Plain Paper Bags – Our New Favorite Cooking Tool!

Plain Paper Bags Cookery

plain paper bags

Ever thought of using plain paper bags as your cooking tool? It may sound crazy and you may have questions like “What is it even possible? Is it safe? Won’t the paper bag burn?” etc etc. Crazy as it may sound, paper bag cookery is a real thing, not to confuse with ‘en papillote’. Paper bag cookery is cooking food in actual sealed paper bags whereas ‘en papillote’ refers to food being cooked and served in a paper wrapper. Yes, hold that thought on, you are thinking that maybe you need to start keeping a stock of all the paper bags you get. Our paper bags are indeed worth stocking as you can use it for anything that might just pop up. It may be used for crafts, decoration, storing, cooking, events and much more. But for right now, let’s focus on ‘Paper Bag Cookery’ only.  

Paper bag cookery is accepted as a culture by many housewives. This cooking culture has been identified as the most efficient, cost-effective and simplest way of preparing food. Of course, it is worth noted that paper bags are not recommended to cook liquid food such as soup, noodles and much more. Paper bag cookery involves the cooking of food in an oven using paper bags which allow cooking in steam and hot air generated by its own juices. You’ll be amazed when you find out the advantages associated with paper bag cookery. Leftover lunch paper bags or grocery bags are great tools when it comes to preparing some delicious food recipes. You now have more reasons to stock all the plain paper bags you received from the market, shops or the bakery.  

plain paper bags cookery

Advantages of plain paper bags cookery

  • The flavour of the food is superior and nutritious than foods cooked in other ways.  
  • Cooking in paper bags save fuel.
  • Food cooked in paper bags take less time to cook than the one cooked in other methods.
  • The food can be prepared beforehand and stored in the bag overnight which will help in saving time when you get up early getting ready for work.
  • There’s no pots or saucepans to clean. No dishes to do, thus saving time again and as well as water and soap.  
  • The bag minimizes food odour, thus you can easily remain in the kitchen comfortably.  
  • Goodbye to greasy baking sheets, plates and pans. Cooking in paper bags save you from washing greasy utensils.
  • It is highly recommended to cook meat and chicken in paper bags as it makes the food more tender and palatable than you may think.  
  • Help in flavor and retain moisture.
  • Can be used for oven and bonfire when camping.
  • Common foods cooked in paper bags are turkey, steaks, bacon, eggs, popcorn, and apple pie.  

Now the big question. HOW TO COOK IN PAPER BAGS? WON’T IT BURN IN THE OVEN? No, the paper will not burn and your food won’t taste like paper. If you wish to cook in paper bags, here are some important things you might need to consider.  

Sealing of the plain paper bags

When placing food in plain paper bags, the bags must definitely be sealed since the key element of this cooking method lies in the removing the air completely and sealing up the flavour and juices for the food to cook in its own steam. Now, how to seal the bag in the safest way? You can use clips to seal the bag. Pins are not advisable as they might tear the bag, leading to hole which will result in letting air circulate in the bag. Be sure to use big pins as ordinary small pins can easily get lost in the process and this may cause damage to the food and to you. If goes unnoticed, the pins might mix with the food and you swallowing it when eating. So be safe people. Use big clips instead as it is safer. Threads can also be used to tie the bags.  

Greasing the paper bags

Greasing the bag is important to remember. Some people think that they need to grease the bag inside and outside and some do not bother to grease the bag at all. Yet, it is important to grease the bag inside when cooking foods like meat or chicken or else the food might stick to the bag which you will not like. It is advisable not to grease the paper bags with butter as it will give the food a bad colour. To know if the food is cooked, you need to press the bag with your finger, if it feels tender then the food is ready to be served!

How to use the oven when using paper bags?

You must keep in mind that when using this method of cooking, the bag must not be kept in the lowest grid as it might catch flames. Also, the oven should be heated at least 180° Celsius before putting the food in it. It is important for the air to circulate in the oven and around the bag. It is recommended to keep the paper bag on the top grid found on top of the oven. The second grid is also convenient to put the paper bag if your oven is big enough. If the bag is kept on a hot solid surface, the cooking will be a failure and the bag will likely burst instantly.

The process of paper bag cookery is simple and not difficult to proceed with. You just need to be careful about how to proceed. If you are not sure of the process, you can watch this video:  You will see how easy and amazing it is to cook in plain paper bags. Find below some food recipes you can cook with paper bags.  




Who doesn’t love Popcorns? Cooking Popcorn in paper bags is the easiest method one could adopt. No need for big machines. Gather the following ingredients:


1/4 cup popcorn kernels

1/2 teaspoon oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

How to proceed? Place the popcorn in the bag, combine with salt and oil. Seal the paper and put in microwave for 2 minutes. Turn off the microwave when you hear the popping sounds. Add your preferred seasoning and shake the bag to distribute it evenly. And voila, your popcorn is ready.  


plain paper bags cookery chicken



Did you know that you can cook a whole chicken in paper bags? Yes, it is indeed possible. Moreover, you won’t have to clean a greasy oven.  


1 whole chicken

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons chilli powder

1 tbs cumin

1 tbs garlic powder

2 limes, juiced

1 grocery-size brown paper bag

How to proceed? Heat your oven to 400 degrees F. In the meantime, clean and dry the chicken. Season the outside and inside of the chicken with salt and pepper and then add the chilli powder, cumin, and garlic. Squeeze the lime juice over the chicken. Grease the paper bag a bit. Once done, place the chicken in the paper bag and seal the bag. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour and 30 mins. Remove the sheet, use a pair of scissors to open the bag and serve hot.  



If you are on a diet, how about eating steamed asparagus? Yes, our paper bags can contribute a lot to your diet journey.  


1-pound medium asparagus, tough ends trimmed

Virgin olive oil

Salt to taste and black pepper

1/2 lemon, sliced paper thin

1 bay leaf


How to proceed? Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Put the asparagus in the bag and grease the paper bag. Season with pepper and salt, once done add the lemon slices and bay leaf in the bag. Seal the bag and place it on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Remove the asparagus and serve hot.

Try out these amazing recipes and Bon Appetit! There are many other cooking recipes you can cook by just using our plain paper bags. Find links below for other paper bag cookery recipes: