How Much Does A Brisket Cost? [Put A Price On It] (2023)

Brisket can cost between $4 and $14 per pound, depending on the quality, store, and much more!

As someone who smokes brisket fairly often, I try to spend as little as I can on this cut. This is why I like to keep an eye on the prices and learn about what can cause a higher price.

In this post, I will answer the question how much does a brisket cost and show you how to save money while shopping. Let’s begin!

How Much Does A Brisket Cost? [Put A Price On It] (1)

What is the Price of Beef Brisket?

As you can imagine, beef brisket prices can vary from one place to another. Below, you can find a breakdown of the beef prices. Just keep in mind that these prices can vary at any time so these are merely guidelines.


Price Per Pound

Costco Prime Whole Brisket


Costco Choice Flat Cut Brisket


Walmart Whole Brisket


Walmart Choice Angus Brisket


Walmart Brisket Flat


Trader Joes Teva Angus Kosher Brisket


The above prices are from large chain stores. Local butchers will often charge a bit more per pound of brisket than local grocery stores. This is typically because they have access to better quality beef and the meat tends to be fresher too.

Of course, then there is also wagyu beef brisket to consider. This exclusive cut of meat comes from a special breed of cows in Japan. The cows are reared under very specific conditions.

The result is buttery, incredibly marbled brisket. As you can imagine, the brisket price per pound matches this delicacy.

You can expect to pay anywhere from $42 to $75 per pound of brisket.

How Much Does A Brisket Cost? [Put A Price On It] (2)

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Why are Current Brisket Prices So High?

Up until recently, you probably though of beef brisket as a decently priced or even cheap cut of meat. These days, though, purchasing brisket has become far more expensive. So, what gives?

Current Situation

Across the board, beef prices are rising across the country. Brisket prices are up by 16 percent since last year and the cost appears to be increasing.

(Video) How much does a Costco brisket cost?

One of the causes for this is general inflation. However, weather issues such as drought has led to fewer animals. Worker shortages and supply chain disruption is also to blame.

The lack of competition in the market also means that certain individuals can drive up prices for their own benefit.

An Increase in Popularity

Once upon a time, the humble brisket was largely found in the south in barbecue joints. You would also find it in delis as corned beef but not too many people knew the origins of this meat.

Apart from this, brisket wasn’t talked about all that much. Over the last few years, though, there has been an increase in all things barbecue. This includes smoked beef brisket.

As such, there is a greater demand for brisket and more brisket sold throughout the country. The rise in demand meant that there was an automatic increase in the price of raw brisket per pound.

Limited Supply

At the end of the day, there will almost always be a limited stock of brisket when compared to demand.

This is because there are just two brisket in one cow. With most other cuts of meat, you typically have a larger section per cow – this is especially true for ground beef. This isn’t the case with brisket.

As long as brisket continues to be popular, you can expect to being higher prices for it.

How Much Does A Brisket Cost? [Put A Price On It] (3)

What Effects Brisket Prices?

As you will have noticed, there isn’t a baseline per pound price for brisket. This is because there are so many factors that come into play with your raw brisket price.

Having a better understand of how the meat is priced can help you to cut down on the cost. Here is what you need to know:

The Quality

As you will have seen from the above section, beef is priced according to quality. This is why wagyu brisket is so much more expensive than regular Angus beef.

In general, the more effort that was taken to raise the cows, the more expensive the beef will be. This is why grass fed beef is almost always more expensive.

The same goes for cows that have been bred in large open spaces as well. Organic beef is especially expensive.

You also have to consider the beef grade – Prime meat is at the top of the ladder with Choice grade coming in next and Select grade being the last.

(Video) All-Time High Brisket Prices Have Arrived

Of course, Prime grade, Choice grade, and Select grade can be broken down into several categories as well. Thus, the higher grades within these categories will cost more and the lower ones will cost less.

Related Reading

  • How Much Is Wagyu Beef? (And Is It Really Worth It!)

