First off, sorry, no pics on this one. Smoked a 9.5# packer brisket yesterday and not real satisfied with the results. Here is how it was done.... Rubbed with 2 commercial bought rubs (one sweet/one spicy), fridge for 2 hours (wrapped) then left out for 1 hour while smoker warmed up. Temp at time of meeting smoke was 57 degrees. Offset firebox CG, placed brisket fat up with 2 fatty's and wicked beans on once temp reached steady 220 (also had water pan under baffle). Didn't open for 2 hours, then basted w/ apple juice. Sprayed with juice several other times and flipped brisket at 3 hours, back over 2 hours later. Smoker temp remained 213-225 throughout. Meat hit plateau 3 1/4 hours in at 155 degrees then dropped back down to 149. I put in the normal amount of new lump coal and some fresh hickory (mixed with a little apple). 50 minutes later found smoker had risen to 281 and brisket to 161 then 165. The large hickory chunk had caught fire right where the offset box and smoke chamber meet and really heated it up. Opened smoker and got temp back down to 225-217. Once brisket hit 167 (7 hours) foiled and finished in oven (210-220). Total time was only 10 hours 20 minutes. The brisket came out somewhat dry and tough. My question is, do you think it was due to the temp spike during the critical "plateau" period? The meat was only in the 150ish range for about 2 hours. Thanks for any advice offered.