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How Many Pounds Of Brisket Per Person? [ANSWERED]

How Many Pounds Of Brisket Per Person? [ANSWERED]

The chewy, savory, and extremely flavorful taste of briskets make them the preferred choice of meat for any perfectly planned barbeque party. But, if you are smoking brisket all by yourself, then it becomes important to learn how many pounds of cooked brisket per person would be required. The rough calculation will leave you with minimum leftovers and food wastage.

According to industry standards, an average person would have ½ a pound of cooked brisket. Since the yield of cooked brisket is only about 50%, it is recommended to buy 1 pound of raw brisket per person. For instance, after subtracting the loss during cooking and trimming, a whole packer of a 15-pound brisket would feed around 30 people. 

Right from meat selection to trimming, slicing, smoking, and serving, each step is crucial for getting that perfect hint of juiciness in every bite of brisket. Whether you smoke, grill, or make brisket sandwiches, here is a detailed idea about how much brisket would be required to compensate for the appetite of your guests.

chef brisket plateHow Many People Will A Brisket Feed?

A whole packer of brisket usually weighs around 14 to 20 pounds. However, about half of the weight (in more practical terms, you would lose about 40%) is lost during the cooking process, and another 10% is lost in trimming. As a result, you will be left with only 9 to 10 pounds of cooked brisket.

According to this calculation, a whole packer of cooked brisket will give an average yield of about 45-50%. Since an average person requires ½ a pound of brisket, therefore a packer of 20 lbs. brisket would feed around 20 people.

However, do note that these calculations are for the fattier cut of meat. If you are having the lean cut of brisket, then the loss would be around 15 to 25%.

How Many Pounds Of Cooked Brisket Per Person?

For a fulfilling gastronomic experience, an average person would require about ½ a pound of cooked brisket. The following formula will help you easily calculate how many pounds of brisket will be required per person.

Pounds of Cooked Brisket Required = Number of Adults / 2

Total Pounds of Uncooked Brisket Required = Total Number of Adults

Kids would require about half the amount of briskets as adults. Teenagers are likely to consume equal to that of adults.

However, this average quantity would reduce proportionately if you have more side dishes. For example, if you have two side dishes, you would need ¾th pound, and if you have three side dishes, you would just need ¼th pound of cooked brisket per person. To calculate the amount of raw meat required, just multiply with 2X to get the number of pounds of raw brisket required per person. Dishes such as potato salads and macaroni will fill up faster, and thus, you may expect some leftovers with such side dishes. A ½ a pound of cooked brisket trimmed to ¼th fat will have about 700 calories.

If you are preparing a brisket sandwich or burger, then you would require a ¼th pound of brisket in each burger. This means half a pound of raw brisket would be used to fill up each burger.

Here is a chart that will help you have a rough estimation of how much brisket per person:

Weight of Brisket Packer (Raw) 1 pound of serving  ¾ pound of serving  ½ pound of serving ¼ pound of serving 
10 lbs. 5 people 8 people 10 people 20 people
15 lbs. 7 people 10 people 15 people 30 people
20 lbs. 10 people, 14 people, 20 people, 40 people.

Which Cut of Brisket Should You Buy?

Brisket is one of the tougher cuts of meat obtained from the breast region or the pectoral muscles of the cow. Because of the toughness of the meat, briskets should be cooked low and slow so as to tenderize the meat and enhance its flavors naturally.

A packer of brisket is often split and sold in two different cuts. The first cut is leaner and has a thin layer of fat. The second cut, on the other hand, is fattier and, thus, likely to fill up your guests faster. The latter is also more economical than the first cut and is the preferred choice for smoking or grilling.

Never buy briskets where the fat is completely trimmed. The extra fat keeps the brisket moist and flavorful during the long cooking process. As a general rule, the more fat and the marbling, the more tender the result will be.

How To Serve Briskets?

Briskets can be served sliced, shredded, or chopped. The choice of the presentation can also affect the portion size. Briskets that are sliced get consumed faster than shredded or chopped briskets of the same weight. If you are planning to serve sliced briskets or make brisket sandwiches, then you are advised to buy more brisket than recommended. Sliced briskets are preferably ¼ inch thick and should always be cut against the grain.

Factors like what time of the day the party is, the type of event, and who will be your guests would also change the mathematics of how many pounds of brisket per person. People invited during the day are likely to consume less than those invited at a dinner party. If briskets are the highlight of the BBQ party or a part of the main course, you should offer a larger serving size. If you are serving alcohol, then be ready with some extra briskets.

A quick tip: Since briskets are expensive and need a long-time to cook, many prefer serving fewer briskets using strategic techniques, such as:

  • Serving filling sides such as baked beans, macaroni, and coleslaw.
  • Add small meats such as ribs, sausages, and pork belly to the menu.
  • Strategically placing the briskets towards the end of the buffet.

Always make sure that you cut the brisket only when it is ready to serve. If you have to delay serving the briskets, make sure you wrap them in butcher paper and a towel to ensure that the meat does not dry out, and the flavors stay intact.

punds of brisketAdding Some Buffer Stock

The entire process of trimming, seasoning, and cooking a fresh batch of brisket can take about 12-20 hours. This is why briskets should always be prepared one to two days in advance. If you are the host of the party, then you surely do not want to disappoint your guests by not having enough briskets left. To avoid this, always prepare about 10% of extra brisket, which will act as a buffer stock.

How To Store Brisket Leftovers?

If you have leftovers, it is highly recommended to restock the cooked meat in the refrigerator within 2 hours. Make sure that the brisket cools for at least 20 to 30 minutes before storing them in the refrigerator. If you are serving the brisket the second day, then you should first discard the unhealthy hardened fat pieces and then reheat the leftovers in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour. If you don’t have enough liquid, you can use some broth or water to keep the meat tender.

Briskets left for more than 2 hours at room temperature become a hub for microbial growth, which can spoil the meat and leave a stale odor. Consuming such food may cause stomach infections and other food-borne illnesses.

Unlike other cuts, calculating how many pounds of brisket per person is one of the simplest guesses. When the brisket is cooked low and slow and smoked to perfection with the right choices of wood and spices, the dish will disappear faster than expected.

Also read: When To Wrap Brisket – The Right Way

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