Deep Fry, Grill, Roast or Smoke?

For years I watched my grandmother, mother and then my wife stress over Thanksgiving dinner.  It appeared that no matter how much help there was it didn’t really take away the stress of cooking such a large meal.  It seems that no matter how much oven space you have, it isn’t enough.

A few years ago I figured out that if I smoked, fried or grilled the turkey outdoors it made life easier in the kitchen. A recent Butterball survey revealed that 42% of men participate in cooking the holiday turkey. If you’ve thought about taking the turkey cooking outdoors here are a few tips to make it a little safer and easier.


If you are going to use the traditional turkey frying method you should follow a couple simple rules to help ensure your safety:

1. Make sure your turkey is 100% thawed out. You can’t drop even a partially frozen and icing turkey into the hot oil without risking injury. A 12-lb turkey will take about three days to thaw in a refrigerator (1 day for every 4lbs of turkey).

2. Before you fill the pot with oil, place your turkey in the pot and fill it with water to the point it just covers the turkey. Remove the turkey and mark the water level. Drain the water and completely dry the pot before filling with oil up to the mark you made at the water level.

3. Use the proper tools to lower and raise the turkey in the hot oil.

4. Keep the kids and other family members away from the open flame and hot oil.

If you’ve never fried a turkey before, be sure to check out Butterball’s additional tips on deep frying. A good way to pump up the flavor when deep-frying turkeys is by injecting the turkey with flavor once it’s patted dry and before it goes in the fryer. I recommend Butterball’s Buttery Creole Marinade if you’re going to do this.

If you’re planning on deep frying this year, I recommend using the Butterball Indoor Electric Turkey Fryer. I reviewed this fryer a few years ago and in my opinion is still the only way to go when frying turkeys. As an added bonus, get a $5 mail-in rebate when you purchase a Butterball Whole Turkey and a Masterbuilt Butterball Indoor Electric Turkey Fryer.


Grill your turkey skin side down to start. With the skin side down you will render more of the fat under the skin and give you a healthier meal along with a crispier skin.

No matter how you choose to grill your turkey, whole or in parts, one of the most important things you need to do is clean your grill before grilling.  Here are a couple of tips for cleaning your grill grates.

- Heat your grill and then brush the burned up residue off the grill with a wire brush.  Make sure you check the bristles of the brush to make sure they are not loose. You don’t want to leave a bristle on the grates that will end up in your food.

- After pre-heating your grill rub the cut side of a half an onion over the grates.  The onion will remove most of the old residue off the grates.

- Pre-heat the grill and rub a rolled up wet rag over the grates to remove the grime left over from your last cook.


When smoking your turkey follow the same tips for grilling. Try to use a milder wood for smoking.  Fruit woods like apple, cherry and peach are all great woods to use.

One complaint people often have with smoked turkeys is that the skin after smoking is often times gummy.  One great way to take care of that and add another layer of flavor is to fry the turkey for a couple of minutes in oil to crisp the skin.

Cooking the turkey outdoors is a great way to get the family outside and free up floor space in what is often a very crowded kitchen. If you’re interested in more of my cooking adventures, follow me on Instagram at If you need more help with your holiday turkey, the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line is here to help through Christmas Eve.

Men Tell All: My First Butterball University

I have a new diploma to hang on my wall. And I couldn’t be prouder.

It’s from Butterball University.


And it’s my proof that I’ve completed the rigorous training all Turkey Talk-Line experts receive before they jump in answering questions at the Talk-Line.

To top it all off, I was in the inaugural class of Talk-Line experts for men.

That diploma is going to hang center stage on my wall!

So what does one learn at Butterball University? Well, our training manual is about the size of the New York City Yellow Pages. It’s big enough to double as a foot rest. And I’m pretty sure if I were to pack it in my checked luggage, I’d surpass my weight limit!

But let me share with you the three most important things this Butterball University graduate learned:



Everything at Butterball centers on health and safety. This is our number one priority. So when you call the Turkey Talk-Line, you’ll know that all of us have been trained in helping you prepare a delicious and healthy turkey. That’s why we’ll talk to you about:

-Safe ways to thaw your turkey;

-Why you should NOT rinse your turkey;

-Why it’s important to own a meat thermometer and know how to use it;

-Easy tips for smart, food-safe storage of your delicious leftovers!

None of this is complicated. Just give us a call at 1-800-BUTTERBALL (800-288-8372) and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know!


