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Mail order steaks


bvus
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Can I get some opinions on the best source for mail order steak? I tried Omaha Steaks( Omaha Steaks ). The steaks were good, but not great.

The following are a couple of sites I found researching on the Internet that appear to have high quality product:

My Butcher.com

Prime Access Steaks

Lobel's

Niman Ranch

Uptown Prime

Allen Bros.

Has anybody tried any of them? Does anybody know of a better mail order source?

Edited by bvus (log)
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There is also Harris Ranch.

I'm fortunate -- I can get both Harris Ranch and Niman Ranch without having to mail order. I have been given Omaha steaks in the past and agree, good -- but not great. I hear great things about Lobels, but I think I'm spoiled in that I can go and buy great dry-aged beef without having to pay for postage.

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Omaha steaks are frozen. You should confine your choices to steaks that are shipped fresh.

I have extensive experience with Lobel's and swear by the product. I have, however, heard good things about Prime Access. But Lobel's is always where I'd place my order, finances permitting.

You will notice such a world of difference between Omaha and Lobel's, it will shock you.

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Lobels is truly, truly awesome stuff. If I could afford it I would buy from them all the time.

Here are some pics from a Lobel tasting dinner I attended at Morell's wine center in NYC:

ml-filetmignon2.jpg

A slice of Lobel Filet Mignon

ml-hangarsteak.jpg

A slice of Lobel Hangar Steak

ml-wagyu.jpg

A slice of lobel Wagyu

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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I unfortunately have not (yet) had the pleasure of eating a Lobel's steak. I did sample (several times :biggrin:) Prime Access steak at a food and wine convention a few years ago and was very, very impressed.

Forget Omaha (the steak, not the city).

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Don't forget Lobel's fabulous prime rib roast!

I found Lobel's on the net while looking for mail order meat that was not frozen--most of them are.

Lobel's is pricey, indeed; but you do get what you pay for.

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Forget Omaha (the steak, not the city).

While shopping for dinner near a friend's house in Columbia MD, I saw an Omaha steaks store. Went in, bought a few NY strips. Horrible. I've never had such a WET steak. I had to pat them as dry as I could with a ton of paper towels, and they still came out with this awful texture.

I could have done better had I bought a plain old strip at a plain old supermarket.

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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How hard is it to prepare a lobel's steak to full potential? Would I, as an amateur home-cook, be doing it an injustice and wasting my money with the quick-sear cast iron method? Does one truly need a real grill, for alas I have only a small propane one...

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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How hard is it to prepare a lobel's steak to full potential? Would I, as an amateur home-cook, be doing it an injustice and wasting my money with the quick-sear cast iron method? Does one truly need a real grill, for alas I have only a small propane one...

do a slow sear, as outlined somewhere on egullet. you'll be very pleased you did.

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I've ordered from Niman Ranch for years now and have been consistently very happy with its product. Its commitment to humane treatment of the animals as well as all-natural feed really shows in the quality of the meat. Try it - I think you'll be really pleased.

Niman puts out a very solid product -- but Lobel's it is not.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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This weekend's experiment:

I ordered a filet and a New York strip from MyButcher.com and from Lobel's in order to compare their products. I also ordered a Wagyu (Kobe Beef style) New York strip from Lobel's (MyButcher.com did not carry any Wagyu product for comparison).

Both companies sent the product via overnight courier. Lobel's sent their product priority overnight and it arrived in the morning. MyButcher.com sent their product standard overnight and it arrived in the afternoon. Both shipments arrived in perfect condition.

i8483.jpg

All of the steaks were USDA Prime. The MyButcher.com filet was their "triple trimmed" variety. All of the meat was seasoned only with McCormick's Grillmates Montreal seasoning.

i8482.jpg

The filet and strip on the right were from MyButcher.com. The filet and strip in the middle were from Lobel's. The strip on the right is the Wagyu filet from Lobel's.

The meat was seared on the outside and cooked rare using a Solaire infrared grill.

i8484.jpg

Four people tasted the steaks and all four people came to the same conclusions:

The MyButcher.com filet was preferred to the Lobel's filet. It was less fatty and more tender.

The Lobel's New York strip was preferred to the MyButcher.com New York strip. It had a better texture and was more flavorful.

The Lobel's Wagyu New York strip was preferred to the other two New York strips; however, the consensus was that the difference in quality did not justify the premium in cost.

Edited by bvus (log)
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Bvus, great pictures! Interesting experiment.

I am ordering a couple of Lobel's Cowboy steaks for a birthday gift for my boyfriend. Of course, I expect to get a steak that tastes good, but the Flinstones proportions of it with that huge handle of a bone are really amusing. Frenched and gussied up, it reminds me of a lamb chop...gone terribly, terribly wrong. The giftee in question will love it.

