Go rogue for Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter by making a Bacon Bourbon Smoked Turkey. Stuff it with bacon, bathe it in bourbon and smoke it on the Big Green Egg.

smoked turkey on white plate with white background

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This beauty is a little untraditional, not because it’s smoked, but because it’s stuffed with bacon and bathed in bourbon.

Although this turkey is smoked, it’s actually cooked hot and fast over indirect heat. For the Big Green Egg, you’re able to cook indirectly using the plate setter.

It’s a ceramic disk that sits over the coals. This allows the harshest heat to reflect back down, instead of scorching your meat.

After you stuff the bird with aromatics of jalapenos, onions, apple, garlic and bacon, you’ll lay it on the grill grate over a pan of the same goodies and some apple cider.

As the bird smokes, these flavors will be infused inside and out.

partially smoked turkey on Big Green Egg

Start this bird at a high temp (vents pretty wide open) with the breasts down. After 30 minutes, give her a flip.

partially smoked turkey on Big Green Egg

Reduce the heat of the Big Green Egg by closing down the vents a bit. Continue cooking until she reaches an internal temperature of 165 F degrees.

Be sure to check the temperature in different parts of the bird. The thighs usually take the longest to cook.

smoked turkey on white plate with white background

The color is pretty magical. Don’t you agree?

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4.51 from 301 votes

Bacon Bourbon Smoked Turkey on Big Green Egg

Go rogue for Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter by making a Bacon Bourbon Smoked Turkey. Stuff it with bacon, bathe it in bourbon and smoke it on the Big Green Egg.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup whiskey smoke chips
  • 11 lb turkey
  • 1/4 cup poultry rub
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 tbsp bourbon
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapenos, quartered
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 apple, cubed
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp bourbon
  • 2 cups apple cider

Instructions 

Prep

  • 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 the platesetter into the Big Green Egg, feet up. Close the lid, and adjust the vents to get the temperature to 450 F degrees.

Smoke

  • Place the pan of vegetables and cider on the platesetter. Add the grill rack. Add the turkey, breast side down. Close the lid. Smoke for 30 minutes at 450 F degrees.
  • Open the lid and drop soaked smoke chips down the sides of the egg through the gaps in the platesetter. Flip the turkey over. Close the lid, and reduce the temperature to 350-400 F degrees. Continue cooking until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 165 F degrees.
  • Remove the turkey to a cutting board. Tent with foil and let rest 30-60 minutes before carving.

Nutrition

Calories: 581kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 65gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 229mgSodium: 633mgPotassium: 773mgSugar: 6gVitamin A: 355IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 57mgIron: 3.2mg

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

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Thanksgiving
Did you try this recipe?Be sure to rate it, leave a comment and save it so you can make it again. Show off your awesome results on social by tagging @girlscangrill

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christie vanover standing against wood wall.

Hey BBQ Family

I’m Christie, the head cook and award-winning competitive pitmaster for Team Girls Can Grill. I have won multiple grand championships and top 10 category finishes. I’m an expert grill reviewer for BBQ Guys, and I have appeared on the Food Network and Ninja Woodfire Grill infomercials. I established this website in 2015 to share my BBQ tips and recipes.

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Recipe Rating




26 Comments

  1. Notes so far:

    Love the stuffing, but it falls out when starting the bird breast-down, even with legs tied. Then, more falls out when flipping back upright. Beyond lacing the opening closed, not sure the upside down start is worth it.

    Put the foil drip pan on when the bird goes on, not before, otherwise it’s super hot when adding the rest of the stuffing and apple juice.

    Should remove the bird AND grate to add wood chips, otherwise they get stuck in the grate and it’s hard to aim them into the narrow opening.

    Also, will do something different next time for compound butter under the skin. The volume of seasoning in the butter left a green paste beneath the skin that was fine flavor-wise, but kind of gross looking. The compound butter w/seasoning on the outside was great.

    Results- great tasting bird! Learned a few things. Will use this for Thanksgiving this year!

  2. If I wanted to try this recipe on my Weber Smokefire pellet grill would I just follow the recipe steps as is or would I have to modify them?

    1. I haven’t tried it on a pellet, but yes. You should get the same results. For the second stage, reduce the smoker to 350, if you want more smoke.

  3. Sounded good, so I unfortunately tried this recipe, followed it to the T. A total waste of time, sorry I did. Really weak flavor, tough meat. Contrary to the instructions, you do not want to start the cook at 450 degrees for 30 minutes! Too hot, it shrinks the leg meat up the bone and burns the bone!
    Pass on this recipe, it is a waste of a good Turkey. There are many other far better ways to cook a turkey on a BGE. I have done some great ones, this however was my worst attempt.
    This was a joke, unfortunately on me and my family for Easter! This woman is clueless on a BGE.

    1. Chilllll guy! You could’ve easily said “not sure what went wrong but this didn’t turn out the way I expected.” As opposed to chewing somebody’s head off. Haven’t tried the recipe yet (doing it on Thanksgiving as a test turkey) so fingers crossed. But I can tell you cooking on the BGE is a science and when I first started to cook on it I definitely followed things to a T and yet they still came out much different than anyone else😞 Thanks for sharing Christie and I apologize for people like this…Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. I am going to try this tomorrow. Do you have a specific brine that you use that enhances the flavors or will any brine work?

    1. My friend gave me a great brine recipe recently:
      2 gallons water
      1 1/3 cup kosher salt
      1 cup sugar
      3/4 cup soy sauce
      1/4 cup olive oil

    1. Yes. You can either serve the veggies on the side, or pulverize some of them with the bacon and drippings to make gravy.

  5. Hello,
    I’m going to try this recipe for Thanksgiving, thanks for creating it.
    I have a question, the ingredients call for 1/4 cup of Poultry Rub.
    What is the Poultry Rub?
    Is it the combined ingredients under it or an different recipe?
    Thanks,
    Jeff

    1. You should be able to find it in any grocery. If not, this is the recipe I usually use:
      1 tbsp kosher salt
      1 tbsp course ground black pepper
      1 tbsp garlic powder
      1 tbsp onion powder
      1 tbsp Herbes de Provence
      1 tsp smoked paprika
      1 tsp celery salt
      1 tsp Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning

    1. If I have the time, I like to brine it, because it ends up being a little juicier. But you can cook it without a brine, too.

    1. It depends on the size of the bird. Usually, at this temp, the total cook time is about 10-15 minutes per pound. So a 12-pound bird would cook for another 2-2 1/2 hours. The main thing is to cook to an internal temp of 165F.