Originally Posted by DJ's left nut
They're hard to screw up.
225, 2 fist sized chunks of cherry, 1 fist sized chunk of oak and a shitload of patience. I've seen some people say to put it on at room temperature but I add it straight from the fridge. I think the lower temp gives you a little more time in the smoke and a slightly better smoke ring before you hit that 145ish range where it stops accepting the smoke flavor.
I use a mustard coating and a dry rub that's light brown sugar, paprika, cayenne, mustard powder, black pepper, garlic powder and kosher salt. Use a LOT of rub, it mellows with the smoke. As for the ratio, I honestly don't remember, I just do it to taste. The garlic, black pepper and brown sugar probably make up 70% of the rub with the paprika making up the biggest chunk of the rest. I don't use a ton of salt and the cayenne is obviously as desired.
Some guys will swear by putting the fat side up claiming the juice permeates the meat better. Others will say that the juice mostly runs off and that you want to put the fat side down to protect from the more volatile heat zone directly between the water pan and the meat (or heat and meat if you don't use a water pan).
Some guys use a mop, I personally do not (not on beef). I just don't like beef having too much sweetness and I don't think a vinegar mop for beef. If you're curious, just google 'brisket mop' and you can find some recipes you may like.
Like I said, they're pretty hard to mess up.
This is a pretty good start. For a brisket rub, stay fairly light on sugar. Your brisket will be in the smoker too long and the sugar will get bitter. Some is OK, too much is bad. I frankly don't care for sugar in a brisket rub. Great on ribs, though.
Here's a couple good basic rubs on Food Network. I've tried both of them, and they're pretty standard.
The practice of rubbing the whole brisket down with mustard, then applying the rub is 100 percent spot on. As for a baste - I don't do a lot, but I'll pour a bottle of beer in a spray bottle and spritz it a few times.