I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Bacon-Blanketed, Herb Roasted Turkey

This is the turkey. I’ve been perfecting this for many years now.  I must say, it is a showstopper, and delicious to boot, because I treat it well.  I send my turkey to a bacon spa. It gets a salt scrub, a bacon butter deep tissue massage, a hand-woven bacon spa robe, some time in the sauna and a little tanning to finish it off.

I’ve got a set of instructions here, more than a recipe, but this way there is enough detail to produce a beautiful bird.

The Turkey

I usually cook an 18 – 20 pound turkey. Not because I have a huge family, but because I like Thanksgiving leftovers.  I always buy a fresh, never frozen turkey of the best quality I can afford.  If you buy a frozen turkey, you need to get it in advance and leave plenty of time for thawing.  You  can do a computer search for the proper method.  My methods below are for a big bird, but easily adapt to a smaller one.

What you’ll need:

A large plastic bag

A platter or pan that fits the turkey in the fridge

Kitchen twine

A roasting pan that fits the turkey (and fits in your oven. Check. This is important.)

A probe-style meat thermometer

A turkey

Lots of kosher salt

1 ½ pounds bacon

½ pound butter

Fresh herbs: sage, thyme, oregano, parsley, marjoram, rosemary

Roasting vegetables: carrots, celery, onions, leeks, apples

I dry brine my turkey for a juicy bird.  I used to wet brine, which involved removing drawers from my fridge and stuffing turkey into a large stockpot full of salted water.  That is a lot of trouble.  Here’s my easy solution that makes for a lovely moist turkey.

Start the brine 2 to 3 days before Thanksgiving. Remove all the interior parts from the bird.  Discard them or use them for stock, or the giblets for gravy.  Wash the bird well, inside and out. Place the bird in a great big plastic bag.  Cookware stores sell fancy “brining bags” but a cheap browning bag from the grocery works just as well, or a big ziptop bag.  Go to town rubbing kosher salt all over the gobbler, inside and out.  Use a lot of salt.  Wash your hands. Tie the bag closed and place it on a platter or pan and put it in the fridge for up to two days.  I do this on Tuesday, butter it up on Wednesday for cooking on Thursday. Thoroughly wash the sink you rinsed the turkey in.  Right now.

Now we work on the flavor and added juiciness.  I tinkered with this recipe for many years, until I hit on just the right method.  I have always rubbed butter on roasted chicken or turkey, or covered it in bacon to keep the bird moist.  For a big mama gobbler, I double down.

In a food processor, blend together ½ pound raw bacon slices, ½ pound butter and  generous handfuls of fresh herbs.  I like a lot of sage, some parsley, oregano, thyme, marjoram and maybe rosemary.  A packet and a half of “poultry herbs” works well. Blend all this until you have a smooth paste.  You can make this ahead and store the bacon butter in an airtight container for up to five days.

We eat our big meal at one o’clock, so I like to have everything ready to go in the morning.  I prepare my bird on Wednesday evening and refrigerate it.  I have a timer feature on my oven that lets me start preheating before I want to wake up, so the oven is ready for the bird when I stumble out of bed.

When you are ready to prepare the turkey, bring the bacon butter to room temperature.  Take the turkey out of its salt bag and give it a good rinse.  Place it breast side up on a large platter or pan that will fit in the fridge.  Wash the sink you rinsed the turkey in.  Now.  If your turkey comes with a pop-up timer, remove it now.  It’s useless. Wash your hands, remove your rings and watch and gently separate the skin from the flesh.  Lift the skin by the cavity and gently slide your hands under the skin.  It will pull away from the flesh.  Keep going to get the skin opened up all the way to the neck and over the legs.  Try not to tear the skin, but don’t fall apart if you do.  It’s not a big deal. Now take big fistfuls of butter and rub it up under the skin and over the flesh.  Use about ¾ quarters of the bacon butter under the flesh.  Pat the skin down and press the butter into a pretty even layer under the skin.  Rub the remaining butter over the outside of the bird, paying particular attention to the legs, which will not be covered by the bacon blanket.

There is nothing like presenting a beautiful bird to your guests at Thanksgiving, and if I may say so, this is a stunner.  But the bacon is not only decorative, it amps up the juiciness of the meat and flavors the juices for the gravy.  I use thick cut bacon, the best I can find.  I don’t use any kind of artificially flavored bacon.  My big babies use about a pound of bacon.

I think the picture really says it all.  I weave the bacon strips into a lattice.  It’s kind of like making those construction paper placemats from kindergarten.  Lay one strip crosswise over the breast, then one lengthwise. Keep going, folding up the strips already placed to fit the new ones under.  The bacon will shrink when you cook the bird, so place the strips close together and use as many as you can fit.  Tie the legs of the bird together with kitchen twine. When you’ve got the bacon all woven, wash your hands thoroughly, put the bird in the fridge, fix yourself a bourbon and collapse on the sofa.

