A guide to buying beef at Costco. We include all the prices at our local Costco and share with you some tips on buying and cooking each cut from USDA Prime Brisket to a great deal on Ribeye. And don't forget the flank steak or chuck roast for your next pot roast dinner!
Prices updated for 2023!
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For a while I was debating whether or not it's worth it to get a membership at Costco.
Then I realize a lot of you - my lovely blog readers - were Costco shoppers and thus interested in tips for shopping at Costco. So that was the final factor that got me to buy a membership.
One of the factors I was looking into before I got my membership was the cost of meat, particularly beef.
I did my research I collected all the prices and cuts of beef my Costco in Ann Arbor, Michigan had. And I said, hey I should share that info with my blog readers. So that is why you are here now.
Below you will find a list of what I found at the Costco location in Huntsville, Alabama (please note this list has been updated as of March 29, 2023 to reflect current pricing). Prices and selection could vary depending on where you are at.
I also include some tips on how best to prepare each type of beef.
If you are interested, check out our Costco Guide to Buying a Standing Rib Roast or Prime Rib. Available during the Christmas season.
- 📚 Background on my Meat Knowledge
- 🏫 Grades of Beef and Prime Beef
- 🥩 Steak Prices
- 🍖 Whole Cut and Roast Prices
- 💲 Have Prices Increased?
- 👁️ Ribeye
- 🐄 Beef Tenderloin
- ♨️ Brisket
- 🍎 New York Strip
- 🎩 Top Sirloin
- 🐮 Flank
- ⚪ Top Round
- 🐂 Short Rib
- 👀 Eye of Round
- 🍲 Chuck Roast
- 🎧 How to Manage Buying in Bulk
- 🧂 Already Cooked/Seasoned Beef
- 🌡️ Thermometer for Meat
- 🥊 Compare to Sam's Club
- 👩🍳 Seasoning Beef
- ➕ More Guides
📚 Background on my Meat Knowledge
Much of my meat knowledge has come from reading the Niman Ranch Cookbook. Besides having amazing recipes it has a lot of information on everything you wanted to know about meat and how it is produced.
I cannot recommend this book enough. It changed the way I looked at meat and helped me turn out some mouth watering meals in my kitchen. If you are interest in some really top notch beef and other meat recipes, I highly recommend picking up the Niman Ranch cookbook.
🏫 Grades of Beef and Prime Beef
One thing I wanted to point out is that Costco carry some prime beef. Most grocery stores don't sell prime beef. Generally all you will find is choice beef, but some select in really cheap stores, but for the most part prime beef is used in restaurants.
Check out my post - What is the Difference Between Grades of Beef? - to learn more.
🥩 Steak Prices
Let's begin our guide through the Costco beef world by looking at the steak cuts you might find. Please note that each cut is boneless unless I list it as bone-in.
A steak with a (*) means this cut was not in stock last time I updated these prices. All of these were prime cuts that aren't always available or that you don't find in all stores.
|Choice New York Strip Steak||$10.99/lb|
|Prime New York Strip Steak||$17.99/lb*|
|Choice New York Shabu Shabu Strip Steak||$10.99/lb|
|Choice Tenderloin Steak (Filet Mignon)||$19.49/lb|
|Prime Tenderloin Steak||$25.99/lb*|
|Choice Top Sirloin Steak||$7.99/lb|
|Prime Top Sirloin Steak||$10.49/lb*|
|Choice Boneless Rib Eye Steak||$12.99/lb|
|Prime Boneless Rib Eye Steak||$22.99/lb*|
|Prime Ribeye Cap Steak||$22.99/lb*|
|Choice Flank Steak||$8.99/lb|
|Choice Top Round Steak||$5.49/lb|
|Prime Chuck Short Ribs||$9.99/lb*|
|Prime Boneless Chuck Short Ribs||$16.99/lb*|
|Flap Meat Steak||$9.49/lb|
The Huntsville Alabama store was the first store I saw oxtails in. Since it's more popular cut in the south, you are more likely to find it in Costco stores in that part of the country.
Costco offers a great selection of steaks but that doesn't mean you will find every cut. Here are some steaks that I haven't found at Costco before. If you have seen any of these at your Costco, make sure to share that in the comments at the end of the post.
- Flat Iron
- Beef Shank (I have only heard of pre-cooked shank in store, not raw)
I would recommend getting NY Strip steaks if you were looking for T-bones or Porterhouse. I have found that these two cuts of steaks seem to be decreasing in popularity as I find them harder to find.
🍖 Whole Cut and Roast Prices
Here are the prices of beef at Costco that is either whole cuts or roasts (not steaks). These are your large chunks of beef. Most of these come in a cryovac packaging.
