When I joined here last year I had never cooked a brisket before. After seeing all the "help me" threads everyday, I thought this must be a tough cut of meat to cook. Some people sounded down right scared to cook the thing. People that have been putting it off for YEARS!! That combined with the landslide of advice saying how brisket SHOULD be cooked and not always necessarily how it COULD be cooked made it seem intimidating.
But like landarc said, I just started to focus on what the more seasoned members were saying to narrow down the huge amount of information that is found here. That ended up getting me to the road map section where I found Bigabyte's tutorial. Unfortunately many of the newer people (myself at the time) don't know this valuable resource is even there. If I hadn't of listened to the old farts I probably would have junked a couple briskets.
But after following Bigabyte's tutorial pretty closely, I had a damn good brisket my first time out. I figured it must have been a fluke since so many others were either messing it up or not cooking them at all. So my next few brisket cooks I started tailoring my initial schooling with small changes to fit my preferred cooking times, tastes, and cooker. Then I found the Funk (Donnie). I cranked up my cooker, used the tri-level rub, and haven't looked back yet. The flavor profile combined with the HnF cooking temps fit my tastes and time constraints. But that's just it, it fits me personally. I'm sure at some point I'll be ready to step back out of the boat and try to switch things up, but until then I'm happy with things.
** Re-reading this I just realized I said that Bigabyte and Donnie's teachings fit me personally. There is something scary admitting that.
WSM 22 ~ WSM 18 ~ Maverick ET-732 ~ Flaming Fast Thermapen ~ Weber SS Performer ~ Weber 22 OTS ~ Weber 22 OTS ~ Weber 22 OTPlus ~ Weber 22 OTS ~ Weber Q300
When all else fails just ask yourself, WWGALD???