Savor the Leftovers! Serve up a Different Take on Turkey

Once my family has enjoyed the spread of holiday favorites, the cooks around our table share suggestions for the leftovers. There are definitely a few “to-go” plates, in the list of what’s next for those good things to eat.


What is the best way to preserve turkey leftovers?

There are a lot of ways you can take advantage of having deliciously leftover turkey lying around after Thanksgiving. Here are a few of my favorite ways to keep those leftovers for all kinds of future turkey needs:

  • Chop the cooked turkey and freeze it for future use in enchiladas, tacos, nachos, casseroles, pasta, soup, stew or salads.
  • Once the meaty portions are gone, you can freeze the turkey bones to add flavor to vegetables such as green beans or dry beans.
  • You can freeze cooked chopped turkey in one or two-cup portions in an airtight container or zip-top freezer bags three to four months.
  • The turkey carcass also makes a good starter for broth to keep on hand. Simply cover the carcass with water and simmer with celery, carrot, onion and potato. Once the broth cools, you can store it in the freezer in airtight quart-size containers or fill ice cube trays for easy use, one cube at a time. Label and date the container—properly stored the broth can be frozen for six to eight months.

These leftover suggestions are simple and easy ways to put extra turkey to good use in savory dishes beyond sandwiches. Butterball also has some advice on how to best store your leftovers.

You can follow Butterball on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for more recipe inspiration year-round!

Boneless Turkey Roast: Endless Cooking Options

If you don’t want to cook a whole turkey for Thanksgiving this year, cooking a boneless turkey breast is a great option. If you prefer white meat, you’ve got it made, since the breast is 100 percent white meat.


Choosing a Boneless Turkey Breast

When choosing a turkey breast at the store, you will find breasts that are self-basting and others that are minimally processed. If you want more control over the final taste of the turkey, choose a minimally processed turkey breast.

Boneless turkey breasts weigh about three pounds, and will serve about 3-4 people, depending if you want leftovers. If you plan to cook two or more turkey breasts at the same time, choose breasts that are very close to the same weight. I highly recommend smoking them.

Basted turkey breasts have been injected with flavored brine. If you buy this type, all that needs to be done is to flavor it with your favorite seasoning before it’s smoked. Be sure to use a seasoning that’s light on the salt, since the pre-brined breast already contains salt.

Brining the Boneless Turkey Breast

The first step in the process is selecting your brine recipe. The Spice Islands® Turkey Brine Kit is the perfect pairing for a juicy, flavorful Butterball turkey that works for any occasion. Once you’ve selected your brine you’ll need to:

  • Prepare your brine. Be sure to mix ingredients until all of the salt is dissolved.  If your brine is heated, be sure to cool it to room temperature before brining.
  • Place your turkey breast in a large container made of food-grade plastic, stainless steel, glass or in a brining bag. Be sure the container will fit in your fridge.
  • Add brine, covering the entire turkey breast.
  • Place in the refrigerator for the specified period of time.
  • Remove turkey from brine after recommended time. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Cook turkey as desired.

If you need more help, Butterball has a how-to video on brining that is also a helpful guide!

Smoking the Boneless Turkey Breasts

Pre-heat your meat smoker or grill to 300⁰F. If using a grill, cook the breasts using the indirect grilling method.

Apple and pecan wood chips have a light flavor and produce a nice color on the finished turkey breasts.

  • First, make sure you soak your chips in water. You can either use a handful of the chips on top of the charcoal or, if using a gas or electric smoker or grill, you can make a couple small foil packets of chips and continue adding chips when there isn’t any more smoke present.
  • The smoked turkey breast is done when the internal temperature reaches 165⁰F. Remove and cover with foil, allowing it to rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Turkey Talk: The Top Things You Need to Know When Cooking a Turkey 

Whether it is your first time cooking a turkey or you are a seasoned pro, time-honored turkey advice from the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line never gets old.

