A few days ago, my hair stylist told me about the new oil free turkey fryer she bought at Big Lots. She said the instructions that came with it were vague, so she was worried that her Thanksgiving turkey wouldn’t turn out well. I told her to call the Butterball® Turkey Talk-Line® at 1-800-BUTTERBALL. Certainly they would know about all the methods of cooking a turkey. (They do know about turkey fryers – see this thread on their Facebook page.)
Turkey Talk-Line experts are available this holiday season through December 25, 2011 to answer questions and assist Thanksgiving cooks. One of the first national, toll-free consumer help lines, the original Turkey Talk-Line staff of six home economists fielded questions from 11,000 turkey-troubled Americans during its first season in November 1981. On Thanksgiving Day, the small group took hundreds of calls with only a rolodex of notes and their own knowledge to help them answer the nation’s questions. Today, professionally trained turkey experts assist more than 100,000 cooks each year in the United States and Canada during the holiday season. With 50 staff members, the Turkey Talk-Line has the resources to answer questions from either English or Spanish speaking callers, as well as respond to questions via their online form.
Besides the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line at 1-800-BUTTERBALL, you can connect with Butterball at Butterball.com, on your mobile phone at m.butterball.com, or chat with them on Twitter or Facebook or just get tips and recipes. Butterball.com also features a section about cooking with kids with safety tips and word find and crossword printables. (Great for keeping kids busy while you cook!)
Butterball’s “make it better” tips
Here are a few ways to make your Thanksgiving meal even better:
Thawing with ease: Thawing in the refrigerator is the recommended method. For every four pounds of turkey, allow at least one day of thawing in the refrigerator. (Get that frozen turkey in the fridge NOW!) However, if your turkey is still frozen and you’re short on time, submerge the turkey in cold water. Leave the turkey in the wrapper, place it in a tub or sink of cold water and allow 30 minutes of thaw time for every pound of turkey.
Food prep 101: Practice good food safety procedures! Wash hands often. Keep raw turkey and ready-to-eat foods separated. Cook foods to proper temperatures – the turkey should reach 180° F in the thigh, 170° F in the breast and 165° F in the center of the stuffing. Refrigerate cooked turkey promptly to reduce temperature to below 40° F.
It’s all about how you cook it: The Butterball Turkey Talk-Line experts recommend the open pan roasting method using flat rack in a shallow pan so that the turkey cooks evenly and is raised off the bottom of the pan. If you don’t have a flat rack, take a long piece of aluminum foil and crinkle it the long way to create a tube like shape. Then shape the tube of foil into a medium sized circle to place at the bottom of the pan. Place the turkey on this homemade cooking rack – this elevates the turkey, reduces the amount of dishes (just toss the rack in the recycling bin) and cooks the turkey evenly.
Don’t break the bank: Start thinking about your holiday meals in advance and look for ways to save such as shopping sales, buying in bulk with family members or friends, and using coupons. Go to Butterball’s website to find a $5 rebate coupon as well as money saving offers from brands such as Masterbuilt (get a $5 rebate on a Butterball Turkey Fryer!) and Samuel Adams® Beer.
Photo courtesy of Butterball.