying that I’ve known about Omaha Steaks for a while- and chances are that you have, too. Omaha Steaks is headquartered, to no surprise, in Omaha.

The company made its beginnings as a family-owned butchery in 1917. But it wasn’t until 1953 that they started offering their now-famous mail delivery service. By the 1960s, that extended to international shipping. 

They now have processing in three locations within the Omaha region. With a strong social media presence and focus not only on steaks but also entrees and feasts, they’ve become a go-to for special occasions. 

Takeaway

Omaha Steaks has more experience on its side, and I also like that, despite expanding, all of its meat processing locations remain in the Omaha region.

Their company mission has indeed evolved quite a bit from a local butcher, and I’d like to see just a tad more references to their humble beginnings in their social-media-driven, international services. 

Meanwhile, Porter Road is relatively new, yet has enough years under its belt to have gained a reputation. I like the emphasis on the meat itself. There are certainly trade-on and trade-offs for a more full-service model covering more products, and that’s a theme I’ll return to in this review of Porter Road vs Omaha Steaks. 

Shipping and Handling 

I’ve experienced this before: you find something you love, only to have terrible shipping and handling experiences.

However, I do keep in mind that delays in shipping have been common since 2020, across many online companies. What I look for is transparent shipping and handling policies, and, of course, if they deliver to my area. 

Porter Road 

Porter Road 

Porter Road calculates delivery costs based on how you order. That means shipping will be charged based upon your a la carte package, with free delivery for their subscription boxes and anything over $100. 

Even though Porter Road is a smaller company than Omaha Steaks, shipping is available to all contiguous states. Unfortunately, that excludes Canada, Alaska, Hawaii, and the US Virgin Islands. 

Standard shipping takes 2 to 3 business days and express (added cost, standard rates) is available for individual orders. You have room to select preferred delivery dates and you should get an email confirmation with tracking information. 

Products are shipped a little differently. Biodegradable gel foam is packaged in a cardboard box. I like the eco-friendly approach, but there are some concerns with this change. 

Omaha Steaks

Omaha Steaks

Omaha Steaks applies an automatic shipping fee of $19.99 to all regular deliveries within the continental United States. Those living in Canada, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands are charged $39.99 (or $42.99 for Canada). In addition, you can opt for special/ expedited shipping:

Expedited Shipping Time  Added Cost
Express  2 to 3 Business Days  $19.99
Rush 1 to 2 Business Days  $39.99
Saturday Rush  1 to 2 Business Days  $49.99

Like most meal delivery companies, you’ll get an emailed confirmation and can easily track/view your order online. That’s pretty standard, but I also like their rewards program- assuming you’ll be buying again- where you accrue points towards a future purchase.

 All products are vacuum sealed and packaged with dry ice. These are great steps to ensure freshness and food safety.  

Takeaway 

If you live outside of the contiguous United States, then Porter Road simply isn’t an option. Porter Road has my upvote for free shipping on orders over $100 and an eco-friendly approach. The only concern I have is if a delivery is delayed.

There’s a higher risk vs dry ice and vacuum-sealing that something could arrive less than fresh. This doesn’t mean by any means it will, but you should be home when your package from Porter Road is delivered. 

Returns and Refunds

What happens if something does go wrong? I found some interesting differences between the two meat delivery companies. 

Porter Road 

Porter Road’s refund policy is, however, less generous. They make a clear statement that, since all of their products are perishable, they can’t offer returns. Anyone with concerns about their order has to contact customer service. 

Omaha Steaks

Omaha Steaks has a seemingly straightforward returns and refunds policy. This 100 percent guarantee policy means you can ask for a refund if you are not satisfied or in the case of damaged or missing packages. You can either email them or call their hotline (1-800-228-9872).

I did notice a clause, however, that made their policy less generous. The clause mentions that Omaha Steaks “reserve{s} the right to limit” what they refund. 

Takeaway

Meat and seafood are perishable, so I fully understand that you can’t simply return something the way you would if you were ordering something like clothes. But I feel like both Porter Road and Omaha Steaks could improve.

Omaha Steaks could improve by simply stating parameters for when refunds are issued. Porter Road should have a policy statement about meat arriving that isn’t fresh or suitable. Omaha Steaks has a better policy- but I’m not thrilled with either. 

Sourcing and Selection Standards

I get it: some people just want a convenient steak, meat, or seafood that’s great for recipes and grilling out. But I think sourcing standards are important to think about.

Not only does it explain the quality of the meat, but it’s worth noting if animals have been humanely raised. Even if you are simply looking for a good delivery deal, sourcing and quality should be factored into whether or not a service is overpriced. 

Porter Road

Porter Road

Porter Road has a different approach. As a smaller business, they source locally, rather than from around the country. Porter Road cuts all of its meat by hand at its Kentucky facility. 

