Your guide to buying chicken at Costco whether you are looking for boneless skinless chicken breasts, whole chickens, or frozen chicken. Oh and we didn't forget the chicken sausage either!
America loves their warehouse stores - Costco, Sam's Club, BJ's.
The mindset is that you can load up on a larger quantity of stuff for a cheaper price. Is that really true?
Do stores like Costco really save money on your grocery bill?
I am on a mission to answer that question. I am starting by looking at the per pound prices of different items in the store.
Are You Really Getting a Good Deal?
To really grasp if you are getting a good deal on a store like Costco that sells in large quantities, you need to look at the price per pound.
This is how I always shop. The final price doesn't matter to me as much as the per ounce or pound price. You will be a more wise and informed shopper if you take the time to get this information.
You still have to factor in if you want the amount of the product offered before you buy. Are you going to use it all? When it comes to buying meat I don't mind freezing it for later use, especially when it's a good deal or sale.
The Price of Chicken at Costco
With that said, in this post we are going to take a look at the price of chicken at Costco. The prices are from the Costco location in Ann Arbor, Michigan recorded on Monday, October 7, 2019. Prices may vary depending on your location. Let us know in the comments below if you are seeing different prices in your Costco.
Costco Chicken Prices
|Boneless Skinless Thighs||$2.79/lb|
|Bone-In Skin On Thighs||$.99/lb|
|Boneless Skinless Breasts||$2.99/lb|
These prices are pretty on par to cheaper than other grocery stores I shop in.
Now let's look at the organic chicken options available at Costco.
Costco Organic Chicken Prices
|Boneless Skinless Thighs||$3.99/lb|
|Boneless Skinless Breasts||$4.99/lb|
The good thing about the fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts from Costco is that they aren't injected with a solution of water, salt, sugar, or anything else. I have found chicken breast cheaper but those had these things injected in them, which I want to avoid anything added.
Now you will see the chicken does a percentage of retained water. This is because the process of chilling the chicken. the chicken goes into water. If you find air chilled chicken, the chicken is chilled by air and not by water. The water method is quicker, thus cheaper, which is why most chicken will have some retained water from that process.
I wanted to point out that I did not find any bone-in chicken breasts at Costco.
When it comes to buying chicken - buying the whole bird is always going to be the one of the cheapest per pound options. You are not paying extra for someone to cut the chicken up.
I like purchasing the whole bird because I like using all the bones to make homemade chicken stock afterward.
Whenever I roast a whole chicken I always use a probe thermometer to help me know when it's perfectly cooked.
Drumsticks were the cheapest option at Costco for chicken.
Sometimes my kids do better with just having drumsticks. They like have a "stick" to hold onto - it makes it fun. I still end up with bones in the end to make stock with.
Check out one of my favorite drumstick recipes - Roasted Chicken Drumsticks with Potatoes & Kale
We prefer dark meat in our household. We think it has more flavor. You buy the thighs with either the skin on and bone in or go skinless, boneless. It's quite a bit more to buy thighs without the skin or bones. In most cases I don't think it's worth it as the skin and bones can be removed rather easily.
One time I had to make chicken teriyaki using thighs for a group of 100 people. We just flat out didn't have time to remove the skin or bones, so I had to go with boneless. I used 3 whole packages for that occasion.
Here is a recipe for boneless thighs : Clementine Glazed Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
This cut comes from a seldom used muscle attached to the chicken breast. It is more tender than the rest of the chicken breast. The fact that it is the same price as the just the breast makes it a good option.
Bread this chicken and have legit chicken tenders.
Costco Frozen Chicken Prices
Something I left out when I originally wrote this post was frozen chicken. Let's take a look at prices.
|Kirkland Boneless Skinless Breasts||$16.99 ($2.61/lb)|
|Perdue Boneless Skinless Breasts||$22.49 ($2.25/lb)|
|Krikland Chicken Wings (10lbs)||$21.99 ($2.20/lb)|
|Kirkland Tenderloins (6 lb)||$15.89 ($2.65/lb)|
|Organic Kirkland Boneless Skinless Breasts||$17.99 ($4.49/lb)|
Please note that the Kirkland and Perdue Boneless Skinless breasts had added water and salt as well as the Kirkland Tenderloins. My recommendation would be to stick with the fresh chicken. You could also freeze what you can't use pretty easily.
What is Ice Glazed Chicken?
One some of the packages of frozen chicken you will see the term "ice glazed". What does this mean? A thin layer of ice is formed on the outside of the chicken to keep prevent freezer burn.
This does add some more weight to the chicken, which you pay for the cost.
What's in Costco Rotisserie Chicken?
A chicken about involving Costco can't be complete without talking about their famous rotisserie chicken. People love the price. But what ingredients are in the chicken? In case you never stopped to check, here is a shot of what it's in the chicken.
Those trying to avoid sugar should note that the chicken has dextrose and sugar added to it. And if you are wondering what carrageenan is, we have a post on that subject.
Also if you buy the packaged, already shredded rotisserie chicken it contains the same ingredients.
Chicken Sausage at Costco
Looking to buy some chicken sausage? Costco has that too. The brand I recommend is Gilbert's. The flavors vary from time to time at Costco. They have included Caprese, Aloha, Bourbon Apple, Andouille, and Cheddar.
I especially like the Bourbon Apple but you can't go wrong with any of them.
Chicken Related Reading Material
If you want to master cooking chicken and all the dishes you can make with it, I provided a list below of some of the best books to pick up on chicken.
- Poulet: More Than 50 remarkable Recipes That Exalt the Honest Chicken - This chicken recipe book is organized by cuisines from American to Latin to South Asian and more. Each recipe includes a grain, vegetable, bread, and salad to go with the chicken dish.
- Chicken Night by Williams-Sonoma - I find an appreciation for the Williams-Sonoma books. They typically have good recipes with fantastic photography in them.
- Fried & True - This is a collection of fried chicken recipes. This book contains personal stores to go along with the recipes. I love it when books are more than just recipes.
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