Turkey terrors? Don't worry—call the Butterball hotline

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - 7:09pm

Sitting down to eat Thanksgiving dinner is the easy part, it's getting all that food ready that is the real battle.

But, don't let Turkey day get you down. If you're wondering who to call if you have any cooking questions, give mom and break this year and call the Butterball turkey talk-line instead.

Experts are on stand-by ready to dish out all the tips you need for turkey day. The call center is full of highly trained turkey and cooking experts who were trained at Butterball Univerity.

The phone lines will be open even on Thanksgiving day, all the way until Christmas Eve.

1-800-BUTTERBALL (800-288-8372)
Weekdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST (Central Standard Time)

Here are some quick tips from Butterball to get your Turkey to the table just in time for Thursday:

Top Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long will it take to thaw my turkey? We recommend thawing your turkey in the refrigerator in its original wrapping. Place it on a shallow tray on the bottom shelf and allow 1 day for every 4 pounds of turkey. If you don’t have time to thaw in the refrigerator, use the cold water method – completely submerge the turkey, breast side down, in cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes to hasten thawing and allow about 30 minutes per pound of turkey. Some general thawing time guidelines are as follows:

Size (lb.) Refrigerator (days.) Cold Water (hrs.)
8 to 12 2 to 3 4 to 6
12 to 16 3 to 4 6 to 8
16 to 20 4 to 5 8 to 10
20 to 24 5 to 6 10 to 12
24 to 30 6 to 7 12 to 15

2. Get some tips from our turkey experts. Check out our Holiday Planning Guide and discover How to Thaw a turkey properly or watch our Thawing Video Demonstration for step-by-step instructions.
3. How long will it take to roast my turkey? Using the Butterball open pan method (flat rack, shallow open roasting pan), 325° conventional oven, you can expect the following cooking times:

Size (lb.) Unstuffed (hrs.) Stuffed (hrs.)
7 to 10 2½ to 3 2¾ to 3½
10 to 18 3 to 3½ 3¾ to 4½
18 to 22 3½ to 4 4½ to 5
22 to 24 4 to 4½ 5 to 5½
24 to 30 4½ to 5 5½ to 6¼

4. Let the turkey experts tell you how to roast your turkey to perfection. Discover How to Roast a turkey or check out our Roasting Video for a demonstration.

5. What’s the proper way to stuff a turkey? Too much stuffing and your turkey may not cook all the way through. Too little and it may be overcooked. Discover How to Stuff a turkey the right way by visiting our Thanksgiving Guide or watch our Stuffing Video for a demonstration. And don’t forget to read our Food Safety procedures to ensure a safe turkey every time.

6. Do Butterball® products contain any allergens like gluten? Butterball product labels let consumers know whether any of the top eight allergens may be present in the product. For example, a label may read “contains wheat and dairy.” Specifically, gluten is not present naturally in turkey. Only two of our retail products currently contain gluten: Butterball® Frozen Italian Style Meatballs and Butterball® Frozen Stuffed Turkey. Our gravy has been reformulated to eliminate gluten, but certain gravy packets may still contain gluten; it will be listed on the ingredient statement. Give us a call or use the contact us form on this page if you’d like to check on a specific product.

7. How do I know when my turkey is done? The best way to tell if your turkey is ready to eat is with a meat thermometer. A perfectly done turkey will reach 185°F in the thigh, 170°F in the breast and 165°F in the stuffing, if you stuff your turkey. Learn how to Know When Your Turkey Is Done and create a beautifully golden turkey.

8. Can I freeze my turkey? Feel free to freeze our refrigerated turkey products in their original wrap before the Best-By date. Thaw in the refrigerator and use within 2 to 3 days.

9. How long can I keep my turkey once it is open? Turkey lunchmeats should be refrigerated before and after opening. Once the package is opened, expect to keep the meat 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator. If you’ve cooked a turkey or a roast, wrap leftovers and refrigerate within two hours. Again, finish the leftovers within 2 to 3 days of refrigerating.

10. How do I cook my boneless roast? Butterball boneless roasts are a great way to enjoy home-roasted turkey all year long. Instructions should be included right on the package, but if you can’t find them, take a look at our Boneless Roast preparation instructions.


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