Costco Pork Schnitzel - Has Potential But Also Big Problems
Ventera Pork Schnitzel at Costco
Costco’s Pork Schnitzel is sold in approximately 2.5 pound packages and will include sous vide and seasoned pork slices as well as a mushroom sauce.
What is Pork Schnitzel?
A schnitzel is a flattened or thin piece of meat that is breaded and then fried. Essentially this is a fried piece of pork.
Pork or veal schnitzel are eaten all over the world but are most popular in Germany and Austria.
Braised or Sous Vide?
The packaging states this pork is braised as well as sous vide. Braising meat refers to long and slow cooking in a liquid.
Sous Vide is similar but the meat does not actually touch the liquid and is kept in a plastic ziploc bag/vacuum sealed during the heating process.
Is this pork braised or sous vide?
Fool Me Twice
I will admit, I didn’t read the label when I picked up this pork schnitzel from Costco. I like breaded and fried foods and I love pork schnitzel so I had to try it.
What I didn’t see on the packaging was that the meal requires that you bread the pork yourself.
It’s not necessarily a challenging task, but for a heat and eat meal, I expect that part of the preparation to be done already.
This isn’t the first Costco item that has caught me off guard with the DIY breading. Their Chicken Katsu had the same issue where you had to bread the protein yourself. If that’s the case, I’m not seeing the benefit or justification for the $6.99 per pound price tag.
Costco Cost Comparison
How Much Does Pork Schnitzel at Costco Cost?
Costco sells this pork schnitzel kit for $6.99 a pound and they are sold in approximately 2.5 pound packages. This item does come with a mushroom gravy sauce and you will have to bread the pork yourself.
Considering all of this, the $6.99 per pound price tag or $18 total that I paid seems ridiculous for a bag of sous vide pork, breading, and mushroom sauce.
The Price of Sauce
One thing that I always try to consider with any item like this is if the ingredients are truly necessary or are they there just to pad the weight and inflate the price.
In my mind, you can have pork schnitzel without gravy, and it looks to me that Ventera wants to sell some mushroom gravy for $6.99 a pound.
Much Cheaper to DIY
Since I already had to bread the pork myself, I might as well purchase the ingredients without the extensive markup. Pork loins cost $2.99 a pound at Costco, the breading would be another $1 or $2, and the mushroom gravy would be about $2 as well.
This entire dish can be recreated at home for less than $10.
PORK SCHNITZEL COOKING DIRECTIONS
Ventera does fairly advertise on their packaging that you will have to bread the pork yourself. I would have much preferred that the pork schnitzel actually came breaded as the breading is the most annoying job of making pork schnitzel.
Pork Slices Were Hard to Separate
Before I get into the actual heating instructions which involve the microwave and pan frying the pork, I do want to mention that I had an extremely hard time pulling the pork slices apart.
They are sous vide together in a vacuum sealed wrap and even after reheating the pork, I could not easily separate the pieces. Very few of the actual slices came out perfectly intact.
How to Cook Costco Pork Schnitzel
- Cut off a small corner from the pork pouch to vent. Microwave on High power for 1 minute or until warm. Drain excess liquid.
- Open and pour breading onto a large plate.
- Remove a single pork slice from the pouch and place in the breading.
- Repeat the process with remaining slices. Set aside.
- Heat a large saute pan with 1/3 cup of cooking oil. Saute pork slices in a pan for 2 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy.
- For best results make sure slices are not touching.
- Cut off a small corner from schnitzel sauce to vent. Place in a microwaveable bowl.
- Microwave on High power for 1 minute and 40 seconds.
- Serve schnitzel sauce with cooked breaded pork slices.
Ventera Pork Schnitzel Taste Test
I cooked the pork schnitzel following the directions and the pork actually came out with a decent enough golden brown crust.
The breading didn’t stick as much as I would have liked, but it was sufficient and after frying it was crispy and crunchy.
Good Enough Pork
The Pork was also very tender and fairly moist, but that is to be expected when the meat is cooked sous vide style. The pork didn’t really have a lot of flavor, but that is the job of the breading and the gravy.
I would consider the pork to be the only portion of this dish to meet expectations.
Terrible Mushroom Sauce
The mushroom sauce was absolutely horrid. It reminded me of a $1 can of mushroom sauce that you would find on the bottom shelf at any grocery store.
There was an overwhelming cream flavor and the mushroom was just not good at all and not worth putting on the pork schnitzel.
Overall the pork schnitzel was a dud. The mediocre flavors aren’t worth the hassle of making the pork schnitzel, and this is a Costco item that I would recommend to stay away from.
Pork Schnitzel Nutritional Information
How Many Calories in Costco Pork Schnitzel?
One serving of Costco Pork Schnitzel is going to be 5 ounces and will contain 240 calories. These calories come from 12 grams of fat, 16 grams of carbohydrates, and 19 grams of protein.
I am actually quite impressed with this nutritional label. The calories are fair, and the protein count is high, while the fat and carbohydrates are in moderate proportions.
This is a very solid nutritional label for a product like this and one of the only highlights of the dish.
Costco Pork Schnitzel Review
Product Name: Ventera Pork Schnitzel German-Style
Quantity: 2.5 Pounds
Location Within Costco:Refrigerated Deli Area
Price Per Pound: $6.99
Costco’s pork schnitzel is a swing and a miss. It’s overpriced for low-quality ingredients, and you have to bread the pork yourself. The mushroom sauce is terrible and is just used to inflate the cost of the item.
Next time, I’m craving pork schnitzel. I’m going to make it from scratch or go out to an authentic German or Austrian restaurant. Pass on this one!
Value - 4/10
Convenience - 5/10
Taste - 5/10
Nutrition - 8/10
CFDB Score - 6/10
- Solid nutritional profile
- Have to bread the pork yourself
- Terrible mushroom gravy
- Sub-par flavors