As I said, we do the meal for lunch, and I am not a morning person, so I do as much ahead as possible.  With the turkey ready to go and the oven heated to 450 degrees, I get ready to roast. Remember, remove one rack and place the other in the right position to fit the pan with the bird.  You don’t want to get everything hot, then have to move things around.  I like good, flavorful juices from the bird to add to gravy.  That really is the only thing that makes gravy worth serving.  My roasting technique creates good juices.

Line the deep roasting that fits your bird with several layers of foil.  It never makes clean up a breeze, but it helps.  If you have a rack that fits a deep roasting pan, great.  I use a grid that is technically a cooling rack.  No rack, no problem.  Just set the bird on the vegetables as follows.  Cover the bottom of the roasting dish with a thick layer of aromatic root vegetables.  Whole vegetables, don’t’ peel or chop, just remove the paper  from onions and the tops from carrots.  I use carrots, celery, leeks, onions and a couple of apples cut in half.  Stuff an apple and an onion into the cavity of the bird. Tuck some fresh sage leaves and any other herbs you have around the bird. Place the rack over the vegetables if you are using one, don’t worry if it’s wobbly, or just put the bird on the vegetables directly.  Take a piece of foil and mold it to make a shield to cover the bird if it starts to brown too much later.  Remove the molded piece of foil to a safe place.  It is really hard to properly cover a hot turkey in a hot oven. Roast the turkey at 450° for 30 minutes, then turn the heat down to 375° for the rest of the cooking. I highly recommend that you make the small investment in a probe meat thermometer, one with a probe to stick in the turkey and a long cord that plugs into a counter unit.  Gently stick the probe into a thick part of the breast, carefully sliding it between an opening in the bacon blanket.  Make sure you don’t’ go so deep you hit the bone. You want the turkey to be cooked to 165°.  I usually set the thermometer to 155°, remove the turkey from the oven and cover the whole pan with foil.  I let it rest until it reaches 165°.  If the turkey and the bacon start to get too brown before the meat is cooked, cover it with your prepared foil armor. Generally, you need about 15 minutes cooking per pound of turkey.  For a 20 pound turkey, I go 4 to 4 ½ hours.  Leave your self some wiggle room, the turkey will happily wait under its warm foil wrap.  Your guests are not likely to be so patient.

Now we have our beautiful cooked turkey.  Remove the bird to carving board (preferably one with a well to collect juices).  Allow some time for your guests to ohh and ahh and admire your bird. Then let the designated carver go to work.  Pour the juices from the roasting pan into a measuring cup, or one of those neat gravy separators if you have one.  Let the juice settle for a bit, skim off the fat, and add the delicious juices to your gravy.

And here’s a recipe for a simple, tasty make-ahead gravy.

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171 comments to Bacon-Blanketed, Herb Roasted Turkey

  • flour power

    What a spectacular picture! I can’t believe I never saw a turkey like this before – it is so beautiful.

  • Cindy B.

    This look fantastic, thanks for sharing!!!!!

  • Turkey does not excite me, not even one little bit. I can look at hundreds of turkey recipes each year around the holidays and I don’t want to make any of them. I’d rather have Thanksgiving sides and cold cuts. This however gave me goosebumps. This is the first ever turkey recipe that I must make. You are awesome for giving me turkey inspiration.

  • Thanks all! Give this turkey a try, I know it will impress your Thanksgiving guests. And the leftovers are delicious!

  • What? Just…wait a minute here. (Rubbing my eyes.) What?

    That is the best turkey I have ever even heard of! I love the woven bacon blanket!!!!!! It’s so beautiful I can’t stop looking at it.

    Not to be indelicate but I think I may have just experienced a small “O”.

    This turkey is EPIC, People!

    I am so making this turkey. Forget Thanksgiving, I’m making this tomorrow.

  • Ashton Jackson Hodges

    Beautiful!! This is my second year cooking one of our families turkeys & I will be trying this one out this year!!

  • spoon, you have done it again! we can’t stop obesessing over your turkey. my hubs is wondering if you think it might work if prepped the same way, but cooked in a smoker…any thoughts?

  • I am not an experiences smoker, so I wonder if the bacon would get crispy. Smoked turkey and bacon sure would be good though!

  • Amy

    Stupid question here. Are the root veggies meant to be served or is it like veggies in stock, for flavoring? They won’t be overcooked or soak up all the turkey juices?