A roast with a (*) means this cut was not in stock last time I updated these prices.
|Choice Whole NY Strip||$9.79/lb|
|Choice Whole Top Sirloin Cap Off||$7.19/lb|
|Choice Whole Ribeye||$12.89/lb|
|Prime Whole Ribeye||$18.79/lb*|
|Choice Flat Cut Brisket||$7.49/lb|
|Prime Whole Brisket||$3.49/lb|
|Choice Peeled Tenderloin||$24.99/lb|
|Prime Unpeeled Tenderloin||$19.69/lb|
|Choice Unpeeled Tenderloin||$17.99/lb|
|Choice Chuck Roast||$5.19/lb|
|Choice Eye of Round Roast||$4.19/lb|
|Choice Boneless Ribeye Roast||$12.99/lb|
|Choice Short Ribs||$15.99/lb*|
|Choice Tri Tip Roast||$7.19/lb*|
|Choice Whole Peeled Tri Tip Roast||$6.79/lb*|
|Prime Trip Tip Roast||$11.99/lb*|
|Choice Whole Round Tip||$4.49/lb|
Tri Tip like oxtails is another example of a beef cut that is more popular in a certain region of the country. I found a lot of it when I was out west, especially in California. But I didn't find any in the south or midwest.
Click/tap here if you are looking for the prices of Standing Rib Roast or Prime Rib for the holidays.
💲 Have Prices Increased?
I saw pretty much every single cut go up in price from 2021 to 2022. But from 2022 to 2023 prices were pretty much the same. A couple things were lower in price but that was about it.
The price at Costco for a choice boneless Ribeye steak is one of the better prices. Most places are going to be several dollars more a pound. So if you are a Ribeye fan, Costco is a good choice.
They also have thinly cut rib eye steaks that I have either seen for the same price or for a $1 per pound more. Bone-in is available sometimes as well.
During special meat sales or shows, I have seen Tomahawk Ribeye steaks at Costco. These are the ones with the huge long bones. It's not very common
Compare the price of Ribeye steak at Costco to what they are at other stores.
Cut Your Own Steaks
It is not that hard to slice your own beef into steaks of your desired thickness. You just need the right knife.
I like a long, butcher knife, like this one. Great for making nice long and even cuts. Probably can be used to slice bread as well.
If you buy the whole ribeye or ribeye roasts that are prime you can get close to restaurant prime rib in your own kitchen
🐄 Beef Tenderloin
If you are intimated by cutting your own steaks, then starting with a peeled tenderloin is the easiest way to go. A peeled tenderloin has had the silver skin removed, a tough layer surrounds the tenderloin. It must be removed as you will never be able to chew it.
The peeled tenderloin is expensive, so if you can learn how to do it yourself, there are great videos on YouTube, then save a good chunk of change and buy a unpeeled one. You can create steaks AND roasts with a whole tenderloin.
Brisket is a cut that requires long cooking time. It's great for smoking or BBQ. Also is the best choice for making corn beef.
Learn more about the different types of brisket.
You could also an entire brisket for a really good deal - it's even cheaper than the choice flat cut brisket. Plus it's USDA Prime Beef. You can cut slice it up into more manageable servings and freeze. Great idea if you have the freezer space.
🍎 New York Strip
I usually prefer the flavor of the Ribeye steak, however at Costco the NY Strip steaks are cheaper in the price. Other stores I see them more equal in price.
A Whole NY Strip is offered that is prime beef. One thing I haven't mentioned yet but its nice to have a whole cut because you can cut the steak is whatever thickness you like.
Compare the price of NY Strip steaks at Costco to what they are at other stores.
🎩 Top Sirloin
I call top sirloin a good value steak. It's cheaper than Ribeye and NY Strip but still is a quality steak. If not grilling them, you should try doing them in your oven's broiler. Really good that way.
If you wanted to test the quality of choice vs. prime beef, top sirloin would be the way to go. Buy a pack off each and see for you it if it's worth it in the future to buy the prime.
The cost of a flank steak at Costco is under $10 a pound which is better than a lot of other grocery store. There is no other cut of beef I now that soaks up a marinade as well as a flank steak. Just like the top sirloin, they are good for broiling as well.
Important with all steak, but especially with flank - you'll want to cut the steak against the grain to make shorter fibers. This will reduce the amount of chewing you will need to do to eat it.
⚪ Top Round
The top round cut cut comes from the upper back part of the cow. It's tougher than the sirloin. It is also lean. Dry cooking methods tend to dry this cut out. I would stick to wet cooking methods.
