American Wagyu brisket at Costco?

Jim6820

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After seeing some mentions of American Wagyu brisket showing up at Costco, I made a trip to my local store today. There were only a half-dozen USDA Choice briskets in the meat case, so I asked the meat department manager if he would be getting any American Wagyu briskets in. He told me that he had never seen American Wagyu briskets in his store, and he’d been there 5 years.

I pointed to the brisket case and noted that there were only a few USDA Choice in stock. “I may have a few Prime briskets in the back; what are you looking for?” I told him I preferred smaller full packers in the 10-12 pound range with the thickest flats possible. “Let me check what I have and I’ll be back in a couple of minutes.” So, I browsed the meat cases while he looked.

Interestingly enough, there was very little USDA Prime product in the cases and he later explained that they are having a hard time sourcing Prime. He didn’t know why.

A few minutes later, I saw him wave at me from the glassed-in meat-cutting area and point to a stocker employee rolling a cart with a large box on it. I waited while the stocker opened the case and started tossing briskets into the nearly-empty meat case. They were all USDA Prime! And, there were a half-dozen full packers in my desired size! I picked up two very nice Prime briskets; one 10 pounds and one 9-1/2 pounds; both had decent flats and relatively small fat caps/pockets.

IMG_2594.jpeg


Not American Wagyu, but decently marbled and configured USDA Prime briskets

So, the lesson for the day is “Ask and ye shall receive; seek and ye shall find.” Had I not sought out the meat department manager and asked, I would not have found a couple of nice USDA Prime briskets in my preferred size—and, at $4.49 a pound.
 
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I posted a tip some time ago but don’t know where it is. In summary, the best relationship you can have at a Costco is with their meat department manager. If they like you they will actually give you a call for “first pick” if you are a good customer. When I was buying $500-$1,000 of meat a month I think they had me on speed dial, lol. It remains in good supply where I live (see picture). I think you can also use the item number (43790) to find out which stores have it in stock. Another path is to call the closest business center and they can check inventory. I had to do that one time when I needed 20 Wagyu full packers (don’t ask me why) for a cook I was doing. YMMV

IMG_0674.jpeg
 
Hey Jim, I don't see Wagyu at our Costco in Silverdale WA but they have prime always. I have never seen a choice brisket there. They also are all usually 12-16 lbs thought. Now the A-5 Kobe at $99 is available.
I recently had a Wagyu ribeye that was given to me sourced from all places- Walmart Supercenter in Poulsbo!
The price for a single 3/4 lb steak was $20 however.
Looks like you got a couple nice briskets there, enjoy!
 
I did a Cosco prime yesterday too. Never had Wagyu brisket, but if it's better than the prime, it should be illegal!

1704464567558.png

After seeing some mentions of American Wagyu brisket showing up at Costco, I made a trip to my local store today. There were only a half-dozen USDA Choice briskets in the meat case, so I asked the meat department manager if he would be getting any American Wagyu briskets in. He told me that he had never seen American Wagyu briskets in his store, and he’d been there 5 years.

I pointed to the brisket case and noted that there were only a few USDA Choice in stock. “I may have a few Prime briskets in the back; what are you looking for?” I told him I preferred smaller full packers in the 10-12 pound range with the thickest flats possible. “Let me check what I have and I’ll be back in a couple of minutes.” So, I browsed the meat case while he looked.

Interestingly enough, there was very little USDA Prime product in the cases and he later explained that they are having a hard time sourcing Prime. He didn’t know why.

A few minutes later, I saw him wave at me from the glassed-in meat-cutting area and point to a stocker employee rolling a cart with a large box on it. I waited while the stocker opened the case and started tossing briskets into the nearly-empty meat case. They were all USDA Prime! And, there were a half-dozen full packers in my desired size! I picked up two very nice Prime briskets; one 10 pounds and one 9-1/2 pounds; both had decent flats and relatively small fat caps/pockets.

View attachment 20951

Not American Wagyu, but decently marbled and configured USDA Prime briskets

So, the lesson for the day is “Ask and ye shall receive; seek and ye shall find.” Had I not sought out the meat department manager and asked, I would not have found a couple of nice USDA Prime briskets in my preferred size—and, at $4.49 a pound.
 