  • No stupid questions! The vegetables won’t be good for eating. After that long in the oven in the good juices they will be mushy. But boy do they make good juices for the gravy!

  • Kara Nutt

    Had to pin this on Pinterest…. :)

    http://pinterest.com/pin/535564890/

    Looks Amazing, I’m not in charge of the Turkey this year, but if I was, I’d be making this baby!

  • Renee

    Looks wonderful! However….I’m wondering how much the bacon spatters in the oven. I don’t want my kitchen getting smoky and the smoke detector going off.

  • I have never had that problem at all. The bacon juices drip down into the vegetables so they don’t scorch on the pan. The bacon crisps up nicely.

  • lee

    Im going to try this with a chicken first…in a smoker..this weekend…will let you know how it turned out

  • Lisa

    I am fascinated by this turkey! And I love your writing style! Consider me a fan.

  • I’d love to know how that works. I am not an expert at the smoker and would love to know how the bacon crisps. Let me know!

  • Amy

    Thanks for responding!! I can’t wait to try this for my early Christmas/late Friendsgiving dinner!

  • Liz

    I’ve printed this in color and will present it to the hubby for consideration. I hope he is up to the challenge because it looks GOOOOOOOOOOD! One question, if we have three or more P.C. recipes for Thanksgiving Dinner do we get a prize? (:

  • KellyT

    I found this recipe on Pinterest (many thanks to the person who posted it!), and it looks amazing. I will go ahead and take the batteries out of the smoke detector because it’s not meal time at my house unless the alarm is going off. :D Happy Turkey Day to you all!

  • The pleasure and pride of a good meal? Maybe we can work something out…..

  • […] Good Eats’ Roast Turkey or Bacon-blanketed, herb roasted turkey […]

  • I salute your amazing use of bacon :D

  • lee

    i over cooked the outside…but it was good..going to have to wrap it in the smoker…and poke holes

  • Tanya Rochell

    I made this turkey this weekend, it was my first attempt at cooking a turkey! It was the best turkey I have ever had, and my guest Sai the same thing! It was so moist, for sure will be making it my traditional turkey!

  • Jake

    I have been drooling over this turkey since I saw it a week or so ago. I sent the link to my cousin, who is hosting Thanksgiving this year and in charge of the turkey with a strong plea that we try it. Unfortunately, my cousin lost major points by refusing to change her recipe. I think she is scared of the awesomeness.

    After this denial, I had no choice. I went to my local farmer’s market here in Detroit (http://www.detroiteasternmarket.com/) and purchased an absolutely beautiful 19.5 lb turkey. I went home, showed it to my completely shocked parents, and then showed them this recipe. They were instantly on board.

    Tonight we I brined the bird, tomorrow I will be making the bacon butter (which I can’t wait to try), and Wednesday morning the beautiful bird will go in the oven since I won’t have time to cook it on Thursday. Since it is only for leftovers (hehe) I figure it can be done a day early without penalty.

    I can’t tell you how excited I am to see how this will turn out, as it is my first attempt at a turkey. I am taking pictures to document my experience, and have shared it with everyone I work with and everyone who follows me on Twitter (@jmarmul). Thank you for the directions, and for making them easy enough to follow that it creates a fearless approach to cooking. You have a new blog follower :)

  • Joanne

    I love this, I’m making it right now, its tuesday and it is in the fridge with the dry brine. We love bacon here and this will be [erfect for our family!

  • lee

    do i take the aluminum cover off…while cooking….or just put it on …after it gets brown….confused because Ive heard of wrapping it…and only opening it at the end ….to brown…

  • […] The Runaway Spoon » Bacon-Blanketed, Herb Roasted Turkey. Categories: General […]

  • Janelle

    My husband and I are getting ready to prepare and smear the bacon-butter-herb paste. We’re excited and will let you know how it turns out.

  • Mold the aluminum shield before it goes in the oven and gets to hot to handle. Cover the bird if the bacon starts to get dark.

  • joey

    After such consideration, we finally decided to roast a turkey instead of deep frying it. I went online and researched for a different roast turkey recipe and stumbled upon yours. I have to say the bacon blanket caught my eye. Shared it with hubs in the evening and he loved it. So the bird is in the fridge with a dry brine now. I hope I used enough salt though… cos I am always worried abt salty food… Gonna prepare the butter today and roast it tmr. Question abt the herbs – can I use dried herbs? I know it’s prob not preferred but I always have difficulty finding fresh herbs in my store. Let me know. Thanks! Cant wait to chowdown on my turkey!

  • Here in the Philippines, we don’t normally do Thanksgiving but when I stumbled upon your recipe on Pinterest, I decided that it’s a great reason to celebrate!

