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Meat Quality: Costco, WF, Local Butcher, Supermarket

khymari | Nov 25, 201707:43 AM

We are only 2 in my household and to be honest, we only really cook on the weekends due to time constraints.

I've been buying our meats from Costco as I have an inherent (and potentially misguided) notion that it's more economical. We generally buy any of the following but usually not all at once since we don't have the freezer room: prime ribeye, ground beef, frozen chicken thighs, pork belly, lamb, pork chops, pork ribs and bacon I personally don't care for the sausages they carry unfortunately.

I used to wrap the meats in freezer paper but just bought the VacMaster VP112S chamber vacuum sealer in the hopes I can mitigate freezer burn since it sometimes takes us up to 5 months or so to get through the meat we buy.

One thing that struck me recently is I noticed that meat I bought from the super market wether it be ground beef or bacon for instance doens't seem to puddle water as much as the frozen Costco meat. I suppose that the cell walls burst during freezing and leak a lot of juices. Perhaps we would be better off forgoing the massive meat purchases at Costco and instead getting our meat in smaller increments locally?

I'm not overly cost conscious, but I would like to maximize from a cost vs end quality perspective. I see our local supermarkets generally have sales that match or even sometimes beat Costco prices but I'm wondering how their meat quality compares to Costco? Also, forgoing dry-aged, prime steak, how does the quality necessarily compare between supermarkets and local butchers? Costco I think is $3.29/lb for ground beef but I think quite a lot higher at WF and yet higher still from my local butcher for example.

I read in another post that Costco and supermarkets generally source their meat from one of the Big Three meat suppliers so presumably the difference shouldn't be significant? Local butchers I imagine could be sourcing meat from better and/or local farms but are they worth 2-4X the price?

I live in Manhattan if that makes a difference and in the other thread I read that Pino and Ottomanelli are examples of butchers I should try out.

Any thoughts on just buying fresh vs bulk and freezing when it comes to a cost vs quality perspective?

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