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  1. Give yourself enough time to thaw your turkey.

Don’t count the day you will cook your turkey as one of the thawing days.  If you put your Thanksgiving turkey in the refrigerator on National Thaw Day (the Thursday before Thanksgiving) most turkeys will be properly thawed and ready to cook by Thanksgiving. If you want more help, watch this “How To Thaw” video from Butterball.

  1. Choose how to cook.

The easiest way to cook your turkey is to roast it in the oven.  Oven roasting requires no special equipment and cooks of all skill levels can produce a superb tender and juicy turkey this way.  Butterball has a how-to video on roasting, and many other cooking methods.

  1. Safety in numbers.

You need to make sure your turkey reaches 140⁰F within four hours so your turkey is food safe. Because of this safety measure, it is not safe to use methods that require overnight cooking at low temperatures or a high temperature followed by turning the oven off.

  1. It is not all about the Baste

You really don’t need to baste your turkey. Although basting was once standard practice, it has not been found to add moisture to your turkey and Butterball turkeys are pre-basted for you. It will add to your cook time by draining your oven of heat each time the oven door is opened.

  1. When it’s done, it’s done.

The most accurate way to determine when your turkey is done is to use a thermometer.  You will want to check the turkey in two places, the breast and thigh. Make sure the breast registers 175⁰F and the thigh registers 180⁰F.  Often the breast area comes up to temperature before the thigh because it sits up high in the pan and has more exposure.

  1. No cover required

If you want your turkey to be a golden brown color with crispy skin, then do not cover it.  When you completely cover your turkey while cooking you are essentially steaming it.  If you want to shield the breast area of the turkey during the latter stages of cooking, simply make a tent using Reynolds® aluminum foil (about the size of a piece of notebook paper) and loosely fit it across the breast area.

  1. Make ahead and reheat options.

You can make your turkey ahead of time and reheat if your schedule or oven space requires you to do so.  It is important to get the turkey de-boned, properly cooled and refrigerated to keep it food safe. Reheating can be done by slicing the turkey and moistening with broth or gravy- or warming the turkey cut into quarters or large sections.

  1. You can- and should- cook turkey throughout the year.

Turkey is not just for the holidays- it’s also a great main course to be served winter, spring, summer or fall.  It is often inexpensive around Thanksgiving, so make room in your freezer and stock up for use throughout the year.

The turkey, and you, will be the heroes of Thanksgiving Dinner if you keep these tips in mind. Never fear if you have any questions or concerns—if anything comes up, just call the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line at 1-800-BUTTERBALL. We’ve been here for you for more than 30 years and are here to help you have a wonderful celebration.

Thanksgiving Table Treasures: The Sides That (Almost) Steal the Show

The iconic image from the Norman Rockwell painting, Freedom from Want, is of the mahogany hued, glistening, whole roast turkey being presented at the table. We, at the Turkey Talk Line, answer thousands of calls each season to help cooks achieve memory making results for their own family tables.


The Thanksgiving table is a celebration of the harvest, the bounty of the season and the blessings from the earth. We gather to give thanks for this bounty and our celebration includes a wealth of delicious dishes in addition to that beautiful turkey.

Look again at that Rockwell table and we find our own selves coming to the table, asking, “What is in the covered dish?” Oyster dressing? Cornbread and sausage stuffing? Or maybe Mom found a new holiday classic on the Butterball website: fingers crossed for Sauteed Leek, Giblet and whole grain dressing!

Thanksgiving is heavily grounded in tradition. My family always makes the same comforting assortment – foods that loudly say, “holiday,” to me. However, over the course of time, things evolve.

Several years ago, family members began to require a Gluten Free diet. Perhaps your family has a member who is vegetarian or has a nut allergy. Aunt Grace can’t do dairy and cousin Donny is off yeast. The glorious buffet of side dishes give us the freedom, flexibility and permission to stray from tradition, accommodate dietary restrictions and breathe new life into our annual celebration.