    So, good luck to me. It’s my first time to cook turkey! I hope I don’t screw it up! Will update you on how it turns out.

    Thanks runawayspoon!

  • Krysta

    I just finished prep!! Turkey is brined, stuffed with bacon butter puree, seasoned and nestled safely in it’s bacon blanket!! Can’t wait to try it tomorrow!! Thank you for the AMAZING recipe!!

  • You are so welcome, please take pictures and post them on the Facebook page!

  • Wow! I am international. Enjoy, and please take pictures and post them on the Facebook page.

  • Yes, fresh herbs are better, but if dried is all you have, reduce the amount by about half. The texture of the dried herbs can be a bit too papery. Enjoy, and please post pictures to the Facebook page!

  • Monica Peterson

    OMG!!! I made this for our Thanksgiving feast this afternoon. It’s insane how wonderful it was!! The flavor was outstanding and it was sooo easy to make. Thanks for the great job you did with your blog!!!

  • Jenel

    We made this for Turkey Day today. Everyone LOVED it. I normally don’t even like turkey…I had seconds today! Delicious! We’ve decided this is our new Turkey Day recipe from now on! Thank you so much!

  • Jimmy

    Just ate the turkey. DELICIOUS. It was actually done earlier than expected, but was sill incredibly moist by the time we hate almost an hour later. Thanksgiving will never be the same, and it is a change for the better!!!

  • bren

    It was the BEST turkey I have ever eaten. Thank you so much!

  • Brianne

    I never leave comments or reviews but, I Used this recipe and JUST finished eating this turkey and OH MY GOODNESS! The BEST turkey I have ever had and ALL my guests said the same thing! Thanks so much for sharing this INCREDIBLE recipe! Not only did it look fantastic, but everyone kept commenting on how wonderful it was! Tender and seasoned so well! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • Thanks for the fabulous turkey, I do believe it was the best I ever made.

  • Bilinda

    Love, love,love this recipe. This was my first time hosting Thanksgiving for my husband’s family and my family together and the first time I was responsible for the turkey, so I was super nervous. But….everyone loved it. I will never try any other recipe. When the oldest person in attendance tells you it’s the best turkey they’ve ever had (and they have 73 years to draw upon), you know you’ve got a winner. Thanks for sharing! Now I’m going to peruse the other recipes you have posted…

  • Francie

    Thank you so much for that amazing recipe! It was so juicy and tender. We will be using your recipe again next year!

  • […] Herb-Roasted Turkey recipe from The Runaway Spoon Autumn Leaves Food Label from my Etsy shop Pumpkin Pie Dip recipe from Tablespoon.com Pumpkin bowl […]

  • Amber

    I made this turkey for Thanksgiving this year and it was a HUGE hit! This will now be a Thanksgiving tradition in our home!

  • […] Good Eats’ Roast Turkey or Bacon-blanketed, herb roasted turkey […]

  • Jake

    Literally the best thing i’ve ever cooked. Still showing everyone pictures and getting comments on my Facebook and twitter. Paola and I were tweeting back and forth from Detroit to the Philippines. You started and international craze!!!

    Can’t wait to try this again with some tweaks! I’m going to try to do some stuff to incorporate our traditional christmas ham. Still brainstorming ideas.

    Thanks again!

  • So glad it worked for you. Please post your photo on The Runaway Spoon Facebook page, I’d love to see it!

  • Captain

    I am thinking of making this for Christmas. Have you ever tried stuffing the bacon bird?

  • I never stuff the inside of a turkey, I always make dressing in a casserole. If you prefer it stuffed, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. The cooking time will take a little longer and make sure the dressing reaches a safe temperature before serving. Happy Christmas!

  • […] tasty turkey if I do say so myself. And yes…that is BACON!!!!) I found the recipe here  (which of course I found on Pinterest). It did not disappoint!  It even made my father’s […]

  • Stacey

    This really sounds amazing! I found it through Pinterest. Only question is, how bacon-y is it? I love bacon, but is that like all you taste? I cooked my first turkey last year and well it didn’t go so well, it came out ok but just no flavor, this looks like it would have a ton of flavor! What if you have a meat injector? Would you use that or no, for the bacon butter? Thanks much!!!

  • It is very moist, and there is a bacon flavor but not over-powering. Just juicy meat and herby-goodness. I wouldn’t use a meat injector for this at all. The bacon butter soaks into the meat in a nice even coating, otherwise you’d end up with ribbons of herb in odd places. The herbs would clog up an injector too.

  • Teri

    When you are ready to carve…do you cut the bacon blanket with the turkey or take it off first?

  • I usually pull it off and serve the bacon on the side, but if you have the skill to carve through it, go for it.

