I did a 15# turkey for christmas, never tried one before so I went for it.. (after reading up on all the great tips of course!)
Did an overnight brine with a fresh turkey, got up at 6am to fire up the smoker.
Lit my fire, went back in to prep the bird, and my dang fire kept going out, it was real gusty here and until the smoker got nice and hot, it would occassionally reverse flow and blow the fire out, happened probably seven or eight times, and this was with the propane going too!
eventually got enough coals going and from then on it was no problem, but for awhile there I was wondering if the turkey smoke was going to be a bust.
At any rate the turkey cooked faster than I thought, got up to 165 in about five hours so I had to let the fire burn down and slow things down abit since dinner was still a couple hours away. I was proud that I was able to regulate the fire enough so that over the last two hours the temp only climbed to 172.
The bird was very tasty, got compliments from all the family, I only eat dark meat, and I must say it was very moist, definetly had a smoke flavor that combined with the flavors of the brine made for a melt in your mouth kind of taste, it was awesome!
So for a first time turkey smoke, I think i did ok, I also learned a few things to make next time even better...
Use a softer wood to start to get some good coals going in windy weather.
Turkey seems to cook pretty fast, It also seems to blacken easily i.e. too much smoke. probably bring my smoke temp down to 200 max, and switch to lump charcoal after I get the color i want.
Hope everyone had a good Christmas!