We really do. I had the opportunity to meet and chat with many of the incredible experts who have been involved with the Turkey Talk-Line for years. And the overwhelming theme I continued to hear was how much the entire team of experts cares about you, your family and your guests. Every call is important. And we’ll take all the time you need to help you.

And you don’t have to call us just when you have a crisis! We love receiving messages and questions on Facebook and Twitter from folks like you who just want to talk through simple questions.

One woman has been calling the Talk-Line for more than 20 years. She just likes to check in with the experts to ensure she remembers everything! It’s a call the experts look forward to every year.

This is a reminder to you that we’re here for anything – from the simple questions to the complicated ones. Think of us as family.



Without a doubt, one of the biggest “Aha” moments I had during my training at Butterball University was when I realized how simple it is to prepare a tender, juicy, delicious, and memorable turkey!

Our team learned ten different methods to prepare a turkey – from using an open pan, to grilling, to microwaving and everything in between. Each method was a cinch – even if you’re not all that comfortable in the kitchen.

I even learned a few valuable new things! Like basting – you don’t need to do it! I never knew that it actually increases the cooking time and doesn’t really improve your final results. Who knew!?


I know I speak for all the new members of the famed Butterball Turkey Talk-Line – as well as the incredible team of experts who so kindly shared their years of knowledge with us – when I say, “Give us a call at 1-800-BUTTERBALL!”

We’re here to help make this Thanksgiving terrific!

One Week to Thanksgiving: Start Thawing!

As the official Thanksgiving first responders, on alert to aid cooks, we get thousands of last-minute panic-stricken calls to the Talk-Line. A lot of Thanksgiving cooks are juggling a full plate of activities—jobs, family tasks and kid transport. Before they know it, the countdown to Thanksgiving is upon them. Here are the top tips to keep in mind to avoid holiday meal mayhem.


1. Turkey Still Frozen?

As a turkey expert on the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line, one of the most frequent questions we get is about thawing, as many people don’t realize you need to start doing this one week out (start today!) I respond calmly to cooks hovering on the edge of panic that haven’t thawed their turkey and tell them to place the turkey breast side down (with the packaging facing up) in its original packaging in a sink or cooler of cold water.  Allow about 30 minutes per lb. for the turkey to thaw—a 12 lb. turkey will thaw in about 6 hours in cold water.

2. Keep it Simple with Sides

Supermarkets have plenty of options for every budget to aid holiday cooks. From ready-to-eat at the take-out counter, to semi-homemade or made-from-scratch, the options are endless. Mashed potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, carrots, butternut squash and more are just a few of the sides that are readily available and easy to cook. Make sure your menu is planned out now – so that you aren’t scrambling at the last minute.

3. Dessert

Cakes and pies are fabulous choices for any menu – guests love them!  If you’re looking for a stress-free option, they can be purchased pre-sliced and you can simply add a dollop of whipped cream or scoop of ice cream to spice it up. Or, you can try our Pumpkin Pie Sundaes, which can be made with a store-bought pumpkin pie! If you’re making your own dessert, bake it in advance; this helps take some of the pressure off and will free up space in the kitchen the day of the dinner.

4. Leftovers

Once the meal is finished, the food should be put away and properly stored within two hours. If you’ve stuffed the turkey, remove any leftover dressing from the turkey. Slice the meat off the turkey and seal the slices in airtight containers. If you have more leftovers than you’ll eat within a couple of days, put the remainder in the freezer. Frozen turkey and dressing should be used within a month. If you’re looking for a leftover recipe, try this Turkey Crescent Bake – it’s an easy casserole everyone will love!

Don’t let the turkey tie you up. With a little pre-planning and these tips you’ll enjoy a stress-free meal with time to spare. For additional tips, check out the How-To videos on!

What to Bring to Your Friendsgiving Dinner: Dessert with a Twist

Friendsgiving. It’s almost just as important as Thanksgiving. There are many reasons that you and your friends could decide to host a Friendsgiving. Perhaps you all live far from family and want to gather to celebrate the holiday. Or perhaps you’re just looking for an excuse to have a second Thanksgiving dinner with loved ones. Because two turkey dinners is better than one. While Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated with family, we think it only makes sense to celebrate the holiday of thanks with your closest friends, too. This could be the week leading up to Thanksgiving – this way you can test all of your recipes before the big day! All you need is a Butterball Turkey, a few side dishes, and a fun dessert. We’re recommending a Southern Pecan Pie with Toffee Crunch because it’s easy to make and will end the meal on a perfectly sweet note.

