How much brisket per person do I need?




Brisket Size Calculator Calculate what size of brisket you need to serve all of your guests.

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What are the first steps to make brisket?

The most important point while cooking brisket is to cook it slowly and on a low flame. I have found that with the right brisket recipe and perfect technique, my brisket leaves the guests smacking their lips every time!

This cut is especially popular in Texas, and I love it when I get to introduce it to my guests from all over. It is a kosher cut that can fill the tummies of many guests. This cut is tough to master for sure, as I have been there.

The first step is to pick great quality meat. The higher the quality, the tastier your brisket will be. The key is to pick the cut with the most fat. These cuts will turn out the most tender.

This piece of meat can also be smoked, to find out more about the wood to use for it read on here.

I always pick the untrimmed first cut over the second. I always find the first cut in markets and stores much easier. It looks flat. The second cut is not too bad, either. You will also need to know how much to buy. When I calculate how much brisket per person, I remember it as ½ pound for every guest, and I never end up short.

smoked brisket

How to keep brisket wet and palatable?

This is a very important point as I know my guests will enjoy my brisket if it tastes and feels amazing. Many brisket recipes that I have read ask me to trim the brisket. But from experience, I would suggest not to.

The extra amount of fat makes for liquid during cooking. If there is no liquid, my cut of meat turns out dry and difficult to consume. My guests then end up requiring a lot of sauce to eat my brisket, which is rather disappointing.

Do grass-fed briskets need special attention?

I personally choose organic grass-fed cuts only. Grass-fed steak will require you to be very patient for it to cook tender. These briskets will be lean and have a lot of connective tissue. Hence, I recommend cooking it at a lower temperature and for a longer time.

I also often remind myself to check the liquid levels as otherwise they dry up, leading to guests who need extra sauce. Once, I cooked brisket for 14 hours! Since I add herbs to my brisket, I add them in the last few hours, so they don’t get overcooked.

smoked brisket sliced

Ways to cook brisket

I always ensure my slow cooker or roasting pan is big enough for my cut fo meat. The steak will shrink once cooked.

How to cook brisket in a slow cooker?

I enjoy making my meat in a slow cooker. It is especially useful when the oven space required is less. The cut of meat turns out as good as it does from the oven. It cooks slowly, and that’s exactly the way I like it.

My most favorite slow cooker brisket recipe is one with potatoes and carrots. I personally do not like to brown my beef as I don’t find it to be particularly tastier when browned.

You can begin by patting the cut dry. I use only one teaspoon of salt to sprinkle everywhere over my brisket. Separately, in a large pan, I fry my cut onion pieces in oil till brown. Then I proceed by adding in some chopped garlic.

I place the cut of meat in my slow cooker and carefully add the onion-garlic mixture over it. Later I proceed to deglaze my pan using beef broth. Then add the ingredients required for some sauce and keep it on simmer.

I add the broth, followed by paste from tomatoes, ketchup, and brown sugar. Personally I don’t like ketchup, but that is a personal choice if you wish to add in this slow cooker brisket recipe. Then add the sauce I just made to the brisket, add potatoes and carrots to the slow cooker and then cover and allow it to cook on low for 8 hours.

I know the cut is ready and cooked with it shreds on pulling apart, yet does not fall apart. Then transfer it to a cutting board and slice it. You can choose to serve brisket quickly. You can also refrigerate it and serve later. Usually I serve it with potatoes, carrots, and sauce.

I wouldn’t like my guests to dip brisket in the sauce as they won’t enjoy the complete flavor of brisket. But if the brisket is not soft, I wouldn’t be surprised if they ask for more sauce.

Once you know how to cook brisket in a slow cooker, you will really enjoy the flavors.

How can I save brisket leftovers?

I usually do not save the leftovers for more than 5 days. Additionally, you can wrap your brisket leftovers and freeze it. If there are some fresh leftovers, I usually keep it in the sauce to prevent it from drying out. Read my article about reheating brisket to find out more on how to prepare the leftovers.

How to cook brisket on a grill?

After washing and drying the meat, I mix salt, sugar, chili, cumin, and pepper. Apply this mixture all over the cut, place it in my fridge for 8 hours, although this step is an option in the bbq brisket recipe. I then keep my charcoal grill ready to indirectly grill my brisket.

Place my meat on the aluminum foil pan with the fatter side facing upwards. Put it the pan in the middle of the hot grate and go for covering the grill and then smoke cook my brisket till it shreds with my fingers. This is how I know my brisket is cooked. It can take from 6 to 8 hours to cook.

Then proceed to the removal of the pan from the grill. I leave it undisturbed for 15 minutes and use a cutting board to chop my meat. Finally place the pieces on the platter with the juices to serve my guests.

juicy brisket

How to prepare it in the oven?

The only equipment I use for the oven is a baking pan. I do not cook meat overnight in my oven. If I want to cook it overnight, I use my slow cooker only. I set the oven temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and let it cook low and slow.

I start by patting the cut of meat dry and sprinkle pepper and some salt. The brisket needs to be braised with cooking liquid. I use 3 cups of the cooking liquid for the steak weighing 3 or 4 pounds.

Place the brisket in the pan and pour the liquid all over. I bake it for 3 or 4 hours if my brisket is 4 pounds. I let the meat stay undisturbed for 15 minutes before I serve it.

How to make steak on the stovetop?

Cooking brisket on the stovetop is pretty similar to cooking it in the oven. After I dry and season the cut, I make the cooking liquid. I then pour it all over the meat and cook it with a cover on low, cook it on simmer.

I cook it for at least 3 hours or till it is tender. The equipment I use is a skillet or one heavy pan. I also have a braising pan, which is ideal for this method.


This cut of beef is a famous dish and requires practice to master. It is my favorite dish to serve to guests on holidays. My favorite part is there are so many ways to cook brisket. Whether it is a bbq steak recipe or any other type, all of them turn out good with the right technique.

When the meat is cooking, you can always use the time to cook up your favorite vegetable side. It is essential to remember how to calculate how much brisket per person is needed so that you don’t have hungry guests.


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