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Smoked Turkey with Bacon Butter

In this recipe, I show you how to stuff bacon butter under the skin of the turkey before smoking it to moisturize that breast meat and make it super flavorful.
Course Entree, Main
Cuisine Hot Smoking
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours


  • 1 Whole turkey (minimally processed, 12 lbs or less)
  • Jeff's original rub
  • Bacon butter ((recipe below))
  • Turkey brine ((recipe below))
  • 1 stick butter (melted)
  • 1 TBS Parsley (chopped)


Brining the Turkey

  • Make a basic brine by mixing 2 gallons of cold water, 2 cups coarse kosher salt, 2 cups brown sugar (light or dark) and 1/4 cup Jeff's original rub until the salt and brown sugar are dissolved.
  • Put the turkey into a very large ziptop bag, a clean empty cooler or a large plastic food-safe bucket and pour the brine over the turkey to cover.
  • Let the turkey brine for 10-12 hours or overnight in the fridge making sure the temperature of the brine stays between 33 and 39 degrees F.
  • Once the turkey is finished brining, discard the brine and rinse the turkey under cold water.
  • While the turkey is brining, make the bacon butter by adding 5 strips of bacon (cut into 1/2 inch pieces), 1/4 cup of Jeff's original rub, 1 stick of butter and 3 garlic cloves to a food processor. Run the food processor until the mixture is smooth.

Seasoning the Turkey

  • With your hands, work the bacon butter under the skin of the turkey as much as possible then rub it all over the outside of the turkey as well. Be generous with it.

Smoking the Turkey

  • Set up your smoker for cooking between a range of 225 and 240 degrees F. If your smoker uses a water pan, fill it up.
  • Place the turkey in the smoker breast side down and let it smoke cook with cherry wood for about 7 hours or until it reaches 165 degrees in the thickest part of the breast and thigh.
  • You can brush a mixture of melted butter onto the outside of the turkey a couple of times during the last hour or so for a better finish color.

Serving the Turkey

  • When the turkey hit 165°F remove it from the smoker and set it on the counter.
  • Let it rest for about 20-30 minutes if possible before carving to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the turkey.