When you first start planning your Friendsgiving, be sure to download the Butterball Cookbook Plus app (it’s free!). The app will help you plan a Thanksgiving dinner that will impress all your friends, with recipes so simple you’ll have plenty of time hanging with friends – which is what Friendsgiving is all about! You can either spend the day cooking or you can tell your friends how to download the app and ask them to each bring a dish, too.

I’ve never made a pecan pie before, but after whipping up the Southern Pecan Pie with Toffee Crunch (recipe below), I have a feeling this will be a go-to dessert during the holidays for me. It was incredibly simple, but came out of the oven looking like I spent hours on it. All you have to do is place a premade pie crust in a pie pan, mix all of the ingredients together, pour them in the crust, and bake. I love that though pecan pie is a Thanksgiving tradition, the addition of the toffee crunch gives it a modern and fun touch. A few other recipes that would be great for this occasion are this delicious Greek Style Turkey Breast and our Peas with Turkey Bacon and Onions.

savignon baln

Besides the turkey, sides, and a delectable dessert, you won’t want to forget one other key to a fabulous Friendsgiving… the wine. Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi is the perfect choice because they have a variety that is sure to please everyone at your Friendsgiving table, with everything from Chardonnay to Malbec to Pinot Grigio to Cabernet Sauvignon.

red wines

It’s always a good idea to get a selection of red and white wines to make sure all of your friends are happy. We especially recommend Woodbridge’s Pinot Noir for the perfect companion to turkey and stuffing. Because Pinot Noirs often have earthy and fruity undertones, they complement fall flavors well and taking a sip after a forkful of turkey, stuffing, and all the fixings will put you right into Thanksgiving heaven.

In terms of white wines, because Sauvignon Blanc is often crisp and tart with citrus flavors, it is delicious with turkey and mashed potatoes. Not to mention, a lighter wine may be just what you need when you’re eating a filling Thanksgiving dinner!

While everyone remembers to bake the pies and to sit down for dessert at Friendsgiving dinner, wine at dessert time is often overlooked. Moscato is a sweet Italian wine that is perfect for serving alongside a slice of Southern Pecan Pie with Toffee Crunch. It will end the evening on a super sweet note and your guests will all leave incredibly happy!

Worried you won’t have enough wine at your holiday gathering? Take the number of friends you’re inviting to your Friendsgiving and multiply it by the number of hours you think the party will last. That’s the number of servings you’ll need. Since there are five servings in a 750 ml bottle of wine, you’ll divide that number by five to determine the number of 750 ml bottles you’ll need to purchase. If you know your friends’ favorite kinds of wine, you’ll be able to best determine whether to buy more reds or whites. If you don’t, we recommend getting a selection of each! This year, if you buy a bottle of Woodbridge Wine, you’ll get $2 or $3 off your Butterball Turkey.

Good friends, delicious food, and the perfect amount of wine. After just one Friendsgiving, you’ll see why you’ll want to make it a tradition over and over again!


Southern Pecan Pie with Toffee Crunch Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Makes: 8 servings


-1 refrigerated pie pastry (from 15 ounce package)

-1 ¼ cups dark corn syrup

-4 eggs, lightly beaten

-1 ½ cups pecans, halved

-¼ cup butter, melted and cooled slightly

-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

-1 cup toffee pieces, divided

-1 tablespoon flour


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll pastry into a 12-inch circle on lightly floured surface. Fit into 9-inch pie plate. Fold edge under and flute edge.

2. Combine corn syrup, eggs, pecans, butter and vanilla in a medium bowl. Toss 2/3 cup of toffee pieces with flour and stir into pecan mixture. Pour entire mixture into pie pastry.

3. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove pie from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Immediately sprinkle remaining 1/3 cup of toffee pieces over the top. Cool completely before serving.

Tips and Ideas:

-Garnish each slice with unsweetened whipped cream and a sprinkle of additional toffee pieces.

Side Dishes to Please Everyone at the New Thanksgiving Table

For years Thanksgiving dinner was the meal I looked forward to the most. The flavors of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, yams, green bean casserole, bread, pie and whatever else we could think of. This was a meal where it was okay to eat as much of everything I wanted to.

However, as with everything else in life, Thanksgiving has changed since I was younger. No longer is eating anything and everything good for me or my diet. So I’ve had to take a look at how we prepare the meal and what I eat.

One of the dishes that needed a fun twist is the traditional green bean casserole.  Look I know, it’s a classic dish, but sometimes putting a fresh spin on a classic is a great way to please everyone at the Thanksgiving table. And at my house we wanted to make that change.

