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Omaha Steaks

TonyO Jan 3, 2007 02:15 AM

I received a gift certificate for Omaha steaks. Any suggestions based on past experiences ? My expectations are not that high so let me know if I will be pleasantly suprised or am correct in assuming this is a marketing ploy to provide mediocre meats at premium prices. Cheers !

  1. ChinoWayne Jan 3, 2007 02:19 AM

    Don't ever "ass-u-me" anything (screemed in to my ear at boot camp many, many moons ago), however, your instincts are correct. ;-)

    Really mediocre meat at premium prices. I have some business associates who are headquarted in Omaha and they have shipped me Omaha steaks many times, and after the first time I tried them, I have adopted the practice of tossing any further shipments in to the garbage.

    You would be much better off finding some USDA Choice steaks at a local purveyor.

    1. TonyO Jan 3, 2007 02:22 AM

      COuld be a candidate for "regifting"....

      1. n
        Nicole Jan 3, 2007 02:41 AM

        Well, the regular prices are premium, but you never pay the regular prices. Whenever you go to the store it is always a ridiculous percentage off. I actually think that their filet mignon is pretty good for the price (they label it top sirloin), assuming it's on sale. I think it's about $30 for 4 or 6 5 oz. filets when it's on sale (and maybe like $80 regular price for that box!).

        1. C. Hamster Jan 3, 2007 03:03 AM

          Whatever you do, try not to give them your real name/address/phone or they will HOUND YOU 24/7 after your first purchase.

          I agreee that the steaks I got weere "just ok." The complimentary burgers were bad. Like in off ...

          Not cool.

          7 Replies
          1. re: C. Hamster
            Cheese Boy Jan 3, 2007 04:25 AM

            We got Omaha for a gift this year. The burgers were disappointing. Best of all, I have 12 more left. I think I'll defrost them instead and make something better requiring ground beef. Tacos, bolognese, chili, stuffed peppers, etc. Hopefully the steaks will be better. We've gotten Omaha before, but this time around the quality of their product(s) could have been much better. Don't know what happened. I had fun making fog with the dry ice. : )

            1. re: Cheese Boy
              sashimi73 Jan 3, 2007 06:54 PM

              We got a shipment of Omaha steaks products as a gift, and I defrosted the burgers to make bolognese and tacos!
              Even the pork chops went into flavoring a red gravy. The steaks were not good. The SO liked the hotdogs on the grill, though (me, not such a hotdog fan...)

              1. re: sashimi73
                Cheese Boy Jan 4, 2007 01:32 AM

                Sounds like those steaks of mine might be going into flavoring a red gravy ... along with some pork [from a supermarket, LOL]. I'll try one beforehand. ;>)

            2. re: C. Hamster
              l
              lisa13 Jan 3, 2007 06:37 PM

              not cool indeed. They did this to us after screwing us over on a cancelled gift order (while they said they would cancel the order, they didn't actually cancel it - by the time we found out an hour later it was already "sent to shipping" and we had to pay for it. SCOUNDRELS!) Anyway, yeah, they kept calling us trying to get us to place another order...in return, I was not cool to the telemarketers.

              1. re: lisa13
                JK Grence the Cosmic Jester Jan 3, 2007 10:50 PM

                Until you have opened the package, you can always cancel. Just tell the delivery driver that you're refusing delivery, and if Omaha Steaks doesn't refund your money then you can raise an awful lot of hell with someone.

                1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester
                  l
                  lisa13 Jan 5, 2007 11:33 AM

                  Right - but it was supposed to be a gift (for someone who likes getting stuff from Omaha - I would never order it for myself). It seemed a bit much to tell the recipient "please wait for the UPS guy and tell him to send it back".

                  We did raise holy hell, believe me. Since we were unwilling to be cads and tell the birthday boy to deal with returning his gift, they refused to negotiate. They fully understood what was going on, they just didn't give a rat's ass.

              2. re: C. Hamster
                EWSflash Aug 2, 2009 06:30 PM

                OMG it's been so long since I ordered from them I completely forgot about the marketing assault. It really is relentless. They request, require, plead, wheedle, bargain, brown-nose, whine, demand, beg, it's a tough call whether it's more pathetic or obnoxious. And it goes on for YEARS- no kidding.

