Thanks kindly, Shelton.
It took me several attempts to perfect it, so here are a few things that I learnt along the way.
No. I start off with a full chimney starter of charcoal briquettes. I don’t put them in the Weber until they are almost fully ashed over. I set the Weber up for indirect heat (briquettes on both sides) with a tray in the middle filled with water. Place the lid on and keep the top & bottom vents fully open (I cook a 7kg turkey every year, so the vents stay fully open at all times). Allow the internal temp in the Weber to rise before putting the turkey in. The key is to keep the temperature consistent. To achieve that, I light another full chimney starter of briquettes 30 mins after the turkey has gone in, they ash over in about 20 mins. I then remove the lid and add the second round of charcoal (it has been almost an hour, so that is the time to add the second chimney starter of briquettes before the temp starts dropping). Fill up your centre tray with water again. I repeat this process (adding every hour). This year, it took me 4.5 hours to cook the turkey, so I used around 5 chimney starters worth of briquettes in total. The lid was removed around 4-5 times in this time.
In terms of turkey prep. A turkey that big requires a full 4 days to defrost in the fridge. Out early in the morning on Xmas Day. I make small incisions and insert butter under the skin. On the outside, it is covered in olive oil and seasonings and then wrapped in prosciutto. It is placed in an aluminium tray with the potatoes, carrots, and other veggies and wrapped in foil (as Aaron said). This allows it to cook evenly. Every hour, when I take the lid off to add the next batch of charcoal, I remove the foil and completely baste it with a brush using the juices. This is very important to stop it drying out. Add the foil again and continue cooking. After 2-3 hours, I remove the foil completely and pick off the prosciutto for a snack. Baste it again and again. Once the foil is off, you obviously get the colour.
As Aaron said, into the thigh. I remove it once it hits 72 degrees. Into the kitchen, wrap again in foil and throw a few tea towels on top. I let it rest for an hour (allowing the internal temp to ramp up to its highest point).
Absolutely. Cooked right through. I also stuffed the bird with balled pork mince (panko breadcrumbs and sage, etc) and Japanese yuzu halves prior to cooking. The stuffing slows the cooking down, though, so keep that in mind.
That looks great, dude. I haven’t smoked much meat before, but am keen to get into it. I threw some cherry wood chips on the charcoal when grilling my turkey and they gave it a nice flavour. What smoker type do you use?