Brining the brisket before smoking adds flavor and tenderness to the brisket. The brisket will be tender at 200 degrees F. But you can also do the fork test - stick a fork in the side of the flat and twist. If it turns easily, it is ready. Brisket, being a Texas specialty, is wrapped in foil the last hour or 2 of smoking to ensure that the meat is tender and juicy. This is called the "Texas Crutch". Essentially, the brisket steams until it becomes tender. Brisket is much less forgiving than pork shoulder, which is a Memphis specialty, so the foil adds ease for the casual weekend barbecue king. The foil also can save charcoal costs and attentive cooking time. You can wrap the brisket in foil and finish in an oven heated to 275 degrees F for the remainder of the cooking time. Always slice a brisket across the grain. Leftover brisket can dry out the day after you cook it. Chopping the leftovers and mixing with BBQ sauce for a brisket sandwich is a great way to make use of them.