3:55 AM, and I'm up on the hour Thanksgiving morning. The turkey's in the smoker outside since midnight. Its a crisp,clear, 28 degrees, and the stars are shinning like nobody's business. I check the bird on the hour. The last hour, I waited too long and the temp. dipped way below 200. Ideally, I'd like to see between 220 and 250, but its so cold out, the charcoal burns faster and within the hour, expended. I cant put but so much in at a time, or the temp will go too high. After four hours, its golden brown, and yummy smelling already. The water pan went dry this time too. I have been going to bed and rising on the hour to go out and check, but now I will stay up, and watch more diligently. The coffee's perking, and I'm up for the long haul now. Why go through all the trouble, instead of putting it in the oven like most folks? Am I a fruitcake? Maybe, but one taste confirms that its worth the hassle. In the summer, the bird would have cooked faster, the charcoal burn longer, but tonight, I am smoking out in a freezer. Its hard to maintain my 220 degrees when its only 28 outside. That's OK; I will check it on the half hour from hear on in.
This year, I'm bringing the turkey over to my fiance's family. Her sister is also roasting a turkey. Talk about gluttony! There's that extra anxiety that it will come out goofy, because I'm bringing it to folks I don't know that well yet. Yawn; I hope I don't pass out by the time dinner is over!