A Better Way To Cook Turkey? The Bag
November 19, 2013 48 Comments
Snack Girl needs to apologize to all her Canadian and other international readers. She is OBSESSED with American Thanksgiving.
I can’t help myself because I want to make it 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!
Earlier in the month, I posted about roasting turkey breast and I got schooled (see: Roasted Turkey Breast Recipe). It seems that many readers are using a Reynold’s Turkey Bag for cooking turkey.
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.
And then a whole bunch of other readers chimed in. I have to admit, I hadn’t even heard of the oven bags. I went to Stop & Shop and they were everywhere – how could I have missed them?
I was shocked to find out that they were 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.
Enough! I will stop musing on cooking turkey. Really.
Please share your turkey cooking experiences.
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