  • Jenny

    We usually cook our turkey in an oven bag (cooks perfectly every time, moist turkey and less mess)…do you think I could still cook it that way for this recipe?

  • I’ve never used a turkey bag, but I would worry that the bacon would not get browned and crispy. I line my raosting dish with many layers of foil, and clean up is ususally very easy.

  • Joanne

    Just curious because this looks so delicious! In my family we love the crispy brown skin on the turkey. Does the skin on the turkey still get brown and crispy on the turkey even with the bacon blanket on it?
    Thanks would love to make it this way for Thanksgiving if it does.

    Joanne

  • The skin on the legs, uncovered by bacon does get crispy, but not the breast under the bacon. The bacon, however, gets crispy.

  • Terri

    My husband and I host Christmas for both sides of our family. I always use a 16 quart electric roaster to do the turkey so that the oven is free for everything else. Do you think this would work in an electric roaster? I think I would have to adjust the time, because my bird always cooks faster in there than in the oven. My only concern is that it won’t get crispy enough. Thanks so much!

  • Honestly, I have no experience with an electric roaster, so I can’t help. Sorry!

  • Nick

    After the step where you put the bacon butter under the skin and weave the bacon blanket over the turkey breasts, you place the prepared bird back into the refrigerator. Do you cover the bird with anything at this point? Plastic wrap? Tin foil? or just let it air out?

  • I generally don’t cover it, but it will be fine to cover if you prefer. I would use foil that you could later reuse to make the armor to sheild the breast.

  • Rich

    Looks really good, thanks for doing the homework.

  • Susan

    I’ve been looking for turkey recipes for Thanksgiving coming up. YOU WIN! This looks fabulous!

  • Erica

    Do you use salted or unsalted butter.

  • Josh

    Did this last year for just me and my wife and now its finally time to pull it out on the family! We (my wife and me) are huge bacon nuts so I am so thankful when we found this! Really is tender and juicy!

  • Unsalted. The salt rub and bacon take care of seasoning. Enjoy!

  • Megan

    We usually cook our stuffing inside of the turkey. Would we still be able to do that with the bacon on it?

  • Yes you can, just make sure the stuffing reaches a safe temperature to eat before serving.

  • Angie

    I cannot wait to make this turkey! I am thinking I may cook one with and one without to ensure no one is unhappy:) I have also found complimenting bacon recipes to serve surrounding!!

  • Mike

    How do the end pieces of the bacon weave stay on, and not fall out? Do you use metal toothpick/skewer type things to keep everything in position?

  • Weve the bacon strips tightly, and when thay cook the lattice tightens up. Tuck the ends of the bacon strips down in the legs and wings. I’ve made this for years and have never had a piece of bacon falll off!

  • this is a wonderful idea..I like this thanks for sharing, ciao Flavia

  • Matt Montgomery

    I can’t wait to try this bird, however.. I notice that you peel the skin off the turkey (if I read that correctly), many people in my family love the skin. I have seen other recipes of bacon-wrapped turkey that leave it on. What is your preference, can you recommend one way or the other?

  • I don’t peel the skin off the turkey, I gently loosen the skin from the meat to rub the butter between the two. Definitely leave the skin on. The skin beneath the bacon doesn’t become brown and crisp, but the bacon does. The skin on the un-covered legs gets brown.

  • Matt Montgomery

    Ok, so the skin that doesn’t become brown and crisp, it is cook fully right? Is it still tasty? I am worried some people might see that and wonder if it’s not done :)

  • Cook the turkey to the proper safe temeprature and everything is perfectly fine. The bacon will be crisp and beautiful, and any exposed skin will be golden brown.

  • Cristina

    So we’re a family of 6 (4 kids, 2 adults) will this work with just a turkey breast? If not, leftovers it is!!! Great recipe!

  • David

    I was wondering if you could put the bacon blanket on the turkey partially through the cooking time so that the skin under it had a chance to crisp up? I’m thinking that I could weave the bacon on the raw turkey, remove it to a cookie sheet, then carefully drape it over the turkey about halfway through the cooking time. How do you think that would work?

  • I don’t think that is a very good idea. I think you are likely to burn yourself, and halting the cooking process would be bad for the finished project. WIth the crispy bacon blanket, I don’t think any one will miss the skin. I’ve never had any complaints.

  • I’ve nveer tried, but I cdon’t really think so. Most turkey breasts a re sold without a skin, so there is no plave to slater all the good bacon butter. I would get a small turkey and make the most of the leftovers.

  • Lina

    I am wondering if you take the skin off the top of the turkey before appling the lovely bacon weave? Thanks so much.

