The 18 Things Chefs Buy at Costco
We all know how great the deals can be at Costco—so it should come as no surprise that professional chefs love it, too.
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From pantry staples to premium meat, chefs know how to find quality products at a good price. That’s why chefs from home kitchens to your TV screen are fans of Costco. For example, Floyd Cardoz, the winner of the third season of Top Chef Masters and chef at the Bombay Bread Bar in New York City, says he goes to the warehouse club at least twice a month to stock up, Kitchn reports. While availability can vary from club to club, here are some of the items chefs make sure they leave with in their carts.
USDA Prime meat is a big deal at the Prime + Proper Steakhouse in Detroit. That’s why executive butcher Walter Apfelbaum supplies the chefs there with Waygu beef he buys at Costco, according to Food & Wine. “Costco sells some of the most beautiful prime beef I’ve seen out of the restaurant industry,” he says. That’s not the only reason why chefs love Costco’s beef.
Chef Julie Yoon, who runs an online cooking show called Bits & Pieces, buys a big pack of bone-in pork chops at Costco. She’ll wrap them individually in plastic wrap and place them in a Ziplock bag to freeze for future use.
Cardoz likes the heft of Applewood-Smoked Thick Cut Bacon. Yoon, meanwhile, opts for Farmer John Classic Bacon. She gets a four-pack, then freezes three packages and uses it in spaghetti carbonara and grilled cheese. Speaking of essentials, find out more things at Costco you shouldn’t be without.
Costco is known for its selection of fruits and vegetables. Yoon’s haul at Costco typically includes baby carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, tomatoes, grapes, avocados, and lemons. And don’t forget Mexican limes. They’re not always available at Cardoz’s Costco, but when they are, he likes to pick some up for margaritas.
Kirkland Signature Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Samin Nosrat, the author of the bestselling Salt Fat Acid Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking, is a big fan of this affordable olive oil, according to Refinery 29. Cardoz likes it too, for marinades, salads, and cooking. Olive oil has plenty of health benefits, which is why it’s one of the 15 foods nutritionists always buy at Costco.
Cardoz has been a fan since he got some premade burgers for one of his son’s birthdays. He recommends the unfrozen kind in the meat section. This is why chefs never touch the microwave “defrost” button when preparing food.
This juicy cut has lots of flavor. “You usually have to special-order this from other butchers,” Cardoz told Kitchn. Surprised that Costco sells all this high-end meat? These are more bizarre things you didn’t know you could find at Costco.
Kirkland Raw, Tail-On Shrimp
Yoon likes to keep a bag of these frozen shrimp in the freezer. Low in calories, they’re easy to defrost by placing them in a bowl of cold water for ten minutes, she says.
You may find a wine you really like at Costco, then find that the warehouse doesn’t stock it anymore. Cardoz likes to get “Italian varietals, rosés, and gewürztraminers” there when he can. These are the wine terms you should really know by now.
A favorite of many Costco shoppers, the rotisserie chicken also makes Yoon’s list of Costco staples. But there’s probably plenty you don’t know about the secrets behind Costco’s rotisserie chicken.
Kirkland Signature Maple Syrup
This pantry staple is not only organic, but Cardoz says it tastes good and lasts a long time. The affordable syrup is one of 10 Kirkland items you should always buy at Costco.
Yoon likes Whole Grains 100% Whole Wheat Bread. Since the loaves come two to a pack and the bread can get moldy quickly, she sticks one loaf in the fridge and the other in the freezer. This is the one place you’re forgetting to check bread for mold.
Kirkland Signature Super Extra Large Peanuts
Not only are they extra large, but they also don’t get stale, which is why Cardoz is a fan. Peanuts are one of the foods you should get at Costco, but you can also save on filling your car. Gas is also one of 15 things you aren’t buying at Costco, but should.
Organic Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
It’s not easy to find chicken thighs that are organic, Cardoz says. He likes to get a big pack and use them in curries. This is how long cooked chicken is good for in the fridge.
Chefs use lots of pepper, and Cardoz says this brand remains “fresh and fragrant,” Kitchn reports.
Yoon packs her husband’s lunch every day. For deli meat, she goes for a pack of Oven-Roasted Turkey Breast and Honey Ham from Hillshire Farm. To accompany it, she buys Belgiorno Provolone cheese. Here are a few ways Costco tricks you into spending more money.
Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Blue Agave is reasonably priced, Yoon says. She likes to use it as a sweetener in her recipe for shrimp with lime. Yoon has shared her favorites, but there are plenty of tips frequent Costco shoppers keep to themselves.
The beauty of a warehouse store is that you can also find plenty of items that aren’t necessarily gourmet. Yoon picks up her cereal at Costco as well. Now that you know what to get on your next Costco visit, get the inside scoop with these 25 secrets Costco employees won’t tell you.