Trim the brisket while it is very cold using a sharp knife. Trim the fat cap down to about ¼" thick and remove the silver skin from the backside.
Season: Combine the Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper in a small bowl or spice shaker, then evenly season the brisket on all sides. Let the brisket sit out at room temperature for 1 hour while you set up your smoker.
Prepare the Smoker: Set up your smoker according to the manufacturer's instructions for indirect cooking with a water-filled drip pan in place. Bring the temperature between 225° and 275° F. Add 3 to 5 fist-size oak, pecan or your favorite wood chunks for smoke (if using a charcoal smoker).
Smoke the Brisket: Place the brisket in the smoker fat side down with the thickest end closer to the heat. Leave the lid closed for at least 3 hours. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165° F and a dark brown bark is formed, about 6 to 8 hours.
Wrap the Brisket: Remove the brisket from the smoker and tightly wrap it with uncoated butcher paper (or aluminum foil). Place it back in the smoker and continue cooking until the internal temperature of the flat (thinner side) reaches between 203 and 206° F, about 6 to 8 hours more.
Rest: Carefully transfer the brisket (still wrapped in the butcher paper) to a large cooler or cutting board to rest for at least 1 hour and preferably 2 hours or until the internal temp drops to 140 to 145° F. You can line the cooler with a towel to further insulate the brisket to keep it warm.
Slice and Serve: Separate the point from the flat muscle, then slice against the grain (which is different for each muscle) into ¼" slices just before serving. Enjoy with your favorite sides.
Smoker Temperature: For a pellet smoker, use a lower temperature of 225° F, and a higher temperature of 250-275° F for charcoal smokers.
The Best Wood for Smoking Brisket: I prefer using oak wood chunks, but you can also use mesquite, pecan or add in a combination of cherry or apple depending on your preference.
Thermometers are your best friend. Place a probe in the thickest part of the brisket flat, one on the smoker's grate and use a handheld meat thermometer to spot check to verify at the end of the cook.
Open the lid of the smoker as few times as possible during the cook.
The cook time will be approximately 1 to 1 ½ hours per pound at 250° F.