How Many Pounds of Brisket Per Person: A Comprehensive Guide

The GrillingDad Answer: Generally, you want to plan on preparing ½ lb of brisket for each person attending your BBQ. For kids, you may be able to prepare a little less, but for 10 people you would want to prepare at least a 5lb brisket–more if you want leftovers. 

Brisket is a BBQ staple and it’s the perfect dish to make for a large crowd. But just how much brisket do you need to prepare per person?

Of course, there is a lot more information that goes into choosing brisket size than just the number of people. Let’s look at all the options for preparing brisket and how much you should make for your event. 

Understanding Brisket Serving Sizes

When planning a brisket meal for a group of people, it’s important to understand how much brisket to prepare per person. Serving sizes can vary depending on several factors, including the occasion, the type of event, and the appetites of your guests.

In this section, we will discuss the factors that affect brisket serving sizes and how to calculate the right amount of brisket per person.

Factors Affecting Brisket Serving Sizes

There are several factors that can affect how much brisket to serve per person:

  • The occasion: For a casual gathering or backyard BBQ, you may want to plan for larger serving sizes. For a more formal event, smaller serving sizes may be more appropriate.
  • The type of event: A buffet-style meal may require smaller serving sizes than a sit-down dinner.
  • The appetites of your guests: If you’re serving a group of big eaters, you may want to plan for larger serving sizes.

Calculating Brisket Serving Sizes

Calculating the right amount of brisket per person can be tricky, but there are some general guidelines you can follow:

Brisket TypeServing Size per Person
Whole Packer Brisket1/2 pound
Brisket Flat1/3 to 1/2 pound

If you’re serving sides and other dishes, you may be able to plan for smaller serving sizes. However, if brisket is the main course, you may want to plan for larger serving sizes.

Another way to calculate serving sizes is to plan for one pound of raw brisket per person. This will give you enough brisket to serve as the main course with some leftovers for sandwiches or other dishes.

Keep in mind that these are just general guidelines, and you should adjust your serving sizes based on the factors we discussed earlier. It’s always better to have too much brisket than not enough!

Related >> How to Serve Brisket: Tips and Tricks for a Delicious Meal

How Long to Smoke a Brisket at 225

Choosing the Right Brisket Cut

There are a few factors to consider when choosing your brisket, read on to find out more. 

Different Brisket Cuts and Sizes

There are three main brisket cuts: the flat cut, the point cut, and the whole brisket. The flat cut is the most common, rectangular in shape, and has a smooth grain. It typically weighs around 8-10 pounds.

The point cut is the triangular end of the brisket and contains more marbling. It usually weighs around 4-6 pounds. The whole brisket includes both the flat and point cuts and can weigh anywhere from 8-20 pounds.

It’s important to note that the size of the brisket cut will affect how many pounds of brisket per person you’ll need. For example, if you’re serving a large group of people, you may want to consider using a whole brisket to ensure you have enough meat to go around.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Brisket Cut

When choosing a brisket cut, there are a few factors to consider:

  • Price: The price of the brisket cut can vary depending on the cut and quality. Generally, the whole brisket is the most expensive, followed by the flat cut and then the point cut.
  • Flavor: The point cut is known for having more marbling, which can result in a juicier and more flavorful brisket. However, the flat cut is leaner and can be a good option for those who prefer a less fatty meat.
  • Cooking Method: The cooking method can also affect which brisket cut is best. For example, the point cut may be better suited for smoking, while the flat cut may do well in a slow cooker or oven.

Ultimately, the right brisket cut for you will depend on your preferences and the needs of your event or gathering.

We recommend choosing the flat for a basic brisket and purchasing the highest quality meat you can afford. We usually reserve the point for corned beef as it takes a little more skill to get it just right. 

How to Prepare and Cook Brisket

Brisket is a delicious cut of meat that can be enjoyed in many different ways. In this section, we will discuss some tips for preparing and cooking brisket, but don’t be afraid to also check out our easy brisket recipe for help making your first brisket. 

Brisket Preparation Tips

Before cooking your brisket, it is important to properly prepare it. Here are a few tips:

  • Trim the fat: Remove any excessive fat from the brisket to ensure that it cooks evenly.
  • Season generously: Use a dry rub or marinade to add flavor to the meat. If you aren’t sure what rub to use, salt, pepper, and garlic works well for a start. 
  • Let it rest: Allow the brisket to come to room temperature before cooking to ensure even cooking.

Cooking Techniques for Brisket

There are several ways to cook brisket, but here are a few popular techniques:

SmokingSmoking the brisket over low heat for several hours can result in a tender, flavorful meat.
BraisingBraising the brisket in liquid, such as beef broth or red wine, can result in a juicy, tender meat.
Oven RoastingRoasting the brisket in the oven can result in a crispy exterior and a tender interior.

Regardless of the cooking technique you choose, it is important to cook the brisket low and slow to ensure that it is tender and juicy. We recommend using a meat thermometer to ensure that the brisket reaches an internal temperature of 190°F before removing it from the heat.

Serving Brisket

When serving brisket, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are some serving suggestions and accompaniments that can help you create a delicious and memorable meal:

Serving Suggestions for Brisket

Brisket is a versatile meat that can be served in many different ways. Here are some ideas:

  • Sliced: One of the most common ways to serve brisket is sliced. Simply cut the brisket against the grain into thin slices and serve.
  • Pulled: Another popular way to serve brisket is pulled. This is achieved by shredding the meat with a fork or meat claws. You can then put the pulled meat into a wrap, sandwich, or taco.
  • Tacos: Brisket tacos are a fun and delicious way to serve this meat. Simply place sliced or pulled brisket in a tortilla and add your favorite toppings.
  • Sandwiches: Brisket sandwiches are a classic. Serve sliced or pulled brisket on a bun with your favorite toppings.

If you are looking to make your brisket stretch (as in, you maybe didn’t make enough), pulled or sandwiches can help you serve more people with less!

Accompaniments for Brisket

While brisket is delicious on its own, it can be even better when paired with the right accompaniments. Here are some ideas:

  • BBQ Sauce: A good BBQ sauce can take brisket to the next level. Choose a sauce that complements the flavors of the meat.
  • Pickles: Pickles are a classic accompaniment for brisket. They add a tangy flavor and crunch that pairs well with the rich meat.
  • Coleslaw: Coleslaw is a refreshing side dish that can help balance out the richness of the brisket.
  • Cornbread: Cornbread is a classic Southern side dish that pairs well with brisket. It’s sweetness and crumbly texture complement the meat nicely.
  • Mac and Cheese: Mac and cheese is a comforting and indulgent side dish that goes well with brisket.
  • Potato Salad: This classic is the perfect accompaniment for brisket, especially when you are headed to an outdoor event! 
Photo of author

Hope Davis

Born in Denver, Colorado as the oldest of 5 children, I learned at a young age that the grill was one of the best ways to prepare food for a crowd. And during the winter storm months, when the snow was likely to knock out the power to our house, the propane grill was a lifesaver! You wouldn’t believe the number of things you can cook on a grill when necessary. With parents who couldn’t tell salt from pepper unless you told them, I spent my late teen years making my own seasoning mixes and marinades to dress the meat before barbecues. It wasn’t long before I developed a secret marinade that people still beg me to make for them today! When I was 21 years old I bought my first smoker. Picked up some cedar chips for making a cedar plank salmon...and well, the rest they say is history! I’ve been grilling and smoking all kinds of creations ever since and I’m always excited to share my passion with others through my favorite medium--writing!

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