Yesterday I was reading some of the threads about how to keep the breast moist and tender while getting the thigh joint done, including the idea of breast side down. So I conjured up the following process:
1) The bird was 11 pounds which I brined overnight.
2) This AM I patted it dry, rubbed it with olive oil and put on a generous coating of my rub which I also put inside the baby.
3) Then I placed it breast down on a wire rack in a baking pan and poured in a can of beer under the turkey and placed the temp probe in the thigh joint.
4) Set the smoker at 225, kept the smoke (hickory) heavy for 4 hours and took it off at 161 degrees after a total of 6-3/4 hours.
It is the BEST turkey I have ever smoked -- the breast is very juicy and tender as is the dark meat and all the meat is prefectly done. Regarding the 161 temp, it is my experience that cooking at lower temps which requires more cooking time (225 as opposed to 275 or 300) will get the meat (poultry, beef or pork) done at slightly lower temps.
The idea of placing it in a pan, breast down, with liquid immediately under it (I also use a water pan) was to keep some of the heat away from the breast and let the juices run down on the breast -- it seemed to work. The skin did not brown on the breast so if you are looking for crispy skin this won't work. I never eat turkey skin so it works for me.
Anyhow, the ideas on this forum gave me this idea. Thanks to all that contribute!!
Dave in Florida