Serve a Bacon Basted Turkey for Thanksgiving

Butter and Bacon Basted Turkey Recipe

How to make a bacon basted turkey for thanksgivingGiven the time I love to cook, and Thanksgiving is the perfect time to break out traditional recipes like my Bacon Basted Turkey. I roasted my turkey with bacon way before bacon was cool. I watched my Dad obsess over his turkey when I was little and this started a family tradition.

You can have your fried turkeys, slow cooker turkeys,and your precooked turkeys. I like my Thanksgiving turkey oven roasted and the whole process becomes an event.

I’ve even baked my Thanksgiving bird in a roasting bag a few times just to try it, but it’s not near as good. Thanksgiving was my Dad’s Favorite Holiday

You have to know that my Dad didn’t really cook much, but Thanksgiving was his holiday and he loved fixing and carving the turkey. I only bought a Butterball pre basted turkey once, and that was enough, it wasn’t near as moist.

Secret to a Juicy Turkey

The secret to a juicy turkey is lots of juice, basting frequently, and not letting the bird sit in the oven and get dried out. Eat it less than an hour after it comes out of the oven.

Butter Basted turkey

Place frozen pats of butter under the skin

Roasted Turkey Recipe

  • Large Turkey
  • 1 lb bacon
  • 1 lb frozen butter (1-2 sticks under skin, 1-2 sticks for stuffing)
  • Powdered Sage
  • Poultry Seasoning
  • Seasoning Salt
Bacon wrapped turkey

Lay Strips of Bacon on buttered and stuffed turkey

Turkey Roasting Instructions

  1. Preset oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Rinse and remove the packaged giblets from inside the bird (neck & leg opening)
  3. Place turkey in large roasting pan
  4. Slide frozen pats of butter under the skin as far as you can reach on both sides (an inch apart)
  5. Spoon stuffing into body cavity and under the neck flap (pack it in)
  6. Season turkey with sage, poultry seasoning, and seasoning salt
  7. Cover turkey with strips of uncooked bacon
  8. Cover roasting pan with lid, or tinfoil
  9. Place in oven and bake for 12 minutes per pound of turkey

How Long to Cook a Turkey

There are a lot of  rules of thumb on how long to cook a turkey, but like my Dad taught me, 12 minutes per lb. Many cooking experts recommend 10-13 minutes per pound, but remember, I open the oven door a LOT for basting. So my 24 lb turkey will take about five hours.

Basting Instructions

Bacon wrapped turkey

Serve and eat!

Basting is very important to getting a juicy and moist turkey.

When the turkey is about halfway done, or as liquid starts to accumulate at the bottom of the roaster start basting. The bacon fat and butter will melt, soak into the turkey and collect at the bottom of the pan. What a waste.

Pull back the tin foil, and use a large turkey baster to suck up the juice and squirt it on top of the turkey.

Yeah, just suck up all the yummy buttery bacony (is that a word) goodness and pour it over the skin of the turkey, making sure to cover the breast, legs and even the wings.

BASTE EVERY 30 MINUTES

This is important. Set the timer. You have to babysit the bird. This is when my Mom would start saying “The turkey is never going to cook if you keep opening the oven door!” Well, the turkey cooks. You might have to add another 20 minutes to the time, but when the turkey is a nice brown, golden color and the bacon crisp and crunchy it’s done.

Bell’s All Natural Seasoning – 1 ozPaulie Spice : Sweet Honey BBQ Gourmet Seasoning and Rub : Amazing on Ribs, Chicken, Pork, Wings, Turkey, Prime Rib, Steak and Fish : 8 oz

If you really want to know when your turkey is done you can use a cooking thermometer and when it reaches 160F it’s done. My Mom’s way of telling is to “shake the leg”, if it shakes back it’s done, or if it falls off, it’s done. When the legs start to sag away from the bird it’s also done.

Homemade turkey stuffing recipe

Homemade stuffing with a twist

Doesn’t it look delicious!!

There is nothing better than a bacon basted turkey at Thanksgiving. Remember the cook gets to pick at the bacon and turkey before it’s served.   Many turkeys have pop up thermometers and you can use them as a guideline to when your turkey is done, but if it looks like the photo above, it’s done.

Remove it from the oven and let it sit for 15-30 minutes. The meat will continue to cook and you when your biscuits or crescent rolls are done it’s time to eat. At my house we don’t eat at a certain time, we eat “around 1:00 pm” or whenever the bird is done. After opening the door several times for baking the aroma starts to draw people to the kitchen and dining room.

RSVP Endurance Stainless Steel Turkey Lifter, Set of 2Great Gatherings 21 inch X-Large Oval Serving Platter for Turkey, Ham, Prime Rib with Embossed Friut aroung edge

You can then assign volunteers to set the table, place the mashed potatoes in bowls, and  pour the drinks. Enjoy your Bacon Basted Turkey and if you have any Thanksgiving traditions I would love to hear them!

Where to Buy Your Turkey

I normally purchase my turkey from the grocery store, I get a plain turkey, not the Butterball variety or their copy cats. Occasionally I have purchased a local farm raised turkey, but those actually tend to be too big for my oven. One year we had a 28 lb turkey!! Leftovers for months.

Whole Organic Turkey 18-20lbsBranigan’s Woodland California Thanksgiving Free Range Turkey 20 to 22 Pounds with Brining Kit

You can, unbelievably buy an organic farm raised turkey for Thanksgiving on line and have it delivered right to your door. For those who live in the city and don’t have a car I think this would be ideal. I can’t imagine my son lugging a 20 lb turkey on the Chicago CTA train.

Thanksgiving Traditions

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