Some first-time Thanksgiving Day cooks will be in the kitchen this year because of the coronavirus pandemic; and if you’ve never cooked a holiday meal, you may have questions.
Since 1981, experts have staffed the phones at Butterball to tell you the best way to cook the meal.
That first year, the company said six home economists answered 11,000 turkey-cooking questions.
Over the past 40 years, times have changed. The panel of experts has grown, adding men and Spanish-speaking representatives, and has gone high-tech.
“Quite a few of our members have been on the talk line for over 20 years,” Rebecca Welch, senior brand manager at Butterball, told Ad Week. “So they’re prepared for all the emotional support or pep talks or, you know, anything to get a holiday host through their concerns.”
Not only can you call 1-800-Butterball (1-800-288-8372), you can chat online, email and text (844-877-3456) your questions to the company.
This year you can also use your home assistant, Amazon Alexa, to pose your queries to the hotline.
Not all of the questions deal with how to thaw a turkey or how long to cook one.
One couple told an operator they found their son’s toy car inside of the bird, Mary Clingman, talk line director, told Food Network. Another would-be carver picked up a chain saw instead of a knife to cut into the meat, leaving the turkey covered with oil, but not the cooking variety.
Clingman said most calls last about 2 minutes, but longer ones can be half an hour when a cook just needs encouragement.
“When you get someone who hardly knows how to boil water to say, ‘Oh, I can do this,’ those can be your favorite calls,” Clingman told Food Network.
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