Planning a barbecue and need to know how much brisket per person? You’re in luck! This guide will help you determine the right amount of meat for your party.

When hosting a barbecue, one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make is how much brisket to serve. If you’re not sure how much to buy, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.

In this post, we’ll explain how much brisket per person you should buy for your next barbecue so that everyone gets their fill. Plus, we’ll give you some tips on how to cook brisket so it’s juicy and delicious. Let’s get started!

How Much Brisket Per Person?

Brisket is a delicious and traditional dish to serve at your shindig. When you’re figuring out how much brisket per person, it’s important to consider the following factors:

The type of cut:

Brisket comes from the breast and can be classified by size (the whole brisket versus the flat and point sections) and grain (there is a “grain” of meat, and it runs down the length of the cut).

Not all brisket is created equal. There are different types of brisket cuts, so you’ll need to purchase the right one for your party size.

There are many different cuts of meat that fall under the category of brisket. For the most part, you’ll find either a whole brisket or a flat/pointcut section. However, you may also see the following varieties when shopping for your party.

A whole packer brisket can weigh upwards of 30 pounds, so it’s definitely not something to serve when hosting a small get-together! Fortunately, there are smaller cuts available that are perfect when serving at home. Here are some examples of what you might find at the butcher counter:

  • The flat cut: This is the most common brisket cut and is typically about 8-10 pounds. It’s a rectangular shape and has a smooth grain.
  • The pointcut: This is the triangular end of the brisket and contains a lot of marbling (fat). The pointcut is usually about 4-6 pounds.
  • The deckle: This is an artisanal cut that can be hard to find. It’s from the fatty end of the brisket and has a lot of marbling.

The weight:

Brisket is sold based on its weight per pound, not its size. For example, an eight-pound brisket will result in more servings than a 12-pound one, but they’re both considered to be four pounds because that’s how much they weigh.

A standard brisket will weigh around 10-12 pounds. If you’re serving a large crowd, you may want to buy two briskets.

The number of servings:

First, you’ll need to figure out how many people you’re serving. Then, you’ll need to determine the weight of the brisket and how much each person will eat.

To figure out how many people you’re serving, think about what type of party you’re hosting. If you’re inviting friends over for a casual get-together, you can probably plan on serving around 2-3 ounces of meat per person. If you’re throwing a more formal affair, aim for closer to 4-5 ounces per person.

Once you know how many people are attending your barbecue it’s time to figure out the weight of the brisket. A good rule of thumb is to buy 1/2 pound of meat per person. This will give you enough for everyone to have a nice-sized portion, with some left over for leftovers.

If possible, we recommend buying slightly less than what you think you’ll need so there’s some room for error. This will ensure that your party isn’t overstocked with food.

A 12-pound whole brisket will yield around 50 servings when sliced into 1/4-inch pieces, but it can serve up to 80 people when laid out flat (for example, as part of a buffet).

Of course, you’ll also want to consider the appetizers and sides that come with your barbecue spread! If you’re planning on having plenty of side dishes and barbecued meats, then you might want to start with around 30-40 servings per whole brisket.

If you’re only serving a few side dishes, then you can reduce the number of servings per pound to around 15-20.

As a general rule, plan on 1/4 pound of meat per person. This will give your guests plenty of room to pile on some delicious sides.

Now that you have a better idea of how much brisket to buy, let’s take a look at some tips for cooking it up perfectly!

Cooking Method:

Brisket is usually cooked in one of three ways: oven braising (a pot on the stove), indirect heat/barbecuing (grilling), or indirect heat/oven braising (the oven method). It’s important to buy the right method for your barbecue.

Note: oven braising is the only method that can be used if you’re feeding a small crowd.

The following table will give you an idea of how much brisket per person to buy, depending on the cooking method you choose:

  • Oven Braising (pot on stove) – 1/2 pound per person
  • Indirect Heat/Grilling – 1 pound per person
  • Indirect Heat/Oven Braising – 3/4 pound per person

When it comes to choosing the right cut of meat, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. However, we recommend going with a flat or point cut section if you’re opting for indirect heat/barbecuing or indirect heat/oven braising. These cuts are easy to work with and are less likely to dry out.

Other factors:

First, consider the time of year when you’re cooking your barbecue. If it’s winter and everyone’s craving hearty meats like brisket, go ahead and get 3 pounds per person. Generally speaking though, you should be able to make do with 2 pounds of meat per person if that sounds about right.

