Turkey Tips From Butterball That You Need To Know!

Roasted whole turkey on a table with apple, pumpkin and figs for family Thanksgiving Holiday.

Photo: Getty Images

Many a Thanksgiving dinner has failed because you work with bad information, misguided advice or simply bullheadedness that prevents you from asking for help. That's why Butterball's Turkey Helpline exists. Butterball handles tens of thousands of calls to its Thanksgiving help hotline every year, and while there are some crazy ones, these are the most common:

  • How do I thaw a turkey?
    • Always do it in the fridge, never at room temperature. They also suggest you thaw your turkey one week before Thanksgiving, so get to it.
    • Our 23 pound turkey went into the fridge to begin thawing on Wednesday November 17th.
  • What can I do to prevent a dry turkey?
    • Make sure to keep your frozen turkey in a deep freeze rather than a frost free refrigerator as freezer burn could result in a dry turkey. And monitor the cooking process -- cooking at a high temperature and too long can result in a dry turkey.
    • We use a roasting bag for cooking and the turkey is juicy. We also stuff with apples and celery to add moisture. We prepare dressing separately.

How do I decide what size turkey to buy?

  • Butterball actually has a calculator to help. It asks how many people you're feeding, whether or not you like leftovers and several other questions.
  • We always go bigger than we need for those leftovers and to send each guest home with something. Hopefully we have a guest that loves the dark meat and will be happy to eat or take home the turkey legs, or is willing to pick at the carcass to grab some turkey shrapnel for the cats back home.
  • What are giblets?
    • The heart, liver, and gizzard of the turkey. These parts should be removed from the turkey cavity before cooking, but they can be used to make gravy.
    • Don't forget the neck, too. It's frozen inside the bird with the giblets bag. Use it to add even more flavor to the gravy.
  • What kind of thermometer should I use to test my turkey?
    • The kind doesn't really matter, but always use a properly calibrated meat thermometer, which should read at least 165 degrees in the breast and 180 degrees in the thigh.
    • Personally I'll still use the meat thermometer in addition to the built-in pop-up time that may come with the turkey.

For more answers, just call 1-844-877-3456, or, even easier, with any Alexa enabled device just say “Hey Alexa, ask Butterball….” ( Butterball information provided by Rutherford Voice)

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