Great Artisan Food

"A chef has to stay an artisan, not become a star."Chef Alain Ducasse

Many of our favorite restaurants now ship right to your door, but shipping food cross country has to be done carefully. We are especially fond of the work done by FoodyDirect because they have a clever program that works with the restaurant to make sure that the food is properly sealed, chilled, packaged, insured, and shipped expeditiously at the best rates, often as low as $9.95. Orders ship direct from the vendor, there is no warehousing. Each package has premium package insurance that protects you if the package is lost, stolen, undeliverable, etc.

They also have a unique shipping calendar that allows you to select the exact day of arrival for a package up to three months in advance so you can be sure that your package arrives on schedule making it perfect for any special occasion. And most important, they understand customer service.

Best of all, if you enter AMAZINGRIBS10 in the coupon box when you check out you will get 10% off your first online order!

They offer scores of famous dishes and here are some of our favorites. To see more options, click here.

Snake River Farms Wagyu Beef And Berkshire Pork With Free Shipping

Sometimes we just want something special, like USDA Prime steaks, or American Wagyu brisket, or Heritage Hog meat and, darn it, the local grocery just doesn't carry it. It is still too rare. If you get similar hankerings, here are my favorite sources.

Snake River Farms and Double R Ranch are part of Agri Beef Co., a family-owned and operated business dedicated to producing high quality beef and pork. The company was founded in 1968 and is vertically integrated with handling, ranching, feeding, processing, marketing, and sales. This unique "ranch to table" approach means that Snake River Farms controls every aspect of quality from start to finish, designed to produce the highest quality possible. We think they have succeeded.

Snake River's cattle are raised in the Northwest along the high plains of eastern Idaho's Snake River, which has a climate that they claim keeps the cattle comfortable through the changing seasons. The location also provides access to a diverse range of feed ingredients.

They describe their beef as American "Kobe" because it has some genetics in common with the famous Japanese beef from Kobe, the world's most expensive, but as good as their beef is, it is absolutely NOT Kobe. We understand that they want to differentiate themselves from more common lesser quality beef, but because we believe that real Kobe comes only from Kobe, and Idaho potatoes only from Idaho, and Champagne only from Champagne, we refer to it as American Wgyu and encourage them to stop the deception. Regardless of what we consider confusing labeling, the meat is effing good. Do not die without having tasted American Wagyu.

Snake River Farms is also one of the few sources of 100% purebred Berkshire pork, also known as Kurobuta pork. Their hogs are raised on small family farms in the Midwest and Idaho. It features fine streaks of marbling throughout the meat resulting in a superb flavor, which is incredibly tender and juicy. The Wall Street Journal dubbed Snake River Farms' pork "The Other Red Meat."

Snake River will ship to you free if you enter the code AMAZING in the promo box when you check out.

American Wagyu Boneless Prime Rib Roast Gold Grade

Snake River Farms rib roast

The Snake River Farms American Wagyu prime rib gold grade is highly marbled, with a deep rich flavor that comes from the extensive marbling. Gold grade is about 11 or 12 on the Japanese marbling scale, when USDA Prime is 4 to 5. The meat is a cross between Wagyu and Angus.

This roast is boneless which makes preparation and carving a snap. Don't be fooled, bones in a roast add zero flavor to the meat, in fact the actually detract from browning. Click here to read more about this myth.

Each roast has been wet aged 28 days and has been hand selected and hand carved by their master butchers to showcase the beautifully marbled eye of the ribeye section. They are individually wrapped and shipped frozen to arrive fresh at your door. Click here for my recommendations on how to cook this beauty.

Click here to order this magnificent roast

wagyu brisket

American Wagyu Gold Grade Wagyu Brisket

This is the finest, most heavily marbled brisket money can buy (gold grade), and you might need a loan. But this is the cut that the champions BBQ teams order because with brisket, especially the flat muscle, marbling is scarce. Not here.

Wet aged 28 days, well trimmed, there are several weights available. And if you're after the big bux in a competition, beware, the guy next to you is using Wagyu brisket.

