A Handy Guide to the Scallops at Costco!

The scallops at Costco are some of the highest quality you can find and sometimes, at Costco’s Seafood Roadshows, they bring out some spectacular beauties.

The mild, sweet flavor of scallops makes them great for people who shy away from strongly flavored seafood. The scallops have a tender texture which pairs well with pasta dishes.  They are also delicious when simply pan seared and served with a light sauce and lemon wedges.

Pan Seared Scallops from Costco

Not Fake

Costco scallops are real scallops that are caught on the Atlantic coast and processed in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

These are not “fake scallops” as evidenced from:

  • They are irregularly shaped which would not be the case if they were cut from molded fish products with an industrial “cookie cutter”.
  • They are not excessively slanted which is indicative of fake scallops cut from the wings of stingrays and skate.
  • They have a clear “up down” grain structure which comes from the single harvested abductor muscle.

Frozen Scallops at Costco

Frozen Not Fresh

Costco does not sell fresh scallops.

The scallops in the freezer section at Costco are obviously frozen.

The scallops displayed in the meat counter section of Costco, and the jumbo scallops found at the Seafood Roadshows, are previously frozen and thawed.

Costco Scallops Thawed in Meat Section

If you buy the previously frozen and thawed scallops you will want to cook and eat them the same day you purchase them.


Currently, December 2021, you can buy frozen scallops at Costco for $19.50 per pound.  The scallops come in a two pound bag which brings the cost to $38.99 per bag.  This price is for the 15 count per pound size.  The jumbo scallops found at Seafood Roadshows will cost more.

Cost of Scallops at Costco

Typically the smaller portions (1.5 lbs) of thawed scallops that Costco has by the meat section will cost a few more dollars per pound than the frozen scallops.  Usually the smaller portion of thawed scallops end up costing just about as much as the two pound bag of frozen scallops.

These scallops are a seafood value from the standpoint that they are two thirds the price of Costco’s lobster tails and about half as much as the King Crab legs. An added bonus is that when you are buying scallops you are only paying for meat and not any shell.

Are They Dry or Wet?

Costco scallops are Dry.

There is some confusion as to what “wet vs dry” actually means so let me explain.

Wet Scallops” are scallops that have been allowed to soak in a solution of water and tri sodium phosphate.  The phosphate covers up off smells, protects color and allows the scallops to soak up water which artificially increases their weight.

Dry Scallops” are scallops that are not soaked in a tri sodium phosphate bath.

The confusion comes in because the facility that processes the scallops for Costco mists them with water so they form a protective ice shell when they go through the Individual Quick Freezing process.  Simply spritzing the scallops in water does not make them “Wet” as they are never soaked in tri sodium phosphate.

If you would like to learn more about these scallops there is an excellent article from 2008 published in Costco Connections Magazine which goes into great detail about the entire supply chain.


Good morning and welcome to the site dedicated to helping you find great products at Costco and other stores! My name is David Somerville and these are hands on reviews of products that I have bought and used or am seriously considering purchasing. I do most of my shopping at the Costco in Baton Rouge, Louisiana but will check out any other Costco warehouses I find while travelling. Please get in touch with any questions and let me know of any great products that deserved to be featured in this blog!

7 thoughts on “A Handy Guide to the Scallops at Costco!

  1. As always Costco is on the high road. Great explanation re scallops harvest and processing. Probably why my wife and I are often at our Costco for senior 9:00 doors opening. Great explanation re our favorite scallops.

  2. these were a staple in my freezer when the cost was $28.00 for a 2 lb bag. the price started going up last year. But they are great, i pace them in a strainer between paper towels. and sear them in Lodge cast iron pan, it has to be screaming hot

  3. Costco frozen scallops used to be great a long time ago, however that changed for us when the product changed from a clear bag to the current bag you can’t see through. I assume the sourcing changed at that time. We have purchased a bag maybe once a year since the change but have given up and even returned the unused part of the bag the last and final time. The problem is with (in my opinion) shoddy processing as we are finding a lot of sand embedded in the scallops in every bag. We will put one in our mouth and have to spit it out before damaging teeth or ingesting the sand. Although rinsing scallops when thawed is not good for taste and should be unnecessary if processed properly, we have even tried rinsing them and the sand is still in the meat. I have complained a number of times about this to Costco but never received a reply so I assume they don’t care that the seafood buyer is asleep at the switch.

  4. call me a fan. I did not detect any of the sand or other substances that one person found. The combination of convenience and high quality makes this product a winner for me.

  5. I I just finished cooking scallops purchased at my local market. Never again. Going back to Costco from now on. Costco scallops are dry and cook and brown very well.

  6. Curious if you ever tried thawing and then eating raw? On a trip to Portland, Maine a couple years ago had the most amazing raw scallops- fresh and harvested earlier that day. Restaurant was J’s Oyster House. I know the Costco scallops should be ok- given they are processed soon after taken from the sea.

  7. I used to walk thru the sea grass of St Andrew Bay, FL (in ’40’s) water up ton my navel, feeling for scallops with my toes. I was 10-12 & tall. Surface dive to pick them up from the grass. Using hunting knife I pried open the shell with all those little beady blue eye pleading with me, but I cut out the muscle, dropped it in old can of Carnation milk can, small holes in bottom, tied around my neck. Have eaten 1 or 2 raw scallops at one time, pretty tasteless. I saved 10-12 and then had enough bait to go fishing. Now wife makes in delicious cream casserole using bay scallops–only dry kind. Avoid the ones soaked in tri-sodium phosphate–ie. wet.

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