The 4 Best And 4 Worst Steaks To Buy At Sam's Club

Who can resist a perfectly seared, juicy steak? Most of America apparently can't. In a 2022/2023 survey conducted by one of the top U.S. meat distributors, Meats by Linz, 70% of 1,084 participants named steak as a favorite food, while 64% stated that they'd want a flavorful slab of beef as part of their last meal on Earth. Needless to say, despite the continual rise of plant-based meat alternatives, the U.S. steak market is still beefed up, and it helps that Americans have so many places to shop for their next medium-rare masterpiece.

One of the best places to snag a cut for a meaty main course is Sam's Club, the members-only wholesale club owned by Walmart. The meat department at your local store is sure to be stocked full of tri-tips, tenderloins, beef strips, and more... but which steaks are worth a splurge, and which cuts should you leave in the cooler? Using online reviews, consumer reports, and the official USDA meat grading system, we've compiled a list to help you on your next steak-seeking Sam's Club trip. Here are the four best — and the four worst — steaks that club members can buy.

Best: Cowboy Ribeye

A cowboy ribeye, otherwise known as a tomahawk steak, is a large cut taken from the rib of a cow. The long bone is usually left in, giving the steak its distinct ax-like appearance. At Sam's Club, you can find a monstrous Member's Mark USDA Choice Angus Beef Cowboy Ribeye steak up for grabs in the meat department, complete with the famous bone. This cut from the popular wholesaler is rated by the USDA as "choice" — the second-best quality rating for beef, after "prime." But don't mistake this label for a second-rate status; according to customers, the cowboy ribeye from Sam's Club deserves a first place blue ribbon.

Praised online for its delicious flavor at an incredible bargain of $13 per pound (you'd pay over $100 for a single piece at most steakhouses), it's hard to find a bad comment regarding Sam's Club tomahawks. "I've bought probably close to 10 of them over the last few years," said one pleased customer on Reddit. "Always around 10.98 a lb or something, usually can feed 3-4-5 people. Cheapest way for us to eat steak. And amazing." Succulent-looking photos of these steak and positive comments can be found all the platform, making a powerful case for these beefy beauties.

Best: Prime Beef Strip Steak

If a steak has a 'prime' label on its packaging, that means it's been graded as top-notch regarding desirable qualities like marbling, fat-to-protein ratio, and flavor. In the case of Sam's Club's Prime Beef Strip Steak, if the first-place rating attached to the name doesn't convince you to give it a try, perhaps a few online reviews might. These boneless strip steaks have garnered tons of praise on both the Sam's Club website and platforms like Reddit. 

Shoppers laud this particular cut for its superior price point, marbling, and tenderness. It has 4.4 stars out of a 973 reviews on the company's site, so we're not talking about just a handful of customers. However, it's important to note that the 'prime' rating on this product seemingly comes from Sam Club's own brand, Member's Mark, rather than an official ranking from the USDA (the organization is not mentioned in the product description and there are no USDA stickers found on the packaging). While some may take issue with this, given that official USDA-rated meats are heralded as more dependable, it doesn't seemed to bother Sam's Club fans much. As far as many of them are concerned, this one is worth a buy, government approval or not.

Best: Prime Beef Ribeye

The presence of marbling (those little white swirls of fat found in beef) is incredibly important in determining a steak's overall flavor. As the beef cooks, those threads of fat will melt and merge with the meat, creating a much richer, beefier flavor. This is why it can be so disappointing to scan a grocery store's steak section and see nary a section of white fat in the lean, red cuts on display. Luckily, one particular cut of Sam's Club steak won't let you down.

Cue the Prime Beef Ribeye, a steak consistently complimented online for its impressive fat content. "Excited to finally find some good marbling at Sam's Club," wrote an excited customer on Reddit, next to a photograph of some impressively swirly steaks. Another shopper on a separate thread declared the marbling on a Sam's Club Ribeye as superior to the prime cuts found at their local Costco. Given how often the two wholesalers are pinned against one another, this is high praise, to be sure. For a stunner in the package and on your plate, rush to buy this ribeye before it sells out at your nearest club.

Best: Japanese Wagyu

Melt-in-your-mouth Japanese wagyu is one of the most coveted meats in the world. "Wagyu" simply means Japanese beef, but under stringent labeling standards, the term can only apply to meat taken from a few cattle breeds, and it's judged for quality standards by the Japanese government on an A, B, or C grading scale. There's also a numerical quality scale, which tacks a number (1 to 5) onto the letter. A and 5 are the highest rating on both scales, so an A5 label designates the best wagyu. And believe it not, you can find certified A5 wagyu at Sam's Club.

