Top Turkey Questions

(NC)—For the past 30 years the staff at the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line has been helping callers solve their turkey issues. The list of questions doesn’t change much year over year as new cooks and those who need a refresher prepare the holiday feast.

What’s the best way to thaw a turkey?
Refrigerator thawing at four pounds per day is recommended. However, if time is short, you can submerge the turkey in cold water and thaw at a rate of 30 minutes per pound. Thawing the turkey at room temperature is not recommended as it could promote bacterial growth

How do you know when the turkey is fully cooked?
The safest and easiest way is to use a meat thermometer. A turkey is done when the thermometer reaches 180°F deep in the thigh and 165°F in the center of the stuffing.

Where does the meat thermometer go?
Position the tip of the meat thermometer in the thigh muscle just above the thighbone, pointing towards the body, but not touching bone. The thigh must reach 180°F. You must also check that the stuffing, deep in the center of the body cavity, has reached 165°F.

I’ve heard a lot about pre-stuffed turkeys Are they really safe?
Yes. The turkeys are stuffed immediately after processing when they are at their freshest. Then they are blast frozen so there is no opportunity for bacterial growth. This type of turkey is cooked from frozen so again there is no opportunity for bacterial growth.

The Turkey Talk-Line has responded to millions of callers in the last 30 years. For expert turkey advice call 1-800-BUTTERBALL (1-800-288-8372).