Bacon makes pretty much everything better, but if you have gone to your local grocery store lately, the prices probably made your jaw drop.
Fortunately, if you live near a Costco, you can get bacon in bulk. But if you’ve never bought bacon from Costco before, you might be a bit overwhelmed. I’ve researched everything there is to know about Costco bacon!
Here are 15 things you should know before buying Costco bacon to help you make the perfect choice for yourself and your family!
15 Things To Know Before Buying Costco Bacon In 2023
1. Costco Bacon Comes In A Variety Of Types
The two types of Costco bacon that receive the most attention are its Kirkland Signature regular cut bacon and the Kirkland Signature thick-cut.
But Costco sells other types, too.
For example, this includes Kirkland-Hormel branded fully cooked bacon, a Kirkland Signature low-salt version, and even bacon crumbles.
Also, you can find the following types of bacon at Costco:
- Fully cooked bacon from Daily’s Special
- 16-pack from Pederson Natural Farms
- Columbus turkey bacon
- Farmers thick-cut
- Deen halal beef bacon
Selection will vary by store, but the chances are good that if you’re heading to Costco for bacon, you will find something that fits your preference.
2. Critics Prefer Costco Bacon Thick-Cut
Ultimately, the Costco bacon that critics and customers can’t stop raving about is the Kirkland Signature thick-cut bacon.
A writer for Insider found the thick-cut bacon to be “comparable to more expensive brands,” remarking on the negligible shrinkage, flavorful smokiness, and perfect crispiness.
Overall, her takeaway was that there’s simply no comparison when it comes to what you get and what you pay for it.
Commenters on a Reddit thread had thoughts as well, and many of them felt the different flavors of Kirkland Signature thick-cut bacon were the top choice.
On top of that, one particularly authoritative writer even pointed out that there was less grease splatter when they cooked the thick-cut variety.
So, the fact that they witness less splatter is indicative of a higher-quality dry brine (or less aggressive wet brine, perhaps) on the meat.
3. The Regular Cut Costco Bacon Might Not Be Worth Buying
For all the clout the thick-cut bacon at Costco receives, is the regular cut worth a purchase, too?
The evidence suggests not! You can bypass disappointment by avoiding the regular cut.
The writer from Insider found multiple points against it. First, it shrank dramatically and wasn’t quite flavorful enough. Also, she thought the regular cut was quite thin.
For the price ($3.37 per pound), if the regular cut bacon is the only type at Costco when you go, you might as well pick it up.
But, if you have the choice between the regular and thick-cut, then you should certainly go with the latter.
4. Thick-Cut Costco Bacon Is Incredibly Affordable
For as good as the quality of the thick-cut bacon from Costco is, the price makes it all the more outstanding.
Remember, Costco is a warehouse-buy-it-in-bulk store, so you’re going home with three pounds of bacon for $10.99, which is only $3.66 per pound!
5. Regular Sliced Costco Bacon Is Only $3 Per Pound
If you go the regular sliced bacon route, you’re also going to get an exceptional deal.
For four pounds, you’ll pay about $13.49, or only $3.37 per pound at Costco.
6. You’re Going To Buy A Lot Of Costco Bacon All At Once
As I mentioned, Costco is a big warehouse-style store, so you’re not going to be purchasing one of anything, more like one dozen.
With that in mind, the Kirkland Signature bacon comes in three or four-pound packages.
Further, Costco sells a 16-pack of Pederson Natural Farms no-sugar bacon (for $119.99). Additionally, there’s a 12-pack of 12-ounce slaps of Rastelli-brand bacon.
Moreover, even the Kirkland Signature bacon crumbles come in 20-ounce bags for about $10.
7. Thick-Cut Costco Bacon May Shrink Less When Cooked
As I mentioned, the Insider writer who tested the Kirkland Signature thick-cut and regular-cut found that the thick-cut naturally shrunk less when cooked.
The difference was starkest with pan-cooking, but even oven-cooking the bacon made the thick-cut version shine in comparison.
