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Best "Club" store for BBQ Meats

J_QueJ_Que Posts: 220
I know a lot of fellow eggers belong to clubs (Sams, Cosco, etc) and I was curious who you think has the best prices and selection for your traditional BBQ meats. (Bone in pork butts, Spare Ribs, Brisket.) I'm about to pull the trigger on one of these clubs, but I only want to join one. So, which one should I join?
I knew all the rules, but the rules did not know me.


  • vidalia1vidalia1 Posts: 7,092

    1.Restaurant Depot

    2. Costco

    Just my 2 cents....


  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,020
    i avoid sams because its walmart, i avoid bj's because the place near me was always dirty, have had lots from cosco that was great but have never gone in because its just too far a drive for me. not a club but a chain thats growing quickly is' the meat house' fair costs for upper quality cuts
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 15,986
    I avoid Sam's meat department. I've been told that they pump a lot of water in their meat resulting in false weight and dry meat as the water evaporates. No Costco near me. Kroger mostly with specialty meats from my local butcher.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 6,489
    We used to have memberships to both Sam's and Costco.  We basically just quit going to Sam's and quit renewing out memberships.  I can't tell you that I have definitively compared Sam's meat to Costco meat side-by-side, but my overall take is that I was never disappointed in meat from Sam's - but I am often actually impressed with the meat from Costco (prime tenderloins, choice briskets, prime rib roasts, etc at 30 - 60% discount compared to my HEB grocery store), and similarly have never been disappointed.  So, I would recommend Costco.

    XL BGE, Klose BYC, ProQ Excel, Weber Kettle, Firepit, Grand Turbo gasser, and a portable Outdoor Gourmet gasser for tailgating

    San Antonio, TX

  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 9,860
    edited August 2013
    I have tried Costco and BJs.  Both are relatively close to me.  I have had great luck with both in the past.  I just recently switched back to BJs because it is closer and the Costco is always really crowded.  I have had 2 bad experiences since I went back.  I got a couple of butts and they were not great.  Lots of really dark meat.  I don't think they were dangerous or anything, but they didn't turn out as tender as they usually do and they were just "offf".  Just this Friday I picked up two "2 packs" of ribs.  I opened the first one and it smelled like road kill.  I rinsed it off and let it sit for a while to make sure it wasn't cryo-funk, but they were definitely bad.  I didn't open the second pack- I just returned them both and paid full price at publix $4.99 a lb...ouch. 

    I don't want to blow it out of proportion- these were just 2 isolated incidents; but I'm thinking of switching back to Costco. 

    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

  • FLbobecuFLbobecu Posts: 309
    Costco. Get the membership through work; otherwise wouldn't shop there. 

    This is why I like Costco. From time to time I score USDA Prime ribeyes like these:

    However a local in-town "specialty" butcher sells SUPER nice USDA Prime steaks for $19.99/lb - and is what I'd buy when I want a ribeye, but the price at Costco keeps me coming back..
  • JRWhiteeJRWhitee Posts: 4,496
    I switched from Sams to Costco a couple years ago and I think the meat is better, Boston Butts are boneless but always fantastic. I am disappointed that they only sell Brisket Flats in Atlanta, no packers. The baby backs and the St. Louis ribs are great as well. I do get to the Restaurant depot once in a while and and believe there meat is better.

    Large BGE 2006, Mini Max 2014, 36" Blackstone, Anova Sous Vide
    Green Man Group 
    Johns Creek, Georgia
  • We don't have a Costco around here.  Sam's Club for us if we are talking "club" stores.  Kroger usually has what I want to cook except butts.
    Flint, Michigan
  • Black_BadgerBlack_Badger Posts: 1,182
    We have a Costco membership and I've been generally pleased with the near there, but often underwhelmed with the price and selection. Not that its expensive, just not as inexpensive as if expect at Costco, if that makes sense. 

    My new and current favorite is smart & final. No membership needed, very competitive prices, and cuts I couldn't find elsewhere (like packet brisket). Lots of cool stuff in there, much in bulk sizes.

    Finally back in the Badger State!

    Middleton, WI
  • JohnInCarolinaJohnInCarolina Posts: 11,593
    I walked into the Costco here just to check out their meats. The ribs and pork butts looked great, but the briskets were pretty small (~6lb). We'll probably get a membership at some point, but I was pretty disappointed by that.
    "If the world is something you accept rather than interpret, then you're susceptible to the influence of charismatic idiots." - NdGT

    "The truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand." - DT

  • We have both memberships but Sams pricing has been better.  Costco is good but like others said, no packer briskets.  I've read on this forum that many find nearly the same selection at the Walmart as Sams.  I don't shop there but if true, you might the same selection as Sams 

    One last thing, Costco often sells smaller packs of ribs and from time to time butts.  This is a nice option as we give away far more then we can eat. 

  • NDGNDG Posts: 1,552
    Very nice post.  I live right next to Whole Foods which is nice, but I would love to have cheaper option as well because I am not a big fan of kroger or giant eagle for proteins.  I just did a search and found out I have a RESTAURANT DEPOT within 15 miles of me!  Also surprised to see that they do not charge a membership fee?  I just signed up and I will check it out later this week, thanks for the awareness!
    Columbus, Ohio
  • NDGNDG Posts: 1,552
    Nevermind - looks like restaurant depot needs TAX ID or EXEMPT # and my company is just me.  I am a business owner, but my LLC has no employees.  Am I  correct to assume that I can not join then? 
    Columbus, Ohio
  • StoogieStoogie Posts: 117
    @NDG ... If you have a LLC, then I'm going to assume you have a tax ID number that is registered with the state so you should be good as long as it is active. I'm in the same boat as you - LLC registered, no employees - and I have a state tax ID. You should be good.
    Large BGE

    Neenah, WI
  • Costco for us.  Great price/quality ratio, especially on pork shoulder (boneless, though, in my area) and their occasional Prime subprimals, which we cut into steaks and freeze (we'll dry-age eventually, but I need to figure out what kind of setup to use/where to put it).

