Chicken breasts get all of the attention. There are thousands of recipes on Pinterest, including them, and everyone talks about them; they are everywhere. But there is another excellent cut of chicken worth considering — the thigh.
Like the other, more famous cut, chicken thighs are a complete protein high in tryptophan and zinc. They are also cheaper.
It’s time to learn about Costco chicken thighs. What varieties are sold, how much do they cost, and most importantly, are they any good?
Does Costco Sell Chicken Thighs
Strolling the aisles, you see a plethora of chicken. Costco sells whole chickens, breasts, drumsticks, wings, and thighs, some varieties in organic and non-organic, and most in refrigerated and frozen varieties. It can be overwhelming.
There are three types of Costco chicken thighs:
- Costco Chicken Thighs Bone-In
- Costco Chicken Boneless Skinless Thighs Organic
- Costco Chicken Boneless Skinless Thighs
All three are in vacuum-sealed packages in the store’s refrigerated section. We have yet to see Costco carry frozen chicken thighs.
Types Of Costco Chicken Thighs
Not all chicken thighs are the same. There are two main types, bone-in and boneless. Here’s the difference.
Costco Chicken Thighs Bone-In
Leaving the bone in takes longer cooking since the meat takes longer to heat. Slower cooking helps the chicken retain moisture.
These also still have the skin, another way to lock in moisture. You can easily remove the skin after cooking if you don’t want to eat it.
If you are concerned about dry meat, purchase Costco bone-in chicken thighs.
Costco Chicken Boneless Skinless Thighs
Conversely, removing the bone makes the meat easier to prep and quicker to cook.
The non-organic boneless skinless chicken thighs are poultry state on the package “contains up to 3% retained water.” This statement means that the thighs were not injected with water, but some water was absorbed during cooling in a “chill tank,” a giant vat of cold, moving water.
The chill tank lowers the temperature of the slaughtered birds and their giblets (hearts, livers, gizzards, etc.) During this water-chilling process, chickens absorb some water, and manufacturers must prominently declare this amount on the label. According to the USDA, it is not unusual for poultry to report 8 to 12% retained water.
Most chicken in the country is prepared this way, although some insist that air chilling is better. Bell & Evans process their chickens using this method.
Costco Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs Organic
Like the non-organic version, Costco Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs Organic contains retained water (9%).
As for health benefits, it seems as though organic chicken has no meaningful differences in the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) or protein content from non-organic. The main difference is in the fat content of the skin, which is a moot point since these are skinless.
Costco Chicken Thigh Prices 2023
- Costco Chicken Thighs Bone-In – $1.49 per lb. average size is 9-10lbs. Total for three packages This is much less than the grocery store, which sold the bone on thighs for $3.36 per lb.
- Costco Chicken Boneless Thighs Organic – $5.99 per pound. Most were 6-7 lbs per three packages. $7.51 per pound at the grocery store
- Costco Chicken Boneless Thighs — $2.99 per lb. average of 7-8lbs per three packages. This price is much less than a comparable product which costs $4.32 per pound in the grocery store.
Is Costco Chicken Good Quality: A Costco Chicken Thighs Review
Costco Chicken Thighs are a great addition to your meal plans if properly cooked. They are much cheaper than boneless skinless chicken breasts and have similar nutritional value.
The Costco options are water-chilled instead of Bell and Evans chickens which are air-chilled. While we feel as though their method produces a slightly better-tasting chicken, it comes at an extra cost. Costco is a great value.
We like all of the versions but the skin-on variety we really recommend. It’s the most affordable, and the skin helps seal in moisture. If you are concerned about the extra fat or just don’t like the skin, it’s easy to take off before eating.
Is It Cheaper To Buy Bone-In Chicken Thighs
Costco bone-in chicken thighs are cheaper than the boneless variety. Costco’s bone-in variety is half the price of those without bones. But it’s important to note that price per pound isn’t the only consideration.
On average, it’s best to plan for ½ lb of boneless thighs per person and ¾ to 1 pound of bone-in. The boneless version is $2.99 per pound and $1.49 for bone-in. Since you typically use double the amount of bone-in, the prices are the same per serving.
Boneless thighs cook faster and are easier to cut since there is no bone to cut around. On the other hand, the bones slow the cooking process, which helps the meat retain more moisture.
Why Is Chicken So Cheap At Costco?
Costco can maintain low prices for several reasons — the company sells in bulk, has incredible buying power, and has lower-than-average margins.
Buying in bulk allows for lower prices since the price per unit is lower.
The retail giant keeps their margins lower than competitors. The average Costco markup is 11% compared to Walmart, which is 24%. And the company “doesn’t mark up any item more than 15 percent. Membership fees give it some financial freedom to keep prices low,” according to a CBS News report.
If you wish to save even more on chicken, check out our Costco rotisserie chicken hack.
Are Chicken Thighs Cheaper Than Breasts
Chicken thighs are cheaper than chicken breasts. Chicken thighs at Costco cost as little as $1.99 per pound, whereas chicken breasts cost $5.99 per pound.
Serving sizes are approximately the same for chicken thighs and breasts (4-6oz.), so it’s an even comparison.
Besides being cheaper, they have comparable nutritional value and are just as easy to cook. If not already, it’s time to put them on your Costco list.
How To Cook Kirkland Chicken Thighs
The best way to cook Kirkland chicken thighs starts with a dry brine. Pat the meat dry and sprinkle it liberally with salt. Place in the refrigerator uncovered for ½-1 hour for skinless and 1-8 hours for skin-on.
Remove it from the fridge and let the meat come to room temperature. You do not want to cook cold chicken; it leads to uneven cooking and ups your chance of overcooking.
How Many Chicken Thighs Do I Need For 5 Adults
It depends on whether you cook bone-in or boneless. The plan is ½ lbs per person boneless and 3/4lb bone-in. For five adults, purchase 2.5 lbs of boneless thighs and 3.75-4 pounds of bone-in.
Is It Better To Bake Skinless Costco Chicken Thighs At 375 Or 400?
Oven temperatures are flexible for chicken thighs. What’s most important is that the meat reaches 165 degrees.
Thigh size varies greatly, so take a temperature before serving.
Here’s a handy chart for cooking times based on oven temperature from Spend With Pennies. Note that bone-in chicken thighs cook better in higher-heat ovens.
- Chicken Thighs at 350°F – 50-55 minutes
- Chicken Thighs at 375°F – 45-50 minutes
- Chicken Thighs at 400°F – 40-45 minutes
- Chicken Thighs at 425°F – 35-40 minutes
Costco Chicken Thighs Recipes
Here are some of our favorite ways to prepare Costco Chicken Thighs.
- Paprika Chicken and Rice — One of my favorite chefs Sohla El-Waylly, has an excellent one-pot dish that’s easily customizable.
- Green Chicken and Potatoes — This simple marinade is so delicious; I always use it. If you aren’t feeling potatoes, just cook the meat and put it in a pita with cucumbers and tzatziki.
- Air Fryer Chicken Thighs — Skinny Taste has an excellent tutorial for making Costco chicken thighs in the air fryer. The end result is flavorful and crispy.
Costco Chicken Thighs Calories
Four ounces of Costco Chicken thighs have 170 calories.
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