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Bacon Bourbon Smoked Turkey

Year after year, I stuff my turkey with the standard onions, celery, lemons and sage. But this year, I went rogue – I stuffed the turkey with bacon, bathed it in bourbon and smoked it on the Big Green Egg.

I mean why not. I love bacon on just about everything, and bourbon is good for the soul. At least that’s what my brother tells me as he sips his Woodford Reserve.

I usually grill my turkey on the gas grill to save oven space for the stuffing, pies and green bean casserole, but since I’m the proud owner of a new Big Green Egg, I had to test the bad boy out.

When I cook a turkey whether in the oven or on a grill, I always start with the heat high to help crisp up the skin. Then, I lower the temp, so the meat stays nice and juicy.

I had planned to start the bird at 450 degrees F and lower it to 325 for 3-4 hours, but I couldn’t get the heat to drop below 400, so I just kept going at that temp. Within 2 hours, my 10-lb. bird had reached the magic internal temp of 165 degrees F and it had a beautiful color.

I let it rest for 45 minutes, off the grill. When I sliced into it, I couldn’t believe how moist the bird was inside. I didn’t even soak it in my normal brine. This went straight from the plastic to the Big Green Egg. This magic cooker really does seal in the moisture.

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Bacon Bourbon Smoked Turkey


  • 1 cup whiskey smoke chips
  • 1 10-12- lb. turkey
  • ¼ cup dry rub, recipe below
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapenos, quartered
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 apple, cubed
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 2 cups apple cider


  • Soak the whiskey smoke chips in water.
  • Rinse the turkey and pat it dry. Be sure to remove the neck and giblets. Place it in a large pan.
  • In a bowl, combine the rub, butter and 2 tablespoons bourbon. Rub it all over the turkey – inside, outside and under the breast skin.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the onion, jalapenos, garlic, apple, bacon, olive oil, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon bourbon. Stuff half of the mixture into the cavity of the bird. Place the other half in a shallow aluminum pan. Add the apple cider to the pan.
  • Add lump charcoal to the Big Green Egg, filling to the first line. Tuck a natural charcoal starter into the charcoal and light it. Let it burn for about 10 minutes with the lid open.
  • Add the plate setter into the egg, feet up. Close the lid, and adjust the vents to get the temperature to 450 degrees. To do this, leave about 3 inches open on the bottom.
  • And about a ½-inch gap open on the top.
  • Burp the egg (open it about one-inch to release some heat). Then, open it all the way. Place the pan of vegetables and cider on the plate setter. Add the grill rack.
  • Add the turkey, breast side down. Close the lid; making sure the top vent is properly set. Smoke for 30 minutes, keeping an eye on the temperature.
  • After 30 minutes, burp the egg. Open the lid and drop soaked smoke chips down the sides of the egg through the gaps in the plate setter. Flip the turkey over.
  • Close the lid, and adjust the vents to get the temperature to 350-400 degrees.
  • Continue cooking until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 165 degrees.
  • Remove the turkey to a cutting board. Tent with foil and let rest 30-60 minutes before carving.

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

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Turkey Rub

1 tablespoon raw sugar
1 ½ tsps. kosher salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. smoked paprika
½ tsp. rubbed sage
½ tsp. Cajun seasoning
½ tsp. herbes de Provence
¼ tsp. celery salt
¼ tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. ground allspice

Mix all the spices and use in the recipe above.


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Christie Vanover

About Zestuous

Hi. I’m Christie, the head cook and award-winning competitive pitmaster for Team Girls Can Grill. I have won multiple grand championships and have dozens of top ten category finishes. People know me as the girl who is forever hovering over a grill, smoker or campfire with tongs in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.

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