Smoking my first whole turkey this weekend. I've read quite a bit, but have a couple of questions before I get going.
1 - What is the best way to monitor internal temp? Is it best to insert a meat thermometer probe before I start the smoke and leave it in the entire time so that can constantly watch temps, or is it best to use a thermopen type thermometer and periodically check temps? Not sure if a probe will allow meat in that area to dry out.
2- Where is the best place to place the probe if a probe is recommended? Thigh? Breast? A pick would be real helpful.
3- I plan on cooking at about 240ish degrees. The bird is small...only about 9.5lbs. Is there an hours/lb calc out there to get me in the ballpark of how long it will take to hit 165? I want to time it right so that it can rest before meal time. I'm guessing it will take about 4.5-5 hours. Also, it will help me gauge when to cut off the smoke. See question 4.
4- Is there a recommended amount of time to apply smoke? I was going to put smoke to the bird for about 1/2 the cook time (see q 3). So if I expect to cook for 5 hours, I was going to apply smoke for 2.5-3 hours.
5 - Lastly, I was just going to brine in a new Coleman cooler I picked up (inside the fridge). Is this safe, or should I use something like a brining bag instead. I've never brined anything before.
Thanks for any help here!