Does anyone use Reynolds Oven Bags?

nicoletoukSeptember 24, 2007

Last year I swore I would never make another turkey, because every one I've made turns out horrible. Overcooked, undercooked, dry, stringy, you name it - blech!

And now I'm thinking about Thanksgiving - which I am actually looking forward to - and I think I might have to cave on that "No Turkey" resolution. A business associate mentioned that she always uses Reynolds Oven Bags and finds them foolproof but I am a little skeptical. Roasting in a plastic bag sounds kind of scary to me, both from a health and a taste veiwpoint.

What do you experts say? Does anyone use them?


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I don't use oven bags, but I brine my turkeys and they always come out super moist (and cook a little faster for some mysterious reason). Brining isn't hard and I highly recommend it.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 9:02PM
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Nicole : I don't know what you are doing wrong.
If you are afraid of using Oven Bags don't use them.
My wife used them often and everything cooked good.
Throw a roast in one, with flour and all the spices you like and let her rip!!! Cooks perfect.
I never cooked a Bad Turkey. I always use stuffing and stick a meat thermometer in it and cook till 175 Degs.
Sometimes I use a roasting pan with a lid , put some water in the pan. Take the lid off to brown ,if neccessary.
If you don't have a lid use alluminum foil.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 9:05PM
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I have been using them for years and always had good luck with them. Last year I didn't and almost ruined Thanksgiving. So I am going back to the bags.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 12:58AM
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I use them for brisket and it always comes out perfectly. No problems with the bag itself. I've never tried them for turkey because, thankfully, I've never had a problem. My standard recipe always turns out well (though it does call for a lot of butter & bacon so maybe that's why?)


    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 8:10AM
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Mostly use them for turkey, turkey breast, and brisket. My caterer friend cooks a turkey breast with 1" of water in the pan and only 'til the internal temp reaches 147F. The breast continues to cook after it is removed from the oven. Hers are always juicy and delicious.

Without a roasting bag, I think the key is lots o' butter and lots o' basting to have a really moist bird.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 9:08AM
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I always use an Oven Bag for turkey (whole turkey & turkey breasts). Depending on how large your turkey is, you can choose a pan that is closer to the size of the piece of meat, using a lasagna pan or a 9x13-inch cake pan, instead of a huge lidded roaster (saves a little room in the oven if you are baking other dishes at the same time).

The Oven Bag also makes clean-up much easier, and keeps the oven from getting splattered. You don't have to remember to baste the meat - it's self-basting.

After I flour the bag, I add coarsely chopped vegetables (1/2 an onion, 2 stalks celery - a good place to use the leafy portions of the tops of celery, 1 carrot, fresh parsley (optional), fresh or dried sage (or dried poultry seasoning), salt and pepper in the bottom of the bag. The vegetables aids to moisten the meat and add flavor to the drippings/broth that I drain from the bag and use for gravy.

After the meat is cooked to temperature, I remove the meat and allow it to sit covered with a tent of foil for 15 minutes or so before slicing.

In the meantime, tightly close the bag again, and with kitchen scissors snip a corner of the bag and drain the liquid into another container and toss the bag and veggies that are left in it into the trash after draining. If you make the turkey ahead of time, you can chill the broth and remove the fat. There's usually more than enough liquid for gravey and turkey stock for soup.

I lightly oil the meat before adding it to the bag.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 9:10AM
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Yes, I have used them in the past and they really make the turkey come out moist and delicious.

I think the key to a moist turkey, however, is not overcooking it. A meat thermometer can be your best friend.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 9:34AM
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I've used them in the past, but end up missing that crispy brown turkey skin (yes I know it's bad for you, but it's only once a year). I've read that using a roasting bag basically steams the turkey, which explains for how moist they are. Still, it's all good!

Does anyone have a suggestion on how to use a roasting bag and also brown the turkey? Maybe cut the bag off/back and let it roast for 30 min. at the end to brown?

I've done the brining before, but sometimes I just don't feel like bothering, plus all that salt concerns me.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 10:23AM
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I've used them and liked them. Yeah, it's weird to put plastic in the oven....but not any weirder (is that a word??) than silicone baking pans (which I don't use).
It makes a delicious, moist bird. Try one now and see how you like it. Try a chicken.
Mine has always browned pretty well right through the bag. And you can always remove the turkey for the last 10-15 minutes to brown more.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 11:29AM
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Nicole: You can do like grainlady said but stick a thermometer in also. If it not browned by 160 Degrees,
open the bag to brown.( Kathy )
It should brown well without doing that ( Denna )

Terasa: I don't baste too much. If it getting too brown ,I'll put a piece of foil on top.
I guess you have to know how to wing it.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 1:49PM
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I can't imagine cooking a turkey in a foil bag....
Turkey is so easy....just put it in a pan, perhaps add some onions, cover it and cook at 350 until an instant read thermometer reads 160 inserted into the breast.
You can do all sorts or high heat open pan, rubbing with this and that, injecting stuff....but follow my method and if your turkey isn't rotten to begin with....and I mean spoiled, it will be good....and perhaps wonderful.
Cooking bag? I don't think so!
Linda C

