The Secret to Succulent Slow Roasted Turkey: Cooking it Overnight in a Bag

Are you tired of dry, overcooked turkey on Thanksgiving? Say goodbye to those worries and hello to the juiciest, most tender turkey you’ve ever tasted. The secret? Slow roasting your turkey overnight in an oven bag. This method is a game-changer, ensuring a mouthwatering, perfectly cooked bird every time.

Why Slow Roast a Turkey in a Bag?

Slow roasting a turkey in an oven bag offers several benefits:

  • Moisture Retention: The bag traps the turkey’s natural juices, preventing them from evaporating and leaving you with a dry, tough bird.
  • Hands-Off Cooking: Once you’ve prepped the turkey and popped it in the oven, you can leave it to cook overnight without any supervision.
  • Stress-Free Thanksgiving Day: With the turkey already cooked, you can focus on preparing the sides and enjoying time with your family.
  • Crispy Skin (Yes, Really!): Contrary to popular belief, the skin can still achieve a delightful crispiness when cooked in the bag.

Preparing Your Turkey for Slow Roasting

Before you begin, gather the following:

  • 1 thawed turkey (any size will work)
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 oven-safe roasting bag (such as Reynolds, PanSaver, or BirdBags)
  • A roasting pan large enough to hold your turkey

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Remove the Giblets: Reach into the turkey cavity and remove any giblets or neck bones. You can save these for making gravy or discard them.

  2. Coat the Bag: Spray the inside of the oven bag with cooking spray, then add the flour. Seal the bag and shake it to coat the entire interior with the flour. This will help promote browning and crisping of the skin.

  3. Season the Turkey: Pat the turkey dry with paper towels, then season the cavity and exterior with your preferred spices, herbs, and salt.

  4. Butter Up: Place the stick of butter inside the turkey cavity. This will melt during cooking, basting the meat from the inside and adding incredible flavor.

  5. Bag It Up: Place the seasoned turkey breast-side down in the prepared oven bag, then seal the bag tightly with the included tie or a simple knot. Make sure the bag is tucked into the roasting pan to prevent it from touching the oven racks.

  6. Vent and Roast: Use scissors or a knife to cut 6-8 small vents in the top of the bag. This will allow steam to escape during cooking.

How Long to Cook a Turkey in an Oven Bag

The cooking time for a slow-roasted turkey in a bag will vary depending on the size of your bird. However, a general guideline is:

  • Cook the turkey at 250°F (121°C) for approximately 7 hours.
  • Start cooking around 10:30 PM or 11 PM, and your turkey will be ready by 6 AM the next morning.

Turkey Cooking Time in an Oven Bag (by Weight)

Turkey Weight Approximate Cooking Time
10-13 lbs 7 hours
14-18 lbs 8 hours
19-22 lbs 9 hours
23-27 lbs 10 hours

Note: Always use a meat thermometer to ensure your turkey has reached a safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) in the thickest part of the breast and 175°F (79°C) in the thigh.

Finishing Touches and Serving

Once your turkey has reached the desired temperature, remove it from the oven and let it rest in the bag for 15-20 minutes. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more flavorful and tender turkey.

Carefully cut open the bag, being cautious of any remaining steam. Transfer the turkey to a serving platter and, if desired, spoon some of the flavorful juices from the bag over the top.

You can now carve and serve your perfectly cooked, succulent slow-roasted turkey. Enjoy the compliments from your guests and savor the incredible flavors and textures.

Bonus: Leftover Turkey Recipes

If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, don’t let them go to waste! Here are a few delicious ideas:

  • Turkey pot pie
  • Turkey salad sandwiches
  • Turkey noodle soup
  • Turkey and dumplings
  • Turkey fried rice

With this slow-roasting method, you’ll have plenty of juicy, tender turkey to enjoy for days to come.


Slow roasting a turkey in an oven bag is a foolproof way to achieve a moist, flavorful bird with minimal effort. By cooking your turkey overnight, you can wake up to a delicious aroma and a stress-free Thanksgiving day. Give this method a try, and you’ll never go back to dry, overcooked turkey again.

How to Roast a Whole Turkey in an Oven Bag/ SIMPLE STEPS

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