Meat Buying Guide – Beef Prices at Costco

What Prime Beef Does Costco Sell
(Last Updated On: August 2, 2017)

Meat Buying Guide Beef Prices at Costco

I have been doing some research on whether or not it’s worth it to get a membership at Costco. I have not made a final decision on this yet. One of the factors I was looking into was the cost of meat, particularly beef. I headed over to my local Costco yesterday to see what they had to offer in terms of selection and price on their packaged beef. Below you will find a list of what I found at the Costco location in Ann Arbor, Michigan (please note this list has been updated as of July 15, 2017 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.

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 lton of information on everything you wanated 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 touch the stuff. 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.

Costco Beef Buying Guide

Beef Type Price
Flat Cut Brisket $8.99/lb
This cut requires long cooking time. It's great for smoking or BBQ. Also is the best choice for making corn beef. To learn more about brisket check out this post.
Whole USDA Prime Ribeye $12.69/lb
This is the entire ribeye. It's a large chunk of meat. You can cut it up for steaks or roasts. Check out this YouTube video on what you can do with it.
Ribeye Steaks $9.99/lb
The steak are more expensive then the whole cut. Under $10 a pound for ribeye is not a bad price at all – probably one of the cheapest prices I have seen lately. They also have thinly cut rib eye steaks for a dollar more per pound.
Ribeye Roast $9.99/lb
Not as expensive as the steaks. If this roast was bone-in and a prime cut it would be prime rib. You can use this to get close to restaurant prime rib in your own kitchen.
Tenderloin Steaks $14.99/lb
Most places just called these Filet Mignon. This is a cheaper price than most places. But I would recommend buying a whole tenderloin and cut the steaks yourself.
Whole Tenderloin $11.99/lb
Cheaper than the steaks and you can cut it into roasts as well. I like Alton Brown's recipe for Tenderloin roast.
Whole Tenderloin Peeled $19.99/lb
Same tenderloin but it has been peeled and trimmed for your convenience. That's a lot of extra money per pound to pay for convenience. Better for learning to do it yourself.
Prime New York Strip Steak $14.99/lb
This prime beef steak is great for the grill (probably the only thing I would do with it)
Choice New York Strip Steak $8.99/lb
The choice option is a ton cheaper here. You have to decide if the prime is really worth the additional $8/lb!
Whole New York Strip $8.29/lb
Get a whole NY strip and cut into steaks that you can make whatever thickness you like.
Prime Top Sirloin $7.99/lb
Great grilling option. Or you can broil it. I have tried Alton Brown's recipe for Broiled Sirloin and it was good. You can also braise it. It's a good value for a prime steak.
Whole Prime Top Sirloin $7.69/lb
For prime beef it doesn't get any more affordable than this.
Choice Top Sirloin $7.79/lb
If you have the extra money in your budget go for the whole prime sirloin and cut the steaks yourself. You will be getting a higher grade beef for 10 cents less per pound!
Flank Steak $7.29/lb
I love to broil these things. They take a marinade better than any other cut of beef I know.
Top Round $4.89/lb
This 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 with this cut.
Short Ribs $9.99/lb
Good for stews and BBQ. I haven't worked a lot with them as fatty cuts of beef tend to give me heartburn.
Eye of Round Roast $4.69/lb
Makes for a cheap yet still flavorful roast when prepared properly. Check out my post on how to prepare eye of round roasts.
Round Tip Roast $3.89/lb
Less tough than other round roasts. It still needs a wet cooking method. Braise it. Cut it up for stew meat. You can roast it but you need to do it slowly and not past medium.
Chuck Roast $4.59/lb
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.

Make sure you check out my other meat guides for Costco : Chicken Prices | Organic Chicken Prices Bison Prices

Recommend the Whole Ribeye

I did like some of the prices, especially for the whole ribeye. 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. For more on shopping for ribeye steak, check out the link below.

Costco vs. Sam’s Club – Beef Prices

I have made this same kind of list of beef found at Sam’s Club, so you can do your own comparison.

What you purchased beef at Costco before? What did you think? I would love to have your comments below. 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.

If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to my weekly e-mail newsletter. You will be informed whenever I add a new Costco guide or review. I also periodically update this post with new price listings and I announce those updates on my newsletter. Just enter your e-mail address in the box below.

21 Replies to “Meat Buying Guide – Beef Prices at Costco”

  1. Steve Collar says:

    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.

  2. Jane Collier says:

    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.

  3. Prices are $1 higher on all these cuts at the Costco in Richmond, CA.

  4. I was hoping to get a price by pound but yiu just gave the difference in types you found.

  5. Eric Samuelson says:

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. Eric Samuelson says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts.

  8. […] by looking at the per pound prices of different items in the store. I originally wrote about the beef prices at Costco and that has become one of my most visited posts on the blog. I thought it was time to take another […]

  9. 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.

  10. Regarding:

    “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.

  11. Patrick Bentley says:

    What kind of additives are in costco beef?

  12. Mrs. So disgusted says:

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. […] for $7.69 per pound, which is 10 cents less per pound that a choice sirloin steak (according to my April 2015 visit to Costco), so it’s a great deal but only if you really have the money to spend on a big […]

  15. Helpful post. Thank you.

  16. 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!

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Today is my first time to try using the store meat guide hopefully it will work for us

  20. Eric Samuelson says:

    I hope so too!

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