  • Nope. AS it says, you need to rub the bacon-herb butter between the skin and the meat to get a nice juicy bird.

  • Sarah

    Do you use the packets of “poultry herbs” and the fresh herbs, or was that just an alternitive if you don’t want to use the fresh herbs? Thank You!

  • I use only fresh herbs. Frequently, budles of mixed fresh herbs are sold as “poultry herbs,” which can give youa good mix if you don’t want to buy one package of each herb.

  • Suzanne

    Is is possible to include roasted potatoes (would love them to have a crunchy outing) with this? Separate pan? I’m having difficulty with the timing and possible need of roasting at a different temp while the turkey is resting.

  • I’ve never tried, but maybe if you put the potatoes on the rack with the turkey, with the vegetables underneath? This turkey creates a lot of lovely juices, I think the potatoes might be soggy instead of crispy.

  • Megan

    Hi! This looks absolutely amazing! I’m in the middle of moving, with a husband and 2 kids under 3, but am so inspired by this, that I’m stopping everything to give it a try! Also, I don’t eat pork anymore, but am willing to for this beautiful bird! My question: which probe thermometer would you recommend? I saw some not so favorable reviews on all of them when I checked Amazon.com. Thank you!

  • I have a Polder timer that has always worked for me. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • […] 13. Bacon-Blanketed, Herb Roasted Turkey – The Runaway Spoon. […]

  • Does the salt rub go under the skin or on top?

  • Tammy

    How much salt does it take to brine it? I used 1 tablespoon per every 5 pounds. Is that right? I don’t want to ruin it by making it too salty.

  • That sounds about right. I use about 1/2 cup on a 20 pound bird, maybe a bit more. The turkey can take the salt no worries.

  • Tammy

    Thank you. I can’t wait to try it.

  • Danielle

    Have a question on the fresh herbs.. How much should I buy and how many generous handfuls do I add to the food processor

  • Melinda

    I am half way through this recipe, and I cannot wait to see how it turns out. My turkey is happily resting in it’s salt scrub right now. My husband is afraid that the flavor will be “too powerful” because he thinks that the bacon butter smells potent, but I keep telling him to have faith, this is a good size bird. I will let you know what the family thought of it in a few days!

  • drew

    The turkey looks amazing, and I will be using your recipe this week. Could get into more detail regarding dry brining? You say go to town on the turkey with salt. I’m just afraid this would make the turkey too salty.

  • I use a about 1/2 cup or more on a 20 pound bird. The turkey can take it.

  • ABout 1 1/2 of the clam shell packcages of herbs solrd at most grocery stores.

  • Kelly S.

    Sorry. I’m both a turkey and fresh herb newbie, but I’m so excited to attempt this for my family this Thanksgiving! I just needed a little clarification on the herbs. Did you mean half of the clam shell packages of each of the herbs or one and a half packages? Or all total the equivalent of about one and a half packages?

    Thank you so much for sharing this detailed, awesome recipe and answering questions! With your guidance, I think I might be able to pull this off!

  • Tammy

    When making the bacon butter, does the butter need to be room temp before you put it in the food processor?

  • One and a half packages total in any combination (I like a lot of sage). Look for mixed packages of poultry herbs

  • The bacon rub smells like raw bacon but smells fabulous while it cooks. Enjoy!

  • Holly

    Holy smokes this looks and sounds incredible. Can I just come over when you get to the collapse on the sofa with a bourbon part? I’ll supply the bourbon in exchange for some of that turkey!!!

  • erica

    Hi! I am making this for Thanksgiving 2012! Quick question, do you baste this turkey while it cooks? Thanks!

  • The bacon Is a built in baster. No extra needed.

  • Christina

    I just made the bacon butter paste my husband was helping and he blended it so its very runny I wonder if once I put it in the fridge if it will harden I don’t want to throw it away. I also made alittle more which came out fine. What should I do??

  • Christina

    I also used fresh herbs is that ok?

  • Oshuna

    Just finished putting this together! Earlyt-day for us. In the oven as I write this,. I have a small bird, 13lbs. It looks great, took before pic & will take after. Thanks for the recipe & great directions.

  • Oshuna

    Going for the shot of whiskey…

  • Only use fresh herbs, as listed in the instructions. The bacon butter will be soft when you first make it and firm up in the fridge.

  • Patsy Avila

    When you butter up the turkey on Wenesday..do you just use regular butter? Then on Thursday use bacon butter to prepare to roast??

  • Christina

    Hi I was wondering if you have stuffed the turkey with the stuffing and still wrapped it with bacon. We love the stuffing from the bird.

  • Kim

    The recipe sounds and looks delish. This is my first turkey that I am attempting to cook, but i have one question. With the bacon butter, do I put it under the skin of the entire turkey or just the breast?

