Longtime reader, first time posting. With Easter coming up, I wanted to get some thoughts on smoking larger Turkeys. Last spring, I smoked a 27 pound bird successfully in my little upright, single-burner, propane smoker. Given it's size and the associated internal temp risks, "low and slow" would not get the job done, so I essentially roasted it in the smoker, giving it smoke the first two hours. It was good for my first time with such a large turkey, but not perfect, and I've been waiting a whole year to try this again. Here's what I did last time..
-Brined in water, salt, brown sugar, and whole peppercorns for 24 hours
-Stuffed w/ quartered Apples and Onions, tied legs
-Rubbed skin with olive oil, salt, paprika, pepper, garlic powder
-Pinned wings back
-Smoker set to ~325 for about 5 hours 'til internal breast temp was 165F. I used two 2" chunks of hickory, one after the other, for smoke.
When I pulled it out, the skin was dark, almost black, and the legs had drawn back away from the ends. Underneath it, the white meat was JUICY and had really good flavor. Legs and thighs were good and smokey, but maybe a little over. The biggest thing I noticed was that the lower 2/3 of the wings were way over cooked.
My questions and thoughts are this..
1. How do I get the skin brown and crispy? Should I not grease it before I add the rub?
2. Should I have pulled it 20 mins sooner and rested it? Maybe that would solve my issue with the overdone dark meat?
3. Should I not have pinned the wings? They were cooking against the grate the whole time.
Lemme know your thoughts.