University of Illinois Extension

Cooking Techniques - Some Unsafe Cooking Methods

Brown Paper Bag Method

This method involves placing the turkey in a large brown paper bag, the type used in grocery stores, and cooking the bird at a very low temperature. Experts agree that brown paper bags were never intended for use as cooking utensils. The glue, ink, chemicals and other materials used in recycling grocery bags are unsanitary and some bags may even contain tiny metal shavings.

Make It Safe - To make this method safe, replace the brown bag with a turkey-size oven-cooking bag. Cooking turkey at temperatures below 325°F is unsafe, so increase the oven temperature to 350°F. Use a food thermometer. A whole turkey is safe when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. For reasons of personal preference, you may choose to cook the turkey to higher temperatures. The temperature in all parts should read 165 °F or higher. (See Oven Cooking Bag Method).