Not to brag or anything, but my previous brisket smokes have been utter failures (outside of having a reason to sit around and drink) but this one was a great success thanks to the advice I found from you all here on smokingmeatforums.com.
My smoker isn't large enough for a full brisket, but it will hold a good sized flat, and that's really all we need most of the time. I spent a few weeks talking myself into another brisket attempt and lived on these forums, reading everything I could. I knew I was smoking it on Saturday, but we would not be eating it until Monday, so plenty of time for smoking without the chaos of getting up in the middle of the night to start the smoker.
I picked out a five pound brisket flat, injected it with a combination of a brisket marinade I found in the cabinet (no idea why I had it), beef broth, and rub, put on a layer of rub, poured the remaining injection juice into the pan, and put it in the fridge over night.
Since we were not eating it anytime soon, I didn't put it on until about 10:15 AM. Little did I know there would be several stalls!
The first stall came around 145 degrees, so after fresh wood (I used oak and a little mesquite) we headed out for burgers. The second stall came at 152ish degrees. All in all, it took about five hours to creep up from 145 to 165. Pulled it at 165, put it in a pan with the left over injection and marinade, wrapped it and let it go to 208 degrees. That took until right around 11:30 PM. To be fair, I had some temperature fluctuations throughout the smoke which didn't help matters. I wrapped it completely in foil, drained the pan into a reserve bowl and put the brisket back in the pan and into the fridge, where it sat all day Sunday and on into Monday afternoon.
Monday afternoon, I let it sit out for about 30 minutes, sliced it up, and put it back into the oven with the reserved juices I saved from Saturday. I was worried it would be dry (because it almost always has been) and I thought the smoke ring could have been more pronounced, but I suppose I'm hard on myself when it comes to the smoker. While I was slicing it, it looked dry, but I think that was because it was cold maybe?
It turned out great! Very moist, and very tender. Moist and tender are adjectives that I was not familiar with regarding my brisket experience up to this point. So a big thanks to everyone for all the help! I'm pretty damned excited by the results and my fear of brisket has been conquered! Still plenty of room for improvement, but a really good effort! I'm going on and on like it was the birth of a child, but I'm pretty pumped about the way things turned out!