What was the temp you were trying to cook at? I know that on my EGG the lowest I can get it to settle at is 250. this is fine with me but at that temp with a butt it will take 12 to 16 hours. I have only done a couple of briskets so far, again at 250 a full packer can take as long as 14 hours.
As mentioned above I spread chunks all across the coals after it is stabilized at my cooking temp. I do not use a water pan just something to catch the drippings. I do not cook for a smoke ring but for the flavor and I have not been disappointed.