Click here to order American Wagyu Gold Grade Brisket


Wagyu Beef Brisket

American Wagyu Brisket

As with the Gold grade above, this is the super premium brisket popular with the competition teams, but because it is slightly less marbled, but still far more marbled that most briskets, it does not have the Gold designation. If you love brisket, you must cook one of these someday. Bucket list.

Click here to order American Wagyu Brisket

pork collar

Kurobuta Boneless Pork Collar

Kurobuta is the Japanese name for Berkshire and this is a hard to find breed that produces rich tasting, dark meat that is heavily marbled. It is most decidedly not the other white meat.

The collar is cut from the shoulder portion that runs from the neck to the tip of the loin. Pork collars are a familiar item in Europe and are used to make traditional sausages such as coppa. Boneless, it make superb pulled pork, and is also excellent braised or cut into chops and grilled.

Click to order Kurobuta Pork Collar

strube ranch wagyu beef

Strube Ranch Wagyu Beef

Strube Ranch in Texas has a herd of Wagyu, and the meat is shot through with thin whisps of buttery marbling. has dibs on their best ribeyes, striploins, sirloins, and briskets. Go for the ribeye or striploin.

Snow's BBQ: Why They're #1


In a comprehensive sampling of practically every joint in the state in 2008 Texas Monthly said "The best barbecue in Texas is currently being served at Snow's BBQ, in Lexington, a small restaurant open only on Saturdays and only from eight in the morning until whenever the meat runs out, usually around noon." So you could travel to Texas, wait in line, and still miss out on this famous BBQ. Or you could forget the road trip and have some of the finest BBQ in the world delivered straight to your door. The "Why we're #1" sampler includes:æ

  • 1 beef brisket smoked low and slow with oak for 8 to 10 hours
  • 1 pork steak a juicy bone-in upper shoulder cut barbecued to perfection.
  • 1 rack of pork spare ribs rubbed with a special spice blend, smoked over oak, and finished with pitmaster Miss Tootsie's sop for a beautiful glaze
  • 2 rings of Snow's Original Sausage made from blend of beef and pork, seasoned with spices in a natural casing smoked low and slow

Click here for more info and to order

Kreuz Market: Kreuz Sausage Sampler

kreuz sausage

Kreuz Market (click the link to see my photos of this wonderful place) is probably the most highly respect barbecue restaurant in Texas. It has been in Lockhart since 1900 serving simply smoked meats and sausages in the quintessential Texas style. You won't find sauce at Kreuz or even a fork for that matter. The meat is the star of the show. Now you don't have to leave the comfort of home to experience this Texas tradition. The Kreuz Sampler includes:

  • 10 rings of Kreuz Market's original sausage, a delicious blend of 85% beef and 15% pork. The sausages are loaded with coarse cracked black pepper, which provides just a little bit of heat, not enough to bother even the most sensitive. They come fully pre-smoked to a beautiful garnet hue and only require a gentle reheating. We recommend against reheating in a smoker as they already have a perfect level of smoke flavor when they arrive.
  • 10 rings of jalapeno cheese sausage, we will be tasting this shortly.

Click here for more info and to order

Black's Barbecue: Beef Ribs

blacks beef ribs

Another Lockhart, TX, institution, Black's was founded in 1932(click the link for my photos of my visit to Black's) and was named one of the top 50 BBQ restaurants by Texas Monthly magazine. They smoke all the classic offerings of brisket, ribs, and sausage but it is their short ribs that truly set them apart from other establishments. This BBQ is for the ultimate beef lover, juicy, succulent, and tender with a rich fatty smokiness. Includes:

  • A 9" slab of perfectly smoked beef short ribs rubbed with Black's house blend seasoning.