The size and weight of each cut – this affects how much food will be needed for each person

How hungry people are going into the meal – if they’ve been working all day or not eating well, they’ll need more food than those who have been resting or eating healthy meals regularly.

Next, think about how long people have been waiting in line at your backyard grill! You don’t want anyone to lose their patience and decide not to wait in line for a plate full.

Whether or not guests will be sharing dishes – this can affect how much food needs to be made as some people don’t eat as much when they share plates with others

With that in mind, a good general rule of thumb is to plan on 1-1.5 pounds of brisket per person. This will give your guests a hearty meal without leaving them too stuffed.

So, now that you know how much brisket per person to buy, what are you waiting for? Get to the grocery store and pick up some fresh brisket. Once you’re home, check out our guide on how to cook beef brisket for tips on preparing it! We hope you enjoy your barbecue.

Of course, there are always exceptions. If you’re serving a lot of other meats and sides at your barbecue, you can go with a bit less brisket per person. But, if you’re only serving brisket, we recommend buying more rather than less. After all, it’s the star of the show!

How to Cook Brisket?

Now that you know how much brisket to buy for your guests, you need to know how to prepare it.

There are three main ways of cooking brisket: smoking, braising, and slow cooking. Which one you choose will depend on your personal taste as well as the equipment that’s available.

For example, if you plan on grilling or roasting your brisket, then smoking isn’t an option – so braising or slow cooking is best. If you have a smoker or access to one, however, then go with smoking!

When preparing beef brisket by any method, be sure not to overcook it. As meat continues to cook after being removed from heat, it can become tough and dry.

To ensure that your brisket comes out tender and delicious, take it off the heat 10 to 15 degrees before you think it’s done. It will continue cooking even after being removed from the heat source.

There are many different ways to determine if your meat is done, such as using a meat thermometer or cutting into it to see how pink (or not) it is inside. Both of these methods work great!


Smoking a brisket can be a daunting task, but it’s worth it to see the look of delight on your guests’ faces when they take their first bite. Here are our top tips for smoking beef brisket:

1. Choose the right cut of meat. A flat or point cut section is the best option for smoking brisket.

2. Consider the time of year when you’re cooking your barbecue. If it’s winter, get 3 pounds per person. If it’s summer, plan on 2 pounds per person.

3. Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit before putting the brisket in.

4. Smoke your brisket for 6-8 hours, depending on its size.

5. Use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat. It should be around 190-195 degrees Fahrenheit when it’s done.

6. Remove the brisket from the smoker and wrap it in aluminum foil. Let it rest for 30 minutes so the juices can redistribute.

7. Serve and enjoy!

Of course, if smoking isn’t an option then braising or slow cooking works just as well.


The toughest step in this process is deciding what kind of pot or pan you want to cook your brisket in. The decision will depend on the size of the brisket as well as your preferences.

A Dutch oven, stockpot, and slow cooker are all perfect for braising beef brisket. You can also use an oven safe casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until done.

Since we’re cooking beef brisket here, we’ll be using a Dutch oven or stock pot for this guide since that’s what I have access to at home.

Once you decide what pot or pan you want to use, it’s time to heat it up on the stove. Add in a tablespoon of oil and heat until hot.

Next, we’ll add our beef brisket to the pot. It’s important to brown the meat on all sides before we start braising it. This process will give the meat a crispy outer crust and seal in the juices.

If your pot or pan is big enough, you can brown all of the meat at once. If not, do it in batches.

Once the beef brisket is nice and browned, it’s time to add the vegetables. I’m using onions, carrots, and celery here, but you can use whatever you like best.

Now it’s time to add the liquid. You can use beef broth, chicken broth, or even water. I’m using beef broth here because I want to make a beef gravy later on.

Bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot or pan and let it simmer for 3-4 hours, or until the beef brisket is very tender.

Once the beef brisket is done, remove it from the pot or pan and slice it against the grain. Serve with some of the gravy you made and enjoy!

Slow Cooking:

If you’re looking for an easy way to cook beef brisket, slow cooking is the way to go! This method takes around 6-8 hours, but it’s very low maintenance. All you need is a slow cooker and some beef broth or water.

First, place the beef brisket in the slow cooker. It’s important to add the meat on top of the vegetables – not on top of other meat. This will ensure that the beef brisket doesn’t get overcooked.

Next, add the beef broth or water. It’s best to use beef broth if you want to make a beef gravy later on, but water will work just fine too.

Set the slow cooker to low and let it cook for 6-8 hours, or until the beef brisket is very tender.

