How to roast a turkey in an oven bag for flavorful, juicy meat

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The primary time I noticed an oven bag in motion was nicely greater than a decade in the past after I arrived at my husband’s childhood dwelling to seek out my sister-in-law prepping our Thanksgiving turkey breast, packing in lemon, apples and onions together with the meat. It type of blew my thoughts.

We continued to make use of the baggage on and off all through the years, nevertheless it wasn’t till I volunteered to develop the entire turkey recipe for our bundle on breaking the mildew of conventional vacation recipes that I put pen to paper to create particular directions.

Get the recipe: Turkey in a Bag With Lemon and Herbs

Utilizing a bag has fairly a number of benefits, however the largest are how a lot it may scale back the cook dinner time and the way it retains the meat moist and juicy. In my testing, the bag shaved off nearly half the anticipated per-pound cook dinner time, although producer Reynolds stated its testing confirmed nearer to a 30 p.c discount. We all know how a lot oven area is at a premium on Thanksgiving, although, so something in that vary is a plus in my guide. And if dry, stringy turkey has been the bane of your existence, the moist warmth of roasting within the bag — extra like steaming, actually — is a recreation changer.

In the event you’re not conversant in oven baggage or discover the entire idea simply bizarre, you’re not alone. Whereas Reynolds debuted the baggage in 1971, loads of folks I talked to had no concept they existed. “They have been developed to hurry up the cooking time and as a means for dwelling cooks to get an ideal turkey each time,” says Charry E. Brown, check kitchen professional at Reynolds Client Merchandise. The baggage are fabricated from heat-resistant nylon that’s FDA-compliant for cooking. They’re additionally BPA- and phthalate-free, Brown says.

A part of the enjoyment of cooking within the bag is how easy it’s: Fill it, drop it in a roasting pan and cook dinner. I didn’t wish to complicate issues (no brining, please!), however I puzzled whether or not I may put a small twist on the strategy that will make it just a little extra particular. So I adopted my sister-in-law’s lead, stuffing the turkey cavity and bag with lemon, chunks of apple, wedges of onion, an entire head’s price of garlic and a bouquet of my yard sage and rosemary. A lot as you accomplish in packet cooking — or en papillote, because the French say — these aromatics gently infused the meat, however particularly the juices, with their taste.

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Prepared to provide the turkey in a bag a whirl? Listed below are some keys to success.

  • I extremely advocate utilizing a leave-in probe thermometer, if in case you have one or are prepared to buy it, significantly if it’s a mannequin you possibly can set an alarm on to provide you with a warning when it hits the goal temperature (the USDA recommends 165 levels for meals security, and in my exams with the bag, this was excellent). As a result of the turkey finishes a lot sooner than you could be used to, it’s useful to watch the inner temperature as you cook dinner. On the very least, begin checking the temperature with a digital thermometer 20 to half-hour earlier than the top of the really helpful cook dinner time. My recipe specifies {that a} 10- to 14-pound turkey might be performed in 1½ to 2 hours, although, in fact, ovens differ, which is why it’s essential to concentrate. Even for those who occur to overshoot the mark, as I did on my first check or two, the meat will most likely nonetheless be moister than birds overcooked in bag-free roasting.
  • Be sure you shake not less than 1 tablespoon of flour into the bag. “This step protects in opposition to superheating liquids and helps any water boil off and vaporize within the bag,” Brown says. Any sort of flour is ok, and you can even select from such gluten-free alternate options as cornmeal, almond flour, rice flour, potato flour or cornstarch. Making gravy with the juices? Be at liberty to make use of extra flour to assist with thickening later.
  • Don’t neglect to create slits within the bag, or else you danger it bursting! Reynolds recommends six ½-inch slits.
  • The utmost oven temperature for the Reynolds baggage is 400 levels. Don’t go increased than that or use the broiler, and don’t let the bag contact the heating parts, decreasing the oven rack as wanted.
  • The bag will nonetheless enable the pores and skin to brown, particularly for those who oil the turkey, as my recipe suggests. However it is not going to be as crispy as different cooking strategies. If desired, you possibly can minimize open the bag within the final half-hour to get higher browning, Brown says. Simply be certain that the drippings don’t spill out and burn.
  • Take note of what sort of turkey you purchase. If the label says it’s been pre-brined, use much less salt than known as for. In my recipe, that’s dropping it from 2 tablespoons to 1 tablespoon advantageous salt.
  • Don’t toss these juices! They’re delectable sufficient to serve on their very own alongside the turkey, after straining. Or use them as the bottom in your gravy or the broth for a tremendous leftovers soup.

Turkey cooked in a bag could not have that spent-too-much-time-in-the-sun, allover bronzed look of the birds you see in, say, a Norman Rockwell portray. However it nonetheless comes out wanting prettier than I even anticipated. The flourish of bringing the entire chook to the desk is overrated for my part, anyway — let the folks eat! Carve up the chook within the kitchen, organize it prettily on a platter (or chuck it onto a sheet pan, for those who’re me) and look forward to the oohs and ahs to come back in about this being your juiciest turkey but.

Get the recipe: Turkey in a Bag With Lemon and Herbs

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