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1 Pound of Brisket: Everything you need to know

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How much does a pound of brisket feed?

1 pound of uncooked brisket will typically feed 1 person.

1 pound of brisket that is cooked, will typically feed 2 people.

Expecting each person to eat ½ pound of cooked brisket is a generous guideline, but it will take away any stress if an extra person is added to dinner or if someone wants seconds or thirds. 

If you want everyone to walk away from your meal, full and satisfied, this recommendation will help you accomplish that.

Planning for this much brisket per person also leaves you with a good amount of leftovers to get creative with in the following days. 

However, the amount of brisket needed can vary based on several factors specific to your event. 

The amount and types of sides will impact the amount of brisket you need for everyone to become full.

Sides like potato salad, beans, biscuits, or mac and cheese are great options as they are pretty filling and provide different options for people to fill their plates with. 

The kind of crowd you are cooking for can have a huge impact on the amount of brisket you need.

If you look at the list and realize you invited people with big appetites, plan on needing a couple more pounds of meat.

Similarly, if you realized you invited a lot of kids, plan for them needing ½ pound of raw brisket. 

Finally, there’s the consideration of what you are feeding people for.

Is this a casual come-over and hang event in the afternoon?

Or is this for a group of bbq loving people coming over for dinner where brisket is the star of the show?

These different types of events can change how much brisket is needed.

People typically eat more for dinner and this is especially true if alcohol is involved. 

How much cooked brisket can I expect from 1 pound of uncooked brisket?

1 pound of brisket that is raw, results in roughly a ½ pound of cooked meat. 

This large amount of shrinkage is caused by three different reasons: 

  • Whole briskets can be very fatty cuts of meat and before they can go on the cooker, briskets need to be trimmed.
  • Most of the trimming will come from the large amounts of fat on the point muscle.  
  • A brisket can cook anywhere from 10-18 hours, meaning a majority of the fat left on the brisket will render and melt off.
  • The evaporation of any natural moisture within the meat throughout the long cook.
  • Briskets have a ton of water within the muscle tissues and throughout the cook, this water will evaporate resulting in the brisket shirking significantly. 

How much is a pound of brisket?

If you’re wondering how much brisket is per pound, a whole packer brisket will typically cost between $2 and $6 per pound depending on where you are located and the quality of the meat. 

With that being said, there are three different cuts of brisket for sale, each with a different price per pound associated with it. 

The flat is the lean part of the brisket and typically weighs around 6-10lb.

There is a thin layer of a fat cap on top and the cut is typically pretty lean.

When cooking this cut of brisket, there isn’t a lot of shrinkage, and is typically sliced and served. 

The flat is typically higher in price per pound due to the small amount of fat present and minimal shrinkage of the meat when cooked.

On average the price per pound is around $6-$8 per pound. 

The point is the fatty part of the brisket and weighs around 5-7lbs.

This cut of brisket is extremely fatty and often needs to be trimmed before smoking.

When this cut of brisket is smoked, expect a large amount of shrinkage as the fat melts and drips off. 

The point of brisket is usually cheaper per pound due to the amount of fat present on the cut.

Since part of the “weight” will be lost to the fat being trimmed off, the price is usually $1-$4 per pound.

A full packer is both the flat and point and is the most common cut used for smoking.

This brisket is typically between the point and the flat price per pound at about $2 to $6 per pound.

How should you prepare 1 pound of brisket for a group of people?

The simplest way is to slice the brisket up and let people grab lean or fatty slices depending on their preference. 

In addition to the b brisket slices should be a spread of different sides for people to pair with their choice of meat.

While there are countless sides to make, here are just a couple that would pair extremely well with brisket:

  • Pinto Beans
  • Potatoe Salad
  • Coleslaw
  • Mac n Cheese
  • Scalloped Potatoes

A second option for serving brisket is to provide white texas toast and let people make their own sandwiches.

The benefit of doing brisket sandwiches is that you won’t need as much meat per person.

4-5 oz is a standard amount of brisket per sandwich, so a pound of cooked brisket could make about 3 to 4 sandwiches. 

If you are trying to serve a large number of people this can be a huge money and time saver.

A traditional whole packer weighing 16 pounds uncooked would make about 32 sandwiches. 

How many slices is 1/2 pound of brisket?

Texas tradition is for each slice of brisket to be the width of a No. 2 pencil. 

Thinly slicing the brisket allows for each piece to have the proper amount of fat, meat, and bark for the classic brisket flavor.