              3. m
                mpalmer6c Jan 3, 2007 03:54 AM

                Despite some of the comments here, Omaha Steaks are not to be thrown away except by the wealthy. But they're like USDA choice at your local market, and thus overpriced.

                3 Replies
                1. re: mpalmer6c
                  ChinoWayne Jan 3, 2007 03:45 PM

                  Do they even publish their USDA grade? Sorry, but the meat I have received from Omaha steaks was never better than Select, and I can get that a lot cheaper in the supermarket.

                  1. re: ChinoWayne
                    b
                    bourbongirl Jan 3, 2007 06:21 PM

                    I received a Christmas gift of 6 filets & 6 burgers from Omaha Steaks. I looked everywhere (in the brochure, on the box, etc) for the USDA grade & could not find it anywhere....not a good sign. I prepared 3 of the filets on New Year's Day & agree with the group on this one: the filets were mediocre at best. They were relatively small, the texture was a bit mealy (not "like buttah" as a filet should be), and the flavor was completely bland.

                    Needless to say, I am not in a hurry to try the burgers.

                  2. re: mpalmer6c
                    EWSflash Aug 2, 2009 06:42 PM

                    I agree- it's not horrible, just not worth the money you pay. And really, don't you have more conscience than to refuse shipment just for the hell of it??
                    A friend worked his way through college as a waiter at Red Lobster (don't boo, he was a hard-working student) and he said they got their steaks from Omaha steaks. Red Lobster, at least twenty years ago, had really good ingredients, I didn't like the way they fix stuff, but they always cooked it perfectly, it's just too bad everything was breaded and covered with artificially flavored sauces.

                    Anyway, Davey said the steaks were high in quality. I believe him. I you knew his mom, you'd believe him too. She was a legendary good cook in her circles back in the day.

                  3. soypower Jan 3, 2007 04:32 AM

                    I sent some to my brother in California as a housewarming present and for some reason it sat in his apartment manager's office for two days before he got it...he said they were vacuum sealed so he cooked everything well done and said they were 'okay'. i can't believe he didn't get some kind of food-borne illness. he has a stomach of IRON...:o)

                    1. t
                      Tay Jan 3, 2007 05:45 AM

                      They have lots of other things, like stuffed chicken breasts pork, and even desserts. Take time to peruse their on line catalogue and jot down things that look good and compare prices before you buy. And as with all food shopping, do not order when you are hungry! :-} Of course when it comes to meat, nothing frozen is ever going to take the place of fresh meat but their filet mignons are decent and if you shop carefully, you can find special deals on a rotating array of different items and specially priced "value items"(relatively speaking, of course)
                      It's very convenient to have their items on hand, especially
                      when you have a yen for steak and for a variety of possible reasons, at that moment, don't have easy access to a better alternative.
                      Avoid everyone's frozen burgers and, of course same for frozen hot dogs. Additionally, because the steaks have been frozen, they cannot really be cooked to any degree more than medium rare or they will be suitable for walking shoes.

                      1. b
                        Bobfrmia Jan 3, 2007 12:17 PM

                        Unless you are somewhere that you can't get decent meat no matter what, there is NO other reason to order them. Much better meat at the grocery store up the street.

                        1. Katie Nell Jan 3, 2007 12:25 PM

                          Unfortunately, it sounds like, we will soon have a freezer full of this stuff! We got 4 filets and 4 hamburgers for a belated wedding present and then on top of that, that was my husband's Christmas present from his work this year- we ordered some kind of a package with sirloin steaks and crab stuffed sole- I guess we'll see, I've never tried anything from there!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Katie Nell
                            c
                            Clinton Hiller Jan 3, 2007 06:15 PM

                            Ridiculously overpriced, even with a discount (which you will get, every week, without fail, until you tell them to take you off their mailing list). The beef is acceptable, but you can find the same or better at a decent grocery. The "gourmet" hotdogs are inedible.

                            "Re-gift," if possible (then again, you mught just be passing it on to another 'hounder!

