Monday, April 05, 2010

Grilled Turkey with Bacon Weave - Pretty Tricky Smoker Project

I decided I wanted to bacon weave a turkey to smoke. I'm pretty good at bacon weaving but usually do things like meatloaf or pork loin and just make a bacon weave and roll the meat into the weave. With the shape of a whole turkey, I thought I'd have to try something a little different. And, now I can tell you how not to bacon weave a turkey for the grill or smoker.

First, I thought I would weave the bacon on the bottom of the turkey which I seasoned with Pig Pen Seasoning which is made in my home town and which I carry in my OpneSky Barbecue Shop, since it is my favorite all purpose seasoning for grilling. Then I planned to flip it. Let me tell you bacon does not stick to turkeys, and whew boy that was a mess. You can see it going wrong here. I did not even have the heart to photograph the pile of limp bacon and sad looking turkey after the weave fell off.

Hum, I thought: Maybe I can make a weave and roll that sucker like I usually do with bacon weaves for the grill. BOMP! Wrong answer. That was another mess and a huge pile of floppy bacon.

OK. Third time is the charm. I did the bacon weave right on top of the turkey. I laid strips of bacon all along the turkey top and then went back and did strips in and out. That worked out OK, but I still had to handle the bird gently to get it on the Traeger smoker.

I was glad I did not do a tight weave on the bacon. As the turkey began to smoke, the bacon did draw up (of course), but the weave was loose enough that it was not a big problem.

The biggest issue was that bacon grills much faster than turkey (or a whole one), so I was closely babysitting this smoked turkey and spritzing it down with apple juice and putting aluminum foil over the top to keep the bacon from getting totally black.

My grilled smoked turkey did turn out nice as you can see, but it was a lot of work and a lot of checking to make sure I did not burn the heck out of the bacon weave.

As far as taste, this smoked turkey was fabulous. The grilled turkey picked up both the bacon and the smoke flavor and was super moist.

I would suggest doing just a turkey breast with bacon weave on the grill, so the timing is not so difficult. Also, it would be easier to just put a line of bacon across the turkey and then remove the bacon if it started getting too dark before the turkey reaches temperature.

In any case, we had a very yummy smoked turkey, and it looked pretty too. But, it took some real work to nail it. I doubt I'd do a full turkey with a bacon weave again, but it was fun to try out.


Hanneke said...

you did a great job there! looks very good :-)

Unknown said...

Hey this thing looks fabulous! im going to try to make this for my family for thanksgiving this year. how often did you check the bacon? just curious. i generally check my coals on my smoker about every 30 minutes once its going good..

Unknown said...

hey that looks amazing! im going to try this this thanksgiving for my family. Ill probably use applewood chips soaked in a mixture of apple juice and water, and ill spritz it with apple juice on the regular... cant wait to try it! (might do one before thanksgiving to try it)

Unknown said...

Excellent! Looks good!!

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