Talk turkey — on the phone

Posted on Oct 26 2020 in Features, Heartland REMC
Turkey illustration

Ever find yourself sweating over an open oven door, staring at your Thanksgiving turkey, basting and basting again, wondering if it’s cooked just right or why the skin won’t bake to a beautiful golden brown?

You’re not alone — and you don’t have to figure it out alone either. Butterball’s Turkey Talk line — 800-BUTTERBALL — connects you with one of more than 50 home economists and nutritionists hired by the turkey company each Thanksgiving since 1981.

The Butterball website ( includes unusual recipes along with simple preparation and baking instructions for a classic Thanksgiving turkey.

The main job of the talk line and the website is to help cooks prepare their turkeys safely. One of the most important pieces of information provided by the Butterball experts is the temperature your turkey should be for safe consumption and how long to keep that bird in the oven.

Along with traditional oven tips, website and talk line staff can answer questions about gas and charcoal grilling, as well as microwave preparation of your turkey.

When is the turkey done?

According to experts at Butterball, turkey is done when the meat thermometer reaches the following temperatures:

  • 180 F deep in the thigh; also juices should be clear, not reddish pink when the thigh muscle is pierced deeply.
  • 165 F in the center of the stuffing if the turkey is stuffed. When the stuffed turkey is done, removed it from the oven and let the turkey with stuffing stand 15 minutes.