I recently overheard a conversation about cooking turkeys. They were talking about using a cooking bag. Any opinions? I am pretty coventional, I just usually roast with seasoning under the skin and bacon over the breast. They were saying the turkey cooks faster.
I've eaten turkey roasted in a bag. It was awful. I imagined that it would come out like boiled or steamed turkey, and i was right. Bla. I didn't make it, so i can't vouch for the cooking method, but for me one of the best things about roast turkey is the skin and the crispiness of it (boiled poultry skin - well does it get any worse than that?) so i really don;t get why anyone would do it in a bag which pretty much precludes any possibility of browning, i would think.
I roast my turkey in a very hot oven for the entire time, with just a tent of foil on it if it looks like it might burn, or on the tops of the legs if they seem to be getting dry. It comes out really juicy inside and crispy outside. I think they invented the bags to be able to sell something else, not out of any real advantage.
call us weird but my family rubs a liberal dose of butter on a cut brown shopping bag, place in the oven at 350 for the right number of hours and voila. perfect brown turkey with no issues.
cause the bag is open on the leg end not the breast end it doesn't just steam the turkey but does seem to help moisture stay in the breast. Buttering the bag thoroughly keeps it from bursting into flame and kinda bastes the turkey a bit. haven't tried sealing it up in one of those giant plastic roasting bags.
and before anyone says anything, no, noone (friends or family) has had any issues with ink flavor (usually thats the panel you cut out) or any other chemical issues from using a plain brown shopping bag.
I usually cook it at at least 450, often even hotter.
I used to have an oven that had a broken thermostat and there were no replacement parts, so the repairman just replaced the thermostat with an on/off switch. It got VERY hot. I had to put smething in the door to keep it open to bake cakes, etc, but discovered that practically everything that is not baking benefits from high heat. Of course, you have to watch it carefully.
You are spot on with the juices - good tip. I generally cut the bag over the pan and tip it, then get the juices into a saucepan, crisp up the bird while finishing off the rest of the main and making the gravy.
Can't imagine pork chops in one - IMO they need direct heat, in a pan, or at least started in a pan, unless they are being braised/stewed.
I think turkey bags were designed for Irish American women (like my mother) who seems to only know two types of meat. Over cooked and VERY over cooked. At least you wouldn't need a entire glass of liquid just to choke the turkey down. I only ate dark meat as a child, I had no idea that white meat (and dear god don't get me started on her pork chops) didn't have to have the mouth feel of a paper towel. Luckily she made gravy.
My wife and I saw an add for those the other night and the first thing we said was how awful those would be.
We (well she) starts the turkey at about 475 to crisp it up, and then lowers the temperature after to finish the cooking. We also brine it over night prior to cooking.
It always comes out perfect. I'd give you more details but she the turkey cooker, though I'm sure someone here or online searches would give you the full recipes for a brine and the cooking method.
I have brined before many times. I don't even know why I was wondering about the bag thing. My turkey is good and is moist, however you are the second person who has told me they cook at least part of the time at a high temp. I have always cooked my turkeys at 325-350 . You know, that's the way my mom always did it.