Easy and Delicious Thanksgiving Turkey

My first Thanksgiving was a memorable one, and for many years I did not even attempt to cook a turkey on Thanksgiving. We had pizza, lasagna, and turkey cooked by others, but I didn’t want to spend all day on another disaster.

Then I discovered oven bags. I love these little things! They are relatively inexpensive and if you only cook one turkey a year, the last for quite a while. Once I tried oven bags I never went back, you get a perfect turkey every time.

It is so simple to cook a turkey using an oven bag. Preheat the oven, add a tablespoon of flour to the bag, place bag in the pan, and place turkey in the bag and bake according to the chart on your turkey.

I have been using oven bags for several years and I have never made a bad turkey ( I give all the credit to the bag- big birds still scare me!).

Another quick tip- If you have 20 pounds of potatoes to wash for your Thanksgiving meal throw them in the top shelf of the dishwasher. Set on the quick rinse cycle and let your dishwasher clean the potatoes. Not something I would do every day, but definitely a space and time saver during the holidays.


  1. Inquiring minds want to know… What the heck is an oven bag? and where would one purchase said oven bag?

  2. I can’t even begin to know how to cook a turkey without a bag!! That’s all I ever learned to do. I cook onions with garlic in butter with paprika in a pan and pour that over the top. That’s all I do. Its FAB!!!!

  3. I love the tip about cleaning potatoes. I might have to try that this year.

  4. I have to agree. The oven bags are the way to go. No dried out turkey that way.

    I usually just rinse the potatoes well, peel them and then wash them off before cutting them up. Mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving and nothing else or my name would be mud.

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

  5. I’ve never had a terrible turkey experience, thanks to oven bags. Somehow I found out about them when my husband & I were first married, and I’ve only cooked a turkey without one once or twice. But I think they’re easiest when you have the oven bag… and they don’t take as long to cook that way, either.

    I think I may just have to try your idea about washing potatoes this year! How creative!! 🙂

    Amy 🙂

  6. The dishwasher potato cleaning is cracking me up. What a great tip!

  7. Ok, I cheat and buy pre-made mashed potatoes. Hey, I make everything else but I’ve never had the knack. Instant are our everyday choice but I splurge on holidays.

    I usually use an electronic thermometer to cook my turkey but this year I’m making 2. (One for DH, one for the rest of us) Might give the bags a try!

  8. I agree with Dawn, I laughed out loud when I read about using the dishwasher to wash the potatoes! That is very creative and original. I have never ever heard it before! I love it! 🙂

  9. My favorite secret to the perfect bird is brining. It sounds tricky but really it’s super easy! You just soak the turkey for up to 24 hours in a mix of salt water (keeping it refrigerated or on ice is the hard part). There is a lot of chemistry but all I know is that the turkey is ALWAYS tender and juicy. You can easily look up how to do it online and you will WOW your family with this one!

  10. The oven bags are great. I won’t cook a turkey without one. Did this year and it was dry. I actually think it tastes better. I’m gonna link this to my blog, if that’s ok with you!!! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  11. I love the dishwasher idea for huge amounts of potatoes!! I have successfully used the bag as well, but for the past few years I’ve used Alton Brown’s procedure with fabulous results (usually 22 pounds).

  12. I haven’t cooked a turkey since we moved to North Carolina. My mother-in-law bakes a small turkey, and my husband fries a small turkey, so there’s enough and a variety for the whole family on Turkey Day. But I told my husband that I want to start having our own Thanksgiving at our house, not just at his parents’, even if ours is later in the week. That way I can do things “my” way. So I’ll definitely give the oven bag a try.

    I love using oven bags for beef & pork roasts, though. They are wonderful! I still haven’t figured out what the purpose of the flour is for….? It never sticks to the bag after I shake it, and instead clumps up at the bottom of the bag. Maybe for making gravy? But I don’t make homemade gravy b/c no one eats it, so that doesn’t do me any good.


  1. […] Happy Housewife recommends using oven bags for the perfect […]

  2. […] Need some tips on cooking the perfect turkey? Check out this advice from The Happy Housewife for an Easy and Delicious Turkey. […]

  3. […] Need some tips on cooking the perfect turkey? Check out this advice from The Happy Housewife for an Easy and Delicious Turkey. […]

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