Entree Recipes

How to Cook a Turkey in an Oven Bag

Thanksgiving Turkey: How to Cook a Turkey in an Oven Bag #FreshFinds #shop

First you need to drizzle and rub oil or melted butter over your entire turkey. Then sprinkle the herbs over the turkey, rubbing them in really well. Don’t forget, if you want my special blend, you can sign up HERE to have them emailed to you!

If you can lift up the skin at all, and rub the seasoning underneath – even better! After you’ve given your turkey a good rub down, it’s ready to be baked. You will need a roasting pan that is at least 2″ deep, and a Reynolds Oven Bag.

You can purchase a box of oven bags here. Stock up for next time!

Thanksgiving Turkey: How to Cook a Turkey in an Oven Bag #FreshFinds #shop

There are some great instructions and cooking times on the box of oven bags, so use that if you need to. Before placing your turkey in the bag, it is important to pour 1 Tbs of flour into the bag. Then place a wedged onion in the bottom, and top it with your turkey. Tie the bag shut with the enclosed tie. Lastly, you need to cut six 1/2″ slits in the top of your bag. Then tuck any portions of the bag that may be sticking out, inside the pan. Bake time varies depending on the size of your turkey. I have suggested bake times in the printable recipe, below.

Thanksgiving Turkey: How to Cook a Turkey in an Oven Bag #FreshFinds #shop

After turkey is done cooking, allow it to sit in bag for 15 minutes before carving. Enjoy!

How to Cook a Turkey in an Oven Bag
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 5 min
  1. Reynolds® Oven Bag, Turkey Size
  2. 1 Tbs flour
  3. 1 medium onion, cut into wedges
  4. 8 to 24 pound turkey, thawed
  5. 2 Tbs oil or melted butter
  6. seasoning blend
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Shake flour inside Reynolds Oven Bag and place in a large roasting pan that is at least 2 inches deep. You can opt to spray the inside of bag with nonstick cooking spray if you desire.
  3. Place onion wedges in the bottom of the bag.
  4. Remove neck and giblets from turkey, then rinse and pat your turkey dry. Brush with your 2 Tbs of oil or melted butter.
  5. In a small bowl, combine all seasonings and rub into the entire turkey.
  6. Carefully slide turkey into the oven bag, making sure the opening of the bag is facing the end of the roasting pan, and not facing up.
  7. Close oven bag with the included nylon tie, and cut six 1/2 inch slits in the top of the bag.
  8. Baking time varies depending on the size of your turkey. You can refer to the Oven Bag directions or use the reference below.
  9. When your turkey reaches an internal temperature of 180°, remove from oven and let stand in oven bag for another 15 minutes. Cut open the top of the bag and carefully remove turkey from the bag, and place onto a cutting board. Lifting works well by inserting one carving fork into each end of the turkey.
  10. After carving, drizzle extra drippings over the meat. Super tasty!
Baking times
  1. -2 hours for 8-12 lb turkeys
  2. -2.5 hours for 12-16 lb turkeys
  3. -3 hours for 16-20 lb turkeys
  4. -3.5 hours for 20-24 lb turkeys
Clever Housewife https://cleverhousewife.com/

Don’t forget to buy your turkey oven bags HERE. Stock up so you have them on hand for your next turkey!


About the author

Emily Buys


  • Your turkey looks amazing and I really do want to try cooking it in a bag. That sale would be great because I could cook the one I normally do (covered in bacon and butter) and then one in a bag to offer both variations to my family. Thanks for posting such a fun recipe–it looks delicious!

  • I have 2 questions for you. Are there enough drippings to make a gravy and what are baking times for a breast?

  • So many drippings Bonnie! I love that about preparing the turkey this way! As for baking times for a breast, I will ask Reynolds and get back to you on that!

  • I haven’t done a turkey this way, and it intrigues me!! Why do you put the flour into the oven bag?? Can you use the oven bags if you cook your turkey in an electric roaster? I usually do mine in a roaster, so I can use the oven for the side dishes.

  • I haven’t prepared a turkey like this, and it is interesting. Question- Why do you put flour into the oven bag? And can you use an oven bag with an electric roaster? I usually cook my turkey in a roaster so my oven is free to bake the side dishes. Thanks!

  • I think the turkeys are great in the bag, I’m going to spray it this time. As it did stick to bag using flour. I’m also going to remove bag at least from top of turkey a half hour before done cooking to brown it.

  • I use a bag every year! Love doing it this way no way to mess it up plus it doesn’t take it as long!

  • This is how my mom always did it! This year is my first time hosting… can you stuff the turkey using this method?