  • Lori

    Do you know if this could also work on a duck as well?

  • Put the butter under the skin all over the turkey. Make sure to read the recipe carefully a couple of times before you get started.

  • No, only bacon butter, which I do on wednesday, so in Thursday it is just ready to go in the oven. Make sure to read the recipe carefully a couple of times before you get started.

  • You can put stuffing in the bird, but it will increase the cooking time – and be very, very, very sure the stuffing is heated to 170 degrees to be safe to eat. I know people love stuffing inside the bird, but I can’t recommend it.

  • Hi! I am SO excited to try this!!! I already have the bird salted and sitting in the fridge! I’m curious though, do you use the vegetables that the turkey sits on for anything other than roasting? This is my very first year hosting Thanksgiving (and seeing an uncooked turkey, for that matter!) – GO BIG or GO HOME, right? :)

  • Mine is going in the oven now. I always make an extra turkey as there is never any leftovers at my sister’s house. I took photos in progress…can’t wait to post the photos on Pinterest and Facebook.Thanks for the detailed recipe! Happy Thanksgiving!

  • I don’t use the vegetables for anything but adding their flavor to the drippings for the gravy. The get very soft and mushy. Enjoy!

  • Ricky Ricardo

    Okay, It’s 10:37 pm Wednesday night and I’m at the Baileys (bourbon) with 4 ice cubes part of the recipe. I misread the brine part. I thought you wet brined it. After further reading I see you dry brined it (I’ll do that next time). I sure it will still turn out great. I used a blender for the bacon butter. It worked but I had to help it along and the electric motor burning smell was getting pretty powerful. I’m very excited about tomorrows turkey. The kids even were impressed with the bacon weave job I did. I think its time for a refill. Thanks for posting this. I like your style!!

  • This is fantastic. I found this recipe and was all excited to use it for my first time making Thanksgiving dinner, or a turkey at all. It was seriously the best turkey I’ve ever had- flavorful and moist and amazing.

    I even made a few mistakes. I didn’t have time to brine for a long time, so it was only in its salt bag for the night before I cooked it. I accidentally bought fake butter instead of the real thing and that’s what I used. And when I attempted to make the bacon butter in my food processor, the motor went up in smoke so I just let the bacon sit in the “butter” overnight and rubbed it on the next morning sans bacon (but still with the bacon blanket).

    It still turned out amazing! I cooked it a little lower since I had other things I was putting in there too and it was fine and in fact was done sooner than expected.

    The gravy recipe is great too! Especially with the drippings from this turkey. Thank you!

  • Denise S.

    I made your Turkey today, Easy wonderful recipe. I always make a good Turkey , But this was the best I ever had in all of my 45 years, If someone has doubts about this recipe don’t it was divine!

  • Gary Cap

    The family just LOVED this bird, I have requests from them to forward your receipe. Thank You.

  • Melinda

    Wow! Thank you for posting this recipe with all the detailed instructions. I made it yesterday and my guests raved! The bacon got pretty brown and crisp before the turkey was done so we took it off and ate it as a snack, and then the breast skin crisped up. The gravy (fat separated out!) was fantastic also.

    I think this will be a new tradition. Thanks for taking the time to share it!

  • Sherri Strawser

    I really don’t understand all the kudos – we made this for Thanksgiving and followed all directions to the letter. I have cooked turkeys for 30 years, and this was a failed experiment.
    It cooked much faster than expected, but the worse part was the drippings for gravy AND the turkey meat were EXTREMELY SALTY. We always make our own gravy from drippings, and this was so salty that we had to add a lot of milk and water to make it marginally edible, but it lost it’s turkey flavor. The turkey meat was not that juicy and tasted salty as well. Needless to say, we have no leftovers because we tossed everything out.

  • I made our Thanksgiving turkey with your recipe and it was delish… thank you! I did a quick blog of our table setting and a few photos of the turkey as well. :)
    http://candicekphotography.com/2012/11/23/happy-thanksgiving/

  • Ray Nearhood

    I made this and I have to thank you for the recipe. This was seriously the most moist and flavorful bird I’ve ever had.

  • Ben

    This recipe was awesome and the turkey turned out really well! We usually do a smoked turkey but I think this was much “butter”. Thanks a bunch!! :)

  • BettyBu

    I made this turkey yesterday and followed all the directions step by step. I had to read thru it with a pen to make sure I didn’t miss anything but it was worth the extra care. BEST TURKEY EVER! It was so incredibly tenderroni! And the flavor with all the herbs was something beautiful. I used a lot of fresh herbs and added the apples. The meat on the leg literally fell off the bone when I picked at it with a fork. No basting necessary. General comments include: “Best turkey I’ve ever had!” “I don’t really like turkey, but this is good!” “Could I have the recipe?” One friend said she is tired of seeing her mom stressed out over the turkey and is going to relieve her mom from the duty and use this recipe next year…I’m with her! My mom’s turkey is always dry! I thought I hated turkey…thank you for making me give turkey a second chance! Oh and I’ve only made a turkey once before in my life! Probably around 10 years ago.

