new to smoking brisket

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There are many different variations to this but here is what I do. Rub with salt and pepper, bring your smoker temp up to 250*-275*. Smoke brisket to an IT of around 165* then wrap brisket in foil. Put back in smoker till IT of around 200* and a toothpick slides in like it was butter. Pull it, rest it, slice it and enjoy.
Alot of folks complain they come out kinda dry. If you do find that to be the case, add 1/4 to 1/2 can of beef broth to the brisket when you go to wrap it in foil. Keeps it nice and moist. Also remember to slice it thin and across the grain.
Are you doing a flat or a whole packer? Flats especially can dry out. Liquid in the foil will definitely help. Whole packets have more fat and don't dry out as easily but I would still put a little liquid.
I know injecting is a matter of personal preference, but if only doing a flat, would injecting help the dryness? 

I never have injected, just followed the basic procedure above and always ended up with moist tender briskets. Even with flats. I accidentally let my temps spike up on a brisket flat cook the other day and it was done very fast. I was worried it would be tough but it ended up very moist and tender. I think the trick may be to not cook flats so low and slow that they have time to dry out. Not sure if this is the case or I just got lucky.
All the above are great suggestions and will get you right on track for your brisket.  My personal barometer for doneness is the toothpick test or probe test that HarleySmoker mentioned.  I only use the IT for reference points only, in other words, once the brisket reaches 200 to 205, I'll start probing once it reaches 200, then every 5 degrees after that (205, 210 etc.).  Most of my competition briskets don't reach probe tender until around 210 to 212 (then they get a 4 hour rest in my warmer box before slicing).  Now, this will yield a fall apart tender piece of meat, to make my turn in boxes for comps, I have to use a cake icing knife to pick up the slices, but that's what wins in Texas and it's how I personally like my brisket to be as well.  If you prefer a hold together slice, then you might choose to pull it at 200 or 205, then rest for at least an hour or so in a cooler wrapped in towels.  This will allow for some carry over cooking along with the redistribution of the juices throughout the meat.  The optimum IT prior to slicing for brisket is in the 160 range, in other words, the It must come back down to the 160 range before slicing to prevent your cutting board from having more juices on it than is in the meat.  

Good luck with your brisket, but most of all have fun! 
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Bruno - That is some really good information. Like you i start probing at 200 but never have gone above 205. I don't cook comp and like to have hold together slices. Sometimes I chop the point but I like to slice if I can get it to stay together. I really need to try what you said about getting it down to 160 before slicing. I always try to rest for at least an hour but have never checked the temp before I slice. I will definitely try this next time.Thanks for the pointers.
I right there with you Harley on the point, can't hardly find a better piece of meat than sliced point!  The problem with the point is the added fat content makes it so hard to hit the right mark on rendering the majority of the fat.  As most folks suggest, turn the meat so that the point end is facing the hot side of your pit or in my case running a reverse flow, towards the incoming air flow.  This helps the point cook faster, in hopes of both muscles being done at the same time.  In real Texas Q joints, they offer lean or dry slices from the flat, then moist or fatty slices from the point end.  We'll cube the points occasionally for burnt ends (everyone fav around here), but for the most part I"l chop them, vac seal them and reheat at a later date for stuffed baked potatoes or sandwiches.
Hey Bruno if you had a basic receipe and procedure for burnt ends that you would be willing to share I would really appreciate it. I have never had them or even seen them but from what I have heared they are awesome. I would love to try to make some out of my next brisket. Although I am from New Mexico I love Texas style BBQ. Probably because one of the best bbq joints near where I live is Rudy's. I know you diehard texans aren't impressed with Rudy's but hey it's the best we have around here. I love beef. Briskets, chuckies, beef ribs and sausage. My beef rub is very simple salt, pepper, and chile powder. Sometimes I add onion and garlic powder. Considering I love Texas style BBQ I am sure I will love burnt ends and would love to learn how to make them.
bucfan7273: I love BURNT ENDS. They are my favorite piece of the whole cook. Obviously, you've got to cook the whole brisket (point & flat) but sometimes I just buy the POINT and cook that piece. At about 190F I remove it and cut it into 1/2" to 3/4" cubes or chunks. I discard the fatty pieces. I place the pieces in an alum pan and add BBQ sauce from a local rib joint in Tucson plus some packaged au juice (the amounts I add depend on how I feel at the time!!). I place the pan back in the smoker for about 1 hour uncovered at about 250F. I tried them once using my cast iron pot instead of the alum pan. I cubed the meat and added the BBQ sauce, au jus plus some garlic, green peppers and some BBQ rub I threw in the pot. I over complicated the process with too much stuff and didn't like the result -- simple BBQ sauce & au Juice in the alum pan works best for me. Cook up your first batch using a simple process to see where your at and then go from there on the next batch.  
My 2 cents:

One 8 to 12 pound beef brisket or two 5 to 6 pound briskets - Untrimmed

Dry Rub: For each pound of brisket (add two pounds to ensure you have extra for the mop)

½ teaspoon Ground Cumin

½ teaspoon Granulated Garlic

½ teaspoon Sea or Kosher Salt

½ teaspoon Chili Powder

½ teaspoon Cornstarch

¼ teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

Prepare the rub: Combine all ingredients in a bowl; mix well. Rub the brisket liberally the rub (Save at least 3 tablespoon for your mop) at least 8 hours prior to cooking (even better if you allow 24 hours). Cover and place in refrigerate.

Mop: Optional – but does help keep the brisket moist.

2 – 3 tablespoons dry rub

16 oz Bottle of dark beer

1 small onion chopped

2 Chopped Jalapeno peppers (Optional)

Remove brisket from refrigerator at least 1 hour prior to starting charcoal.

Start 7 to 10 pounds of hardwood charcoal. If using a water pan, add a bottle of red wine, four cloves of garlic, four springs of rosemary and thyme to the pan. Once coals are covered in a gray ash (Temp should be around 200 – 225), put brisket in smoker. Add oak chunks to coals. Top vent should be wide open, side or bottom vents about 50% closed.

Every 60 minutes, mop brisket, add more charcoal as needed (Do not add any additional wood chunks). After two hours add 10 to 12 small red potatoes to water pan, adding water if needed (Potatoes will suck in the brisket dripping which makes them taste awesome without adding butter).

After 8 hours, wrap brisket in foal. Add enough charcoal to keep temp around 225 degrees for 4 to 6 additional hours. Remove brisket from smoker and let rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting.
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So I tired my first briske yesterday, Lets just say that I hope next will be a better. I had trouble with keeping temperature constant.  The brisket may not have looked nice after smoking it. It had a nice smoke flavor, but was dry. I used a 6lber still in the package.
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