Oven bags are a godsend for people who want to roast juicy meat without creating a big mess! These bags trap moisture inside and cook food in the same way as basting – which makes the meat extremely tender and juicy.
But what are the best oven bags of 2023? Always go with high-quality and food-safe oven bags. Cheap oven bags can tear or split which can not only ruin your food but also create a mess in your oven. We recommend going with brands like Reynolds, Ziploc, True Liberty, and more.
Read below to learn more about oven bags, how they work, what to look out for, and our recommendations for the best oven bags of 2023.
What are Oven Bags?
Oven bags are a relatively new invention but the idea behind them is as old as time.
Seriously! Oven bags are based on a cooking method called basting where you cook meat while keeping it moist so that it becomes tender and juicy.
Basting is an excellent way to not only preserve the texture of the meat but to also increase its overall flavor. See, when you cook food, some of the moisture from the meat is lost as steam, but when you cook meat while it is covered with a lid, then you will likely notice a pool of liquid that will form around the meat.
This liquid is mostly water but it also contains nutrients and flavoring compounds that come off the marinade and the meat.
The idea behind basting is to use this liquid to keep the meat juicy. Essentially, you are cooking the meat using its own juices which helps develop its flavor, texture, and mouthfeel.
Did you know: The first oven dates back to 29,000 BC? Early civilizations used boiling and roasting pits to cook mammoth meat!
The advent of commercial ovens changed everything. The first commercial gas oven was created in 1834 and it became a huge hit for homeowners. Now people could easily roast, bake, broil, and cook meat at home without having to spend countless hours perfecting the texture of their food.
Keep in mind that stove cooking greatly reduces moisture because the heat usually comes from below and is focused on a small surface area that can get very hot. This means that any juice that comes off the meat usually evaporates away unless the meat is cooked in a pot with a lid.
Despite the lid, basting meat over a stove is not recommended since it usually leads to overcooked and less juicy meat. Ovens get the same work done in less time and are more efficient at evenly distributing heat and keeping the meat juicy.
However, there is a small problem with household ovens.
Even though ovens are inherently better at cooking meat over hours, it is also easy to overcook the meat and it can become cumbersome to repeatedly open the oven door, take out the tray, and baste the meat.
This is where oven bags come in!
Oven bags are made from heatproof nylon, silicone, or food-safe polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Some oven bags are also made from naturally non-stick parchment paper which is an excellent alternative to nylon or PET bags.
Oven bags can not only take the heat, but they also disperse heat evenly across the bag which cooks the meat on all sides. The escaping moisture is trapped in the bag and the meat cooks with the liquid which adds flavor and texture to it.
Using an oven bag is easy but since each bag is different, you can use different methods to cook food. The first method is to simply fill the bag with meat and marinade. Give everything a good toss so that the sauce/marinade covers the meat evenly.
Then just seal the bag shut with the included tie-lock or just seal the bag by pressing down on the opening like a zip-lock bag.
Put the oven bag over the baking tray and make sure that the bag sits away from direct heat sources like the heating element or a rack. Exposing the oven bag to direct heat can cause it to burn or melt!
Cut 1-3 small slits on top of the bag to allow the steam to escape. Don’t worry, the slits are only to regulate pressure in the bag, and most of the liquid will condense and form inside the bag.
Allow the meat to cook undisturbed throughout the cooking time and voila! By the end, you should be left with delicious, juicy, and tender meat!
Please note that the bag will likely accumulate excess liquid, you can either discard some of the liquid or use it to make gravies.
Buyer’s Guide for Oven Bags
Now that you know what oven bags are and how to use them, it’s time to look at some of the features that every high-quality oven bag must have to be fit for daily use!
Here is what you need to look out for:
- Food Grade Materials and Build Quality
- Size of Bag
- Sealing Capabilities
Food Grade Materials and Build Quality
The only rule with oven bags is to never go with cheaper options – and the reason for this is pretty simple too.
A cheaper bag will likely be made from low-quality materials that can potentially not only leak chemicals but can also tear while cooking.
High-quality oven bags are made from food-safe materials. If you want the best experience then we highly recommend that you go with nylon bags. These bags are a great choice for roasting large pieces of meats like a full turkey, a whole chicken, a brisket, and more.
Nylon bags trap and distribute heat evenly and can be used at high temperatures (as much as 400F). They are resistant to tears and can lead to a juicer and tender meal! Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bags are also safe to use as long as they are made from food-safe PET.
These bags are great for smaller pieces of meat and can be used at high temperatures for shorter cook times. They work in the same way as nylon bags but for the best experience, we recommend that you always follow the instructions mentioned on the bag to avoid any mishaps.
If you don’t want to use plastics then you can also go with food-safe parchment bags. These bags are an excellent alternative to plastics and work in the same way. Just wrap the parchment paper around the food and seal it shut from every side.
These bags are ideal for slow-cooking roasts and are great at retaining liquids too. Although nylon and PET bags can handle higher temperatures, these paper bags are also useful for cooking food at lower heat but longer cooking times.
Size of Bag
Oven bags come in many different sizes. For example, turkey bags are great for storing big pieces of meat while smaller bags are great for individual pieces of meat like chicken or beef cuts.
