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The secret Costco rotisserie chicken deal only pros and super fans know about

Love Costco rotisserie chicken? With this life hack, you'll love it even more

Costco store exterior shot
Juan Llauro / Shutterstock

Chicken is a fan-favorite food, and for good reason — from barbecue chicken to chicken quesadillas to chicken parmigiana, it’s a lean protein that serves as the centerpiece for so many different meals. Consider this: In the early 1970s, per capita poultry consumption in the U.S. was almost 50 pounds; these days, it’s more than 100 pounds per person.

Of course, chicken hasn’t evaded the raging inflation that’s hiking up expenses every time we go to the grocery store (or gas station, shopping mall, or — well, just about anywhere.) According to the USDA, wholesale poultry prices are predicted to increase between 19-22% this year.

One way to keep your food expenses down? Shop for your chickens at Costco. Specifically, shop the way you should at Costco — buy in bulk. Do you love the Costco rotisserie chicken (and, especially, its $4.99 price)? Of course, you do. You’re not a monster. Well, did you know you can buy an entire case of uncooked Costco rotisserie chicken for $4.89 each?

costco rotisserie chicken
calimedia / Shutterstock

Redditors give the scoop on Costco rotisserie chicken cases

Redditor Joes_Barbecue brought this to the attention of the r/BBQ subreddit, and while one commenter, northman46, pointed out that they’d cook them for just a dime more, Joes_Barbecue jokingly said, “You’re in the BBQ sub, friend. We don’t value our time here.”

And sure, northman46 had a point — if you’re pressed for time or don’t have the freezer space to store all those chickens, you might as well buy a cooked Costco rotisserie chicken. But if you do have the time and space (or an upcoming event you’re cooking for)? The case is a great deal.

Joes_Barbecue noted that the cases are flat priced at $48.99, but the actual packing weight is more (closer to 55-plus pounds). These uncooked Costco chickens are also different from the ones you’d find in the meat department because they come pre-seasoned — they’re injected under the skin to brine them, which Joes_Barbecue said saves them a lot of time and space.

But from there, you can make what you want with your chicken. Want to roast it, grill it, smoke it, fry it, or braise it? Want to season it with the special recipe passed down by your grandmother? It’s chicken — you can prepare it just about any way you want.

Chicken casserole
sherwood / Shutterstock

Can you freeze Costco rotisserie chicken?

If you’re ready to admit that Costco rotisserie chicken is a great deal, you may be preparing to stock up. But can you freeze these bad boys if you buy them in bulk? You can freeze Costco rotisserie chicken, but it’s recommended to freeze it before cooking, which means buying Costco’s bulk uncooked version is better for this preservation method.

Freezing uncooked rotisserie chicken preserves its texture and flavor better. Cooked rotisserie chicken can also be frozen, but its texture might change slightly upon thawing. This may not be an issue for you if you plan to use the cooked chicken in dishes like casseroles or soups where the different textures won’t be as noticeable.

To freeze, wrap the chicken tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in an airtight container or freezer bag. Thaw cooked frozen chicken in the refrigerator overnight. While freezing retains its safety, freezing uncooked chicken provides superior flavor results. Always ensure proper storage to maintain taste and quality!

kids at costco in grocery store
ARTYOORAN / Shutterstock

What if you’re not a fan of Costco?

We don’t really understand the sentiment, but we do get that you can’t always have a membership at every warehouse club. The good news is, you can likely find this deal at yours. Redditor DazeyHelpMe confirmed that Sam’s Club sells pre-seasoned chicken this way too, while drizzlefoot321 said they get the same deal at Restaurant Depot, if you’ve got a business license and can shop there.

So the next time you’re shopping, consider buying your uncooked chicken in bulk at Costco. The workers in the meat department will be happy to tag it up for you, and you won’t have to think about what’s for dinner for ages.

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Nicole Carlino
What Costco price tags really mean
We love the opportunity to save even more at Costco
Costco card and receipt

If you love Costco and love the prices even more, there's an easy way to find out if you're getting the best deal or if you wait a few days and those favorite items in your cart may be even lower. Instagrammer The Freebie Guy recently posted an easy way to tell if you are getting the lowest price for an item and what the price tags mean. He started the post: "Costco shoppers!! Here is everything you ever wanted to know about the pricing!" -- which is sure to get the attention of rookie Costco shoppers and professionals alike.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CoNLWZNuOgw/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY%3D
What do the prices mean?
The Freebie Guy explained the system behind Costco's pricing, and it makes sense given just how many items store managers have to keep track of on a weekly basis. If you see a price tag ending in .99, it means the item is full price. This is typical when items just hit the shelves or are one of the store's hottest sellers.

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This meal prep pro made 24 dinners and only spent $67 at Costco
We love how easy and healthy this meal prepper's list is
person holding costco receipt

If you're a Costco shopper, you likely know the Reddit subpage r/Costco. It's a wealth of information about all things Costco, from favorite foods to weekly deals to much, much more. If you're looking to eat healthy and want to stick to a budget, this Redditor’s meal prep system just may be for you. It's healthy, super easy to follow, and he said he only spent $67 to cook 24 meals—that's just $2.80 per meal! The best part is he used fresh protein from the big box store and was able to make meals for himself and his girlfriend for a fraction of the cost they would be in a restaurant.

What he bought
According to his post, Redditor CraigBeau made all the meals "exclusively with ingredients bought at Costco." He started by prepping everything with avocado oil, garlic, and herb seasoning (buttery steakhouse for the Sirloin and Pork Barrel BBQ) for the chicken. It's worth noting he did not add the cost of the avocado oil or seasoning because he had them handy in his kitchen, but most kitchens come with seasoning of some kind on hand. The rest he listed out with the prices included:

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Throwback pic shows Costco hasn’t changed much in 40 years
We love that not much has changed since the 1980's Costco
Costco samples

Redditor AxlCobainVedder shared a nostalgia-inducing photo on the Subreddit page r/TheWayWeWere, titling the photo, "Images of the first Costco store in Seattle from the year 1983." In it, you see people standing in lines, "Wholesale Members" and "Returns," looking as patient as one can be standing in line waiting. What's striking about the photo is how little has changed from our current Costco visits when you still see the same lines forming. The only thing that looks different is the fashion, which will probably be making its own comeback before we know it.
People's reactions
People flooded to the photo with comments that agreed with our sentiment. "Still looks pretty much the same all these years later," one Redditor wrote. Another chimed in: "Honestly, it seems pretty much the same. 'Look honey, I know we don’t need it but I’ve always wanted to windsurf!,'" which sounds eerily similar to the conversations I have with my husband perusing the aisles of our local Costco, shopping on a Saturday morning.
Bring on the nostalgia
Many people added to the photo with memories of the 1980s and what their experiences were going into their local Costco. "Random fun fact, that shot of a bunch of phones for sale may not seem that interesting, but it was actually a very big deal," another Redditor said. "Up until the early '80s in the U.S., you typically couldn't just buy a phone, the phone system was a monopoly with AT&T aka "Ma Bell" running it, and you could only rent phones. When you needed a phone, you went down to the phone store and looked at the like four models they had and then rented one."

Another talked about weighing your options on which line would move faster, which I think we can all agree still happens to this day. "I still remember how you'd pick your cashier line by which one had the best 9-key typer and box loader/number caller team," Redditor ElCochinoFeo wrote. "You'd just stand there and hear numbers being called out at an auctioneer's pace, click-clacking of the keypad, and boxes artfully packed like Tetris." Another added their memory from another store, saying, "This kind of reminds me of old-school Trader Joe’s, when the checkers just knew all the prices by heart and would call them out as they were keying them in."

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