I started cooking better briskets and enjoyed cooking them more when I simplified my process. No brining, no complex rub recipe, no sauce, no nonsense. For me it was a return to the purity of barbecue. A few things I have learned from this forum that have helped me cook very good brisket:
1. A brisket is done when it probes tender, not at a specific temperature. I have had briskets of identical weight and shape cooked next to each other finish at 205 and 215. Both were tender and juicy. The second was still noticeably tougher at 205. I still prove with a thermometer because I like to track the temps, but could confidently use a chopstick or skewer.
2. Sometimes less is more. After spending lots of cash on any bottle of brisket or beef rubs that I could find, I decided that I simply like the taste and color of a brisket seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. YMMV. No big deal.
3. The posts listed under the Road Map section are more informative than any Food Network recipe. FN recipes are written and tested in professional kitchens on professional equipment. Road Map posts on how to cook turkey in a UDS or baby backs on WSM are made by cooks like you for cooks like you.
4. If you choose to wrap, trying wrapping with butcher paper. I did a test side-by-side against foil and for me the butcher paper achieved the same level of steaming but maintained a better bark. Just remember to double wrap! The juices will soak through the paper and it can easily tear when removing from the smoker.
5. While we're talking techniques, try cooking hotter than you probably have been. I started out cooking at 220-230 and struggled to maintain temps and maintain focus for 6-14 hours depending on meat. I gradually bumped it up to 275 and found my ribs really improved. My brisket got really good when I started cooking at 325 and I didn't have to start dinner at 4am.
Old Blue BBQ
Lang 60 Deluxe
22.5" WSM (x3), 18.5" WSM, 22.5" OTS
Char Griller Smoker Pro w/ SFB, reverse flow mod