Simplicity is often times the key to cooking success and these Sautéed Green Beans with Crunchy Almonds are perfect for adding a simple twist to your Thanksgiving dinner. One of the challenges with all the great tasting foods at Thanksgiving is all the conflicting flavors. This dish will allow the flavor of the green beans to shine without the soup flavors overpowering the flavor of your delicious turkey. If you’re looking for additional side dish inspiration, check out Butterball’s Thanksgiving board on Pinterest here.

Another great benefit to this green bean dish is that you can do the first two steps the day before. This will help make your Thanksgiving day a little less stressful.

If you are smoking, frying or grilling your turkey don’t be afraid to add your own BBQ twist to this dish to complete the meal. If you’ve used use a BBQ dry rub add just a little to the almonds after cooking.


Sautéed Green Beans with Crunchy Almonds

An alternative to the classic green bean casserole, this version requires only stove top cooking and can be partially cooked the day before.

Prep Time:          15 minutes

Total Time:         1.5 hours

Makes:                 8 servings


-1/2 cup slivered almonds

-2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed

-3 tablespoons unsalted butter

-1 tablespoon olive oil

-2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


-Toast almonds in heavy skillet on medium heat 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until they are lightly browned. Remove from heat and cool completely before using.

-Meanwhile, place green beans in large saucepan with water to cover. Heat on medium-high heat to boiling; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered, 4 to 6 minutes or to desired doneness. Drain beans. Immerse in ice water 5 minutes to stop further cooking. Drain and pat dry. Place beans in re-sealable plastic bag. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until thoroughly chilled.

-Heat butter and oil in large skillet on medium heat until butter is melted. Stir in green beans. Cook and stir 4 to 6 minutes or until beans are light golden brown. Stir in almonds and parsley. Heat through and serve.


Behind the Scenes in the Butterball Kitchens

Chef TonyWorking in the Butterball Kitchen has its perks for a Turketarian like me! Turkey is a great everyday ingredient that brings great taste and healthy protein to any meal. As a Butterball Kitchen chef and recipe developer, I have the privilege to experiment with turkey and create tasty, easy-to-make recipes that the whole family will enjoy. From testing new product offerings to sharing kitchen tips and trying out the latest new food trends and cooking techniques, there is never a dull moment here in the Butterball Kitchen. As Thanksgiving approaches, I wanted to share a few helpful tips to ensure your Thanksgiving celebration is a success.

Before you get started in the kitchen, you should keep the following in mind:

-Wash your hands often throughout the cooking process. For extra protection when handling raw turkey, invest in a pair of food safe gloves.

-Always be sure to cook food to proper temperatures. To help ensure your turkey is cooked through, rely on a meat thermometer that is easy to read and use.

-Sometimes meals are best as leftovers – but always be sure to cover or seal leftovers and promptly refrigerate them within two hours after eating to keep them fresh and safe.

As I mentioned, one of my favorite parts about working in the Butterball Kitchen is developing simple recipes that are sure to be crowd-pleasers. Recipe development is a very important part of my job – there is always new inspiration to create something unique and delicious. I like to keep an eye on food trends and develop fun new ways to put a spin on my favorite recipes.

Check out a few examples of some go-to recipes that are perfect for Thanksgiving – or even a Friendsgiving celebration (If you haven’t done a Friendsgiving event in the past, you should definitely consider it. It’s a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends the weekend before the big day, having a great time, while trying out some recipes for Thanksgiving Day):

Pumpkin Pie Sundae Bar

6-8 servings


-1 (9-inch) prepared pumpkin pie

-8 scoops vanilla ice cream

-1 cup whipped heavy cream

-24 candied pecan halves

-1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

-1 ½-2 cups of Crushed Candy (Butterfinger, Heath Bar), Chocolate Chips, Butterscotch Chips, or Toffee Pieces (As many as desired)

Method of Preparation

Place the pumpkin pie in a bowl large enough to hold whole pie- with a spoon mix and combine the pie filling together. Place 2 scoops into a sundae style dish and top with 1 scoop of ice cream. Then, top with a spoonful of whipped cream, candied pecan halves and a quarter cup of chosen candy. Serve and enjoy!

