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    A Comprehensive Look at Costco Pulled Pork: Did The 2023 Revamp Change The Taste?

    Updated January 14, 2024: The changes were excellent! Jump to our full review.

    There are just some items in the warehouse that you walk past every trip and wonder if it’s worth the purchase. Costco pulled pork was that item for me. I always reach over it in the refrigerated section while grabbing Hannah Tatziki and wonder, is it any good?

    Costco pulled pork dinners

    It has the potential to be a great weeknight dinner since it’s pre-cooked. In 2022, we tried it, and it was not good. We were surprised how much we disliked it, considering Kirkland Signature products are often really good. It disappeared for some time in 2023 and came back with new packaging. But has the taste changed?

    I purchased it the other day and have lots of thoughts. Here is everything you need to know about Costco pulled pork in our honest review for 2024. 

    2024 Costco Pulled Pork

    Does Costco Sell Pulled Pork?

    Yes! Costco sells Kirkland Signature Smoked Pulled Pork in the refrigerated section; each package contains approximately two pounds of meat. They used to sell another Brand, Wolf Family BBQ Pulled Pork, but we haven’t seen that since 2022.

    Should you prefer to make pulled pork from scratch, the warehouse giant sells pork shoulder. The fat content of this cut makes it ideal for this purpose. The meat is approximately 16 lbs, which yields about 10 lbs. of pulled pork and would feed 20 people. I’ve made the Slow Cooker Pulled Pork recipe from Dinner at the Zoo several times, and it’s easy and delicious.

    I have not seen canned pulled pork in the warehouse or online recently. 

    Costco Pulled Pork Price

    Kirkland Signature Smoked Pulled Pork costs $14.99 for two pounds in 2024.

    How To Cook Costco Pulled Pork

    Kirkland Signature Smoked Pulled Pork comes fully cooked. The manufacturers recommend reheating in two ways: via the microwave or stovetop. When you open the packaging, you will notice the fat has collected in spots, so be sure to follow the instructions, as proper heating will help the fat melt.

    How To Cook Costco Pulled Pork In The Microwave

    To heat it in the microwave, remove the cardboard sleeve and puncture the bag four times. Place the bag in the black tray provided and microwave for seven minutes. Let stand for two minutes, then stir and serve.

    How To Cook Costco Pulled Pork On The Stovetop

    Place the bag in boiling water for 12-15 minutes. Remove meat from the pack and shred. This cooking method alone makes it an excellent camping meal. 

    How To Cook Costco Pulled Pork In The Crockpot

    This is not on the package, but you can cook Costco Pulled Pork in the crockpot. Place the meat in the crock and use the warm setting for 2-4 hours. Include all the liquid from the package; you need a few tablespoons to ensure it doesn’t burn. If you are concerned, you can add a few splashes of broth or water;

    How Long Does Costco Pulled Pork Last In The Fridge?

    If you have leftovers, place them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. According to the USDA, if stored at or below 40 degrees, pulled pork should last 3-4 days. 

    If something doesn’t look, smell, or taste good, it’s best to toss it. Pathogenic bacteria grow in temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees, so proper storage is essential. 

    Can You Freeze Costco Pulled Pork?

    Yes! Kirkland Signature Pulled Pork freezes well. You can do so before or after it’s heated. The package is vacuum-sealed, so storage is easy and should last 3-4 months.

    Place leftover cooked meat in a freezer bag, remove excess air and flatten for accessible storage and defrosting. Cooked pulled pork is good for 3-4 months. Make sure to label the bag since lots of frozen items look alike.

    To defrost Costco Pulled Pork, put the package in the refrigerator 24 hours before cooking. You can cook the Kirkland pulled pork from frozen. The stovetop method is best for this. Follow the instructions, but plan on doubling the cooking time at least.  

    Costco Pulled Pork Nutrition Information

    One three-ounce serving contains the following:

    • 160 calories
    • 11g of fat
    • 60mg of cholesterol
    • 780mg sodium
    • 16g protein
    • 6% of Your Daily Value of Iron and Potassium

    Comparing the stats for the new product vs the 2022 version, almost everything is the same but the sodium level has almost doubled. It was 490, and now it’s almost 800. If you are following a low-sodium diet, this is NOT the product for you.

    Kirkland Signature Pulled Pork Ingredients:

    Pork, Water, Vinegar, Salt, Natural Flavoring, Rubbed With: Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Paprika, Red Pepper, Garlic Powder

    The 2022 version included nitrates. The new Costco Pulled Pork is nitrate-free.

    Costco Pulled Pork Review

    Costco Pulled Pork Cooked In A Tray

    I will say it right out of the gate: the changes in the Costco Pulled Pork were much needed, and they have taken this product from inedible to pretty good! The Kirkland Signature version will NOT compete with a 12-hour homemade smoked version, but it is an excellent option for a weeknight meal.

    A big change was removing the nitrates and adding more flavors. You will notice the ingredient list now includes a spice rub and vinegar. It used to taste like cured ham but now has a more natural flavor. Right out of the package, it is not the prettiest to look at, but after it’s cooked, it’s more appealing. The strands need a good shred as they clump together from the vacuum sealing, but it’s no big deal to do.

    Upon cutting open the pakacge you are met with a woodsy smell, the hickory taste is subtle — you can’t taste it in every bite. Whereas the old version needed something to mask the flavor, the new Costco pulled pork is good. As for the texture, the old version was very greasy. This new version has just the right amount of fat.

