Review: Costco's Kirkland Egg Bites Get The Job Done, But The Best Way To Cook Them Isn't On The Box

Kirkland Signature Sous Vide Egg Bites
Kirkland Signature Sous Vide Egg Bites - Brendan McGinley / Tasting Table

You might be familiar with Starbucks' Sous Vide Egg Bites, those golf ball-sized protein circles cooked sous vide and then finished off for a crispy, browned exterior with your morning coffee to go. If you are, then you might also know that Costco has carried Starbucks' popular egg bites for a while now, enabling customers to make them at home for a steep discount. But now the wholesale chain has dropped some egg bites of its own, giving customers an even cheaper option ... if its own product can compete with the original article.

You can also still find Starbucks' Sous Vide Egg Bites on Costco shelves, though whether they'll continue to appear there now that the retailer has its own competing line is a question for market forces. We've already examined whether you should pick up Starbucks' Sous Vide Egg Bites at Costco or at the coffee chain, but let's take a closer look at Costco's offerings. Here's our taste test plus everything you could want to know about Costco's new Kirkland Signature Sous Vide Egg Bites.

Read more: Hacks That Will Make Boiling Your Eggs So Much Easier

What Are Kirkland Signature Sous Vide Egg Bites?

Kirkland Signature egg bites
Kirkland Signature egg bites - Brendan McGinley / Tasting Table

While Whole Foods and Trader Joe's have sold their own house-brand egg bites for a while, these are Costco's first Kirkland-brand egg bites. The Kirkland Signature Sous Vide Egg Bites come in two flavors which are definitely designed to ape the originals -- both are nearly identical matches to their corresponding Starbucks versions. Egg White with Cheese Trio & Roasted Red Pepper resembles Starbucks' Egg White & Roasted Red Pepper and is the slightly lighter fare, while Uncured Bacon & Gouda mimics the coffee chain's Bacon & Gruyère flavor and offers a meatier breakfast.

As with the Starbucks version, the Uncured Bacon & Gouda Sous Vide Egg Bites are actually mostly cottage cheese, while the cheese and red pepper edition is primarily egg whites, with the cottage cheese zooming up in second. This is far from a recipe cheat, as the cottage cheese is full of protein and gives the egg bites a lot of their texture and flavor. Both flavors from both brands use cage-free eggs.

Where And When Are Costco's Sous Vide Egg Bites Available?

Kirkland Uncured Bacon & Gouda Egg Bite
Kirkland Uncured Bacon & Gouda Egg Bite - Brendan McGinley / Tasting Table

The final question, of course, is which brand's egg bites to get, and that answer depends on if you're even seeing Kirkland Signature Sous Vide Egg Bites locally yet. Costco rolled out these egg bites in mid-June, although some locations seem to have gotten them a bit earlier or later. We even called a Costco in San Diego that received one flavor but not both. You may have to do a little hunting ... or a little waiting.

Penny for penny, we can tell you that the Kirkland Signature egg bites are a slightly better deal. While a Starbucks egg bite will run you (as of June 2024 in San Diego) $3.78 per egg at the coffee house, the chain's Costco offering comes to only $1.84 per bite. But the Kirkland egg bites are just $1.49 per bite -- a negligible cost difference from Starbucks in a single serving, though an attractive one of $3.50 or so when you consider you're buying them in a 10-pack, just like Starbucks' Costco egg bites.

Of courses, prices vary mildly depending on your region. In New York City Costcos, 10 Kirkland Signature Sous Vide Egg Bites cost $14.99, while a Starbucks 10-pack is $19.

Taste Test: Kirkland Signature Uncured Bacon & Gouda Egg Bites

Kirkland Signature Uncured Bacon & Gouda Egg Bites
Kirkland Signature Uncured Bacon & Gouda Egg Bites - Brendan McGinley / Tasting Table

Despite some stabilizers and the like, these egg bites are limited to more or less what it says on the box. There's also Monterey Jack in here, but it rides shotgun in silence. Just ... don't get too excited about the "uncured" bacon. It's pretty common for food producers to eat their cake and have it too by using celery juice in uncured bacon for its naturally high nitrate levels. This way they can avoid using Prague powder and claim no added nitrites or nitrates. That's the case here, but you're also not getting enough bacon to really sweat it. In terms of nutrition, a serving of two egg bites totals 250 calories, 16 grams of fat, 9 of which are saturated fat, and a respectable 17 grams of protein.

As you'd expect from a professionally developed product for mass consumption, these egg bites are satisfying, though short of exactly yummy. They're kind of a shoo-in since they have smoked cheese and bacon. Considering these strong flavors, it's surprising that this egg bite flavor was the one that was more muted by the air fryer. Something is lost even as something is gained through a touch of appetizing browning. Still, the chewiness seems a little more natural here, given the bacon and medium-firm gouda. These egg bites scratch a hearty itch without actually leadening one's belly, although, funny enough for a Starbucks item clone, they don't pair well with coffee.

Taste Test: Kirkland Signature Egg White With Cheese Trio & Roasted Red Pepper Egg Bites

Kirkland Egg White with Cheese Trio & Roasted Red Pepper Egg Bites
Kirkland Egg White with Cheese Trio & Roasted Red Pepper Egg Bites - Brendan McGinley / Tasting Table

For an egg bite flavor with "roasted red pepper" in the name, you won't catch much here in the way of the peppers, or the tomatoes listed in the ingredients. If you go with this version, you'll get a really homogenous taste, that, while satisfying, doesn't serve up any surprises. You'll notice the cottage cheese more in this flavor, as it's not subsumed by gouda and bacon, despite the presence of the other two cheeses, Monterey Jack and parmesan. At 160 calories, 8 grams of fat (5 saturated), and 11 grams of protein per serving, these are leaner than the Uncured Bacon & Gouda bites, but don't fool yourself into thinking you're getting a serving of veggies. The chopped nightshade fruits here are more for accent and aesthetic than anything.

