Cook Your Turkey in A Bag: Faster, Moister, and Easy to Clean Up

Turkey Roasted in Oven Bag

November 5, 2015   7 Comments

I love Thanksgiving so I am starting November with turkey (in a bag)!

I can’t help myself because I want to make this holiday easier for everyone. How many of us have slaved for hours over the stove, sat down for an hour, and got up and cleaned for hours? I know it is my own fault for buying those nice wine glasses you can’t put in the dishwasher but sheesh!

Many Snack Girl readers are using a Reynold’s Turkey Bag for cooking turkey.

Gail said:

We roast turkey breasts several times a year. I actually roast 2 or 3 for Thanksgiving instead of the whole bird. My tip is to use oven bags. I use them every time and the meat comes out very moist. I also agree a meat thermometer is a must, those little pop up things aren't very accurate.

These bags are made of plastic (food grade nylon to be more specific). The FDA has approved its use so it is supposed to be safe. I don’t want to argue about whether the FDA is right or not because I have no idea. What I will say is that if you aren’t eating turkey cooked in plastic every day –I doubt you will die from plastic residue. I have no data to support my view of course.

Back to the bag – you put one tablespoon of flour into the bag – add the turkey – close it with a plastic tie – and cut a few holes in it. The process is easy if you have two people, one to hold the bag and the other to put the turkey in.

I found that this method cooked my turkey breast an entire hour faster than without the bag. The meat was moist and cooked perfectly. I followed the instructions for the timing on the Reynold’s website and it was spot on. The skin gets crispy but not as crispy as the roasting pan method.

I cooked a 10 pound turkey breast in 2 hours. Wowza.

Clean up? This is the number one reason to use the bag. I pulled the turkey out and then I could pour the juices into a measuring cup, drain the fat, and make gravy. No pot scrubbing!

I think the bag is great for newbies to cooking turkey and for people who are just plain busy (like me).

For those of you who don’t want to cook in plastic - you can use the Martha Stewart Cheesecloth method for ensuring that the breast is moist when cooking the entire bird. I hear through the foodie grapevine that this method is fool proof.

I found that roasting the breast alone and taking it out when the thermometer hit 165 F ensured that the meat was moist as well. The dark meat, white meat combo is more difficult.

Please share your turkey cooking experiences.

Other posts you might like:

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

Turkey Breast: The Slow Cooker Method

A few weeks ago, I roasted turkey breast and found out that I had done it all wrong.....

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If I'm cooking for a crowd then I'll roast a whole bird, but I hate the bags. Mine always end up falling apart for some reason. But cleanup is never hard since I line my roaster with aluminum foil and parchment paper.

If I'm cooking for just a small group, I pull out my crockpot and roast a breast or two in the crockpot and make gravy with what's left. Only one pot to clean afterwards.

on November 5, 2015

Please, rescind this advice. Why would cooking a turkey in a plastic bag full of probably endocrine-disrupting chemicals be a good idea? Brine your turkey instead----best, moistest turkey ever.

on November 8, 2015

Have never tried these bags.

on November 8, 2015

I cook my turkeys in the bag all the time. I have even cooked a frozen turkey in the past. But instead of flour, I mix a bag of the Mcormick (sp) pork gravy (I've tried all flavors and my family likes this) with a cup of chicken broth and pour that in the bag. I also add a couple of whole onions in the cavity of the turkey and add whole mushrooms and carrots in the bag. I have never had a complaint. You don't get the crispy skin, but the turkey comes out amazingly moist. I have fit a 27 pound turkey in the large bags for Thanksgiving.

on November 8, 2015

Have you tried Reynolds Crock Pot Liners. What a great deal. No cleaning! Yay!!!!

on November 10, 2015

Thank you for this marvelous idea! I cooked my first turkey this year all by myself and I used the bag. It was PERFECT!!! Moist and just perfect.

on November 29, 2015

I've cooked turkeys in bags for years! Great way. Now I still cook them in the bag, but I cook the turkey upside down!! Stuffing goes in a stuffing bag and tied so it doesn't fall out. The most moist breast meat ever! Still easy clean up, easy gravy making everything but now the breast meat is moister. I now also make a turkey the day before and make the gravy from that one. No last minute gravy making on Thanksgiving. So much nicer. Lots of turkey for everyone to take home for sandwiches too.

on October 16, 2016

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