The Cut of Meat

Many people don’t realize that brisket is often divided into two sections. A whole packer brisket is what the term brisket actually describes. It is sometimes referred to as a Texas brisket cut.

When uncut, an entire brisket can be anywhere from 12 to 20 pounds!

As you can imagine, few people have need for this much raw or cooked brisket! This is why butchers tend to divide the brisket into flat cut brisket and point cut brisket.

The flat cut tends to be most popular. Not only is it the larger section but it has a uniform shape which makes it easier to cook. The point has more fat and makes it the tastier option for cooked meat.

Now, the flat is also a more expensive cut. This is because to get it to it, the butcher has to get rid of a lot of usable meat. As they lose out on money here, they have to make it up elsewhere.

The Time of Year

Yes, the cost of brisket varies throughout the year. This is because the popularity of the meat waxes and wanes.

Think about it, when are you most likely to find smoked brisket? In the summertime, of course! As a traditional BBQ cut of meat, most people tend to stock up on brisket during the summer. This causes prices to go up.

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How to Buy Brisket for Less?

Want to save money when buying brisket? Here are the top tips and tricks that you can use:

Choose a Lower Grade

Personally, I wouldn’t choose Select grade brisket unless there really was no other choice. While I am a big believer in method being just as important – if not more important than the cut – there is a limit to this logic.

It doesn’t matter how well you smoked Select grade brisket, odds are it would come out rather dry. This is because there isn’t nearly enough marbling in the meat to add moisture.

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  • Why is My Brisket Dry? – Answering The Million Dollar Question

I would argue that with Choice grade and the proper technique that you can really make your brisket taste good. It is best to leave Prime grade for a special occasion.

(Video) Money Matters: Soaring price of brisket

As for Wagyu, I would steer clear of it when making smoked brisket as the gorgeous taste and texture will not translate well with this method of cooking.

Make a Cheap Cut Taste Good

Is a Select brisket the best that you can afford? No problem, there is still something that you can make up for the quality difference.

For one thing, dry brine your brisket. This will help to tenderize the meat and add flavor to it. Make sure to do this up to a day ahead, depending on the size of the cut.

The other trick that you can use is to inject the meat with a marinade. There are lots that you can use – the goal here, though, is to add moisture deep into the meat where it won’t readily evaporate.

Finally, make sure to cook the brisket on as low of a temperature as you can manage – no more than 225 F. At this temperature, the brisket is going to take longer to cook, but this is precisely what you want.

The longer that the brisket cooks for, the more time there is for all that tough connective tissue to break down and become softer and more gelatinous.

You may want to leave the brisket in for a little longer too – about 210 F.

Then, make sure to rest it for at least a few hours for all of that moisture to be reabsorbed by the meat.

Buy Whole Packer Briskets

I know what you are thinking – how much brisket do I really need – but hear me out.

A whole cut is much cheaper than flat cuts per pound. So, it really doesn’t make sense to spend that extra money.

Look for a small brisket – one that is about 5lbs or so and you will be able to save quite a bit. Then, go home and separate the flat from the point. You can smoke the flat and braise the point. Or, smoke both sections – it will taste amazing either way.

Or, halve the meat when you get home. Freeze one half to use later and smoke the rest.

The great thing about brisket is that the leftovers can be used in so many ways. You can chop it up and use it in chili, add it to salads, use it as a taco filling, etc.

Thus, even if you have lots of meat left over, it isn’t going to go to waste. Simply freeze it in smaller sections. Then, reheat these and use as needed.

Now, when buying an entire section, I do want you to be aware of the fat cap. When selling an uncut section, many butchers will not trim the fat. This simply adds unnecessary weight to the brisket, causing you to have to pay more.

(Video) Brisket prices are TOO high. Try this instead. | Mad Scientist BBQ

Remember, before you cook the brisket you will need to trim the fat cap until it is just 1/4th of an inch thick. Thus, there isn’t any need to pay for this excess fat.

Shop at Chain Stores

I try to get my meat from a butcher as often as possible. However, even I can admit that these higher prices are rarely worth it. This is especially true now when prices are at an all time high.