                            1. re: Katie Nell
                              m
                              martiniqueeni Jan 4, 2007 12:37 PM

                              :) We tried an "introductory" 6 pack that included chicken breasts, stuffed sole, hamburgers, and gourmet hotdogs. The stuffed sole was very good! I made a meatloaf with the ground meat, pigs-in-blankets with the hotdogs. All were just fine. The chicken was good, too. I don't remember what I did with it exactly but we had no complaints. Ours was a gift, so we incorporated the food into our menu planning.

                              I've been curious, until now, about the quality of their meats. :) We'll probably pass based on these conversations.

                              The sales staff did follow-up with a phone call but the gal was polite and friendly when I asked her to take us off their call list. We get an occasional mailing but no more phone calls.

                            2. Katie Nell Jan 3, 2007 06:18 PM

                              Oh, I can assure you that having them take me off their mailing list will be the first thing I do! My parents and my in-laws want me to have them over to have a "let's get rid of the Omaha Steaks as fast as we can" party!!

                              1. u
                                UptownKevin Jan 3, 2007 06:26 PM

                                TonyO, your best bet is to listen to the snobs here who advise you to stay away from Omaha Steaks. Please email me and I will give you my shipping address and I will be more than happy to take the steaks off your hands.

                                Are they the best? Nope, but they aren't bad. No, they aren't USDA choice and I can get better steaks locally, but it's a friggin' gift. Use the gift certificate, thank the giver and use your cooking skills to make a great sauce to complement some decent, free steaks.

                                -Kevin

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: UptownKevin
                                  TonyO Jan 3, 2007 09:40 PM

                                  I'll get a good red wine buzz going before I light the grill !

                                  1. re: UptownKevin
                                    b
                                    Bobfrmia Jan 4, 2007 01:13 AM

                                    If answering the question Tony asked makes us all snobs, so be it. I limit my red meat intake and would not waste my time with Omaha Steaks. Are they the best? No. Are they bad? Yes. If you know good beef, they are pretty bad.
                                    Should he be greatful for the gift? Sure, but that isn't what he asked.

                                    1. re: Bobfrmia
                                      ChinoWayne Jan 4, 2007 01:17 AM

                                      Exactly.

                                  2. Karl S Jan 3, 2007 07:37 PM

                                    They are the perfect choice for summertime grilling when you have folks over who want a well done steak.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Karl S
                                      ChinoWayne Jan 3, 2007 10:28 PM

                                      Ah, yes, why their filets even resemble hockey pucks.

                                      (Signed)
                                      -Not a snob, but particular about not wasting calories on something that isn't going to be pleasing in any sense. But rather than rely on the opinions around here, the OP can always offer the gift certificate on eBay, and see what "the open market" values Omaha Steaks at.

                                      Regardless of what the OP eventually does, the opinions expressed here should be of value to anyone reading along who might contemplate spending any of their own, hard earned cash, on this ersatz luxury product.

                                      1. re: ChinoWayne
                                        w
                                        wak Jan 4, 2007 01:57 AM

                                        OK, I'm a food snob. Then again, what do you expect on Chowhound? And why give an expensive food gift to someone who doesn't care about high quality food?

                                        Also, for a past poster, Prime is best, then choice, then select. Select is bottom of the barrel retail meat. Only thing lower are industrial grades (standard, commercial, etc. Borderline Dog Food, or maybe OK for a manwich). If Omaha really sends out Select meat, which I doubt, it really is a racket. Probably just choice.

                                        And I really would throw out a tenderloin on principal before cooking it well done. Might as well just stick it in the microwave. Or give it to my dog for whom it really would be a feast. Then again, my dog likes to lick his own...well,you know.

                                        I'm amazed that they maintain such a good name. People are just crazy about the stuff. Talk about some great marketing.

                                    2. jenniebnyc Jan 4, 2007 01:43 AM

                                      sis got as gift..a whole slew of stuff.... and made for NYE. said everything was OK, ie, not so good.... but the twice baked potatoes were very good.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: jenniebnyc
                                        w
                                        wgibs Jan 4, 2007 07:39 PM

                                        I was also going to recommend the potatoes. I got a gift package (wasn't able to choose my own things) and these were in it. They are the only part I remember. They were indulgent, a bit junk-foody, and completely edible and enjoyable. Twice-baked potatoes are a pain to make, so these were fun to have.

                                        As for the meat/fish, my primary aversion was being shipped low-quality stuff in a huge styrofoam cooler, when I can get better locally. That said, I don't recall it being "good."

