Reynolds Oven Bags have been around for decades, and there is one recipe that I simply won’t make without them. They currently come in two sizes: large and turkey size. I’ve never done a turkey in one, and find the large bags perfect for all my needs.
These are made of a heat-resistant plastic, and can be used in a conventional or microwave oven, at temperatures up to, but not exceeding, 400 degrees Fahrenheit. You can not use these in tabletop roasters, however. The large bags are 16 x 17.5 inches, with the opening on a 16" side. They feel like a slightly stiff plastic bag, which they are! The package contains five bags and five plastic zip ties that are also oven safe.
Actually, I used to use the regular size quite often. Those were 10 x 16 inches, but it appears that these aren’t available any longer.
The idea is that you put a piece of meat, seasonings, vegetables, etc into the bag and bake it. All the flavors blend, the juices are retained near/on the meat without basting, and the result is a tender, delicious meal. What can I say?... the theory works perfectly. Each box also comes with a folder of instructions and recipes. This flyer has a cooking chart for cuts of poultry, lamb, beef, and pork, and several specific recipes, such as Asian-Style Pork Tenderloin, Lemon Basil Chicken, and more. Additional recipes are available at Reynolds.
No matter what recipe you are making, you need to put a couple of tablespoons of flour in the bag first and shake it to coat the inner surface. Then you add the food, put it in a pan of some kind, puff up the bag a little, seal it with the tie, and cut six ½ inch slits in the top of the bag to let steam escape. Then put it in the oven at the correct temperature, for the prescribed time.
When it’s done, just cut the bag open and serve the dinner, or move it to a platter first for a nice presentation.
Cleanup is easy- throw the bag away! If you are careful, nothing will even get on the pan, and just an easy wash up is all that’s required.
My former favorite thing to do was a plain old chuck roast. This inexpensive cut of meat was sometimes on sale, and I could feed my meat-hungry boys without breaking the bank. I would just prepare the bag, put in a 3-pound chuck roast, add one package of onion soup mix and 2/3 cup water. If I wanted to add potato quarters and carrot chunks, that was the entire meal... in the bag. Then I baked it for 2.5 to 3 hours at 325 degrees F. Absolutely yummy!
However, now we are limiting sodium, due to hubby’s heart attack of a few years ago. So, after we decided on a chuck roast for our holiday meal (we eat very little beef any more) I wondered what I could do to flavor the roast. (Onion soup mix has very high sodium!) For a 3-pound roast, I used 2 T of Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Blend, 2/3 c water, two 2" onions sliced, and 4 ounces of raw mushroom slices. I baked it for 2 hours and 45 minutes. It was wonderful! The Reynolds Oven Bag did a perfect job of tenderizing this cheap cut, and sending the flavors throughout the meat.
I don’t really like one-use products, but these bags work so well that their value far offsets that drawback. They really do make meal preparation easy when there is a cut of meat involved.