Paper bag turkey - or turkey cooked in parchment - is unbelievably tender and juicy. Find out how to make it and up your turkey game!
Roasting a turkey in a paper bag - or, as in the recipe below, parchment - is the best way to create a succulent, juicy dish that your family and friends will rave about.
If you've always found turkey a little too dry, prepare to be amazed! Once you cook it in parchment, you'll realize that turkey isn't dry at all, but that your cooking methods were drying it out!
Paper works brilliantly for roasting turkey. It has the magic formula of retaining just enough steam to keep the meat lovely and tender, but allows enough steam to escape so that the skin gets crispy and golden brown.
Some people will use food bags instead of paper for roasting their turkey, but we think paper is definitely better! Very little steam escapes from food bags, the result being that the turkey steams rather than roasts. It still cooks properly of course, but the flavor is different.
Why parchment is better than a brown paper bag
Whilst using a brown paper bag may be the most traditional method, experts now advise against it. This is because the paper may contain chemicals used in recycling, or that there may be chemicals used in any inks on the bag. These chemicals could easily then end up in your food!
Parchment, on the other hand, is intended for food use and gives the same delicious results.
If you're worried that the parchment you use will burst into flames in the oven, never fear!
Parchment paper is treated with silicone, which makes it non-stick and also makes it very resistant to heat, up to temperatures of 420°F. It is safe to use and will not ignite at the temperature needed to cook your turkey.
That being said, parchment will burn if it touches a flame or heat source, so it's very important when using it to keep it well away from the heating element.
Another important point is to make sure you are using parchment paper and not waxed paper - no, they are not the same thing! Waxed paper is nowhere near as heat-resistant as parchment paper and WILL catch fire in the oven.