I understand exactly what you're going through. Newbie here myself. Here is what I did.
I found a "real butcher" ( not a supermarket, or a wholesale club not that there is anything wrong with them just really wanted to talk the the man doing the cutting) I asked a lot of questions. The butcher was great answered everything I asked and also sold me a bunch of meat. He told me to look for USDA Choice. Since I was not using this for a competition and since it was my first one if something went wrong I wasn't going to loose a $150 brisket. He also said to me try doing a flat first. So the first thing he told me was if the brisket is packaged in cryovac pick it up and see how much as he called it " flex or bend" too it. You want it to have a nice bend. You also want to make sure it has some fat on it. He said a lot of supermarkets trim them way up.
So I got the flat home opened up rinsed it off and patted it dry. Used a simple rub of kosher salt, course black pepper & garlic powder ( I recommend using granulated not powder but I didn't have any on hand. Yes, I know shame on me ) I fired my WSM up using Stubbs all natural briquettes and brought it up to temp 235 ( Yes, I used water in the water pan) Started the brisket fat side up. Used both a pit temp probe & meat probe. Closed it up and let it go for about 3 hours. After the 3 hour period I checked pit temp and flipped the brisket over (per the butchers recommendation) to help protect the meat. Let it go another 3 hours. At this time the meat temp was holding at 165 degrees. Yes, the dreaded stall. I removed the flat at this time a double wrapped in hd aluminum foil with a cup of beef broth. Meat probe back in and back on the smoker. After about an hour and a half it pushed through the stall . Brought the internal temperature reached 198-200 I pulled it off unwrapped. Yes, I know unwrapping will probably give some a heart attack....But I figured what the hell since I don't really know what I'm doing I'd put it back on the smoker to firm up the bark. Drained the juice from the foil and allowed to the juice cool and skimmed off the fat. After about 35-40 minutes the bark firmed up nicely. I wrapped back in the foil and allowed to rest for about an hour and a half.
Carved it up and used my family and best friend as my Guinea pigs. The all seemed to like it. Meat was very moist, had the nice tug/pull test and I even got a little smoke ring.
I used hickory chunks in the smoker
So just get out there and try it. Have fun and enjoy !!!!
image.jpeg 171k .jpeg file
image.jpeg 171k .jpeg file
( same meat but the flash didn't go off on the one pic)