Now, you’re probably fully aware that the brisket price per pound has steadily increased over the last few years. From your local barbecue joint to the grocery store aisles, nowhere is safe from the surge.
So today we’re taking out the guesswork and determining how much you should be paying for brisket right now.
What’s the average price of brisket per pound?
On average, the brisket price per pound is currently $4 to $5 in grocery stores. But keep reading as you’ll see this varies greatly, depending on factors like the store, the cut, and the quality.
Brisket price per pound at grocery stores
Here’s what you can currently expect to pay per pound of brisket at these retailers. But remember, this is just an average cost as the price can differ according to your location.
Being a Texan company, it’s no surprise that H-E-B offers a host of beef brisket options:
- A whole brisket from H-E-B Meat Market will only set you back $3.60/lb.
- USDA Prime whole beef brisket starts at $4.70/lb.
- Get 100% natural Angus beef brisket starting at just over $5/lb.
- A whole Wagyu beef brisket (sourced from USA-born and raised cattle) starts at an incredible $8.30/lb.
H-E-B also offers already trimmed cuts of brisket, beginning at $5 per pound.
Costco has all three options for beef brisket at three different price points:
- Select: This is the most affordable option. If you have the skill, you can still get a great brisket from the USDA Select range at just $2 to $2.50 per pound.
- Choice: Strike a balance between price and quality with a USDA Choice brisket. This will set you back about $3 to $3.50 per pound.
- Prime: If you want the best marbling and flavor, choose the USDA Prime brisket. This is on average $4 to $5 per pound.
If you shop at Costco, we recommend checking out this video from Butcher Wizard. He recommends buying a Prime whole brisket, as it’s often the same cost as a Choice flat-cut brisket. He even shows you how to turn the point cut into brisket burgers.
We have a recipe where we smoked a prime whole Costco brisket.
A whole brisket from Porter Road costs an average of $12.50/lb. For this, you get beef that’s hormone and antibiotic-free and pasture-raised.
Publix is known for its quality beef brisket, but you have to pay for it. A USDA Choice whole beef brisket is currently $6.30/lb. For just the flat cut, it’s $12.50/lb.
Sam’s Club loves its beef brisket. There are so many options available at affordable prices:
- The most popular option is also the most affordable: Member’s Mark USDA Choice Angus Whole Beef Brisket. Prices start at $4/lb.
- Member’s Mark Prime Whole Beef Brisket is hand-selected and cut from prime-grade, grain-fed cattle. Prices start just shy of $5 per pound.
- For Member’s Mark USDA Choice Angus Beef Brisket Flat, you’re looking at $7/lb.
You can also go bulk at Sam’s Club, but it doesn’t offer much of a discount.
As mentioned, Walmart has some of the most affordable beef brisket on the market. We’re talking less than the average price for whole brisket: $3.50/lb. For the flat cut, you’re looking at just under $8/lb.
Snake River Farms
Snake River Farms is a US-owned and operated online butcher and our favorite place to buy brisket online. They have a vast range of beef briskets available. A whole USDA Choice brisket costs on average $9 per pound. Meanwhile, a whole USDA Prime brisket is an average of $10.50 per pound.
For American Wagyu brisket, expect to pay about $12.41 per pound. Snake River Farms says this particular cut is the “secret ingredient” for many championship-winning barbecue teams.
Your local butcher can be hit and miss. By that, we mean that their prices might be higher or lower than the average. It typically depends on their suppliers. But it doesn’t hurt to shop around and compare your local butcher to the average prices listed. You might always find some cuts are more affordable than others.
Brisket price per pound at restaurants
It wasn’t that long ago that we were crying into our brisket when it cost $20 per pound at our local barbecue restaurant. Nowadays, $30 per pound can seem like a bargain in some cities.
Before you argue with the barbecue joint about the price rise, factor in the rise of labor and overhead costs. Many restaurants are selling their brisket at cost or even at a small loss.
