I rarely take the time to write product reviews, which is something I aim to change as I always get asked at classes and personal training sessions about my opinions on certain fitness gadgets, fad diets and training gear! I have to be completely honest from the outset on this review and admit that I'm not much of a meat eater, I tend to prefer to get my protein from a variety of nuts & seeds, eggs, fish, pulses, lentils, quinoa, shakes and natural yogurt. This is due to the fact I'm extremely fussy with food, and a little OCD, but my partner absolutely loves any kind of steak, chicken, fish, exotic meat etc! So, having heard about another mail order meat company I took to my laptop and started researching a few of the different companies and what they had to offer. In my review below, I aim to give a brief description of what I purchased, the quality of the meat I received, the value of the products and the service provided. I hope it helps you decide whether or not ordering meat in bulk, on line is for you.
What is Muscle Food?
Muscle food is a website that offers a huge variety of meats, from chicken breasts to the more exotic ostrich burgers and springbok steak... Don't worry if you're not too adventurous, like me you can opt to order one of their variety packs. I chose the "new customer super lean stack" for £75. The variety pack, range of produce and reviews was the reason I chose Muscle Food over other companies. Muscle Food also sells a lot of high protein snacks, have a browse through that section too as some things might shock you. The company ships the meat out to you in temperature controlled packaging, all you have to do is be in for delivery and fill up your freezer. If you eat meat on a daily basis then this option will save you an absolute fortune. If you're more like me and mainly choose to cook meat when you're cooking for others then this stash will last you AGES!
You can choose from a wide variety of meats, seafood, vegetables and dry snacks or one of their variety packs. I started with the "new customer super lean stack" for £75. At first I thought that £75 is a lot of money to spend on meat, but having added up the value of the following, plus having read reviews I decided to bite the bullet. Here's what I received:
PREMIUM CHICKEN BREAST FILLETS - 5 KG
- Lean & trimmed of fat
- Never any salt or water added
- Big, chunky chicken breasts
- Never any salt or water added
- Big, chunky chicken breasts
6-7OZ MATURED BRITISH RUMP STEAK-1 X 6-7OZ
Chock-full of protein, iron and essential vitamins and minerals, our Rump Steaks are a brilliant, natural way to help you build muscle and guarantees quick muscle recovery. But most importantly they taste great and are British!
IRISH GRASS FED BEEF MINCE - 400G
Our single origin beef mince is made exclusively from the forequarter of our grass-fed Irish cattle. With a minimum of 90% visual fat content, it's ideal for athletes and people watching their weight.
PREMIUM DICED TURKEY BREAST - 0.5 KG
- Extra lean
- High Protein
- Very Low Fat
- High Protein
- Very Low Fat
LEAN DICED BRITISH BEEF-0.8 KG
We understand that when you’re training hard you don’t always have a lot of time on your hands for cooking, that’s why we sourced this premium quality British Lean Diced Beef for your convenience and nutrition.
PRIME PORK LOIN STEAKS - 0.8 KG
Tender, succulent and unbelievably juicy, our prime pork loin steaks are simply gorgeous!
2 X 6OZ GREAT BRITISH HACHE STEAKS
Containing a huge 90% Beef our Great British Hache Steaks are irresistibly juicy - A true customer favourite!
CORN-FED FRENCH CHICKEN - 1.2KG
Buttery, mouth-watering and superbly tender, this corn-fed chicken is supremely delicious and a treat no athlete should miss...
BRITISH HIGH WELFARE VEAL STIR-FRY -0.3 KG
British Isles Rosé Veal Stir-Fry
LUXURY MEAT SEASONING – 25G
Wake up your grilling and roasting with this delicious seasoning by sprinkling liberally over roasts, chicken, beef, pork, turkey & ribs!
You do have to spend a minimum of £75 for free delivery, so this is the perfect option if you're new to this type of shopping.
What is the quality like?
