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Turkey tips from the experts at Butterball

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Thanksgiving turkey

(WAOW) — Are you wondering how best to cook your Thanksgiving turkey this year?

Don't worry, Butterball has the answers to any turkey questions you ever could have. Not only that, they provide recipes and a "Turkey Talk-Line."

The talk line provides answers to all turkey questions in English and Spanish from now until December 24. It's open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST, as well as on Thanksgiving Day from 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. ET. You can call at 800-288-8372 or text 844-877-3456. Butterball also has an ask Alexa feature for enabled devices.

Butterball lists six steps to the turkey prep process: shopping, thawing, prepping, cooking, doneness and carving. Thankfully, since thawing, prepping, and cooking depend on the size of the turkey, Butterball provides an interactive map to successfully cook the bird. Here's a quick summary:

Plan the weight of the turkey you purchase around the number of people at the table. Butterball recommends two pounds per adult and one pound per child. For a precise decision, use the portion calculator

Thawing a turkey takes time! Thawing in a fridge is ideal but takes several days, thawing in water will take between 6-12 hours usually. When thawing in water, change cold water every 30 minutes. There are types of bird that should NOT be thawed: frozen stuffed whole turkeys or ready to roasts.

There are three methods to prep a turkey: oil and salt rub, stuffing and brining.

Cooking times depend on the size of the bird and if it is stuffed or not, but will generally take 2-5 hours. Butterball recommends roasting at 325 ° F on an open pan. The bird can also be fried, smoked or grilled.

There is only one way to be sure of a turkey's doneness: the temperature. It should be 180° F in the thigh, 170° F in the breast, and 165° F in the stuffing.

Let the bird rest before carving and carve slow. Click here for more in depth tips.

No matter the size, seasoning or stuffing, roasting a turkey is easy with these steps:

  • Preheat the oven to 325° F
  • Drain juices and pat the bird dry with paper towel
  • Place turkey breast side up on a flat rack in a shallow roasting pan. Turn wings back to hold neck skin in place. Brush or spray with vegetable or cooking oil
  • Place an oven-safe meat thermometer into the lower part of the thigh to allow for monitoring doneness
  • Place turkey in the oven. When almost done, loosely cover breast and drumsticks with foil to prevent overcooking.

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