Their meat is raised in two states. All of their animals are fed non-GMO, vegetarian feed. They’ve been working towards ASPCA® certification for humanely-raised animals. I also like that all of their products are hormone-free. While they are not organic, this is a great step and raises their meat above the conventional meat market. 

Omaha Steaks 

Omaha Steaks 

I was a little frustrated with Omaha Steaks because they say next to nothing about their selection or sourcing standards on their main page. However, if you look on the Omaha Steaks blog, there’s a statement that their cattle are raised in Nebraska. 

Those cattle are grass-fed and grain-finished. This is better than simply grain-fed, but not the best. It doesn’t tell you how the cattle are raised (room to roam, conditions) and it also means that they are fattened up with grain near the end of their lives.

They don’t mention much about their other products, but there is some information on individual products. 

Their seafood is probably the best because there are options for sustainably sourced and wild-caught fish and shellfish. Since Omaha Steaks is sourced from a wide variety of places, it’s very much a mixed bag.

Their steaks are aged for around 20 days and flash-frozen. This improves both flavor and durability and is a common practice. However, their steak isn’t classified by USDA standards. 

Takeaway 

Omaha Steaks sources from many locations- while they do have processing facilities, they act in many ways, like a supplier. Porter Road is more closely involved and has stricter standards for meat sourcing. I will mention that, though hormone-free meat is admirable, their meat is neither grass-fed nor organic.

While their meat appears to be pasture-raised, they could be more specific. Still, the sourcing standards (aside from seafood) are higher and more transparent for Porter Road vs Omaha Steaks. 

Meat & Seafood Options 

Porter Road

Porter Road

Porter Road allows you to buy meat in gift bundles or sign up for a meal delivery subscription. Subscription boxes are sent out every 2, 4, or 8 weeks, depending on your preferences. I like that you can change or cancel your subscription online at any time, and even add or customize your boxes. 

While Porter Road doesn’t carry any seafood, I do like their impressive selection of lamb, pork, chicken, and beef. That includes, but isn’t limited to sausages, pork butt, bacon, ribs, lamb chops and racks, and chicken (whole, wings, legs). 

For steak, they don’t carry Wagyu, but they still have popular steaks for grilling, such as bavette, filet mignon, NY strip, sirloin, chuck eye, and more. 

Of course, the kind of meat and seafood is another area where there’s a big difference between Omaha Steaks vs Porter Road.

I wasn’t too surprised- and you probably won’t be either- to see that Omaha Steaks has far more to offer. That doesn’t mean better, but, depending on what you are looking for, it could be a deal-breaker. However, there’s also the difference between subscriptions vs a la carte shopping. 

Omaha Steaks

Omaha Steaks

Omaha Steaks allows you to purchase a la carte, either by meats or in full meal bundles. Their meats include ham, turkey, ribs, bacon, sausages, bison, chicken, and pork.

I was fairly pleased with their seafood collection, which covers everything from snapper, trout, swordfish, halibut, mahi-mahi, salmon, and cod to scallops, caviar, crab, clams, and oysters. As I mentioned before, some of this seafood is wild-caught and some are not. 

Their steaks cover popular options. Filet mignon, NY strip, ribeye, flat iron, top sirloin, prime rib, veal, and even Wagyu are all on the menu. 

Takeaway

If you want seafood, Omaha Steaks is the only option of the two. If you want a subscription, that’s Porter Road’s forte. There are more options in general at Omaha Steaks, but I give a lot of credit to Porter Road for its collection of steaks and meat. 

Other Products 

Since meat is the only thing Porter Road sells, this category applies only to Omaha Steaks, and that’s fine. I wouldn’t expect a smaller meat delivery company to sell other products, especially when they’re focused on overseeing all that they sell. 

Omaha Steaks

Once again, Omaha Steaks acts as a wide supplier of different products. Aside from their meat and seafood, they sell pretty much everything you need for gifting or for hosting a feast.

That includes starters and sides, as well as desserts and wine. I think you’re better off buying wine from a wine supplier, subscription, or specialty wine retailer. But I will cover their sides and desserts.

Sides & Starters

Sides & Starters Omaha Steaks

They have beef, seafood, and specialty appetizers, as well as sides. A lot of this centers around party food and classic American favorites. Stuffed potatoes, lobster grilled cheese, pastry bites, flat-breads, cooked vegetables, and specialty soups are examples. I think that these dishes are slightly overpriced, but you do get the convenience for holidays or other events.

Desserts

Desserts Omaha Steaks

What I like about Omaha Steaks’ collection of desserts is that it includes both full-size and bite-sized options. Berry and apple tartlets, mini bundt cakes, full-sized carrot cakes, cheesecakes, and cannoli cakes are a few options.

