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I took the time to set up the PG500 for tomorrows task. Took out the second shelf, wrapped a couple of bricks as supports of the grid I'm going to put the turkey upon, above the pan for drippings.

Question is now how to cook it and whether to place cheesecloth over it while smoking. My plan is to smoke for 90 mins at 180 degrees (10/100 for plenty of smoke). Then I will raise to 325 degrees (15/45 for constant temp) until breast reads 161 degrees. Then will place in the cooler until ready to serve (less than 1 hr.)

Does anyone have suggestions or experience?
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If no cheese pretty bird. Frowner

I've not done a turkey in my PG500, but as an experienced cook, I'd remember that the smoker cooks from top down. With that said, make sure you get the legs done.

By the way, I don't change the LT/HT settings very often, so I can't comment on that part,oh well! You will have carry over cooking with a finish temp of 325*.
Well, Thanksgiving is over and I thought I would offer some follow-up. The smoking went fine but I picked up some fine ash, which I presume was from the (10/100) setting. Think I will do (10/70) next time (I had set it to 180, but got swings of temp up to 280.)

I found that the clearance is a bit tighter than I thought the the bricks elevating the bird. Next time I will rub the inside top with a bit of tin foil to knock off the carbon bits that have accumulated in the smoker. Several times, my hand scraped the top resulting in a shower of black flakes. I did clean the sides and bottom, the parts that I could see, but forgot the top.

The actual cook at 325 went very well with the (15/45) setting. No smoke, but the temp was nailed to 325.

The reason for the elevation on bricks, was to prevent the moisture effect of the steam from the pan under the bird from lowering the temp on the underside of the bird. This was not a problem, but the bird was drier than past birds. Perhaps airflow in zone 4 being top down carried the moisture away without effect. Well, something to think about for next time.
I don't want to mislead you. There's lots of room for the turkey to fit. But I have big hands covered in heavy vinyl gloves and with the turkey there wasn't much maneuvering room.

I really don't know how much liquid evaporated from beneath the turkey nor how much liquid was drained from the turkey into the dish beneath the turkey. All I know is that the turkey was a bit dry and the amount of liquid in the dish (beneath the turkey) was about the same as what I put in initially.
I have been smoking turkey's for a long time, so I might as well chime in. You will always have to rotate the turkey due to any smoker cooking and smoking with hot spots. Also a water or juice pan helps greatly with keeping your turkey moist. I put my juice pan directly over the heating side of the PG500. I smoke the turkey butt side down and I use a large V8 juice can with both ends cut out so the turkey stands up much like a beer butt chicken. Hope this helps..

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