    My kids’ rating went from one to two thumbs up. They liked it with and without BBQ sauce.

    I can see this being a great dinner if you are camping. It’s hearty and easy to prepare. It also doesn’t weigh too much if you need to carry it. 

    Kirkland Signature Pulled Pork is an easy dish to prepare. It’s ready in twenty-five minutes, and there are lots of ways you can use it. Removing nitrates and adding vinegar and spices positively affected the taste, and we would absolutely recommend it!

    How Do You Use Costco Pulled Pork?

    This meal is a great starting point for dinner since you can use it in many ways. Here’s how. 

    Costco pulled pork sandwiches

    Costco Pulled Pork With BBQ Sauce

    Mix the heated pork with your favorite BBQ sauce and put on sandwich buns. We love Sweet Baby Ray’s Original Sauce (available at the warehouse). You will want just shy of ½ cup of sauce for two pounds. Mix until you get the desired consistency. 

    If you want to get fancy, top your sandwiches with this KFC Copycat Cole Slaw Recipe or make some quick pickled red onions

    Costco Pulled Pork Carnitas

    Carnitas are a Mexican version of pulled pork. Making Costco pulled pork into carnitas is all about the spices. After it’s reheated, add lime juice, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, and oregano and mix. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. 

    Carnitas make geat tacos. Use warmed corn tortillas and top with meat, chopped white onion, cotija cheese, cilantro, and green salsa. 

    Pizza Topping

    BBQ pizza is delicious! Top pizza dough with BBQ sauce, shredded pulled pork, red onion, and mozzarella cheese for a tasty take on the traditional favorite.

    Costco Pulled Pork Quesadillas

    Costco pulled pork quesadilla

    Pulled pork makes an excellent quesadilla filling. Make it Mexican-inspired and use a taco cheese blend or BBQ-style with Monterrey jack or cheddar. 

    Salad Topping

    Who says pulled pork needs a carb with it? It’s a great way to add protein to salads. Use BBQ sauce or even ranch dressing to top it off. 

    Bowl

    Salad bowls are great but can be painful since there are many components. Making one is easier since the pork cooks relatively quickly. Add roasted veggies, beans, cheese, or whatever you like for a hearty dinner or lunch that comes together in a snap.

    Burrito

    For lunch on the go, use the Kirkland pulled pork in a tortilla and add corn, lettuce, and cheese. Or add scrambled eggs and cheese for a filling breakfast. 

    Nachos

    Shred the pork, put it on tortilla chips, and top with your favorite cheese. 

    Breakfast Hash

    Costco Pulled Pork Hash

    Take the cooked Costco pulled pork and add it to a skillet with sauteed peppers and onions. Cook until crispy and top with poached eggs for another excellent low-carb option from Costco.

    What Should I Serve With Pulled Pork?

    Here are a few great pulled pork side dishes.

    • French Fries
    • Garlic Bread
    • Green Salad
    • Mashed Potatoes
    • Cole Slaw
    • Rice
    • Quinoa
    • Cauliflower Mash
    • Roasted Cauliflower

    What Goes With Pulled Pork Sandwiches?

    Here are some great side dish ideas for pulled pork sandwiches.

    • French Fries
    • Tater Tots
    • Green Salad
    • Roasted Broccoli
    • Broccoli Salad
    • Cole Slaw
    • Carrot Sticks 

    Costco Pulled Pork FAQs

    How many pounds of pulled pork per person

    How Many Pounds of Costco Pulled Pork Do You Need Per Person?

    There are many factors to consider when deciding how much pulled pork you need per person. How are you serving it? If you are serving sandwiches, the buns are filling vs. on a salad. 

    Generally, plan for ⅓ to ½ pounds of pulled pork per person. A package of Kirkland Signature pulled pork is two pounds, serving four to six people. My family of four had plenty of leftovers. 

    How Many People Will 3 Lbs. Of Pulled Pork Feed?

    Three pounds of pulled pork serves 6-9 people. On average, people will eat ⅓ to ½ pounds of pulled pork.

    How Many Sandwiches Can You Get Out Of One Pound Of Pulled Pork?

    The average sandwich bun holds 4-5 ounces. Since there are 16 oz. in a pound, there’s enough to make about four sandwiches.

    Is Costco Pulled Pork Pre Cooked?

    Yes! Kirkland Signature Pulled Pork is fully cooked.

    Did Costco Stop Selling Pulled Pork?

    Yes! Costco removed pulled pork from the shelves in late 2023 only to replace it with a revamped product with new packaging and some ingredient changes. The new Kirkland Signature Pulled Pork is nitrate-free and includes a spice rub and vinegar. It also has a higher sodium content.

    These changes were welcome additions. The taste is substantially better and it’s not greasy as many Redditors complained.

    Warehouse stock constantly changes, and inventory varies from location to location, even within locales. If you don’t see it in one store, it may be in another nearby. To understand what’s in the warehouse, check the website for same-day Costco delivery via Instacart. A quick search helps you determine if the product is available near you. Instacart works by hiring shoppers to go to the warehouse and physically shop for you. If they have access to the product, you do, too.

    If you can’t find it in the warehouse, you can always buy some pork shoulder and smoke it.

    Pin this for later.

    2 thoughts on “A Comprehensive Look at Costco Pulled Pork: Did The 2023 Revamp Change The Taste?”

      1. Hi Kathy,

        If you are boiling, there’s no need to defrost just add a few minutes to the cooking time. For other methods, I would defrost in the fridge overnight first for best results.

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