I placed my first order at US Wellness Meats yesterday. I wanted to try the liverwurst I've seen mentioned here a few times. My wife hates liver but she's cool with deli/supermarket liverwurst. Of course, that's usually pork liver plus bacon so not the best health-wise. The Wellness meats one is grass-fed beef liver plus other kinds of offal... We'll see how she takes to it!
I filled out the rest of the order with a couple sticks of Pemmican (been curious to try these), and a few kinds of roast / stew beef since we just got a slow cooker this week and the prices were low (relatively speaking!). I was thinking steak but the prices scared me off - plus I have a hard enough time cooking conventional steaks right.
Obviously grass-fed meat costs more and this isn't going to become my usual way of shopping anytime too soon but I figured once in a while this is a good splurge. So I ask those with experience shopping at US Wellness Meats, what are the best products/deals in your opinion? What in particular should be avoided?
asked byrafi (922)
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on March 06, 2011
at 03:35 PM
So I ask those with experience shopping at US Wellness Meats, what are the best products/deals in your opinion?
Chuck roasts. They contain a lot of fat and are tasty. You can cook them like roasts or cut them into thick slices while they are semi-frozen and cook them like steaks. They are as cheap as any form of solid beef sold by US Wellness.
Their beef liver is good and is one of the cheaper items.
If you want lean beef, their flank steak and eye of round roasts are very lean.
What in particular should be avoided?
I wouldn't necessarily avoid their pemmican, but you should be warned that unlike real pemmican, the US Wellness product needs to be refrigerated. It seems to contain water. Real pemmican is dry.
Similarly, their beef suet isn't really suet. It's miscellaneous bits of soft fat with a huge amount of connective tissue mixed in. I usually render it by simmering in a large amount of water. The temperature has to be kept low, otherwise the connective tissue develops an unpleasant taste. The fat floats to the top and the connective tissue makes a nice gelatinous broth. Strain the hot broth to remove the connective tissue. After refigeration, the fat can be lifted off in a beautiful solid white disk. If you keep the rendering temperature low, the connective tissue doesn't taste bad and you could probably use it for something, although I usually throw it away.
Their lamb is good (I particularly recommend the lamb hearts) but it's not vacuum packed. It's hand-wrapped in many layers of thin plastic wrap. Their beef is vacuum packed in heavy plastic.
Personally, I avoid chopped meat because I find that it doesn't taste as good as solid chunks of meat (i.e. roasts). Also, roast are sterile inside, and occasionally I like to eat my meat raw. This is much safer with roasts than with prepackaged chopped meat.
But if you buy chopped meat from US Wellness, I recommend the Northstar bison (sold by US Wellness) instead of their own chopped beef. I've tried both several times and found that the bison tastes better.
You didn't ask about their customer service, but for completeness, here are a few comments.
In general, I'd say it's excellent. However there is one quirk. They say (or used to say, I haven't checked recently) on their site that orders received before 10 am will ship that day. This isn't alway true. Pretty often, an order received before 10 am one day won't ship until the next day. In order to be sure that they ship by Wednesday (their last shipping day of the week), I've gotten into the habit of ordering before Tuesday.
I've ordered about three thousand dollars worth of meat from them over the last couple of years, and there have only been two tiny problems. They once sent two beef tongues with torn vacuum packaging. Air had gotten into the packages and frost had accumulated on the meat. I called to complain and a very nice woman instantly gave me credit for the full amount of the purchase.
The other problem was that once they sent me the wrong items -- some kind of pork roasts instead of some kind of beef roasts. The person who packed the box must have misread the slip. I didn't bother calling them about that.
In general their packing is done very well.
on March 06, 2011
at 03:23 PM
Its great to always look at their specials. A couple weeks ago I ordered 50 pounds of 75/15 ground beef for just 120 bucks. They have great prices on shipping.
on March 06, 2011
at 05:32 PM
I absolutely love their beef franks. Great, ready, easy way to prepare breakfast or snack later on. No additives or preservatives. I like their organ meats as well, as a matter of fact, I just finished my small breakfast of a few slices of their cheesehead (warmed up).
their pemmican is ... blah. couldn't finish, and even threw away last stick. But their service is amazing, shipping fast and affordable.
oh, and I think that's the best place to buy ready, small packages. Other places have huge packages for people who have big freezers (I don't).
on March 06, 2011
at 03:04 PM
Try Slankers for an alternate source http://www.texasgrassfedbeef.com/ also I highly highly recommend the book "Tender Grassfed Meat: Traditional Ways To Cook Healthy Meat" around sixteen dollars on Amaon. Grassfed meat cooks differently than factory beef. Get the book before you spend lots of money on steak and end up with shoe leather. Book also has recommendations for cuts to buy. Some other meat sources as well in appendix. Good luck and enjoy. Best source would be local chech out eat wild, and local harvest dot com too. I found several farms within ten miles of Tampa.