To smoke a turkey in a water smoker, prepare the smoker as directed in the owner's manual, light the briquettes, place the turkey breast side up on the top rack and smoke for 3 1/2 hours. After the first 1 1/2 hours, place soaked hardwood chips inside the smoker to produce smoke. If the turkey isn't finished after 3 1/2 hours, finish cooking it in the oven.
Begin by preparing the turkey. Remove the neck and giblets from the body cavity of a fresh or completely thawed turkey. Use a paper towel to dry the bird completely and brush the skin with vegetable oil. Do not stuff the turkey.
Follow the manufacturer's instructions to add briquettes to the smoker. Light the briquettes 30 minutes prior to placing the turkey in the smoker to allow time for the smoker to reach the proper cooking temperature. When the briquettes are covered in gray ash, the smoker is ready to use.
Line the water pan with foil and fill it with water according to the manufacturer's instructions. Place the water pan and center ring in the smoker, followed by the top cooking rack. Place the turkey breast side up on the top rack. Smoke for 1 1/2 hours before adding the soaked hardwood chips that will produce the smoke. Smoke the turkey for 3 1/2 hours.
If the turkey has not reached an internal temperature of 140 F after 3 1/2 hours, finish the turkey in the oven. If the turkey has reached 140 F in 3 1/2 hours, continue to smoke the turkey until the breast meat reaches 165 F. Smoking a turkey may take up to 12 hours. Add briquettes during the cooking time as necessary to maintain the smoker at 250 F.