Brisket is a delight to cook on the grill as it breaks down the tough meaty sections. You are left with a beautiful, melt-in-the-mouth piece of meat. When you are planning on serving brisket to your guests, you need to gauge the right quantity. You don’t want any guests to go home hungry! Cost is also a big factor, especially in a time of rising prices for all aspects of living.
With all this in mind, we take a look at just how much brisket you will need to feed your dinner guests. We look at the general rule of thumb per person and then we cover different-sized parties. By the end of this article, you will be ready to grab your wallet and purchase just the right amount of meat for your BBQ.
Brisket isn’t cheap so it is important to get the quantity right when serving it to your guests. We recommend serving 1lb of raw brisket per adult and ½ lb of raw brisket per child. As the guest list increases, you should consider the occasion and the rest of the menu when purchasing the brisket.
- How Much Brisket Per Person? (Tips to Stretch the Pounds!)
- How Much Brisket do I Need for 50 Guests?
- How Much Brisket do I Need for 100 Guests?
- How Much Brisket do I Need for 150 Guests?
- How Much Brisket do I Need for 200 Guests?
- How Much Brisket do I Need for 300 Guests?
- Brisket Per Person Calculator
- Other Things To Consider When Buying Your Brisket
- Advice from a Caterer
- What can I do with Leftover Brisket?
How Much Brisket Per Person? (Tips to Stretch the Pounds!)
For clarity, it makes sense to discuss the amount of brisket per person first. Once you understand how much is required per person, you can do the math for the size of your guest list.
Some will argue that you simply cannot have too much brisket. This may be true but meat is expensive and the last thing you want is brisket going to waste. Knowing the exact amount you require from your butcher is just financially sensible.
Follow the rule of thumb below for a fool-proof calculation:
- For raw brisket, account for 1lb per adult.
- For raw brisket, account for ½lb per child.
- For cooked brisket, account for ½lb per adult.
- For cooked brisket, account for ¼lb per child.
Top Tip: You will want to purchase flat-cut brisket for the grill as it can be cut into succulent slices once cooked.
How Much Brisket do I Need for 50 Guests?
Let’s first, most importantly, remember that in a house full of 50 individuals, there will be considerations to bear in mind. Not everyone has the same appetite, some will eat more, and others a lot less. You also need to remember that there may be some vegetarians on the guest list and others with specific dietary needs.
There is little point, therefore, in applying the generalized rule of 1 lb of brisket per adult. For a large number of people, you can afford to scale the lbs back. For 50 guests, go for 45lbs of brisket. If some of those 50 guests include children then you can afford to reduce this number by a few more lbs.
How Much Brisket do I Need for 100 Guests?
Again, the lbs can be reduced slightly when you are catering for 100 people. I think I heard your bank balance sigh with relief from here!
For 100 guests, assuming there will be a mix of needs, you should aim for around 70lbs of brisket. Any more and you will end up with waste. Meat, being protein, is filling and once other goodies have been added to the plate, it will be more than enough.
How Much Brisket do I Need for 150 Guests?
It is worth bearing in mind that meat does shrink when it is cooked and, subsequently, won’t look as much as before. However, it is also worth noting that everyone has their standards for portion sizes.
Inevitably, there will be a few guests who do not even bother with food. Or they will pick at bits but are happier with their beer. Of course, if you are planning to feed a wedding party, then you will want to err on the side of caution. You will want too much rather than too little, which would be a little awkward before the speeches!
For 150 guests, you should aim for between 100lbs and 120lbs of brisket. You will find that it is tempting to order more, the bigger the guest list but it isn’t necessary. Unless, of course, you are happy to eat brisket for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a while!
How Much Brisket do I Need for 200 Guests?
Once the guest list starts to reach these large numbers, it is safe to assume the event is formal, such as a wedding. Typically, wedding meals are arranged with precision by the catering staff. This usually means the portions are on the smaller side, often bulked out with vegetables or salad. Of course, buffets are a popular wedding choice these days too so you do need to consider your set of circumstances first.
For 200 guests, aim for 140lbs of raw brisket from your butchers. Even with shrinkage, once you’ve added in the rest of the menu, this will be more than sufficient.
How Much Brisket do I Need for 300 Guests?
Catering for a guest list this big is mighty stressful, let’s be honest. Within that 300, you are going to have children, babies who do not eat solids, people with allergies, and of course, those with different appetites. So how on earth do you decide on a ballpoint number for 300 guests?
Let’s assume, with a guest list this big, that the event is important and there needs to be enough to go around. With this in mind, we would recommend purchasing 220lbs to 240lbs of raw brisket. To keep costs down, make posh sandwiches instead!
Before we get into the calculations, let’s first clarify that we are talking about raw brisket here. There is a huge difference between the weight of an uncooked and cooked brisket. The weight of a cooked lump of brisket can be 50% lighter than that of a raw one. Our sums are all based on the assumption we are dealing with brisket in its raw state.
You can use a Brisket Calculator to understand how many lbs of brisket you are going to need for your party size.
It is worth noting, however, that most BBQs or other events, will be serving other foods alongside the brisket. So, buying below the recommended amount can be cost-effective and practical.
Calculators are all well and good but they aren’t an exact science. Every guest list will be different and there are so many other mitigating factors to consider.
- How big is your party size?
- What else will be on the menu?
- Is brisket the only meat?
- Will there likely be people dropping out last minute?
- What is the average age of your guests?
- Are there any vegetarians among the numbers?
- Are you serving starters and/or deserts?
- Consider the type of event you are hosting.
Advice from a Caterer
Of course, here at Flame Stuff, we like to gain the perspective of people really in the know. So who better to ask than a brisket caterer who deals with meat quantities daily?
We spoke to Ditch Brisket Burgers & BBQ, based in Crawley, UK, who said the following when I asked about gauging the correct quantities.
“It really depends on a lot of things. What other dishes are you serving it with? Is it the only main? Are there sides? Are there several main types of meat, as this would take the amount down, as overall weight would be spread between several proteins”.
What can I do with Leftover Brisket?
So, you decided to grab that extra brisket just to be on the safe side and now it is taunting you since everyone has gone home! Sound familiar? Fear not, why not try some of these amazing suggestions for that leftover brisket?
- Add the remaining meat to a pasta dish.
- Make brisket burritos – they will be a firm favorite!
- Whip up a healthy stir fry with the brisket leftovers.
- Make an awesome pizza topping with the meat.
- Enjoy some grilled brisket sandwiches.
- Leftover brisket also makes a delicious stroganoff ingredient.