This is why buying brisket from Walmart or somewhere similar just makes more sense.

Before you do go shopping, though, check the prices for all these stores – Sam’s, Trader Joes, Costco, etc. online. This will give you an idea of where the best bargain is.

Remember to always do your calculations to discover cost per pound. Then, go ahead and choose the cheaper cut.

There are some butchers that sell their wares online. It is worth it to check out these options too as they may yield cheaper results.

Here, though, you have to have the meat shipped to you. Thus, this is only a good idea if you don’t want to make your brisket immediately.

Shop During the Off Season

I’m not saying that you should avoid brisket during the summer months completely. However, you may not want to indulge as often when there is high demand and high costs.

What I like to do is to buy brisket when it is cheaper. I then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store it in a freezer. It can stay fresh for up to six months at a time like this.

It is a good way to get the best of both worlds.

Just make sure to label the brisket before freezing it so that you know when to eat it by.

How Much Does A Brisket Cost? [Put A Price On It] (5)

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is the Brisket Expensive?

Brisket can be expensive if you are choosing a higher quality cut, particularly at a time when there is great demand. Brisket from a butcher can also be more expensive than one from a big box store.

2. How Much Does a 6 Pound Brisket Cost?

The cost can vary from $4 per pound to $14 a pound. As such, a cut of this size can cost between $24 and $84 a pound.

3. How Much Does a 20lb Brisket Cost?

Brisket of this size can cost between $80 and $280.

(Video) Brisket prices are INSANE! Try this poor man’s burnt ends recipe instead!

Wrapping It Up

As you can see, brisket can get pretty pricey but there is no need for you to worry. Now that you know what causes these high prices and what you can do, you are on the right track. Thus, you can enjoy your meat for a much lower price!


How Much Does A Brisket Cost? [Put A Price On It]? ›

A raw brisket's average price can range from $3 to $6 per lb for a Select grade brisket, the lowest grade, in a local grocery store. USDA Choice briskets and USDA Prime briskets are closer to $5 to $10 per lb, and are known for their higher quality and amount of marbling (fat).

How much will a 5 lb brisket feed? ›

portions: Feeds 1 person per 1 lbs. of uncooked brisket.

How much should I charge to smoke a brisket? ›

Use this number to calculate your per-pound price because the 14-pound brisket should yield 7 pounds of cooked meat. Assume a pound of 210 divided by 7 equals $30; therefore, a $30 price per pound should be charged at the register.

How much brisket is enough? ›

We need to consider that the brisket will shrink a lot after cooking, and you will also. We recommend a final serving of half a pound per person. Choose one pound per person for uncooked brisket and you'll strike a good average between the big eaters and kids on the guest list.

What is brisket so expensive? ›

Simply put, brisket has become expensive because of the rising demand, limited supply from producers, and the costly preparation and cooking process. There's also a list of unexpected economic changes that have happened since the pandemic.

How many pounds of cooked brisket to feed 10 people? ›

If you really want to know how much brisket to serve per person, **account for one pound of raw brisket (or half a pound of cooked brisket) per adult and half a pound of uncooked brisket (or a quarter pound of cooked brisket) for your little ones.

How many pounds of beef brisket to feed 20 people? ›

That means, if you need to feed 20 people, get 12 pounds of brisket. Need to feed 50? Cook 30-33 pounds of brisket.

How many people will a 15 pound brisket feed? ›

A 15-pound brisket will feed over 20 people (23-27 depending on how much your guests eat). That may even be enough for them to come back for more — because they'll want to.

How much money is 1 lb of brisket? ›

Amount of Cooked Brisket Calculator

I typically go with USDA choice grade or higher; Usually that's around $4-6/lb. A whole brisket also weighs roughly 8 - 20 lbs. Meaning, you should expect to pay anywhere from $32-$120 per brisket.

