Saturday, November 13, 2010

Roasted Brown Bag Turkey

1 – 12 lb turkey
1+ tablespoon coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1+ tablespoon garlic powder
1+ tablespoon onion powder
1 cup peanut oil (use peanut oil only.  Other oils will set the bag on fire)
2+ teaspoons poultry seasoning (recipe to follow)
1 tablespoon paprika
1 large brown paper bag

Note:  Turkey should be seasoned 1 day prior to cooking.  If turkey is frozen allow 3 day for it to thaw in the refrigerator.

Remove giblet bag from turkey clean it inside and outside thoroughly.  Pat it dry with paper towels then generously sprinkle the inside and outside with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and poultry seasoning.  (It is best to purchase new poultry seasoning or make it fresh.)  Wrap the bird in foil and let it sit over night.

 Poultry Seasoning

2 tablespoon sage, rubbed
1 tablespoon thyme, dried
1 tablespoon rosemary, dried
1 tablespoon marjoram, dried
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients.

Try and purchase all ingredients from a specialty store that sells herbs and spices in bulk.  This way you can purchase only the amount that is needed.  

24 Hours Later

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a small bowl, mix together the peanut oil with 1 tablespoon each of the following:  garlic powder, onion powder and paprika and 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning.

Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and unwrap.  Drain turkey of any excess liquid that may have accumulated then rest it on the foil.  Massage the oil mixture over the turkey making sure you coat it inside and out thoroughly.

Coat the paper bag thoroughly with the remaining oil mixture. Add more peanut oil if needed to coat the bag. To ensure that the bag does not catch fire, you must use peanut oil.

Place the paper bag in a roasting pan, insert a roasting rack (if you have) in the bag and place the turkey on the rack then staple the bag shut.

Put pan in the oven and bake undisturbed 10 minutes per pound (a 12 pound turkey will cook in 2 hours).

After the cooking time has elapsed, remove turkey from oven and let it sit  in  the unopened bag 1 hour before serving.

Note: Even after the turkey is removed from the oven it will continue to cook.  Just know, that if you followed the instructions your turkey will be done, juicy and golden brown.

Do not over crowd your oven.  The more food you have in it, the longer it will take your food to cook.


  1. If I followed your directions but baked my turkey in a turkey roaster instead of a bag, will it come out the same?


  2. Unfortunately no. Cooking in the paper bag and peanut oil aids in sealing the skin which keeps in the juices and promotes browning. Unlike the turkey pan where heat is escaping during basting causing interference in the cooking and browning process.

    A & J

  3. How about if you cook it in the plastic bag. Reynolds wrap has a turkey bag and I've wondered about using that.

  4. I tried it in that Reynolds bag and after 2 hours of cooking, my turkey came out looking like I steamed it. It was completely done and moist but it did not brown at all.

  5. Can I brine the turkey first?

  6. Read our article To Brine or Not to Brine. If you're a fan of brining Mom has a link to a great recipe.
    If you're talking about a traditional brine, where you essentially have the bird immersed for days in ice and seasoning, the answer is no. Do not use that kind of brine with this recipe. That kind of brining process changes the cooking time. I've mixed the two methods before and my bird wound up dry.

    If by brine you mean rub some seasoning on it the day before, that's fine with the brown bag technique.

    Happy Turkey Day!

  7. What if the bag has writing on it from the grocery store? Should I try to find a plain bag? I want to do this.


  8. Good question! I've used bags with writing on them. It doesn't matter. Just make sure you get more than one bag, just in case you tear it. If you get a huge turkey, you may need two bags and then you have to get creative with how to close them because the bags must be closed.


  9. Got it. Thanks. I wanted to make sure the ink wouldn't run all over the turkey, but I'll put it on the bottom just in case. And my turkey is a big one, so thanks for the heads up. I asked for paper bags the last time I went to the store, so I have plenty back up. Will let you know how it goes. Thanks again.

  10. Can you please explain how you put the roasting rack in the back? Then how how do you staple it shut with the rack inside? Lastly, when you say coat the bag thoroughly with the oil, do you mean on the outside as well as the inside? Just want to make sure!


  11. To coat the bag, lay it down and pour oil inside. Rub the oil over the inside making sure it is well coated. The oil will soak through to the outside. Keep bag laying down and slide the rack inside. The rack should be flat and small enough to fit inside the bag. Not the large curved rack found in the big roasters. A 12# turkey will fit in a large grocery store paper bag with 1" left over to fold close and staple

  12. Can you stuff the turkey? If so do I need to increase the cooking time?

  13. Yes the turkey can be stuffed. If you stuff the turkey just before you put it in the oven, there is no need to cook it longer. To be safe, use a thermometer and test the temperature in the center of the stuffing. It needs to be 165 degrees to kill bacteria.