Smoking is both exotic and wonderful as a spice for everything from meat and fish to vegetables and cheese. Experiment with different types of wood to find just the right balance. Here, applewood is used to complement and enhance the flavor of the turkey.
Let your turkey come up to room temperature before seasoning and placing in the smoker. To season, create a mixture of equal parts salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic. Rub this mixture on the outside and inside of the turkey.
Fill a chimney charcoal starter with the briquettes and light. Wait 15-20 minutes for the charcoal to ash over, and then pour the hot coals over the rest of the briquettes. Wait approximately 15 more minutes for the rest of coals to ignite and ash over.
If you plan to make gravy, line the empty water basin with aluminum foil to catch the drippings and keep them cool during the smoking process.
Assemble the smoker according to manufacturer instructions, and allow it to heat up to about 300-350 degrees before loading the turkey. Center the turkey on the top cooking rack, over the drip pan. Cover and let the smoker perform its magic.
Add in applewood chips periodically to enhance the smoky flavor. The temperature should hold between 250-300 degrees. If it drops, add a few more coals to regain this temperature range.
It will take about 5 hours to smoke a 14-pound turkey to the ideal temperature of 160 degrees. (We recommend checking the temperature early and often with a digital meat thermometer. This will ensure you do not overcook the bird.)
Let the turkey rest on a cutting board or platter for about 20 minutes before carving.