The Butterball website and the Butterball Cookbook Plus™ App are great recipe resources.  While Butterball Fresh and Frozen Turkeys and gravy packets are already gluten free, I needed help with the sides. By entering gluten free into the search bar, I felt I had hit the jackpot! The classic Green Bean Casserole, which we had served and loved, could be served gluten-free by substituting the fried onion with some crunchy almonds.

So many times people feel that special diets require “giving up” and “going without.” But sometimes a simple change is all it takes to bring back a favorite recipe.  No one who tries the decadent and luscious Golden Mashed Potatoes with Chives recipe from the Butterball website will feel deprived. In fact, you may never make mashed potatoes any other way again.

After the huge success and positive responses from my substitutions on the holiday classics, this year I’m going out on a limb.  So long canned cranberry relish, hello, Dried Fruit & Tomato Chutney. Wish me luck, but I doubt this one could be wrong!


Modernize the Classics: A Behind-the-Scenes look at Upgrading Family Favorites


Looking for a new twist to a family favorite this Thanksgiving? If you’re feeling adventurous and are an experienced cook, try spatchcocking and grilling the turkey!

Let’s answer a big question: What is spatchcocking?

Spatchcocking, also called butterflying, is simply cutting the turkey so that it lays flat when roasting in the oven or cooking on the grill. The basic method of preparation involves removing the backbone with a pair of poultry shears or a very sharp knife, then pressing down on the breast to flatten it. To remove the backbone, place the turkey breast side down on a cutting board. Starting at the tail end, cut along both sides of the backbone all the way up to the neck. Remove the backbone and open up the turkey, then turn the turkey breast side up. Press down hard on the center of the breastbone until you hear a crack. Now the turkey can lay flat for cooking.

Note: If you are not comfortable with removing the backbone, your butcher can remove it for you.

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(Above) To remove the backbone, place the turkey breast side down on a cutting board. Starting at the tail end, use poultry shears or a very sharp knife to cut along both sides of the backbone all the way up to the neck.

diagram 2

(Above) Press down hard on the center of the breastbone to flatten the turkey.

Grilling a Spatchcock Turkey
Turkey can be prepared either on an outdoor charcoal or gas grill.

Prepare the grill
Charcoal grill: Can give you an amazing flavor when you use the right technique

  • Remove cooking grate and open all vents.
  • Position drip pan in center of charcoal grate and place 25 to 30 briquettes along each side (lengthwise) of drip pan. Do not use lighter fluid to start the charcoal.
  • Burn briquettes until covered with gray ash, about 30 minutes. Place cooking grate in grill over coals.

Gas grill: An easy way to get the delicious grilled taste you crave

  • Before turning on grill, lift grate and place drip pan directly on flavorizer bars, ceramic briquettes or lava rocks. Replace grate.
  • Prepare grill for indirect heat cooking according to owner’s guide. Preheat burners on high for 10 to 15 minutes with lid closed.
  • Turn down the temperature to approximately 350⁰F.

Prepare the Turkey

  • Turn wings back to hold neck skin. Brush or spray the entire turkey with cooking or vegetable oil.
  • If cooking with charcoal, season both sides of the turkey with salt and pepper (being very careful—the turkey is partially boneless and will flop around). Do not tear the skin.
  • Place the turkey, breast up, on cooking grate over drip pan. Cover grill, leaving vents open if using charcoal or close lid and minimizing peeking if using gas grill.
  • If cooking with charcoal, add 6 to 8 briquettes to each side every 45 to 60 minutes or so. Keep the temperature between 325 and 340⁰F.
  • If using a gas grill, it may be necessary to turn the turkey over halfway through grilling to ensure even cooking. Turn down the burner temperature under the drip pan if the turkey is browning too quickly.
  • Using a meat thermometer, cook the turkey to an internal temperature of 180⁰F in thigh and 165⁰F in breast.
  • A 12-pound turkey will take 1½ to 2 hours to grill. When done, remove the turkey and let stand for 15 minutes before carving.

