Markets & Stores

Meat Quality: Costco, WF, Local Butcher, Supermarket

khymari | Nov 25, 201707:43 AM     9

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?

Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

More from Chowhound

Composting 101: Everything You Need to Know About Preventing Food Waste

Composting 101: Everything You Need to Know About Preventing Food Waste

by Maryse Chevriere | Food is a major part of my life. I’m more on top of dining and restaurant news than world news. My...

Products to Help Reduce Food Waste

Products to Help Reduce Food Waste

by Emily Murawski | According to the NRDC, Americans waste nearly 40 percent of the food they buy—does this ring true...

Follow These Easy Tips to Reduce Food Waste

Follow These Easy Tips to Reduce Food Waste

by Emily Murawski | When we waste food, we waste both our own money (an average of $1,800 per year for a family of four...

Celebrate Spring with These Seasonal Cocktails
Recipe Round-Ups

Celebrate Spring with These Seasonal Cocktails

by Brittany Loggins | There’s no better way to shed your winter layers and ease into spring than with a delicious cocktail...

See what's new!

View latest discussions ›

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.