3 Things to Know When Buying Costco Beef Tenderloin

Are you thinking about Costco beef tenderloin? Indeed, if you’re in the market for beef tenderloin, then Costco is the place you should go to. Not only do they have the highest quality beef, but they also have the best prices out there.

Costco beef (tenderloin, serelion, brisket, etc) come in different grades, ranging from affordable to expensive, but ‌it’s less costly than superstores, thanks to wholesale prices. 

Still, it can be tricky to pick right beef tenderloin at Costco. Yet, by keeping a few things in mind, you can certainly buy the best beef tenderloin at Costco. Here are the things you should know.

What’s so Great about Beef Tenderloin?

Beef tenderloin is one of the most famous cuts of beef, thanks to its tenderness. It’s also the most expensive. It comes from the psoas major muscle, which doesn’t get much exercise, so it’s tender.

The biggest difference between beef tenderloin and other high-grade cuts of beef is that the tenderloin has low marbling. It’s super lean compared to other meats and has only a thin layer of fat called kidney fat. It’s full of flavor and melts in your mouth.

It also soaks up marinades well, so it’s super juicy and tasty when cooked.

1- Beef Tenderloin Grades at Costco are Available in Different Grades

You’ll surely come across different beef tenderloin grades when roaming the beef section at Costco online or physically.

You should know beef grades if you want to make a well-informed decision about which grade of meat to buy, weighing the costs and the benefits.

Choice-grade beef tenderloin

Choice grade is the cheapest and the most common beef tenderloin grade you’ll come across at Costco. It has a small amount of marbling, but it’s more than the better grades such as Wagyu and Prime grades.

Not all choice-grade beef is the same. So, look carefully for tender cuts with as little marbling as possible. 

Size and thickness are also significant factors when choosing this grade of beef. If you have a good eye and know exactly what you’re looking for, then you can pick out the cuts which missed Prime grade by a small margin — we know them as “high-choice,” and their quality is close to prime beef but with a lower price.

Choice Grade Beef Tenderloin Price at Costco

Kirkland’s signature USDA-certified choice-grade beef tenderloin is sold at around $19.89 per pound. Tenderloin tails are 4lb averaging in weight, and Costco sells them at $6.64 per pound. So, overall each 4 lb tenderloin cut will cost you $26.56.

USDA-certified choice beef PSMO tenderloin, which comes in 8lb average weight, is sold at $13.14 per pound to cost you $105.12 or an entire tenderloin cut. 

Choice-grade Peeled-extreme tenderloin is more expensive at $27.36 per pound.

Is Choice grade beef tenderloin worth it buying?

It’s not as moist as the highest grades, and if you cook it for a party, inject it first to ensure it remains moist. It’s the most used grade in competitions because you can customize it (choose it yourself).

Prime-grade beef tenderloin at Costco

Prime-grade beef is the highest beef grade according to the USDA and the Canadian certification. Even the tenderloin cut has more marbling compared to other grades of meat. Young, well-fed cattle produce it.

Prime-grade beef is super tasty, and the most expensive fine-dining restaurants use this cut of meat. Unfortunately, because of the high quality of this beef, it’s also more expensive than the other meat grades.

Prices of Costco prime grade tenderloin

Costco sells regular signature USDA prime beef tenderloin at $26.11 per pound. The peeled extreme is more expensive because of the extensive processing, at around $36.62 per pound.

Is prime-grade beef tenderloin at Costco worth it buying?

Although the prime grade is expensive, it has a lot more marbling than other grades. Besides this and it’s super soft, so if you’re hosting a big lavish party, I’d recommend this as you can’t go wrong with it!

Wagyu beef tenderloin

The USDA or the Canadian grading systems do not grade wagyu beef. It’s known as American Kobe Beef as well. 

It’s actually from a breed of cow in japan and has a different grading system altogether. The wagyu beef tenderloin has good marbling but is expensive compared to other beef tenderloin grades. You usually have to pay a higher price because it’s imported, but it’s worth it if you want soft and highly flavorful beef.

Many say that this beef grade is even better than USDA prime-grade beef. We’ll advise you not to take their word until you try it because the grading of this beef is unreliable. 

Besides this, cooking is challenging because you hardly find excellent recipes for Wagyu-grade tenderloin. That also makes people go for a prime grade.

