If you have never done a fresh turkey, you might want to give one a try. Depending on where you live, you may have to place a standing order a week or so in advance. Fresh ones are are one notch above frozen ones for flavor and moisture. That would take the "defrost" out of the equation.
I brine in a covered plastic bucket too. If it's cold enough (I live in Wyoming) I just keep 'er iced down and set in the garage on the cold concrete floor. If not I just put the whole bucket in to the spare....er, extra...uhh, okay BEER fridge in the garage.
Plan B would be to use a turkey breast only and put a prime rib or a pork rib roast on the smoker to go along with it. Ya know, just like the Pilgrams did.
KCBS - CBJ
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Barbecue is not rocket surgery