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Brown Bag Turkey


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It’s Thanksgiving week all week long here are RMK.  Hopefully you will find some things that will help you out with your meal for the big day.  This year I decided to take pointers from my good friend Tina from Mommy’s Kitchen for the bird.  She tried this brown bag turkey method out last year.

Now you might be thinking the same thing I was at first, won’t the brown bag catch on fire?  According to Tina, paper catches fire at 451 degrees.  Since we are cooking the turkey at 375 degrees there should be now worries.  However, I must admit I keep my fire extinguisher handy just in case.

Brown Bag Turkey | realmomkitchen.com

Now the main reason to use the brown paper bag over an oven safe roasting bag is that the bag is breathable allowing the turkey to roast.  It turned out golden and beautiful.  My husband said, “Now that’s the way to do a turkey.”  The thing that is funny is my hubby also said last year when I used a savory brine on the turkey.  I must say the turkey was so moist and delicious.

Be sure to check out the giveaway page today because I am giving away a few turkey’s to help a couple of you out with your Thanksgiving dinner.

Brown Bag Turkey | realmomkitchen.com
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Brown Bag Turkey | realmomkitchen.com

Brown Bag Turkey


  • 2 large brown paper grocery sacks
  • 1 (10-13 lbs) Turkey washed and pat dry (mine was 12 lbs)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 3 carrots
  • 4 stalks of celery, cut in half
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • pepper


  1. In the bottom of a roasting pan place 2 of the carrots and 7 of the celery stalk halves. The veggies are going to be our roasting rack, plus they will add flavor to the drippings.
  2. Place the 1/2 onion in the cavity of the turkey along with the remaining carrot and 1/2 stalk of celery. Cut the celery and carrot into pieces if needed.
  3. Place the turkey on top of the carrots and celery in the roasting pan.
  4. Brush the entire turkey with the olive oil and then season with the kosher salt and pepper.
  5. Use the two grocery sacks to cover the turkey, using one from each end of the pan to cover it completely. You can uses a staple to help secure the bags if needed. I used the type of bags with handles. I stapled the handles together on the first bag and then placed the second bag on.
  6. Spray paper bags with water to dampen slightly.
  7. Place turkey in the oven at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes per pound. To test for doneness, insert thermometer into turkey directly through the paper bags. It needs to read from 163-170 degrees. Be sure you are right in the breast and not at the bone when doing this.
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Real Mom Kitchen original recipe using brown bag method adapted from Mommy’s Kitchen.

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Mary Perkins November 8, 2011 - 1:46 am

other has done this for years apparently. My son was somewhat concerned about it their first thanksgiving and did some checking with the food network and some other places and was told it really isnt safe, because of the chemicals in the paper and the glue in the seams which when heated emit all kinds of nasty. Maybe butcher paper instead? Just a thought, and sure not trying to step on any toes !

Mary Perkins November 8, 2011 - 1:47 am

Ooops! That was supposed to say my daughter in laws mother has done this ( in my first post )

Lillian Child November 7, 2011 - 10:17 am

I’ve seen recipes (mostly french) that cook fish in parchment paper, but haven’t ever tried using brown bags. Very interesting idea. Thanks for sharing this tip with us!

Laura November 7, 2011 - 8:54 am

Yes, just get some that haven’t been used yet. 🙂

Patti S November 7, 2011 - 8:31 am

Interesting…can’t say that I’ve ever heard of this before. Might have to give it a try. Although I think I might ask for new clean bags at the grocery store instead of using ones that have been used to haul your groceries (who knows where else those canned items and other packages that were inside the bag have been! LOL)