How Much Does Beef Brisket Cost? A Guide to Getting the Best Price

Beef brisket is a classic barbecue cut that is beloved for its rich flavor when slowly smoked low and slow. However, brisket prices have been steadily rising over the past few years. This increase is driven by various factors, including limited cattle supply and increased demand.

When buying a brisket, it’s important to understand what impacts the price so you can find the best value. This guide covers everything you need to know about current brisket costs and how to shop smart.

Factors That Impact Beef Brisket Prices

Several key factors determine the price of brisket at any given time:

  • Cut and quality grade – Whole packer brisket is often cheaper than just the flat. Higher grades like Prime and Wagyu cost more.

  • Supply and demand – Prices rise when demand is up and supply is limited. Seasonality also impacts availability.

  • Butcher and retailer – Small butcher shops may charge more than big box chains. Online retailers can offer deals.

  • Organic or specialty options – Expect to pay more for organic, grass-fed, heritage breed, or dry-aged brisket.

  • Location – Regional preferences and cost of living affect pricing. Brisket costs more in some cities.

Current Average Prices for Beef Brisket

On average, brisket costs $3 to $6 per pound at many grocery stores for a Choice whole packer brisket. Here are current price ranges:

  • Choice – $2.50 to $4 per lb
  • Prime – $4 to $6 per lb
  • Wagyu – $8 to $14 per lb

You may spend $1 to $2 more per pound for just the flat cut or at premium retailers. Restaurant prices range widely based on the city.

What Impacts Beef Brisket Supply?

Limited cattle supply is the main reason brisket prices have surged. Factors shrinking supply include:

  • Weather issues – Drought and extreme weather lower breeding rates.

  • High feed costs – Corn, hay, and grain prices affect beef production costs.

  • Herd liquidation – Ranchers reduced herds during COVID, lowering supply.

  • Competition – Global demand for beef from countries like China reduces U.S. supply.

Finding the Best Brisket Prices Near You

Shopping around is the best way to find affordable brisket. Compare different stores and watch for sales.

Grocery stores – Check club stores like Costco and Sam’s Club, which offer choices at various price points. Local chains like H-EB in Texas also have good brisket.

Butcher shops – A local butcher may have deals on brisket, especially if they work directly with ranches. Ask about pre-ordering whole briskets.

Online retailers – Buying direct from high-end ranches like Snake River Farms provides excellent quality brisket that’s still cheaper than many butcher shops. Watch for promotions.

Restaurant suppliers – Restaurant supply stores like Restaurant Depot sell large packers ideal for smoking parties. You’ll need a membership.

Saving Money on Beef Brisket

Here are more tips for getting the most bang for your brisket buck:

  • Buy whole packers when possible. Per-pound cost is lower.

  • Look for holiday and summer sales when availability is high. Stock up the freezer.

  • Opt for Choice grade brisket for affordable quality. Move up to Prime if the price difference is small.

  • Use brisket trimmings for burgers. Stretch the meat and reduce waste.

  • Make leftovers into brisket chili, tacos, sandwiches, and more.

  • Join loyalty programs at stores you frequent to earn rewards and discounts.

  • Price match between retailers when you find a better deal elsewhere.

How Much Brisket Should You Buy?

To avoid wasting money on uneaten leftovers, properly calculate how much brisket you need:

  • For main course brisket, estimate 1⁄3 pound uncooked brisket per person.

  • Allow 1⁄2 pound per person for appetizer-sized portions.

  • Figure on 1 pound uncooked per person if brisket is the only protein.

  • Add extra weight if you want ample leftovers for sandwiches, chili, etc.

A whole 12-15 pound packer brisket generally serves 12-20 people. But you may need more or less depending on your specific needs.

Is Brisket Still a Bargain Cut?

While brisket costs more than it used to, it remains one of the most affordable beef cuts, providing good value. Brisket comes from the heavily exercised chest muscles of the cow. Connective tissue makes it tough, so it requires long, slow cooking. This makes brisket cheaper than popular quick-cooking steaks from the rib and loin.

For those willing to put in the smoking time, brisket delivers outstanding flavor and texture at a reasonable price. Follow these shopping tips to find the best brisket prices near you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good price for brisket per pound?

On average, expect to pay $3 to $6 per pound for a choice whole packer brisket in most grocery stores. Costco, Sam’s Club, and other wholesale clubs offer some of the most competitive pricing. Prime brisket costs $1 to $2 more per pound.

Why did brisket prices go up?

Limited cattle supply coupled with increased demand led brisket prices to steadily rise over the past few years. Weather, higher feed costs, COVID-related herd liquidation, and global export competition all reduced U.S. beef supply.

Should I buy Choice or Prime brisket?

Prime brisket has beautiful marbling that keeps it tender and moist. If the Prime packer brisket at your store costs only $1 to $2 more per pound than Choice, it’s worth spending a little extra for Prime. Otherwise, Choice brisket can still be delicious.

How much brisket will I need for 20 people?

Plan on purchasing a 15 to 20 lb whole packer brisket to serve 20 people. Estimate around 1⁄3 pound uncooked weight per person. Having extra is better than not having enough. Leftovers make great sandwiches!

What’s the best way to save money on brisket?

Buying whole packers when they go on sale and freezing extra is a great way to save. Club stores like Costco offer brisket at multiple price points. Use brisket trimmings creatively. And make leftovers into chili, tacos, casseroles, and more.

BBQ Math: How to determine the price you’ll charge for your brisket


How much does it cost to buy a beef brisket?

Please advise how you would like your meat packaged when purchasing large quantities over 1kg.

How much is a 4 lb beef brisket?

Select Options: 2 lbs Lean End
Select Options: 4 lbs Fatty End

How many people can 1 pound of brisket feed?

1 pound of beef brisket feeds how many? 2-3 people can share a pound of brisket. Depending on everyone’s appetite, you can stretch to 4 people eating off off one pound.

Why is brisket so expensive right now?

“(The drought forced) ranchers to have to bend their herds a little bit which meant that we have the lowest supply of beef cattle in 50 years…as well as if you’re cooking your own brisket in your backyard, you’re going to see a high cost at the grocery store.”

Leave a Comment