Stuffin’ with Cranberry Muffins

6 servings


-Non-stick cooking spray

-1 box (6 oz.) turkey flavored stuffing mix*

-1 1/2 cups half and half

-1/4 cup butter, melted

-2 large eggs, beaten

-1/2 cup canned whole cranberry sauce

Method of Preparation

Place the stuffing mix into a mixing bowl, pour in the melted butter and blend well. Combine the eggs, half & half and blend well. Pour into the stuffing mix and blend well. Allow the mixture to stand 15-20 minutes (the crumbs will absorb the liquid) and stir 2-3 times during this rest period. Lightly spray a 6-count muffin tin (2-½ inch X 1 inch) with oil, then fill each cup with the stuffin’ muffin mixture. With a tablespoon bore a hole into the center of the filling then fill the hole with 1 ½ tbsp. of whole cranberry sauce. Bake in a preheated 350ºF oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve hot.

*Note: If you don’t want to use boxed stuffing mix, you may use your own stuffing mix – just make sure it is prepped, but not baked, when you begin preparing this recipe.

Chef Tony Carving

While these recipes are fairly easy, carving the turkey on the big day can be a little more complicated, yet it’s one of the most important things to prepare for on Thanksgiving. Following are a few of my simple tricks that should help you master the Thanksgiving carve.

1. First, make sure you have a sharp knife and a proper fork to safely carve.

2. Remove the drumsticks and thigh from the turkey.

3. Then, remove the breast from the turkey. While the breast is intact, slice the breast meat and place the meat on the serving platter as you slice.

4. Remove the bone from the thigh and then slice the thigh and put it on the serving platter.

5. Leave the drumsticks intact and place them on the serving platter for eating.

For additional cooking tips, food preparation advice and recipe ideas check out our how-to videos and photos on

-How to choose your turkey

-How to carve a turkey

Follow Butterball on Instagram for a further behind-the-scenes look at the Butterball Kitchen.

I hope these tricks of the trade help you prepare your best Thanksgiving Day feast yet!

-Chef Tony

Tell us how you’re celebrating Friendsgiving!

We are conducting a sweepstakes and giving away 5 prizes to fans 18 years of age or older who “Like” Butterball on Facebook and comment on a post on the Butterball Facebook page sharing how they’re celebrating Friendsgiving. Whether it’s amazing decorations or your favorite recipes, we want to hear about it! As an additional entry, fans are encouraged to share an image of their Friendsgiving experience on their Instagram profile with the hashtag #Friendsgiving, tagging @ButterballTurkey. The prize includes a $20 Butterball Gift Check and $30 Amex Gift Card for the winner’s Friendsgiving celebrations (total prize valued at $50). To enter, please read our official rules and follow the steps below!

*”Like” Butterball on Facebook

*Comment on a Butterball Facebook post and tell us how you’ll be taking part in a Friendsgiving experience this holiday season. Entries must be received by 12 pm Eastern Time on November 18, 2013.

*Share a picture of your Friendsgiving experience on Instagram using the hashtag #Friendsgiving and tagging @ButterballTurkey

*Winners will be announced on Facebook on November 18, 2013


Butterball® Facebook Sweepstakes Rules

All entries are due by 12 pm Eastern Time on November 18, 2013.


1. ELIGIBILITY: Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia who are 18 years of age or older. Employees, contractors, directors, and officers of Butterball, LLC.(“Sponsor”), its parent, subsidiary, and affiliated companies, and the web design, advertising, fulfillment, judging, administrative, and sweepstakes agencies involved in the administration, development, fulfillment, and execution of this Sweepstakes (collectively, “Sweepstakes Parties”), and the immediate family members (spouse, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, and spouse or “step” of each) and those living in the same household of each such person (those persons whether related or not who live in the same residence for at least three months during the twelve-month period preceding the start date of the Sweepstakes) are not eligible to enter or win a prize.

2. PROMOTION PERIOD: Sweepstakes begins on November 13, 2013 at 12:00 pm Eastern Time and ends on November 18, 2013 at 12 pm Eastern Time (the “Promotion Period”).

3. HOW TO ENTER: During the Promotion Period, go to You must be a registered user of Facebook. To become a registered user of Facebook, you may go to  to register. Registration with Facebook is free. To enter, comment on a post on the Butterball Facebook page telling us how you are taking part in a Friendsgiving experience this year (dining, decorations, entertainment, etc.). You may also Instagram an image of your Friendsgiving experience using the hashtag #Friendsgiving and tag @ButterballTurkey for an additional entry in the sweepstakes. Limit two entries total per person. Entries must be received by 12 p.m. Eastern Time on November 18, 2013. Winners will be selected randomly on November 18, 2013. Use of any robotic, automatic, programmed or similar entry method or more than two entries during the Promotion Period will void all entries and result in disqualification. Entries cannot defame, misrepresent or contain disparaging remarks about Sponsor or their products, or other people, products or companies or communicate illegal, sexual, irresponsible use of alcohol or other messages or images inconsistent with the positive images and/or goodwill to which Sponsor, each in their sole discretion, wishes to associate. Only two (2) entries per person permitted during the Promotion Period. You must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