You can browse specialty desserts, pies and tarts, candies, and cakes. It’s not so much that their selection is innovative, but that it’s attractively made and covers some of the most popular desserts. 

Consumer Reviews and Reputation

I looked on external review sites, to see how my opinions align with other consumers’ reports. I also checked with the Better Business Bureau- just to get a sense of how well each company, on average, delivers on both their service and their meat quality. 

Porter Road

Porter Road doesn’t have BBB accreditation, but this isn’t uncommon for smaller meat delivery services. It fares well on its Facebook page, but I always look for reviews on pages outside of a company’s control.

I was happy to find Yelp reviews (115) awarding the company an average of 4 out of 5 stars. However, there are some downsides. 

Praise was given more for Porter Road as a local butcher vs their delivery service. Reviews are pretty mixed. Some loved the taste and cuts- others deemed them fatty and below expected quality.

Some had shipping mix-ups. Still, these critiques were, in review, the minority, There was more praise for the taste and quality. I also didn’t see any red flags. 

Omaha Steaks

Omaha Steaks has been accredited by the BBB since the 1960s and still holds an A-plus rating- though only 2 out of 5 stars based on customer reviews reported. However, since customers are more likely to rate BBB based on complaints, I looked elsewhere to get a good picture. 

On Site Jabber, Omaha Steaks earned an average of under 2 out 5 stars (69 reviews). It didn’t fare much better on Yelp (1.5 out of 5 stars based on 344 reviews) or Trip Advisor (2 out of 5 stars, based on 73 reviews).

While most customers received what they ordered, products were described as tasteless and of sub-par quality.  Some of these reviews included long-term customers. This may suggest a decline in quality. 

Takeaway

While Porter Road has some negative reviews, they weren’t above the ordinary (any company with only positive reviews may raise concerns). Porter Road mostly delivered on their services and quality. Many of the complaints were more a discussion of buying meat at a store vs flash-frozen meat from delivery services. 

Omaha Steaks, on the other hand, really disappointed me. I love that they are accredited by the BBB, but with that experience, I want to see better delivery. With both complaints about their customer service and the quality of their products, Porter Road is the clear winner in this important category. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Is Food from Omaha Steaks Good?

Answer: What I like about the food from Omaha Steaks is the variety. From steaks to chicken to seafood, sausages, and more, you have your basics covered.
They also have a nice selection of comfort food and specialty sides. However, even with their dessert menu, many customers feel the quality doesn’t live up to the price. Omaha Steaks sells food that’s convenient for gifting but doesn’t deliver on luxury quality. 

Question: Are Omaha Steaks Healthy?

Answer: Steak of any kind has mixed health advantages and drawbacks- and it also depends on the cut and sourcing of steak.
The company sells some lean cuts of steak, which are rich in protein and also a source of essential vitamins and minerals, such as iron, selenium, zinc, riboflavin, potassium, and magnesium.
However, their steak is not grass-fed, hormone-free, or antibiotic-free. Calories depend on the type of steak and how you prepare it. 

Question: Is Porter Road Ethical? 

Answer: Porter Road is one of the emerging meat delivery companies that focuses on more ethical sourcing. Animals are pasture-raised on non-GMO feed and without antibiotics.
They also oversee meat processing at their processing facility. In 2020, they started working towards ethical sourcing certification. These are all great steps towards more ethical sourcing and transparency. 

Final Decision: Give Porter Road a Try 

Porter Road doesn’t deliver outside of 48 states and it doesn’t have seafood, desserts, or side dishes, but it’s more worth your money. I like their options for both flexible subscriptions and a la carte.

They may not have especially unique choices, and they are not fully organic, but they are one of the companies trying to improve transparency and quality sourcing. Subscribe/ Shop Porter Road Here

Final Recommendations: Meat Delivery Alternatives to Porter Road 

Looking for some alternatives? I have you covered.

Best for Ethically-Sourced Meat Delivery Alternative: Good Chop

Good Chop

If you’re looking for ethically sourced meat, I tried and reviewed Good Chop. I was impressed with the delivery and quality of their meat and seafood. This company makes some of the best aspects of Porter Road and Omaha Steaks and amps up the quality. Subscribe to Good Chop Here.

Best Affordable Meat Delivery Alternative: Harvest Box

Harvest Box

I really love the competitive prices this meat delivery service offers, but that’s not all. Harvest Box delivers some of the most popular meats and seafood, all with better sourcing standards.

Options include grass-fed beef and bison (including steak), wild-caught salmon, and free-range pork and chicken. Shop Here.

Looking for even more options? Check out the Best Meat Delivery Subscriptions for a quick comparison of some of the most popular choices.

Looking for more interesting readings? Check out:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.