What are the advantages of leaving the bird whole besides presentation at the table? For smoking it can only be stuffed with loose aromatic veggies, fruits and herbs. If it is brined, there is already a lot of flavor in there.
I have read so many posts where the breast cooks faster than the dark meat when the bird is smoked whole. In my mind, logic tells be that this could be avoided by cutting the bird into separate drums, thighs, wings, and breast, leaving the breast whole and still attached to the breast bone.
In my years in the restaurant biz, we always separated the bird parts. We ended up with moist breast meat, and dark meat that was easy to deal with.
This will be my first turkey smoke. I separated mine before brining, and bought extra drums, thighs and wings for experimental spice rubs.
I am curious as to what you all have to say about leaving it whole as opposed to separating it.