4. WINNER NOTIFICATION AND PRIZE CLAIM: Potential winners will be announced on Facebook and notified via a direct message to his/her Facebook account and asked to respond with a direct message to Sponsor containing his/her name, address, telephone number and date of birth. Potential winner must respond within 48 hours of the direct message from Butterball. If a potential winner does not respond by the specified deadline above; he/she is found to be ineligible; he/she cannot or does not comply with these Official Rules; and/or if his/her prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, potential winner will be disqualified and an alternate potential winner will be selected at random from the remaining entries for the random drawing at issue. Alternate potential winners must respond within the time stated in the direct message (at least 48 hours will be given to respond). The return of any prize/prize notification as undeliverable may result in disqualification and an alternate winner will be selected. Sponsor may require completion of an affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release in order to award prize (except as prohibited by law).

5. RANDOM DRAWING/ODDS OF WINNING: Five (5) winners will be selected in a random drawing on or about November 18, 2013 from among all eligible entries received. Drawing will be conducted by Sponsor. Odds of winning will depend upon the number of eligible entries received.

6. PRIZES AND APPROXIMATE RETAIL VALUES (“ARVs”): Five (5) Winners will each receive one (1) $20 Butterball Turkey Gift Check and one (1) $30 Amex gift card. Total prize value: $50.00. Total value of prizes awarded $250.

7. PRIZE RESTRICTIONS: Limit one (1) prize per person/family/household. All income taxes resulting from acceptance of prize are the responsibility of winner. No substitution or transfer of prize permitted by winner. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value. All terms and conditions of gift cards apply. Unclaimed prizes will not be awarded.

8. GENERAL CONDITIONS: By entering sweepstakes, you accept and agree to these Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor, which shall be final in all matters. INTERNET CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS, AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW INCLUDING CRIMINAL PROSECUTION. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned for any reason, including without limitation, due to infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who is responsible or who tampers with the entry process, and to cancel, modify, or terminate the Sweepstakes. In the event of cancellation, Sponsor reserves the right to select winners from eligible entries received in a random manner to be determined by Sponsor. Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that or any other provision. In the event that an entry is confirmed to have been erroneously deleted, lost or destroyed, entrant’s sole remedy shall be another entry into the Sweepstakes. If any provision of these Official Rules is held to be invalid or unenforceable, such provision shall be struck, and the remaining provisions shall be enforced.

9. LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY AND RELEASE: No liability or responsibility is assumed by Sponsor or Sweepstakes Parties resulting from user’s participation in, attempt to participate in, or download of any information in connection with participating in, the Sweepstakes. No responsibility or liability is assumed by the Sponsor or Sweepstakes Parties for technical problems or technical malfunction, including, without limitation, those arising in connection with any of the following occurrences that may affect the operation of the Sweepstakes: hardware or software errors; faulty computer, telephone, cable, satellite, network, electronic, wireless, or Internet connectivity, or other online communication problems; errors or limitations of any Internet service providers, servers, hosts, or providers; garbled, jumbled, or faulty data transmissions; failure of any email transmissions to be sent to or received; lost, late, delayed, or intercepted email transmissions; inaccessibility of the website in whole or in part for any reason; traffic congestion on the Internet or website; unauthorized human or non-human intervention in the operation of the Sweepstakes, including without limitation, unauthorized tampering, hacking, theft, virus, bug, worm; or destruction of any aspect of the Sweepstakes. Sponsor is not responsible for any typographical errors in the announcement of the prize or these Official Rules, or any inaccurate or incorrect data contained on the website. Use of website is at user’s own risk. Sponsor and the Sweepstakes Parties are not responsible for any personal injury or property damage or any other losses of any kind that may be sustained to user’s or any other person’s computer equipment resulting from participation in the Sweepstakes, use of the website or the download of any information from the website, or any other loss related to user’s participation in the Sweepstakes or receipt of any prize. As a condition of entering, entrants agree (and agree to confirm in writing): (a) to release Sponsor, Sweepstakes Parties from any and all liability, loss, or damage incurred with respect to entrant’s participation in the Sweepstakes and the awarding, receipt, possession, and/or use or misuse of any prize; (b) under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and participant hereby waives all rights to claim, punitive, incidental, consequential, or any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses; (c) all causes of action arising out of or connected with this Sweepstakes, or any prize awarded, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action; and (d) any and all claims, judgments, and award shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, excluding attorneys’ fees and court costs. Except where prohibited by law, by accepting a prize, winners grant permission for Sponsor and those acting under its authority to use their name, and address (city and state), photograph, voice and/or likeness, for advertising and/or publicity purposes, in any and all media (including posting on website) now known or hereinafter invented without territorial or time limitations and without further notice to and without additional compensation.