butterfly bird











Carving the Turkey

  • Cut the legs from the body at the point where the thigh is attached to the breast.
  • Separate the drumstick from the thigh, then carefully remove the thighbone. Be sure to keep the thigh meat intact as much as possible. Keep the skin side up on the thigh meet, slicing the thigh meat into ¼ inch slices. Repeat for the second leg.
  • Cut the breast in half, carefully removing the rib bones from the breast. Firmly hold the skin side up and slice the breast meat into ¼- to ½-inch slices. Repeat for the second breast.
  • Arrange on a warm platter and serve with your favorite side dish. You can find plenty of side dish recipes on the Butterball Cookbook Plus™ App!



Thanksgiving at Your Fingertips: Trusted Advice, When You Need It

When looking back at past Thanksgivings, Butterball has always been a part of the celebration, providing the best turkey and preparation advice. Today is no different. Here are some of the time-honored tips you can use this year.

  1. Keep it simple so you can enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends!
  2. Plan well ahead, especially if you intend to thaw a whole turkey. If you want insight into this, check out the Butterball Thaw Calculator.
  3. Buy a Fresh Butterball turkey and avoid the thawing process- and enjoy this year’s special Norman Rockwell packaging featuring the imagery from the iconic Freedom From Want.pic1
  4. If you want a stuffed turkey, try filling it with a delicious prepared stuffing from Pepperidge Farm will please the crowd!  A couple of add-ins such as plumped raisins, sautéed celery and onions add a homemade touch.
  5. For an easy side dish, consider oven roasting root vegetable chunks. Lightly spray with olive oil and sprinkle with your favorite herbs. Do this one day ahead and simply microwave on Thanksgiving Day!
  6. Keep to steady oven temperature of 325⁰F for turkey roasting.
  7. Use a reliable thermometer.  At the point of pulling the turkey from the oven, it is a great reassurance to know the turkey has reached the perfect temperature.
  8. Download the Butterball Cookbook Plus™ App to discover tips and new recipes for both holidays and other everyday turkey occasions. pic2
  9. Shield the breast area of whole turkey with a tent of Reynolds® Wrap aluminum foil about two-thirds of the way into the cooking time.


Don’t hesitate to host this Thanksgiving’s holiday meal!  Let us help you to plan for roasting your holiday turkey and to manage any turkey-related details. Contact us by e-mail or on our website: or call us at 1-800-BUTTERBALL.  Find us on Facebook, Twitter or check us out on Pinterest or Instagram for holiday meal inspiration.

Time-Honored Turkey Tips

It’s that time of year, the leaves have fallen, the temperature has dropped and it is my favorite season: fall. Every year I look forward to Thanksgiving, thinking about my family members who will be able to celebrate with us this year and planning for my family’s must-have favorite dishes.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday because it is simply about family and food. I love working on the Butterball Turkey Talk-line as a turkey expert.   Working at the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line on Thanksgiving Day For the last 10 years, has not stopped me from hosting Thanksgiving dinner each year with my family. Over these years, I have developed successful routines that help me host a successful party.  Today, I’m excited to share are my “time honored tips” tips with you!

Tip 1: Organize

Order reduces stress, so get organized! Before the big day, as time allows, you can decide your menu, inventory your serving and dinner dishes and cooking equipment (you may need to borrow or buy items). I suggest making a running grocery list you add to as you think of things you need for the gathering.  If you have the space, you can set these items aside and label them with sticky notes.

Tip 2: Delegate!

Asking or accepting help makes you a gracious and smart host. It is definitely a team effort in my house. With the help of my family working together, we are able to host a successful party.  I think everyone likes to participate in some way and, from preparation to clean-up, there is a job for everyone’s skill level. Don’t forget, kids are great helpers and it’s a fun way for them to learn.  When everyone helps everyone has more fun!

