I started out at Publix and purchased a Fresh Not Frozen turkey.
Next stop...Ace Hardware for some Cherry Smoking Chips.
The turkey was injected the night before smoking with Shake's Honey Brine and refrigerated.
I started by making a "smoking pouch" for the chips and placed them on the charcoal resulting in instantaneous smoke. Tip: Soaking them in water overnight will help them burn a little slower and the smoke will last longer.
Another tip: If you have access to cherry wood "chunks", you'll achieve more smoke flavor. I had to settle for the cherry wood "chips" this time.
After reading a few of the posts at The BBQ Bretheren, I decided to drape some bacon on the bird for a little insurance, but I was hopeful to avoid a turkey that tastes like bacon. Tip: If I do this again, I'll start the cooking process without the bacon, which will help achieve golden brown skin on the bird. Bacon is effective, but could be added after the turkey has been cooking for a couple of hours.
I started the water pan with a 1/2 gallon of apple juice mixed with a 1/2 gallon of water. I stuffed the turkey cavity with five or six apple halves and smoked the bird on my WSM at temperatures hovering consistently between 240 - 250 degrees. I pulled the turkey off the smoker when the temperature in the breast reached 170 degrees. I've read a lot of "guides" recommending cooking the birds to 180 degrees as measured in the inner thigh as well.
After looking back through my pictures tonight, I noticed that I failed to take a picture of the finished product.
My smoked first smoked turkey was a semi-success. I achieved tender and moist white meat, but the bbq turkey was not quite as satisfying for me as the deep fried turkeys I'm more accustomed to.
Will I do it again? Definitely yes. I love a bbq challenge.