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Costco Frozen Chicken Breasts (Kirkland) Review

A bag of frozen Costco Kirkland Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, sitting on a wooden table.

Author’s note: I wasn’t paid or compensated in any way for this review, and I have no affiliation with  Costco.

Call the Chicken Police.

Meh. I’m not totally sure how I feel about these boneless, skinless frozen chicken breasts from Costco. They are convenient to keep on hand — and not terrible — but I’m not certain I saved enough money to justify the modest reduction in quality. Let me explain.

Large frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts from Costco sitting on a wooden table.

Costco sells a few different types of Kirkland (store-brand) frozen chicken meat — including tenderloins, thighs, and wings. The frozen chicken breasts come in a big 6.5 pound bag. But, to my surprise, there were only 9 breasts in the bag. This is because they are HUGE.

A hand holding an enormous frozen chicken breast from Costco Kirkland.

I mean. Really huge. And thick.

If you are a lonely single person like I am, one breast is likely 3-4 meals. I don’t mind this when I’m cooking a big batch of something, like soup. But for preparing a single-serve entree, these are an awkward size. More about the servings later.

Tongs holding a boiled chicken breast from Costco over a large pot of soup.

Cooking from frozen

Anyway. The bag said I could cook the meat either from frozen, or thawed. I tried them frozen first. I put two, whole, frozen breasts in a pot of soup and let them simmer slowly until cooked through.

Two thick boneless skinless chicken breasts from Costco, sitting on a plastic cutting board.

The breasts shrunk in size somewhat, but remained extremely thick. In fact, I think they got thicker. I let them rest on a cutting board before dicing and returning to my soup to finish cooking.

Fingers holding a sliced chicken breast from Costco over a white cutting board.

The chicken breast texture turned out “ok.” It is a bit coarse, and not the most flavorful, but after simmering slowly in my finished chowder, it tasted acceptable. It’s not tough or chewy. If you are watching your salt intake, the meat did not taste salty at all.

Hand holding a whole chicken breast from Costco, with a gooey air pocket under the skin.

I was not thrilled to see a huge air pocket under the skin of one of my breasts. I mean, these are “skinless,” so it isn’t “skin.” But the outer layer. The bag says the chicken “contains up to 8% solution water and Kosher salt.” The inside of this weird, cavernous air pocket is oozey and gooey — not at all the way chicken should be. Not sure what happened here, but it grossed me out.

Usually when poultry has an added salt/water solution, it is a practice called “plumping,” where the meat is injected with the salt solution. You can read more about “plumping” here. I don’t know if this is what Costco did to their chicken or not.

Close-up of the air pocket on a Kirkland Costco frozen chicken breast.

Again, theses are “skinless” chicken breasts. However, after boiling them whole in my soup, the broth was FULL of little white stringy bits of chicken skin. I mean, a LOT of it. Just tiny, paper-thin shreds everywhere. Because of this, I would not recommend boiling the chicken directly in a soup (or other recipe) — I’d boil it in a separate pot, and then add it later. The skin bits really changed the taste and texture of my chowder! Ew. Call the Chicken Police.

A plastic bag with two thawed chicken breasts from Costco, sitting on a wooden table.

Cooking from thawed

For my next batch of soup (look, I really like soup, ok?), I tried fully thawing the chicken first. Mine needed about 24 hours in the refrigerator to thaw allll the way through. The meat had a moderate amount of foam and bubbles on the surface, but they smelled fine and the thawed texture looked OK. It’s a little “soggier” and more flaccid than fresh chicken.

A hand holding a previously frozen boneless skinless chicken breast from Costco Kirkland over a wooden table.

Again, the chicken breasts shrunk somewhat during thawing — there was a lot of water in the bag, too. I diced the thawed, raw chicken before adding to my soup. In the end, I preferred the thawed taste/texture over the frozen option. The meat didn’t taste as coarse, was tender and easy to chew, and I also did not have any obnoxious skin bits in my soup.

A bowl of creamy chowder with previously frozen chicken from Costco and a slice of bread with butter, in a white bowl / plate on a wooden table.

Although the meat tasted “fine,” I could still tell a difference from the fresh chicken breasts I normally buy. It’s just a slightly more processed, less tasty-taste. Not horrible. But not awesome.

(And yes, that’s a slice of Aldi Italian Take and Bake Bread on that plate.)

Thawing instructions for Costco Frozen Chicken Breasts

The chicken breasts are “ice glazed.” Like my heart. (Ice glazing helps prevent freezer burn and reduces changes in texture or taste. Read more about it here.)

Here are the thawing instructions from the bag. There’s a “quick thaw” option by submerging the chicken in water. This is what I usually do for my frozen fish, and it works well for me.

Nutrition Facts in Costco Kirkland Frozen Chicken Breasts

Nutrition facts and ingredients from a bag of Costco Kirkland Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts.

Here are the nutrition facts from the label on the bag. Since there are 26 servings per bag, and only 9 breasts, this means you are supposed to get 2.89 servings per breast. Awkward, but OK.

A 4-ounce portion has 100 calories and 22 grams of protein. There’s 8% of your daily value of sodium (from the added saline solution), which is modest. Only 1 gram of fat per serving.

Ingredients in Frozen Chicken Breasts from Costco Kirkland

Here are the ingredients from the bag:

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Contains up to 8% solution of water and Kosher salt

The bag also says “No Antibiotics Ever” and are “prepared from USDA A Grade poultry.” They are also a product of the USA. The front of the bag says “Hatched, Raised and Harvested in the USA.”

Good, good. The Chicken Police will go easy on you now.

Price for Costco Boneless Skinless Frozen Chicken Breasts

The 6.5 pound bag cost $17.99 in store. Since there were 9 breasts in the bag, each one cost $1.99. Per pound, this is $2.77.

My package had a “use by” date less than a year from the date of my purchase, which is a somewhat shorter lifespan than most other frozen items I buy.

This is a “Kirkland Signature” product, and the item # is: 1454442

Dramatic Conclusion

Would I buy these frozen chicken breasts from Costco again? Maybe. I like having something on-hand in my freezer. But, I think for most dishes, I’d prefer to buy fresh chicken and freeze it myself.

I don’t find this product to be a stellar value. Shopping carefully (at other stores), I can occasionally find “buy-one-get-one-free” deals on fresh chicken breasts that bring the cost per pound down to a comparable price.

Also, I realized after I bought these that Aldi sells 8 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast for only $16.99. I don’t have to pay a $60 membership to shop at Aldi, either. Just saying. Come on, Costco!

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