In preparation for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday I thought I better do a test run since my last attempt smoking a turkey was some 20 something years ago, when I gave up on smoking. Unfortunately at that time Al hadn't invented the internet yet so I didn't have SMF.
Anyway, started out with a no name brand 12 1/2 lb bird. My plan was to only brine and rub, and smoke at 250*.
The night before I mixed up some of Tip's Slaughterhouse Poultry Brine (in the Wiki section) and put in the fridge for 12 hours over night.
Fired up the Big Block with hickory and brought her up to temp, 250*.
Pulled the bird from the fridge, rinsed well. Then I sliced up an apple and an onion and stuffed into the cavity. Lifted the skin exposing the breast and covered with softened butter and added some of Jeff's versatile Rib Rub. Covered the skin with canola oil and dusted with Jeff's Rub.
I found this handy roaster pan at Walmart for $9 and thought I'd give it a try. Added some apple juice, water, honey, slice apples and thyme to the pan. (My Maverick ET73 probe was bad so I took an extra precautionary measure and used 2 of my Taylors instead of 1.)
Ran temps pretty consistently at 250* on a chilly, windy day and kicked the temp up to 285* for the last 40 minutes or so (160* to 165*) in a failed attempt to crisp up the skin a little more. All in all it took about 5 hours and 40 minutes to reach an internal temp of 165* in the thickest part of the breast. Pulled from the smoker and covered in foil for 1/2 hour. Internal temp continued to 168* while covered and was still at 165* when I uncovered to carve.
The skin turned out with real nice color, however, was rubbery and not really appetizing. I'm not a big skin fan anyway, but the wife had to mention after dinner the skin wasn't really very good. But what was under that skin is a very, very, different story!
Now under the skin was some extremely juicy, nicely smoke flavored greatness! Every part of the bird seemed extra juicy without a dry spot to be found. The hickory flavoring was actually very nice.
Sorry I didn't get any great money shots but my regular camera is broken and I was using my phone.
Thanks for looking and as someone else posted on here, if you're not real confident with your first turkey, just look at it like a big chicken!