When I built Lil' Piggy this summer I didn't think she had quite enough girth to fit a turkey with the grates in, so I was planning to smoke our Thanksgiving turkey in my old Brinkmann vertical which I knew was gonna be a challenge in the 20 degree temps we were expecting. When I brought our 13 lbs bird home the other day I had to walk past Lil' Piggy anyway so on a whim I opened the door and tried to fit the bird. Whadda ya know, it fit, but just barely.
Started my smoke at 6:30 AM with outside temp of 20 degrees with a nasty north wind. Brined my bird for 12 hours and injected some creole butter right before it went in the smoker. Bird was 40 degrees when it went in. Pulled the grates out and sat the turkey in a foil roaster directly on the reverse flow plate. After 3 hours I put one of the grates back in and transferred the bird to the grate so the bottom could brown up. Smoked with a mix of apple and pecan. Bird was done at 11:00, transferred back to the roaster, foiled and allowed to rest and hour before dinner at noon.
Just transferred from roasting pan to grate.
Plated and ready to carve. Color seemed to have developed more during the resting stage.
Rigged up a propane heater underneath the smoker to keep the wind from cooling the smoker off too much. Worked great, I was able to maintain constant temps in the 240 - 260 range throughout the entire smoke. Outside temp was still only 22 at the end of the smoke.