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Smoked Turkey Roast Basted with Bacon

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In this recipe, I will show you how to smoke this turkey roast using a little bacon inside the cooking net so that it comes out extremely tender and delicious with a tasty edge that will make everyone say wow with every bite.

Be sure to use my original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) for that perfect crust!

Helpful Information
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Brine Time: 4 hours
  • Cook Time: 5-6 hours
  • Smoker Temp: 225°F (107°C)
  • Meat Finish Temp: 165°F (74°C)
  • Recommended Wood: Maple
What You’ll Need
  • 3 lb turkey roast (feeds 4-6)
  • Olive oil or vegetable cooking oil
  • Jeff's original rub
  • 3-4 slices of thick cut bacon
About Turkey Roasts

These can be found all year long in most places where you shop for groceries and meats. They are usually frozen so be sure to allow time for thawing.

I noticed when I went to get these that there are some that are already flavored and seasoned.. I recommend getting the ones that are NOT seasoned or flavored already so you can do your own thing to them.

These roasts are sometimes all breast meat and sometimes they are a mix of white and dark meat.. I purchased the latter.

Most of these are around 3 pounds and will feed 4-6 depending on how hungry everyone is. If in doubt or you have more than 4 eating, it wouldn't hurt to make an extra one.

Thawing Methods

Fridge Method (when you have plenty of time)

Place these in the fridge and it takes about a day to a day and a half to fully thaw.

Cold Water Method (when you need it done in a hurry)

Clean the sink, put in the stopper and run it full of cold water.

Place the wrapped frozen turkey roast into the sink. If it tries to float, place a heavy plate on top of it to keep it submerged.

Change out the water every 30 minutes to keep it cold and in about 3-4 hours, the turkey roast will be thawed.

Remove from Packaging

Remove the plastic net on the outside (if applicable) and then the plastic wrapping.

You will notice that the turkey roast is in a cotton net– leave this be or it will fall apart into pieces (ask me how I know this).

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Rinse the turkey with cold water while holding it by the net.

Important: pull at the net to loosen it from the meat all over. This will make the net easier to remove once it's done cooking.

Wet Brine (optional but recommended)

I often get panicky emails from folks wondering if they should brine the turkey since it's already been brined at the factory..my answer: it doesn't hurt anything.

The process they use at the factory is extremely subpar to to the tender loving care you can show that hunk of meat at home. Go ahead and show it a little brining love!

Here's how:

Add ½ cup of coarse kosher salt to ½ gallon of cold water. Mix well until the salt is completely dissolved.

Then add ½ cup of brown sugar (dark is best but light will work). Mix that in until everything is dissolved.

The brine solution is now ready to use.

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I mixed the brine into a 1-gallon tea pitcher and just placed the turkey roast right down into the pitcher once it was ready.

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You can also place the turkey roast into a bowl or even a zip top bag and pour the brine over it if that's what tickles your fancy (whatever that is).

It is important that the turkey roast is submerged in brine. If you use a container that's a lot larger than the turkey roast or if you are doing more than one turkey roast, you may need to make an extra batch of brine.

With the turkey roast submerged in brine, place it in the fridge so it will stay nice and cold during this process.

About 4 hours is all it needs but it will be fine if you need to leave it in the brine all night.

Rinse and Season

When the brining process is complete, lift the roast out of the brine and rinse it really well under cold water to remove any salt residue left on the outside of the meat.

Pat the turkey dry with a couple of paper towels.

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Pour olive oil all over the turkey roast making sure the net and the meat are well coated. Be generous!

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Now season the turkey roast all over with my original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub).

I mean, get the top, bottom, sides and all around really good. This will be the crust and once you slice it, this is a bit part of the flavor. Since it's low in salt, it won't be a problem to be generous with it.

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You might think it's ready for the smoker now.. it's not. We have one more very important step!

Add Bacon

We are going to add a little bacon to the outside to keep things self-basted while it cooks.

