Originally Posted by m-fine
What size brisket? If closer to 15 lbs maybe up the temp a bit. Only experience in your smoker will get you the perfect time/temp per weight down, but you are in the ball park. Also, don't over trim, fat can be removed at slicing time. Too thick will block the smoke but a thin layer is helpful in self basting.
I disagree with the above on bringing to room temp. Cold meat and a wood fire don't mix. OK for an electric or propane but with wood you can get creosote deposits on the meat. YUCK! Bringing it (the surface) to room temp for an hour or so is a good idea. Another option is to warm the outside by searing on a grill, frying each side in bacon grease or whatever comes to mind.
Leave the probe out of the meat for the first 7-8 hours. No way it is going to be done before that. The temp reading in that period won't tell you anything that should cause you to change your plan. All it can do is make you nervous, impatient or something else that won't be helpful. Relax, have a beer, and worry about the fire and not the meat until near the end. If anything put the probe next to the meat and monitor smoker temps. If you have a good fire, you will have a good meal, the rest is just gravy.
I would leave it unwrapped and leave it in the smoker rather than put it in the oven. Your oven is basically a smoker without smoke. The only advantage is less work and a better thermostat. I prefer to minimize handling and moving, plus there is always something else you can be cooking in the oven (side dishes). You can foil wrap if you want less smoke and less of a crust. If you want a nice crust try basting 2-4 times with an oil seasoned with your rub, seasoned mayo, your favorite mop etc. rather than foil.
The final IT where you take it off is a matter of taste and preference. I usually take it out around 180-185 for slicing. At that point you are past the stall and it will take very little time to go up to 200 if you want.
When it comes off the smoker wrap in foil if you have not already and lest rest in a cooler at least one hour, I prefer about three, but no more than you can hold the temp safely above 140-145. The extra time in the cooler probably offsets my lower take off the smoker temp. You can experiment quite a bit between the two. Higher temps and longer sitting in the cooler will make slices less firm/more likely to break apart. This make be desired or may not.
If smoking several briskets at a time, get a meat slicer. Either the electric kind or perhaps a brother in-law. Either way is better than you doing all the hand slicing yourself. Save the burnt ends and slicer shreds, we call it the debris, for the chefs.