So, don’t be surprised if your local starts promoting less expensive meat options, like sausages, pulled pork, pulled chicken, and turkey. You might also see brisket on the menu in a different manner. This includes brisket trimmings becoming sausages or hamburgers.
Let’s take a look at the current brisket price per pound at some of the country’s most recognized barbecue restaurants: As you’ll see, the cost greatly varies depending on location:
- Cozy Corner BBQ: The best BBQ Memphis has to offer, the price is the best, too. You’ll spend just $14.50 per pound of sliced beef brisket.
- Franklin Barbecue: The King of Barbecue in Austin, the cost per pound of beef brisket is $34.
- Gatlin’s BBQ: Arguably the best barbecue in Houston, brisket costs $26.95/lb here right now.
- Hometown BBQ: Located in Brooklyn, you’re looking at $40 per pound for beef brisket in the big city.
- Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que: At Joe’s, you’ll find brisket costing $20.99 per pound.
- Smitty’s Market: Located in the Barbecue Capital of Texas (Lockhart), their beef brisket is currently a bargain at $20.90/lb. Road trip, anyone?
The reasons behind the increase in brisket prices
The main reason behind the increase in brisket prices is the classic case of supply and demand. With economies worldwide reopening after the pandemic, there was naturally a surge in demand for beef.
So with this high demand comes a low supply. Now, everyone seems to have an opinion on why there’s currently a limited supply of beef. But here are some common reasons:
- Weather issues like drought equal reduced cattle numbers. Remember, one cow equals just two cuts of brisket.
- Supply chain disruptions.
- Higher cattle feed prices.
- An increase in popularity. The pandemic birthed a lot of backyard barbecue enthusiasts.
What affects brisket prices?
Here are just some of the factors affecting the average cost of beef brisket:
- The cut: A flat cut of brisket costs more (about $8 per pound) because the supplier has to waste the point. Meanwhile, a whole packer can be as low as $2 to $3 per pound because it includes both the flat and the point.
- The quality: It’s generally going to cost you if you want USDA Prime, Wagyu, or grass-fed brisket.
- The season: Summer is barbecue season, so don’t be surprised if your local grocery store increases the brisket price around this time. In turn, if they have excess meat because they overcompensated on the demand, you might get lucky with a summer sale.
- The store: Conglomerates like Walmart typically have the lowest prices. But sometimes, a lower price equals lower quality and not as fresh beef. Check out this guide to choosing brisket so you can feel comfortable that you’re getting a good deal.
You can always stock up and freeze your brisket if you find a great price. Use our guide for safely thawing your brisket when you’re ready to cook it.
How much brisket do you need?
We actually already have a blog post going into detail regarding how much brisket per person you need. But it’s usually about ½ to ⅓ of a pound of cooked brisket per person, depending on various factors like the event, serving style, and the attendees.
But when buying brisket, you need to take into account trimming the brisket and the meat naturally shrinking because it’s made up of so much water. So a half-pound of cooked brisket equals about one pound of uncooked brisket.
Check out the article for a more thorough breakdown, but a typical full-packer (or whole brisket) is between 12 and 15 pounds. This would feed between 12 and 30 people, depending on the previously mentioned factors. We recommend keeping this in mind when shopping for brisket.
But it’s also something to remember when considering the high cost of brisket in restaurants, too, and why being innovative with brisket goes a long way. They have to smoke the brisket for 10+ hours and lose 50% of the precious cut in the process.
Making the most of your brisket
If you buy brisket these days, you want to make the most of every single bite. So if you have some leftover bits and pieces, use them to make any of these leftover beef brisket recipes. If you add them to brisket chili, for example, no one will know!
If you buy a whole-packer brisket, turn the point into the best brisket burnt ends imaginable. They literally melt in your mouth and will make you forget about the cost (maybe).
There’s no denying that the brisket price per pound will continue to surge alongside the cost of living. We’ll keep this post updated to reflect the changes.
But hey, that just makes every bite of a perfectly smoked brisket that extra bit special, don’t you think? If you need a recipe to get you started, here’s our guide to smoking your first brisket.