This was my first experience at smoking a whole bird for Thanksgiving. I picked up an almost new ECB at a garage sale and was checking the internet for how to use it, when I came across Jeff's Smoking Meat website.
I took the whole thing to heart and followed his instructions the best I could. Made the necessary modifications to the ECB. Got plenty of charcoal and wood chunks. A new temp gauge for the EBC and a digital thermometer.
I picked a nice 17# Free range, min- processed bird. (Couldn't get a 12#). Cost $50.00 "yipes". Brined it overnight in cranberry brine recipe.
The cooking went fine, I was able to keep the temp fairly even, between 200* and 240*. I was expecting it to take close to 7 hrs but the temp reached 162 in about 5 hrs.
The results were a little disappointing. Bird was overcooked, dark and dry but tasted great. See my photo album.
So lessons learned were:
(1) Bird was too big at 17#.
(2) Bird was a Free Range, too lean.
(3) New gauge may be defective, cooked too hot.
(4) Didn't brine well, put in plastic bag and packed in ice chest.
Any one have other ideas that I might try next time?
Thanks for listening, Cal