Costco is nearly flawless, but every now and then, even our tried and true favorites let us down. And with holiday baking on the horizon, Costco’s recent slipup may not cut it.
Loyal Costco shoppers are noticing that the chain’s signature Kirkland salted butter apparently isn’t what it used to be. Known for its blue box packaging, the butter is a staple in savory and sweet baking—but the results have been coming up inconsistent.
“My mom and I have been Costco “blue box” salted butter loyalists for some time,” a shopper posted to a Costco subreddit. She’d seen a TikTok about the product not working in a baker’s recipe, but dismissed it until her own Thanksgiving pie crust recipe would not hold up using Costco’s salted butter.
“2 batches just crumbly and could not get it to roll. Went to store got different butter…..and what do you know…..same recipe, worked again,” they continued. “Something changed with their butter. Did anyone else have issues over the holidays with the butter? I’m hesitant to bake with it for any recipe now.”
Kirkland Signature sweet cream butter
Costco loyalists agreed that the Kirkland brand’s sticks of salted butter are unreliable. And probably not worth the risk of baking with, if you’ll waste ingredients and time, as well as get frustrated.
“Wait, are you kidding me? My thanksgiving pie crust totally gave me “crumbly” issues and I’m usually a pie pro!” posted another Redditor. “I stock up on the blue box Costco butter and used it … if it’s a water content thing, then I need to adjust my recipe going forward. So to be clear, does it now have more water in it? Help!”
Baking experts do suspect that additional water in the product may be the cause of so many disappointing bakes this season. Others were alarmed to find their baked goods flopping, and only realized that this butter may be to blame, thanks to fellow bakers on the internet.
“It’s a change in the water content,” said another person. “This happened to my crust last year and a few friends mentioned it this year – Kerrygold only for baking from now on.” Several commenters agreed that Kerrygold, a brand that Costco sells, is the way to go. Kerrygold is consistent, and the grass-fed butter adds a nice golden hue to pie crusts and other light toned baked goods.
Cutting down cream with water is certainly one way to retain profit margins, though without a chemistry lab, it may be impossible to test exactly what is happening with Costco’s butter sticks. Some shoppers are switching to Costco’s grass-fed version, which is roughly the same price as Kerrygold.
Have a bunch of Kirkland salted butter on hand? Luckily, it’s returnable for a full refund, thanks to Costco’s generous return policy.
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