Click here for more info and to order

Central BBQ: Memphis BBQ Combo

central bbq

Central BBQ is consistently ranked in the top three barbecue restaurants in Memphis. æThey feature ribs, pork, chicken, turkey, beef brisket, sausage, and barbecue bologna, all slow smoked in their pit over a combination of hickory and pecan. The meats are rubbed with their proprietary blend of spices, and dry marinated for 24 hours before smoking. All meats are cooked and shipped "dry", rub only, with sauce served on the side, in the Memphis tradition. You'll have a hard time deciding how to eat them They are superb, without sauce, but the sauce is really special. I seerved my ribs dry, Memphis style, and used the sauce for some chicken, heh heh heh. The Memphis BBQ Combo includes:

  • 2 racks loin back (baby back) ribs
  • 2 ponds pulled pork
  • 1 bottle (16 ounce) Central BBQ Sauce (Choose from four different types)
  • 1 bottle Central Dry Rub

Click here for more info and to order

Corky's BBQ: Ultimate Taste of Corky's

corky's ribs

Corky's BBQ (click her to see some of my photos of Corky's on Poplar) has been turning out quality slow smoked meats since 1984. During that time Corky's has been voted #1 BBQ in Memphis more than 22 times by various reader polls. All their meats are smoked over hickory wood and charcoal. Each slab of ribs is hand trimmed to ensure high quality, and every pork shoulder is pulled by hand. The Ultimate Taste of Corky's includes the following:

  • 1 slab of Corky's famous ribs
  • 1 pound of your choice of the following smoked meats:æSlow-cooked, hand-pulled pork shoulder, tender beef brisket, juicy pulled chicken breast, 1/2 chicken
  • 18 ounce bottle of award-winning BBQ sauce
  • 2.5 ounce bottle of their famed proprietary Dry Rub
  • 1 pint of awesome BBQ beans
  • Choice of Chocolate Fudge Pie or Southern Pecan Pie

Click here for more info and to order

Flannery Beef: Best of Flannery 4-Steak Combo Pack

flannery beef

Bryan Flannery is a renowned butcher in San Francisco, the son of a renowned butcher, and the brother of two renowned butchers. We recently tasted his strip steaks and they practically melted in our mouths. Brilliant. His secret is simple: He gets USDA prime beef from personally selected sources, these are from small California producers, and then they are dry-aged (not wet aged) a minimum of 28 days. Click here to learn more about USDA Prime and dry aging.

Flannery's CA Reserve Steaks Gift Box comes with your choice of two steaks and a small box of "Wine Lovers Chocolate". You can select your size and cut, the heavier weights are cut thicker as opposed to wider.

  • 2 x 12 ounce Ribeye Steaks
  • 2 x 16 ounce Ribeye Steaks
  • 2 x 12 ounce NY Steaks
  • 2 x 16 ounce NY Steaks
  • 4 x 6 ounce Filet Mignons
  • 4 x 8 ounce Filet Mignons

Click here for more info and to order

Flannery Beef: Flannery's FoodyDirect Burger Blend

flannery burger

This special custom burger is a blend of four high-end cuts which come together beautifully for a truly special burger experience. The burgers are wonderfully juicy and flavorful without being fatty or greasy. Here's the composition of this unusual and excellent blend:

  • 25% Wagyu chuck, renowned for rich melty fat
  • 25% USDA Prime short ribs, heavily marbled and strongly beefy
  • 25% USDA Choice filet mignon, the most tender cut, this is trimmed  from the narrow end of the tenderloin that is too small to cut into steaks
  • 25% dry-aged steak ends. This is where it gets interesting. Flannery dry ages his ribeye and strip roasts for a full 30+ days. During this process moisture evaporates more rapidly from the edges than the center. The result is low water content and rich intense flavor. These edges are then trimmed to remove discoloration from the underlying meat and ground into this special blend. If dry aged beef isn't your thing, and there is a distinctive flavor, this blend may not be for you, but we loved it.

Click here for more info and to order

Pat LaFrieda Meats: Pat's Original Burger Blend

lafrieda burger mix

LaFrieda is probably the most famous butcher in the US, and that happened before the Food Network had a TV show about them. And in NYC, if you put "Pat's Original Burger Blend" on your menu, it immediately becomes a hot seller.

