Prepare a baking sheet. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil — this will make cleanup easier. Place a cooling rack inside the baking sheet.
Trim the brisket if needed. Chances are high that your brisket will come trimmed and ready for cooking, but before seasoning, take a look at it and trim off any tough bits of silverskin (the white film on meat). Also trim the fat cap to about 1/2-inch thick if needed.
Coat the brisket with mustard and liquid smoke. Place the mustard and liquid smoke in a small bowl and stir to combine. Brush the brisket on all sides with mustard mixture — this will help the salt and pepper mixture stay in place.
Season the brisket with the salt mixture. Place the salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a small bowl and stir to combine. Sprinkle the salt mixture all over the brisket, then use you hands to rub it in, getting as much into every nook and cranny as possible.
Cover the brisket and refrigerate overnight. Place the brisket on a rimmed baking sheet fitted with a wire rack inside. Cover the whole brisket and baking sheet with aluminum foil. Refrigerate overnight, 10 to 12 hours.
Heat the oven to 300°F. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 300°F. Remove the brisket from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature, still covered in the foil, while the oven is heating.
Cover the brisket and cook for 6 hours or until the brisket reaches 180°F. If you covered the brisket completely the night before, you can set the whole brisket, pan, cooling rack and all, right in the oven and leave it covered, cooking for 6 hours. Otherwise, place the brisket on a cooling rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet and cover the brisket with foil and bake for 6 hours, or until the brisket registers 200°F in the thickest part. Don’t worry too much if the brisket reaches 180°F relatively quickly and then hangs out at this temperature for several hours.
Uncover the brisket cook for 1 to 2 hours more. Your two goals for the second half of cooking are crisp exterior and an interior that stays at 200°F for at least an hour. Uncover the brisket and take its temperature before returning to the oven. Cook for another 1 to 2 hours, checking its temperature regularly. The brisket is done when it holds a temperature close to 200°F for about an hour. You can pick the brisket up in the middle with tongs to check for doneness: the ends should bend readily but not break.
Rest the brisket for 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Transfer the brisket to a clean cutting board. Cover loosely with foil and let rest for 30 minutes before slicing across the grain and serving.
STORAGE: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
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