There was a time where brisket was .99 cents a pound if you can believe it! But long gone are those days sadly. As a bbq enthusiast and a lover of all things brisket, I’m always looking for the best deals and steals. Brisket cost can vary depending on several things.
Before you make your next purchase, consider factors such as the quality of beef, specific cooking needs, amount of guests to serve, and your overall budget. This article will break down everything you need to know on brisket prices and how to choose the right one to meet your needs.
Understanding the Whole Brisket.
The whole packer brisket includes both the flat and point cuts, providing a larger, more flavorful option for those who enjoy a more extended cooking process.
Purchasing a whole brisket from reputable sources like Snake River Farms or Costco can offer both quality and quantity. You can also purchase a brisket that has the flat or the point cut separated if you prefer one or the other.
Where can you buy a brisket?
Briskets are pretty much available at most grocery stores and many speciality stores all across the country. If you can’t find it at your local grocery store, make sure you ask the butcher in the meat section as he can point you in the right direction.
Special meat markets may have some unique brisket options and some higher quality grades like waygu to choose from. Also check wholesale clubs like Sam’s Club or Costco as they often offer the best prices with a wide selection to choose from.
Many online retailers specialize in delivering fresh or frozen meats directly to your doorstep. This can be convenient, especially if you’re looking for specific cuts or specialty briskets. Local farms or ranches can offer consumers high- quality, locally raised meat.
What influences the price of brisket?
The price of brisket is influenced by various factors, and these can vary depending on the region, market conditions, and other economic factors. Here are some key factors that can determine the price of brisket:
- Quality and Grade: The quality and grade of the brisket play a significant role in its price. Higher-quality or graded meats, such as USDA Prime, are often more expensive than lower-quality cuts like choice or select.
- Cut and Trim Level: The way the brisket is cut and trimmed can affect its price. For example, a whole, untrimmed brisket might be less expensive than a trimmed or pre-packaged brisket.
- Supply and Demand: If there is a high demand for brisket and a limited supply, prices may rise. Conversely, if there is an oversupply or lower demand, prices may decrease.
- Seasonal Factors: Brisket prices might increase around popular grilling holidays like Memorial Day or Fourth of July.
- Geographic Location: The cost of living and regional preferences can also influence the price of brisket. Prices may vary from one location to another due to transportation costs, regional demand, and local economic factors.
- Processing and Packaging Costs: The way the brisket is processed, packaged, and distributed can affect its final price.
- Specialty or Organic Options: If the brisket is labeled as organic, grass-fed, or sourced from specialty breeds, it is likely to be more expensive than conventionally raised brisket due to higher production costs associated with these practices.
Is brisket cheap compared to other cuts of beef?
Despite becoming increasingly popular, an entire brisket still remains one of the cheapest cuts of beef to buy. Typically you can buy a whole-packer brisket for $3-6 dollars a pounds on average for choice grade.
Prime grade and wagyu will be more expensive. Looks for specials as sometimes you can get prime grade for a just a little more than choice.
To stretch your money even further consider using the brisket trimmings to make tallow. Tallow can be used for cooking and adds a delicious depth of flavor when substituted for butter or oil.
Selecting the right grade of beef brisket.
The quality of brisket plays a significant role in its cost. From choice grade to prime grade, and even premium options like American Wagyu, each grade affects the overall price, reflecting differences in marbling and tenderness.
My personal recommendation is to always go for prime grade when you can afford it. Sometimes the difference in price isn’t too much more making it an easy choice to consider. If you want to splurge and really impress your guests, consider buying a wagyu brisket. You will be rewarded with juicy, tender brisket that is next level good.
How many people will a brisket feed?
The number of people a ten-pound brisket will feed depends on various factors, including the portion size, appetites of the individuals, and whether it’s the primary protein or part of a larger meal. As a general guideline:
- Estimate: On average, a rule of thumb is that you’ll get about 1/2 pound to 3/4 pound of cooked meat per person. This assumes the brisket is the main protein and is accompanied by other side dishes.
- Calculation: Using this guideline, a ten-pound brisket could potentially feed around 13 to 20 people. However, keep in mind that this is an estimate, and individual appetites can vary.
- Considerations: If you’re serving the brisket as part of a larger menu or buffet with other proteins and sides, the brisket may stretch to feed more people.
- Leftovers: Leftovers are also a consideration. Some people enjoy having extra brisket for sandwiches or additional meals. If leftovers are not a priority, you might adjust your quantity accordingly.
- Who is eating: Do you have mostly adults, kids, or a combination of both. The appetite of your guests will play a factor in how much brisket you will need to prepare.
How long does it take to cook a brisket?
I typically allow an hour per pound when smoking at temperatures between 225-250°F. Brisket is renowned for its connective tissue, which breaks down during the long, slow cooking process. This results in the tender, melt-in-your-mouth goodness that makes brisket a barbecue delicacy.
Be prepared to invest a long time, as the best results come from patiently allowing the brisket to cook low and slow.
I have a step by step guide for smoking a 15 pound brisket. This guide will go over the entire process from start to finish including trimming, seasoning, wrapping, resting and slicing.
It’s essential to consider these factors and check with local retailers or suppliers for the most accurate and up-to-date pricing information in your specific area. Prices can vary, and staying informed about market conditions and local factors can help you understand why brisket prices may change over time.