Pat's Original Burger Blend was developed by Pat LaFrieda's grandfather over 90 years ago and has not changed since. It is a combination of chuck, brisket, and short-rib from American Black Angus. The chuck, specifically the flat iron portion of it, brings a New York Strip Steak flavor to the burger. The brisket adds enough fat to keep the burger juicy, while the short-rib imparts a hint of sweetness. This versatile blend tastes great cooked to any level of doneness. You can order

  • 3 ounce sliders
  • 6 ounce burgers
  • 8 ounce burgers
  • 6 pounds ground beef

Click here for more info and to order

Have a cow, man

crowd cow wagyu ribeye

If you've ever wondered where your beef's been raised before it gets bundled in butcher paper, Crowd Cow takes the guesswork out of the process. Crowd Cow offers you the ability to by small shares of cows raised on select farms so you have an understanding of what it was fed, how it was finished, and the types of flavors you can expect before you buy. About 50 shares, or different cuts of the cow are available per animal for purchase, so you get exactly the cuts of meat you want without committing to buying a dedicated freezer. Offerings change from week to week and range from purebred, grass-finished Wagyu from a farm in the San Juan Islands, to beef raised in mature fruit orchards, and pastures in the Carolinas and other locations in North America. The flavors of the meat are subtly nuanced from feeding on lush local grasses and plenty of room to roam.

Click here for more info and to order

Other faves of ours

Jar Sessions

Chef Paul Virant is one of my culinary heroes. Executive Chef and owner of two restaurants in the Chicago western suburbs, Vie, a white tablecloth fine dining, farm to fork experience in Western Springs, and Vistro, a boistrous, just plain fun bistro in nearby Hinsdale. My wife and I eat there often and we are always delighted with Chef paul's inventiveness. 
Both eateries feature pickles and jarred foods that he and his team make when the good stuff is peak season. In 2012 he published a superb book, The Preservation Kitchen: The Craft of Making and Cooking with Pickles, Preserves, and Aigre-Doux featuring techniques he first learned from his grandmothers and perfected after years of experimenting and study. The book goes waaaaay beyond the standard books on pickling and canning.
So it is not surprising that he recently started bottling some of his specialties. This small-batch line of pickled and preserved locally grown products are just plain fun, and a notch above commercial brands, available online under the Jar Sessions name.
smoked apple butter
Smoked Apple Butter is a classic apple butter but with a potent twist, a healthy dose of smoke. I love it on peanut butter sandwiches, with blue cheese on crackers, on a cheddar grilled cheese sandwich, or even baked brie on crusty bread. Of course it is great on English muffins, on toast, and in dips. I have used it as a slather on ribs under the rub when I cook them indoors, and mixed with Southern Comfort and apple Cider, served hot, on a winter evening. Virant recommends using it on pork belly, in bourbon cocktails, and mixed with mayonnaise for sandwiches. Go easy, the smoke is strong.
Pickled Cherry Tomatoes make a killer vinaigrette or Thousand Island Dressing. It is fun when used judiciously in sauces, especially for fish, and I smashed a few in with some mayo and mustard to make a secret sauce for burgers that had everyone asking for the recipe. I used them in a fresh tomato and onion salad with basil and fresh mozz. It brought a lively zing. Virant uses it to make a flavored mayo and a barbecue sauce.
Pickled Sweet Peppers will make the Peter Piper jealous. They are great on sausages, can also be used on salads, in salad dressings, in sauces, and really put a nice twist on pimento cheese spread.
Sweet Corn Chow Chow is a corn based relish. This is made from corn, onions, sweet peppers, and smoked paprika. I have never been a fan of chow chow, so I didn't do back flips over this one. Tastes like yawn chow chow to me. Virant suggests trying it on a mixed grill of brats, steak, chicken, fish, and veggies. He loves it on chili and tacos. "For a new twist and a great flavor boost to traditional remoulade, fold this bright corn chow chow into mayo." I thought I'd try it in a cornbread but I couldn't find the jar. Seems that my wife ate the whole thing and she begs to differ with me. She had it on hot dogs one night when I was out of town, and polished off the bottle the next day unadorned.
Blueberry Aigre-Doux. You had me at blueberry, Chef. It is my favorite pie, my favorite jam, and I have other BAD and it is wondrous. Aigre-Doux is a sour/sweet syrup. The complexity of blending sweet and tart is classic. This gets the sweet from the blueberries and sugar, and the tart from red wine vinegar, red wine, and lemon juice. Try it drizzled on sharp cheddar, fresh fruit cocktails, and ice cream. Virant adds fresh frozen blueberries in winter to bring a taste of summer to salad dressings. I took his advice and grilled a whole camembert wheel until it practically burst, and drizzled it on.
Click here for more info and to order

