Cooking a turkey for the first time, and am leaning towards using an oven bag, as that seems to be the easiest method to keep the turkey moist. My family has a lot of dark meat fans, so I wanted to add some extra turkey legs. How would I go about adding these to the oven bag with the full turkey? Would I add them right away at the start, or part way through the cooking time?

  • 1
    A roasting bag cannot prevent turkey from drying out, which is solely a result of proteins denaturing and contracting at high temperature (it has nothing to do with evaporation).
    – Sneftel
    Nov 16, 2023 at 13:14

1 Answer 1


Actually, your best results will be achieved by separating the breast from the legs and thighs, and using a meat thermometer. White and dark meat are best at different temperatures. White meat at 150 - 165F (65.5 to 74C and dark meat cooked to 175F - 190F (80 - 88C). Don't forget to allow for some carry-over cooking. When you cook the whole bird, as you can see, by the time you get the dark meat to the correct temperature, the white meat is overcooked and dried out.

If you insist on the whole bird in a bag, just add the extra legs in a separate roasting pan, on top of a rack or some vegetables to raise them off the bottom of the pan. No need to add them to the bag.

  • I mostly agree with you. Separating the legs (I separate the wings too) is definitely the way to go, but to me it's because they overcook when they are a part of the bird. Because they stick out and are smaller than the crown-thigh combo they cook much quicker. They need to be added after the rest of the bird.
    – GdD
    Nov 16, 2023 at 13:16
  • @GdD not sure I agree, perhaps it depends on how you like the legs and the overall size of the bird.
    – moscafj
    Nov 16, 2023 at 14:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.