London Broil can be made from top round steak. Some stores may label top round as London Broil. The dish is made by marinating the beef, then broiling it and slicing it thin against the grain. Some recipes will call for flank steak and I have heard that it was London Broil originally started with using flank.
🐂 Short Rib
Good for stews and BBQ. I haven't worked a lot with them as fatty cuts of beef tend to give me heartburn. Sometimes you find prime whole short ribs. Sometimes you may be able to find already cooked and seasoned short ribs in the refrigerated section by the cheese.
👀 Eye of Round
Makes for a cheap yet still flavorful roast when prepared properly. Check out my post on how to prepare eye of round roasts. Since I don't see bottom round or rump roasts at Costco this might be your closet alternative
If you have a sous vide machine/immersion circulator, eye of round is a great choice for long cooking.
🍲 Chuck Roast
This is my go to cut for pot roast. It has the enough fat and it tasty when you slow cook it. One of my favorite pot roast recipes is my Moroccan Pot Roast. Instead of potatoes and carrots, it calls for chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and couscous.
🎧 How to Manage Buying in Bulk
On an episode of our podcast, Eat Shop Waste Not, we interview another blogger who is a huge Costco fan. Get ready to hear tips on how to manage the huge packages of meat that you buy so that nothing goes to waste as well as some of her favorite recipes.
🧂 Already Cooked/Seasoned Beef
Costco does carry some already cooked meat. You can find it close to the raw meat department, in the same place you would look for cheese. Both skirt steak and tri-tip are available at some Costco stores as already seasoned meat.
Let me list for you some options I have seen. These may or may not be in your store.
|Arrachera Marinated Skirt Steak||$7.99/lb|
|Frontera Slow Cooked Barbacoa||$6.99/lb|
|Sliced Grass Fed Sous Vide Sirloin||$9.79/lb|
|Teton Water 100% Grasss Fed Beef Sausage||$6.13/lb ($15.79 for 36o package)|
|Kiolbassa Beef Sausage||$8.99/lb|
|Steakhouse Seasoned Beef Tri-Tip||$5.89/lb|
|Greenridge Beef Sticks||$5.77/lb ($12.99)|
🌡️ Thermometer for Meat
One of the biggest piece of advice I give people about meat is that a thermometer is your best friend. It's how I take the guesswork out of cooking any meat.
Here are a couple that I recommend. They are a wise investment as I believe that great thermometer will save you money. They have saved me countless times from ruining a good steak or roast.
ThermaPen One - This is the fastest, highest quality thermometer you are going to find. Made by ThermoWorks, if you ever watched Alton Brown's Good Eats this is the brand he uses. It really only take 1 second to register a temperature and comes with a certificate of calibration.
DOT® Simple Alarm Thermometer - These are the type you insert the probe into the meat while it's cooking. This is what I use for beef that goes in the oven, like any type of roast. I like this one because I can set the exact temperate I want. Some cheapear one only come with preset temperatures which I haven't not liked. You will love the DOT as much as I do.
🥊 Compare to Sam's Club
I have made this same kind of list of beef found at Sam's Club, so you can do your own comparison. I haven't been a Sam's Club member in a while so this list isn't up to date.
👩🍳 Seasoning Beef
I could not end this post without taking a moment talk about seasoning. When it comes to beef there is nothing more important than salt and my mind pepper is in 2nd place. A great salt can really make your food extraordinary. Costco does sell salt but nothing that really stands out to me as special.
My favorite salts and pepper comes from a single origin spice company called Burlap & Barrel. They were featured on Shark Tank in April 2023. Their spices are going to be a lot fresher too as they directly source from the farm, no middle men.
Here are some options:
- Salina Crystal Salt
- Black Lime & Chili Salt
- Black Mineral Salt
- Fermented White Pepper
- Purple Peppercorns
- Zanzibar Black Peppercorns
Buy your beef at Costco, then season with these amazing spices and you will never want to go out for steak again (or you might but you will think twice about it first!).
➕ More Guides
I really hope you find a lot of good information in this post. Want to learn about other types of meat at Costco? Check out all our other guides:
We update these posts each year to best reflect the current prices.
Also check out of one of our most popular posts on How to Cook Kirkland Brand Panko Shrimp in the Air Fryer.
What have you purchased beef at Costco before? What did you think? I would love to have your comments below. What is your favorite steak or roast to buy? Also make sure to check out my post on Buying Bison at Costco, and why you might want to give it a try over beef.
Please remember that the prime meat you are buying at Costco is commodity beef. Commodity beef comes from factory farmed and raised steer that are grown as quickly as possible and as cheaply as possible. That means that the steer are administered antibiotics and growth hormones. You always get what you pay for. If you pay too little, your paying too much. Keep this in mind and support local ranchers who raise natural and all natural beef cattle.