Now, how on earth am I supposed to cook this thing? Sear followed by oven roast? Would it work on a grill?

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eunny jang:

I don't think you will have any problems cooking it using any conventional method. You just want to sear the outside at high heat, then turn the heat down a bit and then cook the steak to your desired temperature. It would cook fine on a grill, in a pan, in the oven or under the broiler. Turning the meat every few minutes and using tongs instead of a fork will keep it more moist.

Good luck. I'm sure you will do fine and it will turn out yabadabadelicious.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Forget Omaha (the steak, not the city).

While shopping for dinner near a friend's house in Columbia MD, I saw an Omaha steaks store. Went in, bought a few NY strips. Horrible. I've never had such a WET steak. I had to pat them as dry as I could with a ton of paper towels, and they still came out with this awful texture.

I could have done better had I bought a plain old strip at a plain old supermarket.

I agree, they suck. I tried them for the first (and last) time a few years ago -bought their filet mignons locally. Cooked them as per usual, medium rare on the rare side, and they were TOUGH! I went back to the store and complained and they actually gave me a refund. I rarely eat red meat, but when I do, I expect it to be excellent.

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.
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I have ordered steaks as gifts for friends from Prather Ranch in No. Calif., with great success. The recipients reported that they were the best they had ever eaten. I don't know if they had tried Niman Ranch but am sure they did not try the others.

I checked at their web site and they are sold out at present. Prather Ranch

They were recommended to me by a friend in Davis, CA. who shops at a market that carries Prather beef.

I have never bought any of the mail order steaks or beef products. A neighbor and I buy a calf and pay the expenses (vet bills, feed, etc.) for raising it for kids who are doing it for a 4-H project. The butcher slaughters it for part of the meat and my neighbor and I split the remainder. We buy registered Angus or Charolais and they are fed premium feed and are butchered quite a bit older than most beef so the steaks are larger than anything you would see in a market. The inspector who checks the abattoir has checked our beef and says it is would be graded as super prime if it needed to be graded.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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So my Great Steak Experiment went off pretty well. I ordered a Lobel's Cowboy steak (a two-pound ribeye with a giant, frenched bone sticking out) as a gift.

It had great flavor - not insanely flavorful, mind you, as the blather about dry-aged for three weeks would have you believe - but it was tasty nonetheless. And it was exceedingly, meltingly tender, not mushy like filet can be, but tender in all the right ways, even cooked to a done-ish medium (as the giftee likes it). The leftovers were still buttery even after refrigeration.

The charred and crisp ridge of outer fat was (shame, shame) consumed and thoroughly enjoyed, in secret, by me as the dishes were put away.

Worth it - perhaps not as the regular Friday-night steak, but for a special meal, certainly. And I would absolutely consider buying one of their mixed boxes for a special-occasion barbeque or other party.

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David Rosengarten did an article on the best mail order steaks in the Rosengarten Report. His testing was done on strip steaks. His Utilmate Five Star finds are:

Lobel's $29.97/LB fresh

Palm Restaurant/Palm Pak (800) 388-PALM $27.25/LB can be shipped fresh or frozen (they did fresh

Main Street Steaks $31.25/LB frozen

Peter Luger $43.87/LB fresh

Allen Brothers $31.60/LB for wet aged/frozen, 34.45/LB dry-aged/frozen

Gepperth's (773) 549-3883 $12.99/LB for Black Angus Strip/frozen, $18.99/LB for Prime Strip/frozen

These prices are certainly out of date, since this is from a while back. However, you can see the relative costs.

Jennie

Jennie Auster aka "GIT"

Gastronome in Training

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  • 3 weeks later...
David Rosengarten did an article on the best mail order steaks in the Rosengarten Report.  His testing was done on strip steaks.  His Utilmate Five Star finds are:

Lobel's $29.97/LB fresh

Palm Restaurant/Palm Pak (800) 388-PALM $27.25/LB can be shipped fresh or frozen (they did fresh

Main Street Steaks $31.25/LB frozen

Peter Luger $43.87/LB fresh

Allen Brothers $31.60/LB for wet aged/frozen, 34.45/LB dry-aged/frozen

Gepperth's (773) 549-3883 $12.99/LB for Black Angus Strip/frozen, $18.99/LB for Prime Strip/frozen

These prices are certainly out of date, since this is from a while back.  However, you can see the relative costs.

Jennie

His prices were out of date the moment I got that issue. If I have one complaint about the Rosengarten Report, it is that the prices listed are ALWAYS wrong (they are always too low). From the steak at Lobel's to the caviar to the bacon, the prices are consistently wrong.

On a related note, that Cowboy steak does look delicious. Tommy has agreed to buy 8 of them for a cookout at his place. Price tag: $512.98...plus shipping. But we all know dinner with tommy is Priceless

Edited by adegiulio (log)

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