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 7:53PM
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I use those Reynolds Oven Bag every thanksgiving and have for years and years. For me, it takes all the pressure out of the holiday. I folow the directions and when it Is supposed to be done I test it with an instant read thermometer. It is always ready and perfect and the skin is always beautifully brown and crispy. I can give my attention to every thing else like cranberry sauce from All things considered.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 8:38PM
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I have always used Reynolds oven bags for turkeys, turkey breasts, chickens, hams, and corned beef. They all come out really juice and tender. I have slit the bag 30 minutes before it should be done to crisp the skin, but I don't bother with that any more. No one in my family will eat the skin now. The skin does brown nicely in the bag if you brush it with a bit of oil before roasting.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 10:00PM
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I have used the bags before because we aren't interested in the brown crispy skin on a turkey. Just follow directions and they are teriffic if you use a thermometer so you don't overcook. Don't depend on those pop-up thingies some turkey breasts have. I now brine mine and it makes all the difference in the world in the moistness of the turkey.

Here is a link that might be useful: Alton Brown Brines a Turkey

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 10:38PM
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I've used them for years myself. The skin does come out nicely browned, though not crispy, but I never eat the skin anyway. The turkey is very moist, plus - though I don't have the box in front of me right now - the cooking time is less. I discovered that one year when the turky was done WAY before anything else.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 10:50PM
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I've never used them... I just pop the turkey in my old trusty blue enameled roaster, cover and cook until brown... The dark meat is wet and the breast is just the way I like it, dry... lol


    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 11:11AM
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No bags for me. As mentioned above. You are really steaming it, not roasting. I like the flavor of the caramelized skin you get from beginning with high heat.

I don't baste but I do rub with melted butter, lots of butter. I think it's a waste of time and oven heat to open the oven over and over to baste. I use a meat thermometer to gauge when it's cooked through. My birds are juicy, whether they are turkey or chicken. I also buy a free range turkey because the flavor really is superior.

The only dry bird I had was when I tried the goofy upside down breast down method. What a mess that was! Homely and with dry stringy breast meat from being so close to the oven heating element. (Electric oven, maybe it's different with a convection or gas oven.)

I have never tried brining but I might this year if I can find a place to keep a large container cold enough.

Relax, cooking a turkey is easy and once it's in the oven you can ignore it and do all your other prep and have a glass of wine with your company.


    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 12:11PM
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Those Reynolds Cooking Bags are a wonderful invention. There is no mess, turkey is brown and it will never overcook even if you have to stall dinner a bit. It is an inexperienced cook's best friend. You can get it all ready to pop in the oven the night before. If you stuff it you must only add that to the cavity right before you pop it in the oven. I have cooked >20 lb turkeys this way many times. Try cooking pork, chicken, and beef with the bags.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 7:43PM
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It's me again, the OP. I don't know what my problem is w/cooking turkeys, I handle most other dishes just fine. As far as brining goes, that was the WORST! It was turkey tartare. The thermometer said it was done yet once we started carving it wasn't at all. So we sliced it and then put it back in the oven - eh.

Maybe I will try the bags, they sound pretty foolproof. I must admit, I am kind of intrigued with the high-heat method. I'm also hoping that I'll have better luck cooking a 12 lb. bird as opposed to the 22 lb. I usually attempt. Much smaller guest list this time!

I think a lot of my problem may be that I'm not putting the thermometer in the correct spot. I put it at the joint between the leg and the breast. My first year was a disaster because I was actually depending on those pop-up buttons.

Thanks for all of your feedback!


    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 9:27PM
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Not a fan of the bag...its great for clean up but Im not happy with the exterior of the meat almost wanna say its steamed instead of crispy...if I have to open the bag to crisp i dont wanna be bothered .

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 9:54PM
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I would never use ANYTHING else !! If you want it to be crispy, coast the outside with Butter (or I use olive oil) and sprinkle with Salt, Pepper and Paprika. . Also put an apple cut in half inside the cavity and some onion and celery. This will assure a great taste and the apple makes it moist ! This is a never fail ! The clean up is awesome as well.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 6:01PM
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I see this thread is kind of old now, but besides all the personal opinions, does anybody know how to get that nice brown skin when using an oven bag?

When I make the turkey, the night before I take a few sticks of butter, a whole yellow onion and some spices and cook them all together. Then I take that and place it into a food processor until it becomes one homogenous mixture of sorts, then I place that into a large freezer bag and flatten it out in the fridge. I got this idea from Paula Dean. The next day when you are getting your turkey ready you use your fingers to gently separate the skin from the meat, and you slide in the hardened butter mixture in between the skin and the meat. This method works incredibly well for an oven bag or not, as it infuses the meat with a delicious flavor.

For people wary of the bag, the thing is fantastic! The meat comes out delicious and moist. It takes 4 hours as opposed to 8 hours to cook the turkey and needs no basting or any other fuss. I just wish it got that picture perfect browning to it, but we usually slice it up anyways so it isn't that big of a deal, but would like to hear any suggestions on how to attain this? I was thinking that maybe I should try cutting back the plastic for the last 20 or 30 minutes? I am just worried about drying the meat out :/

    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 2:01AM
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