Maybe only the Costco stores in the high-roller neighborhoods stock the American Wagyu. 😉
We have friends who live in a very wealthy area in Northern California. I made a Costco run with him one day and I can tell you for sure they had a better high end selection of meat among other items. I don’t know that they have Wagyu but definitely better choice of cuts and way more prime grade than our Costco.
 
I did a Cosco prime yesterday too. Never had Wagyu brisket, but if it's better than the prime, it should be illegal!

View attachment 20958
BNeal,

You should give it a try. Interestingly, I cooked Prime and American Wagyu grade briskets for a party I hosted with around 40 people (5 x ~20lbs, full packers) all prepared the same and the jury was mixed. They all liked the Wagyu’s flat but some of the females in the crowd thought the point of the Wagyu was too fatty. I sliced some and did burnt ends with some. I’ve done a similar “tasting” with 15 Prime Grade Ribeyes cut at ~2.5” and 15 Wagyu Ribeyes all prepared the same way and more people leaned towards the Prime grade as it wasn’t as off-putting with the fat content. My lesson learned was to find the best marbling on my steaks/briskets irrespective of the Grade or label because the grading isn’t based on the cut, but instead is based on the whole cow. I may be having a SuperBowl party with about 60 and anticipate A9 Japanese Wagyu, A5 Japanese Wagyu, grass fed and regular prime grade proteins that I will grind and turn into burgers for my next experiment. Needless to say, my “taste testers” always look forward to their visits. YMMV.
 
I tried the American Wagyu filets a month ago from Costco.

Now im not a big filet fan, but wife likes the lean cut and we had people coming over. I was going to grab a 4 pack of the prime filets and was eyeing the American wagyu filets. The person next to me saw the internal dilemma I had and they spoke up and said "Dont even question it, the American wagyu is way worth the extra price."

I bought the 4 pack of American wagyu, baseball tied them, smoked and reversed seared on the grill grate. Wow, all I can say, wow. I would literally put that filet up against any prime steakhouse here in Texas or anywhere.

Long story long; America wagyu is a very good product from brisket to filets, highly recommend for the extra few bucks.
 
Going to have to compare shop at a few Costco’s in the general area. The closest to us is the oldest and in a less desirable area, another a little farther off is better, and the newest is a good ways, like an hour, but in an even better area and brand new a year ago.
 
Just as a suggestion for those looking, call your area stores and ask them if they have item number 43790 in their inventory or any close stores. That is their product number for the Wagyu brisket. You can also call a local Costco business center to check inventory. The BC near me has an abundance of everything. Save some for me.
 
Here in the Atl area visited 4 different Costcos yesterday and today, choice only. A few Prime ribeyes scattered but that’s it. We are not the fortunate 😂
 
One differing opinion on the topic-I paid $248 for a 16” KOW Wagyu brisket for a special occasion March 2023 and I was completely underwhelmed. It was not bad, but absolutely was not worth the up-charge.
 
I may be having a SuperBowl party with about 60 and anticipate A9 Japanese Wagyu, A5 Japanese Wagyu, grass fed and regular prime grade proteins that I will grind and turn into burgers for my next experiment. Needless to say, my “taste testers” always look forward to their visits. YMMV.
Directions to your house, please? ;) I don't live in Cali, so I could bring some pork products... 🐷
 
I may be having a SuperBowl party with about 60 and anticipate A9 Japanese Wagyu, A5 Japanese Wagyu, grass fed and regular prime grade proteins that I will grind and turn into burgers for my next experiment. Needless to say, my “taste testers” always look forward to their visits.
On My Way Drive GIF by SHANE
 
Hey Jim, I don't see Wagyu at our Costco in Silverdale WA but they have prime always. I have never seen a choice brisket there. They also are all usually 12-16 lbs thought. Now the A-5 Kobe at $99 is available.
I recently had a Wagyu ribeye that was given to me sourced from all places- Walmart Supercenter in Poulsbo!
The price for a single 3/4 lb steak was $20 however.
Looks like you got a couple nice briskets there, enjoy!
I usually go to the Costco in Puyallup (pew-al-up for the non-Washingtonians) but may have to expand my range if I can’t convince the meat department manager to get some American Wagyu in from time to time. Actually, I do wonder whether the meat department manager is the one who decides what grades of meat to order. That decision may come from higher up—including corporate. Who knows. Next time I see him, I’ll find a delicate way to ask him. :rolleyes:
 
Love a Vette and drive by it on the way to Louisville to see the SIL and Husband. A shorty from my place.
 

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