Turkey breast is wrapped snuggly in a bacon weave blanket and finished with a smoke bath.
I could lie to you and tell you the ol’ spiel about turkey being dry and needing some kind of fat to offset the delicate meat… Or, I can just be honest and tell you that ANY excuse to wrap something in a bacon weave is a good excuse.
But, bacon weaving aside, this IS actually a super great method for turkey smoking because the bacon has a chance to really render out and baste the turkey as it shrinks up around it.
It’s also a great holiday recipe when you are only feeding a handful of folks and don’t wanna do a whole bird. So you may notice the cheese in the pictures? Yeah, I made a last minute fat-kid call to agressively pack the breast with shredded cheddar. Why? Because I had cheese in the fridge, and because I can. You don’t have to do this part, but it really is a nice touch. (C’mon do I REALLY need to justify cheese stuffing?!).
One final note on the seasoning – grab yourself a bottle of Hardcore Carnivore Fried Turkey or all purpose Red for the job. You won’t be sorry. Oh, and you will need a decent meat thermometer to tell when the turkey is done. This will ensure you get a safely cooked bird that’s not cooked a moment longer than it needs to be. I use and recommend these thermapens.
1 turkey breast (see note 1) 24oz thick cut bacon 2 tablespoon Hardcore Carnivore seasoning 1–2cups shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat a smoker to 300f.
Remove skin from turkey breast – it will not crisp when underneath the bacon and so the finished dish will have a better texture if it’s removed.
Assemble the bacon weave on a piece of parchment paper to make it easier to handle. I used a grid of 8 x 10 strips.
Stuff the concave side of the turkey breast with the cheese, then lay the tender in place to secure it. Turn it over so the convex side faces up, and place it gently onto a wire rack.
Season the turkey with a light dusting of your preferred Hardcore Carnivore seasoning.
Pick up the parchment paper and turn the bacon weave over onto the turkey breast. Tuck the edges and corners of the bacon weave under the turkey to form a nice tight parcel.
Line a tray with foil then place the rack on top. You do not have to do this, but it will help with easy cleanup and stop cheese from melting into your smoker.
Place the tray into the smoker and close the lid. Smoke for 1.5-2 hours until the breast reaches an internal temperature of 160-163f.
Remove the turkey breast, rest for 5 -10 minutes loosely covered with foil, then slice and serve.
Note 1: when someone specifies chicken breast in a recipe, we accept it to mean one HALF of the breast meat, aka one side. However, when people reference turkey breast they usually refer to the whole breast. In THIS case, this recipe only uses HALF a turkey breast. It will work with a whole, but the cook time will be longer.