Roasting a Turkey in a Plastic Bag

Roasting a Turkey in a Plastic Bag: A Moist and Flavorful Method

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Roasting a turkey in a plastic bag is a convenient and foolproof way to achieve a moist and flavorful bird with minimal effort. With this simple method, you can enjoy a juicy turkey with perfectly crispy skin every time. Follow these step-by-step instructions to roast your turkey to perfection.


  • 1 whole, fully thawed turkey (12-24 pounds)
  • 1 large oven-safe plastic bag
  • 2/3 cup softened butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons dried herbs (such as thyme, rosemary, and sage)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 white onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon flour


  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Ensure your oven rack is positioned low enough to accommodate the turkey in its bag without touching the top of the oven.
  2. Prepare Turkey:
    • Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey cavity and discard or reserve for gravy.
    • Rinse the turkey inside and out under cold water and pat it dry with paper towels.
    • Season the cavity of the turkey with salt and pepper, and stuff it with the minced garlic, chopped onion, celery, and carrots.
  3. Season Turkey:
    • In a small bowl, mix the softened butter with dried herbs, salt, and pepper to create a herb butter mixture.
    • Carefully loosen the skin of the turkey breast by sliding your fingers under the skin, being careful not to tear it.
    • Rub the herb butter mixture evenly under the skin of the turkey, covering the breast and thigh meat.
  4. Prepare Plastic Bag:
    • Place the large oven-safe plastic bag in a roasting pan large enough to hold the turkey.
    • Lightly dust the inside of the bag with flour to prevent sticking.
  5. Place Turkey in Bag:
    • Carefully transfer the seasoned turkey to the prepared plastic bag, breast side up.
  6. Seal Bag:
    • Gather the opening of the plastic bag and twist it tightly to seal, leaving enough space for air to circulate around the turkey.
  7. Make Vent Holes:
    • Use a sharp knife to carefully poke several small vent holes in the top of the plastic bag to allow steam to escape during cooking.
  8. Roast Turkey:
    • Place the roasting pan with the turkey in the preheated oven and roast according to the turkey’s weight, following recommended cooking times. Generally, roast for about 13-15 minutes per pound.
  9. Check for Doneness:
    • About 30 minutes before the turkey is expected to be done, carefully open the plastic bag and check the internal temperature of the turkey using a meat thermometer. The turkey is done when the thickest part of the breast and thigh registers 165°F (75°C).
  10. Rest and Carve:
  • Once the turkey reaches the desired temperature, carefully remove it from the oven and let it rest in the bag for 15-20 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute and ensures a moist turkey.
  1. Serve: Carve the turkey and serve with your favorite sides and gravy. Enjoy the juicy and flavorful results of roasting a turkey in a plastic bag!

Cook’s Tips and Variations:

  • Use a Reliable Oven-Safe Bag: Ensure you use an oven-safe bag designed specifically for roasting to prevent melting or chemical leaching.
  • Add Aromatics: Feel free to add additional aromatics such as fresh herbs, lemon slices, or bay leaves to the turkey cavity for extra flavor.
  • Baste Occasionally: If desired, you can open the bag occasionally during roasting to baste the turkey with its juices for added moisture and flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

  1. Is it safe to roast a turkey in a plastic bag? Yes, it is safe to roast a turkey in an oven-safe plastic bag designed for cooking. Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper usage and temperature limits.
  2. Can I use a regular plastic bag for roasting? No, it is not recommended to use regular plastic bags for roasting as they are not designed to withstand high oven temperatures and may melt or release harmful chemicals.
  3. How do I know when the turkey is done? Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the turkey. The breast and thigh should register 165°F (75°C) for safe consumption.
  4. Can I reuse the plastic bag for roasting? While some oven-safe bags are marketed as reusable, it’s generally recommended to use a new bag for each roasting session to ensure food safety and prevent cross-contamination.

In conclusion, roasting a turkey in a plastic bag is a convenient and effective method for achieving a moist and flavorful bird with minimal effort. With proper seasoning and careful preparation, you can enjoy a delicious turkey dinner that’s sure to impress your family and friends. Follow these simple steps and enjoy the juicy and succulent results of roasting your turkey in a plastic bag!

Roasting a turkey in a plastic bag is a straightforward and convenient method that yields deliciously moist and flavorful results. With the right preparation and attention to detail, you can enjoy a perfectly cooked turkey every time. Give it a try for your next holiday feast or special occasion!

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