Where we place the bacon is determined by how you plan to place it in your smoker.

Hang it up

This is my favorite way to cook these turkey roasts and a smoker like the Bradley Smart Smoker makes this really easy.

There's already a net so it will be easy to hang it and I'll show you how later.

If this is your method, grab 4 thick slices of bacon and stuff it down in the net, right on top of the turkey roast.

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The bacon will render while it cooks and that bacon grease will run down the turkey roast keeping it moist and will even add some extra flavor.

Lay it on it's side

All smokers will not make hanging easy, if that's your case then you'll want to lay the turkey roast on it's side.

In this case, I recommend placing the turkey roast on a Bradley rack or Weber grill pan then drape the bacon over the turkey roast length wise.

Set Up Smoker

It's time to fire up the smoker and get that heat and smoke going.

I used the Bradley smoker for this cook but you can use ANY smoker for this.

We want indirect heat at about 225°F (107°C).

If your smoker has a water pan, fill it up.

Once the smoker is up to temperature and ready to go, it's time to add the meat to the smoker.

Smoke Time

How to Hang the Turkey Roast

I used a Bradley rack by twisting the end of the cotton net and poking it through one of the holes in the rack.

I then threaded a chopstick through several of the holes in the net to make it secure and hold it in place. You could also use a spoon handle, or even a good strong stick from the yard for this purpose.

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The Bradley rack was then placed at the uppermost position with the turkey roast hanging down.

I placed another Bradley rack just below the meat in case the unthinkable happened and the net did not hold. Leave nothing to chance!

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Laying Flat Method

If you are not hanging the turkey roast, then you can just place the Bradley rack or Weber grill pan or whatever you are using to hold the turkey roast onto the grate of your smoker.

For smoke, I used maple bisquits in the Bradley Smart Smoker. This is a great choice for smoke in any smoker or you can use whatever smoking wood you have available.

I set the smoke time to 3 hours.

You can expect this roast to take about 5-6 hours depending on how cold it is when it goes into the smoker, how often you open the door to peek, how well your smoker holds the set temperature, etc.

Finish and Rest

Be sure to use an accurate thermometer such as the “Smoke by Thermoworks” to monitor the temperature and so you'll know exactly when it reaches it's perfect done temperature. The actual done temperature is 165°F (74°C) but due to carry over cooking, I recommend taking it out of the smoker at 160°F (71°C).

By the way, ThermoWorks released a new thermometer a while back and I am a huge fan– it's called Signals and comes equipped with 4 probes, bluetooth/wifi connectivity, graphing capability via the smartphone app, min/max temperature on all 4 channels and so much more.

Fortunately, the Bradley Smoker came with 2 meat probes that can be plugged into the controller. You can then set a done temperature on the Bradley app on your smart phone and it will alert you when the meat is within 10°F of being done then again once it's finished.

I double checked the meat with my Thermapen hand-held thermometer and it matched the Bradley probe reading exactly.

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The close-up..

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Let it rest with foil tented over the top for 10-15 minutes before slicing into it.

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Once it's done resting, cut the net, pull the net away from the meat gently trying not to disturb the rub crust any more than is necessary. You can discard the bacon, eat it, feed it to the dog, your choice.

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Slice and Serve

Looks a lot like a ham doesn't it? The net and my original rub together create a beautiful texture.

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Slice the turkey roast as thick as you like and serve immediately with corn, mashed potatoes, gravy, peas, all the good stuff!

