Choosing the Perfect Brisket Size for Your BBQ

If you’re planning to smoke a brisket for your next barbecue, one of the most important things to consider is the size of the meat. Finding the right size ensures that you have enough to feed your guests without being left with excessive leftovers. So, how big of a brisket should you buy? Let’s dive in and explore!

The Weight Loss Factor

Briskets usually range from 10 to 20 pounds, with some giant monsters surpassing the 20-pound mark. However, the weight you start with is not the weight you’ll end up with after cooking. It’s important to keep in mind that you’ll lose about half the weight of the brisket during the trimming and cooking process.

For example, let’s say you start with a 15-pound brisket. After trimming away a couple of pounds and the cooking process, you’ll likely end up with around 7 or 8 pounds of meat. This estimation is based on the general rule of thumb that considers a 50% weight loss.

Two briskets side by side

How Many People Does a Brisket Serve?

To determine how much meat you’ll need to feed your crowd, you should consider the portion size per person. On average, most people will consume between ⅓ to ½ pound of meat.

Using this guideline, a 15-pound brisket would serve around 15-20 people. Keep in mind that this estimation doesn’t take into account individual appetites and preferences.

For instance, if you’re hosting a gathering for a college football team, you might want to increase the portion size to at least a pound per person. On the other hand, for a family dinner with young children, you can lean towards the ⅓ pound mark.

Further reading:  Cook a Delicious Brisket on a Gas Grill

Planning for Leftovers

It’s always a good idea to have some leftovers, as they can be repurposed into delicious meals like chili or sandwiches. As a general rule of thumb, it’s recommended to buy 1 pound of brisket per person you’ll be serving. Adding a couple of extra pounds ensures you’ll have plenty of meat for everyone, and some tasty leftovers as well.

Optimal Brisket Sizes

When it comes to the size of the brisket, it’s important to strike a balance. Too large of a brisket might result in an uneven cooking process, with the exterior bark and seasoning not adequately penetrating the thick meat. Conversely, a brisket that’s too small may lead to a dry flat before the rest of the brisket is fully cooked.

Ideally, aim for a brisket in the 14-16 pound range. This size allows for optimal flavor development and maintains a good ratio between the exterior and interior of the meat.

Where to Find the Right Brisket

Finding the perfect brisket might depend on where you shop. Local Costco or butcher shops may have limited options, often stocking briskets in the 18+ pound range. However, if you prefer more flexibility in choosing your brisket’s weight, consider ordering online from Snake River Farms. They offer a range of weights, from 9 to 20+ pounds. Our recommendation would be to select a brisket in the 14-16 pound range for the best results.

Don’t forget to check out Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ for more BBQ inspiration and tips!

Frequently Asked Questions About Brisket

To further enhance your knowledge of cooking brisket, here are some commonly asked questions about this flavorful cut of meat:

  1. What is a brisket?
  2. Where can I buy a brisket?
  3. What should I look for when buying a brisket?
  4. How big of a brisket should I buy? (We’ve got you covered on this one!)
  5. How should I trim a brisket?
  6. How should I season my brisket?
  7. What type of wood should I use when smoking brisket?
  8. What temperature should I cook my brisket at?
  9. How long should I cook a brisket?
  10. Should I wrap my brisket?
  11. How long should I rest my brisket?
  12. How should I slice my brisket?
Further reading:  The Art of Resting Brisket: Unveiling the Secrets Behind Perfect BBQ

Now that you have a better understanding of how to choose the right size for your brisket, it’s time to fire up the smoker and get cooking! Happy barbecuing!