  • This was absolutely the BOMB!!! Worth all the prepping…did not do the “lattice” like you did, and tweaked a few things to my liking…but, it was unbelievable. No basting and oh sooooo moist!!! I am going to put your recipe on my cooking blog!!! I hope you don’t mind….Thanks!!

  • G'sMom

    I ended up baking this in a tabletop roasting oven to keep from heating up the kitchen. We celebrated Thanksgiving today. This bacon covered turkey was a HUGE hit! If I figure out how to post the picture, you will see a naked-bacon spot. That is from where my husband and brother-in-law started picking while my back was turned! Very few leftovers this year. I followed your instructions completely. FANTASTIC! Thank you!
    …and made the make-ahead gray, too. I stink at making gravy, but this turned out amazing!

  • Darcy Kovacs

    Made this for Thanksgiving. I had a problem with the bacon butter. I made it to recipe except I substituted dried herbs instead of fresh as that was all I had. Butter looked good but cooked weird. I thought it would all melt but it slid off in some areas and made a glob of strange colored seasoning. I was easily able to wipe those spots away prior to carving. Was this because I did not use fresh? Will try again. Second problem, I used thick cut pepper bacon. The flavor was amazing but the weight of the thick cut made it hard to keep the weave in place. It slid down during the 30 min roast so I took it out, re-weaved, pinned it down with tooth picks, covered and continued baking. 30 minutes prior to finish I took it out again, pulled the toothpicks, and put it back in uncovered. Now the bacon was cooked so it didn’t slide off and cooked perfectly. I think next time I will use thin cut…would work much better.
    All in all I think this was GREAT. The turkey had great flavor and was very moist. Will try again with those adjustments and let you know how I do. Thanks for the recipe!

  • […] Here is my turkey. Looks amazing doesn’t it.  Here is the recipe for the turkey. […]

  • Mary

    Excellent!!!!!! I did thid for thanksgiving…and wow!!! it was fantastic!!!

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  • Catherine

    This is the best turkey ever…. made for thanksgiving and making for my family for xmas…. absolutely couldn’t get enough….

  • Michelle

    Love this bird !! It was amazing for thanksgiving and I know it will be great for Christmas dinner! Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe

  • Erik Pendleton

    Thank you for sharing this recipe and in such needed detail. We followed your recipe for this thanksgiving and it turned out the single tastiest turkey we have ever tried. And so incredibly photogenic! We sent pictures of the finished, blanketed bird to our family who could not be with us over Thanksgiving. When we asked them what they want for Christmas this year they said, “The Bacon Blanket Turkey!” So we are making it again.

    We cooked a 14 pound bird so it required far less cooking time. Thank you for sharing!

  • Micha

    Made this yesterday for my Christmas eve dinner and it was the best turkey I have ever eaten. I did leave the brining out since I don’t do well with salt and it was the tastiest and moistest bird I ever made. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  • Zoë

    Greetings from Norway, and thank you for providing us with this recipe, and the best new years eve turkey ever! Takk:)
    Added some lemon juice to the butter btw, with great success.

  • Laura Filby

    We don’t have Thanksgiving in England, but I’ll make this for Christmas. I’m even tempted to do it for Sunday lunch. It looks delicious. Thanks for sharing. :-D

  • Pat Gilmore

    Looks and sounds delicious! Can’t wait to make it this Thanksgiving for my family.

  • Leslie

    I’m definitely trying this on T-day this year. I used Alton Brown’s recipe for years (always very good), and this takes the best parts of that, but dry brines (which, I did last year for the first time and agree it’s much easier), and then adds bacon! Brilliant. I’m so excited about the mostly make ahead gravy too. Having everyone stare at me ready to eat while I take 20 minutes to make gravy is always the worst part.

  • Paul

    This will be my second year making this bird and I literally have people flying in from out of state just for the turkey. I finished it on a grill with hickory chips and I altered a few other things. I’ll post them after I cook it, but honestly this is one of the best recipes online. Thanks!

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  • […] amazing food!  We made the best (20 pound) turkey yet this year, thanks to information I found on The Runaway Spoon blog (thanks P.C.).  Along with 8 quarts (full crockpot) of chex mix for snacking, walnut/apple/whiskey […]