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Cooking with JoJo: Let’s talk turkey... oh, and the bacon

Joey Morasse • Nov 14, 2017 at 8:58 PM

You’ve invited your family over for Thanksgiving dinner once again. If you’re like most, it is going to be the normal baked bird with all the trimmings. 

How about this year, you do something different? Don’t worry. Even the pickiest eaters will love this recipe. It takes less time to prepare and cook, and the finished product is incredible. I can assure you, there will be no leftovers to fill up your fridge for days.

Everyone scrambles to buy whole turkeys this time of year. Sadly, the most overlooked cut of turkey is the pre-packaged tenderloin. 

The issue with the tenderloin as with a whole bird, is that if you’re not careful, it can dry out. To solve this problem for our tenderloin recipe, we are going to wrap it in thick-cut bacon. As if that doesn’t sound amazing already, we are going to smoke it over low heat. 

If you do not have a smoker or know someone with a smoker, simply fill a foil pouch with hickory wood chips that have been soaked in water. Punch holes in the foil to release the smoke. Place the pouch on your grill over the heat while placing the tenderloin away from the heat to slow cook. The chips will smolder and flavor the meat. 

But first, let’s prepare the turkey.

What you’ll need:

Make a spice mix using 1 tablespoon each of:

• salt.

• pepper.

• garlic powder.

• chili powder.

• smoked paprika.

Add ½ tbsp. of ground cumin to the mix for a little heat.

You’ll need two packs of thick-cut bacon. Any will do, and the amount of bacon depends on how many loins you’re doing.

Rub each loin in a thin layer of olive oil and dust in the spice mix. Fully wrap in thick-cut bacon. Heat your smoker or grill to about 250 degrees and cook until the tenderloin is firm to the touch with an internal temperature of 160 degrees. If you need to, since outdoor temperatures may make it tough to get the internal temperature needed, you can finish them in the oven at the same temperature.

When done, let them rest for 10 minutes and slice. If you wish, warm up your favorite barbecue sauce and drizzle on top before serving. 

Enjoy.

Cooking since he could pull a chair up to the stove at 5 years old, Joey Morasse, of Lebanon, is the owner and operator of JoJo’s Barbecue and Catering. He is also a personal chef and offers in-home cooking classes.

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