Tip 3: Know the answer to what may I bring?

You have already made your menu, so when people what they may bring, you should be ready. If they offer to bring their specialty item take them up on it. They will be proud to bring it!  If they don’t know what to bring or don’t have time to prepare something from scratch, you can suggest they bring something easy and delicious like a Marie Callender’s® dessert favorite, or Sister Schubert’s® dinner rolls.

Tip 4: What size turkey?

When you know how many people are coming you will know how large of a turkey to purchase.  The general rule of thumb is 1.5 lbs per person (Butterball can help you calculate your portions). If you have a large crowd, this could mean quite a large turkey. I like to buy two turkeys of approximately the same size that equal the total weight needed. This way I have more legs for the dark meat lovers and two smaller turkeys will cook in less time than one very large turkey.

Tip 5: Thawing time

Allow enough time to completely thaw your turkey- you can always use the Butterball Thaw Time Calculator to get the timing right. A properly thawed turkey will cook evenly and will be done at the expected time to serve your hungry waiting crowd. Or you can buy a Fresh Butterball with no thawing necessary.  Either way, be sure to put it on a tray when in your refrigerator when thawing or storing.


Tip 6: Is it done?

Take the guess work out of knowing when your turkey is done by using a thermometer. I like using an oven-safe thermometer because you can place it in the turkey before it goes into the oven and you need to quickly check the temperature at the minimum roasting time. A thermometer provides finite information: it is done at 180⁰F in the thigh, 170⁰F in the breast and 165⁰F in the center if it is stuffed.  When it has reached temperature, be sure to let the turkey rest for 15 minutes so all of the delicious juices remain.

Tip 7: The reward

After the turkey has been devoured and the desserts enjoyed, I like to just watch and listen to the gathering of family and friends. The older cousins enjoy each other, the little ones having fun and the adults taking time just to sit around and talk with each other.  It’s a great opportunity to watch how food and holidays go hand-in-hand as powerful memory makers.

Of course, if you need help preparing your Thanksgiving dinner, the Turkey Talk-Line is here to help. Call us at 1-800-BUTTERBALL or you can ask your questions on Facebook, Twitter and our Live Chats.

Butterball Talk-Line Flashback Sweepstakes

We are conducting a sweepstakes and giving away one (1) turkey gift check to a fan 18 years of age or older who votes in our Butterball Talk-Line Flashback Sweepstakes on Facebook. To enter, please read our official rules and follow the steps below!

  • “Like” Butterball on Facebook
  • Caption the designated Butterball “throwback” image on Butterball’s Facebook page. Captions must be received by 5pm Eastern Time on Sunday, November 8, 2015.
  • Winners will be notified on Facebook by Monday, November 9, 2015.


Butterball® Facebook Sweepstakes Rules

All entries are due by 5:00 pm Eastern Time on Sunday, November 8, 2015.


