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Cooking Turkey in an Oven Bag vs. Roasting??

Started 1321200058.073 in Recipe Swap | Last reply 1321458340.98 by bizziebee007

i know many people say that cooking a turkey in an oven bag is to just simply "steam" it and it does not brown or get the true "roasted" flavor.

however, i have never tasted "roasted" turkey. i was taught way back when to use a cooking bag and i still do it to this day. my turkey always "browns" nicely and is moist and juicy....but....

i am wondering if i should take a chance and "roast" it this year w/o the bag since i am going to brine it.

please share your thoughts, experiences and cooking tips for roasting. TIA

the key to looking younger, is to stand next to someone who looks older than you...get the heck away from me!!!
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lovesrecess1321200339.79313655 PostsRegistered 7/14/2008Texas

I have used turkey bags to roast my turkey breasts for the past 15 years or so....they are moist, juicy, and brown beautifully. When I have tried to roast them without the bag they are much drier and don't brown evenly; I would never dream of doing them without the cooking bags....I do two turkey breasts every Thanksgiving and Christmas and several other times during the year; some I make just to give to others since so many people love how I do mine.....am a big fan of the cooking bags!

Mary Bailey1321200584.557281 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004sw of Chicago

You can brown the turkey first, or at the end. At the begining turn the oven up to 450 or 500 for about 15 min in only the roasting pan and then put the turkey in the bag. Or at the end, cut the bag open and turn the oven up to brown. I've done it both ways. I like the end method better. I brine the turkey and use the oven bag to cook.

Last edited on 11/13/2011

Last edited on 11/13/2011

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JustineTha­yer1321201146.697490 PostsRegistered 8/4/2011

I always use a cooking bag. It makes the cooking time less and I find the turkey to be more juicy. It does brown up just fine too.

I will do a bag again this year too!!

PYTNPLC1321201515.893151 PostsRegistered 9/25/2011

We all like the turkey to be what we are used to. I roast mine like my mother before me and the one time we used a bag we did not like it as much. I think you should use the bag even though you are going to brine it this year or you might be disappointed. Hope this helps.

Kitlynn1321202245.6472440 PostsRegistered 1/4/2008Colorado

I only use bags to cook my turkeys. I have never done it any other way. Mine come out brown , juicy and tender every time. I do put real butter under the skin of the turkey before I season it and put it in the bag. Delicious!!

You get one go round in this old world and you better make the most of it. It is not a dress rehearsal! Step out of your box and enjoy all that life has to offer!

kittykatkay1321202581.1823127 PostsRegistered 2/24/2011

We "deep fry turkeys"....don't roast them at all. However, they are great that way too, but we prefer deep frying. Also, I cook turkey breasts in my crock pot only. Recipe I made up and used for years I just posted in the thread about turkey breasts cooked in crock pot recipes.

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MopsyGirl1321204368.4332575 PostsRegistered 2/15/2008

I started using a bag after I got married and was cooking my own turkey. I just find it to be more moist if cooked in a bag. So, I'll be doing that again this year.

baginista1321217813.99642 PostsRegistered 3/8/2009

Personally I'd rather not lace my food with PFCs--which are known endocrine disruptors and are in the teflon coating of roasting bags...popcorn bags too for that matter.

Clover291321218223.73310497 PostsRegistered 1/19/2008
On 11/13/2011 Baginista said:

Personally I'd rather not lace my food with PFCs--which are known endocrine disruptors and are in the teflon coating of roasting bags...popcorn bags too for that matter.

That's kind of an ironic nic you have there, for someone who hates bags Wink

AnneMary1321218489.89663 PostsRegistered 10/22/2008Anchorage, AK

I have never used the bags. I always tent mine with foil over the whole pan and open it up towards the end. It is always juicy and perfect, and there's lots of juices in the pan for gravy. My daughter likes to do hers in a covered enamel roaster (a large square-like pan) and it too is perfect, and she has no problem making a goodly amount of gravy.

My question to those of you who do use the bags: how much juice accumulates in the bag to make gravy with? TIA A.M.

FastDogWal­ker21321219440.341546 PostsRegistered 1/18/2007

We always use a cooking bag - the turkey does brown and it is juicy and delicious. Just the way we like it!

luvtfts1321219857.18155 PostsRegistered 6/27/2007wv

Been roasting turkeys for 45 years, tried a bag once, did not get the great fond and drippings you need for good rich gravy, need the drippings nice and browned, throw those bags away.

annabellet­hecat1321220078.48714036 PostsRegistered 9/23/2006
Earlier today I saw Wolfgang Puck talking about cooking Turkey. He said he cooks for everyone during the Oscars. Je went on talking about how you should soak your turkey in Brine for luscious turkey. He then demonstrated how to do it. It brought back a memory of my Grndma (I was raised by my grandma who was 1/2 American Indian (Cherokee)). She used to soak our turkey's in Brine. Go over on HSN and he talks about it there.

Buck-i-Nana1321220274.137793 PostsRegistered 9/26/2007South West Ohio
On 11/13/2011 luvtfts said:

Been roasting turkeys for 45 years, tried a bag once, did not get the great fond and drippings you need for good rich gravy, need the drippings nice and browned, throw those bags away.

