Well, I'm back again. To begin where I left off...
The turkey is in the smoker set for 300. Every hour I opened the door and basted it with melted butter. At 2 hours and 45 minutes, the breast was 165 and the thigh was 175. I thought that was fast for a 17.5lb bird, but hey, when it's done, it's DONE!!
The temperature on the smoker was set for 300 but it never got above 255. I suppose the bird was too much of a heat sink to let the heating element get the box up to 300, but not sure.
I prepared the ice chest with towels so that the bird could rest an hour and took it out. After an hour, I took the bird from the ice chest and set to carving it. Here are photos of the finished product.
Time to carve! Here I am doing the honors. The color was great, just a tad dark, but I thought that was appropriate for a smoked turkey. It sure smelled great!
Here is the bird with it half carved. The dark meat from the thigh is in the foreground on the plate, the breast toward the rear. It was very tender, moist and warm. After an hour in the ice chest, the breast was still reading over 150 degrees. I was able to serve the carved turkey piping hot.
I used a drip pan under the smoker, one of those aluminum Webber catch pans. It filled up once, and I drained it into a seperate large bowl. It filled up about half way a second time and I drain that into a separate bowl. The first bowl of drippings had a bolder smoke flavor than the second, so I used the second dripping caught to make gravy for the mashed 'taters. It was a wonderful gravy! The next day I used some for my breakfast, biscuits-n-gravy. Best I've ever had, with my wife making the biscuits from scratch. I also used some of the first drippings with my fried potatos for breakfast too. The juice added just the right amount of smokiness to the fried potatoes.
1: Which smoker:
2. Turkey Size
Read all details above
4. Smoker temp
Set for 300, preheated to 100, never saw it get over 255 in the 2 3/4 hours it took to cook.
5. Total Time
Brine time: 60 hours
Smoker time: 2 3/4 hours
Next time I'll put orange slices and thyme in the cavity and cranberry concentrate in the cannon.