Remember, don't get carried away with a large full packer, a MES30 can't take it all. She lied size does matter. I will get this said early and promise not to repeat it; it is important to keep the door closed.
Most will trim back some fat to expose the meat to spices, I don't. If I am going to pay for and wait thru the smoke, I LIKE SOME FAT! My arteries are calling out for it.
Rub it down good, plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge as long as possible, I normally give it two nights to ensure max absorption when I pre-rub (I am big on marinade). One night is OK, but but less is just that.
Re-Rub before throwing it on the grill. With a little sugar in the rub, remember sugar burns. Its a trade off to get the sugar to seal the brisket which IMHO is important.
Now after saying all this, I always suggest on any new adventure to use a minimalist approach. Set the bar so when you do it again you have have a good smoke to judge from. Then you can decide if you want to use more garlic or onion or rub or sugar or try a different pre smoking modification Marinade, Injection etc. But of course I am sure you'd take notes so you'll remember it all.
Woods, Brisket can take hard smoke, that means no wood is really out of line including hickory and mesquite. Again, first adventure minimalistic approach IMHO and take notes. I like my fat side up, although as others will point out, it will wash off spices. I think the fat is a natural basting device and that juice is liquid gold. This is where an Aux. smoke generator really earns its keep.
The easy part, smoke to 175 IT, foil and return to smoker till 190/195, then bag and tag for at least hour, looking for 200+ IT. When I open it up, I allow to rest and cool for 30 mins It will slice better at cooler temps. Tip: Toothpick's, the old school ways still work. It should have the resistance of butter. You can do low and really slow and cook long enough not to need the foil, old school way. Its all about you and what you are most comfortable with.
I am not a burnt ends kinda guy, guess because I never saw anyone in my youth do it. The point is just more brisket goodness to me. You can chop up any part add sauce and cook down. I just like the brisket.
Remember though Patience is the key, its supposed to be fun, no stress.
Good luck, enjoy the smoke.
Hint, a pan of your favorite beans placed on the tray below catching the juices makes beans that rival the brisket in flavor.
Edited by Foamheart - 7/18/13 at 1:04pm