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    Costco Frozen Shrimp: The Ultimate Buying Guide for 2024

    Updated June 11, 2024

    Whether you’re a seafood lover or simply looking to elevate your culinary experience, Costco frozen shrimp offers a convenient and affordable solution. But with so many warehouse options, picking the best one is difficult. Join us as we explore the journey from the ocean to the freezer and uncover the best frozen shrimp at Costco.

    Want to know which shrimp to buy at Costco? We’ve explored them all. Read this before heading to the warehouse. 

    Pictures of the 12 varieties of Costco Frozen Shrimp sold in warehouse

    Does Costco Carry Shrimp?

    During a recent trip to the warehouse, we found 12 different types of shrimp. The contents of the low freezers rotate often, but those in the larger freezers are standard. Whether you are looking for farm-raised or wild-caught, small or large, they’ve got you covered. 

    Type# Pieces Per PoundPrice Per PoundCountry of OriginIngredientsSeafood Watch Rec? Y/N
    Kirkland Signature Cooked Shrimp50-70 $6.49VietnamShrimp, Water, SaltYES
    Kirkland Signature Cooked Shrimp Tail Off21-25$7.95VietnamShrimp, Water, SaltYES
    Kirkland Signature Farm Raised Tail On 11-15 $9.99VietnamShrimp, Water, SaltYES
    Kirkland Signature Farm Raised Tail Off31-40$5.99IndaShrimp, Water, SaltNO
    Kirkland Signature Farm-Raised Raw Tail On21-25$6.99IndiaShrimp, Water, SaltNO
    Kirkland Signature Wild Gulf Shrimp30-40$8.99United StatesShrimpYES
    Kirkland Signature Wild Argentine Red Shrimp30-50$10.75ArgentinaShrimpNO

    Costco Frozen Shrimp Review — What Is The Best Costco Frozen Shrimp?

    We recommend Kirkland Signature Wild Caught Gulf Shrimp. It has an edge in flavor thanks to being wild-caught, and Seafood Watch recommends shrimp from the US (specifically this region). The size is perfect for most uses.
    Kirkland Signature Wild Caught Shrimp Our Pick For Best Costco Frozen Shrimp

    Kirkland Signature Wild Caught Gulf Shrimp checks almost all the boxes we look for in great shrimp. The taste is incredible, perhaps because it is wild-caught and feasts on its natural environment. 

    As for sustainability, Seafood Watch recommends shrimp caught in the Gulf. We love that Costco provides the name of the fishing vessel on the back right of the package. 

    Kirkland Signature Wild Caught Gulf Shrimp only contains shrimp, unlike other options that contain additives or brines. The sodium content is lower, thanks to the lack of other ingredients. 

    Our one gripe is that it is too small for some uses, like grilling and stuffing, but it works well for most recipes, including pasta, soups, and stews. If you want to grill them, place them on a skewer so they don’t fall through the grates. Since they are small, we wouldn’t use them for deep frying, but Kirkland Signature Panko Shrimp is an excellent alternative. We wish they were 21-25 pieces per pound. 

    As for ease of use, they are sold ready to cook; the tails are off and fully deveined. 

    Costco Frozen Shrimp Price

    We found 12 varieties of shrimp at the warehouse, including those in the low freezers. Prices range from $6.99 to $14 per pound, and packages ranged from 1.5 to two pounds. Here are the prices of the most commonly sold Costco Frozen Shrimp.

    Type# Pieces Per PoundPrice Per PoundPackage SizeTotal Price 
    Kirkland Signature Farm-Raised Cooked Shrimp Tail Off50-70 $6.492lbs.$12.99
    Kirkland Signature Farm-Raised Cooked Shrimp Tail On21-25$7.952lbs.$15.89
    Kirkland Signature Farm-Raised Tail On 11-15 $9.991.5lbs$14.99
    Kirkland Signature Farm-Raised Raw Tail On21-25$6.992lbs.$13.99
    Kirkland Signature Farm-Raised Tail Off31-40$5.992lbs.$11.99
    Kirkland Signature Wild Gulf Shrimp Tail Off30-40$8.992lbs.$17.99
    Kirkland Signature Wild Argentine Red Shrimp Tail Off30-50$10.752lbs.$21.49

    Where Does Costco Get Their Frozen Shrimp?

    Costco gets its frozen shrimp from the U.S., Ecuador, Mexico, Thailand, Vietnam, Argentina, and India. The U.S. Government requires retailers to notify their customers of the country of origin of covered commodities, including farm-raised and wild-caught shrimp.  

    It was hard to find, and consumers had to scour packages for the information. However, Costco has made it easy to locate. It’s on the back right of the package near the “Best If Used By Date.”

    Costco’s farmed shrimp comes from some of the world’s largest crustacean producers. According to the World Wildlife Fund, farmed shrimp accounts for 55% of global shrimp. Most shrimp aquaculture occurs in China, followed by Thailand, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Brazil, Ecuador, and Bangladesh. This industry has generated substantial income for these developing countries. 

    Fishermen caught the wild varieties in the United States.  

    The Monterey Bay Aquarium program, Seafood Watch, helps consumers navigate purchasing sustainable seafood with its rating system. According to its Sustainable Shrimp Guide,  the organization recommends farmed shrimp from Ecuador, Honduras, Thailand, and Vietnam. The organization cautions consumers of shrimp farmed in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Nicaragua, or Vietnam (intensive pods). The group also recommends wild-caught U.S. shrimp.

    Costco Frozen Shrimp Sizes

    Every shrimp package has a number indicating how many pieces there are per pound. Sometimes, it’s clear; other times, it simply states, “U-#,” meaning there are under that number of shrimp per pound. 

