Who sells the Best Chicken?
There’s been a lot of debate lately about where to buy the best fresh chicken. Some people swear by their local grocery stores, some prefer their butcher, while others say big wholesalers such as Costco or Sam’s club are the best to purchase fresh and tasty chicken.
After thoroughly reviewing the offerings of my local grocery stores (Safeway, Albertsons, and Food 4 Less) and comparing them to Costco’s chicken options, I have to say that Costco is by far the better option. Costco’s fresh chicken selection is ginormous and the quality is top-notch.
As you know, I work on all sorts of recipes, but many would say that my chicken based recipes are some of the best on the internet. In order to create these recipes, I have to start with some of the finest chicken.
Costco vs Grocery Stores
The two most affordable options for people are going to be their local grocery store or a wholesaler like Costco. The major difference is going to be the quality of the chicken and the selection.
Costco offers a wide variety of fresh chicken options, but they don’t sell all parts of the chicken. For instance, according to the Costco Chicken guide from the Costco Food Database, they only offers 6 fresh chicken options:
- Boneless Chicken Breast
- Boneless Chicken Thigh
- Bone-In Chicken Thighs
- Whole Chickens
- Chicken drumsticks
- Chicken wings
Of course, as you know, this isn’t a complete and comprehensive list of chicken parts that are normally available to purchase. Costco is missing Bone-in Chicken Breast and chicken quarters. Costco’s everyday selection is going to be more consistent and predictable compared to your grocery stores, but there are limitations to what parts of the chicken you can buy from them.
Kirkland Signature Chicken Value
When it comes to price, I would say the favor leans to the grocery stores. Oftentimes it becomes all about cost, and grocery stores have the ability to discount certain products as loss-leaders. They may sell chicken at a discount in order to get you into their store and purchase their other products, to complete your grocery shopping list. Price is not going to be the best way to compare grocery stores to Costco, but instead you are going to want to look at value.
Value is a better indicator to fairly compare Costco’s chicken vs other stores. Costco isn’t always going to have the best price, but I’m certain they bring on the most overall value for their chicken.
For instance, their fresh Kirkland Signature chicken breast sells for $2.99/pound, while many grocery stores will sell their chicken for $1.99/pound. A $1 difference is going to be hard to overcome, but here is why I think Costco’s chicken is worth the premium.
First, the chicken is air chilled. What this means is that during the production process, the chicken is brought to storage temperatures by refrigeration. Other grocery stores will submerge their chicken ice cold water that is mixed with salt and chemicals such as chlorine. The chicken absorbs some of the salt water solution and its weight is inflated. When you buy a pound of chicken from Safeway, you may be getting only 14 ounces of chicken and 2 ounces of water salt solution. This applies to all of Costco’s fresh chicken that is in the meat and seafood department. Costco’s frozen chicken selection will be cooled in a saltwater solution.
Secondly, Costco’s packaging makes it super convenient to portion off their bulk chicken. Other retailers will sell their chicken pieces in trays, while Costco offers a unique package that can be partitioned and even frozen directly in the package.
Each package of chicken from Costco is going to come in a package with 6 tearable pouches. The pouches can be torn or cut to separate and the special thing about this chicken packaging is that they can easily be thrown into the freezer. You don’t have to do any additional preparation, but instead can just open the freezer and throw the Kirkland Signature chicken in there directly after getting home from Cotsco.
I would say that reason alone makes it worth shopping at Costco for chicken and meats. The chicken is of higher quality and the convenience is there, which is especially important when buying bulk.
Costco has the best Chicken
Whether you want to make some fried chicken or cook a nice and healthy grilled chicken breast, Costco is going to have what you need. My favorite options are the $0.99/a pound bone in chicken thighs and drumsticks. They are so delicious, juicy, and the skin gets extra crispy. Costco doesn’t always have the best price, but you will be getting great value for the high quality chicken they do sell.