Costco's Fried Chicken Buckets Look Better Than Most Fast Food Alternatives

There are lots of deals to be had at warehouse giant Costco, but many shoppers seem to agree that Costco's cheap rotisserie chickens and its famous food court hot dogs are among the most convenient and affordable food items on offer at the store. Well, at least in the United States. But just over the northern border, Canadian customers have a different prepared food item at Costco that they can take home at the end of a tiring shopping trip without breaking the bank: fried chicken. Fried chicken wings definitely sound like they could prevent that post-shopping energy slump.

Introduced to Canadian stores at the end of 2016, the Costco food court's deep-fried chicken wings were originally sold in a pound or three-pound container. They now come in 10-piece or 30-piece servings, and are paired with hot sauce, barbecue sauce, and/or gravy for dipping. The wings have a thin coating, not a thick crunchy breading, and are fried fresh in the food court area. Though prices can vary depending on location, the cost of the 10-piece chicken wings at one Canadian Costco in 2022 was $8.99, and the 30-piece was $22.99 (converted to USD, that's $6.76 and $17.29 respectively). That's a lower price than many fast food chicken prices (an order of 10-piece wings at one LA-area Wingstop was going for $12.39 in August 2023). But how does Costco's fried chicken taste compared to fast food fried chicken?

Costco fried chicken reviews

Costco's fried chicken in Canada is convenient (you don't have to cook it) and affordable, but does it beat the flavor of fast food fried chicken? One reviewer for Foodology says that because the chicken lacks a thicker, crispy breading, it's "got nothing on Church's Chicken." But others are fans. "The wings are honestly even better than they look," shared one customer on Reddit, saying "I prefer them to actual wing shops." One American who traveled to a Canadian Costco in 2023 praised the fried chicken in a TikTok review, saying "Wow ... it's very good. It's very crispy, and very like, tender inside."

On Instagram, one commenter said "the wings are ridiculously delicious." Over on YouTube, a reviewer said that while "the best thing is that they are so cheap," they also praised the flavor and texture of Costco's fried chicken wings. "They were so crispy ... they were so yummy ... they fill you up because it's a good portion." 

While most of the reviews online for the Costco food court's fried chicken wings were positive, there were a few who gave negative feedback. Some noted that the wings tasted a bit salty, which is a problem other reviewers have had with the Canadian Costco food court's crispy chicken strips, too. Another person on TripAdvisor commented that the wings were "Not good. They didn't taste deep fried and were super greasy. Just a terrible experience." Still, these detractors were in the minority, considering the favorable comments shared by other shoppers.

Is Costco fried chicken still available?

It's enough to make American Costco fans want to take a trip up north, but unfortunately, it sounds like this Canadian fried chicken treat is starting to disappear from stores. On Reddit, several people have posted about the chicken wings being removed from the menu at their Costco stores. There are a few rumors as to why, from problems with the supplier to unstable chicken wing prices (restaurants were struggling to sell chicken wings when prices skyrocketed in 2022, though that's since changed; wings are 22% cheaper this year).

On Facebook, one Costco shopper said the wings were removed "because people were complaining that they were too small, so Costco said F U and took them off the menu completely." Another person said that "the quality has really gone downhill," and that "they were tasty, but lots of broken bones, smaller and less meat." Commenters on a petition to "Bring back Costco chicken wings" made a similar observance. "It got to the point the wings they were served looked like they came from Cornish hens," shared one person, saying they wish the chain had simply switched suppliers rather than taking wings off the menu entirely.

This also isn't the only Costco food court item to disappear, from the Hawaiian pizza at Candian Costco to U.S. shoppers wondering what happened to Costco's food court Acai bowls and hot turkey sandwiches. But as they say, it's better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all!