Rotisserie Turkey Wrapped with Bacon - because everything tastes better with bacon, especially if you're cooking a big, 20-24 pound turkey.
- 20-24 pound Turkey
- ½ cup kosher salt (I used Diamond Crystal kosher salt; reduce to 6 tablespoons if using Mortons kosher, because it is denser)
- (Cut back to 1 tablespoon of salt if the turkey is "enhanced with a natural solution" of more than 6 percent)
- 6 strips hickory-smoked bacon
- Dry brine the turkey: Sprinkle the turkey with the salt, inside and out. Gently work your fingers under the skin on the breast, then rub some of the salt directly onto the breast meat. Refrigerate at least overnight, preferably two to three days. If dry brining more than a day in advance, cover the turkey with plastic wrap until the night before cooking, then remove the plastic wrap to let the skin dry out overnight.
(If the turkey says "enhanced with a (percentage) solution" on the packaging, cut the salt back to 1 tablespoon. Enhanced means the turkey is pre-brined; you don't want to over salt it.)
- Truss and Spit the turkey: Two hours before cooking, remove the turkey from the refrigerator. Truss the turkey, following the instructions in my How to Truss and Spit a Turkey post. If the turkey is larger than 18 pounds, un-fold the turkey wings and tuck them under the trussing string, as shown in my Rotisserie Big Turkey post. Skewer the turkey on the rotisserie spit, securing it with the spit forks. Fill a gallon zip-top bag with ice, and rest the bag on the breast of the turkey to keep the breast colder than the drumsticks.
- Wrap the breast in bacon: When you are ready to cook discard the bag full of ice. Lay the bacon over the turkey breast, as shown in the picture above. Tie the bacon down onto the turkey. Loop a length of twine under the turkey and behind the wings, then around the front of the breast to tie down the edge of the bacon strips near the turkey neck. Next, loop a length of twine under the turkey, around the drumsticks, and over the top of the breast to tie down the other edge of the bacon strips. Finally, tie a third loop of twine around the middle of the turkey to hold the bacon down in the middle. Make sure to tie the twine tight at the edges, or the bacon will work loose as the turkey rotates.
- Set up the grill (Charcoal Grill): Set the grill up for indirect medium heat (325°F to 350°F) with the drip pan in the middle of the grill. Set up all the heat in the grill on one side, facing the turkey legs. For my Weber Kettle, I light a charcoal chimney ¾ full of charcoal and wait until it is covered with gray ash. Then I make a U of charcoal, on one side of the grill. I set the pan in the middle of the U, and put the spit on the grill with the breast facing the open part of the U.
- OR, Set up the grill (Gas Grill): With a gas grill, if possible, turn on two burners on one side of the grill instead of one burner on each side. On my Weber Summit, I set burner #6 and my smoker burner to high.
If your gas grill has an an infrared rotisserie burner, start cooking with the infrared burner set to medium. Once the turkey and the bacon are browning well, about a half an hour, shut off the IR burner and let the turkey finish cooking from the heat in the main part of the grill.
- Rotisserie grill the turkey to 160°F in the breast (about 3 hours): Put the spit on the grill, start the motor spinning, and make sure the drip pan is centered beneath the turkey. Close the lid and cook until the turkey reaches 160°F in the thickest part of the breast, about 3 hours for a 24 pound bird. If you are cooking on a charcoal grill, add 24 coals to the fire every hour to keep the heat going.
- Serve: Remove the turkey from the rotisserie spit and remove the twine trussing the turkey. Be very careful - the spit and forks are blazing hot. Let the turkey rest for 15 to 30 minutes, then carve and serve. Enjoy!
- Prep Time: 1 day
- Cook Time: 3 hours
- Category: Sunday Dinner
- Method: Rotisserie
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Rotisserie Turkey Wrapped with Bacon, Rotisserie Grilled Turkey Wrapped with Bacon, BIG Rotisserie Turkey