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4.9 from 13 votes

Smoked Turkey Roast with Bacon

In this recipe, I will show you how to smoke this turkey roast so that it comes out extremely tender and delicious with a tasty edge that will make everyone say wow with every bite.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time6 hours
Total Time6 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 4 -6


  • 3 lb turkey roast (feeds 4-6)
  • ½ gallon Brine solution (recipe below)
  • 2 TBS Olive oil or vegetable cooking oil
  • ¼ cup Jeff's Original rub
  • 4 slices 3-4 slices of thick cut bacon


  • Remove the turkey roast from it's plastic net and packaging but leave it in the cotton net. Rinse the meat, net and all, under cold water.
  • Set the roast aside and make a brine solution of ½ gallon of water, ½ cup coarse kosher salt and ½ cup brown sugar. Mix well until everything is dissolved.
  • Place the netted roast down into the brine and place it in the fridge for 4 hours. After 4 hours, remove the meat from the brine and rinse well under cold water. Pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Pour olive or vegetable oil all over the roast making sure it is well coated. Sprinkle Jeff's original rub onto all sides of the roast-- be generous.
  • Place 3-4 pieces of bacon into the net if you are planning to hang it in your smoker or place the roast on a rack with the bacon draped over it if you plan to cook it on the grate.
  • If hanging on a Bradley rack, push the net through one of the holes and thread a chopstick through to hold it in place. You can also use a spoon handle or other similar object.
  • Set up your smoker for cooking at about 225°F with indirect heat.
  • Place the meat in the smoker and close the lid/door. Keep the smoke going for about 3 hours.
  • The turkey roast should take about 5-6 hours to reach 160°F at which point it should be removed and allowed to rest for 10-15 minutes with foil tented over it.
  • Once rested, cut the net and carefully remove it from the roast. Slice the meat as thick as you like and serve immediately with mashed potatoes, corn, peas, gravy and all of the fixins.
  • Enjoy!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Only feeding three for Thanksgiving this year and really didn’t need a whole bird so decided to give this recipe a try. I smoked it in my WSM using hickory wood and hung from a rib hanging rack (an inexpensive accessory sold at many online retailers – but never thought I’d be using it for Thanksgiving turkey). Followed Jeff’s brining, seasoning and smoking directions exactly and it turned out EXCELLENT! No one felt like they were missing out by not having a whole bird – this roast was moist and delicious with great smoked turkey flavor. It cooked evenly and was SO much less work and fuss and mess than preparing a whole turkey and we didn’t have a bunch of leftovers that would likely go to waste. I might just make this my go-to Thanksgiving turkey recipe and make two or three of them depending on how many guests. Thanks for a great recipe, Jeff!

  2. Is there any issue if it brines longer than 4 hours? I’m starting it around 5 am so it might be bring closer to 6.

  3. 5 stars
    Cant really rate recipe as breast is as yet to be brined. But, would you make any smoking time changes if the breast is not wrapped in the cotton net, is not boneless and has any empty chest cavity? Thanks.

  4. i am trying this for thanksgiving tommorrow .. i hope this is not a spicy rub bc my mom is coming an she doesnt like spicy ill check back after i make it. wish me luck

  5. Yet another ‘why didn’t we make two?’ recipe! Your recipes are always spot on, Jeff. Had this last night and can’t wait for sandwiches and football today.

  6. Need assistance. When you say turkey roast, I presumed it is uncooked and I cannot find an uncooked roast. Where would I find one – the butchers look at me like I’m crazy.

    Do you still do all the brining and prep steps using a precooked roast?

  7. 5 stars
    This recipe was awesome. I only had the Cajun version available near me so it will still work. The only negative I would say is that the skin tasted like a rubber band at this temp so I wound up cutting it off all around. Meat was as moist as it could be off a BGE.

  8. 5 stars
    I feel I am pretty competent around the smoker, but this turkey roast is next level. This may be the best thing to ever come out of my smoker. I’m starting to calculate in my mind how many of these I can fit into my Bradley at one time. From one Jeff to another, this recipe was fantastic!

    1. We have software that turns certain keywords into links if we have an affiliate relationship that matches. There was a problem with this particular one in that it was replacing the word instead of just linking it.

      These types of affiliate partnerships keep this site free and ensures that we are able to keep cranking out the good stuff. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

  9. Going to try this for Thanksgiving. How would you reheat it? And would you worry about reheating it drying it out?