I'm planning to serve up my first brisket tomorrow. I'd like to aim for 6PM to cut plus or minus 2 hours. I picked up a 15.5lb prime whole packer from costco...looks pretty good I think (good thickness in the flat). I was going to go ahead and trim it up tonight and get up an hour early to rub and let the brisket come to room temp a bit. Then on to the fire at 275 with a butcher wrap towards the end. Obviously, there is no guarantee and I've yet to learn my smoker, but when would you start?
For what it's worth, I've been able to do a dry run with my smoke vault and i've got my 275 needle valve position dialed in. The water pan seems to go for many hours and the post oak wood chunks will probably get me three hours in before I have to add any. I'm generally following the Aaron Franklin recommendations from his book in terms of guidelines for when to check\spritz\etc. The smoke vault looses a lot of temp if I open the door often so that's another factor.
So, given the unknowns, when would you fire it up?