Hi everyone, new guy here from Arizona.
My wife bought me a Masterbuilt gas smoker for Christmas, and had me open my gift on Christmas eve. I have wanted a smoker for a long time, but was totally surprised by this gift!
She had an ulterior motive, in that she wanted me to smoke our turkey on Christmas day, while she used the oven for other stuff.
So my very first foray into smoking was a 12.5 lb turkey!
Cured the brand new smoker on Christmas eve, per the instructions. On Christmas day, loaded it with about 2 cups of soaked cherry wood chips and water in the designated places, dialed it into about 225 degrees, and slapped the turkey in for about 5.5 hours.
Did not realize that the wood chips would smoke so much and become ash within the first 30 minutes, so loaded a couple cups more in, then about an hour later after those were ash, loaded more chips with a little bit of water in to some tinfoil cups and placed them in the tray. They smoked less and lasted quite a bit longer. Then and only then did I get on this forum and discover some threads indicating I shouldn't have continued adding chips to the smoker! D'oh! Noob move I guess :) I refilled the water tray once during smoking as well.
I was really worried the turkey would end up bitter like some posters said could happen when wood chips were allowed to smoke longer than a couple of hours.
Much to my surprise, however, it ended up great. I liked the way it tasted, everyone said they loved it, and I don't think they were just trying to placate me LOL.
In hindsight, a good meat thermometer I can leave in a whole bird is in order. Just decided after 5.5 hours that it must be done (and it was indeed done), even though the instructions that came with the smoker stated it would take 7.5 hours (yikes!) at that temperature to smoke a turkey of that size.
All that said, I'm really excited about getting more into smoking, and look forward to the wealth of knowledge I'm sure I'll find on this forum.
Now to find something to smoke for New Years Day......
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!