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Could Costco’s Ribs Outshine Their Legendary Rotisserie Chicken?

In the culinary corners of Costco, a heated debate has sparked among food enthusiasts: Could the wholesale giant’s ribs possibly rival the iconic status of its beloved rotisserie chicken? This isn’t a question taken lightly by those who frequent the aisles of Costco, where the rotisserie chicken has long reigned supreme, not just as a tantalizing dinner option but as an unbeatable bargain at $4.99.

Intrigued by several claims touting the quality of Costco’s prepared ribs, I embarked on a culinary showdown to see if these ribs could indeed stand up to the storied rotisserie chicken. With my husband as my fellow taste-tester, we ventured to our local Costco, armed with curiosity and a hearty appetite, to conduct a side-by-side comparison.

Unpacking Costco’s Prepared Ribs

Offered in a traditional St. Louis style, Costco’s ribs come fully cooked and seasoned with a savory dry rub that melds spicy and salty flavors. Priced at $21.00 for a substantial portion that promises leftovers, these ribs are meaty, tender, and designed for easy dining. To prepare, all one needs to do is reheat them in the oven on a foil-tented sheet pan for about 30 minutes.

Here’s the breakdown of our tasting experience:


  • Exceptional value at $21.00, feeding a family generously.
  • Well-balanced and robust seasoning.
  • Surprisingly tender meat, despite initial appearances.
  • Impressive meat-to-bone ratio.
  • Favorable for those who prefer a dry rub over a saucy finish.
  • Retains moisture and flavor when reheated.


Evaluating the Value

While the rotisserie chicken remains a steal at $4.99, the ribs, at an average price of $22.00, do not elicit the same impulse buy. However, they are reasonably priced when considering the quality and quantity of meat provided. Compared to other supermarkets, Costco’s ribs hold their own in both cost and culinary delight:

  • Costco’s Cooked Seasoned St. Louis Style Ribs: $21.00 for 2.63 pounds
  • ShopRite Dry Rubbed St. Louis Style Ribs: $17.99 for 1.5 pounds
  • Wegmans BBQ Ribs: $23.99 for 2.25 pounds
  • Stop&Shop TGI Fridays Ribs: $10.00 for 1.5 pounds
  • Mighty Quinn’s Pork Spare Ribs: $39.50 per rack

The Verdict: Ribs vs. Rotisserie Chicken

Upon entering Costco, the aroma of roasting chickens is undeniable. The chicken is not only economical but juicy and flavorful, making it a tough competitor. Yet, the ribs presented a surprising challenge with their tenderness and flavorful dry rub. Here’s how they stacked up:

  • Price: The chicken wins for affordability.
  • Tenderness: Ribs take the lead, offering succulent meat that holds up even upon reheating.
  • Flavor: A tie. It boils down to personal preference between the leaner chicken and the richer ribs.
  • Reheating: Ribs again shine here, maintaining their juiciness better than the chicken.

Concluding Thoughts

While the rotisserie chicken might still be my go-to for a quick and cost-effective meal, the ribs are a formidable contender that deserve recognition. They offer a hearty, flavorful alternative that can easily become a family favorite, especially for those looking to mix up their meal routine. Although not at the jaw-dropping price point of the chicken, the ribs justify their cost with quality and quantity, proving themselves worthy of the hype and a spot on your next Costco run.