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.
i decided to do my first turkey sun. i put it in the fridge to thaw out thurs. i put it in the smoker at 8pm sunday night. it had been raining all day, from before sun-up to well after sun-down. i went to bed at 3am, and it was still raining. it was also in the 40's the whole time. cold and raining, and i am outside smoking a turkey, 1.65lbs of ABT's, and a fatty. of course, i moved it so it was under my covered porch before i fired it up.
mitch, that's what i'm talking about- good eats. my BIL thinks i'm crazy, but he loves my Q. i would rather eat smoked meat. i can eat it everyday; and i do eat it almost everyday. i don't get to smoke anything on fri ir sat, because of that thing called a job, but sun-thurs i'm there. if i got wood and meat, i'll crank it up.
speaking of wood, i am supposed to go to my parents today or tomorrow and get all i want. mesquite and oak. she told me to get all of it off the ground i want. i might just cut down a small oak tree and let it season in my shed while i am at it. she has a few trees she doesn't want there. i am not sure what other kinds of trees they have. they have 8.5 acres in the country.