10. WINNERS LIST: To obtain the winner’s list, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope by December 31, 2013 to:  Butterball Facebook Sweepstakes, ATTN: C. Falvey, Edelman, 200 E. Randolph, 65 Floor, Chicago, IL, 60601.

SPONSOR: Butterball, LLC, One Butterball Lane, Garner, NC 27529

This Sweepstakes is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by Facebook or Instagram, and Sponsor is not responsible for the actions of Facebook or Instagram. Facebook and Instagram’s terms and conditions will apply to all Facebook and Instagram activity.

Real Men Cook Turkey

Gobblehead2Like most dads, I cook. Daily. With three kids it comes with the job description.

But I don’t get super-excited about cooking all that often. Schedules are chaotic. Time is scarce. So cooking never makes it to the top of my “favorite things” list.

Trust me. I wish it did.

That’s why I look forward to Thanksgiving. It gets me reconnected with my cooking mojo. And it reminds me how fun it is to prepare great meals for the family. Plus, the extra bonus is that turkey leftovers let you whip up some fun, hearty and delicious meals long after that last Thanksgiving serving platter goes back in the cupboard.

Last year, I experimented with a new recipe – Bourbon and Cola Marinated Turkey. And while I’m not a bourbon drinker myself, this was a turkey to remember! The bourbon cooks down during the cooking process, so it doesn’t taste like bourbon – it just adds a lot of flavor! It’s slightly sweet but it has a just-right kick from the red pepper flakes. Try it out!

Bourbon Cola Cropped

Bourbon and Cola Marinated Turkey

Prep Time: 10 minutes (I’m serious!)

Total Time: 3+ Hours

Makes: 12 servings


-¾ cup Coca Cola

-½ cup bourbon

-1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

-1/3 cup soy sauce

-¼ cup chopped green onions

-1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic

-½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

-12-14 pound Butterball® Fresh or Frozen Whole Turkey, thawed if frozen


-Combine all ingredients except turkey in non-reactive container large enough to hold turkey. Remove turkey from packaging; drain. Remove neck and giblets; refrigerate for another use or discard. Place turkey in marinade. Cover container. Refrigerate 6 to 8 hours, turning turkey over occasionally.

-Preheat oven to 325°F. Remove turkey from marinade; drain; pat dry. Discard marinade. Place turkey on a flat rack in a shallow roasting pan, 2 to 2-1/2-inches deep. Tuck wings back to hold neck skin in place and stabilize the turkey in the pan and when carving. Brush lightly with vegetable oil or spray with cooking spray to prevent skin from drying. Insert oven-safe thermometer deep into the lower thigh muscle but not touching the bone.

-Bake 3 to 3-1/2 hours. When the turkey is about 2/3 done, cover the breast and top of thighs lightly with aluminum foil to prevent overcooking. Check for doneness about 30 minutes before end of recommended cooking time. Turkey is done when thigh reaches 180°F and juices run clear.

-Remove the turkey from the roasting pan. Let rest 15 minutes to allow juices to set before carving.

Now let’s talk leftovers…

Here’s the key with leftovers: Take some time before Thanksgiving to figure out some great recipes with your leftovers! I promise, it will make you a lot more excited to deal with clean up after all the holiday fun! And another tip: check out the Butterball Pinterest Page for some great ideas for leftovers!

Here’s a couple that are on my list this year:


Turkey, Mushroom & Potato Soup. This is actually one of my son’s favorites. It has ingredients he likes and it keeps for days in the refrigerator!

Turkey and Swiss Panini.  I haven’t made this yet but just reading the ingredients makes me hungry.  As a true Turketarian, this one is right up my alley. Check out Butterball’s Turketarian app to find out what kind of Turketarian you are.

OK, Pops (and Moms!) go make it a fun Thanksgiving holiday! Try out a new recipe this year. I’d love to hear some of your favorite leftovers! Oh, and before I forget: Did you know that Butterball turkeys are gluten-free? I’ve been trying to move over to a gluten-free diet, myself. So that new bit of information was magic to my ears!

