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Is the Jennie-O Oven-Ready Turkey Really Worth It?

A few days ago the folks at Jennie-O sent us one of their Oven-Ready freezer to oven turkeys. According to their website these turkeys — which have been around for the last four years — require, "No Thawing. No Mess. No Prep. No Apron." That's right, no thawing. You literally take it out of the freezer and you stick it in the oven. In fact, you don't have to touch the bird ever.

I must admit, upon learning how it works — cooked in "Fool-Proof" bag — I was more than just a little skeptical. However, in the name of tasty eats, I knew I had to try it.

So how did it turn out? Was it really "fool-proof" and was it tasty? To find out the answer to these questions and more,

When I opened the outside container, I was met with an 11.8 pound turkey vacuum sealed inside of a translucent yellow bag. I followed the directions and cut a few slits in the plastic in order to break the vacuum seal. I then pulled the plastic away from the bird, placed it in a roasting pan and tossed in to a preheated 350F oven. That was it; my hands never once made contact with the actual bird.

Fast forward several hours and I was cutting into a succulent and juicy turkey. The skin was a little on the salty side, but the flavor was classic and not overpowering. It was also tender and juicy on the inside. As someone who loves to cook, I found it to be a little bit odd; there were a few seasonings I would have liked to use. However, I know quite a few people who don't love cooking and just want to have a nice bird on Thanksgiving. If you're one of those folks, then I would recommend you give it a try.

The experience is absolutely effortless, but not totally flawless. I didn't wait for the popup button to pop up — I find that by that time, the birds are usually overcooked — so I went with the thermometer method instead. Unfortunately, due to the plastic bag that the turkey is roasting — or is it steaming? — in, it was really difficult to see exactly where you were sticking the thermometer. I also found that gravy made from the drippings was too salty with a hint of artificial flavor to it. You also can't make any stuffing in it, and it does not come with the giblets/innards pack like most turkeys.

Overall I'd say, if you love cooking, then go ahead and skip out on this one, but if you're looking for a simple way to get a pretty good Thanksgiving bird on the table, then rush out and pick one up. The turkey will come out juicy and you won't have to worry about defrosting. The price on Jennie-O's website says $57, however I saw them at my local Safeway for under $25.

Have you tried it? If so, what did you think?

CoMMember13630808718043 CoMMember13630808718043 3 years
We got one at Vons this year and it was only $11.98
vespapilot vespapilot 5 years
Does anyone know if I can add any ingredients into the bag? I like to cook my turkey with orange and pineapple slices. Can I maybe stick these in the vent slits?
fudepen fudepen 5 years
I buy these for turkey frying. The turkey still has to be completely thawed, and patted dry. But, they come out great! And frying only takes 40-45 min compared to hours in the oven. It frees up oven space for my sides.
SusanTeufel SusanTeufel 8 years
If I was too busy to cook for thanksgiving, or something horrid happened to my turkey i'd do it...but otherwise, I'd go for the old fashion way.
Neural Neural 9 years
So this is what that hilarious commercial was about? I cracked up so much at the husband being knocked down that I never paid attention to what they were actually selling. I'm so down with this. I have no intention of ever cooking a whole turkey or chicken or any of that. Grosses me out to much so this will be perfect!!!
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Makes me wonder...
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Looks like it is covered in toxic waste...
Giasbash6260 Giasbash6260 9 years
DUDE! My roomate and I have an on-going joke about this Turkey but we have never tried it! I really want to! It is sort of like me and canned chicken! but I just tried that stuff and it was pretty good!!! So maybe this is too!!
insanitypepper insanitypepper 9 years
The idea of not have to touch the raw bird is appealing, but my husband grills a delicious brined turkey breast every year. We don't usually have enough guests who are fans of turkey to need a whole bird, anyway.
souluvable souluvable 9 years
Thanks I may try it. I don't enjoy cooking.
guccigirl_16 guccigirl_16 9 years
Thanks for the review! I might have to try it someday!
columbusfoodie columbusfoodie 9 years
I tried the Jennie-O Bone in Turkey Breast (same concept, just without the drumsticks and wings) last week, and agree with you completely. The turkey came out juicy and tasted good, but the gravy it came with tasted really artificial. It was worth a try, and I'd make it for just my husband and myself, but if I'm putting out a spread for others, I'd prefer the amount of control (and tasty stuffing) that comes with cooking a turkey from scratch.
kiddylnd kiddylnd 9 years
I have a friend who can't cook, but puts on a big Turkey dinner for all the 'homeless' friends (you know, all of the ones with no family to be with). She makes one of these every year, and although not my first choice it is pretty decent.
cloudy-D cloudy-D 9 years
I have never heard about this ???? looks like it could be a time saver. :)
RobinFabulous RobinFabulous 9 years
I've tried it. It was easy, but I thought a bit too salty (and I like salty) It's a lot less of a hassel :-)
plasticapple plasticapple 9 years
The thought of cooking food in plastic makes me feel nauseous.
terryt18 terryt18 9 years
I would not use this for my Thanksgiving meal. Seems kinda gross to me for some reason. Maybe the excessive saltiness or the "artificial" taste. Blech.
gopg8r gopg8r 9 years
I bought one last year, had the oven at the right temperature and followed their instructions to the letter. When it came time to take it out, the turkey wasn't completely cooked! We let it rest before trying to carve it so unfortunately, everything else was ready by the time we realized it wasn't cooked. My husband was able to carve off enough pieces for us to eat right then but we had to put the turkey back in the oven for at least another hour to fully cook. It tasted great when it was finished but I don't think I will ever try the Jenny-O turkeys again.
MsMO MsMO 9 years
good to know as I haven't decided if I'm cooking yet or not. I'll have to remember this in case it's all they have left in the stores... lol
books-and-shoes books-and-shoes 9 years
Thanks for the heads up!!
Erica-Kane Erica-Kane 9 years
Sounds easy enough, too bad I can't stand turkey lol. Never could.
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