I have a Landmann GOSM 40" electric smoker. The thing is very roomy. I have a 16 lb natural turkey which I was going to dry rub/salt and then smoke starting early in the morning for a 1:00 pm meal. I've done turkeys on the Weber with charcoal and chips before and they cook fast, but I'm obviously planning on this taking longer. I'm new to the smoker, but I did run it last weekend with good results and did a dry (empty) run earlier today to see where the grate-level temperature hovers. Though the thing's highest setting is 275, it eventually (about an hour) reached and maintained in the 305 to 310 range.
I plan to follow the "ultimate turkey" recipe and plan from amazingribs.com, which includes putting a water bath under the turkey for the drippings and later, the gravy source.
So my questions:
1. I have an aluminum tray that I plan to use for the drippings and the water/gravy additions. It is large enough to sit under the turkey, which means it leave very little space around the edges before the inside walls of the vault. I can bend it easily but there will likely be only about an inch all sides. Is that a problem?
2. I just discovered I have 6 additional guests tomorrow. I can get another fresh turkey, probably about 10 lbs. I think I can arrange the water/drip pan on the bottom and fit the turkeys on different grates/levels above it. Is there a problem with cramming so much in the smoker?
3. Assuming there are no problems cramming all this in there, how much time should I expect? Do I need to think about the total weight of the turkeys and calculate like I'm smoking a HUGE turkey? I was ballparking about 4 hours for the original 16 pounder, and thinking the 10 pounder, by itself, would be about 3 hours. These are natural turkeys and in my experience with them they do cook faster than most specs indicate. I was thinking I'd get the smoker going around 7:00, at the big one around 8:00, the smaller one around 9:00...and hope they're up to 160 degrees by around noon. Reasonable, or insane?
This forum is great, and this is my first post aside from the roll call entry. Good eats to all with smokin' plans tomorrow.