greetings fellow smokers! I've had success smoking ribs, chicken, and pork butts this winter, and I'm planning on smoking a packer brisket (as well as a butt if I can sneak it in w/o my lady seeing it) for the big game this weekend, smoky okie style. The 11.5# packer, however, looks to be about 3-4 inches too wide for my vertical smoke hollow gasser, which will only accomodate a 14.5" pan. I've read in the "big party, big questions" thread that good luck has been had separating the point and flat pre-smoky okie sear and smoke, but I just can't decide if I wanna do it that way, especially as most people say you shouldn't separate it prior to cooking. how much will the brisket shrink during the sear? enough to stuff the brisket in a pan and smoker, w/ the ends turned up, to smoke effectively? I guess I'm worried about heat transfer/uneven cooking to the brisket from the hot steel smoker sides touching it. Or would the more experienced masses here recommend separating the cut pre-cook? Also, I can't quite decide if I should smoke it saturday and refridgerate/reheat, or get up at 4 am sunday and gamble the bad boy w/ be done, w/ a rest, by game time. Cooking butts in cold weather I don't seem to have trouble keeping the smoke temp up while cooking, although I suppose it takes longer to hit smoking temp again after opening to spray, etc, and my pork butts have taken what seems to be "more time" than the silly chart to reach eating temp. I'm thinking if I do gamble and cook it sunday, perhaps I'll transfer it to the oven after the foil goes on the pan. All thoughts, comments, jeers, and advice are appreciated! Thanks everybody.