Your biggest Thanksgiving conundrum—solved!


Nowadays, we turn to the Internet for almost all of life’s problems, especially those that happen in the kitchen. When you’re looking for a substitute for cream of tartar (answer: fresh lemon juice), or need to know how many ounces are in a pound (answer: 16), a quick Google search is the fastest way to get the information you need.

Thanksgiving turkey
Credit: Iain Bagwell

But sometimes you need more than just the facts. Sometimes you need a little hand-holding and encouragement. When Thanksgiving Day is in full swing and you have a house full of company and something has gone seriously wrong with the turkey, you need someone knowledgeable who can also talk you off of the ledge. Which is why the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line continues to endure, more than 30 years after it was created.

Butterball’s experts have fielded just about every turkey-related question you can imagine over the years—some of them more odd than others. But there is one question in particular that is asked again and again: “How do I know my turkey is done?”

An overcooked—or even worse, undercooked—turkey is every Thanksgiving host’s nightmare. The only way to know when a turkey is done is to grab your meat thermometer. (Don’t rely on the little plastic timer inserted into the bird—it’s not as accurate and often leads to dry, overcooked meat.) Talk-Line staffers recommend that you start checking the turkey a half-hour before it is scheduled to be done. What temperature is a turkey done? A meat thermometer should register 180˚F in the thigh or 165˚F in the center of the dressing, if you choose to stuff your turkey. If the turkey breast is starting to overbrown, tent it with aluminum foil while it continues to cook.

This Story Originally Appeared On Southern Living