Wow, thank you jj for taking the time to write all that detailed information for me. I learned a lot.
My 22lb turkey was a fresh unprocessed bird. I got it moist with the juice of sour oranges, made a rub out of sage, parsley, basil, thyme, oregano, chili powder, white pepper, chili arbole, paprika and celery seed, I then injected it with unsalted butter, some "NO Salt" (potassium) and some sweet juice from the cranberrys I was cooking at the time. I let that sit over night,
Got up at 5:30 am and got the smoker ready. Now, what I did next was probably from the knowledge that I gained from my mother when I was a chilld. I just never knew the reason why. My mother always got the oven really hot (about 400 degrees) for the first hour or two, and then would turn it down and let it slow cook at 275 for the rest of the time. She always told me it was to seal in the juice. She probably had that handed down from her mother and probably never knew the real reason why.
So what I did, and always have done in the past, is get the smoker really hot (about 350 in this case) for the first two hours and let it slowly come down to 225. And becasue of all ths new found information, I decided to check the internal temp and 3 1/2 hours just to see. I am proud to say my mother taught me well. The bird was exactly the right temp it needed to be to get out of the danger zone.
After that I slow smoked it with hickory at 175. After 7 1/2 hours, I took it off and stuffed it and put it back on. Brought the fire up to about 225 to 250 and let it slowly burn out. After about 9 hours I had the best smoked bird I had ever made.
It was a Martha Stewart moment for me. Everyone just loved it. Had plenty of juice for the perfect gravy.
Thank you again for all your info.
I hoe you had a nice holiday