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Cooking with Paper Bags

Updated on January 28, 2015

How to Cook With Brown Paper Bags

Impart creativity into your cooking by utilizing paper bags. The paper helps seal in natural flavors, resulting in more tasty food.

Selecting a Bag

No matter what type of food you’re cooking or what recipe you follow, never re-use a paper bag from the grocery store. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) warns that re-used bags may not be sanitary, and they may release chemical fumes when exposed to high heat during cooking. Food grade paper cooking bags are available at many cooking supply stores.


Cooking in a paper bag may be done in an oven or over a campfire. Always monitor your food closely while it cooks to ensure the paper does not catch fire.

There are many recipes that call for cooking in a paper bag. The time and temperature to cook will depend on the type of food you cook. Generally, for cooking an item in a paper bag in an oven, start by placing the item in the paper bag. Seal the bag with a wire. (Avoid using any item to seal the bag that may be flammable.) Place the bag in the cold oven, and set to the specified temperature and bake for the specified amount of time.

Campfire cooking with a paper bag begins with dampening the bag with water. Then, place the item to be cooked into the damp paper bag. Next, wrap the paper bag in an additional layer of dampened paper. Using tongs or a stick, hold the package over the campfire flames until it is cooked. Eggs and fish are well suited to campfire paper bag cooking as they don’t require a long time to cook.

Cooking with paper bags is fun and versatile. There are many recipes available for this type of cooking.



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      Annabelle Tyler 5 years ago

      Great question. Some of the recipes I researched did not include that information. Others, like Turkey in a Brown Paper Bag, indicated that after placing the bird in the bag, to place it in a roasting pan. It seems to me that if you're cooking meat, you would want to place it on a baking tray. Other items, like pie, would not need a baking tray.

    • YvetteParker profile image

      YvetteParker 5 years ago from AUGUSTA, GA

      Should the paper bag be placed directly onto the rack or in a baking pan before putting it in a cold oven?