I like to smoke meats like tri-tip at around 225F, but, only to an internal temperature of 130F. Then pull and rest, slice thin and make sure you are across the grain.
I like to smoke my briskets at around 275F to 300F, and smoke until a metal skewer goes in with almost no resistance at all.
For simplicity, 50/50 salt and medium grain black pepper (by weight) will work. I add granulated, not powdered, garlic and onion, about 1/8 of the salt and pepper weight.
I would not cut the brisket in half, first off, if you start with a 6 pound flat, it will be a 3 pound finished weight. Second, brisket cooks better in larger chunks. I would not smoke a 3 pound brisket flat
the meat thermometer was so far past the top reading, it read Taylor
"perhaps...but then again...maybe not..."