Get a perfectly moist, golden brown turkey by cooking the turkey in a bag. Everything you need to know for seasoning and cooking turkey.
We’ve shared how to cook turkey many different ways: in the slow cooker, turkey in the electric roaster, smoked turkey and bacon wrapped turkey.
All of those are delicious, but today I’m sharing the way my mom always cooks turkey…turkey in a bag!
Is it better to cook a turkey in a bag or not?
Although it can seem strange, cooking a turkey in an oven bag is a great option. Here’s why:
- It keeps the turkey moist.
- The skin gets golden brown which makes a beautiful presentation.
- The juices get trapped in the bag which not only makes the turkey more tender and flavorful, it also makes it easy to use the juices for gravy.
- Spices, seasonings and butter get locked in the roasting bag, making your turkey taste amazing.
- The roasting pan will be easier to clean!
Does a turkey cook more quickly in a bag?
When you use an oven bag you can actually accelerate your turkey cooking time up to an hour faster. It is enclosed in a bag which traps the heat and helps your turkey to cook more quickly.
How to Season a Turkey
We often like to keep our turkey simply seasoned. We place onion, celery and carrot in the baking bag, then stuff butter under the skin of the turkey.
Add a touch of salt and pepper if you’d like, and this turkey will create juices that are perfectly flavored for a simple homemade gravy.
Cooking Turkey in a Bag
Cooking a turkey in a bag is an easy method. Here’s how to do it!
- Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit. You’ll place the turkey on the lowest roasting rack so make sure you have your oven prepared for that before it gets hot.
- Place the flour inside the oven bag and shake it to coat the bag.
- Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey. Discard or save for gravy or another use.
- Place the turkey inside the bag. Place the turkey in a roasting pan.
- Place a few pieces of the onion, carrots and celery inside the turkey, then place the rest around the turkey.
- Cut the stick of butter in tablespoon slices (8 slices).
- Loosen the skin of the turkey from the breast.
- Slide the butter slabs under the skin of the turkey breast. We do 4 slices on each side.
- Sprinkle the turkey with salt and pepper if desired.
- Seal the turkey bag with the tie. Be sure to have the bag loose around the turkey.
- Use a sharp knife to cut 3 slits in the top of the bag.
How long do you cook a turkey in an oven bag?
Almost all oven bags I’ve gotten come with a chart with cooking times. The exact amount of time it takes can depend on many different things such as how big the turkey is and whether it is unstuffed or stuffed. An 18-22 pound turkey will take around 3-4 hours to cook.
You’ll find many different charts and suggestions about cooking time, and almost all of them will be slightly different.
It’s most important to test the internal temperature of the bird to know if it is done or not.
What temperature should turkey be cooked to?
According to the USDA, a whole turkey is safe when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F. Using a food thermometer, check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and the thickest part of the breast.
Many people find that they prefer turkey meat cooked to a higher temperature, around 170-180º Fahrenheit. You definitely don’t want your turkey dry, however, I do prefer the texture of a turkey cooked to a higher temperature.
**We LOVE our Thermoworks ThermaPen to quickly test meat temperatures. This probe thermometer is AMAZING. Get it here.**
Can you cook a turkey in a bag in an electric roaster?
You should not use a plastic oven bag in an electric roaster. No part of the bag should touch the sides, top or bottom of the roaster (or oven for that matter), and in an roaster oven, that is sometimes hard if the roaster is small.
Side Dishes for Turkey
When you are planning your Thanksgiving dinner menu, consider these easy side dish recipes:
- Green Bean Casserole
- Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Corn Casserole
- Dinner Rolls
- Turkey Stuffing
How to Use Leftover Turkey
Because this turkey is so moist and tender, it is great to use in casseroles and soups!
- turkey casserole with pasta
- turkey tetrazzini
- breakfast casserole with turkey
- thanksgiving pizza
- turkey and dressing casserole
- turkey wraps
Common Turkey Questions
Through this article, we hope to help you understand Turkey in roaster bag recipe