In preparing for tomorrow's big first-ever smoke for extended family, I've been dabbling with my new MES 40, and I found Bear's suggestion on managing the temperatures to work great. If I want 250, set it at 220 or so and watch it as it passes through 220. Eventually, I set my temperature to 250, but now the swings are small.
However, I just realized that I assume I'm going to preheat the smoker and then add the bird? When I open the door, I'll have to leave it open long enough to put the bird in and then insert the meat probes. I'm probably overthinking this, but I assume I'll do the same thing, where I set the temperature to something lower than my goal, monitor it, and then set it where I want it.
And ... I don't have the AMPNS yet, asking for it for Christmas. So, do I add the wood chips (pecan, I think) while preheating or after I put the bird in?
I know I'm overthinking this, but just curious what you pros have found to work best. Thanks!
Oh, and I think I'll spatchcock the bird. This is a 13-pound bird, and we're also cooking a 6 pound breast. For the temperature, I've read suggestions from 220, 240, 250, up to 275. I figure I'll smoke it at 250, although I've read that 275 is fine for poultry.