Reader Question: What I Buy at Ranch Foods Direct

What do you buy at Ranch Foods exactly? I live in Highlands Ranch and would love a healthy meat option that doesn’t break the bank. I also do tons of freezer cooking and good meat is important!

Here’s my reply to Marci:

The one thing I consistently buy there is their 85/15 ground beef bundle, which is around $3.99/lb when you buy it in a 20-lb box of one-lb packages.  I love the flavor of their meat, and because it tastes so much better than everything else and is also hormone-free and antibiotic-free, I’m fine with paying $4/lb for it.  I’ve had some of the “healthier” options out there that don’t taste any different than traditional meat and frankly, I have a hard time paying more for things if I can’t taste a difference, even if they are supposed to be healthier.  I can’t afford to buy the best of everything, so I choose what to pay more for based on both health and taste.

In the two years since I’ve started buying my ground beef there, I’ve only bought one package of ground beef elsewhere – I’d rather go without than get “regular” ground beef!  Their steaks are amazing, but are rarely in my budget. :)  I do buy roasts and other meat elsewhere.  I’d buy it all at Ranch Foods if I could!

Ranch Foods Direct has a retail store in Colorado Springs at 2901 N. El Paso and in Denver at 200 Santa Fe.  Find out more on their website.

Do you shop at Ranch Foods Direct? What do you buy there?



  1. After your sams post the other day I also looked into Ranch Foods Direct. Is their beef free range and grass fed? I tried looking on their website but could not find anything concrete. Thanks for any additional information.

    • Their beef is not grass-fed – it’s started in the pasture and finished with corn. As far as “free range”, that’s not a term that has any sort of official definition so I’m not sure what it might mean to you. :)

      If you have questions, I would definitely call or go there and ask. They are usually happy to give you a tour of their processing facility and explain how they do things and WHY they do them.

  2. I was also looking into Ranch Foods Direct after your post and wondered why they don’t have a 93/7 option and see that you buy thr 85/15….do you have alot of fat to drain? Just wondering if thd more natural, healthier meat has less fat draining.

    • The fat percentage isn’t subjective, so the 85/15 you get there is the same as what you’d get with 85/15 anywhere else. I like the fat. :) I do drain it when I’ve pan-fried it, but for things like burgers and meatloaf, I like the fat. :)

  3. I really enjoy the quality and taste of the meats from Ranch Foods. I buy skirt and flank steaks there (delish when grilled up), Filet Mignon (it practically melts in your mouth), Rouladen meat (cut super thin and nice for rolling up), Philly steak meat (Cook’s Illustrated has a good recipe to use it in-again nice and thin and really quick to cook), ground beef boxes, chuck roast, small thin asian ribs (great for grilling), pork shoulder, lamb chops, beef chorizo they make themselves, ground veal, farm fresh eggs, and chicken breasts (they aren’t pumped full of water so when you cook them the breasts remain almost the exact size and they taste so much better than your average chicken product available-(I get whole chickens from Anderson meat). I feel hungry just thinking about all of this. Sometimes I get gluten free products there since they sell a few items from Outside the Breadbox, coffee beans from CO coffee merchants (although they are just down the street so I usually buy it there instead), or popcorn from Papa Hill’s (an addiction of my husband’s). I love the convenience of the coffee shop on Fillmore, Ranch Foods, and the new location of Boonzaaijer’s Dutch bakery on Fillmore. It makes it quick and easy to check off lots of items on my shopping list.

  4. I buy the ground beef too- very good and Mike Calicrate is a great guy to boot. I also pick up raw milk from his store- a farmer delivers it there a few times a week, and they hold it in the back for us. Happy eating!

  5. Another place you might consider is Andy’s Meat Market on Platte. We bought steaks there for Father’s Day and they were the best ever.

    You can buy directly from the case and they also have packages you can buy of various meats.

    And they can tell you exactly where their beef comes from, and I believe they butcher/process it themselves.

    • Really? How long have you been bying there? I tried them once and did not like it at all. I thought I was eating cardboard. Now, that was several years ago. Maybe they have gotten better. What about the hormones and such? Is their meat free of hormones and antibiotics too.

  6. Carrie, just wondering – do you all of your ground beef at Ranch Foods Direct? We dropped in the other day and got a pound of the 80/10 to try. I’m excited to try it and see if I can tell a difference! What is your favorite recipe using ground beef?

    • Hi, Valerie! Yes, I still buy all of my ground beef there. We bought a 1/4 cow from there awhile back, so I haven’t been there in several months, because I have a deep freeze full of beef! (I’m almost to the end, though.)

      I still really love their ground beef, but to be honest, I don’t think I’m going to buy a 1/4 cow there again. I just didn’t taste the difference in the rest of the meat, and the steaks and roasts were just average in tenderness. Plus, they package everything in the 1/4 cow in white paper instead of shrink-wrapped plastic (*except* for the ground beef, which is still the plastic), and I really have come to dislike that because juices leak when you thaw it and I end up having to be really careful when opening the packages because I don’t want to fling juices everywhere! :)

      All that to say, I still really love their ground beef, but I personally haven’t found that there’s enough of a difference to buy *all* my beef there.

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