8 chefs share the things they always buy at Costco

Justin Sullivan/GettyCostco is a great place to buy meat in bulk.
  • INSIDER asked chefs what they buy when they shop at Costco.
  • One chef opts for Costco’s croissants.
  • Chefs recommend buying both seafood and meat at Costco.

Costco is a great place to shop when you’re looking to stock up on bulk items, as this member-only warehouse allows you to score great deals on must-have food items such as wine, meat, and fish.

And although saving big is one of the biggest perks of shopping at Costco, expert chefs said that another notable advantage is the quality of items sold at the store.

To help you upgrade your cooking game, here’s what eight chefs recommend buying at Costco.

One chef always stops at the Costco butcher counter.

Tim Boyle /GettyImagesCostco has a huge supply of various meats.

“Costco’s butcher counter consistently has stellar cuts and is one of my go-to sections when I visit,” said chef Kyle Johnson from BOURBON STEAK in Los Angeles. “It’s honestly one of the very few places where you can get restaurant quality meat at an affordable price.”

Costco is a great place to get real Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, according to one chef.

Brent Hofacker / ShutterstockParmigiano Reggiano isn’t easy to find.

“Not many people know this but Costco has real Parmigiano Reggiano, which is a huge score,” said chef Jackson Kalb of Jame Enoteca in El Segundo, California. “As a chef focused on Italian flavours, we always buy in bulk for the restaurant and use it in a multitude of our dishes.”

One chef buys meat and fish in bulk at Costco.

Melanie Stetson Freeman / ContributorThe store sells everything from crabs to lobster tails.

“I also enjoy Costco if I’m cooking for a party at my house,” said corporate chef Daniel England of San Diego’s OMG Hospitality Group. “It’s a great place to bulk-buy meats and seafood – ribs, steaks, shrimp, you name it.”

He also fills his pantry with non-perishable items.

Justin Sullivan /GettyImagesIt’s a great place to stock up on flour.

“Costco is an awesome place to stock up your pantry with non-perishables,” England said. “I typically go there for canned tomatoes, flour, rice, sugar, oils, pasta, and vinegar – all things you can buy in bulk at a lower cost and not have to worry about it spoiling.”

Another chef stocks up on cheese danishes.

CostcoCostco sells the pastry in a pack of four.

“We never leave Costco without some cream cheese danishes,” said chef Jack Moore of the Watershed Kitchen & Bar in Columbus, Ohio. “They are available for a pretty good price, plus, what chef doesn’t get home late at night after service and not want junk food?”

He also opts for pre-sliced packages of prosciutto.

Sydney KramerProsciutto makes for a great appetizer.

“This is my favourite at-home snack when my wife and I have a movie night,” Moore told INSIDER. “In Italy, on our honeymoon, we saw the same brand.”

Another gets Chosen Food’s avocado oil.

Chosen FoodsAvocado oil can be used for frying and dressing salads.

“I love picking up the Chosen Food’s avocado oil at Costco,” said chef Debbie Lee, founder and executive chef of Mind Body Fork. The price is incredible, she said, and it’s such a neutral and versatile oil that can be used in dressings and to deep-fry.

Kirkland’s canned tomato products are a favourite of one chef.

REDA&CO / ContributorCanned tomatoes will give your dish extra flavour.

“There are times where fresh tomatoes are just not going to match the rich flavour of canned tomatoes,” said chef Steven Lona, executive chef of San Diego’s oceanfront eatery, Waterbar.

When you need to rely on that to give your dish a little extra oomph, he told INSIDER that Kirkland’s canned tomato products are your best bet.

One chef recommends grabbing some croissants.

Madeline DiamondThe croissants are buttery and affordable.

“Whenever I shop at Costco I go straight to the bakery section and buy a 12-pack of croissants,” said chef Nicole Andrea Guzman. “They are always fresh, buttery, delicious, and the price is right.”

She also gets her maple syrup at Costco.

CostcoMaple syrup is a versatile ingredient.

“I always buy the Kirkland brand Maple Syrup, as it’s available for a great price, and the flavour is on point,” Guzman told INSIDER. “I also use it to make a spicy maple-soy marinade for pork loin, glazes for ham and chicken, and even add a splash in some rum or whiskey, which is really nice.”

And pizza from the food court.

Nixie Rhie/Flickr/Attribution 2.0Costco is well-known for its pizza.

“We never, ever leave Costco without buying a couple of pizzas from the food court,” Guzman told INSIDER. They are great to feed a crowd, she said, and come with a ton of cheese and toppings.

Costco is a great place to snag healthy snacks, according to one chef.

China News Service / ContributorMixed nuts are affordable at Costco.

“If you are looking for healthy snacks, Costco has a great selection,” said Colavita’s certified master chef Ken Arnone. “They have a great selection of healthy protein bars, mixed nuts, granola, and trending items like vegetable chips.”

He also said it’s his go-to for red wine.

“Costco is the best place to pick up some red wine,” Arnone told INSIDER. There are lots of brands to choose from, he said, and many bottles are usually available at the right price.

Read more:We taste-tested 7 of Costco’s Kirkland wines and found this one offered the biggest bang for your buck

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