Once the beef brisket is done, remove it from the pot and slice it against the grain. Serve with some of the gravy you made and enjoy!

How to deal with leftovers?

Now that you’ve cooked a brisket, what do you do with the leftovers? There are lots of great options! You can keep them in the fridge for a few days and enjoy them as a sandwich, on top of a salad, or just by themselves.

You can also freeze them for later. Just be sure to wrap them tightly so that they don’t get freezer burn.

1. Beef & Barley Soup Recipe – Add all ingredients, except barley, to a large pot and simmer until beef is tender.

2. Stuffed Peppers Recipe – Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). In a bowl, mix together cooked rice and beef; add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Cobb Salad Recipe – Toss your left over brisket in a bed of greens along with tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs and bacon. Top with ranch dressing or other favorite dressing!

4. Breakfast Hash Recipe – Brown some onions and garlic then mix in diced potatoes, leftover slices of brisket, salt and pepper. Stir to combine then cover the pot with a lid for 15 minutes before stirring again. The potatoes should be nicely browned by this point! Add in any other favorite breakfast items such as sausage or scrambled eggs if desired.

5. Brisket Sandwich – Spread BBQ sauce on bread slices before adding pickles, cheese, sliced beef and whatever else you’d like! Put it into the oven or toaster oven on low heat until the cheese is melted and enjoy.

6. Brisket Pho – Add thinly sliced brisket, cooked rice noodles and your favorite pho toppings to a bowl of hot broth. Let the brisket soak up all the delicious flavors for a few minutes before enjoying.

7. Beef & Barley Soup Recipe – Simmer brisket with onion, carrots and celery in beef broth until the meat is falling apart. Add cooked barley and let simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Serve with some fresh parsley or cilantro stirred in.

8. Brisket tacos – shred leftover brisket into a taco shell along with your favorite toppings.

9. Brisket nachos – cover corn chips in shredded brisket mixed with chopped onion, sour cream and shredded cheese. Bake in the oven until cheese is melted

There are endless possibilities when it comes to leftovers – get creative! And be sure to tag us on social media if you make one of our recipes – we love seeing your creations!

How to store leftovers brisket?

If you’ve got leftover beef brisket, it’s important to know how to store it properly! Whether you’re serving up barbecue all summer or storing leftovers in the freezer for later, this is a guide on how to handle your beef brisket.

First things first, let’s talk leftovers. Leftover cooked meat should be eaten within four days of preparing it. If freezing your meal, follow these easy steps:

-Wrap each piece of sliced or chopped beef brisket tightly with plastic wrap. Use a second sheet if needed.

-Place wrapped pieces in a large freezer bag or airtight container and label with date and contents before placing in the freezer.

-Your beef brisket will be good in the freezer for up to four months.

When it comes time to thaw, take the beef out of the freezer and let it sit in the fridge overnight. You can also place it in a sink of cold water and change the water every 30 minutes until it’s thawed.

Now that you know how to store leftover beef brisket, let’s talk about how to store the uncooked meat. When buying beef brisket, always look for meat that is tightly wrapped and has a bright red color.

The meat should also have some marbling throughout, which is key for flavor. If possible, try to purchase meat that is already trimmed and into 1-inch cubes.

If you’re not going to cook the brisket within two days, it’s best to freeze it. Follow these steps:

-Place the beef brisket in a large freezer bag or airtight container and label with date and contents before placing in the freezer.

-Your beef brisket will be good in the freezer for up to six months.

To thaw, take the beef out of the freezer and let it sit in the fridge overnight. You can also place it in a sink of cold water and change the water every 30 minutes until it’s thawed.

FAQs on How Much Brisket Per Person:

How many people does a whole brisket serve?

A whole brisket will serve 10-12 people.

How many people does a half brisket serve?

A half brisket will serve 4-6 people.

How much beef is in a pound of beef brisket?

There is about 1/2 pound of beef in a pound of beef brisket. This will vary depending on the thickness and size of your cut.

How much brisket do I need for 8 adults?

You would need about 1/2 a brisket for 8 adults. This will depend on how large your brisket is and how many people you are serving.

Can I freeze beef brisket?

Yes, beef brisket can be frozen. Follow the steps above for freezing leftovers.

How long does beef brisket last in the fridge?

Cooked beef brisket will last in the fridge for 3-4 days. If freezing, it will last 2-3 months.

Can I use beef brisket in soup?

Yes, leftover beef brisket can be used in soups.

How do I reheat BBQ beef brisket?