                                      2. t
                                        Tay Jan 4, 2007 11:04 AM

                                        Uptownkevin, Thanks for the good laugh. I agree with you. It's a gift! If the recip. is reluctant to use it to purchase steaks, then he can just order non meat items. Better yet: Order desserts and treat your fellow employees, neighbors, or friends to a dessert party, which is what I plan to do with the Cheesecake Factory Gift Card I received. As for the "snob" remark, it seemed to be entirely tongue-in-cheek and if not,
                                        well, most of us have probably been called a lot worse :-}
                                        Sometimes we take ourselves a little too seriously on here.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: Tay
                                          TonyO Jan 4, 2007 12:23 PM

                                          Wow ! This is what is great about being a hound ! Maybe I can trade the 4 "untenderloins" for a bite of a Peter Luger Porterhouse. Sounds fair to me.

                                          1. re: Tay
                                            u
                                            UptownKevin Jan 5, 2007 12:15 AM

                                            Well, the "snob" comment wasn't meant to be derogatory, but at the same time a bit funny. I will seriously fork over my shipping address!

                                            But you are right; I think sometimes we take this whole thing a bit too seriously. I guess this thread touched a nerve because I just recieved a package for Christmas. My girlfriend's mom gave us a gift box from Omaha steaks. I know what they're like; I've cooked them before. I cooked up two filets for New Year's Eve, and my girlfriend commented that the steaks from <a local market> were better. I told her that we usually eat choice steaks, so I knew the Omaha steaks wouldn't be as good.

                                            But you know what? I don't care. I feel really grateful and thankful that my future mother-in-law (and f-i-l) did something so nice for Christmas. They know we love food and they did the best they could and that put a smile on my face. Sometimes it's important to be happy for what we do have and remember what feelings went into it.

                                            -Kevin

                                            1. re: UptownKevin
                                              b
                                              Bobfrmia Jan 5, 2007 12:44 PM

                                              So she spends way more money than she should, and you eat inferior steaks. Sounds like a lose, lose, situation.
                                              The exact thing this web-site, and in particular this thread, trys to help people avoid.
                                              You should try to find a way to let her know without letting her know that you're letting her know. Know what I mean:-)
                                              My relationship with my ex MIL was such that I would say, "oh mom, don't waste your money on that crap. The meat at Dahls is better".
                                              Course, that may be why she's my ex MIL.

                                              1. re: Bobfrmia
                                                g
                                                gloriousfood Jan 5, 2007 01:29 PM

                                                Um, whatever happened to accepting gifts graciously, even those you do not care for or will never use/eat/wear, etc.?

                                                If I were to give someone a gift, and that person would even think to say to me, "Hey, next time don't waste your money on this piece of crap," there will be no next time.

                                                The NY Times recently ran an article on a chef who prepares gourment/atypical dishes for the homeless shelter he runs. So TonyO, if you really don't see something you want to buy, maybe the thing to do would be to donate the gift certificate to a local shelter. It is very doubtful that the recipients there would complain about the gift.

                                          2. t
                                            Tay Jan 6, 2007 05:23 AM

                                            I think gloriousfood, has the right idea. We have done that with those scary "Tower of Gift" packages that are often sent as holiday gifts.We just drop them off at an established charity like God's Love We Deliver or one of the other local food banks. They are always so appreciative. When it comes to gift giving, I think telling someone, "Thanks but no thanks" might be considered blunt to the point of being seen as unappreciative. I would respect their opinion but in the future, I would just make a donation to a charity in their honor.

                                            1. m
                                              Meat Guru Apr 11, 2008 04:08 PM

                                              I find a lot of its mediocre but the filets wrapped in bacon I have found to be extremely tasty when cooked rare to medium rare. Also if you look a little bit they have some decent deals:

                                              http://incentaclick.com/nclick.php?id...

                                              1. k
                                                kipperedsnacks Aug 2, 2009 05:24 PM

                                                They're free (when I have to cook and/or eat them, anyway)...

