How Much Brisket Per Person


For the lovers of brisket, you cannot deny that it is one of the most delicious and flavorful cuts of meat. It’s a great choice for any barbecue party or even as an everyday meal. If you’re planning on hosting a big family gathering or having a backyard BBQ with friends, be sure to create memories using this mouthwatering cut of beef.

But how do know the right quantity to prepare per person so that you don’t end up disappointing your guests or wasting food? The answer to this question is simple: the amount depends on the size of your group. The larger the number of people attending, the more brisket you need to cook.

So let’s see how much brisket you will need for different numbers of people. This article also includes some tips on how to make the perfect brisket and the cost of buying a whole brisket.

If you’re looking for a quick guide on how much brisket to feed for feed various groups, here is our handy dandy table:

Number Of GuestsAmount of Raw Brisket (pounds)Amount of cooked Brisket (pounds)
552 ½

How Much Brisket Per Person?

According to experts, 1/2 pound of cooked brisket is enough for one person. This amount may however vary to 1/4 or 3/4 depending on the nature of your guests. If you are to buy raw brisket, you would need double of this amount; 1 pound per person which could vary to 1/2 pound or 1-1/2 pound.

This notable difference between cooked and raw brisket comes into play when you factor in the shrinkage rate of the brisket. The shrinkage rate is the percentage of weight loss after cooking. Again, some parts of the brisket tend to be fattier than others and you might need to shred the extra fat off the brisket before cooking.

When choosing a leaner brisket, you will need less of it compared to a fattier brisket.

Generally, brisket will lose about 50% of its weight considering both shrinkage and fat shredding.

So if you have bought a whole brisket, you can easily calculate how many pounds you’ll have at the end by multiplying the weight of the brisket (in pounds) by 0.5. For example, if you have bought a 2-pound brisket, then you should expect to get about 1 pound of cooked brisket. However, if you have bought a 4-pound brisket, you should expect to get only about 2 pounds of cooked brisket.

Speaking of the nature of guests, we mean that people will have their own habits when it comes to eating brisket; some like it rare, others prefer medium-rare, while still others want it in bulk. Of course, other factors may affect the amount of brisket per head such as age; children will eat lesser than 1/4 pounds or less of cooked brisket per head.

What else is at the sides? While brisket is the main meal, you might want to consider having other side dishes such as potato salad, coleslaw, cornbread, etc. You can always ask your guests what they think is the best way to serve brisket so that you get the right estimate of how much brisket per person you need.

How Much Brisket To Feed 5 People?

If you are looking for a quick estimate of how much brisket you need to feed five people, here is a rough guide:

  • One pound of raw brisket is 1/2 pound of cooked brisket
  • One pound of raw brisket for 1 person
  • 1/2 pound of cooked brisket for 1 person

Therefore, for 5 people, you need 5 pounds of raw brisket and 2 1/2 pounds of cooked brisket to feed them.

How Much Brisket To Feed 8 People?

The same rule applies to feed eight people. Here is a rough guide:

  • 1 pound of raw brisket is 1/2 pound cooked brisket
  • 1 pound of raw brisket for 1 person
  • 1/2pound of cooked brisket for 1 person

Therefore, for 8 people, you need 8 pounds of raw brisket, which results in 4 pounds when cooked.

How Much Brisket To Feed 10 People?

For ten people, you need 10 pounds of raw brisket, which is approximately 5 pounds of cooked brisket.

If you find yourself with more people than the above figures, then simply add more pounds of brisket accordingly.

How Much Brisket To Feed 20 People?

For 20 people, you need 20 pounds of raw brisket which is approximately 10 pounds of cooked brisket, assuming that brisket shrinkage will be 50% and you will not have any additional side dishes.

How Much Brisket To Feed 30 People?

For 30 people, you need 30 pounds of raw brisket. This is approximately 15 pounds of cooked brisket. This figure assumes that you will have no side dishes and all your guests are adults with average appetite levels.

How Much Brisket To Feed 40 People?

Sometimes, your guests may come in large groups and you may want to feed them all together. In this case, you need to multiply the number of people by the total amount of brisket required.

For instance, if you have forty people coming over, you will need 40 pounds of raw brisket to make sure that everyone gets enough.

How Much Brisket To Feed 50 People?

Similarly, if you have 50 people coming over, you should multiply the number of people times the amount of brisket needed. For example, if you have fifty guests, you will need 50 pounds of raw brisket for each guest.

How Much Brisket To Feed 100 People?

In most cases, you will need to multiply the number of people by the amount of brisket required to feed them. For instance, if you have 100 people coming over, you would need 100 pounds of raw brisket just to feed them.

However, when dealing with such a large crowd, you may also want to consider serving other side dishes such as potatoes, bread, etc, and reduce the quantity of brisket. This will counterbalance the fact that you will end up with leftovers. In this case, 70 pounds will do just good for 100 people, without necessarily having any leftovers.

What Are The First Steps to Make Brisket?

