How Much Brisket Per Person Do You Need? Our Expert Advice

If you’re planning a dinner and want to serve brisket, you might be wondering how much brisket you need per person. Brisket is a large cut of meat, and while leftovers are always appreciated, it’s essential to cook the right amount. Calculating the perfect portion size can be confusing for beginners, but don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll discuss how much brisket per person you need, which part of the brisket to buy, and how long to cook it.

Cooking Brisket For Dinner?

Brisket is an excellent choice when feeding a large group of people. It’s perfect for slow cooking; simply set it up in the smoker and return to a delicious dinner. However, estimating how much brisket you need can be challenging. While leftovers can be saved for later, having a rough estimate can save you a lot of trouble.

How Much Weight Does Brisket Lose During Cooking?

Brisket is a thick cut with plenty of fat, meat, and tough tissues. The long cooking process significantly reduces its size. If you’re cooking it in a smoker, expect the brisket to shrink by 30-40%. For example, if you start with a 15 lb brisket, you’ll end up with 9-10 lbs of cooked brisket.

Weight Loss During Trimming

Both portions of the brisket, the flat and point, have fat layers that need to be trimmed. Trimming is a personal choice; leaving some fat on the meat can make it juicier and more flavorful. However, most chefs prefer to leave only a ¼ inch of fat on the meat.

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Flat or Point Portion?

Brisket is made up of two parts: the flat and the point. The flat is leaner and easier to cut into uniform slices, while the point has more fat and tough muscles. The point is perfect for shredding meat for sandwiches or burgers, offering a tender and flavorful experience. On average, a full brisket weighs between 15-18 pounds, with the flat cut weighing between 6-10 pounds and the point section weighing around 5 pounds.

How to Determine the Amount of Brisket Per Person

Taking into account the weight loss during cooking and the trimming process, you’ll need approximately 1 pound of brisket per person. For example, a whole 15-pound brisket is enough to feed about 15 guests. The portion size per person will also depend on the size of the portion itself.

How Many Slices of Brisket Per Person?

The number of brisket slices per person depends on the portion size you plan to serve. If you’re serving quarter-pound portions, start with half a pound of raw brisket per person. With a 12-pound brisket, you can feed up to 24 guests this way. If you increase the portion size to half a pound per person, serving one person per pound of uncooked brisket is sufficient. It’s important to consider that the brisket will shrink significantly after cooking, so we recommend a final serving size of half a pound per person. This offers a good average between big eaters and kids on the guest list.

How to Serve Brisket

Once you know how much brisket per person you need, it’s time to decide on the serving style. You can shred the brisket and serve it with salads, sandwiches, burgers, or as a topping. For a more formal gathering, consider slicing the brisket and serving it on plates with roasted veggies and gravy. Make sure you have a large cutting board, like our large deep juice groove cutting board, to carve your brisket.

Further reading:  How Much Brisket Do You Need?

Cutting Board


Q: How much brisket per person do I need?
A: You’ll need approximately 1 pound of brisket per person.

Q: Which part of the brisket is leaner?
A: The flat portion of the brisket is leaner and easier to cut into uniform slices.

Q: Can leftovers be saved?
A: Yes, leftovers can be saved in the fridge or freezer for later use.


Brisket is a popular choice for barbecue due to its affordability and delicious meat. Knowing how much brisket per person you need is essential for planning your menu and side dishes. On average, you can buy 1 pound of brisket per person, but be sure to adjust the quantity for smaller portions. For all your brisket needs, trust Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ – the experts in smoky, tender, and flavorful barbecue!

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