  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 Friday, November 6 at 9:00 am Eastern Time and ends on Sunday, November 8, 2015 at 5:00 pm Eastern Time (the “Promotion Period”).
  3. HOW TO ENTER: During the Promotion Period, go to and “Like” us. To become a registered user of Facebook, you may go to  to register. Registration with Facebook is free. After you “Like” Butterball on Facebook, caption the designated Butterball “throwback” image on Butterball’s Facebook page and add #throwbacksweepstakes or another indication that your caption is being submitted for the purpose of entering a sweepstakes. Limit one entry per person or email address. Entries must be received by 5 p.m. Eastern Time, November 8, 2015. Caption cannot defame, misrepresent or contain disparaging remarks about Sponsor or its products, or other people, products or companies or communicate illegal, sexual,  or other messages or images inconsistent with the positive images and/or goodwill to which Sponsor in its sole discretion, wishes to associate. Winners will be selected randomly from eligible entries received during the Promotion Period. Use of any robotic, automatic, programmed or similar entry method or more than one entry during the Promotion Period will void all entries and result in disqualification. Entries cannot defame, misrepresent or contain disparaging remarks about Sponsor or its products, or other people, products or companies or communicate illegal, sexual, or other messages or images inconsistent with the positive images and/or goodwill to which Sponsor, in its sole discretion, wishes to associate. Only one (1) entry per person permitted during the Promotion Period.
  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. 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: One (1) winner will be selected in a random drawing on or about Monday, November 9, 2015 from among all eligible entries received. Odds of winning will depend upon the number of eligible entries received.
  6. PRIZES AND APPROXIMATE RETAIL VALUES (“ARVs”): One (1) winner will receive one (1) $20 Butterball gift check. Maximum total value of prizes awarded $100.00
  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 and gift checks 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, the Sweepstakes Parties and Facebook 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 or use 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 postmarked by November 21, 2015 to:  Butterball Facebook Sweepstakes, ATTN: K. Burch, 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, and Sponsor is not responsible for the actions of Facebook. Facebook’s terms and conditions will apply to Facebook activity.

Thanksgiving Rewind: Reflecting on Special Thanksgiving Moments

Turkey has a way of bringing people together. In fact, it’s hard to think of a Thanksgiving without it. While a perfectly cooked Butterball turkey, tender and juicy all on its own, has been the center of our Thanksgiving table for as long as I can remember, my family has always loved having delicious gravy to supplement!

Before I was a Talk-Line expert, I was the resident gravy-maker in my family. I didn’t even eat gravy when I started making it but after a while I began feeling comfortable when called to the stovetop to turn turkey drippings and flour into a silky, savory sauce after a beautifully browned turkey emerges from the oven.

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The first time I was asked to make gravy, I went in blind. Although I was fairly confident in my cooking abilities, I’d never made turkey gravy. I knew that I should scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the roasting pan to inject flavor and that I would need chicken broth to supplement the drippings from the bird.

I knew I needed a starch to thicken things up, but I had no idea how much or when to add it. Adding butter always sounds like a good idea to me, so I tossed a stick into the mixture and turned on the flame. As it cooked, it started to separate into a slick, gloppy mess. I added more flour to try to bind it together, but it didn’t help. Nothing helped. There was way too much fat in my gravy, thanks to my impromptu butter addition, and there was no way to blend it into the creamy sauce that everyone was expecting.

I tossed it. My first year as the gravy-maker, we didn’t have gravy at all. Thankfully, the turkey was perfectly juicy, so no one really missed it.

When Thanksgiving rolled around the next year, I was ready. I had studied up, and I realized how easy it could be to make gravy from scratch.  I figured out the ratios of liquid to starch, and knew that adding extra fat to the mix would throw off the whole thing.

My family gave me the chance to redeem myself and I nailed it: perfectly smooth, velvety gravy with tons of flavor, begging to be drizzled over mashed potatoes and drumsticks. I was so proud of how far I’d come since the year before that I happily spooned my perfect gravy over my heaping plate. I’ve been the go-to-gravy girl ever since.

You can wow your family with homemade gravy this year, too. It’s easier than you think, and Butterball has it all laid out for you in this Turkey Gravy with Pan Drippings Recipe. Your gravy boat is going to see a lot more action after you master this simple, delicious recipe because you will want to make it more often than once a year at Thanksgiving.

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Throwback to your favorite Thanksgiving memory and celebrate the ultimate family meal with Butterball this year. Visit and share your favorite recipe or holiday memories for a chance to win prizes.

Happy holidays!

Thanksgiving Tips Then and Now; What’s Changed?

Remember when? It seemed like it took all day for the turkey to cook?

And now? Our turkeys are so tender and juicy that an up to 18 pound unstuffed turkey cooks in only 3-3½ hours at 325⁰F using our open roasting pan method. The important thing to remember is to get the turkey from the 40⁰F refrigerator to an internal temperature of 140⁰F in four hours.