8. Costco Bacon Is Nutritionally Similar To Other Brands
You might be worried that because Costco bacon is so cheap, there’s something wrong with it, or the manufacturers cut corners to make it.
However, that’s not the case, and Costco’s Kirkland Signature isn’t only tasty; it’s nutritionally similar to most other brands (even name brands).
For example, Hormel Applewood Thick Cut Bacon’s ingredients include:
- Cured With Water
- Sodium Phosphates
- Sodium Erythorbate
- Sodium Nitrite
In comparison, Kirkland Signature bacon’s ingredients list reads:
- Cured with Water
- Sodium Phosphate
- Brown Sugar
- Sodium Erythorbate
- Sodium Nitrate
As you can see, except for a few ingredients that account for variation in taste, what goes into making these types of bacon is very, very similar.
9. You Can Freeze Costco Bacon Perfectly
If you think you could never use all that Costco bacon before it goes bad, you’re in luck! Like all bacon, Costco’s varieties freeze wonderfully.
Usually, Costco packages its bacon by the pound, but you can separate them into even smaller portions and freeze if you need to.
Then, when you need to use one of your packages, you can just stick it in the fridge overnight to thaw.
For a faster thaw, try submerging in a tepid water bath, but only if you’re going to cook it immediately afterward!
10. You Might Get A Few “Lesser” Pieces Of Costco Bacon
Even Costco’s highly rated thick-cut bacon has been known to hide a few thinner, “lesser” pieces between the bigger ones.
Also, while Mashed presents this as Costco’s “penchant for hiding broken, thin or fatty pieces,” I have to disagree.
Instead, I would suggest that this isn’t an act of deception on Costco’s part, merely the consequences of machine-automated processing.
11. Don’t Be Surprised If Its Bacon Is Sold Out
Unfortunately, because Costco bacon is so beloved, there’s a good chance you’ll get to the refrigerated section and not find any left.
If you can track down an employee, politely ask if they know when the next truck will be coming, and then plan to get there early.
12. A Famous Name Makes The Pre-Cooked Costco Bacon
If you didn’t notice on the packaging, the Kirkland pre-cooked bacon is a joint operation with Hormel.
Yes, Costco brought on this prominent name in meat products to partner with its pre-cooked offering because it felt Hormel makes the very best.
Even better, while it’s the same bacon that Hormel makes under its own label and sells in grocery stores, Costco has the company slice its bacon a bit thicker.
13. Fully Cooked Costco Bacon Can Save You Some Time
Do you avoid bacon because it’s such a pain to cook?
I hear you.
Typically, pan-frying is time-consuming and can be painful and dangerous with grease splatter.
But, Costco’s high-quality, fully cooked bacon (Costco had someone visit upwards of ten bacon plants to find the best kind) provides a tasty alternative.
Because it’s fully cooked, you can eat it right out of the fridge. Or, you can pop it in the microwave or air fryer for a hot, crispier treat.
14. The Fully Cooked Costco Bacon Stays Good For A Long Time
If you’re a forgetful person, you might always forget to put things like extra bacon in the freezer. Fortunately, Costco’s fully cooked bacon relieves you of that stress!
For example, this bacon is good, unopened, for at least a few months.
If you break into it, though (who could blame you?), you might have a few weeks to finish it.
Of course, everybody and every fridge are different, so use your best judgment when it comes to bacon that has been in the refrigerator for more than a week.
15. Costco Bacon Bits Are A Good Alternative
Costco makes its bacon bits with real bacon, so it’s a good alternative when you need chopped bacon for a recipe, and you’re in a hurry.
However, it’s important to note that the texture is slightly different, but the flavor is still impressively good.
There’s a lot of hype surrounding Costco’s bacon, mainly because it’s so inexpensive – sometimes more than half the price of grocery store bacon.
In this instance, cheap does not mean bad quality, and the Kirkland Signature thick-cut bacon tops many bacon fans’ best-of lists.