  • My concern is the cooking time. I have a 24 lb bird and it’s saying 3-3.5 hrs u stuffed. If I cook it out of the bag I’d be more at 5 hours for this size bird. I need to know that 3.5 hours will do it. Thanks

  • I tried this once and there was so much juice in the bottom of the bag that it wasn’t browned at all, just mealy white skin halfway up the turkey. How can I prevent that.

  • I need to know if I can use a oven bag to cook a turkey in a electric roaster pan. I have always used turkey bags in an oven but need to cook three this year for a large dinner and only have space for two turkeys in an oven. The other one needs to be cooked in a roaster pan.

  • HI Kristine, Unfortunately you cannot use the oven bags in an electric roaster. The same principal applies as if you were to put a plastic bag in a toaster oven – just wouldn’t work. Might you be able to use a neighbor or friend’s oven for your third turkey? You are going to be one busy cook. Happy eating!

  • Hi Kristine and Emily – I was looking at this recipe with all the great seasonings and I am going to try this! Thanks for the recipe! But not to contradict what Emily says, but I’ve cooked my turkeys in the electric roaster for 20 years, and have always used a bag. I just make sure the bag doesn’t touch the side/top/lid of the electric roaster. I tie it tight. I still use the flour in the bag, and vent it with holes. I place my turkey in a disposable pan, than place it in the electric roaster. Good Luck! tip – I make sure I buy a small enough turkey to fit in my roaster, so that I do have plenty of space so the bag doesn’t touch the roaster. Turns out so juicy! Here is a link about it


    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • No worries at all Darissa! I’m glad you haven’t had a problem with it thus far. Just because there can be complications, they take precautions so turkeys don’t get ruined or contaminated.

  • I also brine my 20 lb turkey for 18 hrs , wash it dry it fresh herbs and butter under the skin , butter and season on the outside , I love using the roasting bag , but since the skin isn’t going to crispy , I lay mine breast side down , and I don’t have to touch it until the roasting time is over , and I leave it rest for 20 minutes ,,, it falls off the bone , is super moist , and the leftovers stay just as moist also , everybody the has had my turkey loves it , and it’s easier then you think , and the clean up doesn’t take long because of the roasting bag ,,,

  • I use the oven bags every year but this year all the family is coming and have a 27lb turkey. The instructions only go up to 24 lbs. Do you have instructions to use the bag for a larger turkey ? I dont know how much more time to add on.

  • Hi Shelia, I’m so glad you messaged because it helped me realize my Click here button wasn’t working. The post has been updated so you can “click here” and enter your email address to have the seasonings emailed to you!! Happy cooking!

  • That is one big turkey, Tracy! From everything I’ve read, I’m guessing the oven bag isn’t recommended for turkeys weighing more than 24 lbs. I would contact Reynolds and ask to be sure, and if they have recommended cooking times for the larger bird. Maybe the bag isn’t quite big enough to accommodate? Either way, good luck!!

  • I’m not positive about on the roaster, Betty, but I know it’s unsafe to eat turkey that has been left out for more than 2 hours. You don’t want it to dry out by continuing to cook either.

  • Hi Emily,

    I pinned your recipe for ‘how to cook a turkey in an oven bag’ and have tried to click where indicated to have the herb blend recipe emailed to me to no avail. Could you please send it to my e-mail address. I am making a turkey for Easter. Thank you so much! Can’t wait to try your recipe.

    Rhonda Roen

  • I would love the seasoning tecipe for tutkey. This is my first time makeing a turkey & my great grandma’s dressing. I’m a tad nervous to cook for my parents to say the least!

  • Glad to know not to put in electric roaster. Was going to do that. Do you have enough drippings with using the bag?

  • When I click on the link it doesn’t give me the special seasoning blend. Could you please share it?

  • Thank you,we have gluten free family members can I use corn starch? Think this has been asked is there enough drippings for dressing and gravy? First time to use bag, thank you again.

  • Does the turkey get browned and crispy in the bag? Sounds like a great idea but I like the skin brown and crispy. Also where is the best place t9 put the meat thermometer?

  • I wouldn’t say the skin gets as brown and crispy as otherwise. The picture is straight from the bag, if that helps. You can always try taking it out of the bag at the end and crisping it up, but I haven’t found it necessary. It gets a certain amount of crispiness on its own. Oven bags need to have slits cut in the top so you can put the thermometer in through there, but I often go by the trusty thermometer that comes with most turkeys and pops out when done. Good luck!

  • I’m going to cook my turkey in a bag as you suggested. Question. My oven has a roast setting as well as a bake? And even conventional. which should I be using? Thank you

  • I love your Information, Emily. I, too, would like your secret ingredient list. Also, do you have a mailing list? Thanks!

  • I always use a bag for my turkey and it turns out great. I have a turkey roaster I use that has a lid. Think I could use the lid on, while cooking the bird in the bag? I never have but
    need the room below, for the sides.

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