However, of the two boxes we bought, Egg White with Cheese Trio & Roasted Red Pepper fared a little better in terms of the egg bites preserving their character in the air fryer. Even so, the effect was the same: Using the air fryer makes the egg bites look more appetizing, while actually diminishing their strength.

Which Kirkland Signature Sous Vide Egg Bites Flavor To Buy?

Kirkland Signature Sous Vide Egg bites
Kirkland Signature Sous Vide Egg bites - Brendan McGinley / Tasting Table

Both Kirkland Signature Sous Vide Egg Bite flavors are a 6 out of 10 -- with no obvious winner, it's just a matter of preference. Most people will probably prefer the extra umami of Uncured Bacon & Gouda, while the lighter fare of Egg White With Cheese Trio & Roasted Red Pepper offers more volume for the same caloric intake. If you're hungrier, vegetarian, or don't eat pork, then look to these to fill your belly.

Having had both, we're surprisingly partial to Egg White With Cheese Trio & Roasted Red Pepper. These egg bites are about on par with Uncured Bacon & Gouda, but the scrappy little guys had to reach that score without the easy crutches of bacon and strong gouda. They would have been the clear victors if the Monterey Jack came through a little stronger, but respect the achievement.

What's The Best Costco-Recommended Way To Cook The Egg Bites?

Kirkland egg bites oven-baked
Kirkland egg bites oven-baked - Brendan McGinley / Tasting Table

As with our taste test of the Costco edition of Starbucks' egg bites, we ran the Kirkland Signature flavors through all three preparation methods on the box: air fryer, microwave, and oven. While the microwave left the bites a bit rubbery, it showcased their flavor. As microwaved eggs go, their pleasant chew succeeds on negligible sacrifice. Nuke them if you're eating in the car to save time.

Costco recommends air-frying, and it's easy to see why — doing so produced crisp outsides and tender insides. Unfortunately, tasting why proved harder. The yummy exterior browning smothered the egg bites' innate flavors. The air-fried egg bites were still tasty, but if you like flavor over texture, forgo the crispiness and microwave them.

Anyway, Costco, you're wrong; the oven is the best method. Baking the egg bites preserved their texture and flavor, with a touch of crust on the bottom. While egg bites baked at 400 degrees Fahrenheit didn't come out nearly as browned as the same temperature in an air fryer, they crisped a bit without rubberiness, and the idiosyncrasies of both flavors remained as strong as in the microwave. The downside is it's summer, and this was the longest method, even discounting preheating -- who wants to run a hot oven for half an hour? In optimal conditions, it's the oven all the way. Your bites will heat up faster without taxing your HVAC. But the oven is still only the best cooking method listed on the box...

How To Cook Your Kirkland Signature Sous Vide Egg Bites Perfectly

Kirkland Signature egg bites pan-seared
Kirkland Signature egg bites pan-seared - Brendan McGinley / Tasting Table

The oven directions called for 400 degrees Fahrenheit, but the air fryer version came out gorgeous, so convection baking is a must. Normally, you want to lower the temperature for convection cooking to prevent dryness, but we weren't cooking a chicken all the way through here. The recommended 14 to 16 minutes meant we were safely cooking quickly with enough margin to add air flow into the mix. And that got us curious to think literally outside the box (or its instructions, at least). Would a nice pan sear work?

We crisped the egg bites on both sides in a covered, dry cast-iron skillet, no oil required, on the lowest stovetop heat. We found this to be a decent method that delivers some nice browning without burning, cooks through, and avoids tightening up the textures. It copies the good parts of both the air fryer (crispy, quick) and the oven (less worry about overcooking) without the negatives of either one. We recommend this way of cooking if you don't want to invest in an air fryer but also don't want to heat an entire oven just to cook two little egg bites. Unless you really want to lean into certain qualities of the other cooking methods, a covered pan sear cooks them best and second-fastest. Enjoy.

Are The Kirkland Signature Sous Vide Egg Bites Worth Buying?

Kirkland Signature egg bites air-fried
Kirkland Signature egg bites air-fried - Brendan McGinley / Tasting Table

If you love Starbucks' Sous Vide Egg Bites enough to eat them regularly, and you're the kind of cook who could burn water, these are a smart purchase: effectively the easiest and cheapest way to get perfunctorily legit Starbucks egg bites. Plus, you'll save time over a pit stop, even if you skip the Starbucks line with pickup. Just plunk these in your preferred cooking appliance while you go about your morning. In the microwave, they're done before your coffee. In the oven, you'll be out of the shower before they burn.

There's a big "but" here, though: For $10, we'd have said they're an easy grab, but $15 for what amounts to a few eggs and cottage cheese? If you own a blender, you've practically got these at the push of a button. For $5 and whatever food needs to be used in your fridge drawers, you can easily make egg bites at home with 15 minutes' work. You don't even need to chop your mix-in veggies and cheeses, just drop it all into a food processor and pour into half-pint jars to sous vide your little heart out. Or bake in muffin tins if you don't own a circulator. The point is, if you like egg bites enough to scout the best deal, it's even less effort and money to make them without leaving your kitchen.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.