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How to Cook Turkey Without a Bag

author image Susan Peterson
Susan Peterson is the author of five books, including "Western Herbs for Martial Artists and Contact Athletes" and "Clare: A Novel." She holds a Ph.D. in text theory from the University of Texas at Arlington and is an avid cook and gardener.
How to Cook Turkey Without a Bag
Whole turkey out of the oven resting on a cutting board. Photo Credit: Photography by Solaria/iStock/Getty Images

The advantage of roasting a turkey in a cooking bag is that it yields a moist, juicy turkey. However, bags are not without their problems. Paper bags are a fire hazard, and roasting bags tend to produce pale turkey skin that sometimes sticks to the bag. An alternative to using a cooking bag is braising the turkey. Braising means roasting in a steamy, enclosed environment. It is a good option when cooking a large, potentially tough turkey.

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Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2

Chop your vegetables coarsely.

Step 3

Melt the butter in a frying pan, and add the vegetables. Saute them until they begin to brown.

Step 4

Put the vegetables and butter in the bottom of the roasting pan. Put the turkey on top of the vegetables, and add the broth. The broth should not be higher than halfway up the turkey.

Step 5

Cover the pan with the lid and put it in the oven.

Step 6

Begin checking the turkey every half-hour at the two-hour mark. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. Cook until the thermometer reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 7

Remove the lid of the roasting pan for the last half-hour of cooking if you like brown, crispy skin. Before removing the turkey from the oven check the the temperature of the thigh, the breast, and the thickest part of the wing. They should all be at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 8

Remove the turkey from the pan to rest on a cooling rack at least 20 minutes before carving.

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