Is Costco Brisket Good: Everything You Need to Know!

by | Sep 13, 2023 | Barbecue, Grilling | 0 comments

Is Costco Brisket Good: Everything You Need to Know!

I’ve loved brisket since I started my barbecue journey! It has everything that you’d require for a well-smoked piece of beef. It’s tasty, fatty, and can hold the smoky flavor well. However, the quest to find a high-quality brisket has always been a struggle.

In my experience, I’ve noticed many people purchasing briskets from Costco. Yet, I’ve wondered if the Costco brisket is worth buying. After purchasing various brisket cuts from there, I’ve found the answer to my question!

Costco briskets are excellent for your smoker. They’re available in various sizes and grades. On cooking, they offer a tender and smooth texture. Additionally, they’re cheaper than briskets sold by local butchers. 

If you want to know more about Costco briskets, read on.

Different Cuts of Briskets Available at Costco

You might expect to just see one type of briskets at your local Costco. Imagine my surprise when I found that the supermarket actually sells various brisket cuts!

Let’s take a look at the different brisket cuts you can find at Costco. 

  1. Point Brisket 

The entire brisket cut comes from the cow’s chest area. It’s a pretty large meat cut and can be further cut into two pieces – point brisket and flat brisket. 

The point brisket comes from the chest area which is connected to the ribcage. It has a high-fat content, because of which, it also contains extra marbling. It also has a more pronounced beefy flavor, compared to flat brisket. 

Point brisket is usually smaller compared to flat brisket and has an inconsistent size with thicker and thinner ends. 

  1. Flat Brisket

Flat brisket starts beneath the point brisket and is attached to the cow’s breastbone. Unlike point brisket, it doesn’t have a lot of fat content and excessive marbling but contains more meat. It is a large and uniform cut. 

  1. Full Packer Brisket 

Full-packer briskets are one of the most popular brisket options available at Costco. They consist of both point and flat briskets. 

I was surprised to discover that flat briskets are often costlier than full-packer briskets. For instance, a whole packer (prime quality) cost $4.40 per pound whereas flat (choice quality) cost $9. 

Quality of Costco Brisket

Just like different types, Costco briskets also have various grades – prime, choice, and select. The briskets are categorized per the level of marbling, meat quality, and prices. 

  1. Prime Beef Brisket 

If you’re looking to impress some guests, go for the prime beef brisket in Costco. It’s considered the best brisket grade due to the high level of marbling (or fat). 

When I purchased a prime beef brisket from Costco and smoked it, I was impressed to find out that it turns out extremely tender and juicy after smoking with perfect burnt ends! 

Presently, prime beef briskets are available in full packer variety, which contains both the point and flat brisket. 

Prime brisket is slightly more on the expensive end, so I reserve it for big barbecue occasions. 

  1. Choice Beef Brisket 

If you ask me my favorite grade of brisket available at Costco, it’d be the choice grade. It’s perfect for someone who’s looking for both quality and affordability. 

Choice beef brisket has slightly less marbling than prime beef. Yet, if you smoke or grill it nicely, it comes out juicy and soft! The major benefit is the price point, as you’ll be getting excellent quality at a rate lower than that of the prime brisket beef. 

  1. Select Beef Brisket

The cheapest grade is the select beef brisket, as it has the lowest amount of fat and marbling. I don’t prefer purchasing it unless it’s the end of the month and I’m going broke!

Select beef brisket has lean meat, so it may dry out excessively and burn during the smoking process. Hence, if you’re using this brisket, you’ll have to put in extra effort by covering the brisket with bacon or going for the dry brining method.

I remember buying select beef brisket back in 2022 but the whole brisket came out dry and chewy compared to prime and select beef brisket. 

  1. Special Additions – Wagyu and Angus 

The three brisket grades mentioned above are the standard ones. But, if you’re looking for imported and premium briskets, Costco offers Wagyu and Angus beef briskets too. 

The Wagyu and Angus brisket varieties are taken from Japanese cow breeds and Aberdeen Angus breeds (from Scotland) respectively. 

Wagyu brisket contains excessive marbling, even more than prime beef brisket, which gives a smooth buttery, and tender texture on smoking. This is unlike any other brisket variety, so it costs a lot more. In Costco, you’ll find brisket imported from the Kagoshima prefecture of Japan.

Similarly, Angus brisket also has more fat, making it juicy! 

Is Costco Brisket Good for Smoking? 