Stop supporting corporations who sell the bottom of the barrel quality just to get you into their store so they can sell you golf clubs and bigscreen TV's.
Thanks for the info you posted with great, money saving alternatives.
To the contributor with the "anti-commodity" comments, with all due respect more power to you for being able to pay top dollar for meat, for many don't have that option or the ability to tether a steer for custom feeding in the back yard. You are free to patronize "designer butcher stores", but you missed the author's emphasis on the description of various cuts and ways to save money by using larger cuts. That information is applicable regardless of point of purchase.
Prices are $1 higher on all these cuts at the Costco in Richmond, CA.
I was hoping to get a price by pound but yiu just gave the difference in types you found.
The prices are listed, must not be showing up on whatever device you are using. I am working on making the blog more mobile friendly.
Maybe a year late to the table, but you only get what Google gives you --
Thank you Eric for a very informative post.
Mr. Collar - Respectfully, I totally agree with what you are saying - but the reality of it is totally opposite. Sorry.
I worked in the ranching business for many years (quit due to low pay). If you think for one minute your local ranchers and farmers do not use antibiotics, steroids, or other medicines on their cattle during their lifetimes, you are sadly mistaken. It is an annual maintenance ritual that happens either in spring or fall, usually during pregnancy checking (whole arm up the butt - tell me that's natural!). Fly Dip or "pour-on" is sprayed or dumped on their backs while in the chute, which is absorbed into the skin to kill larvae and bots. Downer cows are not pampered, hugged, or kissed, unless they are the family pet and have a name. They are typically dragged by one leg to a trailer and hauled off to the butcher or meat factory in order to recoup as much money as possible before she dies. Sometimes drugs are given in an effort to help. At the meat plant, blood tests are not given on the spot. Questions are asked, but lies are spoken. FDA inspectors do not inspect as thoroughly as you think. I know personally that many cattle with broken legs, prolapsed uterus, cancerous facial growths, are still accepted in many butchering facilities with only a quick recording of the owner making the delivery. No mention of medicines administered - or if they do ask, lies are given. No scrutiny.
Say what you will and pay 20x more, but it is all the same on damn near every farm or ranch. Anyone not doing it - my hats off to them, but I'm skeptical. Just be sure to cook any beef to medium-well at the very minimum, even "natural" or "all natural" beef (whatever the hell difference that is). There is a reason we're supposed to cook food until no blood runs.
Now, I absolutely support my neighboring ranchers / farmers. If I don't have a cow to butcher, I buy from them first cause they can use the money as much as the grocery store can. But usually the deal will involve isolating the animal for a few weeks and treating her like a queen with the best feed ever. But you know what? That cow is still gonna taste the same, still gonna have the same steroids, and same antibiotics (at some point prior to the purchase) as the cow labeled "organic" or "grass-fed". In case you are unaware, they have been spraying antibiotics on grass and crops for years, yet the cows who eat it are still "natural".
Yes, it makes me mad, sad, angry. I don't like it any better than you or anyone else. Just keeping it real.
Thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts.
I live in Oregon and its October 2014. Have you seen what has happened to BEEF prices lately? My rib eye steaks at Costco yesterday were $11.00 a pound for choice but that's not what you show for some reason. A nice rib eye for two cost me $25 ( out of my budget). Anyway, a chuck roast on SALE was $5.99 a pound so if I want just a small 3 pound roast its almost $20.00!! Who can afford beef anymore unless they are rich? I have decided on the 88% lean ground beef for hamburger steak more often than my once weekly rib eye for 2 and tilapia, chicken, liver, etc.
"Ribeye Steaks $15.99/lb
Look how much more expensive the steaks are then the whole cut. You are buying them $9.20/lb to cut it for you. That just doesn't work for me."
It's worth mentioning that this price is for the prime grade ribeye steaks, so you are paying for both the increased quality of the beef and of course the extra butchery.
What kind of additives are in costco beef?
Mrs. So disgusted
Ok, normally I am quite and say nothing, but I just had to say something.. I have grown up on a cattle farm all my life and i mean that born raised and water fed farm life, where we ate, what we grew and what we raised and we drank from a fresh spring well, only thing we bought was coffee sugar and coco, thats it everything was made from scratch,malo, butter ,mustard on and on...
I can 100% tell you not us not a neighbour ever injected our cattle, hogs,chickens with any thing, nor did we spray our grass, not even sprayed our crops.