Celebrate Thanksgiving with Cost-Savings on your Meal

While most everyone enjoys gathering together for Thanksgiving with loved ones, one thing is certain: it’s not always friendly on the wallet – especially if you’re playing hostess. From the spread of food, to decor, to beverages, and everything in between, shopping for the holidays can get pretty pricey if you aren’t careful. It’s so easy to get carried away with excitement and toss everything in your grocery cart without looking twice. The next thing you know, you find yourself standing at the register hearing the cashier give you a total you would have never imagined! Here, we show you tips for cost-saving on your Thanksgiving meal. This way, you can truly enjoy each and every part of the holiday season!

• Budget. With most things in life, creating a budget is going to be your best and safest tool for having a successful and stress-free Thanksgiving. Take a look at all of your expenses for the month(s) coming up and decide on a number that is practical for you and your family. Stick to this. Even if it means subtracting items once you get to the register.

• Lists. Make a list of each dish you want to create for Thanksgiving dinner and include all of the ingredients. Take inventory of what you have and what you need. This will prevent you from buying items and ingredients that you already have in your kitchen.

• Divvy. Once you have a list, don’t be shy to ask your guests to bring something off of it, especially if they offer. Maybe a side dish, a dessert, or a signature cider. Whatever the case, most people enjoy knowing that they’ve contributed!

•  Look for coupons. Did you know that Butterball partners with other brands like Betty Crocker® HomeStyle Stuffing, Betty Crocker® Potatoes, Green Giant® Green Beans and Pillsbury® Crescent Rolls? Purchase any combination of these four participating items to save $3 off a Butterball Whole Turkey. Keep an eye out for coupons in your newspaper, savings at and in-store coupons too.


• Buy big. If you want to get the most out of your Thanksgiving dinner, plan on purchasing a larger Butterball turkey. This way, instead of going out to a restaurant later or buying more ingredients to cook new dishes, you’ll have plenty of delicious turkey for leftovers to make into sandwiches, soups, and other dishes.

• Research. Certain recipes call for expensive ingredients. A quick internet search will easily give you great information for substitutions so you might be able to find another, less expensive ingredient elsewhere. On the topic of research, price check at multiple grocery stores to see who has the best deals, sales, and promotions on everything from beverages to snacks.

• Start early. If you start planning early enough, you can purchase non-perishable items ahead of time, especially if you notice something that you’ll need for the big day that’s on sale. No need to wait! Store it in your pantry and check it off of your list so you don’t buy double.

Kitchen Confidential: Preparing Thanksgiving With a Wife on the Turkey Talk-Line

It’s the day before Thanksgiving and I have made myself a note on 8 ½ x11” paper to be placed at the foot of my bed – “THAW TURKEY.” If I forget to thaw my turkey in cold water, I may have a problem the next afternoon.

My wife is Mary Clingman – Director of the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line. Since she will be up and out the door on Thanksgiving at 5 a.m., ready to help thousands of Thanksgiving cooks on the busiest day of their year, I am on my own getting the turkey into the oven.

I am a veteran at this task. I always purchase the turkey two weeks prior to Thanksgiving to ensure the perfect size is available for me at the store. I know that using a meat thermometer is critical (180˚ in the thigh for not overcooking the turkey). I’ve become a pro over the years and can even say that I’ve never overcooked the turkey. Not only do I cook the turkey, I make homemade cranberry sauce “from scratch”. (“From scratch” is a good phrase to drop if you want to impress people). One cup of boiling water, one cup of sugar, and one bag of cranberries; what could be easier? Also check out this Orange Cranberry sauce recipe for another version of the classic.

Kyle 4 TG

The Butterball Turkey Talk-Line has saved the day for many cooks – males and females alike, including our son Scott. Twenty some years ago, Scott, while at the University of Illinois, started the tradition of having a turkey dinner for students, many of them from different areas, to celebrate Thanksgiving. He called the Turkey Talk-Line, looking for his mom. “How do you keep the turkey from catching fire from all the drippings on the bottom of the oven?” It seems that he placed the turkey on a flat cookie sheet versus a shallow 2½” roasting pan. This year, 25 years later, Scott will be coming in from Houston with his family for Thanksgiving. We’ll see if he has learned anything from his cookie sheet-days.

Over the years our family has grown, and now Thanksgiving consists of 22 big eaters. Delegation became increasingly important if the guys wanted to watch all three football games – I’ve mastered preparing the turkey to the point where I’m able to get in all of my football watching.


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