Let everybody know how the next one goes
I seem to never start early enough with my smokes. Getting a good bed of coals (with wood only) always takes longer than I remember. As for the meat, recently all I have been smoking is ribs since they only take 5 to 6 hours depending on if they are baby backs or just the spare. Always smoke ribs with the 3 - 2 -1 method. I have smoked pork butt three times very successfully. And I actually smoke a brisket as my virgin smoke. I had several people who know a little something about smoking meat tell me that the brisket was right up there, and better the some, of the cook-off smokers. The pork butt I used for pulled pork which was also very, very tasty. (Sorry. Had to toot my horn there.) I have always, so far anyways, took the pounds of the meat and multiplied it by 1.5 for cook time. (10 lb = 15 hrs) Now I would take the 15 hours and only smoke it for 2/3 the time. Then I would put in the oven at 250-300 degrees for 1/2 of the remaining time. So 10 lb piece of meat smoke for 10 hours and oven for 2.5 hours. And a 14 lb piece would be about 14 hours on smoker and about 3.5 hours in oven. I mainly do this to cut my time down and that is why the range on oven temp is between 250-300. Oh, and course wrap in foil or in a pan wrapped tightly with foil for the oven. After "X" amount of hours, you don't really get anymore smoke flavor, so I am told. I leave it on the smoke plenty long to have a full smoke flavor.
And my first, and only brisket so far, I took out of the oven at 2:30 AM and then had to get it cooled down enough to put in the fridge. But, man did it taste great. Next time I will smoke through the night and have ready for lunch or dinner.