5+ Factors That Determine the Cost of Brisket

Factors like quality, bulk buying, supply and demand, weather, and brisket size determine brisket cost, impacting budgeting and preparation.

Raw Brisket

Brisket is one of the most delicious, easy-to-cook cuts of meat that is super tasty when it’s slow-cooked and served with a whole serving of vegetables.

Unfortunately, brisket cost can sometimes be hard to budget for and calculate, but fortunately, there are some factors that you can take into account that will help you prepare and budget for this ideal cut of meat.

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5 Factors That Determine the Cost of Brisket

Best Cooking Methods For Brisket

Several different factors determine brisket cost, but these are the top five you should stay apprised of.


High-quality, grass-fed brisket will generally be more expensive than other types of brisket. Grass-fed meat is typically more tender and flavorful than the alternative, and the production standards are often much more stringent. Grass-fed brisket is usually labeled as such and is a perfect special occasion treat.

Buying in Bulk

If you buy more brisket (or more cow), you’ll pay less per pound. Also, since you can freeze brisket, this option could be a fantastic idea for those with freezer space and access to a big box store. Make sure you mark your brisket to know when you popped it into the freezer, and you’re all set to go.

Supply and Demand

Brisket costs tend to spike during certain times of the year, like when people fire up those summertime grills. Expect higher prices around holidays too. The supply and demand brisket factor is another good reason why having some brisket on-hand in the freezer is an excellent economic call.

Unexpected Weather

Weather does affect meat prices, specifically in areas where cattle are raised. If drought, flooding, or other weather events impact the meat industry’s infrastructure, you could see higher prices on your favorite pieces of brisket.

Brisket Size

Even if you’re buying individual pieces of brisket, the overall cost could vary from piece to piece. Brisket size affects how much you can logically expect to put down for your brisket. Thicker, larger cuts will cost more than smaller ones. On the other hand, they feed more people, so it does even out in the end.

What Are the Best Ways to Cook Brisket?

Brisket is an exceptionally easy meat to cook, and as long as you take your time with it, any cook should be able to master the art of brisket-making reasonably quickly. One of the most popular ways to cook brisket is to bake it in a dutch oven in its own cooking liquid. The tightly-closed dutch oven keeps all that delicious juice and condensation inside, and the meat will be fall-off-the-bone delicious.

You can follow the same model in a slow cooker. For an excellent presentation and the ideal one-pot meal, put some root vegetables and aromatic herbs into the slow cooker as well. Hearty vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and parsnips will cook beautifully with the brisket and soak up some of its fabulous flavors. As with a dutch oven, the lid will keep all those glorious juices locked inside.

You can cook your brisket over a gas or charcoal grill too. Grilling the brisket is another low and slow process, generally taking up to five or six hours to complete. If you want to grill your brisket, remember to let it sit for a few minutes before carving it to allow those juices fully integrate into the meat. A dry rub or marinade works best for these sorts of preparations, and grilled brisket tastes incredible on a fresh bun with some sauce.

Finally, you can simmer the brisket in its juices on your stovetop. As with the other preparations, the key here is to go low and slow, allowing the brisket to simmer and soak in its juices. Don’t let the mixture come to a boil. Instead, keep the heat on medium and check the doneness of the brisket from time to time. Depending on your meat’s thickness, you’ll need at least a few hours.

How Much Should Prime Brisket Cost?

Although certain factors will impact how much you can realistically expect to pay for brisket, prime brisket usually costs on the higher end of the spectrum regardless of what’s going on. While you can get cheaper brisket cuts for a few dollars a pound, you’ll generally find prime brisket starting at a few times more than that.

You can also shop around to find better prices on your brisket of choice. Look for deals and consider buying in bulk when you find a reasonable price on some prime brisket.

Is Brisket an Expensive Cut of Meat?

Brisket is a relatively expensive cut of meat for a few reasons, namely because there are only two briskets per cow. When compared to other types of meat, like ground beef, that makes brisket a huge rarity and explains the increased price.

Additionally, brisket is extremely popular, especially with home cooks and grillers during the summer months. It’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, can feed loads of people, and goes with just about any side you might have in mind. Brisket is also reasonably easy to cook, and you can dress it up or down however you’d like. 

How Much Does a 5 lb Brisket Serve?

How many people a five-pound brisket serves depends mainly on how hungry the folks at your dinner are, but generally speaking, people eat about half a pound of brisket in a serving. Also, brisket tends to shrink when you cook it, so five pounds becomes two-and-a-half pounds of servable product. 

If you combine brisket meat with other sides in a comprehensive dish, you can stretch it even further, an economic play for people who want the taste of brisket without the hefty price tag.

How Much Does a 10 lb Brisket Feed?

Ten pounds of cooked brisket will feed twenty people, on average, but raw brisket is a different story. Since this meat shrinks, you’ll have to divide the raw brisket weight almost in half to get an accurate number for the dinner table. It’s always better to overbuy than to come up short at dinner.

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