As you’re well-acquainted with the types and grades of briskets available at Costco, let’s get to your main question. 

As per my experience, Costco briskets are worth buying and excellent for smoking. 

I decided to purchase 12 pounds of prime whole packers for a huge family gathering, and I wasn’t disappointed! 

Right from the price range to the quality, everything was on point. I found it to be cheaper compared to local butchers as well. 

For instance, I got the full packer for $5.49 per pound at Costco, whereas my local butcher was charging around $7 per pound. You can see the difference! 

The only problem I faced later was that different Costco chains all over the country had separate prices. Sometimes, availability was also an issue as flat briskets were simply unavailable. 

I suggest checking out the prices and quality of brisket at other stores and then purchasing from Costco to get the best deal. 

What Is the Cost of Brisket at Costco?

Supermarket chains, like Costco, are known for selling briskets for cheap. As the prices are constantly changing and vary as per the location, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact prices. 

Generally, prime whole packer brisket costs around $5.50, whereas choice flat-cut brisket is around $6.99. 

Apart from these two, the prices of choice beef brisket and select beef brisket are around $3.50 and $2.50, respectively.  

Costco Brisket Vs Snake River Farms: Which Is Better? 

Both Costco and Snake River Farms are popular for selling high-quality briskets. However, if you have the option for both, which one’s better? 

Having purchased briskets from both of these stores, I noted the below-mentioned differences. 

  1. Trimming 

At first glance, Snake River Farms’ brisket looks a lot cleaner. It’s trimmed nicely and has a thin fat cap. So, if you’re not a fan of keeping the fat cap on the meat, you can go for Snake River Farms brisket. 

On the other hand, Costco brisket is slightly on the messier side. It’s not as clean and trim as that of Snake River Farms. The fat cap is also thicker here. Hence, it might take more time to trim and clean Costco brisket. 

  1. Size 

Coming to the size of the briskets, Costco briskets are larger. For instance, you’ll find 13 and 14-pound briskets at both Costco and Snake River Farms. Yet, Costco also has whole-packer briskets weighing more than 20 pounds!

You can opt for Costco brisket if you’ve got more people coming to your place for a fun BBQ time. 

  1. Smoking Process and Taste 

The smoking process for both Costco and Snake River Farms briskets remains the same. It’s all in the hands of the pitmaster!

However,  after smoking, I noticed minor differences in the tastes of the briskets. Snake River Farms brisket was softer and had a more buttery taste than Costco brisket.

So when it comes to the flavor and texture, Snake River Farms is slightly better. 

  1. Cost 

One of the biggest differences between Costco brisket and Snake River Farms brisket is the cost. 

Costco prime whole packer briskets cost around $5 per pound, whereas Snake River Farms brisket may exceed $10 easily. 

Therefore, I prefer Costco brisket over Snake River Farms as there’s not much difference in size and quality. 

How to Choose the Right Brisket at Costco?

If you’re planning to purchase brisket from Costco, I recommend following the below-mentioned tips to find the best piece. 

  • Compare the Marbling: Always compare the marbling between different brisket pieces. The more the marbling, the more tender it is. Even if you’re picking prime beef brisket, I suggest comparing two pieces of the same type. 
  • Go for a Thin Fat Cap: If you want to save some money, go for briskets with thin fat caps. Thick fat caps contribute to the weight of the brisket, so you’ll be paying more for no reason. 
  • Check the Weight: Costco briskets come in various packs between 10 and 20 pounds. If you pick a brisket, which is too thin, it may overcook and burn. Similarly, a thick brisket can take a long time to cook. I prefer choosing briskets between 14 and 16 pounds.
  • Check for Freshness: Don’t forget to check the “best by” date on the brisket packet, and opt for a brisket accordingly. 

Final Thoughts

Costco briskets are one of the cheapest options available. Despite the affordable price range, the quality isn’t compromised. These briskets are tender, juicy, and cook to perfection once you follow the right method! 

The only drawback is that the prices may vary region-to-region. The store might also run out of certain pieces. 

Related Questions

What is the highest quality brisket?

USDA prime grade brisket is the highest quality brisket in the US. If you go for imported varieties, Wagyu and Angus briskets are better. 

Is brisket cheap meat?

Brisket meat requires expertise in slow cooking, but it has always been a cheap meat, compared to others. 




Colin has been grilling, smoking, and barbecuing in his yard for as long as he remembers.  His favorite dish is pork belly smoked on his favorite offset smoker. Read more about Colin here.


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