]Sorry if this has been done before, but there have been a lot. of questions on smoking a turkey over the holidays, So here you go.
They say that it's best to use turkey that is between 13-15 lbs. Although I have smoked a 20 burd before, I do not recommend it because bacteria can build up before the bird reaches the proper temp. The danger zone is between 40-140 degrees Fahrenheit.
When selecting a turkey, find one that has no stock added to it. If it says self basting it has stock added to it . Butterball has good birds, but they are self basting and overpriced.
The bird I have here is a 15 pound bird with no additives.
About 24 hours before you plan to cook the turkey place it in a brine. I wouldn't recommend brine for a self basting bird.
Around an hour before the bird goes on the pit, take it out of the brine and let it sit. Thoroughly rinse the bird and pat dry with a paper towel. It is important to get the skin dry if you want crispy skin after the cook.
Place a bag of Ice on the breast while it sits. Breast are done cooking at around 165 degrees, but the dark meat has to be cooked until it reaches 180. The ice pack will help the dark and white meat finish around the same time, this well help prevent the breast from becoming dry.
Minutes before you put bird on the pit, rub the bird with olive oil and season. Make sure you completely cover the bird with oil and seasoning getting underneath the legs and wings
Place thermometer in thigh and place the guy on the pit. At a temp of 300-350. Birds take in smoke really fast and there is not much fat to render, so you can cook Turkeys and Chickens at higher temps, plus the higher temps produce crispy skins. You also want to get the turkey out of the danger zone.
I use cheese cloth soaked in apple juice to help control the color o the bird. It is completely optional
Brinnned birds tend to cook a little faster. I can't give you a minute per pound estimation, but this 15 pound bird was done in just under 5 hours.
Don't let people still a sample before the picture is taken.
Once the bird is off the grill, wrap it in foil, cover with towels, and place in Ice chest for around an hour to rest
Hope this help somebody out there and happy holidays to all. And I apologize for any typos. Hard to type with a 1yr old in your lap.