For more than 40 years the Butterball Turkey Talk Line has been answering phone calls from frantic, would-be chefs who are suddenly on the precipice of disaster. But the truth is, the most common problem they get is extremely fixable.
For more than 40 years, the Butterball Turkey Talk Line has been answering phone calls from frantic would-be chefs on the precipice of disaster. But the truth is, the most common problem most cooks face is extremely fixable.
If you make a call to 1-800-Butterball, you might get your call answered by Sue Smith, who has been offering help and talking people through their problems for decades. The number one question she gets comes from someone who forgot to thaw their turkey. (Hopefully, reading this didn’t make you realize you forgot to do the same thing.)
“We get that. Life happens and you forgot to put it in your fridge early enough,” Smith said in a very reassuring tone. To speed up the thawing process, “you can soak your turkey in cold water,” she said.
Smith said you need to put your turkey breast down while it’s still in the wrapper to properly thaw the bird.
“It takes about 30 minutes per pound. Change that water every 30 minutes,” she said.
It’s what you’ll need to do if you haven’t thawed your turkey just yet.
“It takes one day for every four pounds of turkey to thaw. So it takes longer than we anticipate,” Smith said.
Once you get it in the oven, the most important thing you need is a meat thermometer.
“It’s your best friend on Thanksgiving Day, simply because it takes the guesswork out of knowing when this turkey is done,” said Smith.
You want the internal temperature to hit 165 degrees in the center of the meat. If you have stuffing inside the turkey, it also needs to get to 165 degrees.
Of course, if this article didn’t help, you can always call 1-800-Butterball, email or text an expert at 844-877-3456. Butterball also has an online chat option and videos with tips on thawing, carving and roasting the bird.
“So maybe you’re new to a city or you can’t fly home to be with your family or friends. You can try this app, make some new connections and still find your table at Thanksgiving this year,” said Smith.
John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.