    Costco carries frozen shrimp in sizes ranging from very large (11-15 per pound) to small (50-70 per pound).

    Larger shrimp sizes equal a lower number in a pound. These are excellent for the grill since they won’t fall through the grates. They also are great for appetizers or dishes where shrimp stand alone.

    Medium sizes are perfect for pasta, soups, and stews. Smaller-sized shrimp are excellent for salads, rolls, and fried rice. Due to their petite size, they often don’t require chopping.

    Adjectives like jumbo and colossal mean nothing. They are simply marketing terms.  

    Type# Pieces Per PoundBest Uses
    Kirkland Signature Farm-Raised Cooked Shrimp Tail Off50-70 Shrimp Salad, Shrimp Rolls
    Kirkland Signature Farm-Raised Cooked Shrimp Tail On21-25Fried Shrimp
    Kirkland Signature Farm Raised Tail On 11-15 Fried Shrimp
    Kirkland Signature Farm-Raised Raw Tail On21-25Fried Shrimp
    Kirkland Signature Farm Raised Tail Off31-40Pasta, Soups, Stews
    Kirkland Signature Wild Gulf Shrimp30-40Pasta, Soups, Stews
    Kirkland Signature Wild Argentine Red Shrimp30-50Pasta, Soups, Stews

    Costco Wild Caught Vs. Costco Farm-Raised Shrimp

    Wild-caught shrimp come from oceans where farm-raised shrimp grow in large tanks.

    Many consumers believe that wild-caught is good and farm-raised is terrible. Unfortunately, things aren’t that simple. 

    The nutritional quality of shrimp is mainly based on what they consume. Fish in the wild tend to eat a natural diet and have a slightly lower amount of saturated fat. Farmed fish provide more Omega threes, likely due to their fortified feed. Some consumers say that wild-caught fish taste better.

    According to Colorado State University, some studies have shown how farm-raised varieties can be higher in contaminants. 

    As for sustainability, some wild-caught shrimp is overfished, and the nets can affect other wildlife. There are also aquaculture issues, although many countries are making strides to become more sustainable. 

    As for price, wild-caught is almost always going to be more expensive. It’s a more labor-intensive way of fishing, and the costs are passed on to the consumer.

    Which Costco Shrimp Is Best Tail On Or Off? Head On Or Head Off?

    Costco sells shrimp with heads, heads off, shells on, shells off, tails on, and tails off. Here are the pros and cons of each.

    Shrimp with the heads on have much more flavor but require more work to prepare. For most people, headless varieties are best.

    Keeping the shells on helps to protect the meat and keep it moist, which is great if you make a shrimp cocktail. The leftover shells also make an outstanding seafood stock. But this comes with more work to remove the shells, so for the average home cook, shell off is fine.

    The biggest choice for consumers is tail-on or tail-off. If you are making appetizers or dishes where you eat with your hands, then buy tail on. For all other uses, tail-off is preferred. If you are curious, you can eat shrimp tails.

    Costco Cooked Shrimp Vs. Costco Raw Shrimp

    We don’t recommend buying cooked shrimp. Even a quick reheat of Kirkland Signature Cooked Shrimp can make it rubbery. Since shrimp is so delicate and quick to cook, it only takes a few minutes.

    It’s worth spending 3-5 minutes to cook raw shrimp.

    What Ingredients Are In Costco Shrimp?

    It may seem silly to ask what ingredients are in shrimp since it’s such a basic food, but some Costco frozen shrimp varieties have additives while others are brined.

    Often, shrimp are placed in a water and salt solution immediately after being caught to lower the temperature. Brining helps ensure freshness and prevents product degradation while increasing the sodium content. If you are trying to limit your salt intake, look at the ingredient list, as you may want to avoid ones that list water and salt.

    A few products in the rotating stock of Costco shrimp contain sodium metabisulphite, an antioxidant extensively used as a food preservative and disinfectant.

    Costco Frozen Shrimp Cooking Instructions

    For best results, defrost the shrimp before cooking. Since they are small and don’t have much fat, they overcook easily, which results in rubbery meat. 

    How To Defrost Costco Frozen Shrimp

    If you have the time, place the frozen shrimp in a bag in the refrigerator overnight to defrost. 

    This is the simplest method but not the only way.

    If you are short on time, you can defrost them in water. DO NOT USE RUNNING WATER. Shrimp are delicate; running water makes them waterlogged and breaks them down. Instead, place shrimp in a large Ziploc bag and put that bag in a large bowl filled with cold water. Do not use hot water as that will cook them. This process should take about 20-30 minutes.

    After you defrost, pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel. Drying helps any seasoning adhere better, and too many leftover water droplets will steam the shrimp, making them soggy. 

    How Long To Cook Costco Frozen Shrimp

    Use this chart to guide how long it takes to cook Costco Frozen Shrimp. Remember to defrost first.

    Pieces Per PoundTotal Cooking Time
    36-401 -2 Minutes – watch very closely
    31-353 Minutes
    26-304-5 Minutes
    21-256-7 Minutes

    What Costco Shrimp Tastes Like Lobster?

    Kirkland Signature Wild Argentine Red Shrimp tastes like lobster. It’s not exactly like the famed red crustacean, but it’s pretty close with its red hue and meaty consistency. Wild Argentine Shrimp stand out from the crowd with their bright color and sweet flavor. They are caught in the cold waters in the South Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Patagonia.

    Costco sells a two-pound bag of 30-50 Wild Argentine Shrimp for $21.49.

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