Howdee Howdee..... I have an MES 30 and cooked a bird or two on it.
If you'll use the search feature, you'll find so many brine recipes you'll get tired of looking. In my own humble opinion brining is not needed unless you are trying to infuse flavors into the bird using a salt and/or sugar brine to carry them. Your turkey will be every bit as moist without a brine. So when looking for a brine, looks for the flavors you want to impart.
Apple juice is also a normal carrier medium with turkey brines. When I do a brine, is part brown sugar, part canning salt, water or a flavorful liquid, and some spices and/or herbs or even fresh fruits and veggies which have been steeped or boiled to release their flavor before adding to the brine. I usually use slightly less salt that sugar they balance each outer out pretty well.
IF I brine, not cure but brine, its usually for less than 24 hours, 12 to 18 maybe for a big thick breast. I find if its brined too long it affects the density or texture of the meat. I like all my flavor modifiers to simply enhance the meat, I want you chicken to taste like chicken, beef like beef, etc.... Using a rub, brine, marinade, injection, even the smoke should only enhance not change the taste. But That is my humble opinion and we all know what opinions are like, right?
I don't use water in my water pan, with an electric you don't dry the meats as you would with a fireburner. A fireburner has to be tended and by opening and closing and opening and closing the pit you are releasing all the moisture tending the pit. An electric requires no tending and by leaved the pit closed it doesn't lose moisture like a fireburner. Some will cover the water pan with tin foil and fill with sand to use as a heat sink to help with the true electric draw back, recovery of lost heat. If you are using chips this will increase the smoke times.
I have seen somewhere where someone said it took 10 or 15 mins recovering the heat lost of an electric when you open the door. With only 800 watts I will not disagree with close to 10 maybe. Consider 10 mins every time you open the door. If you only open the door once every hour, on a 6 hour smoke you have added an addition hour's cooking. Think about a 22 hours low and slow butt. If you will leave the door shut as intended it will cook faster, if you leave the door closed you'll not lose moisture, add a heat sink (sand filled water tray to help maintain temp so it doesn't need to cycle as often and you are on a roll.
You IT for pulling is great, you really only need a light cover of oil on the breast its like suntan lotion then you can use whatever spices you want for your rub.
Remember there is no right way or wrong way, just the way you want to master cooking it. Its about making what you want to do, work with your pit. Everyone does something a little different.
Hope it helps, and look forward to seeing some photos of these breasts!
PS I would suggest you start keeping notes on your smokes so you know what exactly was done last time, what you liked and didn't and what you like to try different. That way next Thanksgiving you can remember what worked right the last time. Just a suggestion.
Smoking is all about no stress, a beautiful day, and enjoying the smoke. It smells so good.
Edited by Foamheart - 12/27/13 at 12:02am