Remember people have been farming since time and we did not always have sprays and crap I remember carrying water alday to the fields to water them and let me tell you we had a lot of fields.all 8 kids every day before and after school. I also never seen us or our neighbours ever drag a cow by its leg to kill it. How inhuman, this might happen to commercial but not old time farmers or generation farmers we all raised with morals.
I had never seen a cow treated like a queen before we killed it, we treated them all the same, they ate the same grass drank same water we talk to them while we milked them, but none of what is been said on here is truly true for a local farmer or cattle raiser. This happens at commercial places not real farmers.
I have also bought beef from costco over a few years. Ive noticed a drop in quality over the years. Sometimes it is like a hit and miss game. Ive also noticed the grocery store choice meat can be a hit and miss. What i mean by hit and miss is sometimes its really good and sometimes its ok. Tri tips i have yet to master on how to pick them i usually get 2 and 1 out of the 2 are good. Anyways im a fairly big beef conosier and always prefer to charcoal grill my beef.
Helpful post. Thank you.
From my view, COSTCO, and others, have dropped the beef they used to have . The meat is set up to look as good as the OLD days but, in truth (my view), the customer is paying MUCH, MUCH more for a piece of CRAP !!
They may have better steak but with much higher costs. I don't buy their HIGH, HIGH
steaks like I used to, if I saved my money for their best steak, I could save money for a while and buy a nice car or truck.
I don't know what is behind the current push to hurt the customer, maybe just plain greed, but in time to come I think we'll be eating a whole lot of "SO CALLED FOOD" that used to be fed to our animals also, a lot of the so called departments that we used to buy food at will only be able to take care of the very wealthy.....then the departments will think differently of the middle and lower customers.
I hope the customers that are taking such a beating now will look around, find the reasonable stores, (if there are any ) and leave the big food stores (you know which ones)
and leave them in the past, they deserve it.
Good luck to us all!
I started buying meat at my local Costco in Eugene, Oregon because I felt the regular grocery stores had low quality steak. I have had mixed results.
My Brother buys his meat from a butcher and the tri tip he gets is top of the line. I've never tasted better. When I buy it at Costco, I just isn't as good, although not bad.
I have had the best luck with Costco Top Sirlion. I was surprised to find so far its their best meat.
I recently bought (I'm sure it was Choice because it was only about 7.99 lb) New York steaks. This has been my worst buy yet. We have tried to cook these three different ways and they just have no flavor.
I still think you can get good meat at Costco if you know what to buy. I recommend the Top Sirlion and the tri tip but nothing else.
I m a member of Costco here in Calgary and the beef here is second to none. Costco gets the highest quality beef. Certified Angus Beef is prime here at least and the taste is amazing. Superstore here has CAB not only is it a lot more expensive but does not have the flavor. There are different grades of AAA beef here in Canada we get the best the od time they have prime but I can usually find a AAA with the same marbling
CARL R . LINDSAY
Today is my first time to try using the store meat guide hopefully it will work for us
I hope so too!
To comment on the taste quality, Commercial butcher shops have converted to primarily wet-aging. The reason it seems to taste less robust is because the wet-aging process keeps all the extra water content in the meat under vacuum sealing so that way consumers pay for the extra water weight, and even when they dry age the duration has dramatically dropped from 30 to 28 and now 21 is only possible at higher end meat processors. It took me 2 yrs to find a rancher that would pasture raise, corn finish (for marbling), then dry age for 35 days. Whole cattle as an only option at $3.75 / lb hanging weight. Finished product will end up at $9-10/lb of consumable meat.
I know what you mean. Paying for water weight isn't the best idea. It can be a trade off. Sometimes the vacuum sealed stuff is so much cheaper in bulk that I can understand why people would do that. But of course cheaper doesn't mean the quality hasn't gone down.
In reference to beef aging time mentioned above, large commercial plants have no way to age beef sides for 1 week let alone 3 or 4. Space limits them. Most get 3 days, max. Think about a plant like Tyson Fresh Meats near Pasco, WA. They kill over 2,000 head per day. Where on Earth would they hang carcasses for 3 weeks with that level of production? That said, longer aged beef may be the benefit you can get from a locally raised and slaughtered steer but it will cost you more.
This blog is great! I have no idea how I'm just finding now it, but so glad I did. Thank you for the information!
Thank you so much for the kind words. I am glad you found us.
If you have a Costco Business Center near you, I highly recommend checking them out!!
We buy all of our meat in whole subprimals from CBC & I do my own butchery(including grinding ground beef from chuck or sirloin...along with leftover trimming fat taken from other cuts, such as whole ribeyes).
The savings is huge, the flavors are much better, & overall we eat better!! Just maybe too much beef-if there is such a thing.
Just a thought 🙂
That's a great tip. Thanks for sharing.