Reheat BBQ beef brisket in the microwave for 1 minute, then heat over low heat on the stovetop until warmed through. You can also use your oven to reheat, at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes.

What are some other ways to eat beef brisket?

You can try putting leftover cooked slices of meat onto a baked potato or burger bun with your favorite spread! Check out our recipes section for more ideas!

How long does a 10lb brisket take to smoke?

A 10lb brisket will take about 12 hours to smoke.

How long do you cook a brisket in the oven?

You can cook a 4-5lb brisket in the oven for 2-3 hours at 350 degrees F or until internal temperature reaches 170 degrees F. If cooking larger cuts, you may need to increase cooking time.

I have cooked this same size cut of meat before but it took 6-7 hours at 275 Fahrenheit so I would say check your oven instruction manual for this answer.

When should you season/brine beef brisket?

Beef brisket is typically seasoned or brined before putting into the smoker/oven. This ensures an even taste throughout the entire piece of meat. You can also season a day or two before cooking to ensure the flavor seeps into the meat.

What type of wood do you use to smoke beef brisket?

Traditionally, hickory is used to smoke beef brisket. Other options are oak and pecan for a sweeter taste.

How much spice should I put on a 15lb beef brisket?

There’s no exact measurement as everyone loves their own BBQ sauce! However, it would be safe to say that 1/2 cup – 1 cup of dry rub will be enough depending on how much meat you have and how spicy you want your sauce.

Do not make your own seasoning – buy one from a store or online – here is a good one on Amazon.

What is the best way to reheat beef brisket?

You can gently heat leftover beef brisket in a skillet on the stove, or use your oven to heat it up! Check out our reheating guide above for more details.

Can you freeze unbaked meatloaf?

Yes! See our freezing directions above for how to do this without compromising the taste of your dish.

How long does it take to cook a 10 lb beef brisket at 275 Fahrenheit?

A 10 lb beef brisket will take about 6 hours 275 Fahrenheit.

How long does it take to cook a 5 pound beef brisket at 250 degrees Fahrenheit?

It takes about 3 hours and 30 minutes for a 5 lb beef brisket to cook in a 250 degree Fahrenheit oven.

Can you cook a beef brisket in the crockpot?

No, we don’t recommend cooking beef brisket in the crockpot.

How much fat should be trimmed from a raw packer cut beef brisket and how much is too much (fat wise)?

There is not an exact amount of fat to trim off but aim for around 1/4 inch. Cutting too much meat from your meat will result in dryness because there’s no fat protecting it from drying out!

What type of wood can I use to smoke a beef brisket?

Traditionally, oak or pecan are used to smoke beef briskets. Other great options include cherry and apple.

Can I cook a beef brisket on the grill?

Yes, you can absolutely cook a beef brisket on the grill or in an outside smoker! You will need to prepare it before hand by seasoning your meat then preheat your grill/smoker to 225 Fahrenheit. Once it reaches that temperature, you are ready to place your meat down.

How much spice should I put on beef brisket?

There’s no perfect measurement for this question, just make sure to use your favorite BBQ sauce when eating so everyone gets the right flavor!

Do you have to smoke a beef brisket overnight?

Beef briskets can be smoked anywhere between 6-10 hours depending on how the cut is and what type of smoker you are using.

Final Thoughts

This post should have answered all of your questions about how much brisket per person for a barbecue party. We also shared some tips on how you can cook the meat so that it’s juicy and delicious, making sure everyone will be happy with their fill!

If you’re hosting a barbecue this summer and want to make sure everyone gets their fill, then we recommend buying about one pound of brisket per person.

You can use the same weight as your serving size for other meats like ribs or chicken, but keep in mind that those dishes will be much smaller than the giant slab of meat known as brisket!

The best way to cook brisket is in the oven. To make sure your brisket cooks evenly, it’s important not to overstuff the pan with meat.

Cook time will vary depending on how much meat you use and what cut of beef you buy but anywhere from four hours up to six or eight hours should do the trick!

You can’t go wrong when buying a whole packer roast for your next barbecue because they’re usually more than enough for everyone at any event.

Plus, this type of brisket has both lean and fatty portions that are equally delicious so there won’t be anyone left wanting seconds – even if they say otherwise!

If you still need more help figuring out what else is needed for an amazing backyard BBQ or are looking to take this knowledge one step further by grilling something other than beef, check out our blog posts on cooking up everything from chicken breasts to cornbread in the comfort of your own backyard.

Now get back outside and grill up some mouth-watering food!

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