Going to be smoking my first brisket tomorrow. Went to Arnold's up in Chicopee, MA which is a very good meat store with knowledgeable helpful butchers. I told the butcher that I was getting into smoking and I wanted to do a brisket. He gave me a close to 15+ pound brisket. He told me to cut the brisket, he marked the package where, to separate the "flat" from the "point" . The flat is thinner than the point and he said if you try and do the whole brisket together you will usually over cook and dry out the flat. I took his advise and separated the flat and the point. So now I have a 7 lb flat, which is being smoked tomorrow, and the point which is in the freezer. My plan of attack is as follows: I have read that it takes 1 to 1.5 hours per pound for a brisket so I am going to figure on 1.25 hours per pound for my flat tomorrow so a full time cook will be 8.75 to 9 hours. I may be a little long on the estimate but it is the thin flat and will cook faster that the thicker "point". I will set the smoker temp to 235 degrees as everything I have read say for briskets cook temp should be 225-250 degrees. I am going to use hickory and mesquite chips but will be very light on the mesquite as my research seems to tend that folks can find a pure mesquite smoke over powering. I'm figuring maybe 1/2 cup of mesquite during the first load and all hickory after that. I will maintain a smoke for the first three- four hours. After that it will just be a straight cook till the internal temp hits 165. At that point I will do a aluminum foil wrap and continue cooking till internal temp reaches 180-185 degrees and the meat should be done at that point. I will then remove from the smoker and do the towels in the cooler thing for an hour or two. Any of you experts correct me if I'm out in left field and I am always open to suggestions....thanks for any input. So thing morning around 10:00 I removed the thicker fat on the "flat" and now have about 1/4-3/8 fat blanket on the top....there way no fate on the underside of the flat. I used the mustard thing with both yellow and Guldens spicy for the rub prep. I used "All American" Seasoning Rub that I got at Costco. I used the same rub on the pork and I liked the flavor. I did add some smoked paprika, some garlic salt, and a little cayenne for a little heat and to call the rub my own. I hope it tastes as well on the cow as it did on the pig! So here is what it looked like after I finished rubbing the bottom and trimming the top fat blanket: After the rub was completed: All wrapped and ready for an 18 hour nap in the refrigerator to soak up the flavor until I put it in the smoker around 6:00 AM tomorrow. Wish me luck...thanks. I'll post the results tomorrow.