Making Sure You Have The Perfect Turkey!

November 24, 2011 Updated Nov 24, 2011 at 2:54 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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Making Sure You Have The Perfect Turkey!

November 24, 2011 Updated Nov 24, 2011 at 2:54 PM EDT

November 24, 2011 --( Butterball / WLS ) Operators manning the phones at the Butterball Turkey hotline have been busy answering questions all morning.

One of their top questions is how to salvage the turkey if you take it out of the oven too soon, or too late and it's over cooked.

If you find the bird is overcooked, Butterball suggests:
-add gravy to your turkey
-served sliced turkey in a broth or sauce
-after slicing the turkey, put the slices on a dish, add a little chicken broth, cover it with foil in the oven at 15-20 minutes. This will steam it a bit and add a little more moisture.

If you find the bird is undercooked, Butterball suggests:
-if you begin to carve and see that the turkey is not completely cooked, carve off the legs and thighs and put them in a casserole dish, add a little broth, then cover with foil and cook them for about 20 minutes longer.
-make sure your meat thermometer is accurate because this will be essential in letting you know your turkey is done.

And, if you need more help, operators with Butterball are offering on the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line no matter where you are - in the aisles, at the dinner table or in the kitchen.

Live Chat: Engage with our turkey experts during live chats throughout the month of November and receive real-time suggestions and advice to ensure a flawless holiday.

Facebook and Twitter: Help is also available through the Butterball Facebook and Twitter pages with real-time tips and turkey prep information.

Butterball.com: Log on the website or mobile site to receive turkey advice, promotions, and new recipes. In addition, three popular food and lifestyle bloggers will post recipe ideas and personal anecdotes, including special tips on how to make your Thanksgiving better than ever.

1-800-BUTTERBALL: Turkey Talk-Line experts will be available this season starting November 1, 2011, through December 25, 2011, to answer questions and assist Thanksgiving cooks.

Getting the turkey ready.

Here are a few ways Butterball will help Thanksgiving cooks make this year's Thanksgiving meal even better:

Thaw 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. 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 Safety: 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; and refrigerate cooked turkey promptly to reduce temperature to below 40 F.

Open Pan Method: The Butterball Turkey Talk-Line experts recommend the open pan roasting method using a flat rack in a shallow pan so that the turkey cooks evenly and is raised off the bottom of the pan.

Coil of Foil: If you don't have a flat rack, take a long piece of Reynolds Wrap® 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 trash) and cooks the turkey evenly.

Tender and juicy turkey - tent the turkey 2/3 through the cooking process to ensure the breasts and thighs cook evenly

Thermometer - the best tool for cooking a turkey is a meat thermometer

How to carve a turkey.

Carving
Let it cool for 15 minutes before carving
If you don't have to carve in front the family don't (takes off the pressure)
Use a straight-edged, sharpened knife for easier carving.
Don't forget to check out our Carving Video http://www.butterball.com/tips-how-tos/how-tos/carve/video at Butterball.com for a quick and easy guide.

Butterball Turkey Talk-Line

This year, Talk-Line experts are providing their top five tips from thawing, food prep, cooking methods and budget tips to making Thanksgiving better. One of the first national help lines, the original Turkey Talk-Line, staffed six home economists and they fielded questions from 11,000 turkey-troubled Americans during its first season. Over 3 million questions answered, the Turkey Talk-Line has been open since Nov. 1 with 50+ Turkey talkers

Butterball Turkey Talk-Line
1-800-BUTTERBALL
1-800-288-8372
butterball.com