We recommend that you go with big bags since you will always have the option to fit big and small pieces of meat whereas, with small bags, you will only be able to roast individual pieces at a time. If you don’t live in a big household and only need to make small meals then the smaller bags will provide the most value in terms of costs and utility.
One of the key features of any oven bag is its sealing mechanism. Old school oven bags use a simple oven-safe clamp that secures the opening of the bag while others use a zip-lock mechanism that can seal in the heat, pressure, and juices.
But the sealing capabilities of the bags are also tied to their overall quality. If you opt for cheaper oven bags, then they might break open and create a mess – even if you cut slits around the bag to keep them from accumulating heat.
If you lose the included clamps then you can also simply tie a knot at the opening to keep the juices inside! Some bags, like paper bags, can be sealed by simply tucking the parchment paper from every side to create a seal.
7 Best Oven Bags of 2023
Now that you know all about travel mugs and their features, it’s time to look at a few recommendations. Here are our picks for the best non-toxic travel mugs on the market!
|1.||Reynolds Kitchens Large Oven Bags||Large high-quality nylon bags. The best for all-purpose use. Seals in moisture and keeps your food moist.|
|2.||Ziploc Zip’N Steam Cooking Bags||A classic option from a highly reliable brand. These bags can cook the meat evenly and provide a juicier texture.|
|3.||True Liberty All Purpose Plastic Bags for Roasting||A very large all-purpose oven bag ideal for cooking large pieces of meat, particularly, turkey!|
|4.||If You Care Roasting Bag||An excellent alternative to plastic and nylon bags. This non-stick parchment paper is an excellent option for everyday roasting!|
|5.||Ziploc Endurables Small Meal Prep Bag||Portable, convenient, and made from high-quality materials. A great option for smaller meal prep.|
|6.||Home Select Oven Bags||Get 6 big bags with secure zipper closures. Keeps meat tender and juicy.|
|7.||Oven Roasting Bags||High-quality polyester bags, made from food-safe materials and equipped with a zipper lock.|
1. Reynolds Kitchens Large Oven Bags
These oven bags should be the default choice for anyone who is looking for a simple-to-use and high-quality oven bag. Made from premium-grade nylon and food-safe materials, we highly recommend this bag for all types of oven-centric recipes.
The bag seals securely and can hold in moisture, marinade, and the juices from the meat. These bags don’t tear under pressure and heat and you can simply discard them without creating a mess. They are also large enough to hold a full turkey and can be used for individual pieces of meat too.
2. Ziploc Zip’N Steam Cooking Bags
Love Ziploc products? Then you expect the same great quality and convenience from this product too. These bags are made from high-grade food-safe materials that can withstand high pressure and heat. They also feature patented vents that allow steam to pass through without you having to cut slits.
These bags are an excellent option for everyday cooking and they also have a convenient zipper-locking mechanism that seals in all the juices.
3. True Liberty All Purpose Plastic Bags for Roasting
Here’s a large turkey bag that is BPA-free and FDA-approved. It’s made from 100% nylon which means that you can blast it at high heat and pressure and it won’t tear or burn! These bags are ideal for cooking large pieces of meat and they are designed to distribute heat evenly which will result in juicier and tender meat.
If you live with lots of family members then we highly recommend that you get this bag since it’s large enough to accommodate both large and small meals.
4. If You Care Roasting Bag
Looking for a plastic alternative? Then we have just the product for you. These parchment papers are made from high-quality and food-safe materials that are guaranteed to get the job done, just like regular oven bags.
They are made from natural non-stick paper that doesn’t soak up juices. Despite being made from paper, it is sturdy enough to take on high temperatures and you can simply seal the bag by tucking it over on every side. It’s a no-fuss and arguably safer alternative to other types of oven bags!
5. Ziploc Endurables Small Meal Prep Bag
Ziploc has created a truly revolutionary product that doubles as a food container and an oven bag. This bag is made from premium-grade silicone and can endure high pressure and heat. It’s a highly convenient option for people who want an all-in-one solution.
You can store food in the bag and keep it in the freezer (yes, it’s also freezer safe), then simply take it out from the freezer and put it straight into the oven!
You don’t even have to take out the plates! If you are only preparing food for yourself then you also have the option to eat directly from the bag since it can stand upright. The only disadvantage here is that these bags are smaller but if you aren’t looking to cook turkey, then we highly recommend this product!
6. Oven Roasting Bags
Now you can brown meat without having to worry about constantly basting it every 20 minutes! These polyester bags are a fantastic option for people who want to cook large portions of meat in the oven.
They work in the same way as other oven bags and also feature a zipper-locking mechanism. Just seal the bag shut from the opening and put it in the oven! No spill, splatter, or mess to worry about!
7. Home Select Oven Bags
This is a classic and generic oven bag that can be used for multiple purposes. You can either use them to store large portions of food, or you can also use them to evenly brown meat without having to baste it manually.
The bags are made from high-quality and food-safe materials and can withstand very high temperatures (up to 390F). They come with an included tie that you can use to secure the bag.
These oven bags are very easy to use too! Just add a bit of flour, shake the bag to disperse the flour, and then add the pre-marinated meat. Seal the bag shut and create a couple of slits to allow the steam to escape.
Just put the bag in the oven and let it cook as required! That’s all it takes to get perfectly golden brown, juicy, and tender meat.