    I will admit that I won't go to Sam's because I don't support Walmart.

    [Northern] Virginia is for [meat] lovers.
  • jaydub58jaydub58 Posts: 2,130

    I have been a Costco believer for a long time.  Always a very good selection of both beef cuts and pork at competitive prices.

    Also, about a 9 minute drive for me! 

    John in the Willamette Valley of Oregon
  • batboybatboy Posts: 26
    NDG said:
    Nevermind - looks like restaurant depot needs TAX ID or EXEMPT # and my company is just me.  I am a business owner, but my LLC has no employees.  Am I  correct to assume that I can not join then? 

    They just want to know on your application that the company's function has some relationship to food or charity.  If your LLC has an EIN, that will suffice.  Note that my company is in IT, but we were engaging in some trade show and other marketing events where we wanted to serve some food items.  That was good enough for Restaurant Depot and membership was approved.

    I am not suggesting you lie (certainly don't lie about being a non-profit if you aren't), but RD isn't exactly the FBI; they aren't going to be background checking your application. . . you can think of something.

  • QDudeQDude Posts: 667
    I belong to both but I like Sam's meat better.  The baby back ribs, pork loin, pork butts, hamburger, and steaks have always been high quality.  Much better than the Kroger (King Soopers) and Safeway stores.  The price seems to be slightly lower than the Costco store.

    A northern Colorado Egghead since 2012!

    XL and a Small BGE.

  • bbqlearnerbbqlearner Posts: 760
    I have a Costco membership and loved it. But somehow, I've scored great deals much more in HEB (local store) for brisket Choice ($1.77/lb right now) and ribeye prime and other steaks...just saying :D

    Houston, TX - Buddy LBGE, Don SBGE, Tiny Mini & Shiny Momma Pitts n Spitts

  • Z_EggineerZ_Eggineer Posts: 576

    Pork Butts - Sam's

    Brisket - Restaurant Depot

    Steak - Costco

    Ribs - Local butcher or Sam's

    Chicken - Too variable

    Beef Tenderloin - Restaurant Depot

    Bacon and Pork Chops - Anyone that sells Niman Ranch!

  • rconercone Posts: 143
    Restaurant Depot in Milwaukee is awful......I have always had great luck with Costco.
    "Feed me, or feed me to something; I just want to be part of the food chain" Al Bundy

    LBGE, SBGE, Carson Rotisserie, Blackstone Griddle  

    Milwaukee, Wisconsin 
  • CookinbobCookinbob Posts: 1,690
    I would not join a club just for the meat.  I vote for convenience.  I belong to BJ's because of location, sometimes buy meat there, but Wegman's and local butchers get some of my meat business too.  No Costco within 50 miles of me.  I have been buying pork butts for $1.29/lb at Wegman's lately.
    XLBGE, Small BGE, Homebrew and Guitars
    Rochester, NY
  • EagleIIIEagleIII Posts: 255
    I vote Costco.  I have always had very good luck with their meat, which I find to be very good quality and moderately priced.  Great deals on Butts, Ribs, Hams Ribeyes, Tri-tips and Salmon,  My only complaint is that you cannot get a Packer Brisket there as they only carry the least at my Costco.  The butcher said they cannot even order them as it is not in their catalog(?)
  • GrillmagicGrillmagic Posts: 1,546

    Sam's club for me, no Costco in my area but I wish there was. I have been pleased with the quality at Sam's. The salmon is Great and always the same quality. I have there upgraded membership and often shop before they open to the public and always get there managers special reduced price meat. I bought 3 1/2 pounds of NY Strips today for 4.99 a pound. 4 inch and half 1 1/2 steaks. That's what's for dinner


    Dimondale, Michigan XL BGE
  • I just bought a packer brisket from GFS Market here in Louisville for 2.59/lb.  They are a wholesale market open to the public without a membership.
    LGBE August 2013

    Louisville, KY
  • TerrebanditTerrebandit Posts: 1,718
    I've got SAMs and Cosco in Austin. I've checked out Cosco but their membership cost is too high for what you get. For the things I buy, SAMs is better in price and the membership cost is lower. I've never been disappointed in the meat from SAMs. I like Walmart and their low prices, sorry.
    Dave - Austin, TX
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,698
    Costco blade tenderizes just about all their steaks.  That said, they're building one here in New Orleans and we just joined.  Opening in a couple of months.
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 14,013
    I've got SAMs and Cosco in Austin. I've checked out Cosco but their membership cost is too high for what you get. For the things I buy, SAMs is better in price and the membership cost is lower. I've never been disappointed in the meat from SAMs. I like Walmart and their low prices, sorry.
    Costco pays me to shop at their store. Can't beat that.
  • dlk7dlk7 Posts: 1,053
    Costco for whole tenderloins that I cut into filets. 

    Two XL BGEs - So Happy!!!!

    Waunakee, WI

  • calikingcaliking Posts: 11,125
    I buy ribs, butts, shrimp, brackets from HEB. Prime steaks, lobster tails, salmon, ahi tuna, chicken, ground turkey from Costco.

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
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