Prices of Wagyu beef tenderloin at Costco

Wagyu beef tenderloin at Costco is pretty costly, even at wholesale prices. It comes in at about $58.46 per pound! You can get two peeled extreme Prime grade beef tenderloins at this price!

Is wagyu grade beef tenderloin worth it buying?

It’s super expensive, but it’s also high in quality, even compared to the prime-grade beef tenderloin. People go for a prime grade, but if you know how to cook it and you are sure of your skills, then yes, I recommend this wholeheartedly because it’s so delicious!

2. Costco Beef Tenderloin is Available Trimmed or Untrimmed

You can find whole beef tenderloin in the “unpeeled” or “untrimmed” beef section. White cartons usually house the choice-grade beef tenderloins, while blue cartons contain prime-grade beef.

Usually, untrimmed portions of beef tenderloins cost 30% less compared to the trimmed beef tenderloins at Costco. There is also the “Peeled Extreme” tenderloin at Costco. It’s called this because it’s already processed and ready to cook.

The peeled extreme is pretty expensive, though, and you can opt to buy untrimmed beef and shave it down at home if you’re on a budget. 

The untrimmed tenderloin also comes with additional fat and silver skin. If you’ve got a fillet knife and know how to use it, you can avoid paying the hefty price for the trimmed beef tenderloins.

3. Costco Sells Different Cuts of Beef Tenderloin

The beef tenderloin comes in three different cuts: the head, the tail, or the center cut. Costco sells the whole thing, though. Yet,  if you’re going for a specific cut, you can do it yourself or go to a butcher.

The head is usually used to make steaks after trimming, while many use the tail end for larger dinner parties. The center is also more evenly shaped, perfect for large dinners. Costco has its meat cutter, which you can talk to for different cuts for a good price.

You might’ve heard of the Filet Mignon; it’s another cut from the beef tenderloin. It comes from the large end of the beef tenderloin. It’s the part of the beef tenderloin that’s cut into rounds from the tenderloin and tapers to a point at the end. One of the most desirable cuts is this one.

Costco sells Filet Mignon, which is around two inches thick, and they have little fat; it’s primarily lean meat. 

Price of Filet Mignon at Costco

The filet mignon is less costly than the whole thing, and the choice filet mignon comes in at $15.99 per pound. The prime choice costs around $20.99 per pound, so it’s a little expensive — still less than the whole tenderloin.

FAQs

How to save on Costco beef?

The best way to save money while buying beef from Costco is to butcher it yourself. The meat prices are competitive, but the butcher prices set you back. Buy a good pair of butcher knives and trim your meat yourself.

Another way you can save money if you don’t know how to butcher meat yourself is that take it to a third-party butcher shop. They cost less and do quick work on many kinds of beef. Another good thing is that you can get it butchered according to your liking.

It’ll fit better in your freezer too.

What’s all the hype around Wagyu beef at Costco?

The average price per pound of Wagyu beef tenderloin is high. Compared to that, Costco prices are much better. In the beginning, people were skeptical about it because of the price. This is real wagyu beef tenderloin!

How to get even better discounts at Costco?

If you follow a couple of tips, you can even save further. Costco stores sometimes get a large influx of meat in bulk, and they know they can’t sell it on time. Talk to the Costco meat cutter about it, and you might get a huge discount of up to 30-40 percent off!

So talk to the meat cutter if they have any beef tenderloins that they need to get rid of. Another way to save money is by shopping for beef tenderloins on weekends. The store will be busier than usual, and the meat cutters will offer deals for large crowds!

How are beef tenderloins preserved at Costco?

Although Costco beef is at a higher risk of contamination because of the way it’s tenderized, it’s still pretty safe because it’s stored in Cryovac. It also marked them with the date of packaging, which makes it easier for you to gauge how fresh they are.

Sirloin vs tenderloin, which is better?

Sirloin is savory and juicy because of the fatty coating it has, but still less than beef tenderloin. Tenderloins are also softer, which makes them the prime choice for steaks.

Conclusion

Even though beef tenderloins are pretty expensive, Costco sells them at a competitive price with different cuts and grades, which gives you the freedom to choose your tenderloins with the quality and price according to your budget.

It’s one of the tastiest meats you’ll ever eat, so go to your local Costco and get a beef tenderloin for yourself!

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