Well guys, the ol masterbuilt didn't disappoint. It held strong at about 255, and in about 5 hrs, brought my bird to 165. (despite below freezing temps) I appreciate all of the good advise, and best of all, no oven was needed! This was my first turkey, and I have to say it will be hard to top it!! Needless to say, it was pretty well wiped out! I think I have just enough left over for maybe one or two turkey sandwiches. Everyone loved it, and I'm sure this will be a yearly tradition from now on. I used Alder wood, and it soaked in brine for about a day and a half. I read everyones brine recipes, and kinda came up with my own. I went to my local Sprouts market, and bought 2 apple chicken sausage links, and put them in the cavity of the bird. Rubbed it with plain ol salt and pepper. My brine was as follows.
1 and 1/2 gal. water.
1cup Kosher sea salt
1cup dark brown sugar
1/2cup maple syrup
1/4cup garlic powder
1/4cup onion powder
fresh sprigs of thyme & rosemary
3 tablespoons of lemon pepper
I used the brine in my water pan too.
Smoked it breast side down til it got to 145, sprayed it all over with olive oil, and then turned it over for the remainder. Breast meat was tender, and juicy, and skin had a nice shiney crisp! Best turkey I've ever had. Once it got to 165, I put it in a pan, and covered it in foil.
Now, for the piece de la resistance! My famous potato recipe!! You will become famous if you ever make these, and it's super simple!!!
Start by making simple mashed potatoes. Blend in 1/2 a cup of butter, salt and pepper to taste, and grated parmesan cheese. The amounts vary by the amount of potatoes. I usually do enough to fill a 13x9 glass baking dish with atleast an inch of room. It is important, that you do all of this in rapid succession, so as to keep the potatoes hot. I have however done the potatoes in advance, and used the microwave to re-heat them. Enough to fill a 13x9, I use about 3/4 cup of parmesan. Use a rubber spatula to smooth the potatoes in the pan. Whip one pint of whipped cream, and gently fold 1 cup (or more) of finely grated swiss guyere cheese into the cream. Spread the cream and cheese mixture over the potatoes about 1 inch thick to cover all of the potatoes (I also use the handle of the spatula to poke holes in the potatoes for the cream to fill). Place in a pre-heated 450 degree oven until the top begins to bubble, and blister brown. Remove and serve, and prepare yourself to give out the recipe, because everyone will want it! These potatoes go great with ANYTHING! They are a family tradition at thanksgiving with our turkey, and at christmas with our prime rib. Enjoy, and Happy Holidays!