Remember when? We thought it was necessary to baste a turkey every 30 minutes?

And now? Butterball turkeys are pre-basted so there is no need to do so! Plus, we know constant basting only adds to the cooking time since the oven loses heat every time it is opened. Basting can frazzle the cook and since the juices often land in the oven instead of the turkey, it can create an unpleasant burning smell is your kitchen.

Remember when? We didn’t realize that turkey could be cooked ahead of time?

And now? You can easily do that- even the night before Thanksgiving and here’s how.

First, cook the turkey the night before, preferably in the open roasting pan method, which is my favorite way to cook a turkey. Then monitor the internal temperature of the turkey, which, when fully-cooked, should register a breast temperature of 170⁰F and the thigh should reach 180⁰F. Let the turkey rest for at least 20 minutes and then carve the turkey and place in storage containers in the refrigerator within two hours after carving. The next day, all you need to do is re-heat the turkey.

Remember when? We weren’t quite sure when the turkey was done so we probably overcooked it and then tried wiggling bones, squeezing thighs or poking the turkey just to “be sure?”

And now? We know meat thermometers are your best friend.  No guesswork and no overcooking. Yay! Butterball can show you how to properly use your thermometer.

Remember when? We thought cooking a whole turkey was the only way to make Thanksgiving dinner?

And now? While families may cook whole turkeys, since turkey parts are easy to find many people opt for partial pieces (like several breasts or only the legs and thighs for those who prefer dark meat). It is nice to have options.

Remember when? We thought roasting a turkey was the way to cook a turkey?

And now? Many people have questions about deep-frying, convection cooking, smoking, gas or charcoal grilling and more…you can find answers to your questions about many different options on

Remember when? We weren’t sure if we should stuff a turkey?

And now? You can stuff a turkey but be sure that it is completely thawed. Put the stuffing into the turkey right before cooking and, most importantly, check the internal temperature of the stuffing to ensure it reaches 165⁰F before removing from the oven. This is another great use for a good meat thermometer.

Remember when? We looked forward to Thanksgiving and that delicious turkey?

And now? Some things never change! We still look forward to a tender, juicy and delicious turkey especially since cooking turkey is the easiest part of any meal.  It will be for you, too. Thanksgiving is still all about creating happy memories while enjoying a meal together.  So, do as I do, and invite your family and friends over and cook a big turkey!

Here’s how to make the perfect turkey this Thanksgiving…

  • Before roasting, be sure the turkey is thawed. Pat it dry with paper towels inside and out- and do not forget to remove the giblets!
  • There is no need to wash or soak a turkey like we used to. Brush the turkey with your favorite oil (any kind of oil you have is fine) and place in a shallow pan (about 2-21/2” deep) that has a flat rack inside.
  • Place the turkey uncovered in a 325⁰F oven, close the door and relax.
  • When the turkey is about 2/3 of the way finished cooking, cover the breast loosely with a tent of Reynolds® foil and continue roasting until the internal temperatures reach 170⁰F in the breast and 180⁰F in the thigh. Since the breast tends to get up to temperature sooner than the thighs, the use of foil slows down the breast cooking while the thighs get to 180⁰F.
  • Let the turkey rest for about 20 minutes.
  • After time has passed, the turkey needs to be removed from the bone before it can be stored in the refrigerator. My favorite way is to cut off the legs and thighs, leave them in large pieces and place in a shallow, greased pan. Cut the breast meat off in two big pieces, one from each side, placing them in the pan.
  • Add a little broth to the pan, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • To reheat on Thanksgiving, just place the pan in a 350⁰F oven for about 35 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 140⁰-150⁰F. Slice & enjoy.
  • Another option is to slice the turkey instead of leaving it in larger pieces, adding the broth, covering and refrigerating overnight. Either way, the turkey will be delicious.


Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Butterball.


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