So far I've been amazed. The size of the chicken breasts are impressive and they're really juicy too. The mince I was nervous about trying since this is one product I'm usually put off eating, however there was no gristle, was melt in the mouth and had a really great flavour too, I'll be ordering some more next time! I didn't actually try the steak, I cooked it for my partner as I was off out for a meal with friends, but the self confessed meat lover gave it a massive thumbs up. The diced turkey breasts were great on Greek kebabs I made up and grilled, served with tzatziki and salad. The beef great in a casserole, once again melting in the mouth. I still have another pouch to use, of which I'm tempted to try a recipe for healthy pies I found. I've not tried the pork loin yet, as it's the least appealing to me and there's just SO MUCH! Hache steaks and quick and simple to cook, perfect if you're in a hurry. The corn fed chicken tastes great, but it is quite small. I'd only order this again if it was on offer or I ordered another variety pack. Finally the veal had a great texture, and good in a stir fry with veggies and coconut oil but I think it was a little rich for my own personal taste.
I still have a tonne of meat in the freezer, mainly the chicken breasts. They are huge so one each is more than enough. They come in 5kg sealed bags, which I opened and re-bagged into freezer bags in pairs. One thing that struck me at first was a smell (ammonia like) when opening the 2.5kg bags. For me, this wasn't a pleasant experience, added to the problem I hate handling raw meat it's safe to say I didn't feel too great and was at first a little worried. Muscle food send you an email upon dispatch, explaining that meat packed in large quantities in filled with a non harmful gas to help keep it fresh during transport. So I continued to pack the chicken into freezer bags, freezing all but one bag. The next day I cooked the first two breasts, when I opened the freezer bag I was very pleased that the smell had disappeared and all smelt normal. As I've mentioned above, the breasts are huge; they took ages to cook! After the first two I've been cutting them into strips BEFORE cooking to get it done quicker. Taste great and are working well in salads and cooked in sauces.
Value for money?
The value is incredible. Muscle food often do special offers on different products, which often you wonder how and if they make any money on the produce. Part of my hesitation for ordering in the first place was what the quality would be like. All you need to do is compare their prices per kg to those at the supermarkets. If you can afford to spend £75, then place an order and give it a go.
Is their customer service good?
To be honest I haven't had any reason to contact their customer service, but based on the ease of ordering (you choose a delivery day), packaging of products and speed of delivery I was very happy. I did contact them before placing an order to enquire about the quality of life the "animals" they use have, I got a quick response and found it fairly standard. All of the animals quality of life exceeds expectations and all farms follow strict procedures. The meat is all quality assured and Muscle Food has won several awards. I guess you can take from that what you want to, personally I would prefer information about each product on their website on where the animal is from and whether or not it is free range etc. For most meat eaters I appreciate this isn't important. I did also ask about Halal/Kosher, and although they do sell certified Halal meat, it does have it's own section. They also have a certified organic section.
Would I order again?
Most definitely, but I don't need to too often. I'm not convinced yet about ordering in the height of summer, but the meat arrived cold when I ordered it in November 2014. I'll be placing another order soon to stock up my freezer and that will keep me going for a good while yet!
To finish off my review I would give Muscle Food a 4/5. Great value for money, but I do think more product information could be available on their website. Points also deducted for the smell the packaging gas lets off, I know this didn't effect the taste of the chicken but I do prefer to keep food as natural as possible and wonder if there could be another way to keep the chicken fresh during transit.
Here's a picture of what I unpacked:
How can you order/browse the Muscle Food website?
If you'd like to have a look at their website, click here and you'll also receive a choice of receiving 4 free Chicken Breasts, 2 free British Haché Steaks, 2 free Horse Fillet Steaks or a free loaf of Protein Bread! Just enter the code: VL81786 at checkout. You apparently also get free chicken for referring new customers (I hope to confirm this soon)! This is definitely another perk though, share with your friends and you too could get some more freebies!
Happy Eating :-)