Range Relish - Bread n' Butter Jalapanos

Bill and Barb Milroy at Texas Rib Rangers make great stuff: Great sauces, great rubs, and this amazing relish. The main ingredients are chopped jalapeno peppers and onions, with vinegar, sugar, salt, and spices, and I put a spoonful in anything with eggs: Egg salad, omelets, and it really puts the devil in deviled eggs. I also throw it in tuna salad, on hot dogs, sausages, let your imagination run wild. Use it anywhere you would use a pickle relish. Yes it is hot, but not too hot for this wimp.
jalapeno range relish

Nye's Cream Sandwiches

nyes ice cream

Nye's was founded in 2010 in Wilmington, NC, by husband and wife Christian and Kelly Nye. Their gourmet versions of Nye's cream sandwiches (ge it?), everyone's childhood favorites, are handcrafted in small batches. Each cookie is scooped, baked, assembled, wrapped, and packaged by hand with love. They've created recipes personally developed for each cookie and ice cream flavor they make so each one is sure to delight. Nye's fall seasonal assortment package includes:

  • 2 Caramel Latte
  • 2 Apple Pie
  • 2 Blackberry Cobbler
  • 2 Pumpkin Cranberry Spice

Shipping Bonus: Up to two Nye's 8-packs can be shipped in a single box for the same low flat-rate shipping charge!

Click here for more info and to order

Grand Traverse Pie Company: Grand Traverse Cherry Crumble Pie

cherry pie

Chef Mario Batali has said gushed about this pie: "I don't think I've ever had as good a pie as Grand Traverse Pie Company's Cherry Crumb Pie... It's a religious experience." Founded in 1996 Grand Traverse makes irresistible pies the old fashioned way, handcrafted from quality ingredients like fresh local fruit, and slowly baked to golden brown perfection. Their famed pies have attracted national praise for their use of high quality locally sourced ingredients, resulting in pies of the finest quality. This Cherry Crumble is chock full of tart Montmorency cherries from Michigan and topped with a special crumb top. Includes:

  • 1 pie that serves 6 to 8 people

Shipping Bonus: Two Grand Traverse pies can be shipped in a single box for the same low flat-rate shipping charge as one. That's Free Shipping for the second pie!

Click here for more info and to order

Graber Olives

graber olives

There are uncountable olive styles in the world, but for the sake of this discussion, let's divide them into two broad categories: Oil packed and brine packed. You know them both, the classic imported kalamata olives are oiled, and the standard cans of pitted olives that you buy in a can are brined. By far the most interesting are the oil packed, with one notable exception. Graber olives. They are meaty, nutty, rich flavor., and unlike any you can find in the grocery. You will stop in mid chew and ask "why don't all olives taste like this?" Graber was founded in 1894 in Ontario, CA, just east of LA and while the olive industry has change its processing methods, Graber has not. Graber tree ages their fruit until it is almost cherry red, and then they are cured in covered vats. Graber olives are not allowed to oxidize so they turn olive green with splotches of brown. Most brined black olives in cans have been allowed to oxidize, a process that turns them black.

Click to order size 12 Graber Olives in a 7.5 ounce can

Monthly Clubs

Monthly Clubs

Exciting New Wine, Beer, Chocolates, Cigars, Cheeses, Delivered To Your Door Every Month (membership starts at $85)

Choose from a wide variety of international wines, craft brewed beers, gourmet chocolates, hand-rolled cigars, artisanal cheeses, and fresh cut floral creations at Monthly Clubs. Personal and gift memberships can be customized and shipped for special occasions, from the holidays to a birthday or anniversary, and it's easy to create a gift announcement for printing or emailing. Send or receive shipments monthly, every other month, quarterly, or even on specific months when you mix and match clubs with MC's Design Your Own Club feature. A two shipment minimum is all that's required. AND if you enter AMAZINGRIBS12 in the coupon box when you check out you will get $12 off any pre-paid order of 4 shipments or more!

Learn more about Monthly Clubs and their products

flannery beef

bbq support

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If you love barbecue and grilling you should join our Pitmaster Club. We can up your game.

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