Because steaks are perishable, they're shipped via delivery service and somebody has to sign for the package when it arrives. For this reason, most companies will ship only Mondays through Wednesdays for delivery Wednesdays through Fridays: in short, post office box or weekend deliveries.
Figure two or three days from order to arrival, depending on distance. Typically you place your online order on Day 1, get a confirmation e-mail the next morning and receive your steaks the day after that. Lobel's, shipping from New York, took an additional day. Luger's took an order on Thursday, shipped on Monday, and it was here on Tuesday.
The steaks come packed in foam chests with refrigerated gel-packs to keep the meat cold. Luger's chest (definitely reusable, if you need a picnic cooler) has the company logo on it. Livingston Meats shipped in the most compact chest.
* Harris Ranch, (800) 942-2333. Four (30-ounce) porterhouse steaks, $97, plus $22.30 shipping. http://www.steaksales.com
* Livingston Meats, (406) 222-0760. Two (20-ounce) porterhouse steaks, $52.49 plus $21.95 shipping. http://www.galaxymall.com/foods/montanabeef/
* M. Lobel & Sons, (212) 737-1372. One (36-ounce) prime porterhouse steak, $59.95 plus $25.95 shipping. There are also 22-ounce steaks (two for $79.95) and 48-ouncers ($86.95 each). http://www.lobels.com ; also available at http://www.the-golden-egg.com
* Peter Luger Steak House, (718) 387-0500, fax (718) 387-3523. Two (36-to 38-ounce) prime porterhouse steaks, $133 plus $29.95 shipping. http://www.peterluger.com
* Niman Ranch, (866) 808-0340. Four (12-ounce) New York steaks, $65, and 4 (8-ounce) filet mignons, $60, plus $15 shipping. http://www.nimanranch.com