J Dub’s Turkey in a Bag is not really my recipe. My dear friend, Monica, showed me the bag trick YEARS ago when I was deathly afraid of cooking a turkey. I was also a few weeks from giving birth to my youngest AND hosting Thanksgiving. I love this recipe because you don’t have to stay up late waiting to put the turkey in the oven! AND, you don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to take it out. The Best part…..This recipe has never disappointed me because it results in the most juicy, tender bird EVER.


1 Turkey thawed, giblets removed, rinsed, and patted dry (the bird in the photos above is 17 pounds)

2 sticks room temperature butter

1 onion, quartered

10 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole

4 T Granulated garlic – you will adjust these depending on size of bird

2 T Seasoning salt – adjust depending on size of bird

4 T Onion powder – adjust depending on size of bird

Turkey Roasting bag

Roasting Pan


  1. First, preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Adjust your oven racks so that bird will easily fit inside.
  3. After you have patted turkey dry, rub butter all over both sides and under any skin.
  4. Sprinkle heavily with a mixture of onion powder, seasoning salt, and granulated garlic. ( I pour about 1/4 cup of each in a bowl together, whisk and sprinkle on bird – you will use more or less depending on the size of your bird.
  5. Then, stuff turkey with quarter onion, garlic, and butter in both ends.  You may need to slice up butter to get it to fit and stay inside bird.
  6. Place bird in turkey size roasting bag.
  7. Seal bag using o-ring tie provided with bag.
  8. Next, make slices in top of bag to release steam. ( I make 6 slices over top of bird).
  9. Place bird in roasting pan that is at least 2 inches deep.
  10. Place bird in oven making sure bag will not touch sides of oven as it expands from heat.
  11. Roast the bird at 500 degrees for 20 minutes. This gives the top of the bird a nice golden crust.
  12. Next, turn the oven down to 200 degree Fahrenheit and carefully insert a meat thermometer into bird.
  13. Bake until meat thermometer reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  14. This bird cooked for 5 hours.
  15. Finally, remove bird from oven and allow to rest for at least 45 minutes before carving.


As you can see, you can start your turkey mid-morning and it will easily be ready by late afternoon. To make it even easier, I recommend getting your bird ready the day before. That way, the next morning, all you need to do is put in the oven.

For a larger bird, you will need to add additional cooking time. To give you a few examples….For a 20 pound bird, you would add an hour to the baking time. For a 23 pound bird, add two hours. These times are approximate, as you should always rely on a meat thermometer for doneness.

Try this recipe and I promise J Dub’s Turkey in a Bag will not let you down. Click here for the most fabulous dressing you will want to add to your menu every single year.


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