How much does 1 brisket cost? ›

A raw brisket's average price can range from $3 to $6 per lb for a Select grade brisket, the lowest grade, in a local grocery store. USDA Choice briskets and USDA Prime briskets are closer to $5 to $10 per lb, and are known for their higher quality and amount of marbling (fat).

Is 20 pound brisket too big? ›

Unless you are feeding a crowd, brisket can be too large. The average size of brisket is 15-18 pounds, and some can be up to 20 pounds. On average, you need one pound per person, so a whole packer of 15 lb is enough to feed 15 people.

What is the 3 2 1 rule for brisket? ›

The numbers simply refer to 3 hours in the smoker unwrapped, then 2 hours wrapped in foil, with the final hour unwrapped at a slightly higher temperature.

How much is beef brisket per pound at Costco? ›

🍖 Whole Cut and Roast Prices
Choice Whole NY Strip$9.79/lb
Choice Flat Cut Brisket$7.49/lb
Prime Whole Brisket$3.49/lb
Choice Peeled Tenderloin$24.99/lb
Prime Unpeeled Tenderloin$19.69/lb
14 more rows
Oct 21, 2019

What is the highest quality brisket? ›

The three most well-known grades, in order from highest degree to lowest, are Prime, Choice, and Select. (There are grades lower than Select, but we'll leave those out of this discussion.) The beef is graded primarily on the marbling of the ribeye between the twelfth and thirteenth rib bones.

What cut of brisket is best? ›

Know the cut you want.

Beef brisket comes in two cuts separated by a layer of fat. The first cut, also called the flat cut, is one muscle and is sliced with little fat — which often means it's more expensive. The second cut, or the point cut, is sliced with deckle, or the fat, and is therefore more flavorful.

What is best brisket to buy for smoking? ›

When looking for a brisket for your smoker you want an untrimmed or “packer” cut. This cut has the point and the flat part together. These briskets should have a nice even fat cap with no gouge marks exposing the meat. The fat should be a nice white color.

How long to cook a brisket? ›

If you're cooking a brisket flat or a brisket point on its own, it will cook in 3 to 3 1/2 hours. A whole brisket may take an extra hour. Be sure to check 30 minutes before the time is up: the brisket should be fork-tender and still juicy. Over cooking will dry it out.

How big is the average brisket? ›

How big is your brisket? A whole brisket can weigh anywhere between 10-16 pounds, and it can take a long time for the heat to reach the center of a piece of meat this size.

How much brisket do I need to feed 100 people? ›

One half pound per person, so 50 lbs would be a good estimate. Some would eat less, some would eat more.

How much weight does a brisket lose when smoked? ›

Once you cook brisket, whether it be a whole packer brisket or another cut, it can shrink up to 50% of its initial weight. You'll need to take into consideration whether or not you trimmed the brisket before you began cooking it as well.

How long to smoke a 12 lb brisket? ›

Smoke Times for Brisket
WeightCook Time
Up to 10 pound brisket8 – 10 hours
10 to 12 pound brisket10 – 12 hours
12 to 16 pound brisket12 – 14 hours
16 – 20 pound brisket14 – 16 hours
Aug 3, 2022

How long should a 15 pound brisket take? ›

Just remember that internal temperature has the final say. Brisket is done when it reaches 203° internally. Smoke a 10 lbs brisket for 6-9 hrs and then rest for at least 1 hour. Smoke a 15 lbs brisket for 10-12 hrs and then rest for at least 1 hour.

How long does it take to smoke a brisket? ›

Slow-smoke at a temperature of 250˚F, allowing about one hour of cooking time per pound of meat. So, if you have a 10-pound brisket, expect to smoke it for about 10 hours. Keep the fat side up so the juices can drip through the meat. Wrap in foil.

Is brisket cheaper than chuck? ›

Finally, chuck roasts are more affordable and delicious than beef brisket due to the fat marbling inside the meat. So you can do more smoked chuck roast than you would with brisket.

Is brisket cheaper than beef? ›

Brisket. Untrimmed beef brisket is still one of the least expensive cuts of beef you can buy. Of course, once cooked low and slow, it loses about half its weight in meat, but few things are better than barbecue brisket.