Well, I've been using my cooking bag for almost 40 years and have always had a juicy browned turkey and wonderful richly flavorful gravy from the juices captured in the bag. I'll keep my cooking bag, thanks.

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pianobabe1­591321221454.433184 PostsRegistered 5/5/2009 Southwest PA

YEA for cooking bags and I also use 2 disposable aluminum roasting pans (just in case of a leak). You talk about juicy, brown turkey, wonderful gravy, AND the easiest possible clean up. Just toss it all away. Would never do it any other way. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!{#emotions_dlg.thumbup}

"May the road rise up to meet you, and may God hold you in the palm of His hand"

jaburg1321224807.973997 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

I've used the bag for years, so much cleaner than the cheesecloth method I used previously. Turkey turns out wonderful with the bag. Even so, I'm trying a different method this year, the braised turkey in the latest issue of Cooks Illustrated. I think this will make it much easier on DH, whose job it is to carve.

DebbieDD1321229062.4078109 PostsRegistered 10/18/2004

I have used both and prefer the roasting method without the bag. The texture of the roasted bird is really much better. The bag version is in fact very juicy and I never had a problem with browning but it does taste steamed.

I like to brine overnight, start it on very high heat for about 45 min and roast at 350. Amazing everytime.

capecdcat11321230195.42257 PostsRegistered 6/25/2009

Always use a bag! Have for years...love it. My Grandma always completely covered her turkey w/ foil and only took it off to brown at the end. Hers was awesome. I wish she were here to help w/ my Gravy .That is always a hit or miss for me!

bizziebee0­071321239101.4533251 PostsRegistered 1/13/2010Philly Burbs
On 11/13/2011 AnneMary said:

I have never used the bags. I always tent mine with foil over the whole pan and open it up towards the end. It is always juicy and perfect, and there's lots of juices in the pan for gravy. My daughter likes to do hers in a covered enamel roaster (a large square-like pan) and it too is perfect, and she has no problem making a goodly amount of gravy.

My question to those of you who do use the bags: how much juice accumulates in the bag to make gravy with? TIA A.M.

hi annemary...to answer your question about how much juice accumulates in the bag...i can only tell you that i start my turkey with a good healthy amount of gingeragle in the cooking bag and let my turkey sit in that. then i make a paste out of softened butter, frozen OJ concentrate and honey and schmear that all over the turkey, under the skin, etc. (i also season it w/dry seasonings too)...i thicken those drippings and if necessary add a little chicken or turkey stock. the gravy is really good and flavorful and plenty to go around. hth.

thanks so much for all the replies. i have never tasted turkey w/o the bag. my mom just gave me a stainless steel roasting pan tonite w/a rack and a lid. has anyone ever used a roasting pan w/a lid to "roast" their turkey? how does that work?

how do you know when to take the aluminum foil "tent" off? do you "roast" the turkey upside down first? and if so, for how long?? lol....so many questions!!

the key to looking younger, is to stand next to someone who looks older than you...get the heck away from me!!!
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sunshine451321239691.34741145 PostsRegistered 1/13/2007east coast and west coast

i stick with tradition and use a good old black speckled roasting pan with a lid. it always comes out juicy, moist, browned, and delicious. i like to be able to have easy access to the pan juices so that i can baste and use them in my gravy. i also like to stir my dressing from time to time so that gets nice and browned also. it would not be the same with a bag.

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saversmom1321241413.0435515 PostsRegistered 5/10/2009

I have roasted turkeys in a roasting pan and basted them.

I have roasted turkeys with an aluminum foil tent.

I have roasted them in the roasting bags.

Each one was delicious.

I use the roasting bags all the time now because the turkey needs no additional work while it is roasting.I add whatever herbs to the turkey when prepping it for the oven. There is a great deal of pan drippings available to make a nice sauce or gravy too.

We are fortunate to have lots of choices.

KathyfromGA1321241839.777166 PostsRegistered 12/22/2008

I have used a turkey bag for 15 years, and I love them! You don't have to get up so darn early because it cooks faster, and the turkey is moist and so goooood!{#emotions_dlg.tt1}

june11321266697.49570 PostsRegistered 10/21/2006

OK, ladies, they say ignorance is bliss, but not in this case! LOL

Are we talking about the clear bags or foil ones? I'd like to try with turkey breast this year. Thanks ahead of time!

June1

Islandgirl­70321321267726.77312846 PostsRegistered 6/7/2007Savannah, GA

I have to have the crispy skin, which only roasting provides!




violann1321277495.64712521 PostsRegistered 12/12/2004
A little nervous about how you stuff that turkey into the bag after it's been in a very hot oven, Mary Bailey (LOVE your nic). DH and I have a tragi-comic history of the traditional boiling hot turkey wrestling event just getting the bird from the roasting pan to the platter much less a preliminary event of going from roaster to bag back to roaster. Any hints on how to do it without a quick sprint to the local burn unit? In theory, I think I like your idea best. :)




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