Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

turkey, roasting bag method

(1 rating)
Blue Ribbon Recipe by
Rhonda Sine
Morgantown, WV

No more dry, overcooked turkey! This method may not produce the photo-perfect brown skin shown on the Butterball commercials, but it will guarantee the juiciest, most flavorful turkey you've ever served. With excellent drippings for your gravy and noodles as well.

Blue Ribbon Recipe

Preparing turkey in a roasting bag produces a wonderful holiday centerpiece. It's simple to do and speeds up the cooking process. Every time the turkey is perfectly tender and juicy. The seasonings and veggies are basic but add just the right amount of flavor. This recipe is perfect for a beginner cook to the most experienced chef. Impress your family at your holiday meal with a beautiful turkey.

— The Test Kitchen @kitchencrew
(1 rating)
yield serving(s)
prep time 1 Hr
cook time 2 Hr
method Roast

Ingredients For turkey, roasting bag method

  • paper towels
  • a turkey or breast, whatever size is appropriate for your family (at least 1 pound per person)
  • roasting pan, size proportionate to turkey
  • a Reynold's turkey bag (only that brand and the appropriate size for the turkey)
  • 1 stick
    cold butter
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • poultry seasoning
  • paprika
  • dried parsley
  • vegetable oil
  • 2
    onions, quartered
  • 4
    ribs of celery, cut into large chunks
  • 1
    carrot, cut into large chunks

How To Make turkey, roasting bag method

  • Turkey defrosting in the fridge.
    Three days before the day you want to roast your turkey, put your frozen turkey on the bottom shelf of your fridge (in a pan if you have room for it) or on a kitchen towel to catch any blood that may happen to come out.
  • Washing the turkey.
    One hour before you want to put the turkey in the oven, remove from the fridge. In a clean sink, remove the turkey wrapping. Check cavities for giblet and/or gravy packs and remove them. Inspect turkey skin all over for pin feathers or broken quill tips. If you find any, remove these by pinching the skin around it and using the tip of a paring knife to pluck out being careful not to rip or cut the skin. In COLD water, rinse the turkey really good inside and out, and hold over the sink and drain well.
  • Drying the turkey.
    Lay the bird on a counter that you have prepared with at least 3 or 4 layers of paper towels. With another big wad of paper towels, dry the turkey really well.
  • Pats of butter seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, and onion powder.
    On a plate, slice your stick of cold butter into pats. Season the pats with salt, pepper, garlic, and onion powders.
  • Placing pats of butter under skin.
    Season inside the cavities of the turkey the same way. Carefully pull up the skin on the turkey breast. You will see a clear membrane that attaches the skin to the meat. Using your finger, poke a hole through the membrane and carefully begin separating it all over the top of the breast. Be careful not to rip skin or detach it from the meat. Do both sides, top, and bottom. From the top and bottom, insert half of your butter pats on each side of the turkey breast into the pockets you have created. Press on the top of the skin and smooth the butter out as evenly as you can on the breast.
  • Root vegetables placed in cavity of turkey.
    Fill cavities with root vegetables. If you're doing only a breast, you can only do this in the neck cavity. Pat turkey dry again with paper towels.
  • Skin oiled and seasoned.
    Using about 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil, massage oil into turkey skin all over, especially on breast and top of legs. Season skin of turkey in this order, lightest to darkest: salt, onion powder, garlic powder, poultry seasoning, paprika, pepper, and parsley. If you like lemon, you can also do lemon pepper seasoning and put fresh lemon quarters in the cavity.
  • Preparing bag per box directions.
    Prepare your bag as per the directions on the box.
  • Turkey placed in bag with root vegetables.
    Put the turkey into the bag. Put the rest of the root veggies around the turkey. If you're doing only a breast, use the veggies to help prop it up.
  • Slits cut into sealed roasting bag.
    Close it up as per directions and don't forget to put slits in the bag.
  • Roasting turkey per box directions.
    Roast in the oven according to the directions on the box, not according to the time on the turkey packaging. The bag will cut your cooking time down, so go by box directions.
  • Bag removed from the turkey.
    Cooking in the bag will give you a juicy turkey but the skin won't get crispy. If you like brown crispy skin, take the turkey out of the bag for the last 15 minutes of roasting. The best way to do this is to poke a hole with a paring knife in one bottom corner of the bag. Tilt pan to that corner, draining all the juice into a pan to reserve for gravy. Once the bag is drained, slit the top of the bag with a knife or kitchen scissors, carefully removing the bag from around the turkey. Discard bag and veggies. Place turkey back into the oven for an additional 15 minutes. Remove turkey from oven and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes before carving.