Can you freeze brisket? ›

When wrapped airtight and frozen right away, fresh brisket can be kept in the freezer from six to twelve months.

What is cheaper than brisket? ›

What is this? Some of the best substitutes include pork tri-tip roast, chuck roast, short ribs, and lamb roast. These cuts of meat are generally cheaper than beef brisket, and they can be just as flavorful when cooked correctly.

Is brisket the cheapest cut of meat? ›

Untrimmed Beef Brisket is one of the least expensive meats you can buy. Of course once you cook it (low and slow) you will only get about half the weight in meat, but few things are better and barbecue brisket. For this you will definitely need a smoker and a lot of time to smoke it right.

How many cuts of meat are in a brisket? ›

There are two cuts of brisket, the point and the flat. Together they make a full-packer brisket.

Can I pull my brisket at 200? ›

While brisket can be cooked at 200 degrees, it typically needs more time at a higher temperature range to fully render fat and dissolve collagen. The best internal temperature for a brisket is between 195°F and 205°F, and it is recommended not to take it past 210°F.

How many briskets are on a cow? ›

There are two briskets on the steer. They come from the breast or lower chest of the animal and are located just below the chuck (shoulder). These muscles are used a lot and carry a great deal of the animal's weight.

How long to smoke a 10 lb brisket at 225? ›

A 10 pound brisket will cook for 10-12 hours at 225. A general rule of thumb is 1- 1.25 hours per pound cooking time. Your specific cook time relies on how consistently you can keep your smoker temperature at 225 degrees.

Why put brisket in cooler? ›

A cooler helps the brisket maintain its heat for longer by slowing down the cooling process. This means the brisket can stay at a safe temperature for longer before you cut into it. If you're planning on eating brisket 1-2 hours after cooking it, you can rest it in a room temperature setting, like on a cutting board.

What is the danger zone for brisket? ›

Because smoking uses low temperatures to cook food, the meat will take too long to thaw in the smoker, allowing it to linger in the "Danger Zone" (temperatures between 40 and 140 °F) where harmful bacteria can multiply.

How do you keep brisket flat moist? ›

After two or four hours of cooking, you can lightly spray your brisket with water, hot sauce, apple cider vinegar, or apple juice. You can do this every 30 minutes or every hour, based on preference.

Which is better prime or choice brisket? ›

According to the USDA, Choice grade briskets are moderately marbled cuts that are high-quality but feature less fatty marbling than Prime. These cuts are superior in quality to USDA Select beef brisket.

Why is prime brisket cheaper than choice? ›

Most retail and restaurant beef is graded as Select, Choice, or Prime, with Prime being the most expensive because more fat is suspended within the lean meat. The extra fat helps it stay juicier as it cooks, while Select briskets, especially the lean half, can easily dry out over the long smoking time.

Do you smoke a brisket fat side up or down? ›

Summary. Always smoke brisket with the fat side facing down. Fat-side down helps keep the seasoning on the brisket and makes it look better. Cooking brisket fat side up does not add moisture to the meat.

What is the best wood for brisket flavor? ›

Oak. The flavor of medium-strong & rich smoke makes oak the number one hardwood for smoking brisket and various proteins and vegetables. First of all, the wood is very easy to manage and burns consistently for a long time in most food smokers––this is truly required for smoking brisket for a day long.

What wood gives the most smoke flavor? ›

Which wood gives the strongest smoky flavor? Hickory gives meat the strongest smoky flavor of all cooking woods. It's great to use when smoking beef and pork low and slow. Also, very strong, mesquite gives you a good flavor quickly, but mesquite can become bitter fast too.

What cut is a brisket called at the grocery store? ›

Because it's so large, brisket is usually cut into two pieces. Most grocery stores carry the first cut, also called the flat. It's leaner and slices neatly. But your butcher may have the second cut, also known as the deckle point.

