Smoking Brisket in a Grill with tongs

How many pounds of brisket per person should I smoke?

It can be daunting to see an entire raw brisket. There is no doubt that the cut is substantial. However, that’s beneficial when you’re supplying many people. “How much brisket will you need per person?” is the question.

How much brisket should I serve per person?

The typical answer is 1/2 pound of cooked brisket per person. However, depending on the situation, you might require 1/4 pound or up to 3/4 pound. 

Brisket can lose up to 50% of its original weight after cooking, whether a whole-packer brisket or another cut. Another important factor to consider is Whether or not you cut the brisket before cooking. For large eaters, 1/2 pound of cooked brisket will be provided for every pound of raw brisket. Or for people who don’t eat as much, it will yield about 1/4 pound of cooked brisket for every 1/2 pound of raw brisket.

One pound of uncooked brisket per person should be planned as a general rule. So, a 12-pound brisket should be plenty to feed 12 people. Always remember that it is preferable to estimate your guest list too high than too low and risk running out of brisket.

Factoring How Much Brisket per Person

Before calculating how many pounds of beef you will need for a specific number of people, you should ask yourself the following questions.

  • Is brisket the primary dish? Or will you also have other types of meat on hand?
    • Your guests will consume less brisket if you serve other forms of meat, such as pulled pork or finger appetizers like these traeger chicken wings.
  • Will you provide a few side dishes so visitors can eat to their hearts’ content? The salads, potatoes, beans, broccoli, etc., are delicious.
    • If you prepare beforehand, brisket is a terrific type of beef to serve to a large gathering, but it’s also crucial to consider any other meals you’ll be offering.
  • Are you cooking brisket sandwiches on buns or slicing and serving the brisket? If so, you’ll discover you don’t need as much brisket per person for a sandwich.
    • Make sure you plan for additional brisket if you want to have leftovers. Recipes for leftover brisket are provided below!
  • What kind of gathering are you organizing? The portion size can be decreased if many courses and/or appetizers are served before the main meal.
  • The amount of food that your visitors will eat may also depend on the time of day. In general, people eat less and lighter during the day than they do at night.

Making Plans

A whole-packer brisket may weigh up to 20 pounds, although the total amount of meat produced will be much less. As it cooks, meat shrinks as its moisture evaporates. Additionally, the flat end of the brisket contains a substantial fat cap that should be reduced before cooking.

Due to cutting and shrinkage, you may anticipate that the total weight of the brisket will decrease by around 50%. Even though the loss might be smaller, it’s best to be safe than sorry. We’d rather have too much brisket than not enough.

How will the brisket be served?

Will the meat be served chopped, shredded, or in slices? The appearance will differ even though the meat may weigh the same in each scenario. This could impact the portion size.

Compared to the same amount of chopped or shredded beef, brisket disappears more quickly when cut into neat slices. Even if you’re cooking brisket sandwiches, you’ll need more than one piece per sandwich and will take a complete slice at a time. With pulled beef, adjusting how much goes into the bun is simpler.

In other words, if you want to serve the meat sliced, buy more brisket than you need. This creates a lovely appearance that is suitable for a dinner gathering. In this situation, we advise solely purchasing flats of brisket. It is simpler to slice since the flat is leaner than the pointed end, and the grain is more apparent.

Final thoughts

Because of its reasonable pricing and tasty meat, brisket is a preferred option for barbecue. Find out more about additional beef cuts here. Planning the menu and side dishes depends on knowing how much brisket each individual will consume. Per individual, you can purchase an average of one pound. However, if you plan on serving smaller pieces, you should reduce the quantity.  

And if you find this article helpful or have any suggestions feel free to reach us!


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