So I got my 30" MES last Christmas and decided that it was time to pull it out of the box in time for Thanksgiving this year. I had high hopes of smoking one turkey and deep frying another for our annual Thanksgiving hosting event. I joined this forum to gather as much knowledge as possible before I ventured down the path for my first smoked turkey experiment. I brined my turkey in a home depot bucket for 24 hours in a mixture of distilled white vinegar, 7-up, oranges and lime to get a Turkey asado feel to the turkey. After the brine, I split the turkey breast in half, added a blend of spices (paprika, garlic salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder) and put it on my smoking trays. Added the excess skin to give the dogs a smoked treat.
Set the smoker to 275 degrees and added in some apple wood chips to the chip tray. Set the bird in the smoker.
Checked the smoker every 45 minutes to ensure that there was enough chips in the smoking tray to produce smoke. Temperature within the smoker varied between 272 degrees and 275 degrees for the duration of the smoke according to the smoker digital display. Smoked the turkey for 3 1/2 hours which brought the interval thigh temperature to 165 degrees and produced this end result.
Made some notes so that I could make some improvements to the Thanksgiving turkey. I think that it might take about 5-6 hours for a 14-16 lb turkey. I know that the chip tray is relatively small so it was a bit of a hassle to check every 30-45 minutes, but I have the cold smoker kit coming which will augment the amount of smoke for the Thanksgiving bird. From what I read, I can utilize the larger tray in the cold smoker kit for the extended smoke and use the smoker heat element to cook the bird. I know that I'm going to get the AMNPS later on down the line and play around with that, and possibly along with a temporary mailbox mod (maybe). Down the line, I know that I'm going to jump into smoking cheese and will read up on Mr T's cold smoke cheese thread more extensively in addition to the 5-day smoking e-course. In any case, any feedback would be appreciated.