I compete in BBQ competitions. We have always done extremely well in Brisket. Here is what we do to prepare a competition Brisket. I always try to get CAB (Certified Angus Beef) briskets because CAB briskets are marked with the slaughter date. I have found through experimentation that aging the meat for two weeks post slaughter makes for a very tender brisket.
I always inject briskets to get a little more flavor in the brisket, but most importantly to get some of the phospates back in the meat that were lost when the animal died. The two injection mixes I use are Kosmos Q or FAB B Lite.
I only smoke full packers, that is a brisket where the point and flat are still connected. We never trim the fat cap, we only remove the thick layer of fat in the middle of the point so the brisket flattens. We slather some yellow mustard on the brisket to act like a glue for the rub (don't worry, you will never taste it). There are a number of rubs we use, but my favorite is The Slabs "Wow Up Your Cow". It gives a good flavor with a little bite and why reinvent the wheel by making our own rub. We do have our own rub, but I like The Slabs.
We prepare our smoker to smoke at 225* (it's gonna take some time) and smoke with Cherry and Apple woods. We have a number of smokers. We have a Lang 84 stick burner, (2) Extra Large Big Green eggs and a Spicewine Medium Insulated Smoker. For Brisket the Spicewine is the smoker of choice because it burns charcoal and allows us to use wood chunks. We do this because we add only enough wood to smoke for about 3 hours. Over smoking can cause your brisket to take on a bitter taste. You also do not want any white smoke if you can help it. We are looking for light sweet blue smoke. We allow the meat to cook to 185*. As you are cooking please do not open the smoker every 10 minutes to look at the meat, remember, "if your look'in, you ain't cook'in".
When the brisket is at 185* we remove it from the smoker, place the brisket on some aluminum foil and add a little more rub. We cover the brisket in foil and place it in a well insulated cooler (we use a cambro) and let it rest for an hour or two. The Brisket will continue to cook in the cooler and the finishing temperature should be between 195* and 200*, the perfect temperature range.
When we have finished resting the brisket, we collect the liquid and mix it with a little FAB B Lite and warm it up to make an Au Jus. We place the brisket slices (no thicker or thinner than a pencil width) in a garnished turn box and brush on some Au Jus. The Au Jus will make the brisket glisten and add quite a bit of flavor. No sauce for brisket in our camp.
This will get you beefy, moist and tender brisket every time, competition style. Anyone for a throw-down?
PS: We always take our slices from the flat. We also like to give ourselves every advantage to win so we always give the judges a treat in our turn-in box to go along with our slices. We separate the point and flat and chop up the point (we use the point because it is usually loaded with fat) into small cubes. We re-season the cubes and smother them with BBQ sauce. They go back into the smoker and we raise the temperature as high as we can. We cook the chit out of them (when this meat is over cooked it get very tender). When you remove them you will have the tastiest "Burnt Ends". The Judges love them.