Sam's Club has delectable Japanese Wagyu New York Strip Steaks up for grabs, and the best part is that these beautifully-marbled cuts can be delivered right to your door. While it doesn't appear that these 2-packs of steaks can be purchased in an actual warehouse location, they are available for online purchase at $199.98. This is actually a very reasonable price when it comes to coveted A5 beef, which is often marked with price tags upwards of three or four hundred dollars. When it comes to planning your next date night meal, this product is sure to impress without totally raiding your wallet.

Worst: Brisket

Brisket is a cut taken from the breast or chest area of a cow, and it's a barbecue enthusiast's dream due to its large amount of fat and connective tissue, which must render over the course of hours for tender and juicy perfection. However, there can always be too much of a good thing — and in the case of the Sam's Club brisket, some consumers feel that the fat-to-protein ratio is a little off.

Barbecue lovers across Reddit have voiced complaints regarding the Sam's Club USDA Choice Angus Whole Beef Brisket, mainly about its excessive fat and some areas that aren't thick enough. One user on Reddit, who had catered an event using both Sam's Club and Costco briskets, named Costco's as far superior. "The flats on some of the Sam's briskets were less than 1/2" thick for the last 3-4 inches of the cut, and also required much more trimming," they wrote. "The Costco briskets also generally had a better 'shape', if that makes sense." Too much fat can make a brisket greasy, while an uneven shape (and thus uneven cooking) is a common complaint with this cut. To avoid beef full of hard, un-rendered fat or dry and tough parts, maybe skip Sam's Club and head somewhere else.

Worst: Filet Mignon

Filet mignon is often one of the most expensive cuts of beef in the cooler case, and things are no different at Sam's Club. A recent post on Reddit featured a photo of a four pack of filet mignons for $42, and a few responding users questioned the price tag, which is quite high compared to the rest of the store's meaty offerings. The high price might be fine, if only the quality of Member's Mark filet mignon was up to par.

According to a self-proclaimed butcher posting in the same Reddit thread, the company's advertised filet mignons are not technically filet mignons at all. The steaks in the photo are large, long, and have fat to trim, while filet mignons are characterized by a round, compact appearance with little to no extraneous fat. The steaks in the photo appear to be taken from the head of the tenderloin as opposed to the tube, the part of the cow where real filet mignons comes from. While these steaks might taste great, their status as true filet mignons are null and void. 

While we're unsure if this is a common occurrence in Sam's Clubs across the country, you may want to reconsider before you shell out all your bucks on a four pack. Examine the filet mignons at your local store closely, or you just might get duped.

Worst: Whole Beef Tenderloin

A whole beef tenderloin is an extra-large cut of meat that is often confused with filet mignon. Though filet mignon is a part of the loin, the beef tenderloin itself is the entire back loin of the cow. If you fancy buying and cutting up this slab of beef so you can not only enjoy the tender filet mignon, but the rest of the cut as well, Sam's Club offers a massive Prime Beef Whole Tenderloin for you. However, these monstrous specialty steaks have been called out online for a few flaws.

On both social media platforms and reviews on the company's official website, its tenderloin has been called both overly fatty and not fatty enough. In one Reddit thread, the original poster complains about how much fat they had to trim from the Sam's Club tenderloin, with photo evidence. The pile of chunky white trimmings in the image is certainly substantial.

In another thread, titled "Whole beef tenderloin 99$. Sam's Club," one commenter didn't hesitate to point out the lack of marbling in the sliced beef steaks. "This is not quality meat," they claimed confidently. Ouch. While this may seem a bit harsh, we at least have evidence that consumers are split in their overall satisfaction with this product.

Worst: New York strip steak

A New York strip is known for being an incredibly flavorful steak — a little salt and pepper and a good sear is basically all it needs to transform into a delicious entree. Part of its rich flavor is once again due to the meat's marbling. Because the cut is taken from the cow's short loin, a particularly fatty portion of the animal, a decent New York strip is expected to show off some remarkable white swirling.

Unfortunately, the Sam's Club Member's Mark Choice Angus Beef Boneless NY Strip Steak fails to showcase the cut's main attraction. Consumers online have said that the labels on the packaging of the steaks (which declare the superior marbling of the product) are a bit exaggerated. ”'Superior marbling' is a wild claim for these bad boys," said one user on Reddit, and plenty of additional commenters hopped on to express their agreement. Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean that you won't have luck on your hunt for NY strips at Sam's Club. You can only hope that the marbling in the beef lives up to its label.


To create our list of the best and worst steaks to be found at Sam's Club, reviews from the company's website, online discussions and debates on Reddit, and the writer's own experiences as applicable were taken into account. However, it is important to keep in mind that food is subjective, and that individual experiences may vary.