I use foil and mine don't come out tasting like pot roast.
Salt and pepper rub is the Texas preferred rub according to what I've read.
You should cook your brisket to 165F then wrap in foil and take it to at least 190F - or until your temperature probe goes in like the brisket was made of butter.
I don't cook a lot of small flats though - so your mileage may vary. I've only ever cooked full packers.
I hope this helps.