Which is better chuck or brisket? ›

Both cuts can be tough due to the muscle configuration, but with the right cooking techniques, they can be the most flavorful cuts of the whole cow. Chuck roast has a higher fat content than brisket, and most of the fat is between the muscles. Brisket's fat content is mostly limited to the exterior.

Does brisket get more tender the longer you smoke it? ›

It's a tough cut of meat, which is why the best way to cook brisket is a low-and-slow method: Long, slow cooking makes it tender.

Is brisket better in slow cooker or smoker? ›

In general, brisket is a tough cut of meat. The only way to cook a brisket so that it turns out nice and tender is to slow cook it. That is why smoking a brisket and cooking it in a slow cooker both work well. The flat end of the brisket contains less fat than the point.

What grade of brisket does Costco sell? ›

Costco Briskets are Prime Grade

These ratings are made by the USDA and reflect how much marbling is in the meat. The amount of marbling impacts tenderness and flavor.

How long should a 5lb brisket take? ›

How long does it take to smoke 5 LB brisket flat? The Sip Bite Go demonstration recipe for a 5 LB brisket flat took about 10 hours total. This includes prepping brisket flat by trimming the fat cap and seasoning it. Then a little over 3 hours smoking directly on the grill grates.

How long does a 5lb brisket take? ›

Smoked Brisket (5-10 lbs)
  1. Smoker Temperature: 225°F.
  2. Smoking Time: 5-7 hrs.
  3. Finished Temperature: 200°F.

How long should a 5 pound brisket rest? ›

No matter the cooking method (smoking, roasting, etc.), cooked brisket should rest for at least one hour but not more than two hours. After more than a couple of hours at room temperature, the brisket starts to get cold, and reheating it can cause it to dry out.

How long does a 5 lb brisket take to cook? ›

You'll need to cook brisket at 250° for about 30-40 minutes per pound. Upping the temperature to 250°, from the established tried and true rule of smoking at 225°, has some shocking and actually delicious results! You see, when we smoke brisket at 225° F the timing is around 1-1.25 hours per lb.

How long to smoke a 5 lb brisket flat at 225? ›

Put brisket on the grill at 225 °F. Smoke for 6 hours until internal temperature is 160 °F. Wrap brisket in butcher paper or foil and return to the grill.

Should brisket be smoked fat side up or down? ›

Always smoke brisket with the fat side facing down. Fat-side down helps keep the seasoning on the brisket and makes it look better. Cooking brisket fat side up does not add moisture to the meat.

What do you inject brisket with? ›

Go for ingredients like butter, beef stock, saltwater (brine), vinegar, and flavors that complement the brisket. Keep in mind that you want to aim for 1-2% salt content in your injection so that it helps tenderize the meat without being too salty.

How long to rest a 7 pound brisket? ›

For a 6 or 7-lb brisket, you should let it rest for 1-2 hours after smoking. This will give the internal temperature time to equalize and allow all of the juices to be retained. If you let it rest for too long, then the meat may overcook and become tough.

What happens if you don't let brisket rest? ›

What happens if I don't rest my brisket? Resting brisket will keep the meat moist. If you pull your brisket off the pit and slice in immediately, that moisture has not had a chance to thicken. The juices will run out of the brisket and end up all over your cutting board, instead of in the meat where they belong.

What is the secret to a tender brisket? ›

We cook our brisket at 250 degrees Fahrenheit (F) using cherry or apple wood from the Northwest. This temperature will break down the connective tissue, rendering some of the intramuscular fat, which in turn keeps the tenderness, and juicy flavor.

When should I wrap my brisket? ›

When Should You Wrap a Brisket? Most barbecue experts recommend wrapping brisket when it reaches an internal temperature of 165-170 degrees Fahrenheit.

What is the best wood to smoke brisket with? ›

Oak. The flavor of medium-strong & rich smoke makes oak the number one hardwood for smoking brisket and various proteins and vegetables. First of all, the wood is very easy to manage and burns consistently for a long time in most food smokers––this is truly required for smoking brisket for a day long.


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