Wrapping a turkey in bacon means no need to salt, brine, or basting. Making a bacon blanket is easy, and butter “glue” holds the bacon in place. Weave the bacon strips tightly together to compensate for shrinkage during the cooking process.
You can refrigerate the bacon-wrapped bird for two days before cooking. It should sit at room temperature for two hours before roasting.
Bacon Butter Ingredients
- 8 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 oz thick-cut bacon, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1 Tbsp dried thyme
- 1 turkey, 12- to 15-lbs
- 1 medium-sized onion, peeled
- 1 ½ lbs thick-cut bacon (about 22 slices, longest ones you can find)
Make the Bacon Butter
Place all ingredients in a food processor fitted with blade attachment and pulse until smooth. If making ahead, store in the refrigerator and bring back to room temperature before using.
Prepare Your Turkey
- Remove neck and giblets. Set turkey breast-side-up on a roasting rack set inside a roasting pan.
- Generously rub turkey inside and out with bacon butter.
- Put onion pieces in cavity of turkey and tie legs together with kitchen twine.
- Wrap each leg with two slices of bacon and each wing with one slice of bacon. Tuck ends in the crease between leg and breast.
- Lay eight slices of bacon side by side, as close together as possible on a piece of parchment paper. Weave another eight slices of bacon into these slices.
- Set the piece of parchment paper next to turkey at an angle, so as to create a diamond.
- Carefully flip the paper over the breast. Remove parchment and tuck any bacon ends in the creases between breast and legs.
- Using kitchen scissors, trim any extra-long bacon.
- Heat oven to 425º. Arrange rack in bottom third of oven, and remove any racks above it.
- Add two cups of water to roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes to crisp and darken the skin.
- Reduce temperature to 325º and roast for 2 to 2 ½ more hours, until a probe thermometer reads 165º between thigh and breast.
Resting and Carving
- Let turkey rest at least 30 minutes before carving.
- Use drippings and reserved giblets to make gravy if you’d like.
- Remove legs before carving breast.
- Cut through bacon first and then breast; to help keep bacon intact.
- Serve turkey with any bacon crumbles that fall off as you carve.