Making brisket requires a lot of time and effort. There are several methods you can use to cook it. Some people prefer to smoke their briskets while others prefer to braise them. You can either do one thing or the other depending on what type of atmosphere you wish to create in your kitchen.

Regardless of whichever method you choose, remember that the key to cooking brisket is to do so low and slow.

Whether you choose to smoke, cook in the oven, cook in a slow cooker, cook in a pressure cooker, or even on a stovetop, the first steps to make the brisket are similar for all. They involve preparation, marinating, seasoning, resting, and finally slicing. These steps are very simple but they require a lot of patience and practice before you get results.

Here are the steps:


The first step involves preparing the brisket. This means cleaning it thoroughly and removing excess fat. You can use a sharp knife to remove the fat. You can also check out our video on how to cut brisket for an easy way to remove the fat from the surface of your brisket:

Wash the brisket well under running water. Next, place it in a bowl filled with cold water and ice cubes. Let it soak for at least an hour. After soaking, rinse the brisket again under running water. Remove the excess liquid using paper towels.


The next step is to marinate the brisket. Choose a brine made of salt, sugar, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, celery seed, bay leaf, cloves, peppercorns, and thyme.

Mix these ingredients together and pour the mixture into a bowl big enough to hold the brisket. Add the brisket to the bowl and let it sit overnight. Alternatively, you can marinade the brisket for 24 hours.


After letting the brisket rest overnight, drain off the excess marinade. Then, dry the brisket completely using a paper towel. Season the brisket by rubbing it with salt, black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, ground mustard seeds, and brown sugar. Rub the spices evenly over the entire surface of the brisket.


After seasoning the brisket, cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Place it in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours. During this period, the brisket should absorb the flavors of the seasonings.


After resting, slice the brisket into thin slices. Cut each slice into strips approximately 1/2 inch wide. You can either slice it across or diagonally.


You can now cook the brisket according to your preference. If you want to smoke the brisket, put it in a smoker box. If you want to bake it, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). Bake the brisket for 3 to 4 hours.

For best results, cook the brisket in two stages. In the first stage, cook it for 2 to 3 hours. In the second stage, cook it for another hour or until the internal temperature reaches 175 degrees Fahrenheit (80 degrees Celsius).

How Much Brisket Per Person for Sandwiches?

If you want to serve brisket sandwiches, then you should take into account the fact that each sandwich will have about 1/3 – 1/4 pounds of meat.

So, how much brisket per person do you need?

Well, we recommend serving one medium-sized sandwich with 1/3- 1/4 pound of brisket per person. This would mean that one pound of brisket would be enough for 3 to 4 sandwiches.

How Many People Will a Brisket Feed?

A whole brisket feeds between 10 to 20 people depending on the size of the brisket. Generally speaking, an average packer of brisket weighs around 10-15 pounds. And so, a whole brisket would feed between 10 to 20 people.

However, some packs are bigger than others. So, you may need more or less brisket to feed a given number of people.

How Much Does A Whole Brisket Cost?

Briskets cost anywhere from $4 to $5 per pound. This price varies based on the quality of the meat. The higher the quality, the more expensive the meat.

A flat-cut brisket will be more expensive, costing you around $8 per pound while the usual packer brisket costs around $3-$4 per pound. Some stores also sell half brisket which is cheaper than buying a whole brisket.

Depending on the size of the brisket, the cost can go up to $60-$90 for a 15 pounds packer and as little as $24-$30 for a 6-pound packer.

If you have fewer guests, you should consider the smaller packers rather than full packers. They’re usually priced lower. But, they won’t give you as many servings as the larger ones.

How Much Is Smoked Brisket Per Pound?

Smoked brisket is generally sold at a rate of $15-$20 per pound. It depends on the brand. Most brands cost around $17.50 per pound. It’s not as cheap as other types of meats like beef or chicken but it’s still very affordable.

Most smoked briskets weigh between 15 to 20 pounds. A whole brisket will usually cost around $225 to $300 for every 15 pounds or $300-$400 for 20 pounds smoked packer.

How Much Is Brisket At Costco?

At Costco, brisket price varies from as low as $1.99 per pound all the way to $6.99 per pound. You can find a wide range of prices depending on the grade of brisket you choose.

Brisket grades at Costco are divided into three main classes: Select, Choice, and Prime. Select goes for $1.99 per pound, Choice goes for $2.99/pound, and Prime costs $4.99/pound. For cuts like high-grade cuts like Waygu, you might pay up to $6.99 per pound.


So, there you have it! We hope this article helped you learn how much brisket per pound you need. Now, you know how much brisket per guest you need. You can now plan accordingly.

Remember that you want a healthy portion for each guest so be generous when planning your meals even in the presence of side dishes.

Bobby Johnson

When he's not writing about barbecue, you can find Bobby smoking meat for friends and family. He's been a backyard pitmaster for roughly half his life, and has worked with nearly every cut of meat. Not everyone has a hands-on guide to teach them BBQ, but that's what Bobby hopes to do with Electric Smoker HQ. He wants to help people create amazing food that they can be proud of.