I understand the danger zone concept and the 12# bird recommendation for regular smoke temps. Also see where the rec. time for an 18 # bird in the oven is 4 hours @ 350. So why not just run the smoker temp up to 325-350 range and give it a go. Will it dry the bird out too much?
I have an 18# fresh Butterball which I had planned on brining with cranberry (until I read the don't brine a butterball threads). Wasn't planning to spatchcock the bird but was going to pop a couple of apples in the cavity. Cooking in a 24" Smoke Vault so I can get the temps up. Was planning on cooking at 325-350 for 2 hours then backing down to 275-300 to finish. Estimating that cook time will be in the 5-6 hours. Also thinking about mopping each hour.
Does this sound ok? Do the times sound right? Any recommendations?