How Many People Can One Pound of Brisket Feed?

Brisket is always a favorite at any cookout. The brisket is one of the first food items to run out, which can be a problem for most gatherings. The amount of brisket required to feed a crowd varies, but it is always a good idea to figure how much brisket you need to cook to feed everyone. Let’s learn how much brisket you need per person.

One pound of brisket will feed two people. This means that roughly ½ pound of brisket is required per person. Raw brisket always weighs more than cooked brisket, so be sure to account for extra brisket by weight when buying raw brisket. This means that a 12-pound brisket should feed 14 people.

how many people can one pound of brisket feed

How much brisket is required per person is not an exact science, but there are general figures that we can rely on when catering brisket for any number of people. 

Whether you are hosting a large event or just cooking brisket for your family, it is crucial to know how much brisket to get per person. 

How Many People Can One Pound Of Brisket Feed?

Brisket is a favorite at cookouts and gatherings, which means that you can almost guarantee that everyone at the gathering will want some brisket as part of their meal. 

This leaves many cooks with the problem of how much brisket to buy or cook for the number of people they are expecting.

A good figure to remember is that one pound of cooked brisket can feed two people. This is based on the fact that most people will typically serve about ½ of brisket for themselves per meal.

Some will always serve themselves more than ½ a pound of brisket, and some will have a smaller portion. So it is always safe to provide ½ pound of cooked brisket per person.

Brisket will shrink when cooked, regardless of the size of the brisket or the cooking process. For this reason, it is always crucial to buy more brisket than you think you will need.

All briskets will shrink up to 40% when cooked. This means that you will need an extra 0.2 pounds of brisket per person to allow for shrinkage when cooking.

It is vital to factor in the raw vs. the cooked weight of the brisket when catering for a group of people of any size. No one wants to run out of brisket or cater too little for the people they are feeding.

How Much Brisket Is Needed Per Person?

We have established that one pound of brisket will feed two people, but how much brisket should you buy to feed the number of people that will be eating your brisket?

The truth is that no two people will serve or eat the exact same amount of brisket per meal. This means that when buying and cooking brisket for a group of people, we must always use estimated figures.

If one pound of brisket feeds two people, then ½ pound of brisket will feed one person. Brisket shrinks 40% while cooking, which means that each portion must have 0.2 pounds extra to allow for shrinkage.

All of this means that for each person to eat well, you will have to buy ¾ pounds of raw brisket per person. 

Buying ¾ pounds of brisket per persona allows for shrinkage while cooking and ensures that each person will have at least ½ pound of brisket for their meal. This also allows for a little extra brisket for those who typically have bigger appetites than others.

What To Consider When Portioning Brisket

Portioning brisket is always a challenge the amount of brisket required per person always varies, and the fact that brisket shrinks when cooked compounds the issue. However, some factors to remember when portioning brisket will help set your mind at ease.

Brisket is always a crowd pleaser but remember that not everyone will always have brisket. If you serve a meal with multiple protein options, some people will likely skip the brisket entirely. This means that there will ultimately be some extra brisket for those that want to eat more of it.

One serving of brisket is typically ½ pound per person, but the reality I that most people will eat less than that. This means that ½ per person is a safe estimate and will always leave room for extra.

It is always important to buy more raw brisket than you will need cooked brisket. This allows for shrinkage; if you need to feed 12 people, do not buy a 6-pound brisket. 

A 6-pound brisket, while allowing for ½ pound each for the 12 people, will shrink to about 3 ½ pounds after cooking, which will not leave enough brisket for everyone.

Always buy more brisket than you need to be cooked, remember that you will be serving other food items at the gathering, and remember that not everyone will always have a large portion of brisket. 

This always makes accounting for brisket portions an easier challenge to manage.

Brisket Portion Table

To make things easier and calculate based on the figures mentioned above, here is a simple conversion table that will help you determine how much brisket you need per person.

This table will show you how much raw brisket you will need, how much it will weigh after it is cooked, and how many people the brisket will ultimately feed.

Raw Brisket WeightCooked Brisket WeightNumber of Portions
20 lbs12 lbs24
18 lbs10.8 lbs21
16 lbs9.6 lbs19
15 lbs9 lbs 18
12 lbs7.2 lbs14
10 lbs6 lbs 12
9 lbs5.4 lbs11
8 lbs4.8 lbs9
6 lbs3.6 lbs7
4 lbs2.4 lbs5

Using this table makes it far easier to determine how much brisket you will need by weight per person. It’s important to remember that the cooked weight is significantly less than the raw weight of brisket when portioning brisket per person.

Final Word

The typical amount of brisket required per person is roughly ½ pound of brisket. This means that 1 pound of brisket will feed two people.

Catering brisket for several people can be a challenge, but the process is made much easier with some simple calculations. Always remember to do the math before catering brisket to ensure that no one is left wanting!

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