                                                I would never, ever buy them, but don't usually refuse them when someone gives them to me -

                                                1. j
                                                  jnelson29 Sep 11, 2009 07:16 PM

                                                  Today's Special at Omaha Steaks:
                                                  6 (6 oz.) Bacon-Wrapped Filets - Reg. $99.99 - Now Only $59.99
                                                  6 steaks X 6 ounces each = 36 ounces of meat (30 ounces of filet / 6 ounces of bacon)
                                                  $99.99 / 36 ounces = $2.7775 per ounce X 16 ounces per pound = $44.44 PER POUND
                                                  MEAT at $44.44 PER POUND!!
                                                  AND nothing they sell is USDA Choice

                                                  1. b
                                                    BustedFlush Sep 11, 2009 08:36 PM

                                                    As of a year ago they used radiation on their burgers (1), and you're exactly correct about the steaks.

                                                    (1)http://health.usnews.com/articles/hea...
                                                    "...One company that has embraced irradiation is Omaha Steaks, a meat producer in Nebraska that irradiates all of its ground beef."

                                                    1. k
                                                      kenobi Dec 31, 2009 11:24 AM

                                                      I love their wild salmon & top sirloins. I add brown sugar/dijon to the salmon, Yum! Have bought many times from Omaha Steaks and have had nothing but good experiences. All steaks are USDA quality of Choice or Prime (as indicated on their site) and if you’re not happy you can always get a refund/replacement.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: kenobi
                                                        Karl S Dec 31, 2009 12:01 PM

                                                        Where is it indicated on their site? Their site notoriously avoids using the specific USDA grading terminology, instead using non-USDA terms like "premium", which means nothing. If they were offering Prime and Choice (but especially Prime), they'd use the term with abandon. Their avoidance indicates that they are not offering those grades.

                                                        1. re: Karl S
                                                          k
                                                          kenobi Jan 4, 2010 08:42 AM

                                                          It's under product information or on the back of the cookbook..

                                                          1. re: kenobi
                                                            k
                                                            KTinNYC Jan 4, 2010 09:37 AM

                                                            Maybe the cookbook is graded prime or choice but I'm willing to bet the meat isn't. As Karl S points out, if the meat was graded prime or even choice it would be listed on their website.

                                                            1. re: KTinNYC
                                                              Karl S Jan 4, 2010 09:45 AM

                                                              I don't any "product information" section that refers to the USDA meat grade. A reference in a cookbook (when was it published?) is not current and therefore irrelevant. My skepticism is reinforced.

                                                      2. r
                                                        RazorDog Jan 22, 2010 10:57 PM

                                                        I have ordered Omaha Steaks many times and I think they are pretty good. Every other website I go to seems to have a positive opinion of Omaha Steaks. Yet almost every post at this website give them a thumbs down.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: RazorDog
                                                          MandalayVA Jan 24, 2010 05:36 AM

                                                          Welcome to Chowhound, not a place for the fainthearted or the less adventurous. :)

                                                          That being said, Omaha steaks aren't that good unless you doctor them up. You can get great grassfed beef online for less than Omaha's prices, too.

                                                          1. re: MandalayVA
                                                            mcf Jan 24, 2010 07:50 AM

                                                            I'm think they need more than garden variety doctoring. More like intensive care. I'd go for the grass fed/grass finished stuff, too, every time.

                                                        2. b
                                                          Beckyleach Jan 24, 2010 10:28 AM

                                                          Don't throw it away; that's a waste. They're terrible, but to a hungry person it's still food. Give the certificate to someone in need (recently unemployed) or your church (if they run a charity) or even the local food pantry.

                                                          Throwing perfectly good food away, when so many in this country are on food stamps and even go to bed hungry at night, is not the best action...

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Beckyleach
                                                            k
                                                            KTinNYC Jan 24, 2010 10:29 AM

                                                            This is a three year old thread. Your advice is sound but the OP probably has already acted.

                                                          2. r
                                                            RandyK Apr 7, 2013 11:20 AM

                                                            I have ordered during sales on several occasions. Here is the irony. The steaks are mediocre but some of the other stuff is quite good. The hot dogs, kielbasa, and caramel apple tarts for instance, are very tasty. So order about anything except the steak and you will do fine.

                                                            1. j
                                                              jbsiegel Apr 7, 2013 05:42 PM

                                                              Problem with OS is that if you DARE to buy something from them, they will hound you forever - email, phone, snail mail, etc. Ridiculous!

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