How Much Does Beef Brisket Cost Per Pound? A Complete Pricing Guide

Beef brisket is one of the most popular cuts of meat for barbecue and smoking. When seasoned and cooked properly, brisket delivers incredibly succulent, tender meat with a rich, beefy flavor.

However, brisket is also one of the more expensive cuts of beef. The price per pound can vary quite a bit depending on the quality, source, and other factors. So how much does brisket cost and what impacts the price?

This complete guide will break down beef brisket pricing so you know what to expect to pay. We’ll cover:

  • Average Cost Per Pound of Brisket
  • Factors That Impact Brisket Prices
  • Cost Differences Between Cuts and Grades
  • Estimating Quantity Needed
  • Finding Brisket Deals and Savings

Average Cost Per Pound for Beef Brisket

The average price for beef brisket per pound ranges between $3 to $6 per pound. However, prices often fluctuate between $2 to $8 per pound depending on many factors.

Here is a breakdown of the average per pound pricing you can expect from various store types and sources:

  • Grocery Stores: $3.99 to $5.99 per lb.

  • Warehouse Clubs: $2.99 to $3.99 per lb.

  • Specialty Butcher Shops: $4.99 to $7.99 per lb.

  • Online Mail Order: $6.99 to $8.99 per lb.

  • Direct from Ranches/Farms: $6.99 to $12.99 per lb.

As you can see, there can be significant cost differences between mass market grocery stores versus high end specialty shops and ranches. We’ll explore why next.

What Impacts the Cost of Beef Brisket?

Many factors influence the retail price per pound that you’ll pay for brisket. The main ones include:

Quality Grade

Higher USDA quality grades like Prime or Certified Angus will be more per pound than lower Select or Standard grades. Prime brisket can cost $2 to $3 more per pound compared to Select.

Type of Cut

The whole packer cut brisket with both the flat and point is usually cheaper than buying them separately. Pre-trimmed or portioned cuts also cost more.

Source and Brand

Whether it’s a commodity brisket or from specialty ranches, the source and brand will impact cost. Organic, grass-fed, certified humane, etc. can increase cost.


Buying in bulk 10+ pound briskets is usually cheaper per pound than smaller 5 lbs. briskets. But larger cuts are pricier overall.

Retailer Type

Specialty butchers and online mail order suppliers are more costly than basic grocery store brisket. Warehouse clubs offer the best values.

Location and Season

Regional pricing differences and seasonal demand around holidays and summer grilling season can affect brisket costs.

Now that you know what influences brisket pricing, let’s look at cost differences between specific cuts, grades, and sizing.

Beef Brisket Flat vs. Point Cuts Cost Comparison

The whole brisket consists of two distinct cuts – the flat cut (or “first cut”) and the point cut (or “second cut”). Here is a price comparison between them:

Whole Packer Brisket

  • Has both the flat and point intact
  • Typically costs $3.50 to $5.50 per lb.
  • Provides the most options for portioning and serving

Brisket Flat Only

  • Leaner with consistent thickness
  • Costs $4.50 to $7.50 per lb.
  • Easier to slice uniformly

Brisket Point Only

  • Fattier with more marbling
  • Costs $3.50 to $6 per lb.
  • Alternative to pork shoulder with rich flavor

Buying a whole packer brisket generally provides the best value per pound compared to pre-separated cuts. But choosing individual flats or points allows more control over the specific brisket characteristics you want.

Price Differences by Beef Brisket Grades

Here is how the USDA quality grading system affects brisket pricing:

  • Prime Grade: Highest marbling. About $7 to $12 per lb.

  • Certified Angus/Choice Grade: Good marbling. Around $4 to $8 per lb.

  • Select Grade: Less marbling. Roughly $3 to $6 per lb.

  • Standard/Commercial Grade: Least marbling. $2 to $5 per lb.

As illustrated above, Prime graded briskets command a significant price premium over lower quality grades. Spending a little more for a Prime or Certified Angus brisket can be worth it for guaranteeing delicious, tender meat.

Estimating How Much Brisket to Buy

When estimating how much brisket to buy, here are some general guidelines to follow:

  • Allow 1/2 lb. to 3/4 lb. per person if brisket is the main dish

  • Estimate 1 lb. per person for appetizer-sized portions

  • Add 1 to 2 lbs. extra for leftovers and fat trimming

  • Whole packers are usually 8 to 16 lbs.

  • Flats average 5 to 8 lbs.

  • Points average 3 to 5 lbs.

  • Briskets may lose up to 30% weight after trimming and cooking

For example, to serve brisket as a main dish for 10 people with some leftovers, you’d want to buy a 12 to 15 lb. whole packer brisket. Or for app-sized portions for 20, look for 25 to 30 lb. packer.

Using these guidelines helps ensure you buy enough meat without overspending on extra quantity you don’t need.

Getting the Best Deal on Brisket

Here are some tips for finding brisket savings:

  • Check for manager’s specials, mail in rebates, bulk volume discounts

  • Buy whole packers instead of pre-cut flats/points

  • Purchase and freeze extra when priced low

  • Buy in bulk 10+ lbs. at warehouse clubs like Costco or Sam’s Club

  • Look for price drops post-holiday seasons

  • Buy Choice grade instead of Prime to save $2+ per pound

  • Substitute spare ribs or chuck roast if brisket is too expensive

With some savvy shopping and flexibility on cut, grade, and season, you can still enjoy delicious brisket even when prices are high.

Current Brisket Prices at Local Retailers

To give you an idea of current local pricing, here are some example costs at retailers in the Waterloo, IL area:

  • Schnucks – Choice Grade Brisket Flat, $5.99/lb

  • Schneider’s Quality Meats – USDA Choice Brisket, $7.99/lb

  • Green Acres Butcher Shop – Certified Angus Brisket, $6.49/lb

  • Sam’s Club Waterloo – Prime Grade Packer Brisket, $4.98/lb

Compare prices between grocery stores, butchers, warehouse clubs, and online retailers. Prices can vary significantly for the exact same cut and grade based on the supplier.

Key Takeaways on Beef Brisket Pricing

  • Expect to pay an average of $3 to $6 per pound for brisket

  • Many factors like grade, cut, and source impact cost

  • Prime brisket costs $2+ more per pound than Select

  • Whole packers are cheaper than pre-cut flats or points

  • Allow 1/2 to 1 lb. per person for main/app portions

  • Check prices at multiple stores to find the best deals

Knowing what goes into brisket costs and price ranges equips you to comparison shop and budget effectively. With this pricing knowledge, you can confidently tackle cooking brisket for your next backyard barbecue!

How Much Brisket per Person – For a BBQ, Formal Dinner or Just A Big Crowd

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